DIY Packtrip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness pays off in big way!!
5 of us have been talking about packing into the Bob for awhile now and this fall it all came together for us and we did it, never being in the Bob I researched every aspect of it from biologist to packers and people that have been in there before. After studying Google Earth for months we decided on a particular drainage and the stage was set! We decided to get a comfortable wall tent camp in 20 some miles we need a minumum of a packhorse apiece. The first morning we packed up and hit the trail finally around noon and we were making camp as darkness fell, the first morning in the backcountry found us letting the horses graze and rest from the trip and we spent it glassing nearby mountains and meadows for game, didnt take long I was looking at 13 elk with 3 being bulls and one of which was a goon 6 point being harassed by smaller raghorns when I spotted the first of 4 wolves trotting below them on a avalanche run the first I seen was gray in color the I seen 3 more ending up being 2 gray and 2 black wolves the showed themselves for a bit then disapeared into the timber having numerous wolf tags in hand the excitement around camp grew!! We were amazed how big the country was taking hours horseback to reach any destination in which held elk, the second morning my brother and I were riding back out of a drainage from a morning hunt when we rode up on a fresh hunter killed elk carcass laying not 400 yards from our camp as the crow would fly we both had the same thoughts about the proximity to our camp, GRIZZLY! It didnt take long either a guide working for a outfitter camp about 1/2 mile uprver from us stopped by to tell us the next morning to be careful because that morning there was 2 large grizzlies that had claimed the carcass, that made it hard for a fella to ride by in the dark on our way up the drainage to hunt elk with the 2 grizz woofing and chomping jaws! The first couple days were fairly uneventful for elk we heard a few far off bugles but nothing that would work, finally the 3rd morning we again rode past the carcass and its excitement all the way to the top of a drainage on a hair raising sidehill trail once we reached the top we were gonna unsaddle horses and let them blow and we would spemd some time glassing, but glassing would be put on hold cuz a bull bugled very close by we sat up quickly and he came right into a burn area and i knew instantly he was a trophy old bull, he turned broadside at 150 yards i asked my buddy next to me if he could see him he said all he could see was his head and I replied I was gonna kill him, I shot him in the heart and he soaked it up and turned to just walk away and I shot him in the back of the neck dropping him in his tracks, wow what had I just done he looked huge as we approached! after getting down to him I was overwhelmed and very humbled at taking such an animal!
We quartered the meat and caped the head being in a burn there was no real place to hang the meat so I elected to lay it on a old log uphill about 75 yards from the carcass thinking we would be back very first thing the next morning with packhorses to get it!
The next morning found us riding back up with packhorses in tow we stopped short of the carcass because of the nasty trail not wanting to get someone or a horse injured 4 men packed rifles and I packed only a sidearm into the carcass hoping wolves or maybe a black bear would be in the area we snuck over the ridge to look and neither was present .......BUT a very large silvertipped Grizzly Boar was packing a shoulder from my cache down the carcass!!! He winded very soon and retreated to the green timber that hadnt burned maybe 100 yards or so from the carcass, we elected to leave 2 guys on top with rifles trained on the area for protection as my brother and friend and I went down the steep slope to pack meat up, once we got to the meat he had already drug the head and cape down and buried it alongside the carcass and the shoulder but he hadnt ate nothing yet, so we packed all the meat and head back up taking a couple trips, he was just out of sight but not out of hearing he was whoofing and spanking the ground with loud thumping cracks clearly he was agitated!
we finally got out of the area and packed up and headed the grueling 6 miles down to camp,