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Thread: Of History, Deserted Islands and Caribou

  1. #1
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    Default Of History, Deserted Islands and Caribou

    Well, now that Ive gotten some pix on the ol' photobucket, heres my few days ago adventure that was just another one of those trips....
    The wife left me a couple weeks ago to my devices, as she needed to get the kids back in school and thats alota prep work after a short summer of camping about. The kids held their own, and gladly took to picking berrys, fishing and hunting in our absents, and our oldest son did well as Master and Commander, over 6 siblings as well as his family.(Thank God they grow up!)
    Anyhoo, its been since July 10th that Ive be home proper and Ijust cant seem to get back, as more meats, skins, Ivory and such keep me here, My favorite Summer grounds along the Kotzebue sound. Summers over quick, and Fall hunting on Kobuk River has me inna hurry to preserve all I can and scoot soon.
    I do, however, take time for fun, on occassion......Ok, even the misery, its ALL fun
    Hunting history is a pastime, and Ive been on the trail of those who sought to meet sir John Franklin and his party that were to rondevou with Captain Beechy in the HMS Blossom at Chamisso Island , here in Kotzebue Sound, and be taken home from there, in 1826.

    I left with a weather report stating that we were to have three days of relitive calm, and took food/water for 4.....but left my water.....STUPID.
    Before arriving at Chammiso proper, I visited Puffin Island, where a message was painted AND inscribed with instructions and messages.

    I found no message (It was painted on) "BUT" I did find the Brittish "Broadhead" Proof mark, neatly (Like a tombstone) inscribed on the NW facing cliffs.

    Hard to see, and I shoulda took more pix, but its there.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    After such a great find, the wind promtly rose to about 30 mph with 5 foot seas, compelling me to go to Chamisso proper , about two miles SE, and look about.
    There I first found the hole, where they had buried a keg of flour and a tin box of trade beads for Frankiln, just as the map showed.

    This was dug up in 1849 buy T.E.L. Moore, with the HMS Plover, who over winter'd in Kotzebue Sound awaiting Franklin on his third and tragic try for the "Northwest Passage" through the Arctic.He found the flour buried there "Fresh" and comsumed it, but left this hole in the ground.....
    Then I found the grave of Sgt. Woolford, who died in 1827....

    I didnt get a clear picture, but I wasnt gonna scrape the lichens off either. I made out enough of his name to know I was right.Its right in the middle of a thicket, but right where capt.Beechy's map show'd
    Next I went atop of the Island, where the ship Logs were posted, from Franklin seekers , Von Kotzebue hisself, and various Russian survayers and had they been there (they were removed in 1909 by an Austrailian, and sold to a museum in Seattle)The thing was to leave messages in bottles 10 Ft from the post due magnetic North....no point in tearing up the ground, since I wasnt so sure exactly "Where" they were planted......though I did find woods with old inscriptions, like "D 02" and "Auche" and several unreadable inscriptions as well as a friend of mine, Jerry M''' from sept 1964~~LOL!!~~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Untill I awoke the next morning to snorting.....
    I looked out the tent to see the BIGGEST Brown Bear in my life!!!
    BIG and belly dragging, he was walking the perimeter of my "Piss fence" that I had dutifully made from habit and lots oranges, as well as some tea/coffeee I had before leaving shore, earlier in the day.
    Screw the camera, and of all things I couldnt find my rifle!!! I wasnt about to take my eyes off that Brown for a second, either...It was actually right where I left it , next to my sleeping bag, but my tarp floor was over it as I had rolled over it in the night I guess, so inna split second of thinking "If I were a bear, I'd at least give it a go on eating whats in that tent" and I planned to run like hell for the water, and out swim his ass.....but he started running as soon as I formulated that, and not fast enough.
    Thy Mosin Nagant and thy Piss fence, they comfort me....when it comes to keeping Bears away from my tent, I swear by Piss.
    Heres a pict of my size 11 and his BIGGER back print!!!
    [IMG]http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhail
    By then my heart had its daily allowance of work and I could hear it beating.
    My solution was simple, The rifle blocked the door now, loaded, saftey off...
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Well, now I had bigger problems as I could barly sleep, was thirsty and the winds were worse in a sea of white blowing from NE.....
    By the third morning I was digging at the spring well with no results and my mouth was pasty and every 2 minutes I was looking for that Bear. I did find scat, blue from berrys, twigs, with feathers in it, and with his belly like it was, dragging and tiny ears, I figured he was OK on food, and I should relax that night....but it was not to be...
    About 2 hours before sundown, the wind calmed. I gave it another hour and the waves calmed.....then I took off, knowing that within1/2 an hour I would see Deering Village lights, and all would be well....untill the wind came up again, this time from the NW....I rode the 4-6ft. swells tacking as best I could beating N and S, but as darkness came on, the wind switched West and the swells started to crest about 8 ft.........Sooooooooo to make a long , cold, miserable night survivable (about 5 hours now) I turned east and tacked SE, NE, thanking God for the Moon, and at sun up found myself in the Kiwalik, where we camp for salmon, in the South east corner of Kotzebue Sound.
    I headed up the Kiwalik river, and drank three DELICIOUS cups of water, and thinking there might be folks around, headed up to Candle, where I found my old friend Jim Rood, former owner of Kotzebue's Northwest Aviation, a 35 year arctic bush pilot, and his girlfriend Leanne A, and another fella, Rich J. They are early risers, and I was just in time for breakfast, about 7am and yet it took three more cups of water and two of coffee before I felt like pissing~~LOL!!~~
    Jim flew out that evening with a message to the wife that I was fine, and after a days work helping them build his green house, I was glad to strech, warm up and dry my clothes with work and wind.
    I dryed my gear serviced my stuffs and set up my camp, slept like van Winkle, and waited for the wind to die.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    I passed a couple more days mammoth hunting, with some small results and decided to catch a couple caribou on my way out as I had watched them for a couple days, but didnt want to have to dry them up only to put them in the boat, so its better that they were as fresh as possible.

