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Thread: Another trapping season begins, some pics of conditions here

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Another trapping season begins, some pics of conditions here

    Well, we had one of the latest freezeups we can recall, did not get the below-zero temps typical of latter October until just at the end of the month. We did get about 5" of snow from a couple of storms though. I was able to finally get out on the ice with the dogs on Halloween for the first get-in-shape run. Got bait and traps etc ready for opening day, took a walk to see if I could possibly cross the river below us, was a no go above us.

    Here is the scene opening day just below us, looking downriver. I had just crossed here above this lead, really wanted to go farther downstream and cross and continue on river but didn't think that would pan out:


    There is overland trail right here to left that cuts across flat and comes out nearly a mile down, so gave that a try:


    Huge tussocks though, and with such little snow it really kicked my butt, then it gets into an old beaver slough complex with a series of huge dams we had a helluva time getting over. Have a couple marten sets there, here's one of them after being set:


    The debris on the birch is from the big flood of 2010, river went all through these beaver sloughs. Here is the team at the set, note all the grass etc on the brake:


    Managed to get back out to the river without too much more physical pain <grin>, good going until about a mile and a half down where we ran into a long section of green ice and overflow, and I didn't feel it was safe to give that a whirl yet, wouldn't really be sure if I was breaking through onto firm ice underneath or not. Here is the team turned around there:


    BTW, these "ice walkers" really are great to keep from slipping on the ice:


    Well since that flat kicked my butt so bad I figured I would try coming back on the river to see if I could cross at bottom end of that open lead. It ended right where it crashes into a bluff at a spot we call the Big Eddy. And it was overflowing out on good ice. Hawed the team right up against the rock bluff on other side and Molly led us right along the bluff as it went around the corner...it's deep there...some of the dogs started to punch through and my butt was puckered pretty good but we made it back to good ice and were across. Whew.

    Chores the next day, hauled in some wood, then back out yesterday upriver, and managed to get upriver four miles and put in some more sets. Was -25 when I took off, coldest so far. Saw some marten sign, some bunny sign but not much, but that was about it. Chinook was blowing in on the way back, was -6 when I got home and then hit +16 two hours later, blowing pretty good. Dogs are j***ed but not in shape yet, they were pretty tired after putting in 8 miles yesterday. And by God they sure do remember that the open leads sometimes have mink in them, just wished they'd realize that just because they can pull up and stop before going in that doesn't mean I can <grin>!

    Good luck to everyone this season, be safe, stay warm, and may your lines be productive,




  2. #2

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    I have been waiting all year for this! My season won't kick off until the 10th.

    What sort of gun will you carry on your line this year?

    Thank you for sharing.
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I've always got the .41mag Blackhawk in the pack on back of sled. Just in case of a rare and bad moose/bear encounter.

    I think I'm just gonna just take the .22 rifle this year, a lever Browning, tube magazine, had been carrying the little takedown Rossi .17HMR last season but for things like ptarmigan we may run into it's hard to load/reload in the cold, single shot, very slow. I was thinking though I could shoot fox, maybe even wolf with it, it's scoped. Just really don't run into critters much not already caught in a trap though. And no caribou come this way any longe
    r. Kind of a trade off really...may start lugging around the .270 as well if I think I may get on some wolves.

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    Sounds like a fun adventure. Good looking dogs!

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Great pic's and stories as usual, Mark! I'll be getting mine out starting on the 10th. Probably put in about 50 miles, and as much as I envy you having the dogs to do the line with, I'll have to stick with a new bearcat... that I'm sure is much cheaper than dogs! heh heh. Cept, I can't eat the machine if I get stuck out there... but it's a tradeoff. Someday I'll have dogs, or get my son to get a few to run lines.

    Best of luck to you and all the other trappers out there this winter. Going to be a good season, I'm sure!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Mark I look forward to your posts every season. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a safe and productive season.

    Gary

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    Thanks for the updates! I was just out yesterday and found a ton of fox sign. Wish I was in an area that had more marten. Good luckk, thanks for the new pics and update.

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    Absolutely wonderful story and photos Mark, thanks for taking the time to share. Hopefully you get some more snow and cold temperatures to help thicken that river for your travels.

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    Mark, how many sets do you try to get out? What size area do you work? I can honestly say I look forward to reading your stories, my Matsu Valley trapping is a different world.

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    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Good stuff Mark, I Look forward to reading more and seeing pics through the winter, starting to get chilly out my way also looking forward to putting that sweet new hat to use soon
    Hope you and Lori have a safe prosperous season.

  11. #11
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Mark, great start to the trapping season. I sure will be looking for your updates. As always, thanks for sharing.

  12. #12

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    Hey Mark send some of that -25 down to the southcentral I need some ice so I can get around.
    Chuck

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    Ha!

    I liked that picture of the team and the expression on Cutey's face. She doesn't "howl like the other dogs" but she sure does look enthused to pull.

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