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Mountain Journal

Posted By: Bushman

Mountain Journal - 01/06/14 06:42 AM

I've just returned from my first trip into my mountain trapline since November. It's a late season line because of the water hazards, it can be a dangerous line. I'm going to be spending a lot of time there over the next three months - trapping - continuing a research project - and filming wolverines. I thought I'd fire up a mountain journal and share some of the pictures and stories with you all.




As mentioned water hazards are a real challenge. Breaking through as you cross is bad enough… but knowing you have to return the same way makes it even more special.


My mission today was to haul four beavers way upriver and put some trail cams up. I'm setting up at two locations I've had a lot of luck at. My machine looks like a hillbilly machine!


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 06:51 AM

The creek I follow is famous for open water all winter. Another challenge is hollow ice, you're cruising along and all of a sudden the ground falls out beneath you. You get to know how solid the ice is by the sound of it as you cruise along.

I get a lot of these, ice bridges that allow you to keep threading your way upriver. I hate it when they break out behind you, and then you know you have to deal with it when you return, this one stayed tight.



I had to break a lot of overland trail first which took most of the day. Lots of blow down and trees bowed over by snow. Love those dumps down the back of your neck. By days end though I got to where I wanted to get and got my baits and cameras placed. Even set a few traps on the way out with my fancy headlamp. Saw marten, lynx, and wolf tracks today plus four moose.




This is where the magic happens




But there's a lot more valley calling me upriver
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 06:57 AM




And of course now that hunting season is over a couple elk decided to spar in front of my trail cams
Posted By: mtbadger

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 07:24 AM

Great adventure Bushy.

Thanks for sharing with us.....
Posted By: broncoformudv

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 07:28 AM

That's a great looking river valley! Those hollow spots under the ice and the bridges that collapse as you go across them suck. Sure would be nice if there was a light weight portable bridge you could carry along with you.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 07:30 AM

This will be an enjoyable thread to keep tabs on - thanks.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 07:42 AM

Thanks for sharing, be safe out there!
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 08:20 AM

Absolutely be safe!!!!! Those ice conditions scare the bejesus out of me! Hope you get the pic's your after and you connect with some critters!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 08:46 AM

This should be fun. Tough country to go it alone in. Be careful out there Brian. Some awesome looking country.
Posted By: scootermac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 11:11 AM

Looking forward to your journal, beautiful country.
Posted By: Jacks

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 12:12 PM

Beautiful pics Brian, thank you for posting, can't wait to see more.
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 01:25 PM

Looks like some awesome country. And the game there is unbelievable . Makes you wonder with all the predators they can make it there. Tough area to be alone in, hope your adventure is a safe one, and good luck. Look forward to seeing the pics and reading the stories.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 01:28 PM

That little bushy area looks like a nice sheltered spot for a line cabin.
Posted By: white17

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 01:31 PM

Looks like fun for sure. I hate those conditions but that's what keeps heart firing on all cylinders. Looking forward to more!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 03:11 PM



Boco you have a good eye. A tent camp will do at first but I have plans to put a 16' x 12' small line cabin at this location up on the ridge. we'll see how that goes this winter as well.



These are the blinds we use to film out of but I've been know to build some bigger ones for longer shoots





A good location for filming wolverines as they have a central scent post here that is visited by any wolverine in the area
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 04:23 PM

You have MUCH more disipline than I. I simply could not help putting in a set right there! wink
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 05:43 PM

You could I suspect, if you were on quota, and you can turn that same $500 wolverine into a star worth much much more. Plus I look at it as research into wolverine behavior which I know has made me a much better wolverine trapper. I can pretty much take one when ever I need to. Plus I'm not saying I won't take one further upriver away from my camera locations.




This guy showed up at the scent post last year
Posted By: frozen okie

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 05:46 PM

WOW!!!!
Posted By: dawsontrapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 08:58 PM

Thanks for sharing - great photo's! I am familiar with the feeling of the ice dropping out and often have to worry about returning across iffy spots. But my river looks friendlier than yours!
Posted By: glandman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/06/14 11:42 PM

I'm liking this journal a lot already, awesome back country you have there Bushman smile Looking forward to more of your adventures!
Posted By: Birchcreekkid

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 12:39 AM

Hope you got a rope-a-long in all that gear!!
Posted By: Alaskan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 12:46 AM

Where I go we have lots of that shelf ice that is hollow underneath. I stay away from some great trapping area because of that reason. Scares me just to drive next to it, let alone cross it.
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 02:19 AM

Looks like a come along and some cable or strong rope to get yourself out of trouble if you are close enough to hook onto to something is needed in that country also.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 04:29 AM



Never met a meal they didn't like


I have a come-along packed on all my machines. The new skandic has enough room to pack the portable come-along, called a mule, under the seat in the storage compartment. And yes I've used them more than once. It's not so bad though, the first trip is usually the most exciting but weather conditions can cause the ice to let go during the day.
Posted By: BackcountryAB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 04:42 AM

Nice pics busman. I sheep hunt up that creek every year. We have to ride the long way around though. We saw a wolverine above tree line a couple years ago there.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 05:18 AM

Been on that horse trail a time or two. Amazing how fast you can zip up into that country on a sled when conditions are right. I've hauled gear and fire wood to the forestry cabin with my sled. But you can never take access for granted.
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 04:26 PM

Be careful on those creeks this year Brian , if they are like my creeks this year ,,, to much snow too early ,,,, there is no ice under mine at all , just 3 feet of snow and then water !!!
The McLoed River is even off limits for me this year , just too unpredictable!!!
Stay safe and have fun.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 06:55 PM

Thank you for sharing this adventure and pictures Bushman. Looking forward to following this. What are you using for internet out there in that tent camp ? How is the new Scandic performing?
Posted By: white17

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 08:16 PM

By the looks of that load on the machine he has a satellite dish and generator hidden in there somewhere. He just needs a mattress and Oklahoma license plates to complete the picture.
Posted By: mearl

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 09:41 PM

Lol
Posted By: Metis toboggan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/14 09:56 PM

Originally Posted By: trapper ron
Thank you for sharing this adventure and pictures Bushman. Looking forward to following this. What are you using for internet out there in that tent camp ? How is the new Scandic performing?


x2

ps ... creeks like that FREAK ME OUT, be careful
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:03 AM

No internet out there. I'm running both traplines so I'm bouncing back and forth until Feb 14th. I'm on-line when running the foothills line and totally off grid in the mountains. I have two satellites phones - Globalstar and a marine sat network for emergencies. You know …moments like this

Posted By: mad_mike

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
No internet out there. I'm running both traplines so I'm bouncing back and forth until Feb 14th. I'm on-line when running the foothills line and totally off grid in the mountains. I have two satellites phones - Globalstar and a marine sat network for emergencies. You know …moments like this



Seems the marine network would be the obvious choice.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:08 AM

Ron I'm estatic about fuel mileage and oil consumption, simply mind boggling compared to the 550 tundra. I have perfect conditions for testing a machine to the max as we have record snows. Our levels to date are 30% higher than the previous record! I've pulled a sled every trip with between 100 to 300 lbs on it. It's much more stable and i have no problem crawling along in low and picking a trail through the bush. I've been stuck several times but due to the sled getting hung up or buried. I did have it working to climb some steep hills in deep snow and have felt it spinning in loose corn snow about five feet deep. All in all two thumbs up…but my buddy has a super widetrack in a 800, says its unstoppable, so we'll see.
Posted By: Groa

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:28 AM

Punch it Chewie!
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:28 AM

Bushman does the skandic have the 600 etec or the 600 ace? I was just thinking today about a tundra for next year but had heard the 550 was hard on gas and the ace a little under powered so was leaning towards the etec. My neighbor has the 800 super wide, he's not really impressed.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:40 AM

600 etech it rocks
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:41 AM

If your neighbor had six feet of snow and mountain grades he might like it?
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:45 AM

It doesn't like the cold and has no recoil and is very front heavy he tells me. It does have good power though
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
If your neighbor had six feet of snow and mountain grades he might like it?

I got the privilege of riding a new Tundra Extreme , with the 600 etec today , was very impressed with the power and fuel consumption ...... Was a great sled !
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 05:56 AM

I've been so anti ski-doo for so many years I might have to leave it in the bush and never take a buddy along on the line to avoid the ribbing I would get,lol.
Bushman is that your new ride swimming or is that your old sled? Either way the fun factor is gone in those deals.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 06:13 AM

Keep the pics coming, stay dry!
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 07:17 AM

Great pics and adventures Bushman, have fun and be safe.
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 12:55 PM

I know you guys are used to that happening, (going thru into the water) but don't see it here to much. How the heck do you get that out now?? Must have a lot of help and winch of some sort??? Nice looking machine to be swimming. Hope it doesn't hurt the motor on you. good luck.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 01:33 PM

I have a 2014 Skandic WT with the 600 ACE motor. I've very happy with it. I've 1000 km (600 miles) on it this winter and all of it pulling a pig of a sleigh (borrowed). I haven't been stuck and can still break trail while pulling the sleigh. I don't know how much snow we have but it is half way up the side of a moose. Mileage is very good, traction amazing and I have no shortage of power. My main loop from my cabin and back is 168 km. I use less than 5 gallons of fuel while pulling the pig the whole way.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 02:02 PM

Rich i used the 600 ace last winter and while impressed just couldn't get used top the lag time on the take off, reminded me of my diesel tractor. But the crew that had them loved them. I'm a confirmed BRP user since 1974 and love how innovative they are. unless you've driven a new snowmobile its hard to realize how far they've come in a few years

SK - nope that's one of the 550's from a few years back. Drain carb, drain exhaust, pull plugs and pull over 1000 times expelling water, put plugs back in and hope for best…but get it in shop asap and drain chaincase etc. not fun. I've totally submerged three sleds over the years. i'm off to run a line but will tell you a good story later.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Rich i used the 600 ace last winter and while impressed just couldn't get used top the lag time on the take off, reminded me of my diesel tractor. But the crew that had them loved them. I'm a confirmed BRP user since 1974 and love how innovative they are. unless you've driven a new snowmobile its hard to realize how far they've come in a few years

SK - nope that's one of the 550's from a few years back. Drain carb, drain exhaust, pull plugs and pull over 1000 times expelling water, put plugs back in and hope for best…but get it in shop asap and drain chaincase etc. not fun. I've totally submerged three sleds over the years. i'm off to run a line but will tell you a good story later.

Brian I don't know sh*t form shinnola on snowmobiles, this is my first since the 80s. I do know that there is zero lag time on my throttle. my one boy has a 800 Etec in a Free Ride and he is impressed how responsive the ACE is. Maybe they changed something for 2014, it is bloody touchy. Either way I don't care, the machine hasn't been out of low gear yet with all the pulling. Does anyone have a SWT with the ACE?
My oldest boy just bought a Bearcat 20"x156" track and an 1100 4 stroke motor!! He is supposed to come to the trapline with it Saturday. I will be interested to see how its 125 hp compares to my 60. I don't know what you would do with all the HP, maybe drive bigger paddles?
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/08/14 11:54 PM

Always ready to hear a good story of a wreck bushman, I've drowned lots of quads but haven't had the pleasure of a sled yet.
Posted By: Aaron Proffitt

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/09/14 03:28 AM

Originally Posted By: white17
By the looks of that load on the machine he has a satellite dish and generator hidden in there somewhere. He just needs a mattress and Oklahoma license plates to complete the picture.



Seriously ? Oklahoma ? You ever spent any time just a ways East of me ? They turn the 'term' redneck in on itself.


Great story and pictures ...
Posted By: white17

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/09/14 03:31 AM

LOL ! You may be too young to remember all the jokes aimed at Okies during and after the depression. The same applies to jokes in Alaska as the pipeline project was winding down.
Posted By: FinFur

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/09/14 07:10 PM

Very very interesting.

I have also a carcass that is visited by at least three wolverines maybe four.

They eat everything I drag there.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/09/14 10:01 PM

Brian, is that a roll of tpee on the action packet or Ice? I know if I dumped my sled in the water it would be tpee :-)

Thanks for the adventure with more to come.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/10/14 05:40 AM

Have any of you folks seen the movie "running free" made in 1994? Just watched it...amazing footage of Gulo's.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/10/14 06:08 AM

wow weeeee!! excellent Bushman! What and adventure!!YYYYYYYYYYYES! Enjoy every moment,no doubt you are..but keep yer wits aboutcha=)

Thank you for sharing with the rest of us adventurers!
Posted By: ebsurveyor

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/10/14 06:40 PM

.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/10/14 10:01 PM

I blasted back to town to ship my martens today. I ended up with 40 for the first sale, plus a couple fox and fisher. I tried to focus on marten as the loggers are hammering my foothills trapline. Now that i have them out of my system I'm going after lynx and wolves. i don't bother with wolves when I'm marinated in skunk essence every day. But heading out again to try footholding some. I'll post a pic of some marten later.







So these are mostly Bridger's but I have four of the new Lay design as well. I have some liquified wolf scat plus a bottle of wolf urine. I also have a spruce cover scent my buddy a wolfer gave me. You wipe it on your gloves, trap, boots, when setting, he claims it's an amazing product, we'll see. Hopefully I'll connect on a few and have some pics. I really like foot holding even though cash wise it makes little sense.
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/10/14 11:11 PM

That cover scent is interesting. I use a spray scentless cover on my snare sets when I'm done setting also just in case.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/11/14 06:37 AM





My furs all ready to go. Our Trapper's local held a meeting and our local NAFA guy showed up to pick up our furs..A fair bit picked up but lots of trappers saying harvest is down. Weather is part of it with records snow. I'm trying to head to mountains on morning but another heavy snowfall warning for overnight.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/11/14 07:30 AM



I was making my way down a steep switchback when I saw a trail of pounded down fisher tracks heading up-slope. I followed them a short ways and found a den it seems to be occupying off and on. Lots of tracks going into the den. I put two sets there so I'm eager to see how I make out.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/11/14 07:59 AM

Wheres all the snow you been getting. That photo looks like you don't have much. Still dirt on a den.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/11/14 03:12 PM

You got it snap. I had to hang onto a spruce branch to pull myself up the steep slope to actually get the picture. Hardlly any snow under the spruce and that dirt you see is so dry it's crumbly not frozen. Great bedding for a wolf trap. Don't worry Len we have 30% more snow then our previous record. It's actually prevented some trappers from going out this year. I'm out the door see you in a feww days.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/16/14 05:30 AM

I'm back home to head out and check the foothill line. Interesting trip to the mountains as the weather went crazy. Rain - snow - very high winds. There was no use setting footholds as the snow levels are dropping, rain is falling ect. I didn't want to waste the trip so, as my wife came with me so I decided to try out some of W17 wife training techniques. ( * note to Rick Mc the lurker…you talk to my wife and you're dead)

I've got to hand to Ken he really is on to something. I started her out light and had her haul my dog in.



Once we got there a hot meal was on deck




But the next day we started on clearing out a trail to our new cabin construction site. She's not ready for the chainsaw but is pretty good at chucking brush.




Her final lesson was on water crossings, something I had a lot of resistance on, but using some of Ken's advanced techiques, I got her across.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/16/14 05:41 AM



Here's an interesting moment at the wolverine research site.
Posted By: broncoformudv

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/16/14 06:45 AM

Good to see you back and that the wife training is going well. One never knows what direction that line of training will go. wink
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/16/14 08:51 AM

Great stuff Brian ,, the high winds and rain hit here as well , I was out on the line and it was as if I was driving through a war zone!!!! At first I took it as a curse , but after I got all the blow down cleared away , I realized just how much the snow has dropped , and I'm gonna make an attempt at breaking more trail tomorrow into some good wolf country.
Great pic's keep'em coming.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/16/14 01:37 PM

Good stuff Brian.
I'm wondering about my next check here in a couple days. The falling snow will mean a ton of missed lynx and I think I'll have to carry extra chainsaw gas just to get around!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 02:18 PM

It's a waste of time setting new traps right now. I picked up six marten yesterday, all thawed out. Wind is still whipping and lots of trees blown down, but snow levels are dropping big time. I pulled all my sets and plan on moving to new area as soon as cold comes back. This is one of the longer chinooks I've encountered, and they're always followed by big storm so winter will be back soon.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 03:05 PM

Nice pics Brian, this warm weather is something else, eh?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 03:12 PM

I'm used to chinooks but the extreme shifts add a new element. My buddy sent me this pic last night. It has red eyes too, albino I guess



Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 03:39 PM

That's a neat looking marten
Posted By: Starvalleytrappe

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 04:00 PM

Isn't that a canary? Nice journal I love reading all your guys journals
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/17/14 07:10 PM

I'm amazed at how fat the lynx are! I put these two up the other night and I don't think they could be any fatter in the summer. This winter might be hard for some but not the cats. I love the spotted bellies!
Posted By: Dragger

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/18/14 02:19 AM

Originally Posted By: RichM AB
I'm amazed at how fat the lynx are!


I was told by an old trapper type that fat lynx means a rabbit crash as they are the main prey for lynx. When they change prey they start eating other prey containing more fat?

This theory supposable came from a guy who passed by the named of Dean Wilson.

I hear he knew a little about trapping? lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/14 05:02 AM




Snow conditions are bad. Not only is it deep but we had rain which put a 8" hard crust on top. The new Skandic WT is getting a work out. In this pic I punched a trail up the hill. You can see how deep i dug on the right hand side. On the left i had turned around and came back down slope, so I stayed on top. In order to climb the hill I'd punch my way 20 yards upslope until I came to a stop, reverse 10 yards and punch upslope another 20-40 yards. I considered turning around and retreating but you know how stubborn trappers are.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/14 05:23 AM



Even that smooth pulling Alaskan tobbogan had to be left behind.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/14 05:32 AM

That's a great pic bushman with the sun over the hill.
Posted By: Tricky Beaver

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/14 06:39 PM

Your Pictures {WOW]
Posted By: teacherman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/14 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
No internet out there. I'm running both traplines so I'm bouncing back and forth until Feb 14th. I'm on-line when running the foothills line and totally off grid in the mountains. I have two satellites phones - Globalstar and a marine sat network for emergencies. You know …moments like this




How'd you manage to get out of that one...?
Posted By: Metis toboggan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/14 02:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman


Here's an interesting moment at the wolverine research site.


I was checking out your journal tonight cause i'm lazy and its too darn cold, again, for me to get motivated to do 'stuff'. I swear its gone above -20 but a handful of times since the 1st week of November. Anyways, is that a cat to the left of that gulo ? Looks like it to me.

I am enjoying your journal, keep up the good work and stay safe .. thanks for sharing.

Now that i've studied the picture some more, it is a cat, very neat pic ... ah, the wonders of trail cams !!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/14 03:59 AM

How'd you manage to get out of that one…?




We chopped it in half so that the pieces were lighter…then we put it back together with #9 wire!
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/14 03:28 PM

A buddy sunk one in the Abitibi river,years ago,in 30 feet of water.Had to grapple it and build a tripod on the ice to lift er out.
Posted By: Starvalleytrappe

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/14 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
How'd you manage to get out of that one…?




We chopped it in half so that the pieces were lighter…then we put it back together with #9 wire!

That right there is funny smile
Posted By: otterman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/14 05:04 PM

Use to be easy once you got them out of the water you could pretty much get them up and running right there then once you got them home drain the chain case etc. Now days you need a shop just to get at the carbs if you get water in them you are darn near looking at towing it home just to get it running again. I like the new comfy rides but I don't like the inaccessibility when it comes to working on them in the field
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/23/14 05:42 AM

I got it going. Drain carb, take off muffler and drain, take out plugs and turn over 1000 times forcing water out of cylinder's, and get it rolling before it freezes up. I still had to take it to shop but at least we got it home.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/23/14 06:14 PM

Great pics Bushman
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/23/14 07:44 PM

Conditions are terrible for trapping right now. After record snows we've now had record high temps for a couple weeks. A trail I broke last week still hasen't set up and was fun to follow yesterday. I broke a couple miles of new trail but decided it wasn't worth the inevitable work that would surely come.

Shouldn't set for wolves as the snow is wet and packs…but I still put out three fotholds. very thin layer of crusty snow over the trap so we'll see.

Here's a montage of the last dozen marten I caught. just a real world look at my sets. Not every catch is perfect and the ones that have a marten with a bait bag in its mouth always make me wonder. i tie those bags tight to the back of my boxes so those marten are really tugging, yet head catches. I've used wires across trap triggers and doesn't make any difference to me. bottom line is I rarely come to a sprung trap and no marten so i'm happy.













Posted By: Alaskan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/23/14 11:43 PM

Be thankful you have some white stuff. Been three weeks since I've checked my sets. Not enough snow to go, too much to drive.... Ugh!!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/23/14 11:56 PM

The mouth bags are interesting. Could it be that weasels are pulling the bags out within reach prior to the marten coming. You have to wonder sometimes just what is going on when you leave. At least you have a bit of margin for warm weather to work off with snow. Are margin has come and gone. Well come to think of it it didn't really ever come.
What a crazy year.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 05:28 AM

I've noticed that the marten that have a bag in their mouth are smaller. I think they squeeze in the box and only nail the trigger as they tug on the bag. I always have to pry the bag out of their locked jaws.

How about this flying wolverine

Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 05:40 AM

Great pictures , I'm glad to see someone is catching some marten in Alberta ,,, I sure am not putting a dent in the pop's this year....
Our snow is settling to about 3 feet now and has a 6 - 8 inch hard crust making things a bit easier to get around on in snow shoes but still bad for breaking trail. With this hard thick crust it's gonna be another tough year for the deer ,,, the wolves and coyotes are running on top now.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 05:42 AM

Wow that is a great photo.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 06:33 AM

Jimmy it's killing me. My arms are sore from fighting the crust and my legs are sore from pounding down the snow to get some sets in. that heavy wet crust takes some stomping for sure. It's hard to see tracks if the light is wrong. Lots of moose around but deer are non existent and elk in small pockets. A death winter for ungulates
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 06:35 AM




Here's another one for you Len
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/24/14 07:26 AM

Cool photos!
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/25/14 03:34 AM

Man, those are some amazing wolverine pics! Nice!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/28/14 05:16 AM




A big male that was captured today. Alberta Conservation Association / Alberta Trappers Association/ University of Alberta
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/28/14 05:34 AM

Hey did you recognize him from any of your photos?? ;0)
Posted By: Kass167

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/28/14 06:16 AM

Do you have any picture of the trap design? Interested in the trigger mechanism. It must be deep enought to prevent crushing the wolverine. I bet the inside of that trap is nice an polished after catching a few!
Posted By: Border Rat

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/28/14 08:11 AM

Nice Pictures and thank you for sharing your adventures.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/28/14 02:39 PM

Len - These sets are in different location. We're heading there Saturday to film the captures and releases live. This is the first time this guy has showed up to my knowledge. He was mad, slamming into front of log trap and smashing beaver around. Nothing like some meds to calm you down though.

