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Thread: The Little Things that make just being in the field so special

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default The Little Things that make just being in the field so special

    Been hunting closer to home this year via canoe. Wife and I heading out again this afternoon.

    Yesterday I was downriver calling and glassing from a little bluff overlooking an old set of beaver ponds.


    Half hour or so later the gnats were ferocious and I was kicking myself in the butt for forgetting the headnet still in my pack in the canoe and wishing I had a good cigar to smoke to keep the bugs at bay, when a flock of juncos came from downriver, several dozen, landing in all the nearby spruce and birch on the bluff edge, making that distinctive chirp/nit sound. They were all around me with some right at my feet in the little spruce before me, for 30 seconds or so when they all dove off the bluff and down to the trees in the beaver sloughs.

    But what was odd was right when they all took off together a new flock of about the same amount flew in, like it was some kind of organized deal. This went on for about five minutes and I was just sitting there with a huge smile on my face and thinking "wow, this just made my day!" Another weird thing was that the last flock of juncos had a fair amount of boreal chickadees (they stay here overwinter whereas the juncos don't) mixed in and they took off in tandem too with the juncos.

    Spent a couple hours up there, didn't see any moose, and on the way back down you have to cross an old beaver dam to get back to the woods leading to the river, and I spied perhaps the most amazing telltale sign of our recent flood I'd yet seen. Check this pic out...camera is at level of beaver dam and I'm standing next to a birch that has a full coating of drift around it's circumference all the way up to the flood's water line well above my head.


    We didn't get to tool around during the flood, you couldn't have paid me enough money to go out with the boat in that kind of waves and water, and in getting around hunting this fall I've seen other things similar to this and sure wish I could have been to some of these places to see the raging floodwaters going through. To be that high up this tree and along that bluff is simply astounding.

    Lined back home, man anywhere in the water the rocks are covered with slime and it is a major dancing affair pulling on the lining rope and walking on those suckers!


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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat
    wishing I had a good cigar to smoke to keep the bugs at bay
    Want me to send some more?

    Impressive flood stage photo's. Just got back from Togiak last week and they had a similar flood in July, a week after I got off the river on a different trip. Pretty humbling to see what Ma can do when she gets on a tear.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Man, thats some beautiful country you got out there for your backyard!! Good luck this afternoon.

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    Good to see ya up and out
    That broke ankle can really take it outta a guy. I had a broken right arm last year,(Im right handed) and getting out again in early July was more refreshing than most anything I can think of.

    We have WARM weather, and cant keep meats unless we wanna dry 'em, but the bugs are the real pain,......nats, flys and even misquitos! I cant wait for that first freeze, but smoking one sounds like the best way to deal with them...~~LOL!!~~

    Good Luck, Mark!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Looking for the 2nd moose, right? Just you and the wife? Do you and her eat that much meat?
    Previous post of the pic of your recent moose, you mentioned first red meat since some time back. Don't you can (jar) and dry some of the meat so you are able to have red meat most of the year?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Bushrat,
    I'm simply further impressed that you knew the names of the birds that visited you.
    ?Spirits from a previous life?

    Dennis

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    September in Alaska; does it get any better?
    "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm impressed you knew the names also, I can relate to the Chickadee Hordes tho,

    After living several miles upriver from Talkeetna for years by myself, one of the greatest memories I have is sitting in the "Deep Woods," in silence so thick it felt like your ears were "reaching out for some sound" and just digging that when, within a few seconds, the woods were transformed by a Mass of Chickadees that literally filled every branch of every tree within sight, all singing away, seemed to be hundreds of them at least, then they just moved on, and it was Totally Silent again.

    An amazing thing, that I have never been able to adequately describe to anyone. Sounds similar to your experience there. Wow, a day maker for sure.

