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Thread: January 2012 more pics and stories from this trapping season

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default January 2012 more pics and stories from this trapping season

    Happy New Year to all. Well it's currently -41 here but I was just reading that this past December was the 10th warmest on record. Indeed it was rather bizarre for us with one big chinook after another, extreme winds but not much new snowfall. We even got to +38 during one of the chinooks early in the month, and shortly afterward this was the scene along the bank by the cabin.


    Ended up with 2 feet of overflow atop the ice in many places, making getting around extremely difficult if not impossible. There were many days I just had to turn around. These next couple pics were later in the month and was typical of what we were dealing with.




    Very low on meat as we only got a tiny yearling bull this fall and are down to the last quarter, so Lori has been setting some bunny snares and I've been after beaver under the ice. Lori has had some success though the hares are in decline mode now. Here's one of her bunny dinners with noodles and sprouts.


    A small beaver I caught:


    Don't want to gross anyone out with next pic, but wanted to show how large beaver livers are, it is one of our favorite livers.


    Stretching beaver...


    Been catching marten but so far no big critters yet. Some pics from the Christmas eve check:




    I had another beaver set to check that day that is fairly close to home, pulled in at that pond around 2pm, chopped out the hole only to discover that both the spruce pole the 330 was wired to that was stuck in the mud holding the trap, plus the chain on the trap wrapped on pole above the ice, were both somehow pulled out. No trap, only the pole and chain, figured it had to have been a lunker beaver and that I just messed up snapping the chain to the 330. Had a headlamp with me but darned if I could really see much down under the ice, poked around down there with ice chisel and thought though I felt it hitting something soft and springy, but nothing with me to use as a hook.

    Mushed home, got old snowhook to tie onto pole, fresher headlamp batteries, and had to really coax the dogs to head back out again, they were tired. Mushed back to the pond, tied snowhook onto pole with parachute cord, poked around down there but could not find the beaver and it was just coming on dark and I was pretty frustrated when I tried to slant the pole farther down under the ice and heard/felt the unmistakable clank of the metal snowhook on the 330. Turned it so hook was facing upward, gently nudged it into the mud, pulled back and I had the 330 with beaver, but it was going to fall off if I tried to get the pole straight up, only option was to reach down there with left arm under the water and grab it, took a bit to get it out the fairly small hole. Figured it was a good sixty pound beaver.

    Here is pic of the day's catch, four marten and the beaver:


    Gutted the beaver that night, skinned it on Christmas day:


    We do enjoy beaver meat, wanted to show how we do the "butt end rings." Here's a shot of the butt end of beaver after a couple rings have been cut off, and yes they are very fatty. You just cut between the cartilage at each joint:


    The finished product after cooking:


    So that's the latest from the eastern interior, guess it may start warming up a bit by this weekend. Between all this of course has been cutting and hauling wood, fetching water, keeping the generator running, and myriad of other chores. Hope you are all enjoying your time on the lines and having success.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Man, I've said it before, but I enjoy reading these posts and seeing the pictures so much, Mark. Thank you for taking the time.

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Yum, sliced beaver liver pan fried with onions. Sliced fried potatoes and ketchup or home made highbush cranberry ketchup/meat sauce on the side!
    It rocks!
    oops, this post should probably go in the pantry.
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Love it Mark! Glad to see you are having some success on your line, I would rather get marten any day of the week. Thanks for the post and the pics!

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    I have been waiting to see your latest pictures and updates. Glad you are fairing well out there and hope you continue to enjoy success and living the dream.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Thank you for your post Mark, I really enjoy reading them and seeing the pictures. Happy New Year.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Cool thread Mr Mark, you sure live the lifestyle. My wife would be skinning me in the living room if I left beaver feet on her couch.. LOL

    Stay warm

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

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    Awesome. I am truly jealous. You are living the life most of us just dream about. Please keep posting your pictures.

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Very impressive!! Wow thats a monster beaver!
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the pics and update Mark! Its good to hear you are having some success on the line even if the weather is conspiring against you at times. Good job recovering that big beaver sounds like a huge pain but it worked out in the end.