Kass most wolverines are mellow inside but it's important its dark as they'll work at making a hole where ever they see light.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/30/14 03:52 PM

Another tough trip upriver. A wild winter with crazy temp swings. The record snows quit a couple weeks ago and were replaced by above freeze temps for a solid week. River opened up and ice is rotten. I hauled a big load of building material but was unable to make it all the way because of open water. But temps have dropped -21 today so I'll take another crack at in a couple days. I was able to access one of my trail cams though and had a good cross section of animals wolverine-lynx-wolves-moose.








Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/30/14 04:09 PM

That wolf sure has a nice coat, and looks like a full belly, too!
Posted By: Tikchik Gulo

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/30/14 04:18 PM

Took me two looks to see that nice black one up close. A bit creepy even. Always enjoy your updates. Send me some of that cold please. Id rather not worry about rotten ice.
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/30/14 04:43 PM

More great pic's , thanks Brian.
Posted By: That Fool

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/30/14 04:46 PM


The twilight wolves, do look creepy
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/01/14 06:25 AM




our marten season closes, picking up sets tomorrow
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/01/14 06:26 AM

Lynx and wolves are still open though, life is good.
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/01/14 02:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Lynx and wolves are still open though, life is good.

Yup , still have a little time to try and redeem a lost season for me.
I'm just starting to see a fair amount of lynx sign , as for marten my season was a bust ... frown
Congrats to a fine looking table of fur , probably some of the hardest earned fur you have in a while . smile
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/01/14 04:28 PM

That's quite a variety of fur. Congratulations, and may the auction be good to you! smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 05:59 AM

Today was a great day on every level. My eight year old grandson Aiden, came on the line with me. I ran one of my shorter loops, 20 km, as it was -23 when we started out, and i don't want to make it an endurance contest at his age. Once the grandkids hit 13 I work them like a rented mule.

We set a goal of three marten and I told him I'd bonus him up $5 for every fur we caught, except for squirrels. He had to bring me luck and follow my instructions all day to earn his loot. We hit the first set and had a marten, big smile all around. We picked up a couple more marten in short order and Aiden was adding up the $15 in his head.

Then we hit a marten dry spell as we got into a lynx hotspot. The lynx walked through three trail snares without getting caught. The warm weather had caused the snow to drop a couple feet and my fencing had fallen over. I fixed them up with some advice from him. We had a trailside fire and lunch and continued on. We hit one of my cabins after picking up only a weasel, which he insisted was worth $5 as it wasn't a squirrel, now he's at $20.

We only had five sets left before we hit the truck and he was concerned the payday was over. I told him not to worry as one of my favourite sets was just ahead, but when we pulled up it was empty. Now we were both thinking it was a three marten day. But when we hit the next trap we had a marten, and the next one, and the next one ,and the next one. We ended up with seven martens and one happy grandson, $40 richer. But I'm the one who really hit pay-dirt, spending a day with my boy.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:13 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:14 AM

Posted By: AK TRAPR

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:28 AM

congrats on some nice looking furs,nothing better than getting the kids involved,way to go.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:30 AM

Great write up, he won't forget that in a long time. Especially the weasel he got $5 for!
Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:35 AM

Thanks guys. mountain bound tomorrow, I'm sure those creeks are froze tight. Hope to have some interesting photos when I return. I notice the lynx have started rubbing their faces on shrubs and cut logs. Starting to feel frisky I'm thinking.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:46 AM

That's awesome to get the kid out, thanks for sharing. Be safe out there!
Posted By: otterman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 07:05 AM

Thats great I love it when my grand kids get to tag along they make even a bad day on the line enjoyable
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 07:06 AM

Great day for sure.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 09:46 AM

Nothing better than a kid on the line with you.
Posted By: scootermac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 03:50 PM

Love the excitement of having kids on the line. When I was mentoring a young fellow a few years ago it was like winning the lottery every day. The excitement on his face when he caught his first lynx, fox, wolverine etc. was priceless.
Posted By: Starvalleytrappe

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 04:06 PM

Nothing better and thanks for sharing.
Are most of your martens lighter colored in your area?
Posted By: piperniner

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/02/14 06:28 PM

A happy little guy and a Proud grandpa . I bet he is a colorful character in more ways than one.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/04/14 06:05 AM

Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/05/14 09:43 AM

Great adventures and pic Bushman. Nice to share it with the little ones.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/09/14 05:39 PM

I've been running back and forth hauling building material to my new cabin site. -20 to -33 at nights so creeks finally froze tight. Pulling two sleds a 10' and a 6'. I believe I'm hauling between 350 to 500 lbs a load. I have an overland section through the trees where I have to snake along a windy trail with hills. The new WT is up to the task, except on one glare ice hill. Just a small one but on a dogleg corner so a real pain. Spent an hour yesterday with a come along getting up it but after that it was straight go. i have some interesting footage of a wolverine cleaning its paws right in front of my cams.

I'll post some pics this afternoon. lynx really moving but waking by footholds and snare cubbies. Down on flats in small spruce and willow hunting and looking for love. I'll hang snares on the heaviest rabbit runs this week.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/09/14 10:05 PM



slow but sure way to get up the icy hill
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/09/14 10:11 PM




My rear 6' sled didn't make the corner, I put a rail up along the creek after the fact.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/09/14 10:12 PM



I always hate to leave at day's end.
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/09/14 10:30 PM

Yikes, that looks like fun...
Beautiful sunset!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 02:09 AM



This is a shot off of my screen as I rolled video of a wolverine grooming itself. It parked itself in front of the trailcam for quite a while.
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 03:38 AM

Sorry to see your gear and sleigh down in that ravine Brian ,,,, got the same conditions over here also ,,, although my hills are not as big , I do have a lot of really steep shorter hills , which are becoming pretty tough to navigate , lots of spinning out , problems cornering,,,, going down backwards ,,,, not too fun.
Worst trapping year i've ever had , I'm getting ready to pack it all in for the year , but then was out yesterday and seen all the fresh cat sign and decided to stick it out till the end . Thanks again for the great pictures also . Cheers . smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 04:33 AM

I'm in it to the end too Jim, and then some. Only thing that drives me out is the high water in spring. I'm done risking my life crossing raging streams and getting caught in spring blizzards. Good time for a holiday somewhere.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 06:11 AM

Looks like your up for a challenge on them hills, but I would rather trap in the mountains then the muskeg flats of northern AB. Keep posting. smile
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 06:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
I'm in it to the end too Jim, and then some. Only thing that drives me out is the high water in spring. I'm done risking my life crossing raging streams and getting caught in spring blizzards. Good time for a holiday somewhere.

Yup , for sure ,,,,, Cancun 23rd till the 07 March ,,, El Sids Marina ,,, gone fishin !!!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 07:16 AM

Jim, Iceland in June for me. 6 hours direct from Edmonton. good fishing, quading, and horse back riding.

Only problem Tundra is when the mountains won't let you in, but i have my foothills line so life is good.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 04:51 PM




Although our wolverine season is over wolf season is open until late March. Good thing the pan tension on this trap is set for a wolf or I'd have been catch and releasing a wolverine. That would be interesting.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/10/14 04:54 PM

I assume that is a pee post? Looks like it was interested.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/11/14 04:26 AM

The trap is bedded 12" offset from small stick. Wolves use it for pee post. Wolverine stepped right on the pan.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:31 PM

Just returned from five days out with my sweetie. The woman out works most of my friends. I know have enough material to frame up a 16 x 16 line cabin. I even got two windows hauled out. I'll haul my interior material and then start framing. I plan on having it completed by spring, but the weather could throw me a loop. The summer access is foot or horse so as long as I get all the material out in winter I can still go back to finish it off.

I've got a decent camp setup for until cabin finished. Here's the outside kitchen

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:38 PM

I set up one of my Kifaru tipi's as well. Previous posts talked about setting them up before. This one will be setup for a few months so I laid 3 - 16' 2x4's down on a flattened snow deck. I screwed 3/8" plywood down on top. Very stable and nice floor surface. I fastened most tent tie downs to plywood deck but not quite big enough so put down log sleepers on those edges and tied off to them.






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:41 PM

We even picked up a Valentine's day cat which my wife has now claimed for herself.



A big Tom with nice colour
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:43 PM

No matter how many years i spend out here I never get tired of the views and the majesty of the mountains. Even the frost on the rocks can change your perspective on a given day.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:50 PM

Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 06:50 PM

Sweet photos
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 08:48 PM

Beautiful!! Congrats to your honey on the cat!
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 09:39 PM

I know the feeling of your wife claiming the cat, mine did the same thing! Thanks for sharing!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 09:59 PM




Hauling 16' lumber went easier then I expected
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/14 10:01 PM

Apparently we are getting the lynx mounted for a spot she's been saving. Chocolates would have been cheaper for valentines
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 01:20 AM

Great pics, nice Lynx as well. Are they common up there or just the occasional one?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 04:13 AM

Tundra like everywhere the lynx cycle here but I have pretty good numbers usually. But I don't have the cats that NW Alberta does, it seems to be a real corridor for lynx.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 05:05 PM

Great pics brian that lynx will look great full body mounted, I saw one at a taxidermy shop the other day it was done with a spruce hen just starting to fly and the lynx pouncing at it. Had a good day on my last check of the season caught 4 nice sized lynx 1 female 3 males put my total at 18 for the season. Out of 18 lynx only 2 were females not sure what to make of that, not looking to good for next year, no rabbits and all my lynx were very skinny I also noticed they were very wormy, round worms I think long worms about an inch to an inch and a half long. I am looking forward to spring beaver now.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 05:17 PM

Bush, can we get a pix of how your kifaru inside is set up. great idea on floor. Thanks
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 06:07 PM




Decoy... I can tell you not very comfortable sleeping on that cooler! The stove is outside as I burnt the paint off of it. I grabbed it last spring on sale, because I really needed another bush stove, like a hole in the head. Somehow I seem to accumulate wood stoves, especially pack ones. This one is cool though, a fairly heavy cylinder, that everything packs into.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 06:11 PM

Decoy, If you look by the poles you can see I extended two wings of 24" plywood out from the platform to catch a couple more corners of the tent.

RedEarth, the beginning of the decline I'm betting your thinking. Next year maybe less cats, but fatter, the survivors who are more of a generalists in their diets? Including other lynx. Might as well catch them and put them to a better use then starving. Nice season total by the way.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 06:17 PM

Only Chuck Norris sleeps on one cooler my friend :-)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/17/14 06:33 PM

Actually I'm in R&D on a cott. I want one with a back on it so it can be used like a couch when sitting in camp. Another therma rest would make a great back and would provide a dry one that you could switch out daily. Staying warm in winter camp is all about getting rid of humidity it seems. nothing like wood heat to warm up and dry out gear though.

I'll post a pic of finished interior, should be done this week, putting together my next load to haul out right now. Doors and more windows and maybe roofing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:09 AM

Another run up-river with building supplies for new cabin. I've got the complete framing material and sheathing there now. Plus two windows. I hauled my door on this trip.



I also hauled in my prototype bed - couch - storage unit.

Things went good until...
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:10 AM




I hit a section of hollow ice. I went for a ride when the snowmobile came to a stop. I would like it noted my load never moved an inch.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:15 AM

Ouch, never been a horse that couldn't be rode and never been a cowboy that never been throwed, and I got throwed.

Unhooked machine, spun it around so gravity would help and flipped it upright. Put a tow line on and popped both sleds out no problem. kept on rolling.

Passed a set of nice fresh wolverine tracks along the way

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:18 AM

Made it the rest of way to camp without incident and unloaded gear and set up my new combo bed unit

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:59 AM




I was going through my wolverine trail cam photos and found this beauty from last year.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 04:59 AM

Ouch, good thing the Scandik made it across. Could be bad one with a snow machine upside down in water. That camp looks real nice and warm, a guy could trap all winter out of a setup like that.
I see the Zip fire starter, i carry it along as well in a water proof jar.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 05:14 AM

Nice looking camp Bushman, the ol WT tip quick don't they. Glad you weren't hurt. Some thing about a comfortable camp to come home to and like ya said, all about getting warm and dry. Be safe.
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 05:24 AM

Love those trail cam photos of yours!

Dang those camp and line cabins of yours are nicer than our
main cabin. No way I can let my wife see your thread .... ever ! wink
Posted By: Metis toboggan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 05:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman

I hit a section of hollow ice. I went for a ride when the snowmobile came to a stop. I would like it noted my load never moved an inch.


Depends which load your talking about. he he

what"s that gulu climbing on ?
Posted By: Metis toboggan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 05:35 AM

looks like a possibly an entry for our Summer Olympic Female Canadian gymnast.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 05:50 AM

Dean - I offer a complimentary gym membership to all the wolverines in my area. That's the chin up bar. Actually a research camera and DNA capture device.

Tundra - ziplock bag for me, I hate the odor and stays dry if the crap hits the fan.

AK - Staying safe is what we strive for but you know how it rolls. My wife and I have this discussion every year. Just load up on the life insurance.

Chicken - I did a search on trapping subject the other day and one of your posts from 1998 on Alaska forum came up! Treat your wife like a queen, the benefits are worth it.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 06:57 AM

Whats the reason having the woodstove up in the air like that?
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 09:03 AM

wow that floored kifaru makes me jealous. ;0) Looks like some fun times buddy. Another adventure one right after the other.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 01:44 PM

Boco. - short answer is stove pipe too short, and not standard pipe. Lots of welder buddies could fab me one up but tipi smoking hot even with stove higher.

Len - the Kiifaru is just another tip I got off you, amongst many others. One of the benefits of this site is all the field testing done in real world trapping conditions. The floor sections fit nicely in my cross fox when I hauled them out.
Posted By: rmrwade

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 02:23 PM

is the tipi staked to the flooring or into ground out side of plywood.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/14 02:28 PM

RM- I used nails into plywood to hold tipi loops plus a couple log deadmen buried in the snow for the portions that extended past the plywood.
Posted By: Ryan McLeod

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/14 02:59 AM

Nice pics Bushman! I like the wolverine with white feet!
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/24/14 02:21 AM

Thanks for sharing your adventure! Glad you weren't hurt.
Nice pics!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/25/14 01:56 AM

Thanks guys


You mean this one Ryan

Posted By: mad_mike

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/25/14 03:35 AM

Oooooooo, aaaaahhhhhh!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 01:35 AM

I've spent the last month hauling building material upriver on my trapline, in the hopes of getting a cabin up this winter. Luckily my son followed my footsteps and became a carpenter, and two of my daughters also married carpenters. So I told the boys if they wanted in the will they needed to give the old man a couple days of their time. And that's what they gave me - 48 hours. Here's how those hour's unfolded.

Our first challenge was arriving safely as we came upon two moose on the river. Keeping in mind the justified video I was in fear of my life and nearly dropped them both. however I pulled myself together and managed to get around them.




When we arrived on site we cleared off the building site and got going on the floor system. I designed a two section floor as it's easier to haul the material. This cabin is 16' x 16' so each floor section is made with 2 x 6 x 8' floor joists. I sheathed the underside with 3/8" plywood and the topside with 1/2" plywood.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 01:39 AM







After joining the two sections we elevated them with 2x4's and leveled them off. Next we dug down to the grade in 15 spots for our foundation posts.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 01:49 AM

For a foundation I doubled up a couple 2x6's- 16 ' long to make pressure treated beams to rest the floor system on with 4x4 posts down to the ground.






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 01:55 AM

After getting the foundation squared away we insulated the floor and started sheathing it. Once sheathed we started wall framing.




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:01 AM




By end of the first day we had two walls framed and standing…a good days work

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:15 AM




Our view from the front window next morning




We started on the end walls, which are rake walls, meaning they have a slope built in plus a beam pocket for my roof beam, a triple laminated 2x6.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:20 AM

Once the rear wall was up we framed up the last wall, the view side, complete with two large windows









Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:31 AM



I hoarded five sheets of plywood that I had stained at home to use on the front and I think it looks pretty good once it's all sheathed up.

Now that the walls are up its time for the rafters

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:41 AM










By 4 pm the rafters complete with overhangs is completed.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 02:53 AM

After installing the balance of windows and doors it was time to get a roof on. My plan is to put a metal roof on but I still need to get the material upriver. So we double tarped and strapped the roof for now. When I put the metal roofing on I will leave the tarps down. They help kill some of the rain noise on a metal roof.





Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:04 AM

By nightfall the cabin was closed in and tight.












We put in 18 hours of total building time or 72 hours total with four guys. Man those boys are hard workers and really know how to put things together. I forgot to mention the air tools froze up day one even under a heated tarp so everything was old school hand nailed.
Posted By: Deerhuntin

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:05 AM

Great pictures! I like like it!
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:07 AM

Nice job,and fast too.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:11 AM

Pretty impressive Brian. You guys do it right! You dont have enough snow for those moose to give you problems! Once it gets 5 to 6 feet though look out! You can bring that crew north just anytime you want wink Any idea of total cost sans labour??
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:13 AM





Here's the cabin site, looking back down river. I had a fire sweep through a few years ago. Picked a few horse pack boxes full of morels afterwards.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:19 AM

Is that your "Willmore" line? Looks like prime marten country! What kind of leases do you need to put up a cabin?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:20 AM

Hey Brian I just noticed the stove......where did you get that? Is it for sale smile ?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 03:28 AM

Not quite in Willmore Yukon but within 10km of border. It's on my RFMA so cabins are allowed for trapline use. I took 15 years to pick this location, it's a hub. Should have good marten numbers but hasn't to date. A bit of a mystery but the population is slowly increasing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 04:24 AM

I've keep material from construction jobs and so do the boys but I have a couple grand into it. The stove is sweet for sure. I bought it at a trapping rendevouzs silent auction years ago and have been saving it for the right spot. heavy little cast iron job with a nice oven. I love cooking on wood
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 04:30 AM




Of course we couldn't get all that work done without our support staff. My wife and a few of the grandkids hung out at the lodge and kept the cabins warm and the supper hot. They even made me some outside artwork



Posted By: smalltimetrapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 04:53 AM

Nice job, looks good! Looks like a nice playground you have for yourself there, bushman. How long is your line?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 06:05 PM

Not sure about the playground part, lot of work so far. But like us all I wouldn't trade it for the world. 350 square miles
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 06:15 PM

Pretty nice set-up Brian. It's nice to see you getting the entire clan involved, you are teaching those boys & your grandkids more than you will ever realize. I see stories like this and it gives me hope for the future.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 07:18 PM

It's kind of ironic though Yukon as I trap to be alone. I prefer to go solo and work at my own pace and do my own thing. I find it very peaceful to know I'm the only guy for miles around. But it's great to bring the odd guest along and experience the trapline through their eyes, plus the usual buddies who'll come for their "annual" trip.

I never dragged my kids onto the trapline as my Pa forced me to be a hockey kid, his passion, until I was 7 and refused to skate anymore. I figured they'd come to it if they had the passion. But we have always spent significant time in the bush as a family and they snowmobiled and tobboganed while I ran traps. It worked as they're all into bringing their families out to the line and the grandson seems quite taken with trapping





plus my 16 year old granddaughter skins martens!


Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 07:34 PM

Very nice construction there Brian. Will watch for more pictures once everything is set up and you settle in next winter. Great view of the river. Is it accessible by boat in the summer or fall.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/09/14 09:34 PM

Barely winter accessable Ron. I wish my seasons were 30 days longer as I can't even access to mid January some years. I can get their with our horses though or a long long day hike. We plan to ride out and finish it off this summer.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 12:56 AM

Should not have much vandalism there Brian. smile Worst scenario, heaven forbid is wildfire. Fireproof the area and perhaps a fire break out about 40 or 50 meters from the cabin. I can coach you on fire proofing and fire breaks if you need information.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 01:52 AM

Sure Ron what steps do you take to fireproof your cabin. I've had some great advice from our local forestry folks but am interested in what you'd recommend
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 02:42 AM

We trim all the tree branches up about 6 feet, and keep the underbrush cleaned out.
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 04:28 AM

Very cool to see a cabin go up so quick!!
Love the snowmen!! Congrats on a job well done!!
Posted By: nooksack

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 05:02 AM

Bushman, Nice quick cabin. Are your posts sitting on anything? What is the soil like?
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 01:49 PM

Great pics on the cabin build, man that looks like fun.
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 02:33 PM

Thats a very nice cabin! I dream of doing the same thing one day, thanks for sharing the pics
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 05:16 PM

I've had good luck building on grade, winter or summer. This is a well drained pine ridge so there should be little movement. But recognizing it is winter I've left myself plenty of room to get under the cabin. I will use a hydraulic jack if needed to fine tune the level of the cabin but I suspect it will be ok.

Thanks for the comments gents.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Sure Ron what steps do you take to fireproof your cabin. I've had some great advice from our local forestry folks but am interested in what you'd recommend


First step is to clear the trees within a reasonable distance of the cabin. Not a big clearing as such, maybe out a tree length from the cabin, this also protects you cabin from blow down trees . Then as Yukon mentioned prune the branches up on the trees all around the site. Clean up and burn all the ground debris out about 100 feet in all directions, make it park like. You can scarify the ground around the cabin with a rake and then seed it to clover which greens the area up. Keep your wood pile and other combustibles that will start fire from sparks away from the cabin. Out from your pruned area cut a fire guard about 12 feet wide clear of all trees and debris. If there is a spot close by that is a bit of a clearing clean it out for a helicopter to land in case there is a wildfire in the area. Fire crews are now set up with sprinkler systems to protect structures, but only if accessible. Your fire break is an opportunity for the fire crews to scarify a guard to mineral soil and do a burn off. Fire proofing properly is a lot of extra work and ongoing but may pay dividends in the future if you are in a high risk area. That heli spot may serve as medical evac spot, heaven forbid you should ever need that.

