Soggy scouting trip....


July 28, 2012, 02:11 PM
We went out yesterday to check out our deer unit. We loaded up the horses, the dogs, the kids, packed a lunch and headed for the mountains.

We got saddled up and started to head out. At some point my wife mentioned that we left the rain slickers back at the trailer. But the weather looked good and we all had light rain jackets with us so why waste daylight, right? She wanted to go back and get them but I assured her that it wasn't going to rain more than a sprinkle trust me. Off we went up the mountain.

It was a nice ride in some fairly technical conditions and the horses performed very well with the exception of my youngest daughters horse balking at each and every creek crossing but we worked through it. After three miles or so we found a nice high spot to glass from and set out a picnic lunch. We spotted several deer and one bruiser of a black bear and generally were enjoying ourselves.

I had been noticing a that dark clouds had been gathering on two sides and mentioned that "maybe we should start working our way back". So we packed up and headed off. I had one more bowl I wanted look at and thought it would get us on top which would make an easy ride back to the truck, so we went cross ridge and tried to get into the next bowl. It was simply too rough to get the horses through with lots of downed timber and thick brush so after about 45 minutes we gave up and decided to pick our way back from the direction we'd come.

That's when the first drops of rain started to fall. We all put on our light jackets but I knew that we were soon going to regret not having full length rain slickers. We were fighting our back through the fall area when the first rain drops turned into a deluge of biblical proportion. I'm talking a slashing, biting driven rain one of those that stings it's coming down so hard.

In about 10 minutes I am so soaked that there is water pooling in my underwear and sloshing around between my butt and the saddle. I'm wearing jeans and leather riding boots. In another ten minutes there is so much water soaking through my jeans that my boots are starting to fill with water in fact they have so much water in them that it's starting to slosh out the top. Up until now I've just kept riding and made sure everybody was safe behind me.

I finally gather everybody and explain that since there is no lightening we are better to just tough it out as there is nowhere to get out of the rain if we stop anyway. My daughters are giggling and thinking this is really fun. In fact my youngest one has taken her hood off because "the rain feels good on my head dad!". My wife is quietly taking up the rear keeping watch over everything and I'm not sure because she had hood pulled down over her head but I think she might have been sending daggers my way. No time to talk about it now, so I turn and urge my horse into a nice fast jog that way I'm out of dagger range. Just in case.:uhoh:

After picking our way through the fallen timber and sliding down a now muddy rocky hill that we'd come up we have a bit of a bother at a stream crossing where my youngest girls horse doesn't want to cross. The older one yells at her to "Just get off and lead him across you idiot!" To which my youngest replies "SHUT UP I'm going to win this, leave if you want, but I'm riding him across!" And she did, and there is no doubt that who their mother is! The women in this family don't take kindly to unwanted advice or are they keen to ever loose a fight with a horse or anything else for that matter.:)

Finally we are on the last stretch to the truck my young one is riding to my side and older one to my other side the rain, if anything has gotten stronger and we way past being concerned about being wet and cold as we are so saturated now it really doesn't matter. My wife is behind us about 100 yards and I think she had to stay that far back so as to keep herself from choking me out as she had mentioned early in the ride that we should go back and get the rain slickers and I told her not to worry about it. At least that's her side of the story..

At this point I'd mentioned to the girls that while it was raining at least there wasn't any lightening so that was good. As if on cue, KABLOOOM, a lightening bolt slashes through the sky above us. It's about 500 yards to the truck and I know that you should never run in the lightening and I also know that you should never run a horse back to the trailer but guess what folks? That event started the Colorado version of the Kentucky derby we covered that last 500 yards in record time.

My wife arrived calmly at a walk several minutes later and went around to the other side of the trailer without saying a word unsaddled her horse and never mentioned a word about the incident for the whole drive home. She'll probably start talking to me again before the week is out I'm guessing.

Deer and bear spotting area and picnic grounds.

Nice place to park the horses.

