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My Pants Saved My Butt!

By Rob Kahn

published in the April 2017 issue of A Shot of TexasI

I have always been a fan of having the right equipment for wilderness hunting. Hunting ,fishing or hiking in the wilderness allows no room for errors and therefore being prepared is of paramount importance. So, what happens when you find a new use for the right equipment and what if that equipment literally saves your butt?   This is what happened to me last October in the wilderness outside Stanley, Idaho. My buddy and I spent the day scouting for mulies and had worked our way to the tallest outcropping of rock for a good vantage point. While we glassed around we actually saw the trail way down below that led to our camp . We were using binoculars of course but even with optics the winding dirt road looked like a simple jog down the hill. I was comforted in the fact that our walk back would be a breeze. We had seen several mule deer but none worth the shot. This was especially true being that it was the first day of our hunt. We continued glassing until a couple of hours or so before it got dark. We wrapped it up and prepared to pack back down . My buddy headed off, when I stopped him and said “Let’s take the easy way dude” and pointed to that little road down the back side of the slope.

“I don't know about that”, he replied.   “This topo map sure has these lines drawn tightly together”.    This was a key statement in that moment and it completely passed me by .The thing about being a tad A.D.D  is that you don't ask pertinent or detailed questions.   One might have said “What do you mean tight lines”?

We started heading down the back side although my buddy Monty Janak  had expressed some reservations. At the time I was 56 and Monty was about 10 years younger. Maybe he figured that if the old man wanted to try it then he would just go along. All went well for about twenty minutes until the angle of the slope became suddenly much steeper . To add to the mix, the fallen leaves made the descent very slippery.   We had already lost sight of the road but our general direction was on course. For a moment we wanted to head back up but we were quickly losing light and the temperature was dropping to below twenty degrees . If we did make it back up we would then need to find our way in the pitch dark.   Surely the road we had seen from high above would soon be upon us?  We kept on for another half hour. The sun was long gone and we came to realize that there was no way we are going to make it down anytime soon. Rocks were covered in snow and leaves twelve inches thick and slippery. The angle was so steep that i was able to touch the slope.   There was no way we were walking down on two feet.  At this point all we could do was sit down and slide our way down on our backsides.   I was a bit scared that we might not be in the best place. There was still no sight of the road and the woods had grown thick and tall. When we felt we had reached the bottom it turned out to be the edge of a cliff.   At that point we were able to stand but only because we had the opportunity to walk parallel to the cliff. for a quarter mile we walked and then it was back on our butts again. Two hours after dark we got to the road and needless to say we were spent. Our guide found us and back to camp we went on horses. The next day I inspected my pants and found no damage whatsoever. I couldn't believe it.  WeatherWool was definitely going to hear about this.  Monty continued his navigation and we stayed clear of the too close together lines. For the best wool products on the planet call my buddy Ralph. www.WeatherWool.com.