Saturday, September 30, 2006

Another Day in Paradise

I hope tonight will be a bit quieter than last night.About 10 PM last night my neighbor lady called and said a big bear was ripping up her yard. Her husband was on the "Arctic Slope" for his week hitch. I grabbed my shot gun and jumped into my truck. I drove over and ran the bear off. It had torn up her garbage cans, knocked over a ladder and made a big mess out of everything. I'm glad it didn't break the sliding glass door with her and her three small children inside.The bear came back and tore up everything in sight, but didn't break into the house.Today I gave her my shot gun which was full of OO Buck shot followed with slugs. I instructed her not to shoot unless it broke the glass door.In an hour I will go over and watch for a couple of hours to make sure the bear doesn't come back to do more damage. I have no intention of letting the critter do more damage. The local Fish& Game was contacted this morning and notified of the bear. They offered to write my neighbor a ticket for having garbage cans out where the bear could get into them. What are they supposed to do, bring them into the kitchen??Well, I have a couple of things I could say about that...When I was on the Fish& Game Advisory Board we done things much differently.We have a DL&P policy up here where it states that you can kill a critter in "defence of life and property".A bear broke into my shed a few years ago, and ripped the door from my freezer, eating my frozen meat supply along with a six-pack of coke.The next evening the bear went to "Bear Heaven".Well see how things go tonight.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Moose Camp 2006

Another moose season has come and gone. It was a lot different this year.
I must concede my "moose getting" ability to my little wife.
She got lucky on day 2 and shot a nice young bull. I roamed the hills for weeks and only managed to get into a bunch of trouble with huge bears and wolves.
We were lucky to get back home with no injuries.
This year the wolves have taken over. In an area where moose are usually quite abundant, wolf packs ruled. We heard a pack pull down a cow moose. She bawled for almost an hour before they finally killed her. I tried to get there to whack a wolf or two, but they were down in a big swamp where I couldn't get. I'll never forget the sounds and now my wife is a worse wolf-hater than I am. I suppose we don't "hate" wolves, we just don't particularly like the way they do business.
My feelings come from many years of dealing with moose and wolves. I saw a cow moose standing in the middle of the Tok River during the mid 80's. She had big chunks of skin and flesh missing from her hind quarters. She was standing up to her belly in the water at 30 below. Ice was hanging from her legs and sides. The wolf pack was laying on the bank waiting for her to weaken and fall.
I know, it is the way nature sometimes works, but I have found the wolf to be a wanton killer. They take down animals every chance they get whether they eat or not.
Wolf lovers overlook the facts for reasons that I can only imagine. I have only been dealing with them since 1969, so I guess it doesn't make me any sort of an expert.
This year I had wolves trailing me as I hiked the brushy ridges. No they didn't attack me, but I kept a close watch to make sure they didn't sneak up on me.
Two of the griz had tracks that measured 16 inch long by 10 inch wide. There were four big griz working the watershed along with at least 10 black bears.
My wife and Sister-in-law had black bears come into camp twice. Once they were playing cards by the fire and a bear came in and "woofed" at them.
All in all it was a very enjoyable moose camp. Lots of good nights around the camp fire and a time to visit with my brother, Gib, and his wife Linda. We always have a blast, but this year was special.
The weather was torrents of rain and wind. Mud was deep and a lot of water was standing everywhere. It kept me out of some good hunting areas where I usually killed moose.
I installed a cab on my Arctic Cat Prowler, with doors, wipers, heater, running lights, and two batteries. It worked very well, keeping us dry and warm. It was a lot easier to get Lin to go out on the trail. It kept the "skeeters" out too.
Only 11 more months till moose season. Can't wait!!