What I describe is ideal but any variation of fire proofing may help save your cabin from wildfire should one happen in your area.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 07:16 PM

Thanks Ron. I have a bit of experience with wild fires unfortunately. twice we've had the sprinklers setup on the Lodge by forestry. They were awesome. Both times we dodged the bullet. One wildfire burnt behind this location about a 1/2 mile away so perhaps it may head off any fires. I'd hate to lose it after all this work. I have a natural chopper landing spot and actually was just in communication with a local company. i'm thinking of slinging a final load into the site in the event I lose my river ice. I've gone from -30 to + 10 in a matter of days.
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/10/14 09:51 PM

nice! reminds me of our cabin building a year ago. dont take long with a couple of hard working guys.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/14 04:53 AM

Heading back upriver tomorrow to the cabin site. Weather has been pretty warm but cooler conditions for a week at least. I hope to finish setting up stove and securing cabin for the summer. I also have a lot of trail cameras out to pick up. Just about time for boar grizzlies to start wandering around so might have some pictures, we'll see.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/14 04:55 AM




Something like this! Not my picture but supposed to be a local one.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/14 05:49 AM

Dang, that trail cam pic got my attention!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/14 06:24 AM

Mine too! Wow. Hope he is not hanging around the new cabin.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/14 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: trapper ron
Originally Posted By: Bushman
Sure Ron what steps do you take to fireproof your cabin. I've had some great advice from our local forestry folks but am interested in what you'd recommend


First step is to clear the trees within a reasonable distance of the cabin. Not a big clearing as such, maybe out a tree length from the cabin, this also protects you cabin from blow down trees . Then as Yukon mentioned prune the branches up on the trees all around the site. Clean up and burn all the ground debris out about 100 feet in all directions, make it park like. You can scarify the ground around the cabin with a rake and then seed it to clover which greens the area up. Keep your wood pile and other combustibles that will start fire from sparks away from the cabin. Out from your pruned area cut a fire guard about 12 feet wide clear of all trees and debris. If there is a spot close by that is a bit of a clearing clean it out for a helicopter to land in case there is a wildfire in the area. Fire crews are now set up with sprinkler systems to protect structures, but only if accessible. Your fire break is an opportunity for the fire crews to scarify a guard to mineral soil and do a burn off. Fire proofing properly is a lot of extra work and ongoing but may pay dividends in the future if you are in a high risk area. That heli spot may serve as medical evac spot, heaven forbid you should ever need that.

What I describe is ideal but any variation of fire proofing may help save your cabin from wildfire should one happen in your area.
don't forget to make sure you have a tin roof on your cabin, I know most people do but I have seen some that don't shingles and hot embers don't mix.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 03:38 PM

Another trip in under tougher conditions. Very warm weather for a week or so and the river has opened up again. Doesn't take long to figure out what type of day you might have






But the wolves were having better luck. Chased a deer down to the ice and made short work of it.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 03:43 PM

Takes more than open water to stop this expedition so back into the bush for a rougher 10 mile overland portion to avoid the open leads.







The mountains are funny. Skinny snow in some places yet several feet still as I climb in elevation
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 03:48 PM

My goal for this trip is too get more material in but more importantly to get my film partner upriver and drop him off for a month. We're looking for more wolverine film plus anything elese we can get. He's a ways past the cabin setup in our blinds but the cabin will be a safe sanctuary should the weather turn or I have to extract him with a chopper. Typically he holes up in the blind for four days at a time and then comes out to recharge for a night. And i thought i was a patient hunter (not!)

We were encouraged to see lots of fresh wolverine sign. A nice fresh urine post

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 03:56 PM

It took a bit longer than usual but we arrived at new cabin site and got to work. I finished up the insulation and vapor barrier, installed stove, put more strapping on roof, setup out-house, rebaited camera sites with beaver carcasses, and then dumped my partner and left.












It was a busy 24 hours. Now I leave him there alone until April 1 and hope for some magic.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 04:00 PM

Looking good! What sort of siding are you going to use?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 04:01 PM

Great pictures Brian. Did you have those Northern Sled Works tobaggons shipped down or is there a dealer in GP?? Walter is in the hospital, you might want to go see him.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 04:05 PM

AV - Metal siding for walls and roof material. Maybe 1/2 log on front. By the way i've built log canins as well. My issue is its's almost impossible to keep them mice free. These back country cabins may not be used for a year at a time and i like them clean when i come in. I sheet bottom of floor system with 3/8" plywood and that fixes them good.

I'm going to see what weather does and if it is still cold enough I will haul myself, if not i'm thinking of dropping a load with a chopper as I'll need one to get my partner out anyways.

What are you guys using on your exteriors? Porcupines and bears are our challenges.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 04:16 PM

I love metal, myself. Almost maintenance-free.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 04:32 PM

Yukon - Sorry to hear about Walter, just passed his ranch yesterday, I'm down in Abbotsford BC today. I will see him when I go back for sure.

Did you ever go on his trapline? Here's a story I bet you can relate to if you know his son Travis. We go hunting on their trapline chasing elk, using their argo. We leave their cabin early in the morning and drive for an hour twisting and turning through that maze of trails down there. Get to the "hot spot" and split up to look for sign. All of a sudden a deluge opens up and rain falls like a biblical story. I hunker down under a huge spruce and am pretty dry waiting for the rain to stop…but it doesn't. After half an hour I figure I better start a fire while the branches of the spruce were still dry and I get me a toasty little blaze going under the spruce. After a couple of hours of this I hear the argo off in the distance. Awesome travis is coming to get me, after all he sent me it this direction and knows where I am.

Gee the bush is sure funny as it sounds like he's driving away. Yup he took off and drove back to the cabin and left me there. After another hour the rain stops and it's actually sunny and getting hot. Cool, now travis will come get me. By three oclock I figure I'm on my own and better figure out how to get out of there. But is Grey sky coming in, new country, rain has not only pounded down all the grass and erased tracks but is also lying in the trail in huge ponds.

This is pre-gps and it was grey when I came in so was a bit fuzzy on directions. But I had a compass and the road in was west so one way or the other I was getting out. I was relieved to cut a fresh argo track and follow it back to the cabin, soaked from the neck down. There stood the cabin with smoke puffing the chimney, looking like a sanctuary. I open the door and there lay Travis sprawled on the couch, mouth ajar, snoring. I woke him up, rest of story censored.

I have 5 Northern Sled Work tobbogans showing up on Sunday in GP. That guy should be paying me commissions ( Right Dave? ) He treated me good and makes good product. I'm not as keen on the hitch system on the big loads. Anyone beef the hitch up with aluminum tubbing so you could back up with heavy loads? I'm 1000+ on some of these.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 05:06 PM

Funny story Brian, and I do get it!! No never been on Walts line. Northway made my sled, ( it is very similar to the Northern Sled ) he builds them with a great hitch.....Metal.....will try to post pictures. Yes you should be getting a commission. Sounds like you're moving a lot of product.

I agree on the cabins.....I like mine mouse proof as well.....impossible with logs. Like the outhouse too, I assume it was prefabbed?? I have seen guys use that newspaper tin halfway up the outside walls to deter porkys.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/14 06:38 PM

Really enjoying this journal Brian. Last comments reminds me that I need to cover the plywood on my with something. Been lucky so far, two winters ago has a porky visit. The chewed high up on several if the pine at camp but did not touch any plywood.

Keep the pictures coming as you progress. Sending the tin in by helicopter sling will be fun for the pilot. It's like trying to tow a sail. Our son says when he slings plywood he likes to have other materials with it for added weight to stabilize the sling.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/23/14 12:08 AM

Great journal, appreciate the conditions similar to mine. Cabin is looking very comfortable. Why do you put your stove pipe out the end wall instead of thru the roof? Seems like more work and more hazard to put the two 90 degree bends in the pipe.
As for beefing up the hitch, I have run another piece of 1/2" UMHW over the top of the tongue as a stiffner (4"X24"). Just bolted it on as an overlay. Worked great on my first sled I built and only used 3/8" UMHW for the tongue.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/23/14 01:16 AM

Good advice on the hitch AK. I agree conditions are similar, which spurred my earlier comment to you " you can ride the river with me anytime" , offer stands.

The wall chimney exit design is grizzly and pack rat protection. they get on the roof and pick away at the edge until they crawl through. If you notice all my windows and doors are pretty high and before I'm down will be shuttered just for the bears but the packrats are almost more of a issue. they often crawl in through roof jacks but walls are more difficult. i'm also not penetrating my attic space which will be vented and needs to be as cool as possible, chimneys add heat .
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/23/14 02:47 AM

Here is a picture of the hitch Northway builds.....there are two heavy stiffeners on the underside as well.....very tough hitch!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/23/14 03:39 PM

Looks similiar to hitch I have. You like the pinto hitch? too much slop for me with heavy loads and punched a hole in my snow flap pushing forward. I like a pin and I like the heavy duty block / pin system on the Alaska's

I'd like to see more of Northways product, these guys got me all jacked up on the siglins / crossfox, and i haven't regreted it yet. They're starting to get some attention from the sled heads in my area also, lots of questions at gas pumps.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/23/14 04:33 PM

Yea I like the pintle hitch.....the one in the picture is a clevis to adapt the pintle to a regular hitch...on my big sled I have the pintle.
Posted By: Dunvegan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/14 03:52 AM

Hello Brian what do you use to finish the flooring in your cabins? We were at a cabin last weekend that had lamanite it was slippery and was dirty all the time . It did clean up well but i really dont want to be scrubing the floor all the time? Also with the cabin being used winter and summer cold and hot i am worried about its durabilty?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/14 10:28 PM

Hard to beat laminate. I've had it down in heavy traffic areas for several years in some cabins and it stands up and cleans up well. I like cork floor if only I could get it cheap, warm and durable. Painted plywood is always an option. Don't use peel and stick floor tiles as they come off over time it seems.

I has lino down in one cabin that got trashed by a bear so bad that I just rolled it up with all the ketchup, soya, mustard, syrup, ect. still on it. That was kind of handy.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/25/14 02:42 AM

If you didn't have all that food on the floor, the bear would have left it alone! smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/25/14 02:32 PM

I should have thought of that AV. Actually it was ugly. Bear chewed through a frame wall. Started where the propane line went through cabin wall and picked away until it got in. Pulled the kitchen cabinets off wall and trashed insdie of cabin. Finally fixed it with a 330 with safeties on and a can of bear spray coated in syrup. Great plan except bear spray should have been left outside of the cabin, not in. Does give a nice orange hue to the walls though and my sinus's cleaned out everythime I entered the cabin for the next couple years. that crap lingers on.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/25/14 04:09 PM

Relative to flooring. My camp is painted with Porch & Floor enamel (grey) and it is very hard to keep clean. We thought about the laminate but were told it would swell with water (snow) on the floor from our boots. It would sure be easy to keep clean though with a Swiffer mop. The advantage to a painted floor is that it dries very quickly when you track snow in.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/26/14 04:36 PM

Ron I've had it down in four cabins for almost five years. Edges can lift slightly like a 1/16" if right in front of door without entrance matt. It holds up and is cheap. you can see it down here on a cabin floor that is like a roller coaster.







Another advantage of laminate is that it conforms to real crooked floors. The underlay provides another layer of warmth as well. Laminate is a cold floor but unless you go with rugs that's always an issue. But I've been thinking of cork tiles if there was a way to waterproof them better. Very warm and you can get 24" tiles, so easy to pack to remote cabins.
Posted By: Malukchuk

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/26/14 04:54 PM

Bushman,
Heres another idea for you. Take some foam board and nail it to the bottom of the underside of the floor if you can. 1" or 1"1/2 of foam makes a big difference in keeping your floor warm. They make button cap nails that work great for this. This also reduces wind blowing through any cracks underneath.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/27/14 04:37 AM

My floor is sealed on the underside of joists with 3/8" plywood then insulated with r-20 fiberglass and sealed on top side with 1/2" plywood. I like the rigid insulation for attic tight spots though. it's expensive stuff
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/08/14 01:07 PM

I've returned from what might be my last trip upriver on a snowmobile. Weather is in the + temps now and while it takes a while for winter to let go... it's started now.

I hauled in all my metal roofing and pine boards for my interior cabin finish. Once again my son stepped up and helped get the roof on. I also put a coat of stain on, hope it dries by May! I used metal roof panels to skirt the cabin and I like how it finished it off. My next trip in will probably be on foot or horse. I'm pretty pleased to have started hauling material in Feb and have a cabin almost completed.






Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/08/14 01:18 PM

Looking good, neat idea with the tin. Winter is starting to let go. Is it a long hike in there come summer?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/08/14 01:25 PM

An all day hike from my Lodge. Horse trails only for now but I have some ideas. Really it's only for winter use but I do ride through the area while we're trekking around so it'll be a good way spot. Notice my new 8' toboggan? I have a 6'-8'-10' now and feel like the Alaskan sled king. I heartily endorse those toboggans and every stick of this cabin was transported via them.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/08/14 11:47 PM




A wolf didn't like my trail cam. Chewed it up and dropped it 40 yds from original site. Lucky to find it I guess.
Posted By: Sleepycreek4.5

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/09/14 01:05 AM

I would like to see the video of the cam getting "removed". smile
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/09/14 05:42 AM

Well done Bushman, projects go together well when ya got a good group of workers. Kinda hard to find them anymore. Not many people think that working and building a cabin in the bush is fun. The rewards for a little hard work are reaped for years. Thanks for the play by play this season. Would love to take you up on your offer for a ride a long but kinda hard to leave here during the season. It's against my religion to leave my post from August thru winter til 2nd week of June. Hunting season then trapping followed by spring bear, dang, that don't leave a lot of time for much else and wouldn't have it any other way.
I need to invest in a few of those trail cameras, that looks like fun. Have a great summer. JR
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/09/14 09:25 PM

I hear you on the labor AK, lucky my son shares my work ethic, and my daughters didn't marry lazy guys. Just had a sat call from my film partner. He got two black wolves on film today interacting with ravens. Probably one of them chewed the camera. I've got some pictures of them somewhere, I'll dig them up
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/13/14 02:58 AM

Off to the mountains to retrieve my partner. He's spent 27 days in the field, most of them in a blind. He's had an interesting few days. He's been set up over a moose carcass down on a river flat. At first two back wolves were hitting it, and one of them was bold. He came out of blind and met wolf on trail. It just stood and looked at him and slowly walked off. Next day he looked out blind and could see it sleeping beside the trail. Hmmm how do you say lunch? Yes he's packing heat and bear spray.

Next the whole pack came in and has been working the carcass hard. He got some interesting interaction between the wolves and ravens. Actually he has footage of ravens harassing wolverines, eagles, coyote, and fox. They think they're the boss.

I'm leaving at 4 am to try and get him out in a hard freeze. Pretty warm the last week and he tells me the ice is opened up. Stay tuned for a full report and some pics.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/13/14 03:18 AM

That sounds amazing. I hope we can see a few pics smile. Good luck with the water skipping!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/13/14 03:26 AM

Can't wait!!
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/13/14 05:08 AM

Stay safe !
Posted By: mad_mike

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/13/14 05:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
He got some interesting interaction between the wolves and ravens. Actually he has footage of ravens harassing wolverines, eagles, coyote, and fox. They think they're the boss.

They are smarter than any of the others you mentioned, IMO.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:24 AM




As expected the ice was skinny




And the snow was skinnier in places
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:29 AM




Not the only one out and about
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:32 AM



Just enough ice to get by
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:42 AM

I think you need a bike with tracks or an argo,before you wreck that ski doo,lol.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:44 AM




I ended up having to cut a trail around one stretch of open water



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:49 AM




A bit of bear proofing before we left the cabin






And one last final look before we pack it in for the season
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:55 AM

Wow nothing like pushing it to the limits. Hope the footage is a payday enough to buy some new slides ;0)
Posted By: cat catcher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 04:19 AM

Good picture as usual! Is the tin over the windows enough for bears from your experience? Thanks
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 04:45 AM

Len, we got a lot of world class footage. Hopefully you'll be seeing it broadcast at some point. Got a lot of wolverine over the last month and some exceptional wolf footage over the last few days.

I've never had a bear break a double glazed window cat catcher but I sure have seen their tracks on the windows before. I hung some bleach bottle around as well.


Boco I had an argo with tracks on standby but it's a buddies and you know how that works, you borrow it and it breaks.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 01:37 PM

As part of the wolverine research project we've found a wolverine den in the boreal forest, which is a first for Alberta. Wolverine dens in the mountains have known characteristics, just below treeline, lots of fallen snags or debris, good snow depth etc.

But in the boreal the dens are a bigger mystery. So this den we've discovered is pretty important. Partner leaving tomorrow to go film it and hopefully some kits coming out the den. I was surprised to find out wolverine kits are white when they are born. The mom moves the kits pretty regular but she has a collar on so we should be able to track any new dens.




Doesn't look like much, but it's home
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 01:42 PM

That's neat, hope he gets some great pictures.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 02:42 PM

Hey Brian, seen some of the wolverine footage on sat at the High Level Ata meeting, the guys had some of their own cams out as well. That Rainbow Lake area is just crawling with wolverine.
I found it neat that the caller does not transmit when the wolverine is in the den, so everytime it stops transmiting he knows the wolverine is in the den feeding.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 03:03 PM

Matt is doing an awesome job for U of A and I'm proud our Alberta trappers are contributing so much towards the research.

Rainbow lake I'm convinced is a international corridor for animal movements. Historically it has produced big numbers of lynx and wolverines. Part of my goal is to have wolverine quota's adjusted upwards where the population can sustain itself. Like rainbow area. Neat about collar being underground and not transmitting
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/14 04:01 PM

Is that a hole in the ground Bush?A wolverine was caught incidentally this year on the trapline across the river from mine this season.2 in the Hearst area last year(100 miles west of here) and 2 in the Otter rapids area(100 miles north of here)last year also.It seems they are expanding their range south and east in the boreal forest here.
Posted By: OhioBoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/15/14 06:46 PM

Ok. I'm Jelous. Great Thread BTW!
Posted By: Kusko

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/15/14 09:18 PM

Bushman, your cabin building pictures are worth SOOO much. Thank you thank you for doing this. I'm going to build my cabin this year based on your design.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 02:51 AM

Kusko - I'm happy to help out on the cabin should you have any questions as you go along, or as you do your planning.

Boco - We're seeing some interesting trends like wolverines expanding into territory where they've never been seen, and close by industrial sites.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 03:43 AM

Boco - that's the den. there's kits inside it at the time. Partner is off tomorow to see how its looking now. It is just an opening under a tree root system.

When I think about it I'm guessing a wolverine would have a tight entrance to its den. Small enough to deter a wolf from getting in and this time of year even a bear.

Trout - I'm sure there's lot of interesting bush things to do in your area as well. I think all of us guys with access to wilderness appreciate how lucky we are. But usually we've worked for it.

Pretty soon it'll be time to go watch goats. I know an area where they have their kids and there is always interesting happenings up there.




One thing about being above treeline you can see a lot of action. One of my favorite memories is a grizzly hunting goats on a ridge across a small drainage from me. I can still see its long spring hair whipping in the wind. i got some shaky footage on my camcorder. The bear couldn't see the goats over the roll of the ridgeline and the wind was blowing their scent away. The griz missed his chance by about 200 yards.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 03:54 AM

Love your posts Brian! You live/work a very interesting life in a beautiful part of the world. Millbury sent me a copy of Alberta Outdoorsman......Loved the picture of your sled in the hole! Looked like things got a little western on that trip!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 01:18 PM

Yukon - those darn northern sled works toboggan slide right out of holes. The curved nose and hitch design don't get hung up on the ice as you are yanking it out...sweet. Another trapperman discovery so thanks guys. I think a lot of us on here live interesting lives. Keep on doing so! Bears making an appearance your way yet?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 02:28 PM

Im sure they are Brian, but unfortunately Im behind the eight ball on a log cabin Im building for a guy so havent gotten out in the woods.
Posted By: Buzzard

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 08:19 PM

Again........a huge thank you , all of you guys that do these journals......excellent readin and learnin!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 09:46 PM

I'm glad there is an audience for our wilderness stories. It's kind of like going to what you think will be a boring party and finding someone there who is fascinated by your bush life, an appreciative audience so to speak.

I was telling AK Howler ( talk about hard core adventurer) that I had filmed a bull trout spawing with a small Nikon coolpix camera I was packing. I got both underwater film and photos. I just dug up this still shot. Check out this males lower jaw, think he's spawning?

This creek was four feet wide and at 6500', just at treeline, perhaps one mile from the top of the pass, which was the continental divide. The Alberta bull trout is one tough fish, but in trouble in some areas. I've seen a 18 pounder.



Posted By: Ryan McLeod

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 09:57 PM

Hey Bushman! I sure like your trail cam pics, Parks Canada has some trail cams set up in Ivavvik National Park. Check them out, just goggle parks Canada ivavvik park trail cameras! There's a few nice pics!
Posted By: Seldom

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/16/14 10:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Buzzard
Again........a huge thank you , all of you guys that do these journals......excellent readin and learnin!
X2! Yes, another huge THANK YOU to those of you who take the time to take us on your continuing saga of adventures in the bush! I'd also like to say THANK YOU to those folks on this board that also share their lives and those of their familys on Utube! Ryan and Muskrat come quickly to mind!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/17/14 09:14 PM

I'm reading a book that consists of 40 years of aboliginal photos taken by a famour photographer of the time. I like this one showing the size of a birch bark moose horn back in the day. About 1905



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/17/14 09:29 PM




Looks like we've been over compensating all these years
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/17/14 09:55 PM

http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/1/1/3263-killer-quest-dvd.html


A buddy sent me this link...interesting as we did this pilot three years ago and moved on. Now they've released it for sale
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/18/14 12:40 AM

Quote:
National Geographic joins veteran wildlife cameraman Andrew Manske and hard-nosed outdoorsman Brian Bildson as they venture into some of North America’s most remote and inhospitable regions in an attempt to capture unprecedented and extraordinarily rare footage of wolves, bison, and wolverines. Leading their team to the vast grasslands of Canada’s Northwest Territories and to a secluded “Wolf Island” off the coast of British Columbia, they encounter floods, forest fires, hurricanes, and extreme temperatures, and they battle hunger and fatigue along the way.


Hard nosed. Haha. What did you do to impress them with those attributes.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/18/14 01:32 AM

FT Since Brian writes he has to keep a lot of pictures & info to himself.....otherwise most on here would realize how tough he really is!!.....I think they used the term "hard nosed" as a way of describing his toughness........He is one tough hombre, and has more experience in the woods than any two of us combined.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/18/14 02:32 AM

Well said Yukon. Been following Brian for a long time on here. Back when trappeman just got started in the 90's. Your right about that he is as knowledgable as they come in this business and I am sure many more. Was just curious to pull out another fun story from him. ;0)
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/18/14 02:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Family Trapper
Well said Yukon. Been following Brian for a long time on here. Back when trappeman just got started in the 90's. Your right about that he is as knowledgable as they come in this business and I am sure many more. Was just curious to pull out another fun story from him. ;0)


Well I know for a fact he has been encouraged to write a book.......I hope he slows down enough to get it done cause I would sure buy it!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/18/14 05:08 AM

Thanks guys, your comments means something to me. Even if I did have to pay you.

