Mike's Story

of his March 27th 2004 Hunt

All month long Dave had been badgering me about preparing for a real marathon of a hunt. I began to believe him on the morning of the hunt. No signal, no communication on any of the contact freqs, and no hope of knowing which direction to go. After nearly an hour of waiting for a signal, nearly every other team had left the hill in search of something to hunt. I left the hill headed for the Cajon Pass and just before I reached PCH at the bottom of the hill I got a call from David.

David wanted me to relay that he had had a catastrophic failure of the main T and that he would get it working just as soon as he could get back to the site. He said he needed to drive out of the hide area a substantial distance to get cell phone coverage. He had given me a bearing TO him from the start point of 187 degrees. Of course he got his bearing bassakwards (though he'll swear I screwed it up). So finally everyone got the message that 007 degrees should be the initial start bearing. To late for some, just in time for others.

Surprisingly enough everybody got turned around and headed in the right direction as I kept running into hunters just after Mojave, my first fuel stop. There were strong indications of something up Jaw Bone Canyon, lots of hunters parked on the side of the road there. Jippy kept insisting that the signals were emanating from Death Valley. I didn't think anything was up Jaw Bone Canyon but a bend in the road so I drove on.

Just before Highway 178 I heard the "400 miles to go" T. A short drive up a dirt road found Don & Steve blocking the road. After exchanging some misinformation I drove the remaining couple of miles up to a place called Short Canyon. Jippy and Steve H. arrived a few minutes later and graciously signed me into the T. Now it's off to find the hider.

A few miles up 395 (maybe 30 or so) I heard a signal coming from a canyon that had 9 Mile Road running through it. This was the T at Dave & Melanie's Camp. At first I though this was a SquakBox T that had lost its programming, just a very short duration carrier with a slight tone to it. It turns out it was his PicCon programmed to sound like 2 transmitters. I went up 9-mile road chasing this T, and after really getting twisted up in a pine forest threading pine needles with my Jeep I finally got on the road into the Chimney Peak Wilderness area. I found Dave's campground shortly after and the 2 transmitters that were there. I had to play with the killer dogs, and in order to escape with my life I had to offer up my beef jerky supplies.

After about 30 minutes I left to find the main T and another voice T that sounded like a little kid. I found the main T just as Steve H. had signed into it. I left to find the Kid T and ended up on a trail into a beautiful valley. The T however was not a kid but Dave calling us a bunch a whiney little......T-hunters. Don & Steve arrived a few minutes after me and graciously signed me in. Don said that they were headed home and I passed this info to David when I arrived back at his camp, where I simply could not turn down the steak I was offered.

After a hearty dinner and some more dog wrestling I had to pack up and head home. Made it home by midnight. All in all this was a great time. I had never been into the Chimney Peak area before, I'll be sure to go back there soon and really check it out.

73! K6SNE