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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Life in Camp

 


Some pictures from our South End camp.  As usual we used a teepee with a woodstove for a base camp, and another small teepee for our meat shelter.  It was Ray's job to keep the meat dry and cool in the meat shelter.  He put the meat into cotton game bags to help keep it dry and changed them out frequently.

On this trip we also brought a smaller teepee and woodstove which we used for a 'spike camp'.  We hiked an hour and a half to another location and camped there for a couple days.  For variety sake it was nice to have 2 camps (see photo of 'spike camp' from first hunt blog post).

Lit up with solar charged Luci Lights our teepee was quite comfortable!
Patrick



The morning after the storm - drying game bags at camp

Inside the spike camp teepee




Tuesday, October 4, 2022

On the Landscape

 


The South End is a pretty place and very, very different from the North End of the island.  On the North end there are tall spruce trees and lots of brush.  There were practically no trees where we went, and even very little brush.  No bushwhacking at all - what a concept for Kodiak! Still, it was very marshy and the ground was often very 'frost heaved' with bumps and holes.  So the hiking was a little more tiring than you'd expect given that there is no brush to negotiate.

The South End is also pretty remote and the beaches have not been totally combed over for glass balls. On this trip we found 2 - Mike and Ray found one each and, despite spending the most time looking, I found none.  It's not often that you come home from a deer hunting trip with glass balls. In fact, I've only done it once before (click here for that story) also on another trip to the South End.











Monday, October 3, 2022

Back from the South End

 

Late last Thursday Mike, Ray, and I returned from a successful deer hunt to the South End of Kodiak.  We brought back 600 pounds of field-dressed deer meat that represented the harvest of 6 big deer.  That's a lot of meat and we spent the next two days cutting it all up and packaging it.  We also had to take care of all our gear and cleaning up.  So basically we spent the last 3 days cutting up meat and taking care of gear.  We ended up with 260 pounds of packaged meat in the freezer.  Meat for the winter!

While the primary purpose of the trip was to bring back deer meat, a side benefit was that we got to enjoy spectacular scenery.  The hiking was pretty good too.  Of course we also had some hardship - carrying heavy deer and surviving a BIG storm.  The storm blasted us with 50-60 miles per hour gusts and the rain almost flooded our tent (it was a mere inches from turning into a lake).  We could hear the wind keening in the tent guys and making ripping sounds.  It was very alarming and we stayed awake wearing all our rain gear and boots - ready to jump up at a moments notice if the tent started to come down.

Anyway, it was a great trip and I'll post more in subsequent posts.

Patrick


Ray tending to the meat in the meat shelter - got to keep it dry and clean







Thursday, September 22, 2022

Sleeping ducks

 


Yesterday in the park I was standing by the lake edge when I noticed a line of ducks asleep on a log.  We got a little close and they perked up and a few of them left the log and paddled out into the lake.  I was expecting Bodi to leap in after them and cause a commotion, but he just sat and watched the ducks with me.  After a bit, while we quietly watched, the ducks who had left came back and perched back up on the log.  They warily watched up for a bit more and then tucked their heads into their wings and went back to sleep.  The picture just below is actually the last picture I took.

Trusting ducks!

Patrick


Tuesday night sunset




Bodi at the beach

 


This is Bode at the beach.  It is one of his favorite places because he loves to swim and play with other dogs.  Chase and stick-keep-away is the game all the dogs play.

On this recent visit while Bodi chased around with the other dog I took pictures of the birds. Then after our time at the beach we caught some more bears in the river as we drove home.

Patrick


White winged scoter

I think this is a Mew Gull




Not at the beach! This is a Pillar Mountain View

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Accidental Bear Viewing

 

 

There have been a lot of bears around lately.  Close to town if you go to pretty much any stream or river with salmon in it you will see bears.  Yesterday Nora and I went to Buskin Beach and saw 2 sows and like 5 cubs feeding in the river just before you get to the parking lot.  There was a gaggle of photographers taking pictures of the bears and at the same time a bunch of fishermen focused on catching fish themselves and keeping a wary eye on the bears.  

It was a big dance.  The bears would move one way and all the photographers would follow them while the fishermen would move out of the way.  

Nora and I watched for a bit, but we soon left for the beach to give Bodi his walk.  The other day Bodi and I ran into a small bear on the beach, and I am proud to say Bodi knew to stay away. On that occasion to get off the beach we had to walk past the bear.  I put Bodi on a leash as we went past and practically had to drag him by the napping bear.  He wanted nothing to do with the bear.  

At the beach Bodi did some swimming and played with the other dogs (post to come), and then Nora and I left.  On the way back out the road beside the river we watched the bears a bit more from the car.  All the 'dancers' had changed positions in the 1/2 hour or so since we'd last been there.

Then to kill time Nora and I went to the 'Beaver Pond' where we often launch in our raft to float the Buskin.  We wanted to see the fall colors on the cottonwood trees.  Of course we got to the beaver pond and there was a bear swimming across.  Then while we watched he caught and ate a salmon.

Maybe this afternoon I'll bring along my binoculars and go looking for bears.

Patrick

Cub with natal collar

Beaver Pond Bear

The 'Beaver Pond' - on arrival we saw a bear swimming across


bear cubs

Bear Track on the Beach

Sow and cub