Packing for me always starts several weeks before the actual trip. I pack and then cull out the items I can actually do without. I concentrate on my hunting clothes to handle any kind of weather. I usually boil water and do some light laundry, especially my hunting clothes.
After a long drive to my destination, I try to wind down by simple unpacking and organizing my things for the next week.
I began the first day by prepping equipment, spraying down blinds and ghillie suits, boots and clothing. My partner, Colin, stripped pine branches and crushed the greenery to expose the rich sap and packed our clothes in a plastic bag in layers. We basically do this back in Missouri with cedar when hunting whitetail.
My guide, Keith, and myself, went to an area where he had wolves on the game cameras from the past few days prior to our arrival. While he set the bait I quickly set up a ground blind for the first nights hunt. Evidence of the wolves was strewn about with bones, and pieces of moose hide. The bait we used today was beaver. Keith’s theory on the first night is to not call, no scent, and just plain don’t do anything but sit still.
- The first night is always a test to see what the activity is like. I have always said when you are in someone else’s territory, listen to the guide. They usually have a feel for what should go on with a back -up plan if necessary.
I went to the stand at 4 p.m. Blind was straining at the ropes from the wind. Most hunters will not go out in wind like this, but when you drive this far, everyday counts.
- It is good to get acclimated to your environment and get rid of some of your anxiety! My past experience has been the first day is always filled with tension and expectations that need to be toned down. Being relaxed is important and makes it easier to stay focused.
- Double check all of your gear for the next day. It is easy to forget things when you are about to hit the woods.
On a lighter note, getting settled into the cabin is always worth a few words. Bringing in some firewood for the night, putting food supplies away, unpacking and organizing your personal items, all are part of the process for settling in. Our camp is run by a diesel generator so we can keep our cameras and laptops charged up. Writing the day’s events and making notes for future articles is part of the routine. When you don’t have the distraction of television or phones, it is much easier to concentrate on keeping up with the recording of daily events. Time seems to fly by and bedtime is a welcome event, tired from all of the fresh air and a day filled with a long list of items of preparing for the rest of the week. I have been coming to this camp for 8 years so the routine is pretty much standard for me.
The last thing I do is to get some much needed rest. Tomorrow I will be ready!
Continue on to part two of Ed’s wolf hunting expedition here.