First hunting trip... Definitely not the last

People from left to right: Mike, Me, Josh, Robert, Ian (7!), Jona, Randy, Ben, Joseph (11), Victor, Isaac's foot (Group shot framing fail. Sorry Isaac!)


Here we come...
10 guys, 1 girl, 3 deer tags, 5 guns, 1 BB gun, 2 recurve bows, 1 slingshot, and yes... one homemade blow dart shooter (nice touch Jona!), all in the middle of nowhere in Princeton BC...




The Arrival...
We parked our cars at 5,000 ft elevation with an overcast sky and ascended the mountain with 30-60 lb packs on our backs... Most of us looked like weathered tomato faced pioneers when we reached our check point, well except Ian, my 7 year old nephew, who's motivation to beat everybody else was more fiery than his red hair. Epic poetry right there folks.


Ian on a shifty log bridge at Placer lake

Making Camp...
Our initial goal was to ascend to 7,000 ft + elevation but we ran out of daylight and camped out at 5,500 ft right by Placer Lake. A gorgeous still lake full of slithering leeches, biting winds, and water so freezing your eyes got goosebumps just looking at it. Real romantic stuff. Even in this wild environment, a burning fire with some well earned dinner, completed this outdoor paradise.




The Night Hunt...
As dusk snuck in we snuck out, with guns and arrows in hand, to see if any deer we're as eager as us to get out of the woods to the open ridges. No animals were seen, but the environment was surreal and wildly refreshing. The presence of God around me felt thick and comforting as winds rushed up and down the mountain to greet me. Mike, Ian, and I all sat on the rough mountainside in silence, well almost complete silence minus Ian's anxious whisperings about cool branches and rocks etc... We stared at the cold blue sky and the never ending family line of mountains before us.




The Morning Hunt...
Next day we woke up at 5:30AM, all of crawled out of our tents underneath an insanely gorgeous clear starry sky. Everybody starts to gather, whispering and beaming our headlights in the dark. We all trudge over to the ridge to snag a good seat before the deer arrive at dawn. (Just like going to the movies! Except dinner comes after the show ;)) The sun slowly rose and lit the clearing, we sat without making a peep for a good hour. Sadly, no deer popped their heads out, but I was overwhelmed with joy and peace sitting on that cold mountain. Man! God is the most brilliant person I will ever experience. I saw his signature on every branch, colour, cloud, and blow of wind. It was Thanksgiving weekend indeed.




The big climb...
We pack up camp with hopes to ascend further up the mountain to camp out on a glacier lake, up 1,500 ft more in elevation to be exact, easy peasy right? Well, I'll put it simply, when you got 50 lbs on your back, it's not. Not to mention our brave 7 year old hasn't had too much time to train ;) Rain was sparkling all the way up, but it wasn't till we realized 5 hours in, that the lake was MUCH further than we anticipated... Too far for the young one and too far to carry a deer back! That glacier lake was the only other water source besides Placer Lake, which was all the way DOWN the mountain. So, we had to turn back! Yup. And of course the floodgates of heaven decided to open at that very moment to insure all of were nicely soaked all the way back... Not sure if it was the rain weight or the mentality of defeat, but my pack felt twice as heavy on the back.


Placer Lake is where we camped, and we hiked Saturday all the way to the turn around point then had to head back. Campsite #1 was a campsite where Josh had camped on previous trips.

Final thoughts...
I didn't get too many photos of the top, mainly because of the dumping rain. One of many reasons to try again next year and try to capture the rare sights at such great heights! We trekked all the way back to our cars and drove home a night early. All of us thinking, "What just happened?!" and "When can we go again?!" An exhausting yet very positive experience. Can't wait for next time, we're coming for you bucks!!

Here's some more photos I captured throughout the crazy weekend...















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