Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Pain of Loss

The Pain of Loss
Most of you who read my stories know that I am not a blogger for such as a blogger is.Instead I write stories about my life in Alaska. Not stories that I make up, but real life stories of every day adventures and the life that we live here in Alaska.Some folks question where I come up with this stuff and if I have checked out the sources.Well, there are no sources, just my life adventures. You can choose to believe my stories or not, that is certainly up to you.No, I can not spell very well and I can not type worth a snot, but I do manage to get the job done with these two fingers. This is one of those stories that I would just as soon not write, but it has hurt me and my friends next door very badly, and I guess I just need to try to blow off some steam to someone. You are it!
Today started at 02:30 AM.My friends next door have three of the greatest kids that I have ever known. I have watched them grow up and they have considered us to be old Grampa Bubba and Gramma Lin.The family have two carillian ?? bear dogs that they raised from puppies. One is Dolly and the other is Striker, her three year old pup.Those two dogs have chased the big brown bears out of our yards many times over the last few years.I have written old stories: Bad Boy Grizzly, Here We Go Again, etc. in old posts about the problems we have had with the brown bears.Our town has had many bear problems again this year. Three weeks ago the police had to kill a 1200 pound, 10 feet brown bear down town. Also, there is another giant bear ripping up stuff behind the hospital and knocking over fences, as we speak.The fact is, we have far too many bears here on the Kenai Peninsula. The local Fish&Game officials have failed miserably to control the bear population.I am in the process of going to war with those greenie officials to get them to reduce the population of bears before they kill or hurt anyone else.Our moose herds are almost wiped out due to wolves and those starving bears.This is the time of year that the salmon are gone from the Kenai River. The frosty nights have destroyed the remaining berry crops and the bears are out trying to find something to eat before they hibernate for the winter.This is the time the big brown bears come into our subdivision 4 miles up river from town.We live just across the road from the Kenai Wilderness Reserve, which is stocked full of those hungry bears.Since we live with the bears, we always try to keep our yards free of garbage or anything the bears might want to eat.I even have an electric fence at the bottom of my stairs to keep the bears off of my porch.Otherwise I will have big nose-smears on my sliding glass doors in my kitchen.Dealing with those bears is just one of the things we do if we are going to live in a wild place like this. We certainly don't have a grudge against those bears. Actually we kind of like to see them wandering around the yard once in a while.What I'm saying is we have learned to co-exist fairly well over the years.However, once in a while we do have bad experiences with them. Today was one of days to have a bad conflict with them.Early this morning two very large bears came up from the brushy river bottoms and entered my neighbors yard.The two dogs came out of the "doggy door" and made an attempt to herd them back out of the yard.These are the same two dogs that I watched stand between a cow moose with two little calves, and a brown bear who was trying to kill them.They fought the bear for hours until the moose left the safety of the yard. Then the bear killed the cow and one of the calves.These two dogs have done many very heroic deeds to protect the kids and the property from the bears.Today Dolly and Striker once again tried to protect the yard from the bears. I don't know what actually happened, but Striker never came back up the hill. It looked like they had cornered him in the heavy brush and killed him. Then they carried him off into the dense brush and probably ate him.I understand that my neighbor noticed that Dolly had been barking an aggressive bark, and then she began to bark like she was afraid. I'm sure she had watched the bears kill her pup, and carry him off into the brush.We looked for several hours in the brush until it was just too dangerous to proceed farther into the tangled willows.After we gave up searching, we returned to their house to find all three kids waiting to see if we had found Striker.When they saw that we did not have Striker, the look on their faces broke my heart.They had counted on us to bring him back and we had failed them.It was hard to tell them that Striker had died trying to protect them.It will take a long time for them to cope with the loss of their dog.I'm having a hard time of it myself.George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alaskan Pioneer

