Spring 2014 AZ Backpack Bear Scouting/'Hunting' Trip
I was drawn for a central AZ archery bear tag this year and was wanting to check out a couple of locations for possible areas to hunt, so my son and I packed up for a short weekend trip into the area to check it out. Last minute I checked the regs and the bear hotline and found that this area was still open for the over the counter general bear hunt, so I picked up a tag and brought the rifle along in case we chanced into a bear.
My son's baseball practice made for a late getaway Saturday, but we were finally on the trail late Saturday afternoon.
This country burned pretty good about 24 years ago, and as a result the brush has come back very thick and there has been a lot of erosion on the trail.
After about a 3 mile hike, we made camp, got the tent set up, and started cooking dinner.
We finished up dinner by headlamp, and found ourselves in bed shortly after.
With this being more of a scouting/backpacking trip than an actual hunting trip, we slept in and got up to get some breakfast and then filtered some water.
Back at the truck, we stopped for one final picture before making our way back into town for a late lunch.
Ryan did great on the hike. This was his second backpacking trip with me. The first was last year when he was seven. It was about the same distance, but at a slightly lower elevation and it was a little flatter trail last year. He did very well this year. He only carried about a quart of water, some snacks, and his jackets. I carried everything else for us. Hard to believe we were only out a night with as full as my pack looks!
The only downside to the trip was getting home and looking at my boots. My trusty and favorite Zamberlan boots had worn a hole on the front part of the sole. These boots had performed well for me for 3 years, and while I was hoping to get another season out of them, I'm glad they wore out in the spring vs the fall, giving me plenty of time to research and purchase a new pair of boots. I will probably try and get these resoled as well.