I will tell the story behind this shoot someday but I'm saving it until I'm out of the business. I've already ruffled some feathers. But here's a few shots from the shoot




The cameramen loved the bugs



But the cineflex operator was ok while in the air. He can film a close up on a wolf at half a mile away. The cineflex operator did all the car chase scenes for latest James Bond movies. He only worked when a wolf pack was active so he was going stir crazy and flagging down passing aboriginal fishermen trying to buy cigarettes, he had quit years ago.





We used a lot of different boats
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/20/14 02:44 PM

This is the time of year we start to see bears. I have both black and grizzly. I'd like to settle a question I have and maybe you guys can help.

Have you seen the base of conifer trees where bears have bit back the bark at the base of the tree and peeled it upwards? The white cambium layer of the bark is always scratched in a downwards clawing pattern. I believe the bears do it to access sap in the spring but is this grizzly behaviour, black bear, or both?

I don't remember seeing this behaviour in the NWT where there are black bears only but I may have just missed it. Anyone got an opinion ( dumb question) ?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/20/14 03:59 PM

I know black bears do it a lot. Grizzlies might, but I havent seen evidence of it at the higher elevation they frequent in the spring....
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/20/14 04:02 PM

I read a book many years ago about a guy in Washington state that was hired by timber companies to kill black bears (by the hundreds) because they killed trees by peeling the bark to get at the cambrium layer, alledgedly to eat it. I have seen countless trees that have been clawed year after year, but can't think of ever seeing the trees de-barked in the manner you describe. (We, too, have both varieties of bears).
Posted By: Dragger

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/20/14 07:27 PM

Originally Posted By: alaska viking
I read a book many years ago about a guy in Washington state that was hired by timber companies to kill black bears (by the hundreds) because they killed trees by peeling the bark to get at the cambrium layer,


Are you talking about the guy that used the 25-35 for shooting black bears back in the 30s and 40s? Fred Seals was his name I think? Died in the late 80s after an article was published about him in Outdoor life I believe.
Posted By: Castor Gitter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/21/14 02:38 AM

You are talking about Ralph Flowers. I met him not too long before he passed, great guy. Wrote several books. lived on the peninsula out of Aberdeen. Snared, used hounds, and still hunted them. The blackies were very ravenous in the spring when they came out of hibernation and went after the nice young trees. I believe he said as many as 40-60 a day were girdled by single adult bears. The thought was that the mass clear cutting changed the habitat enough that when the regrowth reached a certain age that the bears easiest and most common food source was the cambium layer in the conifers.

But to address the question all I can add is that black bear for certain do it, Grizz I'm not certain.... Honestly I can't see why they wouldn't as well but who knows...
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/21/14 03:59 PM

These trees are not young ones, but rather mature spruce usually. For sure it could be the cambium layer the bear is after as the claw marks run vertical down the trunk, perhaps in a stripping motion. I have a mix of both bears year round so I can't discriminate based on spring bear usage. If it is a black bear exclusive food it would be one of the few foods that both bear species don't exploit when found in the same area.

What about rub trees? Since I started using trail cams several years back I've come to the conclusion these rub trees are super good spots to intercept all types of animals. I've also started watching for them with more open eyes and keep on discovering more of them. I find that bears, lynx, wolverines, frequently use their own rub trees. But these trees are visited by almost anything passing by, moose, marten, fisher, canids, etc. I'd like to do a documentary on them. They are kind of like the animal kingdom email.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/21/14 04:45 PM

Bear rubs have always interested me. On one trip with a biologist he put a camera up near one, and we did get pictures of lots of critters. I have wondered for years why biologists dont use them as hair traps instead of the manmade ones that shy bears will aviod......Last spring I lost count of the bear trees in one 20km stretch.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/21/14 09:03 PM

I noticed that when I walked my trapline a couple years ago. There were bear rub trees every 5 to 600 yards. Thought I should have seen a bear. Learned not to let your lure touch your marten poles. The bears will carry them off. Found a couple 30 to 50 yards from original location and would have been near impossible to find in the winter. Would be interesting to have a camera on a rub tree.
Posted By: Castor Gitter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 03:00 AM

Is this just an occasional tree? a group of trees close together? any pattern to what you're finding? typically when they target a tree for the cambium it will be between a 10-20 yr old tree from what Ive seen and been told. Also they will go after them in groups usually, strip the bark on trees in a clump. but they will also peel some here some there when they aren't targeting them as a primary food source in spring.
Posted By: Spek Jones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 03:35 AM

This picture has both, a rub tree and a tree peeled at the base, which is pretty rare around here to find both so close together. The peeled tree is not as peeled as most of them are, but still had the tooth marks in the sap wood.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 09:09 PM



While bush wacking I found a government camera set up on a griz rub tree. You can see the hair on the tree in the foreground.




I followed griz tracks in the snow to this tree. Multi generational bear use has shaped the tree.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 09:57 PM

That is cool. Dang a guy learns new things on here everyday.
Posted By: nooksack

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 11:07 PM

Where I trap there are dozens upon dozens of rub trees. Some have prints packed into the forest floor that are a up to several inches deep. I used to think that must have taken a long time but I believe it just takes a lot of bears now. I was just in there a few weeks ago on foot and saw the same deep prints going around downed trees that have been down less than two years. The rub trees on main trails are as close at 30-40 yds but most are closer to 100 yds apart roughly. This winter we had a heavy wet snow then freezing rain and a lot of the rub trees snapped off at the bite marks.

This is one that is on an island at a log jam. Interesting as it is in the middle of the river. They must be using the log jam to cross during the high water months. I am 6' 2" and was standing on the snow reaching as high as I could for the first pic. and I don't have small hands either. This tree is different as it is bigger than almost every rub tree I have seen in that drainage. I have seen a few other big rub trees. Also it does not have the bite marks that are also on most all rubs around here.

Another interesting thing I have noticed with brown bears is they will improve their trail by snapping off brush and trees that impede progress. With enough bears the trails are down right comfortable for walking.




Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/14 11:56 PM

I've seen trees like that in SE. I don't recall ever seeing a rub tree specifically, but trees where bears appeared to be marking their boundaries by reaching up as high as they could and raking the tree; he who can reach the highest is the biggest seemed to be the message they were trying to get across.
Posted By: Spek Jones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 12:39 AM

More brown bear tree's.







Some rub trees etc in use:










Black bears always check them out, and they use them some too:


Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 01:15 AM

Cool pictures Spek.

Aknative Ive never bought into the territory marking.....bears bite/claw the trees in the spring to get the sap running, then rub their winter coats.....any bear that happens along will use them. Ive also seen 4 big boars in the same berry patch.....
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 04:24 AM

Yukon I think this sequence from an Alberta rub tree illustrates your point. Quite a list of characters visiting the tree



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AihvuZiDhsg

Spek - Gary Shelton (?) wrote a pretty good book about grizzlies. He claims they'll often establish a rub tree in close proximity to a new man made structure, like cabin. Your photos above almost seem to support that if those were new rub trees.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 06:02 AM

That video is always a hoot!

Originally Posted By: yukon254
Cool pictures Spek.

Aknative Ive never bought into the territory marking.....bears bite/claw the trees in the spring to get the sap running, then rub their winter coats.....any bear that happens along will use them. Ive also seen 4 big boars in the same berry patch.....


I wasn't sure, but it seemed to jive in my head at the time.
Posted By: Spek Jones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 07:30 AM

Thanks Yukon.

It's pretty common here for them to hang around a remote cabin or tent frame. They have chewed the cabin walls just like they do their rub trees.
Back when I was using this tent frame a lot in the '70's and on up into the '90's the bears never messed with it much. Now, they spend a lot of time around it and have several rub trees within a short distance of it.

But yeah, I don't think the rub trees are a territorial thing. Pictures from trail cameras I've had out often shows as many as 15 or 20 different bears using the same rub tree within a period of a couple of months. It's things like this trail through the yard that I take as a "no trespassing" sign. When they make a trail like this in a matter of a few hours in a place where there was no trail before, I think they are trying to tell you something.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/14 02:37 PM

Man they must have really been twisting their feet Spek, showing you who is boss.



I spent the day reviewing some of our footage captured over the last 45 days in the field. Sorry I can't share that film gold at this point but I do have a few screen shots I took with my phone to share





We had a lot of wolf action over the last week or so. The two youngest members of the pack hung around the most. One of them had a significant wound on one leg. Perhaps a war wound from breeding season.





We got a lot of wolverine footage and multiple individuals. This one ended up being named shaggy.






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/24/14 02:17 AM

The research team was able to find den sites by way of the collar downloads. We put a trail cam up and captured a female exiting. This shot shows her butt and the den hole.


Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/24/14 03:20 AM

Awesome. They must have a den site picked out in the fall before the snow and freeze. Very cool stuff Brian
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/24/14 04:42 AM

Len - That den had a couple of kits in it when they found it. But she moved them after a week or so. they followed the collar signal to a site about 2 miles away. It is a an area about 1/2 mile square full of blown down timber with the root balls sticking up. And it was full of tracks and pounded trails and more dens sites. They found several dens, all empty. They also found a huge toilet site where there was fresh scat and very old scat scattered about, about 20 yards across. The collar doesn't send a readable signal when the female is in the den so they couldn't pinpoint her location, as of last weekend anyways. The more we learn the less we know.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/28/14 12:59 AM





Whitey Lives! The albino squirrel has resurfaced at my home place. Good to see the little fellow survived the winter. I noticed he's pretty quiet, perhaps compensating for standing out so much?
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/28/14 02:39 AM

That's a cool pet.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/01/14 03:39 PM

Man this time of year is my least favorite. Spring conditions make it tough to mountain travel as I get rock, snow, ice, gravel, creek, all in one mile of trail. All I can do is plan ahead for summer. We're looking at several different routes this year for our horse packing trips and a buddy and I are already making plans for a sheep hunt in late August. in the meantime here's a few pics from previous expeditions into the hills.








Posted By: Malukchuk

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/01/14 05:26 PM

great pictures !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 01:49 AM




View from my back window a few days ago
Posted By: yukonjeff

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 02:09 AM

That's some awesome looking country and great shots!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 05:28 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 05:33 AM






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 05:35 AM







Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 05:46 AM

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/caribou-adrift-as-ice-breaks-up-near-old-crow-yukon-1.2636302

check this out
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 05:58 AM

Wow never saw that many at one time. New Alaskan recruits.
Posted By: yukonjeff

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/14 06:03 AM

We watch moose go by on the ice almost every year here during breakup they sometimes fall through and never come up again.

I think most don't make to shore that ice grinding is pretty hard on em.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 02:14 AM

I went out a few days ago and set up a blind on a Sharptail Lek. I went out with my wife this morning at 5 am and watched the show. We had dozens of males displaying and scrapping 25 feet in front of us. Another great show…courtesy of Mother Nature


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 02:17 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 02:23 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 02:24 AM





Some serious scrapping going on. They appear to use their feet to do battle.
Posted By: Starvalleytrappe

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 02:24 AM

Nice pics
Posted By: Thumbdweller

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 05:19 PM

Wow. Outstanding photos, Bushman. Thank you.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/12/14 11:22 PM

There was a lot of feathers flying when the males connected. Almost like [Please excuse my language... I'm an idiot] fighting
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/14 03:55 AM

Nothing like a visit to the sharptail dancing grounds. Great photos. Thank you for sharing, brings back some old memories.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/14 01:02 PM

Go make some new memories Ron they're still dancing. I'd like to bring some of the grand kids out. Apparently the males start patrolling the Lek as early as Feb and up to June.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/14 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
There was a lot of feathers flying when the males connected. Almost like [Please excuse my language... I'm an idiot] fighting


Now that filter is funny. Best I've seen in a long time, Bushman! LOL!!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/14 06:08 PM

I bet we can say they were dick fighting without protection
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/14 02:02 AM

, :D, laugh
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/14 04:56 AM

Bushman ... nice photos. I've never been able to 'shoot' Sharptails at a lek, but I
did have a grand show one Spring with Ruffed.

One of these years I'll get those Sharptails !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/14 05:31 AM

One of my film mentors Albert Karvonon started out filming ruffled grouse. He's in his 80's and just called me to tell me he's making one last film, yup, on grouse. he's been filming on the drumming log.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/14 09:01 AM

I will be fishing in Port Dick this summer. Few years ago that was a band place on here. ;0)
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/15/14 10:41 AM

I have a lek on one of my fields, the grouse keep it cleaned right off until their dancing is over. I always have a very thin late crop on that knoll. Very cool to watch though.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/15/14 01:39 PM

SK - it appears that loss of habitat, native grasses, through farming is one of the limiting factors. Good on you
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/27/14 06:46 PM

I found an active fox den last night. While setting up a trail cam a vixen stuck her head out another entrance hole and yipped at me. I hope I get some kits in action in a couple weeks.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/27/14 07:07 PM



I found this patch of fur by one entrance, any thoughts to species?
Posted By: Spek Jones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/28/14 12:44 AM

My Father-in-law farmed fox back in the 30's, and I remember him telling me that any time the females were alarmed soon after the kits were born, they would kill the kits. Just an eagle landing on the corner of the cage was usually enough to trigger that reaction. They had to be careful at feeding during this time and not allow anyone new to approach the pens, as it didn't take much out of the ordinary to cause them to kill the kits. That tuff of fur in the picture looks a lot like muskrat fur, but I wonder if it may be kit fox fur instead?
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/28/14 03:09 AM

Looks like rat fur-smell it.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/28/14 05:56 AM

its rat for sure, it was still damp, and den is close to swamp.. Farm fox might be finnicky but this isn't the first year I've met this fox. She'll be ok
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/14 05:01 PM










Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/14 05:03 PM

My friend Chuck Ratliff parted with a few more of his carvings. It's hard to get them from him as they're snapped up quick, and compete with tourist dollars. Luckily he went to school with my father-in-law. He's a retired forester and tons of good stories
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/14 05:07 PM




I have an interesting month coming up. I'm heading to Iceland this weekend, just to check it out. Only a six hour direct flight from here.

But when I get back I'm heading up to the NWT to reconnect with an old friend I haven't seen since 1987. We're jet boating out of Ft. Simpson and are doing parts of the McKenzie River and then down the Liard and up the Nahanni River. I found this picture of a hunting camp I shared with Floyd and his brother Steve. Plus my buddy Gary who I still hunt with and is coming on this trip also. Yahoo!
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/14 05:43 PM

Don't forget to look for the gold in the headless valley.
Posted By: slicktail

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/14 06:50 PM

Great pictures and storys thanks for sharing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/16/14 03:13 AM

Kind of interesting Boco that two incidents ended up with decapitated bodies over 10 years apart. We won't be going that far up river though
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/16/14 02:17 PM

That's using your head. grin
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/16/14 04:30 PM

Still enjoying all your postings and pictures. smile
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/17/14 04:17 PM

Can say that again Ron !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/19/14 09:16 PM




I definitely am not in Kansas Toto. Landed in Iceland at 1:00 am our time after 6 hour flight. Toughed it out and trying to get acclimatized to local time. Ate some whale tonight and it was very good. Excellent seafood here.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/19/14 09:39 PM

Posted By: dirt&water

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/20/14 01:09 AM

Bushman Those antler carvings are simply Fantastic. Your friend must have the patients of a saint to do such meticulous work. Thanks for sharing. :oNICK
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/22/14 11:34 PM

So this Iceland is a cool place. Whale burger on the menu plus smoked puffin, how much better can it get. Amazing landscapes and changing country every half hour it seems. On moment it seems like you are on the moon and the next you are beside a running mountain stream. Cool and overcast quite a bit but not much rain so far. Hope to get some quadding in and perhaps fishing before we leave.

I see they are flying out of Anchorage, 7 hours to Iceland.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/23/14 12:05 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/23/14 12:06 AM

Posted By: yukonjeff

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/23/14 03:09 AM

Looks like an awesome place better try some of those whale burgers and smoked puffin that sounds good !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/23/14 10:42 AM

The whale is very tasty and is a Minke whale which is far from endangered. They have some scrawny little mink, wild reindeer, fox, ptarmagin, but not much else familiar.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/28/14 02:09 PM




My only purchase in Iceland, and it's an aboriginal whalebone carving from Greenland.

Heading to the mountains, been a while. Pictures to follow
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/29/14 05:30 AM

Thanks for the updates, great pics. Seen some of Chuck's carvings when I was traveling thru Alberta in a art store a few years ago. Great work.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/05/14 05:06 AM



I snapped this photo of a Rufus hummingbird outside my cabin window



I decided to build a zipline for my Grandkids. they loved it



And of course the work never stops. My son and I cutting off a section of rotten cabin roof. We'll strap the roof and tin it now.
Posted By: Malukchuk

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/07/14 04:03 PM

wow that looks like a great place.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 04:23 AM

I've just returned from a fishing trip with some old buddies back in the NWT. Fished the McKenzie River and the Nahanni River. Outstanding time.


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 04:45 AM



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 04:47 AM





Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 05:21 PM

Ur living the life most of us can only dream about! smile
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 05:32 PM

Beautiful country-looks like you had a great time.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/12/14 06:46 PM

Trust me 357 you're living a life many can only dream of, I've seen some of your trapline adventures!

I know I am a lucky guy. Hope Lady Luck keeps shining on me because I have a lot more adventures left in me. Hope to go back in sept / oct for a traditional moose hunt with Steve, bringing my son, so he can see how his people used to live.

I heard a lot of old time stories on my trip, always centered around a place or a hunt. I treasure those as much as the scenery and fishing. Steve mentioned a place where hundreds of birch moose horns are hanging in trees around a hot moose hunting lake. He thinks some of them are over 150 years old. We also passed a knoll where hunters had watched for moose along the river for generations. We talked about going up and snooping around and seeing what we could find, arrowheads and such.

This is a beautiful world gents, enjoy it.

Tom - we sure did
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/16/14 02:18 AM








I was able to pick up some nice native work while I was up on my trip north.
Posted By: PNWTrappr

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/18/14 05:05 PM

Just got through reading all 19 pages of this thread, awesome stuff Bushman! I hope you continue posting, its fun to read and the pics are awesome!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/22/14 05:15 AM






On my trip to Nahanni I stopped at my old trapline from 1982. My old toboggan stood the test of time better than my cabin.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/22/14 07:35 PM

A story from my home town - Anyone tap birch?



When life handed him illness, he made birch syrup—and kept a tradition alive. By Ashleigh Gaul



For two weeks during springtime, every night around seven, Frederick Beaulieu’s white Windstar winds its way through the back alley dumpsters of Hay River’s Boardroom restaurant, crosses a small creek and careens into a stand of birch trees on the other side. Beaulieu’s got 40 trees tapped in this tiny wedge of forest. Going by anybody’s word, he’s the last of the Métis birch tree tappers, and that means he can tap just about anywhere he wants.

Beaulieu might not have fallen so deeply in love with the burnt-molasses taste of birch syrup if he hadn’t, he says, “been born without skin.” Growing up in a one-room cabin near Fort Resolution, his childhood eczema was so bad—he demonstrates how he could pull the sheaths of his fingertips off like thimbles every morning—his parents kept him essentially bedridden; the risk of infection was simply too high. So while his brothers and sisters learned moose hunting and beaver trapping and, later on, left for residential school in Fort Simpson, Beaulieu stayed close to the cabin. As one of his chores, he delivered firewood to the families nearby, and in payment, the ladies of the bush would feed him a plate of warm bannock drizzled with birch syrup. In the spring, it would come ladled out from a cast iron cauldron swinging over a fire, still smoking and frothing with whipped golden foam.

Beaulieu empties about six brimming half-gallon pails into two mayonnaise vats pulled from the back of the van, then strains out the early-season flies, decanting that into a five-gallon water jug. The sap’s just barely thawed it’s so early in the season. It starts to snow. With each batch of pails unloaded from the trees, Beaulieu drives the van deeper into the birch, the raspberry bushes and underbrush scraping shriller against the doors and windshield as he goes.

He skips ahead in his story, past the part where he dreamt that he killed his eczema and it mysteriously cleared; how he learned to read, write and speak English in his late teens and got his steam engineer’s certificate. He says, “I was working for the government and I was drinking too much. Getting hired and fired and hired and fired. So my cousin said, ‘Let’s go out in the bush for the spring hunt. Go out on ski-doos and come back in a boat.’”

Of course, Beaulieu didn’t know how to hunt, so he spent most of his days back at the cabin. “Reminded me of that birch syrup,” he says. “I heard so much about how it was made—you just boil it—but no one around made it anymore, so I tried it myself. I made one cup and man it was nice. Perfect. Next day I made another cup and it was good. Third day I put a cup on the fire and when I came back all I could smell was toe jam. It was coming from the pot!” He cooled it off and tasted it—“Now I know what toe jam tastes like.” He carried it back to town with him and brought it to the elders. Laughing, they said he’d harvested too late—when the buds come out, the syrup rots. “But boy, oh boy, were they happy to see that syrup,” he says, even if it was rotten.

Thirty-four springs later, Beaulieu’s harvested birch syrup near Fort Smith, Fort Resolution and Hay River, where he lives now. At his most productive, he tapped about 400 trees, travelling 160 km, round trip every day, to a large stand close to the Alberta border. He’s registered as the Thumper Creek Birch Syrup Company, but he does his accounting by his losses for each bottle, not profits. “Can’t really sell it anyways,” he shrugs. “It doesn’t work that way. You gotta give it away.”

Beaulieu lowers his pageboy cap and scans his diminutive birch stand. At 75, even with volunteers who cleared a path through Thumper Creek every year, he had to downsize. Last year, he asked the Hay River town council to let him tap in town. He boils the whole batch over four fires in a backyard littered with white vans.

“People don’t [tap] much anymore ‘cause it’s time-consuming,” he says. The light snow has become a full-fledged blizzard. It obscures the Boardroom and the highway. It’s just trees and the pails swinging on the taps. Beaulieu takes a deep breath, as if he’s a hundred miles away. “I just love it,” he says. “I’m out in the bush.”




Posted By: bairdi

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/22/14 09:33 PM

Bushman,

Great pictures. If you don't mind me asking what river is that in the picture that is flowing over the falls in the rock gorge?

Have you ever read any of the books written by RM Patterson? He wrote one titled Dangerous River that details his travels by canoe and dog team on the Nahanni River in the late 1920's. One of my favorite books of all time.

