fishing & hunting gear

Creepypasta #1122: My Bird Dog And I Went Hunting In The Desert Of Eastern Oregon - A Desert That Doesn't Like Intruders

Length: Super long

About six weeks ago, I went into the wilderness of Eastern Oregon with my 2 year old hunting dog (a golden retriever named Reggie) to hunt for pheasant, partridge, quail, and flyfish for steelhead. I was camping along the John Day River, which is in the high desert and carves a deep valley through the sage brush coated hills and black-rock cliffs. Something happened in that canyon that has changed everything I know (or thought I knew) about the world we live in. I’ll start with a bit of backstory before I get into the events.

I did this same camping trip with two buddies last November during my dog’s first bird season, and we were all psyched to have round two. Unfortunately, one of the dudes bailed because of work pressure, and the other because he needed time to prep for an interview.

So I decided to go alone. I’ve done plenty of solo camping and hunting before, and this time I had my bird dog so I felt even better going alone. There’s obviously no cell service out there, so I gave my girlfriend and some buddies my route and camping locations, and set out before sunrise on a Friday with plans to return late on Sunday. It’s about a three hour drive to the stretch of the John Day River basin where I was heading, and got there around 9:30. 

It was around 40 degrees when I got out at the BLM parking area to stretch and started to get ready to set out. My dog was really stoked (he knows we’re hunting when I put on my bird pouch and bust out the shotgun), and I was as happy as a pig in the mud. Sun was shining, and it had snowed a few days earlier so the red, tan, black, and green sagebrush-coated valley we started hiking down into was shimmering.

I had my big backpacking pack loaded to the brim with camping gear, winter gear, hunting and fishing gear, and dog stuff. I had my shotgun in hand (a double barrel 12g side-by-side), a field knife, and my Ruger .357 on my belt. I don’t always carry a sidearm, but with three days and two nights alone in an area infested with packs of coyotes (who don’t scare me but would love a golden retriever snack) and mountain lions (which definitely scare me), I figured why the hell not.

We (my dog and I) rucked about 6 miles into a more open part of the valley where I wanted to spend the first night. It was around 50 degrees at this point and absolutely beautiful, although quite muddy with the snow melting. I set up the tent on a little grassy plateau above the old trail, and put the dog in the tent with some water to chill for a bit to get his paws warmed up. 

I ate lunch and dumped most of my gear to set out with just my camelback, bird pouch, gun, and dog down further into the valley to start hunting (about as happy as a dude can be). It was slow hunting at first but eventually we flushed some quails and a few hen pheasants. After about 4 hours it was starting to get dark. We had bagged 3 quails and were working our way back to camp. This is when things got somewhat strange.

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10

IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)
Maxpedition FR-1 Pouches: Foliage Green and Foliage Green & Khaki

One is more complete than the other, but I have yet to sort everything out since I have more first aid materials to spread out between the two IFAK’s.

Funny thing is I am lacking the usual booboo materials such as: bandaids and gauze. Tweezers would be nice addition as well for splinter removal. Though I always have a Swiss Army Knife handy, which has tweezers. But what if I do not pack a SAK (swiss army knife)?

These are not as light as I would like the IFAK’s to be, and I realize I could dump the tourniquets in favor of adding another Israeli bandage. I rather have the tourniquets on hand then improvising the izzy bandages as one, plus what if I need both? Then I would be out a tourniquet. Granted a t-shirt, strap, and/or belt may be improvised to become a tourniquet. I really do not like that idea; especially, if I have tourniquets on hand. I will say this about the tourniquets is that both are lighter then the Soviet rubber band version I own. I put that one in a REI IFAK, which is stowed in my large backpack for more extended camping trips/out the trunk of the Jeep camping trips. I will add a Recon Medical tourniquet to that bag anyway because why not? Not all of my IFAK’s are really individual first aid kits. I want one or two to handle multiple people and problems, which my REI first aid kit does and is honestly more complete. It has the ability to handle minor booboos to ugly wounds, but the later is only due to the fact I added things to it.

Yes, SAM Splints will be added to my first aid kits.

Sadly I feel like I am becoming an ambulance in a pouch. My skills may allow me to dump some items. I know how to improvise. Funny how I am beginning to remember those things I thought I forgot. My friend always said it would come back when needed. Granted I do not need to employ it right now, but checking on how my kits are coming together has me thinking.

Being crippled it is probably best if I do rely on knowledge, skills, and improvisation. Brain power drops weight in the kit. Folks who know less generally pack more stuff, of which most is honestly useless: for example, I was once fishing at a park. It has a 1km trail around the fishing pond/lake. There are entrances and exits on both sides of the park, which includes parking; so, a half kilometer walk and any person could easily get to their fishing spot. This guy had a tackle box the size of a garage toolbox that sits on wheels. In fact his tackle box was rigged up to be apart of a dolly to drag it around with him. There is only carp, bass, and catfish in the pond/lake. There is not fly fishing. There is no saltwater fishing. It is a freshwater pond/lake after-all, and yes, trout are added in the winter months. There is no need for a tackle box that rolls around on a dolly, and this guy is almost a senior citizen. Fat pudgy out of shape late middle age male who does not need to be dragging God knows how many pounds of shit with him to fish for bass. Now honestly he may not be new to fishing, but commonly folks new to outdoor stuff pack a house with them. They go mad collecting the whiz-bang gadgets, and then when they go out to do something simple outdoors. In this case fishing. The individual drags all that shit with him, which turns a trip into a uncomfortable trip. My fishing tackle may be stuffed into a pocket on Levi’s tight jeans, which I do not wear myself. Point is that I pack light weight. I carry exactly what is needed and no more then such because I am disabled and learned quickly. Now when I was young. I went nuts filling up a medium sized tackle box. The contents of which rusted away because I stuffed it full and neglected it since I did not need all of that shit. And it is shit.

Point of the story is that my IFAK’s need to be light weight. I need to figure out how I will set it up to handle a traumatic injury such as a broken leg or a severe laceration. I do not need to become a mobile ambulance.

9

Böker Plus Fire-starter + Multitool & Compass
4 1/2” 3.5oz aluminum body

Böker Magnum Lil Friend Micro
Specs: 440 stainless steel, blade length 1 3/8”, overall length 3 3/8”, weight 1.3oz

I saw this fire-starter by Böker and thought neat. It comes with an attached multitool, which has a very tiny blade, two different rulers, and a bottle opener, plus it serves as the striking steel for the ferro rod, which is housed inside a nice piece of knurled aluminum. The compass in the housing works. It is pointing in the right directions. I am surprised by this because there is so much metal around it, which includes the ferro rod. I figured even if some of it is not magnetic, some of it would be a ferrous metal. But the compass works! It is one nice fire-starter.

The little neck knife was acquired because I am genuinely curious about it. It is sharp. I would not say super sharp, but the factory did a decent job of it. It is very small. I think this is the smallest fixed blade I have ever seen. It obviously cannot handle many tasks, but there is still room in my tool box for it. I would not use it as a neck knife. Truth is I find neck knives to be silly. I do not see keeping a knife like a piece of jewelry. Sheaths and belts are more comfortable and effective. It is harder to move a collar (which means stretching it silly) to deploy a knife versus lifting up the shirt a small amount to deploy a knife. And there is never going to be a situation so horrid that requires a neck knife. Pocket, pouch, and sheathed on a belt are the best places to keep a knife in my opinion and decades of experience. Anyway, this knife will get tossed in with other tools for the purposes of being a handled razor edge.