    Happy New Year!

    Rob

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    LOL stid I was thinking the same thing and I'm wifeless .

    Great stuff!!! You should post cooking info sometime...or just invite us all to a beaver eatin feast lol, sounds delicious!

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Ah man, we're just lving through your post.
    I'm Pro-Pike.

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    I feel like I've been on an adventure everytime I read your stories and see your pictures Mark. Thanks again for sharing your stories with us.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Great thread Mark !!!...love the pics too. Nice big beaver too, the little one reminds me of the little piglets we used to roast on a rotisserie BBQ back in Hawaii....LOL

    I take it you haven't seen much wolf sign this winter...... take care

    Chuck

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    Your posts are always enjoyable to read. Best of luck putting up some meat this winter.

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    Very nice post Mark - you have definetly "lived" your dream to the fullest!
    To me the Martin sets don't appear to have any features that I would pick out as a good site to set a trap - what do you look for when trying to decide where to place sets for them?
    Man, be careful on that river - very dangerous looking to me for sure!

    Was there anything in particular that attracted you to the location you chose to live ?
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Mark old chap the Warmest ,Sunnyest Greetings from me Collin Guy Duncan in mid-summer South Africa ,I trust you folk had a splendid Christmass and New Year.

    I have been researching this forum since Christmass as I promised my young son Brad (15) that we would hunt and fish your beautifull country when he finishes his schooling in 3 years,a few Alaskan folk have responded to my atempt to reach out accross half the globe for practical advice....God Knows im gona need it....it looks real COLD in your pics... Geees I almost went n put on a jersy ,ummmm silly me I dont own a jersey.

    But i do class myself as a fair bush kook and the pic of those cutlets you have in your cast iron pan look real peachy and I emagine a nice rich red wine would wash it all down just wonderfully.

    I have just returned to civilisation after living off the land for a year and a half ...never been happier and to see the cold conditions you endure well old chap as an African born white man ,that looks like a daunting task to me..and we, here half way round the world CHEER you and your loved ones on ...its the stuff dreams are made of

    Thank from Collin Guy Duncan ,,,NEW MEMBER OF THIS OUTDOOR FORUM
    collingduncan@gmail.com

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments guys. Got a laugh out of the beaver feet on couch comments, as you can imagine no big deal here on that <grin>.

    Haven't seen any wolf sign so far this winter. Picked up another few marten yesterday, long day, was -30 and blowing from the north, got chilly on the way back with the wind in my face.

    Most of these marten sets are ones I've had at the same location for 20 years. The one on the leaning birch in that little pond area...I picked that spot cuz that is one of the better bunny areas in that slough system and would always see some marten tracks in there. The other on the black spruce with the dogs heading uphill, that is one end of an overland cutoff trail and I will typically have a set on both ends, in fact the one on the other side of that trail I don't think I've caught a marten in for a very long time. So those ones were more luck of the draw than placing where you see marten tracks.

    As far as what drew us to this spot, Randy, was a combination of things. We did have our minds set on this general eastern interior area, something fairly remote off the Yukon on the north side. Got help from some of the bushrats still out here then from the Coming Into the Country
    era who pointed us to this place. Luck and perseverance really.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Another great post mark. Any opportunities to fill the freezer with larger game before next fall? Do you run across caribou very often in your area?

    May be a long winter eating rabbit and beaver

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    DK, nope, no other moose seasons now this winter, and the segment of the Porcupine herd that used to wander through our country every five or six years hasn't been back in a decade, so no caribou opportunities either.

    The other beaver pond I was gonna trap and counting on for some meat, their pond somehow drained out just prior to freezeup, feedpile all above the ice and the house entrances are all exposed. Almost large enough for me to crawl in, but not quite, not sure if they all starved out or what may have happened, but a bummer.

    Long winter indeed, better catch some more bunnies! We are heading out in March though, I will do some AK BHA stuff and Lori will visit the kids in Fbks. Return early April. Imagine we will resupply with some store-bought meats to get us through breakup before the fish return.

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