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Bunch of trapping & mushing pics from last month

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  • Bunch of trapping & mushing pics from last month

    Nothing but marten and a couple mink last month, which was fine as marten is what I'm mostly after.

    Was pretty much crappy weather Jan. and February, either deep cold or snowing and blowing. Never had this much wind that I can recall, when it was blowing it was gusting 50 for more than 24hours and we haven't ran on hard trail once since mid January. So that sucked. Hard on any ground sets too as they just drift over big time. But the sun was coming back which made it nice up in the hills.

    Mark Richards

  • #2
    When I, along with countless others, was growing up we would spend hours glued to Fur,Fish, and Game or some other like magazine dreaming about how it would be to do exactly what you actually do. You are the real deal and we all love hearing your stories and seeing your photos. THANKS!!!!!


    • #3
      After each snow and blow it would clear off and drop to the -40s, getting -50 at night. Midnight one night we are in bed and dogs start to howl and we hear wolves howling out the window too. Was clear with a good moon, -50, and I was trying to work up the motivation to get all dressed up and go sit outside on the cutbank with rifle to watch for wolves. Didn't do it but should have, a couple came within 50 yds of the cabin.

      Went out the next morning to check it out.

      They got spooked, backtracked and went across the flat behind us and hit the river again a half mile down, went the next day downriver, have a wolf set a few miles down but they didn't want anything to do with it. Looked like a pack of six from the tracks.

      Got it at dusk some days, home is right across from that creek valley in the distance.

      One line goes to the top of this hill right in front of us

      That little black spruce there on the right is one that bull moose like to rub antlers on.

      View from the top with river below

      Mark Richards


      • #4
        Great photos Mark, thanks again for posting these. You're living the life many dream of yet never do.


        • #5
          Have to walk pretty much all the way behind the team getting up that hill. Very gnarly coming back down, usually unhook about half the team, always chain up the rig to slow us down. This is near the bottom, after chain has collected leaves and branches and what not.

          Still have maybe a dozen pole sets out. Before I switched over to the 120 conis used to just run these, mostly with 0s or 1s longsprings.

          FYI, got the rest of fur out on a charter this past weekend, daughter brought it in to Wivoda in Fbks, marten averaged $85 for males and $65 for females, better than I thought it would be from what I heard about auction prices.

          Was nice to finally get resupplied, we were down to last of the dog food, and out of a lot of other things. Here is the team on the strip, gotta love what those Helios will do, pilot took off from where the load is sitting there on the river and got off in just a couple hundred feet it seemed.

          Thanks for the comments guys. Well marten season is over, but still some wolverine and wolf season left. And good spring mushing to be had too for a bit yet.

          Happy trails to all,
          Mark Richards


          • #6
            Your photos are breath taking!

            Was clear with a good moon, -50, and I was trying to work up the motivation to get all dressed up and go sit outside on the cutbank with rifle to watch for wolves.
            Makes me wonder who all would not give it a second thought and be outside when they read this.
            I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
            Phil 4:13


            • #7
              Mark, another big thank you from Roland on the River. Splendid i say.


              • #8
                Great pics Mark, thanks for the insight into your trapline. Are those all martens in the traps? I can't imagine catching a wolf or a wolverine in a trap, that would be exciting. Thanks, Mark


                • #9
                  Mark, yep those are all marten in the pics. And coming up on a live wolverine is more than exciting, it's downright scary at times <grin>.

                  I was telling a biologist recently about once when the whole dogteam got into a live wolverine that was caught under a marten set. 8 dogs, took me a bit to pull them all out of there and get them secured away from the wolverine. Every single one of them was bloody on the face, wolverine didn't have a scratch. Biologist said he had an even better wolverine story, was doing some wolf research tracking collared wolves from the air, and comes up on a pack of six wolves and they had come up on a wolverine and were fighting with it. They circled above to watch and at one point he said all the wolves had ahold of the wolverine and were pulling on it from different angles like they were doing a blanket toss. Eventually the wolverine gets loose and runs off and the wolves go in a different direction, and most all of the wolf trail now has blood in it from injured wolves, but no blood in the wolverine trail.

                  Gulo gulo is one tough animal!
                  Mark Richards


                  • #10
                    Glad you got a good price on your marten! How often do you put fresh bait in your sets? Using beaver or just chuncks of moose hide? How long do you stay out on the river?


                    • #11

                      I mostly use fish for bait in the marten sets, don't typically replace it unless it's eaten, but I do squirt fresh scent every time I check traps. I live out here on the river full time, like it says in my profile, "remote bush" and satellite internet. Closest town is Eagle about 50 air miles south of us.
                      Mark Richards


                      • #12
                        Both great stories and the wolverine is on my list of animals to harvest one day. Probably told you about the one we saw south of Deadhorse on the tundra, wanting to cross the haul rd, last August. We only had bows but we were also a week early for wolverine season. Still was great to see my first. -- Can't imagine seeing one mad in a trap. The one we saw wanted to cross the rd and came close. If looks could kill I would have been a goner. Thanks, Mark


                        • #13
                          Mark, thanks for all the great photo's and narratives of your season. Have a safe and dry break-up. RW


                          • #14
                            Awesome pics. Thanks for sharing Mark.


                            • #15
                              What kind of fish do you use? Is there any sort of salmon run up the Kandik?
                              Those fires did a number on your country I bet. How would you estimate the change in your marten population pre and post fire?
                              I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
                              I have less friends now!!


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