I took a drive out Redington Pass early on October 23rd, the first day of rifle deer season. There were hunters, but nothing like Labor Day weekend, which was packed with ATVs and camps. There were a few camps in the vicinity of mile posts 10 and 12.
Ultimately, for my hunt on November 6th, Claude, Kalei and I decided to hike in from the Molino campground and set up camp for the night, hopefully getting in some good glassing in the evening and following morning. There was plenty of water in the creek due to the recent rains, which was comforting. I was starting to feel a little dry by the next day, and we decided to filter some water to get us through. My load of two Nalgenes and a Camelbak may have to be increased on our next outing, especially if the water isn’t flowing.
The weather couldn’t have been much better. It only got down to the 40’s at night, with small gusts of wind, and we had clear skies in the 80’s during the day.
Hiking in and setting up camp is definitely the way to go. For the extra work up front, you save a lot of travel time on each end of your day. I woke up at 5:30 am, walked about 5 yards in front of my tent and started glassing. We only had to hike in about 3/4 of a mile to get away from the rest of the hikers, and we only saw one other hunter out there. The terrain was beautiful, and we felt like we were more remote than we were.
We could hear shots periodically from the Redington Pass area, and at one point it sounded like a firefight. I assume someone found a spot to do some target practice.
We ended up seeing a total of nine does/fawns, including one that Claude spotted trying to walk right in to our camp while we were there! Even though we didn’t see any bucks, it was a great trip with great friends. I look forward to doing it again next year, hopefully for two or three days.
Thanks to this posting from Summit Hut for the intel: Airmen Peak