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Thread: Trailbreaking pics - trying to get the lines open again

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Trailbreaking pics - trying to get the lines open again

    Well, as I've said we got hammered by deep snows here and major winds. Taking a while to get the lines I had in broke out again, making about a mile per hour. Water is pretty much everywhere under the snow on the river and the heavy wet snow and warm temps have collapsed the areas of thinner ice and formed some new open leads.

    Trying to get upriver on friday:


    Interestingly, all this snow and warmer temps have rotted out places right along the gravel bars about five feet wide. Some of those places were where we had been running. Can't see it in this next pic, but we broke though here and so I was making some trail for the dogs on this bar to get away from this section:


    When I got back to the rig I saw where the trail had collapsed a bit behind us and so I made trail back down on the gravel bar a bit more, then when I walked back out to the trail I broke through. Was only just above my bunny boots. Went back and made trail farther back downriver some more, went back to trail, broke through again. This time with both feet, was a bit deeper...went a bit farther down the bar again and this time got to the trail without breaking through, took a couple steps on the trail and whooomph, it all collapsed into the river, knee deep this time. Oh boy! Just freaky conditions right now.

    Here's a shot from yesterday, we had been running where this open water is now:


    Had to divert off the river cuz of overflow, put my leader in loose lead and broke trail across this high flat, very slow going, was walking behind on a little pair of trail snowshoes:



  2. #2
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Catching some fur sure helps to make it worthwhile

    The marten are moving around, gotta love these little bucket conibear sets as the deep snows don't affect them still working:


    That's a pretty typical set with the older plastic planter buckets. The rotted bait I'm using for smell is working well this season, I just pour a little bit at each set. Catching marten and having that urine and other scent around will bring other marten in too.

    Not sure if I've mentioned this, but if you're after marten, you can make a good marten lure from the glands right near the anus, save those and put them in a jar and let them get a bit high, mix with some glycerine and pour some out at each set, that works pretty good too.

    Off to skin marten, gotta go cut wood today then back at it again tomorrow.
    Best to all,

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    Default Nothing but hard work

    Rewarding, but that is a lot of effort, especially the second time around. I could not move through that without becoming drenched in sweat. I'd be wet all day long, and not from dropping through the ice.
    I'd guess those dogs are patient on days like this. Warm weather and a soft trail with a big hairy winters coat would be a tough combo.
    Did you see any sign that animals are on the prowl yet?
    I was showing my wife your photos and she asked where you live. I guess I never thought about it before, just enjoyed the photos as they came. You may have told us your location before, but can you do so again? I could take her to the Gazateer or my AK Map CD and show her.
    ARR

  4. #4

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    Thanks BR. Yours are my favorite posts for great informations, stories and pics. I am city bound for work, but I hope someday I am able to live in the bush.

  5. #5

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    Geez - be careful out there! I'm sure you know where the deep water is located, but still...

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Sure is a tough way to make a living! Thanks for sharing. Did your ankle mend up okay?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  7. #7

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    Great photos and story. I'm glad you had a safe trip given those conditions. You're a dedicated individual for sure. Be safe and keep the great posts coming. Thanks.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Looks like it's about time to lift the buckets and the trap attach point. Keep them critters away from the shrews/voles.
    Guy I know has been trapping marten out St. Mary's way. Said they won't climb. Puts his buckets just a foot or so off the ground and uses a swing pole to elevate them. His catch went way up once he put the buckets near the ground.
    Snowshoeing in front of the dogs...............brings back memories!!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    ARR, am on the middle Kandik River north of Yukon-Charley Preserve. Didn't see any big critter sign last few times out, some mink along the river near the open water places, and marten sign elsewhere. And bunny tracks here and there.

    I do get real sweaty, gotta make sure not to wear my parka when working hard, and sometimes I'll change my under top layers before coming back if I'm real sweaty, then put my dry parka on for the trip back home. I always bring a thermos of hot tea along too, and that has saved my bacon more than once from the deep chills. -25 this morn so gonna be hard going today breaking trail, rig isn't gonna wanna slide very well.

    Spoiled One, ankle is mended but gets sore, thanks for asking.

    Mike, I don't have much of a problem with marten not being willing to climb. But yeah, gonna have to raise most of the sets now with all this snow.

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    Member AKPyron's Avatar
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    Hopefully the next few days will give you time to open trails and let the river freeze back up. Stay safe out there!
    If you live your whole life afraid to die... Then you can never truly live!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Hard to have sympathy for those that complain about the plows running late.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    -27 here in Fairbanks this morning hopefully you get some of this cold to help close that river back up! Crazy how this weather is last monday was 40 and rain this monday is -27 got to love interior weather

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    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    Once again a great post and pics. Thanks for sharing!!
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    Bushrat,

    You are the man!! It is always so cool to see and hear your write-ups of life in the bush. Thanks for sharing and having sat internet!! I am ooking into getting into a little trapping here in southeast so it is always great to see pics of how you bushrat trappers do it. The pic of the bucket set is awesome. I appreciate you guys and always like the comraderie that is shared on this forum with fellow alaskans. Even the banter that goes on here between you and martentrapper is entertaining although, IMO, sometimes he pushes it a bit far at times. Thanks for sharing your life with us and Merry Christmas!!

    Just wondering --do you have a vhf or radio that you could call for help in case you went a little deeper than knee deep in the water or are you hardcore and "in the hands of God"??

  15. #15
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default I need new snowshoes <grin>

    Here's a pic from yesterday of the old 12 x 60s, as you can see they need repairs! Indian bindings btw:


    Had hit a patch of frozen overflow with a bit of snow on top here, man that was sure nice to hit that! I forgot how hard on the hips snowshoeing was, man I'm getting old cuz it sure ain't like the "old days" when I could take off and break trail four miles then walk back!


    -40 here this morn, ain't gonna push it today with the dogs, may just snowshoe a bit of trail around here later.

    rosscoak, my vhf/ufh ham repeater is down, but that's the next line I'll put in up "repeater hill" once I get these lines back open. Fairly steep trail up there, think the battery died, so will have to pull that and put another up there down the line to get that working again. Not sure if the link near Central that links to Fbks is still working or not. So as far as emergency comms, it's the sat-internet and HF ham radio.

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Great pics! Good luck with the line =)

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    Member joefish00000's Avatar
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    nice looking pics!
    looks like some fun on the line!

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    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Great pictures Mark. Stay safe out there.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
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