Getting back to the trailer. Even my dog wouldn't talk to me last night.

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July 28, 2012, 03:00 PM
That'll happen in the mountains. At least it wasn't boring. Buy the wife something and she'll get over it. :D

July 28, 2012, 03:32 PM
Yep, can remember a couple of horseback rides like that up in the White River area. One was checking out the elk pasture we hunted, another was a fishing trip, thank God we had our slickers though! You remind me a lot of my Pop, "Oh, lets go check out this other ridge line, we got a lot of time before dark...." Then, one sits on the horse wondering if the next lightning strike will be the one that gets you, and yes, the wet underwear sloshing in the saddle brings back some not too welcome memories too. Pop's been gone 5 years now, sure wish he was here so we could do it all again! Enjoy your hunt this fall !

July 28, 2012, 03:38 PM
Awesome outing story! My wife wants horses some day and I had never thought of putting them to use in this way to cover more ground for scouting, maybe that's due to the relatively thick woods around here (Maine). Glad everyone made it back safe and relatively enjoyed themselves despite the weather. Good luck making up with the wife! I vote flowers, chocolate, and something shiny to ensure best chances.

July 28, 2012, 03:42 PM
Remind me to tell you about feeling the heat from lightning some time and how it burned the hair off my right arm. Yeah that close. I forgot my slicker when riding once. Once.

Art Eatman
July 28, 2012, 03:50 PM
"My wife arrived calmly at a walk several minutes later and went around to the other side of the trailer without saying a word unsaddled her horse and never mentioned a word about the incident for the whole drive home."

Sounds like a fella oughta keep an eye out for "rough on rats" sandwiches. :D

July 28, 2012, 05:59 PM
This morning there she got up early to go to work. I got up to fix her breakfast., yeah I'm just that awesome! She simply handed me a two page "fix it" list smiled and left.

I am half way through the first page as I write this.

I'm not sure but obviously she figured in some computer time on that list right? Surely she did?

BTW have any of you guys ever tried to fix one of those camper/trailer door handle/locks after the guts are all exploded on the inside? It's a bit of Swiss watch in there.

July 28, 2012, 11:17 PM
A fine family, H. A bit hormone imbalanced, but a fine family.

Just give her an acknowledgement that she was right about the slickers and promise not to do that again, then go grab a beer with your buddies to wash off some of that estrogen.

Every thing will be 'right as rain'. :D

July 28, 2012, 11:41 PM
H&H, that's some pretty country, and a nice lookin family to boot. Here in Washington, rain is a given regardless of the season, so we are always ready for it.
We work & play & hunt & fish in it. I see more deer in the rain then on a dry day about 4 to 1.

July 29, 2012, 12:04 AM
See any bucks? :D

July 29, 2012, 12:49 AM
See any bucks?

One tiny little fork horn...

Some more picture from before the deluge.

It takes a lot of help to glass for deer!!

The remains of an old homestead. Seldom do you find one as unpicked over as this.
We left it just the way we found it.

July 29, 2012, 08:30 AM
Still looks like you had fun though. Dragged my girlfriend out on a wet scouting trip two weeks ago and she still had a blast

July 29, 2012, 11:48 AM
Hunting is like riding motorcycle. If you've never been caught in the rain, you don't do it enough. There's a reason my wife and I have rain-suits in the saddlebags we NEVER take out. Sun may be shining and radar may be clean when you leave the driveway, but take the rain-suits out and get 100 miles from home and sure will rain. As for deer hunting, I prefer to hunt in a light drizzle. The sound of the rain masks any sound I might make, and the falling precipitation drives air scent to the ground. I believe rain and light fog makes it harder for deer to distinguish objects and movement. It also seems deer know most hunters go home when the rains come and they get active.

Great pics H&H, and a good story. Nice to see one can enjoy their favorite pastime and combine it with quality family time.

July 29, 2012, 09:21 PM
Cool stuff.

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