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Thread: Getting crowded in the bear woods

  1. #1
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default Getting crowded in the bear woods

    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.
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  2. #2
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default about 16b

    Ya its too bad that area is being totally worked on. I guess they are putting in a big coal mine over their. I've seen some HUGE blackies over there and there's good king fishing too. Your right about no one being their this time of year. Usually its a ghost town. I love to hunt over their, but sadly its going to be a booming place before you know it.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  3. #3

    Default Coal mine?

    Where are they putting a coal mine in 16B?

  4. #4
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Chuitna Coal

    The largest strip mine in Alaskan history is going to center around Lone Ridge. That is the main rutting area for the moose in this drainage. It is also where a large number of Brownies den. They are permitting to pump 7 million gallons a day into Lone Creek drainage. Lone Creek dumps into the Chuit River. That's 7 million gallons of mine effluent. Heaven help the country if the dam ever breaks. The plan calls for 12 miles of conveyor belt along with a high voltage transmission line to a stockpile site on the beach, then to another conveyor that runs 2 miles out into Cook Inlet.

    http://www.inletkeeper.org/energy/Ch...oalProject.htm, http://www.chuitnaseis.com/ for a map and the story thus far.

    Gonna ruin some good country. Looks like it has already started.
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  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    craaaaaaapppppppp.
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  6. #6
    Member Riptide's Avatar
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    Default

    That coal field is far from a done deal. Get involved. They still are a long way away from getting approval.

    Worst thing, they want to ship all that coal to china!! Can you believe that! Ruin our fishing and hunting for a few $ and a long term mud hole. NOthing worse than a strip mine.

    I think it will deveastate the returns in Susitna drainages too. All those minerals flowing into cook inlet will destroy the scent of our rivers in the Mat Valley. Fish won't be able to find'm/

    Get involved folks - this one can easily be defeated if you spread the word and GET INVOLVED!

  7. #7
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Chuits had some of the best king fishing i've ever experienced.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  8. #8
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default view from below

    It is the opion of the rich corprate world that Alaska is a minerial rich waste land good for supplying thier business with wealth, nothing else. I read a artical a few years back that they wanted the rail conection thru Canada to move coal and ore to the lower 48. That was from Wash. DC and the reference to waste land was made there. I guess we have to all stay involved as stated above!

  9. #9

    Default Not a done deal

    according to DNR, the chuitna coal strip mine would be the first mine EVER in Alaska to actively mine through a salmon stream. initial plans involve clearing 22,000 acres for coal strip mining, but when infrastructure goes in, we're talking about 30 square miles of coal strip mine. not sure what's left of 16b after that....

  10. #10
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Unhappy 2 cities on the drawing board

    There is estimated to be 300 men during the development. They will be Stripping the land, putting in a 300 man camp, powerlines (high voltage on steel towers), gas lines, 12 miles of conveyor, hauling thousands of yards of gravel and all that goes into building a city. The airstrip will accommodate large ships. When active it will use about 300 guys for running the mine, camp, transport, stock pile area and loading ships. A 15 mile long noisy, dusty and ugly facility.

    Tyonek has already laid out plans for a second city to be within a few miles of the strip mine. It has platted for a city hall, fire station, airstrip and I believe a school. Oh, and some subdivisions to make money with.

    Once the coal is exposed there will be plans shown for a coal fired power plant. 45 miles from Anchorage, think we have smog now? There have been plans for an iron ore processing plant and rail lines. I met the geos doing the bridge survey from the Parks highway. "Nothing planned, but we gotta know" type thing.

    With battles looming over Pebble, Donley Dome and the big one in S.E. I worry the state will roll on this one to avoid the "anti-mining" label.

    Think about it, if they do half of that above, there can't be a lot of good country left for the things we love. It would be a crying shame. The coal leases are owned by the Hunt brothers out of Texas and they have held them for over 35 years. They do have a well developed plan and a lot of money.

    Keep your eyes open. If you get a chance to help stop the strip mine, sign a petition, attend a meeting or write a letter.
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  11. #11
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default this dosen't help

    It dosen't help that the Natives support it. It's too bad a couple of shlubs from Texas want to mess up all our fun so they can make some more money. Not that they don't have enough already. Beluga was such a fun area, my dad says its crawling with people now. He says the place has changed alot over time.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  12. #12
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default Ghost town

    I'm over here at Beluga/Tyonek right now and it's VERY quite. Nobody running around and I've only seen one group of hunters and he works for Chugach Electric.
    Still lots of bears in the area. Had a 6 footer right at the base of the rig the other night and they had to chase him off with the loader.
    BK

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