Here is a link to a reprint of it in case you haven't seen it before..... http://www.amazon.com/The-Dangerous-River-Adventure-Nahanni/dp/1894898869
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/23/14 03:47 AM

Trout river is the gorge. I've got all of Patterson's books and loved them all.
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/23/14 01:41 PM

Thanks for posting all the pics and great story. Beautiful native work as well.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 03:36 PM

Some here make birch sap wine.
Posted By: Ronaround

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 05:03 PM

here in ohio , I know a guy that makes and sells hickory syrup. I have tasted it at his sales at a flea market and it is quite good.
i guess you can make syrup out of most trees....
Posted By: Gotrek

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 06:10 PM

We make Birch, Elder and maple syrup smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 08:56 PM

I've just returned from the Alberta Trappers Rendezvous Went on for Two days and had thousands of folks through the trade show and at least 400 folks attended the banquet. I heard nothing but positive comments. I bought a hand made rug for more money than I will admit to, but I think I was setup, based on the stitchery comments.

My favorite moment was seeing this old trapper get an award. Apparently snared 15,000 squirrels in one winter. Also told a story of carving a roller for his old elan track out of a piece of birch wood back in the 70's. These guys are leaving us all too fast so listen to their stories while you have a chance.

Also met a serious collector of Hudson Bay material. Interesting items like trade rifles, knives, axes, copper pots. Ended up buying a Turkish 410 shotgun for my daughters to slaughter chickens and a Savage bolt action 30-30 in excellent shape. Lots of fun.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 09:07 PM






Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/28/14 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman






It was a real good time nice to see you again Brian, I couldn't ask for a better guy to be trapping neighbours with than old Alan I had a tear when he got his plaque. By the way Brian Just wondering how the spraying is going..... :))
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 01:43 AM

Ok you had to bring up one little mistake that will haunt me for years to come. Someone spiked my drink and somehow I became disoriented and thought the sprayer was a beaver blanket and bought it during the heat of the auction for $500. It could happen to anyone…right?
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 05:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Ok you had to bring up one little mistake that will haunt me for years to come. Someone spiked my drink and somehow I became disoriented and thought the sprayer was a beaver blanket and bought it during the heat of the auction for $500. It could happen to anyone…right?
Yup could happen to anyone lol At least you didn't buy a $6000 dollar canoe. All joking aside you guys are always very generous when it comes to supporting the ata
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 12:10 PM

I wanted that canoe bad and Bill's kids asked me to not bid on it. I laughed and told them their old man was going to have to pay the large for it, and he did!

It's time to get start to get ready for sheep hunting. A lot of guys prefer a late hunt but I like going early. We get a couple weeks of resident hunting before any non-residents competition and I have an outfitter that works my area so I like to get the jump on him. I'm doing a hike - hunt this year without horses. My buddy and I are taking a week and just hiking the hills.

I'm calling this hunt the middle-aged tour. Them mountains aren't getting amy smaller but I have lots of time. I'm paring down my gear to absolute minimum, more for the experience of doing so, then fear of the pack weight. It seems most of the crap we pack is surplus anyways so I'm doin a minimalist hunt.

I will post a few pictures of final gear and setup as I get it together.

Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 02:32 PM

Great Ram Brian! Are you headed in Hells Gate? I haven't been in there for a dozen years now at least. Miss that area. It is an awesome place
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 06:58 PM

(This word is unacceptable on Trapperman)'s Gate is some Tourism department name that has fallen out of use. Sulfur Gates is the traditional name for that area and the one in use now. It's some nice country and I shot my first sheep up that way. As for this year's destination we'll see which way the sheep winds blow us.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 07:29 PM

Yes you are correct. I have found a legal ram in every drainage from Sulpher gates all the way to Sheep Creek area. I love it in there and miss it dearly. Lots of rams but hard to find for the average guy that does not know where to look. My biggest came from the first crossing of the muddy and about 3oo yards off the main trail. Not sure if anyone even knew there were sheep that close to the smokey lol It would be about 2 miles till the nearest mountain and treed all the way

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 07:53 PM

The rams like the trees for sure. That's a nice heavy ram. I have a ewe tag for that area after sept 15th easy pack if I get lucky. It's tough to hunt the Willmore without access for horses to pack. If we get lucky my wife will ride out to meet us and bring the meat back.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 08:01 PM




Four of these 11 rams were legal. After I shot the biggest the rest of the band stood at 30 yards and watched me for 5 minutes.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/29/14 08:35 PM

Awesome picture Brian! Man oh man it gets me pumped. i wish I had time to go.
I have shot a bunch of rams in there of my own and with family. This one is my favourite. It is my first one. I was 15. Got skunked the year before and worked hard as well. I had to sleep on the mountain in a rain and sleet storm for this one with my dad. I made a lucky shot at about 300 yards straight down which now I look back and think it was a bit lucky now lol I lost the horses on the way down and had no food for 24 hrs and was sucking water off the tree branches for a drink all night long. We didn't expect to run into sheep and it was more of an exploring trip and was not ready as you can tell.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/30/14 10:24 PM

That's a great story Nube and not many can claim to have dropped one at 15! I was still working on caribou and moose at that age. I never took up sheep until 40's. Figured it was too easy if you were young so concentrated on getting out of shape to make it more challenging. My first ram was a smaller one like yours above but any legal ram is a great ram.

One of the first times I went after sheep a young band of rams came running down the slope from about a mile away to this


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/30/14 10:25 PM

By the way I'm taking the picture of the 11 rams up above, my buddy is the one pinned down. I snuck down the slope on the right and shot the ram in the meadow at 25 yards.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/31/14 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Figured it was too easy if you were young so concentrated on getting out of shape to make it more challenging.

Have you ever felt you might have over done the "getting out of shape" part of the program? I know for me old legs, lungs and a potbelly have made me earn every ram. Try hunting with an athletic, early 20's son adds to the misery for the complete experience. Lol!
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/31/14 05:42 PM

That looks like great sheep hunting! Need a packer?? Lol it's almost sheep time up here. seriously, I'd love to go on a stone hunt one day.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/31/14 09:27 PM

Them son's just make you go harder in order to give them some inspiration Rick. If they see us pushing at this age they'll do the same. My dad is 84 and can out walk a lot of younger dudes. love the guy

Stone sheep hunts are killer expensive. I'd rather have a Dall Sheep from McKenzie mountains
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/31/14 10:12 PM

I'll never afford to hunt one. The dark colored ones are beautiful. Yeah the mckenzie dall's would be a fun hunt too.
Posted By: TrappinAlaska

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/01/14 02:36 AM

Bushman...While living in AK I got to know a guy that would do 'things' just for the challenage. About every fall he'd head off to the Brooks Range with not much more than a bag of rice a pot and a piece of visqueen. The first sheep was meat for the 3-4 weeks he'd tramp and the second one was meat for home. He may have exceeded his limit by one but I never be grudged him, where he went those sheep never felt the pressure of humans. Best of luck to you this fall. I've got a 20's son in AK that I've told to be ready for a hunt in about 5 years, that way I'll be over that 40 mark!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/01/14 04:53 AM

Actually in truth I don't seek out challenges, just adventures. If I can go on an adventure and do it in comfort I'm all in. I don't need to suffer to enjoy myself but if I have to tuff it out to do something I want to do I'm willing to do so. But I must admit I sometimes question my sanity while out on a sheep hunt, until that one moment….


Don't Wake Me

I wake in the morning grey... and roll out of my sack
my neck is so stiff and I can feel every bone in my back

The clothes are still wet and my boots are feeling damp
no firewood to be found so it's one cold mountain camp

For a one fleeting moment I question myself and the chase
wondering what insanity drives a man to this lonely place

Then in one frozen moment of dawn's golden early rise
the beauty of life suddenly before my eyes lies

What had just been a grey sullen and lonely a scene
transforms to a painting so beautiful it must be a dream

Golden early light floods across the canvass of the slope
now beginning my day with warmth, good humour and hope


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/01/14 05:15 AM

Have you ever slept in a bivy sack? kind of feels like a warm up for a coffin. I also don't like mummy sleeping bags. But I'm interested in light weight gear for hunting and have found a few items I'm going to check out.

This tarp shelter sets up with one trek pole and has a zip on front that keeps the wind and rain out, weighs under a pound.







I also am checking out their packs, under 2 lbs. company is hyperlite



Posted By: Jumperzee

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/03/14 01:36 AM

Great thread Brian, thanks for taking the time to post. I was stuck in the house all day with two youngsters in 100+ degree temps. Vicarioulsy living your adventures was a fine way to pass the time! I especially liked the cabin build pics and bear tree scratching video! Keep 'em coming! Thanks--Mike
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/04/14 01:59 PM

Thanks Jump


My boy and I were out for a couple days cleaning and fixing up trail.



Nice little moose shed in creek



But the wolves got this one
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/04/14 02:05 PM



We cut 1/2 mile of new trail around a bad wet spot plus bridged three smaller creeks. I just trim out alongside my trail and cut a series of poles 8' long and throw them into the creek until I get the level I want. I finish off by throwing all the spruce boughs on top of the poles to smooth it out. I've had bridges like this last for years.




One of the bridges allowed us to bypass an area that is getting pretty washed out.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/04/14 02:11 PM

I have a few major river crossings that can cause grief. This spring my one crossing washed out so we had to build a new access. Took a winch to get up first time but we chewed away at it with a shovel and got a decent grade




We did 10 miles of trail but I'm heading back Friday for a week with horses. I'm hoping to cut an overland trail to my new cabin, as for right now I only have winter access via the frozen creek.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/04/14 07:58 PM







Just went and checked one of my trail cams. Look how puny the spike is compared to the bases on the one bull.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/05/14 12:32 AM

I'm thinking there is a lot of harvesters on this site. Who's doing the berries? I've been picking strawberries up until now but have moved onto blueberries. My wife put up a bunch of preserves this weekend and that jam is going to be good on the trapline this winter.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/08/14 05:06 AM

We just had a cougar attack locally. This attack happened about 30 miles from one of my lines. Here's the article:


A fisheries biologist is recovering after being attacked by a cougar late Tuesday evening south of Grande Prairie.

No information was available about the condition of the woman but Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development spokesperson Jamie Hanlon said the biologist, an ESRD employee, is able to communicate with hospital staff and her family.

Hanlon confirmed that a woman had been airlifted out of a camp that was compiling a fisheries sustainability index, south of Grande Prairie in the Nose Mountain area. There is no cellphone or radio reception at the camp, but calls for help were made by satellite phone.

There were seven ESRD employees in the camp at the time.

“We actually had a number of her staff or colleagues that were able to provide her with first aid until the STARS air ambulance was able to arrive on site,” Hanlon said. “On behalf of the ministry, our thoughts and best wishes are with her for a speedy recovery.”

The camp was set up solely for the indexing project, which has wrapped up, Hanlon said.

In the meantime, a team of four Fish and Wildlife officers and a houndsman are tracking the cougar. Brendan Cox, a spokesperson with the Justice and Solicitor General’s officer, said little is known about the cougar, but that it would be euthanized if found.

“They do this because it is a public safety concern. It’s established that this cougar doesn’t act in a way that we would like to see cougars act. Typically they are shy and will leave the area if a human is around.”

Cox said cougars are common in the area.

“Every situation is different but if a cougar does make contact with a human, the best thing to do is to fight back and don’t give up. Generally, people are able to fight a cougar off. Once the cougar realizes that the human isn’t a prey animal then they will likely turn away.”
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/08/14 06:23 AM

Fight back allright = blow its pumpkin off.
Posted By: goldnut

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/10/14 10:26 PM

Do most of the caribou get off the ice to land? or do they drown trying? I'm amazed at how many were on the short video.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:27 AM

I just returned from 8 days of bush wacking. Worked my poor wife like she was on contract. Luckily for me she'll do anything to open up new horse trails







I've had several burns go through my line over the last few years. Lots of raspberries growing
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:32 AM



In 10 days I'll either be on top of that mountain sheep hunting or being medivaced by chopper
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:35 AM




I had a bad section of trail where rocks and a year-round running spring caused me problems. In winter my snowmobile will spin out and in summer quads have to bounce up rock ledges. I decided to ramp it and the end result is very sweet
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:37 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:48 AM

My main mission was to cut a quad trail to my latest trapline cabin, the one I built last winter.

terrible weather to clear trail +30 celsius or 85 F but had to be done.



BEFORE
Riverside areas are the worst




AFTER

But once a new trail is cut it's just a matter or staying on top every year
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 03:52 AM



But once I hit the pine flats the going got better






And the view out my front window is worth the work to get there
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 05:38 AM

Looks like the hard work payed off.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 05:25 PM

WOW!
couple questions: What did you use to cut the trail and how many miles.
My son and I cut trails here in Idaho into our elkie areas quite often and it kicks your butt big time in 85-100 degree temps.

I'm very impressed with your wife and you for "get'n it done"
Posted By: Castor Gitter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 06:24 PM

Shall reap good benefits soon Brian. Good luck on the sheep hunt!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/17/14 07:31 PM

There's horizontal miles and then there's mountain miles. 12 from start to finish but not all new trail. My wife is a keeper…but she better be, so am I.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 02:03 AM

Awesome work there Brian. Great pictures also.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 02:42 AM

10 days till you get to that mountain. I would have to start now. Good luck.
I see Hoopy got a ram, by the way..............
Wonder if he still want's a goat. grin
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 02:47 AM

AV - its onlt 1.5 miles to the base and 2500 sq. feet vertical. Wait you're right I better start now.

Ron, if i keep hiking 20 km west I'll hit BC border. Sure like one of those Stone rams but $35 k is steep
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 04:25 AM

Me too on the Stone sheep Brian. I would trade a bighorn hunt for one if I was allowed to. I would love to get another Dall sheep as well. The last one I got was 20 years ago when I was 18. It was a blast.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 04:49 AM

Nube - my buddy rides his jet boat up the canyons in McKenzie mountains, camps overnight and drops a ram on the canyon walls next day. pretty easy dall. I'm hoping i can do a real Dall hunt yet up in the NWT but the clock is ticking.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 03:17 PM

The way you trap and hunt I think you got time lol You live a pretty active life. Wish I could join you for your sheep hunt. I haven't been out for a couple years now and it is driving me nuts. I have 94 hunters coming up this year for waterfowl hunts and that takes me till mid october. Then on the 26th I leave for Azerbaijan to hunt Tur in the mountains at 12000 ft! I guess that will have to be my sheep hunt for the year as I am out of time again.
I love the pics in your journal here. I hope to start my own journal this year now that I have a line
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 07:29 PM

Looked at Tur hunt for NZ trip I have on deck. Not a chopper hunt. Good luck in Azer...hope you don't come back all radicalized like those dudes in Calgary.

Good for you on securing your trapline. You went hard resident trapping and deserve a registered line. Look forward to your stories as the season progresses.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/18/14 08:00 PM

Its Tahr in NZ a little different than Tur. Sandi and I hunted tahr in NZ in 2006 on as well. A great time.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/19/14 05:30 AM

Yup Tahr and a Dagestan Tur are totally different animals. Rugged mountains for both though. If you want to come there is still room for 2 more lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/22/14 05:07 AM







It's go time. I've put all my gear together and thrown it in my pack to get a weight. 32 lbs without water and gun. I'm happy with that
Posted By: scootermac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/22/14 03:53 PM

Have a great hunt!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/02/14 03:10 AM



I survived my first hunt of the season. We had tough weather with rain and high winds most of the time. But there were moments of sunlight, some rainbows, and plenty of sheep, but we didn't take a ram. The only real good ram spotted was way down in the timber and moving, we didn't even try for it.

My new equipment worked well. The tarp cover system is a little light for days on end of wet weather but it kept me dry. The trick was getting out of the wind
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/02/14 03:53 AM






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/02/14 04:00 AM



That's the last time I bring socks I knitted myself






The toughest challenge was finding water. Luckily a small spring I found a few years back served us well
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/03/14 05:25 AM



signs of a grizzly passing…literally



As close as I got to a good ram




I found a bear bed in the short scrub that was sheltered from the constant winds. Decided to upgrade with a rock fireplace. Dried my hiking boots and socks out nicely.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/03/14 02:07 PM

Great pics! Thanks for posting. I was looking foreword to a sheep pic but maybe next year. Are you getting back out there for another go later on ?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/03/14 03:08 PM

Just the first attempt nube. I also have a ewe tag after the 7th. I'll be heading back for sure. I'm going after early elk with the bow right now. Somehow my previous bow bounced out of truck and is no where to be seen so picked up a new Mathews bow. Been 5 years since last bow, they keep getting smaller and faster.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/03/14 09:06 PM

In that grizz scat I think I see some of those tiny bells the tourists wear so they can get closer to take pictures. smile

Great pictures as usual Brian.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/05/14 12:37 AM

Those would be either off-the-beaten-path tourists Ron, or a bear with take out food.







My bedroom
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/05/14 03:17 PM

I see you were't paying attention in knitting class...

The weather is not treating you to well, good luck on the hunt.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/05/14 09:12 PM

Tundra - I should have brought one of those Icelandic girls home - they really knit up a storm
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/09/14 04:14 AM



I woke up to this scene this morning. It won't last but it's definitely a heads-up, winter is coming
Posted By: AKoutdoors907

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/14 12:48 AM

grin Would love to see some of that are way!
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/14 02:24 AM

I will say, you guys have a (set) staying out in areas like that with Grizzly's around. Hats off to ya. I guess when you have grown up living in an area with them it just seems like another day, but you know you have to be aware. Anyways, hope all up there have a good season and come home safe.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/14 03:36 AM

I've been zeroing in the new Bow and getting ready to go after an elk. They should cut loose after this weather breaks. I found a fresh wallow last week and set up a trail cam and a blind. Now for some time and patience to sit in it.

I just received my new Alaska #9's, thanks AK, looking good.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/14 04:26 AM

Kusko's post on stove pipes got me thinking about my own cabin project from last winter. I've now spent time out at the cabin over the summer and am pleased with the results. I've had no movement and doors and windows aren't binding, always a good sign.

The location was key as I built on a rocky point which is well drained. I made sure I had lots of pressure treated posts to share the cabin load down to the ground. The posts are sitting on a multi-layer of shingles that I placed on the ground. The shingles last for decades before breaking down and keep the bottom of my posts drier. I've used sections of rolled roofing as well. It also makes a good ground cover under cabins and helps keep mice away as there is no organic growth.

I sheathed the underside of the floor joists with 3/8" plywood, insulated floor cavity, sheathed floor from top. The cabin has been totally mice proof which is essential for me as these line cabins can be vacant for months at a time. It's tough to make a log cabin moose proof I find.

I still have to finish my interior and look forward to getting some of that done while out hunting. Pine (beetle killed) wall panelling, laminate floor, and some kitchen cabinets, bathroom/shower stall. Then call it home.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/18/14 03:01 PM

I've spent a few days kicking around chasing elk but our snow storm was followed up by hot weather, elk cooled off. I'm heading up a major river with a buddy in his jetboat on the 25th for a tent camp elk hunt. I had a buddy from Mexico return for a visit, he came to hunt camp last year and fell in love with the bush. This year he brought his family to experience it. It is a humbling experience to see the bush through their eyes, they are in awe of what we have here.






I have a few days so I'm going to concentrate of getting traps ready. I try to touch my 120's up with what ever spray paint I have kicking around. Tune the footholds, make some snares, and add chain to those new #9's I got from AK.
Posted By: Antarctica

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/19/14 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
…. they are in awe of what we have here.


So are we….

Brent
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/19/14 04:32 AM

A few years ago I had a situation at my cabins. A guy "John" was out there, who was the brother-in-law of one of my oldest friends. My buddy hated his guts but had been forced to spend time with him, so brought him out to my cabins to hunt. As we sat around playing dice things got ugly, and a pistol was pulled by John, and I had to cool things down fast. But it was obvious this guy was a loose cannon.

John's journey came to a sudden conclusion last night.

www.therockymountaingoat.com/2014/09/kinbasket-squatter-killed-in-shoot-out-with-police/

Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/19/14 07:07 PM

Was reading about this yesterday. One of our retired trappers has a cabin on the other side of Kinbasket Lake and now owned by his family. Thought this may be the cabin but now I understand it is on the road access side of the Lake. I guess he was a bad dude by the sounds of it. Not someone we needed out in the wilderness.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/19/14 08:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
A few years ago I had a situation at my cabins. A guy "John" was out there, who was the brother-in-law of one of my oldest friends. My buddy hated his guts but had been forced to spend time with him, so brought him out to my cabins to hunt. As we sat around playing dice things got ugly, and a pistol was pulled by John, and I had to cool things down fast. But it was obvious this guy was a loose cannon.

John's journey came to a sudden conclusion last night.

www.therockymountaingoat.com/2014/09/kinbasket-squatter-killed-in-shoot-out-with-police/

Sounds like he is where he belongs now.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/19/14 11:59 PM

Amen.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/14 05:16 AM



While out scouting for elk yesterday I came upon a bear den. I seem to find one every couple of years, usually in some knarly spot, just like this one. Den goes in about 7' and is about 3' high and 8' wide on the backside. It's located at the base of a steep hillside and the entrance faces east. There was a spruce tree about 20' away that had one side rubbed off, must be its scratching tree.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/14 05:20 AM



Predators seem to be doing ok. Bear - wolf - and elk tracks all in great abundance
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/14 03:37 AM



I headed upriver today with a buddy to pre-haul some gear to elk camp






We stopped to pick up some coal from a seam along the river bank
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/14 07:58 AM

What is making your photos so small? Like the larger ones better. I am getting old . ;0)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/14 02:36 PM

Slow upload Len couldn't get them to load so reduced. Elk are off to slow rut this season,too warm. Cold on Friday so hoping
For a cooler week while out hunting. Still using the Kifaru Len, which you turned me on too. But I ripped one of them last winter with heavy snow load. Is it possible to repair them do you know.

I also have been trying to buy a couple of the new Mokai kayaks which wolverine bait introduced me too on here. If I ran my businesses like that crew I'd be broke. Crap service and attitude. They promised me delivery on three different dates this year and basically told me to get stuffed when couldn't I asked for a firm date. I'm looking for a used one now.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/28/14 02:04 PM




I'm just heading out the door for my one week elk hunt. The venerable Wapiti Queen, my buddies boat, awaits me. This old girl has hauled so much game over the years it should be called the butcher boat. Here's hoping we get some meat for the winter.