I stood on a ridge overlooking the Gakona River. Before me was the most beautiful valley I had ever seen.
It was September 18, 2011. The end of moose season was only a couple of days away.We had just spent three weeks camped out near Paxon Lake, in the vast interior of Alaska.
We harvested a nice caribou bull and had enough meat for our freezer.Most of the time we had spent picking blue berries, and catching arctic grayling from a small lake.The hills were covered in the ripe blue berries.Miles and miles of berries, and we picked a ton of the little tasty things. I have never eaten so many blue berry pancakes and muffins.
I am a lot smarter than most old smelly moose hunters, because I take my Owner(wife) on all of my mountain trips.She is a great cook who knows how to cook great camp meals and keep me in line.
The only problem with her is she has to wash her hair every other day and take a shower several times a week.I can't seem to make her understand that moose hunters never take baths or wash their hair. So far she refuses to hear any of that "old moose hunter" stuff.All of that is good but she keeps me hauling water. She can go through 40 gallons of water in a couple of days, and it doesn't seem to bother her much.We found a spring 30 miles north near mile 204 of the highway. A three inch pipe flowed out of the mountain. It took only about five seconds to fill each of the 5 gallon water bottles of the best water we ever tasted. I always have 8-10 bottles in camp.Our hunting neighbor made water runs every couple of days, and took our empty bottles to fill for us.
Fall has always been my favorite season.
Fall is harvest time.
Fall is when the colors of the mountains and valleys turn to red and gold.
Fall is when we finish the summer projects and prepare for the long frozen darkness of the Alaskan winter.
I live for Fall. I already have plans for next fall. I know where I'm going to camp and who will be going with me.
My little Hon is going to have to get used to sleeping in a tent with no running water.We will be 17 miles back in the bush on a trail consisting of dozens of bogs and mostly swamps covered in water and neck deep mud. Those swamps are little more than lakes covered in peat moss mixed with a little mud. They can not be waded because they are deeper than your head.My Mudd Ox amphibian. has tracks and will float when it gets deep, and goes through bad swamps with ease.The only bad thing is if I break down or sink, it will be very interesting for several days, because no one will be able to come and rescue me. I always take enough tools to repair whatever breaks down.
Most folks like the safety of the big city crowds. They feel secure with a lot of folks around.They seem to thrive in their own little neighborhood where everything is the same about everyday.They don't want anything to change and they are satisfied in the same old routine each day.They seldom move to another town, let alone another state. I guess life consists of their own ideas of stability and security.I have said before and I will say it again, "A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out"!
Freedom to me is a big valley with a river that flows out of a gorgeous glacier.
A place where the hand of man has not tarnished the wilderness. A place where the bears, moose, and caribou roam undisturbed by the honking horns and noise of rush-hour traffic.A place where the work of the Creator hasn't been destroyed by human lack of respect for nature. Alaska is the last stronghold of the free innocents of a new born caribou.
Alaska is still pristine and as wild as the earth before mankind began to scar the land.
Alaska is home and we will protect it with our lives. I would never even think about living somewhere else. It's the last place where the pioneer spirit can still be a way of life.
You may get the idea that I'm some "greenie-envirnonmentalist". No, I'm not one of those misguided, poorly informed, bleeding heart individuals who think it is a sin to eat turkey for thanksgiving!Instead, I am a long time Alaskan who believes in keeping our beautiful state pristine, and depends on harvesting wild game to feed my family.Big, big difference!!
Most Americans live in the lower 48 states. Kool!! I can't think of a better place for them.:}
We are a different bunch up here. We see all of the mistakes that were made by other generations, and we are determined not to make those same mistakes.While I'm on my soap box,...
The temperature has dropped below freezing already tonight, so I had better get out and get the wood in for the fireplace.
I can already taste the hot chocolate and smell the wood burning.
I see the sun creeping up the hillsides of the Kenai Mountain Range. The snow is beginning to turn pink in the alpine glow.
I look forward to seeing the northern lights and hearing the songs of the wolf pack.Just another typical Alaskan night.
George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail"