    Those are great photos, all of 'em. That is "Real Country" there. Hope you get onto some Moose meat, and thanks for that post, sounds like you are in 'em good living like that...........
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    There is definitely something special about just quietly sitting in the woods and letting it return to it's natural state. 2 years ago I awoke in the dark to start working my toward an overlook above a moose path that led from a willow filled swamp/burn area to some bedding areas along a finger ridge. As I crept silently down the trail I could see the robins bouncing around looking for worms. Suddenly a flurry of movement ahead as a fox burst from his hiding spot and attempted to pounce one about 30 yards in front of me. The fox missed his quarry and proceeded to sprint around in circles apparently playing in the same manner a small house dog would when excited over the return of a loved family member. The little guy lost itself in play and ended up charging up the trail in my direction. He came to a skidding stop at my feet and stared up at me with a look on it's face that said "who the heck put a dang tree right in the middle of my trail!". He stared for a moment all of 3 feet away then whirled around and sprinted away about 10 yards where he slammed on the brakes and spun back around for a second look. After about a minute of intense stating he seemed convinced that I was something he didn't want to further investigate and turned and loped off silently into the thick woods.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    What's the cigar of choice? Did you end up movin' the meat shed? Kinda hard not to enjoy the outdoors this time of year with the colors and the awesome weather we've been having...

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Great pics Mark looks like a fun time out and about! The pic of how high the flood got is amazing.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Well any cigars will do, thanks guys, but not sure when the next plane is headed out this way <grin>. Kyle, I supported the meat shed corner that is hanging over the edge of the bank and we'll use it one last time this fall.

    Mike, the wife did a canner load of heart, tongue, and some brisket the other day. Did up some jerky too. But typically none of that makes it into next summer. Just the two of us now but kids have been coming back for nearly a month over Christmas break. One moose won't get us through the winter what with caribou not being around anymore. First one was a small guy so really need to find another.

    Didn't see anything yesterday but fresh tracks. Got back late and we're sore today. Chip I broke both ankles last year and still not 100% but yeah just to be out there walking and doing chores is a Godsend. If I didn't have such a great partner out here it wouldn't be doable!

    Here we are at another glassing spot a couple miles upriver yesterday.


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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Good luck on the hunt. I like that kind of moose hunting.................glassing from high spots.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Great pictures Mark. Good luck on getting a second moose! Weather sure looks nice!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Nice pics Mark... glad you're back out and about.

    Recovery from injuries can be a maddening process.

    Best of luck on the next moose.

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    Speaking of little things special reminds me of a couple of incidents this fall. I was 75 feet up in a white spruce sitting in a rope swing seat spotting moose in a large open area in the Tanana Flats last week. I was watching some chickadees just above my head feeding on insects in the spruce boughs and all of a sudden a goshawk slammed into the branches two or three feet over my head grabbing a chickadee or attempting to as I'm not certain. The spruce needles and cones rained down on me in a small shower. I was so startled by the sudden breaking of the silence that I actually yelled out loud as I had no idea that the hawk was anywhere around.

    The other incident also involved a hawk. I was watching the camp robbers feeding on some moose scraps that I had hung in a small bush for them and a hawk landed on a tall spire of a tree 50 yards away. The camp robber froze with his head pointed upward and his tail downward parallel to the main trunk of the sapling it was sitting in. It froze in that position for over 15 minutes until the hawk flew away. It always amazes me how the birds recognize raptors instantly when they appear and they instinctively know it as a danger.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    cool story contender! Reminds me of an ermine that came up to me when butchering a goat last year. He just stared at me like "dude, either finish cutting it up and get out of here so I can have at it or toss me a piece!" I threw a big chunk of fat almost right at him and he didn't even flinch. He had clearly calculated exactly where it was going to land. The second it hit the ground he was on top of it too! The hunk probably weighed 3x his body weight but he had no problem dragging it down through the rocks. I heard him clunking around dragging it under the moraine for a minute and then he was gone.

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    Both ankles....OOOOOUUUUUCH!, I didnt know it was both.

    This year was definitly an appreciated one, with no major pain and a good summer and I was thankfull.

    We used to jar Birds to save , as we dry most else, but that Canned Brisket was a favorite of mine. Cold meat onna natural stick....... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Good luck onna fat Moose!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Good pic's mark, hope for the best.

    Could'nt ask for better weather at the end of the season, supposed to get cooler next week with the sun still shining.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pictures and notes. Beautiful country you live in.
    Best wishes on that next moose too.

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