Enjoy the fall
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/28/14 03:23 PM

She looks like a work horse. Good luck on the elk!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 01:22 PM

So another hunt ends. We had decent weather and a great camp setup. Ended up taking the Wapiti Queen and "The Rat"




A 12' muskrat boat that would go almost anywhere…I think I'm in love! I can't seem to be able to buy any Mokai Kayaks for love or money so I'm now shopping for one of these

My Kifaru tipi provided weather tight shelter for the week




but it sure was cold on the river coming in at night




The wolf activity put a bit of a damper on elk calling, they seemed to be everywhere. While out hunting one morning I found this




A young wolf that had been killed by a pack. I suspect a dispursing young male that wandered into another packs territory


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 01:35 PM

Although the wolves were working the elk herd I was still able to get some calling action. I had a bull with three cows going on my second night, he came down to the river but only presented himself for a flash, while the cows pranced along the shore excited by my bull calls.

On Wed. morning I got a bull going on a large river flat. It replied with four bugles and was making it's way too me. I ambushed it and dropped a nice 5x5 bull at 40 yards.



We had a nice 1/2 mile pack back to the boat but it was worth it.




The moose were really rutting, I found a couple active rut pits. My buddy decided to try his new birch moose call out in camp.



we did see a couple decent moose, but none of us were drawn this year so we had to pass them up






But every hunt must end sooner or later.


Later this week I'm heading up some real skinny water in the muskrat to test it out before actually buying one. Should make for some interesting photos.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 03:01 PM

Great pics as usual, Bushman. Thanks!
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 08:33 PM

Nice job
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 09:08 PM

Good times! Just got back from moose hunting and it looks like the wolves are still the king of the woods up here. Tracks everywhere, heard some as well. The few moose that are out there aren't making a peep for fear of being located by wolves.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 11:14 PM






We had moose action but no one was drawn for a tag. I came upon this moose rut pit by my nose, I could smell it from 20' away. A moose had just freshened it up by the smell.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 11:22 PM

Looks like a great trip, thanks for sharing
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/14 11:54 PM



It looks like a good testing ground for some of your #9's AK!
Posted By: ejf

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 02:41 AM

The pic with the fall leafs in the background. And the wake of the boat.is an awesome pic...
Posted By: Montana jake

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 03:09 AM

Very nice. Man I would love to trap there and live there. When I traveled through Whitehorse there were elk everywhere. Do they allow elk hunting now
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 03:43 AM



Our fall colours are still hanging on. My favorite time of year, and trapping will be here soon.
Posted By: smalltimetrapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 04:38 AM

Vey nice, you have a nice playground!
Posted By: mad_mike

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 04:41 AM

Nice pics of some nice country and good times. Thanks!
Posted By: yukonjeff

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 04:42 AM

Must be nice to have elk and moose I hope you can get a handle on those wolves.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/06/14 04:47 AM

Thanks for comments.

not my line Jeff, but I'll be chasing my own wolves, no lack of them
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/27/14 10:00 PM

Winter arrived here yesterday but it's been nice up until then. Spent a few days on the line getting ready. I'm putting a new tin roof on top of my old cabin. Breathing some new life into it. This cabin has really had a restoration as it was my worst one years ago. My 4 year old grand daughter started crying when I first brought her there. She wanted to go back to my other trapline cabin that she knew so well. She's 16 now and her and her Dad have their own cabin out there now.





I also started getting the wolf traps ready. Bought a case of the new #9's plus a bunch of my existing traps. Boiled them up for quite a while in the log crystals then packed them away for a few weeks until go time.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/14 02:22 AM

Good luck and be safe this season. Hope those 9's do you right. Cannot wait to follow your adventures this winter.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/14 05:25 AM

Nice photos Brian. Great adventures. Just got back from one myself. Thus the late reply to your tipi question.
ON the tipi tear. Kifaru will certainly do the job but if it were me I would just pay to have it sewn locally and then reseal the seam like you did when it was new.
I had my liner sewn this summer. Had a bit of a kindling chopping error repaired. ;0)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/14 03:27 PM

Len - stay away from axes, they know you don't like the! Make kindling with your machete maybe?

I took the tent to a local shop and they said material is too thin to sew. maybe I will check somewhere else. Have you ever put your kifaru up with a rope instead of using the pole? Should be easy and give a lot more space inside.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/14 05:56 AM

Too thin to sew? balony. You may have to use some patch material however depending on the whole. You can make that silnet material if you want to get serious.



Not sure how Kif does it. Call they will be more than helpful I am sure. Or go to the Kif forum and ask away. Some great folks there.
http://www.kifaruforums.net

I have thought about hanging the tent for sure. With the stove installed however I don't find it in the way. I use it as a hanging anchor point. I usually have multiple wires hanging off the pole to dry gloves etc. I also hang my lantern off it.


I personally sewed the attachments loops on the outside to produce a higher anchor point in order to pull out the tent at head level. And it is something I would really encourage.

Can't find a photo of it on the outside. But you can see what it does for me on the inside.
To the rear of my head you can see the pucker where it is pulled out.
I have not taken my liner out since I installed it so I sewed it right to the tent at these spots as well. Otherwise the liner is drooping and I didn't want that either. Just a regular sewing machine I got at a garage sale.
Hmm you can see the hole I had fixed too. ;0)



I used to use material clamps like shown in the second photo but got tired of them coming off.
You can see them in use here. Now their are loops at these spots at each seam if I choose to use them. Placed a little higher however.
Love them.


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/14 04:03 PM

Those are great tips Len, you always come through.

I actually could not see the hole you patched up in your head in that picture so you did a good job, the haircut however is another thing.

I love the idea of sewing the liner inside. It is a pain in the butt by the doors, I am always throwing heavy bags to base of tent to tighten it up.

I agree using the stove negates removing the tipi pole but I use the tent lots in summer and fall. My wife likes the stove 24-7 but when I travel alone I leave it out lots. I am sewing some of those exterior pull tabs on like you did as well.

Thanks sir, big help. I love this forum


Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/14 04:03 PM

Brian thanks for sharing your pictures and stories.

And Len ... looks like your having a good hair day. smile
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/14 06:47 PM

Brian, did ya end up buying a jet boat yet?

I had planned on going hunting with my outboard jet, but the river just dried right up.
want to do an elk hunt one of these years.

Good luck this season.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/30/14 04:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Those are great tips Len, you always come through.

I actually could not see the hole you patched up in your head in that picture so you did a good job, the haircut however is another thing.

I love the idea of sewing the liner inside. It is a pain in the butt by the doors, I am always throwing heavy bags to base of tent to tighten it up.

Thanks sir, big help. I love this forum


Sorry Brian I wasn't clear enough. The hole in the liner is still visible to the left of my nice hairdoo. It was the one I had sew this summer. The pucker to the right of my head is where I sewed the outside tie loops to the tent and liner. Pulls it back nice at that level. I usually pitch the tent up in close to trees on three sides. I leave some light ganion, about 15 feet or so, tied to the loops that I don't take off. I can usually then get it to a branch or tree after pitching the tent to pull it out.

I like your idea of actually sewing the liner in more along the doorway. Right now it is only attached at the loop ties.
I hope to make a small stove to use in the tent for summer and fall use. Just enough to supply heat but leave more room.

My thought for lifting the tent was to string a rope between two trees to suspend the tent from. Leaving no pole needed.
Keep me posted when you try it.

Ron I knew someone would get a kick out of that hair. Typical look after a day on the marten line and no shower for a while. ;0)
Funnier photos where that one came from. ;0)
Posted By: hum

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/01/14 10:57 PM

wow that is nice
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/03/14 02:09 PM



I took my 84 year old dad out to my cabin for a few days. Dad like to hunt deer still and the rut is on! Meanwhile I wanted to get the roof of my cabin strapped and tinned before winter hits.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/03/14 02:10 PM



I got my roof on, but Dad didn't connect with a deer. There were grizzly and cougar tracks on the flat so I think the deers were spooked a bit.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/03/14 02:34 PM








One little buck was ripping things up. Grizzly moving during a snow storm.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/03/14 03:46 PM

Lookin good Brian! Hope your packin some heat out there. Bears can be aggressive this time of year. One of our clients this year ran into you out in the sticks a few years back. I knew it was you because he said the guy had a real neat teepee tent! He was out hunting sheep in some area where ATVs are banned.....he said you were the only one who could use them in that area?? How did you manage that?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 02:07 AM

Yukon - I'm allowed to use my machines for trapline purposes but I've never hunted sheep with a quad before. There's actually very little of the Willmore Wilderness that quad access does you any good anyways. It's snowmobiles that would love to get into there. Some guys come in with machines from the BC side but pretty rare as its way back. As for the bear track as it's hunting season I was packing a 308 ,but I've been thinking it's maybe time to pack a big bore rifle on the line all season. More and more bears out there these days, which means statistically my odds of running into one of those hungry winter bears increases. My 22 caliber might be a bit light, even if the Alberta record for grizzly was shot with a 22.

Tundra - Met with a custom boat builder and he's putting together a price for a 14' "muskrat" style boat. Hoping to have a new aquatic toy of some kind next year. I've got to say the folks at Mokai kayak's sure don't go out of their way to do business with a guy. Spend my money somewhere else I guess.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 02:50 AM

Well stay safe out there Brian, really enjoy your posts, and you are right your odds of bumping into the wrong bear!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 03:23 AM






This guy was out last winter on my last run up the creek
Posted By: Team V

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 05:48 PM

Bushman are # 9 legal in Canada I did not see them on the AIHTS list
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 06:41 PM

I don't think anyone has bothered to submit them for testing?
Certified traps for wolf are not yet mandatory so if they were legal before they are still legal.
We can use them in Ontario with notice to the District Manager.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 10:17 PM

Like Boco says there are no mandatory wolf traps as of yet. And in Alberta there is no requirement to report their use. I still have some pounded up old model #9's but I'm anxious to put AK's new ones to use. soon...very soon.
Posted By: Team V

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/04/14 11:23 PM

Just interested in how that works reading other form on leg hold and I have some #9 . That would be a lot of money sitting if I could not use them. Just thought I would ask don't want to get involved in that mess
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 02:35 PM




No mess here
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 02:48 PM

Got a skid of the Koro's coming...cant wait to try them.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 02:53 PM

They looked like a real good trap Yukon when I looked them over. I tried to get some a couple years ago but they were changing up the design. The trigger / pan setup seemed a little finnicky back then. I look forward to your reviews of them.

What's your trap check laws? Ours are 48 hours. I got a ticket once for leaving out traps for 72 hours once, it was -32 the day I checked them and caught CO in middle of his "investigation". One of my brother trappers had made a complaint.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 02:56 PM




Do you know how hard it is to get a wolf trained to point birds?
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 04:14 PM

Good one!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 05:17 PM



About as hard as getting a wolverine to hand feed.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 05:17 PM

wolverine pic not mine...been floating around for a while.
Posted By: Nunamiut

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/05/14 09:53 PM

Nice looking kifaru tent. I've been wanting to check them out for fall time camping.
Awesome pics as always man!
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/06/14 12:57 PM

Good job on the pointer, he points the rest of his crew flushes the moose and eats them lol.
I got a trail camera pic of 3 grey and a black standing on a deer bait. They look good and I'll be setting for them next week.
Posted By: Allan Minear

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/06/14 04:20 PM

I also enjoy the pictures congrats on the elk and the wolves. Your tent is simular to the tent I have down here they are called cowboy tee pees or range tents depending on who your talking to.
With the center pole in place I hang a lantern for light and warmth during the fall and winter.
Keep up the good work, Stay Safe .
Allan
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 04:41 AM




Here it is two weeks into trapping season and I've yet to lay any steel. I've been too busy in my new job as an outfitter to the vertically challenged. This crew was particularily demanding, requiring lots of stories and frequent snacks. For some strange reason we were unable to rattle any deer in despite their advice.

However the snow has arrived big time, it's -29 tonight, I'm wrapping up some business over the next week and hitting the bush hard for the winter. On top of trapping we have filming wolverines, wolves, lynx, on deck so should have lots of action.

Went out to my Skandic 600 and hit the starter and it fired right up.
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 06:58 AM

Look forward to hearing of your adventures this year!
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 02:11 PM

That was good. Chuckled on the story. As I have two kids of my own. Older now. But fond memories of how they were at that age.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 03:30 PM

Elite… way past that stage brother. These are four of my seven grandkids, with another one on the way. But I will mention that for many years I had to force my daughters to come out to the trapline on weekends. Being young girls of 12-15 they prefered to stay in town but Dad insisted. They always had fun once they got out there, and now today they are all eager to come out with their families and happy for us to take their kids out. Like the bible says, "Bring up a child in the way they should grow and they will not depart from it"

It is essential that those of us who love the land share that with our next generation. While it seems that most humans have an appreciation of nature very few seem to have a connection any more. They get their fix virtually instead of doing. Obviously not an issue with this crew but we don't represent the average citizen any more. Here in Alberta everyone figures we are a province of cowboys and farmers when the reality is over 80% live in cities and we are the most urbanized province in Canada.

I'm doing my part to keep it wild. Here's my latest crop learning the way of the 22 !

Posted By: scootermac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 06:35 PM

Great stuff Brian, I had my daughter out in the bush at an early age and at 14 this will be her third year trapping. She has had a wolverine making a mess of her marten boxes as of late and is just excited at the oportunity of catching her first. Thinking of getting her a 243 in the near future so she can learn how to shoot a centre fire rifle with the hopes of taking her deer hunting next year. I hope you have a great season.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Elite… way past that stage brother. These are four of my seven grandkids, with another one on the way. But I will mention that for many years I had to force my daughters to come out to the trapline on weekends. Being young girls of 12-15 they prefered to stay in town but Dad insisted. They always had fun once they got out there, and now today they are all eager to come out with their families and happy for us to take their kids out. Like the bible says, "Bring up a child in the way they should grow and they will not depart from it"

It is essential that those of us who love the land share that with our next generation. While it seems that most humans have an appreciation of nature very few seem to have a connection any more. They get their fix virtually instead of doing. Obviously not an issue with this crew but we don't represent the average citizen any more. Here in Alberta everyone figures we are a province of cowboys and farmers when the reality is over 80% live in cities and we are the most urbanized province in Canada.

I'm doing my part to keep it wild. Here's my latest crop learning the way of the 22 !

Pretty cool Brian You must be one proud grandpa!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/14 11:58 PM




This was one of those real good days.
Posted By: dapa

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/25/14 02:35 AM

Bushman,keep you're pictures coming. I sure like you're part of the country.It's not flat like here in northern Ontario.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/02/14 04:55 AM

Thanks for all the comments.

Winter is definitely here with a few feet of snow and -30 temps, just what we ordered. Things have been busy with us putting together another winter shooting schedule for our wolverine project. We've been fortunate enough to land a contract to produce a one-hour wolverine documentary for CBC. We've been working on this project for three years now. This winter will be the culmination of everything we've learned and we hope to be the first HD film makers to capture a mother and kits at a den site.

The good news is I need to establish some wilderness camps to base out of, and also get rolling on some trapping this week. Lots of marten sign and wolves everywhere. i intend to put a hurting on them. Here's a few shots from last seasons. Multiple species at one location all attracted to a beaver froze down in the ice.





Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/02/14 06:03 AM

Now that is very cool.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/03/14 02:21 PM

I'm heading out to the mountain line to set some wolf sets this morning. As I was putting my gear together I noticed my boots are getting a little ratty so I ordered a new pair. I wanted to share these boots with you as I've found them the best all round solution.

The Neos overboot goes over an existing shoe or boot. My snowmobiling buddies wear running shoes in them... but I blend the modern with old. I wear canvass / moose hide knee high mukluks & liners with the Neos overtop of them. They are so warm it's unbelievable. Another advantage is the Neos dry quick at night as they are not bulky. They are also light so when my new ones come in the old ones go into a ziplock freezer bag along with a set of liners providing light weight emergency footwear should I get wet,

Highly recommended
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/03/14 02:23 PM




www.neosovershoescanada.com
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/03/14 05:28 PM

Those overshoes are impressive, thanks Brian.
Love your pics and info you share with all of us.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/03/14 05:30 PM

A friend of mine manages a helicopter company here that drops tourists on the ice fields. Those are the boots they supply, and they are available with studs on the soles for icy conditions.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/03/14 06:35 PM

Oldtimers on the railroad used Galoshes.
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/14 12:42 AM

Nice pictures Bushman. I look forward to watching the show on CBC.

How do you size those boots? Would I measure the outside length of my shoe I guess? With size 13 feet, If I put these on, I may never need another pair of snowshoes lol.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/14 12:57 AM

Originally Posted By: LeverAlone
Nice pictures Bushman. I look forward to watching the show on CBC.

How do you size those boots? Would I measure the outside length of my shoe I guess? With size 13 feet, If I put these on, I may never need another pair of snowshoes lol.

Found this.



Apparently your not the only one in love with them Brian. Impressive bunch of testimonies.
http://www.neosovershoescanada.com/testimonials
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/14 09:31 PM

Good luck with the wolves!
Look forward to seeing the result photos !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 06:04 PM

I had a good first trip to the mountains. A pile of snow which really smooths out the trails. It looks to me like there is more fur this year than in years past. I believe that the "big snow" years that we've had the last two winters have helped furbearers.

I had a pack of wolves waiting for me and they had passed about 1/2 mile from the cabin. I put quite a few footholds out, including the 6 - #9' s I picked up from AK. I also hung a bunch of snares. For me it's the first time using light wire and killer springs. I'm finding the hang of the light wire quite different and harder to get a circular snare shape.

But the smaller cable does blend in better and is easier to conceal.



Nikki freshened up the wolves scent post











While I snared several trails being used by the pack.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 06:08 PM

There is also a lot of rabbit and lynx sign so some lynx snares were in order

Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 06:19 PM

Glad to see you have snow Brian. I just got in from a month on the line....we have maybe 6-inches total. Even the high country has very little. Good marten numbers tho.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 08:35 PM

Looks like your having some fun now. What size cable are you using? Are you putting any loading on the Wolf snares. Seems it might help the initial curve on top to widen out the circle. They do blend in well.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 08:51 PM

If you are using 5\64 1x19,pump the bottom of the loop between your thumb and two fingers to give a more rounded loop.If you wax your snares it stiffens them enough you don't need to do this unless you have big loop.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 09:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Boco
If you are using 5\64 1x19,pump the bottom of the loop between your thumb and two fingers to give a more rounded loop.If you wax your snares it stiffens them enough you don't need to do this unless you have big loop.


Not sure if Brian does this or not, but he has put more wolves on the stretchers over the years than any 5 of us so my advice would be to keep doing whatever he has been.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Yukon254
Not sure if Brian does this or not, but he has put more wolves on the stretchers over the years than any 5 of us so my advice would be to keep doing whatever he has been.
________


Originally Posted By: Bushman
For me it's the first time using light wire and killer springs. I'm finding the hang of the light wire quite different and harder to get a circular snare shape.


Soooo I guess that is why this post interests me so much. Brian, a successful wolfer is changing snare strategies. He is not doing what he has been doing over the years. That really peaks my interest. I follow everyones methods. But I stand up and take notice when a successful trapper changes up things. And Start asking questions.
I am interested as always to find out what make a good trapper tick and why he does and doesn't do something I might choose to do. No better way to hone our skills than to quiz and participate in discussion with experts on here. If you don't ask questions there is a lot of learning left out IMO. ;0)
I am interested to hear of why Brian has changed cable size. Gone to Killer springs and what type. I can learn something more from asking questions and offering suggestions on here and it is the fun part of trapperman for me.

Discussion back and forth here is how to improve on a system that might have some initial drawbacks as Brian as stated here. Advice can be taken or not. But the increase in depth that posts like this help new and old trappers will only be increased through discussion. And knowing Brian he will not let us down in his replies that I always look forward to.

Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/07/14 11:33 PM

I'm going to add this for those having trouble making a round loop. I have used this method but prefer the method used by Boco, mostly because it is what I learned about 40 years ago.

One of our Instructors who harvests wolves consistently every year has a technique he has demonstrated at our Instructors meetings and at several of our convention. If you are looking at the snare he likes the lock to be at about 10 o'clock so it will drop very fast. He uses a "W" at the end of his support wire. What he does is take a very fine wire, a really light strand of copper wire will do, and he wraps it around the support wire, then winds it around the snare cable loop about 8" back from the lock. Just enough wraps so it holds but will pull out with very slight pressure. This will make even 7 x 7 wire make a nice round loop. If you look real close you can see that light wire holding the loop.

Posted By: bctomcat

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 12:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman

I had a pack of wolves waiting for me and they had passed about 1/2 mile from the cabin. I put quite a few footholds out, including the 6 - #9' s I picked up from AK. I also hung a bunch of snares. For me it's the first time using light wire and killer springs. I'm finding the hang of the light wire quite different and harder to get a circular snare shape.

But the smaller cable does blend in better and is easier to conceal.
What type cable are you using, 7X7 or 1X19? 7X7 is definitely more difficult to obtain large round loops then 1X19 cable in my experience. If you are using 1X19 in either 5/64th or 1X16th size it should load very well to form large round loops but you need to apply much greater pressure when loading it compared to loading 7X7 cable. The following pictures are of 5/64th 1X19 cable with a 16-18 inch loop size:
Posted By: rosscoak

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 12:49 AM

Bctomcat,
If the snare isn't properly loaded..ie memory put in the last 12-18" ....the snare will have a teardrop???? Is this correct?
Those look great by the way.
Posted By: bctomcat

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 01:10 AM

Originally Posted By: rosscoak
Bctomcat,
If the snare isn't properly loaded..ie memory put in the last 12-18" ....the snare will have a teardrop???? Is this correct?
Those look great by the way.
I don't quite understand what you mean by the "last 12-18 inches". Those snares in the pictures are loaded over the last 7-8" of the cable from the lock to the left. My method of loading a snare is to grab the lock with your left hand and about 7 inches of cable with your right hand. Run this portion of cable, in its natural wire curve, several times over a small round rod or screwdriver that has been clamped in a vise, until you get the desired results. Hope that explains it.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 02:02 AM

Nice looking snares Bctomcat. Why do some dislike a teardrop loop?
Posted By: bctomcat

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 02:42 AM

Originally Posted By: yukon254
Nice looking snares Bctomcat. Why do some dislike a teardrop loop?
In my experience a loaded snare closes much quicker than an unloaded snare, which generally gives you the tear drop shape. I am looking for a quick closure to keep the snare high on the neck at the base of the skull in the prefer quick dispatch location where the carotid arteries are just under the skin. Also the lock with a loaded snare can be placed in a 10 or 11 o'clock position and when the bottom of the loop is touched will jump closed much quicker than an unloaded tear drop snare in 12 position which can be touchy in windy conditions.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 03:35 AM

I appreciate the comments. It's 1/16" cable, super light. I load snares exactly like you describe BCtomcat but I'll give your method a try Boco. I didn't build, or load, these snares, they have more parts than a small car. On my usual snares I have no problems getting a nice round shape. But wolves are tall and thin so bit of a teardrop shape should be Ok as long as loop is high.