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bubba and the Fat Pudding

For those of you who follow this blog site, I thought I would ask for a little help on a serious problem .
Last week I passed my annual cancer tests just fine.
A couple of days ago I went in for my annual treadmill test.
The Doc didn't like the way things looked, so he yanked me into the O-R by the back of my neck.
Then he slammed two more stents into my poor old heart. I guess the three I already had were lonesome. I now have a total of five which is more than old Dick Chaney.
My little wife has found it in her heart to cut out all of the fried chicken, french fries, fried tators,
and a ton of other food that I'm sure will kill me to give up.
The worst one was my big craving for biscuits and fat pudding ( gravy).
I told the doctor it was probably the fat pudding that contributed to my clogged arteries, and he looked at me with a " dumb s##t" look on his face.
I told the doctor that my fishing pardner, Butch McLoud, who is a full blown Texan, was the one who got me started on the biscuits and fat pudding.
Old Butch told me it was probably not good to be eating the pudding, but he was going to continue eating it until he didn't feel good.
I thought that was a good reason, so I ate my little heart out on the stuff.
I tried to call Butch from the O-R to let him know it was too late waiting until it felt bad. I was going to have him come in and watch how the doctor cut my wrist and shoved in those rods with the stents on the end.
I talked to Butch today about the pudding, and he didn't seem too excited about stopping eating it.
I told him it really tasted good until they strapped me down to that table and began poking needles into my whole self.
It was at that point that I made a decision to lay off of the good old fat pudding.
I have been through a lot of bad things, but giving up on the fat pudding is the most painful thing so far.
If any of you folks have any good suggestions about how to do it, please let me know.
In case you we wondering... I'm still going bear hunting tomorrow.
I don't let little things like cancer and clogged arteries stop me from having some good old fun!
Bubba Hunt walking "The Wilderness Trail"

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Noah, you have been around since 10-11-2010, and I haven't had much of a chance to say "howdy" from your old Grandpa, Bubba Hunt.
Since I live up here in Alaska, and you were born in South Carolina, it has been a bit tough to have a get-together so far.
There is a few things I should make you aware of.
First, your Grandma Lin is getting ready to come back there and visit you.
You have to understand that these women folks mean well, but they will be talking a bunch of silly baby talk to you. You'll just have to tough it out for a while.
They will also be trying to do other silly things such as kissing you on the face and goo-gooing.
Some will try to chuck your cheek and tickle your chin, in an effort to get a grin out of you. I know, I know, it's ridiculous, but keep this in mind;those grandma's make a lot of tasty cookies and pies.
As hard as it may seem, I know you will put up with all of the hooferah.
Believe me, all of the fuss will be over in a few years and we can go on to just being a couple of old smelly fishermen.
I have to apologize for giving you such a messed up world, but again, I was born at the end of WW2. I can still remember being afraid of airplanes, and how hard it was getting some kinds of food.
When I was in grade school, we had to practice an emergency drill called "Duck and Cover", in case we were hit with an H-bomb.
I can still remember in the 50's when a lot of folks built "fall-out" shelters.
You, too, will have to be strong.Hopefully the world leaders will be able to find a way where we can all live in some kind of peace.
We are going to have to figure out some way that we can hang around together. I have a lot of things to teach you.
Besides fishing, I can show you how to survive in the wilderness with nothing more than the clothes on your back.
My Dad was the last of the old west Mountain Men. He was trained to trap and hunt by a famous clan of explorers. They were the John Wesley Powell bunch.I think they were cousins.
You will find a lot about them in the western history books. I believe they were the first to float the Colorado River, and they were big in the Indian culture-language history during that time.
The things I can teach you will be from many years of back-country living. It can't be learned from books.
Your Grandma Lin, and I still live the wilderness lifestyle and it would be kool to pass it on to you.
Your Mom is OK with us fishing, but back-woods hunting and trapping still doesn't sit well with her yet.
When you get to be a teenager, we'll team up and put the pressure on her.
Just think... summers in Alaska catching big salmon, digging clams,picking berries, and chasing moose. How much more fun can it be!
Lastly, I want you to know that you will always have a friend who will listen to you, advise you on tough decisions, or just let you rant if you need to.
Always respect your parents, be honest in everything you do, and expect the best out of people.
Life will bring a lot of happiness. It will also bring a lot of failure and pain. Learn from it, never quit, and never let it keep you down. There will always be challenges and stumbling blocks. Use them as stepping stones to greater things. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Surround yourself with people who are winners, and stay away from those who never have a vision for success.
Set your goals high and aim for the target. If you miss, then make adjustments and shoot again.
Remember this.." If you are made of the right material, a hard fall always results in a high bounce".
Most of all, be honest to yourself, and your Creator. Take life by the horns and never let go.
Watch out world, here comes Noah!
George"Bubba"Hunt a proud old grandpa!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Red Bull Bear

