Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sleepless on Shadow Mountain

Some of my readers have been wondering what has happened to me. Well, I guess it should be what "hasn't" happened.
The last blog had me entering into black bear baiting season.I did in fact go out and put up my tree stand and chained my bait barrel to a tree 20 yards from my stand.I had great visions of large black bears providing a nice target for my new bow.
There always seems to be things crop up to throw a monkey wrench into a fine black bear hunt.This year the things that cropped up weighed half a ton and had those 6 inch claws. They look much like grizzly bears, sound like grizzly bears and certainly smelled just like old nasty, fish-eating, grizzly bears. When the grizzly bears come in to eat at the bait barrel, the black bears stay far away. They know that they too, are food for grizzly bears.
Since it is not legal to bait the grizzly bears having one or two feeding at your bait station always winds up in a long sit in a tree until they are done eating. Hopefully they leave when they are done, although sometimes they decide to have a long nap.
I have tried to reason with the grizz. I have asked them to leave so I can come down and go home. I have told them I was cold and needed to get out of the tree before dark. I reminded them that I wasn't prepared to spend the night up in a tree again.When all of those things failed, I tried calling them some names that isn't fit to print. I even called them "BAD BEAR"!None of those things seemed to do much good.
After a few of those experiences, it only makes sense to remove the stand and bait barrel, which I did.We still bagged a few bears, but not by baiting.
Last week I came in at dark, which was about midnight. My neighbors Carillian Bear dog was involved in a slug-fest with a 4 year old grizz in my yard.
All I wanted to do was drag my poor old tired carcass into the house and put it to bed. But nooo!Couldn't get out of my truck until the slug-fest was over. Not safe to get involved in that mess!!After "forever", they managed to take it down to the alder thicket so I could dismount and get inside.
Night before last the bear returned to knock over my garbage can. There wasn't anything but paint cans and trash, certainly nothing a bear might want to eat. I expect he saw the can and decided to kick it over to give me something to do. Dirt Ball!!
What he did do was even more remarkable. The rascal ate 30 ponds of chicken manure that I had bought to plant my garden with. He has no pride!
He then went next door and proceeded to nose around.
My neighbor gal has to be the bravest human I have ever known. She poured dishwater on the bear while he was digging around in her yard just a few feet below her deck. The bear did leave for a while and then came back. She poured some more on him and he left. I guess he didn't really want a bath.
Her dog then fought the bruin back through my yard and down the hill again. By then it was 0300 when the war was finally over.
We never like to kill the bears and we always try everything to drive them away before they break into our houses.
Recently a big grizz broke into a home up river. The elderly couple didn't hear the bear break the kitchen door, as they were asleep upstairs. I guess they weren't wearing those hearing crutches.
I understand the dead-bolt lock was knocked 20 feet from the door after the bear hit it.It tore up a few things in the kitchen, then strolled back outside, and off into the night.They were lucky. Several local folks have already been mauled this spring.
I installed an electric fence across at the bottom of my stairs. He won't be smearing his big nasty nose on my sliding glass kitchen door again.I do worry about all of the little kids in the neighborhood though.
Hopefully it will be quiet tonight.
I did take an evening to go fishing this week. We caught a couple of limits of arctic char. They are the best fish to eat in Alaska.
The king salmon are showing up in the river along with all the tourists. The old rat(fish) race is about on.
I am planning on taking my boat to one of those high-mountain lakes this week for some more char fishing, and maybe even a black bear. Hopefully the black bear's big old smelly cousin will stay out of camp.Then... maybe they won't?Oh well!