Fair question Len. I haven't totally committed to this new style of snare. But one of the advantages of living in Alberta is we have one of the few trap testing facilities in the world so we get exposed to new product. Plus we have a bunch of innovative trapper / inventors like Marty Senneker who came up with this killer spring design.

I've got buddies using this design and they really like the light profile and have a lot less snare avoidance. I don't know about you guys but I notice that wolves get more and more wary season after season, especially if using same bait pile sites year after year. You still will nail wolves of course but lots of solo's it seems.

I'm into changing things up and keeping them guessing. I have beaver / fish combo inside 5 gallon pails that have been percolating for years. You can walk off the creek or trail and hang them in a good location. Back off at least 20 yards and shoot some 22 holes into the pail. It'll pull wolves in.

I also pay attention to every wolf trail I see on my traplines. And I will prospect for good snare locations in the off season and block off trails for future snares. This fall I went for a hunt along a ridgeline and noticed a saddle that would be a natural funnel. I went back this week and the wolves are using it as evidenced by snow trails.

But it's the footholds that really fascinate me. Our 48 hour trap check law makes it difficult to really make it economical to foothold... but I sure like it. But, for example, I have a dozen footholds flipped over right now because I knew I couldn't get back in 48 hours. But my snares are still working for me at least.

Ron - I recognize that McBride trapper. He's another one of those innovative trappers. He showed me a bunch of his cardboard marten boxes. His line is actually pretty close to mine as the crow flies. I've used wax thread to get that loop instead of the thin wire, but too much hasssle for a snare.

These killer springs are a test. I know that I can swage a toothed camlock snare onto #9 wire and still kill wolves all day long. And some of those will be getting set this week as well.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 03:57 AM

I had put this up in a post a few years ago but I will add it here as it pertains to the discussion and it should add to the conversation.
Brian if you want the post moved to a new thread just say the word.
My take on loading came from models of prebuilt snares I got from Rally Hess. A master snareman and someone that believes heavily in loading. The terminology and such that I put on here is my own concoction to make it more clear. The cable I am using is 1/16th 7 by 7 and prone to be a teardrop. I post this here to show that loading can have huge affect on shape.
Yukon you ask why people dislike a teardrop. A lot more taken with tear drop than without that is for sure. But that comes from far more snares being made without than with IMO. As well as trapper not knowing how to load them. I use the same method as Bctomcat.
When I look at a teardrop I see a snare shape exactly opposite of the shape I would want for the target. A large mass going in on top. (the head of a wolf or lynx) and a large opening on the bottom. (the feet). Creating a snare that I believe would be more prone to a leg being alllowed to enter the snare with the head. It just feels better to me to have the rounder shape. And one more conducive to the head up high in the snare. And I think you can get by with a smaller opening as so much of the loop is not having in a non target area. Creating even more weight on the snare distorting the shape.
I like the idea of having the large opening up high where the head is entering. Also it covers a wider area of the trail where the target is coming through. (the head).
That can't hurt. But more importantly is the speed. You have to drag closed a teardrop shaped snare all the way to the end. Compared to a loaded snare that naturally wants to close. Causing less pull on the animal and less likely for detection and backout.

Example of a 7 by 7 1/16 inch cable snare


Take that same snare and build in some lift on the cable behind the lock and you begin to get a shape that opens up the snare for better head entry.



Take that same snare and load and shape it and you will end up with this.
Granted this is not a wolf snare but I bet you can go a long way to opening up the shape and make it a lot faster with loading it. The picture like the ones above were taken with the snare held vertical not laying down. This is the hanging shape.
I achieve this by loading and shaping. The loading and shaping zone are described on the box.

Heavily loading the first inches past the lock dictates the direction of the cable as it circles around. I like to shoot for a horizontal direction rather than the slanted one you get with a teardrop. I continue to load further but with a lot less pressure. I also like to shape the cable in the shaping zone as well to round out the opposite side. Done the same way as loading but with a lot less pressure.
And wow fast in comparison to a teardrop is saying it lightly. You just can't compare how a teardrop snare closes compared to a loaded snare. A



Here inlies the issue you have to be very careful when loading snares. Many snare you build are not set up to take loading. Thus a good reason to make your own.
When you load heavily you need to account for the curling of the cable within the lock. Compare the two photos below.
This snare can not be loaded.



This snare can be.



Resulting in this.








When I look at this snare I see a small opening that could possibly brush up agains the side of a wolf's head and cause him to defer to the right or left or even back out. haha. Watch you will probably get a perfect catch in it. ;0)


Hopel this helps some guys new and old to snaring. Brian I hope it adds to your journal.
We can move the discussion on loading to a new thread if people are interested in carrying it on further.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 04:39 AM

very nice Len and a good tutorial. Thanks

I actually don't worry much about forcing head direction for wolves. They're so big they'll just brush aside most twigs, branches if they want. These are natural branches that were on existing trails that i actually don't want to remove. But I'll add trap anchor logs / scent posts / or trail obstructions if I have a few months for the wolves to get used to it. I'm more into putting the snare where the head will be naturally as the wolf moves down the trail. Having malamutes for decades puts you into sync how big dogs move maybe.

That snare photo you clipped and posted is why I was complaining about the loop Len. Try and get 1/16 cable to hang round, loaded or not. I'm thinking Ron's method of using light wire might be best if I stick with these snares.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 04:54 AM

1/19 I would assume? But looks to hang like 7 by 7. I would be interested in seeing one of those big wolf sized 1/16th inch snares loaded up heavily. Certainly if you had the top of the teardrop wanting to head in a horizontal it would give you some additional surface area covered on top.
I am surprised that 5/64 is not the preferred cable for the killer springs. Not much margin for error on the 1/16th if they get a chance to fight much. Will be great to get your assessment on how they work.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 05:08 AM

This is the first time I have noticed the "trigger apparatus" used with the killing springs. Are your snares equipped with these by chance?
http://www.snareshop.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SPTRIG
After your snare is built you compress the spring with the Senneker Setting Tool and hook the trigger over the spring. Once the snare is around the animals neck the spring will fire resulting in a humane kill.



So the animal does not have to compress the spring when pulling. It is precompressed and then exerts additional pressure when the snare is pulled to its tightest, releasing the trigger. This happens from the final stages of pressure from the animal pulling. A lot of extra gizmos for sure. But if it allowed you to use 1/16th inch cable for wolves I can see where it would be very advantageous.
Not sure how these would work to create a loaded snare. Have to experiment.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 05:18 AM

That's the setup Len. Like I said this is my first use of them. hard to load I suspect but think I'll give it a shot.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 05:20 AM

You can set the spring without the senneker tool with just a pair of plyers once you anchor the snare. you slip jaws of plyers a bit loose over snare cable and pull towards you until springs compress and you slip lock on. One slipped and nailed end of my finger! OUCH
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 06:29 AM

Lots of good info there Len. Most of the wolf snares I use are built where only the loop is cable, the tie end is #9 wire. Since the cable is all used in the loop you can bend the tip of the #9 wire up and really keep the loop opened up.

The best advice I ever got when it came to snaring wolves was from a guy who averages 25-30 a year. He said the biggest mistake guys make is messing around the set to long trying to get the loop perfect, and leaving to much scent in the process. His motto was hang them and go. He also set his snares pretty high.

I have always felt that when guys get a front leg through they are setting to low. Dont have any good pictures but I set my wolf snares pretty high, and seldom ever load them. They do have more of a teardrop shape than the loaded ones pictured here, but not nearly as much as the last picture Len posted. That is a pretty drastic teardrop, and not the type of location I would set a snare.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 06:46 AM

Originally Posted By: yukon254
but not nearly as much as the last picture Len posted. That is a pretty drastic teardrop, and not the type of location I would set a snare.


Okay Brian were all placing bets on this set whether it can produce a wolf if he comes by. Then we will have a host of new ammunition to talk about. ;0)
Keep us posted on this set. Any follow up pictures will be appreciated.
Discussion on trapping is better than no trapping at all right now. ;0)

Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 06:49 AM

Example of "pretty high"? I've always put the bottom of the loop at or just above knee hight.

Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 06:57 AM

Originally Posted By: FullFreezer
Example of "pretty high"? I've always put the bottom of the loop at or just above knee hight.



yep that exactly how i set mine.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 02:48 PM

So are you 5' tall or 6'6" ? How high are your knees? LOL

I'm 5'10" and the snare height is actually higher than my knees. If a coyote walks under my snare I figure I'm doing something right. I want the bottom of snare to just hit under the chin.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/08/14 04:02 PM

I like the bottom of the loop to be 16-18 inches off the snow, higher on downhill grades or anywhere I think a wolf will have his head up high looking ahead.
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 05:13 AM

I set mine at least knee high and heavily loaded and caught a fox yesterday. He was running wide open down the trail by his tracks and I got him mid jump.
will be interesting to see if the 1/16 holds up. When I get this 1/8 used up I'm going to try smaller but maby not that small.
A guy talked me into 1/16 with power rams and I lost 3 wolves before I got them all switched back.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 05:20 AM

Just saw this..holy whatever a great word is to put here...!!!!!

The landscape.. Oooh the lands,skies, snow..the everything there is soooo incredibly beautiful. How are you breathing! It's breathtaking!

Enjoying this thread already as well and will continue reading each page like eye candy!!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 05:27 AM


















"I wonder what's the matter with him" he's thinking
Posted By: That Fool

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 05:57 AM

awesome, second marten, paul??? what ya doing down there?
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 06:34 AM

Wow... great sequence ! Thanks for posting.
Posted By: NYCOYOTEHOUNDS

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 11:29 AM

Incredible pics.
Posted By: TFNG

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 05:15 PM

Bushman- I'm still a snaring rookie but I use Marty's system on coyotes. If you bend the cable at the S hook it rounds the loop out quite a bit. My apologies if that was obvious to you but I couldn't tell in your pics if it was bent. It makes a pretty big difference.
Posted By: takotna

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/14 06:22 PM

Cool pics!
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 01:55 AM

Great pics Brian, how's your marten population this season?
Seems their down in the northern part of the province, most
guys i have talked to are down 50-75% from
previous years.
Posted By: huntingmaxima

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 02:04 AM

Great series of pictures
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 04:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Tundra 300
Great pics Brian, how's your marten population this season?
Seems their down in the northern part of the province, most
guys i have talked to are down 50-75% from
previous years.


I'm running %25-30 catch rate on my checks every 10 -12 days. Not sure if that is good or not or tells you much for numbers but that is what I am finding on mine Tundra. I figure thats pretty good but better would be fine by me as well.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 05:26 AM

Originally Posted By: nube
Originally Posted By: Tundra 300
Great pics Brian, how's your marten population this season?
Seems their down in the northern part of the province, most
guys i have talked to are down 50-75% from
previous years.


I'm running %25-30 catch rate on my checks every 10 -12 days. Not sure if that is good or not or tells you much for numbers but that is what I am finding on mine Tundra. I figure thats pretty good but better would be fine by me as well.


you have a 10-day check law in Alberta??
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 06:14 AM

With kill traps I can check whenever I want to. With my shift schedule sometimes it works out to every 10 days for me yes. No big deal if it's freezing out.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/15/14 11:09 PM

Great pictures Brian! What is with the red traps?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 01:30 AM

Just back from the hills, very beautiful with lots of hoar frost on the trees.

Tundra - Marten numbers seem to be up actually. I'm seeing them in spots I haven't before. Also my buddy Rick reports the same increase on his local line.

Rich - If BC Ron can have pink traps why not red for me? Actually I wanted to see if there was any avoidance or attraction to the color red. I painted some lynx sets as well and it doesn't bother them either.


I'm taking a pretty casual approach to trapping so far this season. I haven't set a trap yet on my foothill line, I went hard there last winter in anticipation of high marten prices…and we know how that worked out. Still got a freezer full of marten pelts. But I am looking to kill wolves, but my mountain pack is on a walk-about right now and weren't around the cabin the last few days.

In the mountains you have to be careful where, and when, you place sets. At this time of year you can get access one day, and have open water a few days later. Last week I drove my sled right across three frozen channels to get to the cabin, this week I have open water. My wife hates driving her snowmobile across water, and it's not great for the machine either so I built a few bridges, again!


This channel was pretty small so I saw up a bunch of small spruce poles. I place poles across the channel and cover with all the boughs. Later on I may shovel snow and throw a bit of water on it for a bridge that'll last until break-up.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 01:40 AM



This one is a little wide for that approach however.







But in under a day I have it spanned
Posted By: cat catcher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 01:50 AM

How deep is the channel Bushman?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 01:53 AM

4'
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 01:59 AM

Looks like it was a heck of a project! I hate water in the winter with a passion and I feel for your wife! Fortunately I only have two crossings and both of them freeze hard early.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 02:02 AM

I see we lost three in western alaska to open holes that should be froze. Didn't help that Alcohol was involved. Going to be a tough year if we don't get some cold.
Posted By: Recondo

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 02:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Family Trapper
I see we lost three in western alaska to open holes that should be froze. Didn't help that Alcohol was involved. Going to be a tough year if we don't get some cold.


My worst year ever and your 100% correct alcohol aint helpful and these Bahama temperatures are ridiculous
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/17/14 04:16 AM



The data is starting to come in from the satellite collars on the wolverines. Some of the researchers have back-tracked to areas where the collars showed "clusters," areas the wolverines hang out in for extended periods. So far they seem to be focusing on areas with lots of snowshoe hares. It'll be interesting to see if that changes as the winter progresses.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/18/14 06:03 AM




Now the work begins. Hauling it in is an all-day-job, just to get it to stage one where I'll be storing it. It's going to take another day heading upriver to get to it's final resting place. Once the creek freezes harder. Tip - cut legs off.
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/18/14 06:33 AM

Bait or food? Either way it sounds like a tough job!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 03:12 PM

Bait AK. My son and I hauled two road kill moose in. Those Alaska sleds slide a moose around like nothing, I'm still impressed with them.

It's been my slowest year starting ever, and its by my choice I guess. I decided not to harvest on my foothills line this winter, which I usually trap heavy Nov / Dec while mountain trapline is freezing up. However last year I hit the line hard in advance of a major logging project and took a lot of marten as I figured they were loosing a significant amount of habitat. This year as marten prices are probably low I decided to let the line settle and see how the fur adjusted to the new landscape.

But here's something of concern for me. I've been participating in a research project. I send my furbearer carcasses to Phil Thomas at Ottawa University for analysis. Phil is studying the presence of industrial toxins in furbearers. I had the dubious pleasure of being told my fur has some of the highest toxin levels he's found to date. For those of you who know Alberta we're talking the Kakwa River, which has a reputation as a wilderness river. But is interlaced with oil and gas facilities.

The marten had high levels of an industrial rodenticide ( mouse poison) that is not available to the public. From this I surmise that the O&G companies are hiring professional exterminators to poison up all their facilities to reduce mice or else the companies themselves have access to a poison not on the shelf to consumers.

So these poisoned mice are being consumed by marten and building up in their system over time. This cannot be good for furbears or birds or anyone scavenging on mice. Another example of small actions that can have big outcomes. I intend to follow up on this and make my trapping association aware of the situation.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 03:22 PM

Wow that does not sound good. Hope you can uncover some of the cause to keep it from going on further.
Posted By: Bw32057

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 05:20 PM

absolutley sickeining what Alberta industry gets away with....

Thanks for the journal thread Bushman, i have really enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good fight!
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 05:24 PM

After meeting with an oil company and seeing how much is going on in Alberta especially on my line I am utterly disgusted on what is going on and this news makes it worse Brian. This province is getting raped plain and simple and nobody seems to care much. The Gov't needs to give it's head a shake and take a look at things. My line is getting torn up left and right and I am slowly loosing my line
Posted By: Alaska Man

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 06:10 PM

They call it progress. I call it the destruction of our world for one more buck.
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 06:33 PM

Wow, that is weird and concerning about the toxic levels. Hopefully the research people will raise the flag and find where it is coming from. That can't be good for any wildlife or the ecosystem.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 07:36 PM

I don't think we should knock Alberta too much. Industry has funded much of the research and my friends who work in the oil patch care as much as the average person. Recognizing our government isn't going to be kill the golden goose it's up to voters to speak up. Realizing that voters are not going to kill their own personal golden goose, makes me think we're all cooked.

Except we are a noble species despite ourselves, and I am an optimist.
Posted By: frozen okie

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 07:45 PM

Cool pic's , always enjoy the reading

If the price of oil keeps dropping you may not have to worry about the oil co. for long, at least the mom and pop ones any how
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/23/14 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
I don't think we should knock Alberta too much. Industry has funded much of the research and my friends who work in the oil patch care as much as the average person. Recognizing our government isn't going to be kill the golden goose it's up to voters to speak up. Realizing that voters are not going to kill their own personal golden goose, makes me think we're all cooked.

Except we are a noble species despite ourselves, and I am an optimist.


I'm thinking the way it is going there won't be any more funding. The reason is there won't be any habitat left for any animal to live in this province the way it is going. Study them all you want but when they all start to dissapear we all know why. Nothing we can do about it really. Your comments on toxin levels proves exactly what is going on and you are in some of the most prime , clean areas in Alberta even. Wonder what the toxin levels look like around Fox Creek lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/24/14 12:14 AM

Actually industry might be the salvation, unfortunately. We are on the cusp of conservation off-sets in Alberta. I've read the white paper as presented to cabinet and Industry.

A conservation off-set is when the government requires industry to replace disturbed habitat with a piece of habitat of equal conservation value. It can be complicated when you're replacing a wetland fen with a piece of natural grass prairie but I've seen some models that make sense.

The land that is purchased for the conservation off-set is in the white-zone area ( private land) while the land disturbed is crownland ( public ) The disturbed land remains crown land and over time the hope is the industrialized land is reclaimed after each industry is finished its cycle. So long term we could end up with more public land. And yes there is enough marginal private land of every type to provide the needed landbank for the disturbed crownland.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/24/14 02:58 PM

I want to take this opportunity to wish Merry Christmas to all of you. I don't patronize many "forum's" as time is precious but this one has always been home. And many of you have become as close to a friend as we can be in a virtual world. I love that we're keeping the traditions of trapping and living on the land alive.

Merry Christmas.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/24/14 04:13 PM

Cheers to you as well Brian. You are a great asset here on this forum and I appreciate your comments and knowledge shared. This is a great forum with a lot to learn.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/24/14 07:01 PM

Merry Christmas and all the best in New Year to you also Brian. I really enjoy your postings and pictures. smile
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/24/14 07:09 PM

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and your family also Brian. We have have shared many a season on this forum and your right about our virtual friendships. As someone who travels for work, and play as often as I do it is nice to have familiar people to touch base with on a regular basis.
Thanks for your continued posting of your line and photos.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 06:56 AM

Ok finally holidays are wrapping up. Topped off with the celebration we held today for my folks 60th wedding anniversary. A great time but I'm craving some bush time.

I was going through my gear and thinking about the dude in the other post who survived a dunking and three cold days before being rescued. I've got some standard gear that I pack around in a soft cooler style pack. The pack sits in my sled rack and can be easily accessed if the crap hits the fan. Hopefully there's enough in there to keep me going. I have a change of cloths and footwear in a dry bag.




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 07:02 AM

GPS - Headphones - Satellite phone in water proof pelican - 3 trail cams - spare glasses - leatherman- working man hand cream - battery pack for additional charge - extra batteries - Norma Knife - headlamp - bag with fire starter, matches, glass cleaner, napkins, jerky, & cyanide pill.
Posted By: otterman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
GPS - cyanide pill.
I take it that is for a really really bad day smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 04:10 PM

yup, so far so good... haven't had to feed it to any guests yet.
Posted By: Osky

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 05:26 PM

I am not sure what you use up there for fire starter in your survival kit?
Here I use a doubled ziplock baggy with a lighter and some cubes of self light charcoal. They light instantly and stay burning until wood is added and then some. Do you have something better?
Thanks, Osky.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/28/14 06:04 PM

I carry 3 or 4 fusees.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/29/14 05:31 AM

two lighters - candle stub - birch bark. Same rigging I've had for years as this is just back up.
Posted By: Dam Camp Wife

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/31/14 04:08 PM

Might I ask what you use for a snowmobile tote? Hubby and I live of the grid in the Maine wilderness and though we have one of each (except the smallest) of the Otter totes, we have issues with them. We haul a couple hundred pounds (sometimes lots more) at a time and all winter long. Using those is how we snowmmobile our supplies in during the winter months. Winters are long up this way, especially due to our proximity of Mount Katahdin. While the Otter totes are rugged, the plastic runners that prevent the sled from zig-zagging, crack and break off, and the hitches are always losing the pins, or we bend them. The hitch pins just simply come off on their own, which is furstrating to have to keep replacing them or have to back-track to find where we lost the tote! Though the tote itself is rugged, the rest of it does not hold up to our usage here. We need something more rugged. Somewhow, some way. So, I am looking into other more dependable options. Any suggestions? Anyone? Usage can be seen at our Facebook page, Willey's Dam Camp if that helps anyone. Thanks a bunch for any and all suggestions. We're not novices at living here, but hubby is disabled, which compounds the challenge of this lifestyle. I am a woman who does most, if not all the "labor", and I am tired of replacing and reparing goods that normally would last most people for a life time, but here, we are the real deal. We are not the "Weekend Warrior" type people. We are lucky if anything lasts the winter in here. It seems that nothing is made durable to enough for our usages of them. That information may help you understand what we need, maybe?
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/31/14 04:57 PM

Try one of these,it will outlast 5 snowmachines.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/31/14 09:38 PM




This product from Alaska Sled Works is bullet proof. I did 10 miles yesterday on trail and river with a light load - 25 ton log splitter, dead deer, 12 wolf traps, and a malamute in her rolling kennel. Pulled like nothing was there.
Posted By: Dam Camp Wife

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/01/15 11:22 AM

IMPRESSIVE! I am looking at the Fox Cross Sleds. I am liking what I see and hear! Thank you so much for your reply and photo!!!
Posted By: Dam Camp Wife

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/01/15 11:23 AM

We have considered that design, high sides, etc. We are still debating. Thank you so much for your reply and photo!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/01/15 09:28 PM

I had right at 1000 lb in my cross fox last year. They are impressive.
Posted By: Dam Camp Wife

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/03/15 12:29 PM

Some good firestarters are cotton balls coated in Vaseline. Can keep in ziplocks, Germex or Purel due to their high alcohol content, pinecones and birch bark due to their oils are great, too.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/03/15 05:51 PM

The 100 % pure cotton balls with Vaseline massaged into them is my go to fire starter. You can drop it in a glass of water, wring it out, and a spark from a fire striker will ignite it. You need to make sure you use 100 % cotton, the synthetic ones will not work.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:27 AM

Just got back tonight from a couple cold days on the line. -38 this morning plus a bit of wind chill. I'm dedicating January to trapping so cold weather or not I'm hitting the trail. I spent the last couple days reactivating and adding some more wolf footholds. I also got a few dozen lynx sets out.