I do believe one of the most memorable events of this years moose camp came from one of my Irish neighbors over on the north ridge.I won't give up his name, but I call him Boom-Boom Mahenny.He got the nice name because he entertains himself by shooting targets in camp when he gets bored.
Most of his close camping neighbors don't particularly appreciate his bad habit of making so much noise.He has a dozen guns, and takes it upon himself to be sure and shoot them all. He's been counted at over 100 rounds in a single display of boredom.
His camp is beyond the far ridge, which doesn't bother me as all of his noise simply drives the moose over to my camp.Old Boom-Boom kept a case of "Red Bull" in a cooler in his camp. He also has pictures on his trail cam, of a black bear sow with three little cubs, who visits at night.
The last time I saw Boom-Boom, he was wandering around a brushy ridge looking for the cooler of Red Bull. It seems that the sow had stolen it from his camp. She dragged it out into the high grass and brush to have a sip or two.
His chances of ever finding it are slim, and none.
Somewhere in the Kenai Peninsula's Caribou Hills roams a sow black bear hopped up on Red Bull.
Should you hear of any cabin ravaged by a bear, it may very well be a black bear needing a hit on Red Bull.Be very careful, I've seen what it does to my nephew, Josh, when he needs his hit.
George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail".

Friday, September 24, 2010

It Isn't the Killing for Which We Come

The morning broke with a hard frost mixed with a thick blanket of fog in the low swamps.Below me was a big bull moose feeding in a meadow. He was flanked by a wary cow who already had us spotted. My partner split off to try to get closer for the shot, and I continued on down the trail in case they tried to slip up across the trail to their bedding grounds above us, on the brushy ridge.
I had been waiting for this old herd bull to come down from the high country. The cows had been gathering for several weeks for the rut. The small bulls move in with the cows in hope of some romance. The cows never pay much attention to the younger bulls. Instead they wait for Mr. Big to come down to take over and run the small boys off.
This fall the wait had been longer than usual. The weather had warmed up to 70 during the days and all but stopped the rut. It had been a long 3 weeks.
The fall colors on the Kenai Peninsula leaves the mountains splashed in reds, yellows, orange and green. Everywhere the splendor of fall had exploded in a super-natural display of breath-taking beauty unmatched by anything man could ever duplicate.The lights of Las Vegas has nothing to compare to the hand of the Creator.
This is a place that I wait all year to experience.
It isn't the harvesting of my winter's supply of meat for the freezer, although it is a necessity.
It isn't the challenge of the quarry, although it will test your skills to the limit.
It isn't being out there just to top some trophy of the passed years.I don't hunt just to kill an animal.
The whole month is getting out in the wilderness away from the traffic and hassle of life in the civilized world.Out here nature rules. Out here you must learn to flow with all the wild creatures, or you can end up mauled or dead. There were nine grizzlies around a mile of camp. They left big tracks just 50 feet from camp. The largest is a bear I called Old Treadwell. He sports a 17 inch long footprint by 12 inches wide. He is as big as a grizz can get, with an attitude to match. I spent an hour watching him feeding on a moose carcass. In 45 years in Alaska, I have never seen anything that awesome.
I was raised in the bush country. I fit in very well out there because I have a kindred spirit with the wild critters. It has been said that I never was very civilized. I suppose that there may be an element of truth in that. I certainly get along a lot better with the wild critters than with people.I could have shot three moose.
I let my Nephew, Frank take, the biggest bull I have ever seen. The 268 lbs. of hamburger and 240 lb. hind quarters was all the meat we needed.
The morning the big bull walked up on the trail, I could have easily dropped him with one easy shot. I chose for my partner to have the chance to bag him. It did not happen. The moose moved up into the brush and did not give him a clear shot. He chose to pass him up than make an iffy shot.
Most non hunters think we go out to just "kill" something. That isn't so. The camping, fellowship, stories, and hiking is what it is about. Most of all it puts me in tune with nature and the one who created it all. I feel very spiritually lifted after my month in nature every fall.
Can't wait until next year. It's only 12 more months away.
George"Bubba"Hunt, walking the "Wilderness Trail".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All Systems GO!

May 12, 2010
Just a note...
My fine Doc cut off two protruding disc's at L-4 L-5 and L-5 S-1. He done a wonderful job and I'm up running around. Hurts a little and is a bit stiff and sore, but otherwise a very successful job done.( actually it hurts like HELL!!) but If I don't forget the meds, it is easily controlled.Thanks a ton for all the e-mail prayer support, and I'll be back on the air soon.Bubba