    The M-39 did its job, and I did mine, about 150 yards, so nothing special about the shots....
    The first guy took it through the neck and out the shoulder as he faced me quarter'd;

    He was a "Gusher" and stagger'd for about 15 seconds befor going down, as I was aiming for a follow up, so I adjusted to his buddy and made my second shot a behind the ear, out the eye ,"No brainer". This guy just fell over stiff legged, like a wall in the wind.They all die rather differently....funny as it is, it downpoured just after I shot them, while I gutted the first guy. Coulda used that a few days before...~~LOL!!~~

    And a self portrait of this guy whos writeing....

    So it all came out OK...
    I do have a fix on the 100ft.+ 3'X3' OAK keel timber of the whaling sloop "Louisiana" that struck shoal off Chamisso Island, and was burned by its crew when the Confederate Raider "Shenandoah" chased her into Kotzebue Sound in 1865, while burning/destroying the Yankee Whaling fleet in the Bering sea/Chukchi sea.
    I wonder how many gunstocks I'll get out of it?? Its buried in the muck and sand off shore, but our Fall time lowtide make it accessable, and Im gonna salvage it someday. Shes hard as rock and well preserved.
    Thats next.~~LOL~~!!!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default thanks again

    well again a great post. everytime i see your name as starting the post i have to read is is just amazing and very interestuing on what you see and how you live your life. THanks for sharing and have a good rest of the year.

    Matt

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    Wink Good stuff

    You are one tough guy!

    After 9 years in Kotz I never had the need or courage to take my boat that direction! I have been down to Riley Wreck and the weather always is crappy down that way. I guess I am just a wimp!

    The strange thing is I have taken my River Runner up to Ambler via the Kobuk Dunes but that is 200 miles on a river, the open ocean scares me!

    Good stuff! Any of you guys want to test your self that trip will do it!

    Walt

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default Great Adventures

    Stranger, You always have excellent adventures. Did you get a pic of the bear or did I miss it?

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Tried to post the bear foot pic, but it isn't available. Cool adventure. Are you taking orders for Louisiana keel gunstocks?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Thumbs up

    Good days, hard to beat. Hearing about them, hard to beat too !

    Its good to 'look' for them old days, never know what one might see, discovery, or learn. Don't get caught up like ol "E. K. Kane", kids would be upset at christmas.

    Take care.

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    No Gunstocks, yet, but I have applied for a maritime salvage claim.
    How mant 3'X3'X100' Oak logs are there to buy? It's gotta be worth my time.

    And I did indeed screw up that pict, so here it is, next to my size 11...


    And a few of many peices of wood that folks ,like me , left a name and date on. My wood was new, but "AUCHIE 77" is the oldest. I figure 1877 that is, as well a D 02 wasnt 7 years ago, either.Both are on curved Barrel staves.





    Im glad you like the thread, who knows whats next, eh?? There IS a Caribou swimming in the ocean trying to dodge Deering today as well as Bull Ox at the dump road.....couldnt hunt easier than that!!!~~LOL!!~~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  12. #12

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    Nice story, great pictures, good times Get home safe!

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    Great story again.
    That bear would make a good rug.

    Keep the adventures coming.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Few know that the last battles of the war of northern aggression where fought in Alaska waters. I think he sunk eleven ships before hearing that the war was over and was really over before he sunk the first ship.As always Stranger you be the man of old school getting it done

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    Thumbs up

    Thank you for another great history lesson/story and hunt report!

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    A.W. is right. Old school getting it done! Wish there was more just like that. Thanks again for the lessons.

  17. #17

    Default Thanks for the post Stranger

    and keep them coming!
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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    Glad you fellas like that .
    Its another day, today, and its most likely I'll put my stuff to a cache and maby wander into the interior of the Seward pennesula for a couple days.Just depends on my pard, as hes looking ill, and camping is no fun then.
    If not, I'll just knock off Ducks for awhile, and get my daughter some squirrle skins for sewing....geee.....might post that "Hunt" as well....~~LOL!!~~


    Any tips on how to deal with a wounded Squirrle? Is my 30-06 enough "Gun" to stop a charge??.....yaaaaa, Right Now yer smiling

    Be happy and carry on!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  19. #19

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    Love the history lesson and pics, keep them coming!!

  20. #20

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    On my wall here at work I have confirmed pictures of squirrels with a M-60 and an AT4. Might need something bigger for those critters!!

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