I went over to the cabin in 16B and spent a few days. I thought I would clear some land and if time allowed I would see if any Brownies were in need of some medicine.
I have hunted this area for over 25 years. This time of year it is a lonely place, usually. As I ran the track rig up an overgrown seismic trail I ran into 3 people coming out on a 4 wheeler. They were there to count fish ahead of the coal company tearing up the place. A little further I came to a tent city. There were 3 big quonset tents on wooden platforms and a bunch of small tents all surrounded by a bear fence. They had cut down the prettiest grove of birch and spruce. I always looked forward to walking thru this grove as it had no undergrowth and came out above a creek from which a guy can spot game. I got upset and went to the camp and gave them a piece of my mind. There is no justification to cut the trees, especially for a bunch of greenies.
Now miffed I continued on across a raging creek that did its' best to wash me downriver. I thought that will stop the 4 wheelers. Wrong! They had one flown across the creek and they crossed the creek daily via a handline spanning the rapids. Of course the handline was across the trail and I untied it, leaving it tied to a smaller tree out of my way. When I ran into the second group of 3, I saw the absolute mess they were making of the trail. As long as I can remember it has been a leaf covered path. It was now running mud in the wheeler tracks, so that bunch got an earful also. I explained that the frost was just leaving the ground and it is stupid to drive a wheeled rig on the trail just then. I did tell them I had relocated the rope and to be careful. There wasn't much common sense in the groups. All in all I saw 11 people up there. It blew me away as I had NEVER seen people there this time of year, much less the destruction.
I ran on up to the next creek and it was roaring pretty good. I decided that I would hunt that ridge and not attempt to cross alone. I found my clearing covered in snow and the sun reflecting off it made a good place to take a break and do some glassing. On the way in I had spotted a day old blackie track 50 yards above me in the snow. As I was daydreaming in the sun Tucker growled. If we are in the woods and he growls, it is time to look. I made him stay and walked into the trees. Not 10 steps in I kicked up a very nice black, which took off running. I was as close as I could stay behind him, carrying my 454 Casull. After 150 yards he went into a group of cottonwoods and stopped. I was 35 yards from him and trying to figure out why he stopped. As I circled around he got agitated and started bluff charging, but returning to the trees. I figured he had a moose down. He was getting pretty aggressive and I was alone so I went back to the rig and got the long gun, not ever having killed anything with the pistol.
He was still there as I watched thru the scope. Something didn't feel right and I started to suspect cubs might be in the area. It was too thick to see up into the trees as I circled him. He was really getting testy by now and popping his jaws and charging towards me swiping brush with his paws. I had initially chased him for a good ways and never saw a cub and almost shot him a dozen times.
It didn't feel right so I went back and drove the track rig thru the trees right up to him. Now he was really really mad and came at the rig over and over. There was no dead moose there so I started glassing the tree tops.
Ah hah! I spotted 2 small black balls of fluff 200' up a huge cottonwood. They were about the size of a house cat. I snapped a quick picture with my phone (gotta get a real camera someday) and told Tuck this hunt is over and to say good bye.
Awful glad I didn't shoot first and ask questions later, although the locals said those cubs make nice slippers.
Times are changing in my neck of the woods, dammit.
Be safe, be sure and leave it better than you found it.