Today, my son was out with me, and we saw some fresh tracks where a lynx was hunting bunnies. I put one of my lucky red #3's out with a rabbit hanging over it. When we came back a few hours later I had a nice sized tom waiting.

Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:36 AM

Nice !!! He must have liked them red bracelets!!!! Congrats Brian ....
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:51 AM

Saw two fresh cougar tracks as well jimmy.
Posted By: coyot getter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:55 AM

Bushman do you trap till the Kakwa Falls. Went quading up there once. My mom came from east of Grand Prairie(Debolt area).
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:58 AM

That was pretty fast!
Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 05:58 AM

What WMU is your line in ??? Have you ever ran with the hounds Brian ???
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 06:05 AM

That is fast! I put out 2 foot holds for 5 days for Lynx but no takers. One place was under a marten box where a Lynx had been very recently, so I set there with some beaver, but no go. He walked by about 50 yards away. frown
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 06:12 AM

It was quick! I'm with you guys though...It's much more typical to have walk by's or half committed lynx walking part way in to the set this time of year. I find that the last 3 weeks of lynx season are when your efforts are best served here in Alberta.

My Kakwa line only goes as far west as the Redrock, coyot. Spent quite a bit of time horse riding out by the falls.

Jimmy- on my bucket list. 442-444, lots of cats. I meet guys with hounds pretty much every year.

Posted By: jimmy henderson

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 06:14 AM

My hounds are pretty young but , we are always up for a challenge I'm game if you are .... smile
And now I got a sled that can handle the kind of country to get to play in all the time !!! LOL
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/05/15 08:23 AM

And if you need a trigger man to shoot the kitty I'm in lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/15 01:41 PM

A friend of mine filmed a 3 part documentary showing on CBC and PBS this year. Part of the production was filmed on my trapline. If there's an owl in the scene it's my line! This looks to be a fascinating look back at man's journey through time.


http://vimeo.com/114444991
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/15 01:42 PM

a look at the series itself


http://vimeo.com/112519197
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/15 01:44 PM

And while I'm on vimeo this is a previous sheep hunt I went on that also took place on my trapline.


http://vimeo.com/36151942
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/15 01:59 PM

Very well made videos.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/07/15 04:17 PM

The producer Niobi Thompson is also an anthropologist who loves indigenous cultures throughout the world. There will be lots of traditional hunting and fishing sequences in the documentary.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/20/15 09:35 PM

Man it's good to be back trapping again. But the weather has been warm and windy ( chinooking) My wolf traps were all exposed after 18" of snow melted in three days. It also left a layer of ice on the trails so I have to pin it to get up the hills but going down can be dangerous.

I was packing a moose, deer, and two beavers in big blue, my beautiful 10'er so I had some weight behind me. After one close call where I had to race down a hill to prevent the load from pushing me I decided to "chain up" I wired a couple 120 belilse under my ski's right where the pogo's come down. It worked unbelievably well.




By the way Dukes or Savigeau's won't work lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/20/15 09:38 PM



Even got to spend the morning skinning. I added a bucket of 22 bullets to the pic to make you drool. I understand they can be hard to come by these days. No shortage so far here
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/20/15 09:52 PM

That is pretty funny chaining up with 120's!
Posted By: smalltimetrapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/15 08:00 AM

Guess those high dollar conis are good for something!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/21/15 08:51 AM

Love your resourcefulness Brian. Always a bonus we get on your threads.
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/15 02:02 AM

That's just mean with the bullets lol. I was in Louisiana last March at a hunting show and cabelas got a semi load of 22 shells in and they were gone by 10 am. There are guys with thousands of rounds that bought them instead of stocks.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/15 05:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Family Trapper
Love your resourcefulness Brian. Always a bonus we get on your threads.


You can say that again.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/22/15 05:16 PM

Interesting posts as usual Brian. Enjoying your postings.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 06:09 AM




It's been a tough stretch of weather. After a perfect start with lots of snow and - 30 weather we get slammed with above freezing weather for 3 weeks straight and blasting chinook winds for many of those days. Snow dropped fast and ice became an issue



I knew better than to drop down over this set of switchbacks.. as I'd never get back up. I really didn't want to hike down the 1/2 mile to check a couple snares,




but I'm glad I did as I had a soaking wet cat waiting for me





it turned out fine ( far right) even though caught in the warm conditions
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 06:17 AM

I actually had to cross lots of open water as my trails on river ice disappeared. My wife doesn't like water skipping and I ended up almost sinking her machine. Let's just say if there's any contests for pushing snowmobiles across creeks I might be a contender. The belt started slipping half way across a 50' open lead so I jumped off and kept pushing while I still had momenteum. Water was thigh deep and brisk. I got it right to the river edge and it was still running so all good. I dragged it up on shore and left it running half an hour and the belt dried out. Back on the trail again.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 06:27 AM

This weather is something else, glad you got out and home safe. One Trick I've always used on my sleds and Polaris 4-wheelers is to put them in neutral and rev the engine and that dries the clutches and belt out rather quickly.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 06:30 AM

Buddy mentioned same trick today. Also said in old machines without neutral pull muffler off and let exhaust ( heat) dry things off. I needed the 1/2 hour, went back across to my cabin and put dry gear on. That Crown Royal looked tempting for a moment as well.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 06:39 AM

I asked my same friend, who actually is my mechanic, about studding the track. Challenge getting studs in tracks with the paddles but might try metal screws on end of paddle, worked on my quad tire tread. He also suggested getting a welder buddy to make metal aluminum V shaped insert that goes over paddle and bolts onto track. Lots of mountain sledders around here so kind of an innovative bunch, me I'm a carpenter and leave the metal work to buddies .
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 07:11 AM

Crazy winter here to Brian, finally getting a little cooler. Last week for the first time ever, I ran 50 miles in a rainstorm, hard rain too....in Jan! Only good thing so far is marten numbers have exploded.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 01/31/15 07:30 AM

That is some crazy turn of events in your weather Brian. We never got the snow part. ;0)
A guy has to wonder is anything we used to be able to count on in winter a thing of the past? Two years in a row a guy has to wonder what is to come.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/11/15 03:28 PM

Crazy weather continues. I've had at least two feet of snow in the last week. - 20 right now and going up to +5 ( 40 degrees F ) temps by weekend. I've got a dozen wolf traps under a thick layer of ice to chop out now. The heavy snow has insulated the open water on the creeks so lots of overflow and running. But what the hades, we're trappers.

I had the pleasure of hosting a couple biologists from Alberta Conservation Association who are working on the wolverine research project. They were treated to a wolverine buffet scene upriver where they've been hitting my baits in preparation of our filming. I've found wolverine like beaver best, followed by lynx, deer, and then moose. I'm getting decent trail camera images.

One interesting thing I noticed is the wolverines avoided the river during the melting conditions. They totally abandoned the river as a highway and stayed on the high country.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/11/15 03:32 PM



ACA bio's



midnight visitor



Looking for a free meal
Posted By: McC

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/12/15 01:59 PM

That marten on the trailcam is an awesome pic !!!!
Posted By: McC

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/12/15 02:00 PM

That marten on the trailcam is an awesome pic !!!!
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/13/15 08:11 AM

Great pics Brian. Hope the weather cooperates with ya the rest of the season. Picked up a couple Moultrie M-880's and Solar camera powerpanels myself. Kinda excited to get them out and working. We've always used loops of chain for the skis on the sno-gos and sleds. Pretty neat how you can go from out of control to having to power down the hills with chains on. I carry a 40" piece with a caribeaner on each end for my siglan sleds and just drive over it and hook it to a rope loop on each side about 1/2 way back on the sled. works great for coming down those glaciated creeks in the mountains. Have fun and be safe. Heading out myself in the morn.
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/14/15 04:59 PM

Just finished up reading through your entire thread...incredible! Thank you for sharing your adventures, I look forward to checking in on your threads regularly. cool

- Good trapping!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/16/15 04:03 AM







Despite the wackiest and warmest winter weather I can remember the wolverines are still moving about on my line. My cameraman is up on the NWT border this week filming at some of our other gulo hot spots. But after next week we'll start putting some camera time out in the hills.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/21/15 06:45 AM




One of the male wolverines that was collared suddenly stopped moving. My cinematographer and the biologist tracked the collar down and discovered he'd been killed by wolves.
Posted By: gibb

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/21/15 01:46 PM

Do you think he was killed for food or just wrong place at the wrong time?
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/21/15 06:12 PM

Wow. Was all that was left all that is in the photo. The mouth full of snow. Seems unnatural. How could that happen. Or did it get wind blown in to his mouth. Looks like you have enough for a head mount. ;0)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 08:37 PM





It looks like a pack came upon a wolverine away from the safety of a tree. This is what the gulo looked like after the encounter. Apparently it put up a good fight but didn't have a chance. We've been tracking this guy for a couple of winters now but it ain't easy being a wolverine
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 08:43 PM

I imagine those old collars hinder them in more ways than one.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 09:09 PM

A bit of background on this research project. Three partners- Alberta Trappers Association- Alberta Conservation Association- University of Alberta

We are looking at a large portion of North Western Alberta, that seems to have a very healthy wolverine population. This boreal region is fairly flat with mixed habitat of muskeg meadows, lots of creeks and tributaries, black spruce bogs, deciduous uplands, spruce forest complexes, so a lot of habitat diversity. The area has a large beaver population, pockets of moose, caribou in small herds, and lots of lynx & hares. A lot of bio-mass but mostly smaller species.

This is not what typically is thought of as wolverine country. Some of it is industrialized with oil & gas but the wolverines don't seem to care. They also use older clearcuts where it appears they are hunting rabbits. The area does not have "persistent snow" into mid-april which has been theorized as necessary for female dens. We have found some wolverine dens and they are under fallen tree root structures, not the usual snow caves and tunnels of the mountain wolverines.

The wolverines here are also thriving in an area with wolves, which doesn't fit the mountain model where wolverines often use high snow levels and elevation to separate themselves from wolves. By following satellite collar cluster locations, places where wolverines have hung around for a significant time, we are discovering they hunt much more than given credit for. Although one of the ACA researchers told me that hunting hares does not appear to be difficult for wolverines. The tracks seem to indicate they locate the hares by smell and stalk right in on them. Basically stalking up very close before launching themselves onto the hare. Almost never chasing them.

Another factor are the beaver. I told a story on here a couple years ago about snowshoeing up in a mountain basin along a beaver creek and coming upon a breached beaver house, and hearing the wolverine moving off. The house had a bit of blood inside and the wolverine looked like it had been using it as a den. Last week another beaver house up in the study area was also broke into by the wolverine. There's some discussion going on whether this is common behaviour or not.

What's your experience? Have you seen where a wolverine has tore a beaver house up?


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 09:11 PM

Boco - collars are so small and light weight that several wolverines wore them for 9 months with minimal hair wear. A lot different then the old days
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 09:38 PM







This den had kits in it a few weeks before Now a lynx is checking it out. I wonder how often they discover kits and if they kill them. I'd bet they do.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/22/15 09:39 PM

Screen shot off video so crappy quality. I also have a fisher and a male wolverine checking out the same den.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 02:30 AM

That is great information, Bushman, and jives with what I have suspected for a while. I have gone over Audrey's studies, as well as ADFG studies that included various collars, traps, etc.
My take-home was that these critters travel FAR more than most think, but when they find a solid source of food, they will hang around. I don't buy into the "Home Range" theory what so ever,.
Not saying they won't spend time, say a month or so, in an area that provides a living. Just saying I don't think they will "claim" it as a territory, if you will. Chow gets scarce, they move on.
Posted By: watarrat

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 03:37 AM

Bummer Bushman,,they ate the hat right out of him!
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 03:40 AM

I have read before that wolverines dig out beaver houses,but it was likely beaver chewing out the breather hole in late winter themselves,leaving access for wolf and likely wolverines as well.
I have seen quite a few wolf kills of beaver that have chewed out of their house in spring to access nearby feed.Beaver are very vulnerable to wolves in years when they chew out.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 05:04 AM

Rat -You're right, not much fur to salvage there for sure


Boo -The house that I saw had been dug into through the side. It was not a large beaver house though. I'll ask the researcher where this latest house was entered.

AV - Yes and no on the territories. The mature members have defined areas on the collar data we've retrieved so far. Mature males have little overlap with other mature males but may have up to four females inside that territory. The immature collared individuals stayed inside their parents territories early winter, but started exploring outside of those territories late season. One young male took off late last winter a couple times and explored a region north of his parents along a wetland complex, but always came back. This spring and summer collar uploads showed that he has now moved into that wetland area and largely staying there. Although he has gone back to his natal area a few times as well.

I can only dream about all the cool things we'll discover off those collars over the next two years.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 06:51 AM

Did I send you the collar data from this area? It was, I believe, a 3 or 4 year study. If not, let me know. I will get it for you. It includes the male that went psycho , and went like 400 miles, willy-nilly. Ultimately died in a trap a LONG ways from where he was collared.
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 07:37 AM

Wow! Those wolves must have been pretty dang hungry to mess with that! Cool pic's of the lynx! Thanks for sharing the pic's and the info!
Posted By: gibb

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 11:34 AM

Neat stuff, Brian always enjoy your post and the information you share. We have a fringe population in Ontario which appears to be expanding eastward and southward. Mainly based in the extreme northwestern part of the province.
Jim
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 03:56 PM

as always super posts on ur thread bushman its so nice to see real information and the provincial support you have to compile accurate info on a fur species .. in our province there is no such thing as accurate info on populations and everyone just rely on the stories in coffee shops to base decisions on like the problem were having with the supposed wolf problem in the north east .
once again thanks for your efforts in collecting and shareing this accurate info .
as far as opened up beaver houses we have over the years found houses opened up but they have always bin small poorly located houses that appered to run out of feed or froze out . now I have no idea who opened them if it was beaver from inside or a bigfoot from the outside . our wolverine population is minimal so around here it probably wasn't a wolverine . those open houses are a great place for neck snare bears in the spring if nothing else ...thanks again for shareing your study ..
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/23/15 06:33 PM

Thanks for the comments. Good to see u r alive Jim.

I spoke with crew and wolverines are checking out the vent holes and they believe dug out a couple. But perhaps the wolverines came along afterwards? Need to take a closer look.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/24/15 05:13 AM

My cinematographer partner filled me in in the kill scene. The wolverine got caught travelling down an overgrown cutline. The pack came loping down the trail in pursuit but the wolverine was hemmed in by thick alder regrowth. It managed to make it to a clearing and made for a spruce tree. the base of the tree was trampled by the pack and broken branches at the base. Looks like the wolverine made it a few feet up the tree before they grabbed it by the back and pulled it down. I wouldn't be surprised if it made a couple attempts to climb. Not his day but it illustrates how important climbable trees are to a wolverine.

Of course a real wolverine could whip a pack of wolves or a grizzly bear.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/24/15 05:16 AM

And weigh 60 pounds missing that chunk out their back!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 02/24/15 05:24 AM

AK - That's funny


Av- You did send that data, it was detailed. Those widely dispersing wolverines are those juveniles perhaps?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 06:53 AM

Things have been interesting lately. Dropped my partner off in the wolverine blind... so I'm keeping my fingers crossed he gets some more video gold.







In the meantime I headed up into a different mountain range with a buddy. Lyle has his trapline up in this high country and his family have been connected to this area for a few hundred years at least. He and his wife also run a horse outfitting business specializing in deep wilderness trips along the continental divide.





This is the view out his cabin front window
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 07:03 AM




We were on a mission, in support of some volunteer work we do. Our Parks division is strapped for cash (because Alberta is such a poor province) so we hauled public toilets out to remote campsites. There was some skeptics who thought we'd never make it up the twisty trails with the loads but never under estimate trappers. You'll note I had my whole fleet out to haul the toilets.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 07:13 AM

The ride in was sunny and the vista's golden




But we woke up to a blizzard with a foot of new snow at the cabin and even more as we made climbed in elevation


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 07:16 AM





The next day was a lot better and we even had time to look for sheep, as this is a hot area.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 03:58 PM

Great pictures Brian. Did you see much for rams?
Posted By: bullgetter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 04:17 PM

Ummmm if you have to use one of those green crappers in the mountains should you really be in the back country of the Wilmore? There is a log at Eagles Nest that has served me well!
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 05:15 PM

Are you also going to "empty" them? Or just haul them out for pumping? sick
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/05/15 11:00 PM

Brian, I'd say you were on my trapline except the trees were too big and the snow way too deep. Beautiful country up there. Were the toilets heavy or just bulk loads? Looked forward to your posts and pictures this season. Can't wait to see the new wolverine footage. Be safe.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/12/15 03:30 PM

AK - Toilets were light at least, but sleds fill up with snow so ends up heavy regardless.


I just returned from the trapline I hauled a small crew in to film some behind the scenes footage for the wolverine documentary. I have never seen conditions like this season, way too warm for this time of year. My partner had called and reported bad conditions so I brought in an argo on tracks. I used to own an argo but found them too much too maintain. I had forgotten how awesome they can be.






The wolverine action has been slower than other years. I believe the warm conditions have made travelling tougher and reduced their food requirements. We still have them around just not as many.

We did get some cool shots of two fox mating on camera. They get locked together and the female drags the male around on the ice. I'll take a still photo and post it. I also saw a mink on the ice. I have never seen a mink there and only have caught one in 20 years.




I've been hauling significant amounts of "bio mass" out to this area for four years now. Way more than an average trapper would be doing for trapping purposes. I did it for filming but I'm seeing interesting results. It appears that the population of furbearers has increased dramatically in that specific area. And I'm still harvesting fur around there.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 03:59 AM

Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:04 AM

Is that a buffalo? If so, that's what I would certainly call a bait pile!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:20 AM



Pete's was not the only wedding in town. My son just got married and the girls in the wedding party had their photos taken with my furs. I was pleased the bride wanted the fur as when she met my son she figured we were killers. She come a long way. Someone posted one of the professional photos on Facebook and apparently it got picked up by some anti-fur website and the bride got an onslaught of negative posts. She laughed them off.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:22 AM

I have three moose, two deer, variety of lynx carcasses and the number one draw for every meat eater...BEAVER.

After watching the trail cams I can tell beaver is by far the most desirable bait.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:41 AM

About those toilet questions

Nube - you know better than to ask about rams, wait for the pictures next fall. ( got to dream a bit )

Bullgetter - You and every other cowboy puts up a rail for a toilet. Camps are in limited supply so the camps are surrounded by crappers. As for belonging in the Willmore I don't mind having folks who like a clean camp showing up. And good news I'm heading to Eagles Pass next week with one of those toilets and I'm putting your name on it. Watch for photos

AV - These are slick units. you dig a regular hole and just put the unit overtop. When full roll toilet to the side and dig a new hole and use dirt to fill old hole. When it rains they wash up real good. low maintenance
Posted By: cat catcher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:50 AM

What's the price tag on those toilets? Thanks
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 05:07 AM

Not sure Cat. Parks bought them and we hauled them in for them. I'm thinking $400 was what I heard.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 06:33 AM

if you build an outhouse these work very well. http://www.alcaroplastics.com/toiletstems.html
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 04:03 PM

Originally Posted By: cat catcher
What's the price tag on those toilets? Thanks

From Far North Fiberglass in Whitehorse Yukon they sell from $155.00 to $195.00. Farnorthfiberglass.com
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 05:10 PM





Love hurts
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 08:44 PM

Oh that brings up a bad memory. blush
As a kid I rode the bus. I went outside to find my sisters dog locked up in the front of our house in full view of everyone on the bus when it would stop to pick me up. Crazy how every time I see or hear of this happening I think of that memory as a kid. The thought of having to get on that bus with this happening made a huge mark in my memory bank. Heck I am having a hard time remembering what I did yesterday.
However being a boy of action I did get my practice herding, with all mean at my disposal, a set of simese twin dogs each pointed in the opposite direction, to the back side of the house in record time.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/13/15 09:29 PM

I shot two like that once a few years ago,last day of the season.
Posted By: smalltimetrapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/14/15 06:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Boco
I shot two like that once a few years ago,last day of the season.


They died happy, kinda like the two squirrels on my woodpile a few years back.
Posted By: spjones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/14/15 01:46 PM

those crappers would be great along the river i work on. so many people camping/fishing, its real nasty by the end of a summer.

have they left them out in the bush before? outside of a structure? looks to me like they'ld end up being expensive play toys for bears. if they are just outside covering a hole. keep us updated on how long they last.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/16/15 06:27 PM

Originally Posted By: braggadoe
those crappers would be great along the river i work on. so many people camping/fishing, its real nasty by the end of a summer.

have they left them out in the bush before? outside of a structure? looks to me like they'ld end up being expensive play toys for bears. if they are just outside covering a hole. keep us updated on how long they last.

I've seen and used ones along rivers in BC. They had been there a while and were no worse for the wear. As Brian can atest the perch is quite comfortable.
Posted By: spjones

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/17/15 11:43 AM

if they've got them along some rivers in bc already. won't be long until there out on the dean.

last summer. one of my clients took a crap on top of a squirrel miden. and then lit the paper on fire. i spent nearly a week, couple hours a day. with the water pump/fire hose. putting the fire out. lucky,could of been real bad.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 12:19 PM

Just back from another mountain expedition. Headed up into Willmore Wilderness with a couple friends doing a bit of volunteer work for Parks. This area is know as one of the most scenic parts of the park. Because of the warm winter we are having we weren't sure about conditions but it turned out to be perfect. Stayed in one of my travelling partners trapline cabins, a beautiful hand crafted log structure. A good time for sure



One of the iconic peaks



I came home with some trophies. This area is famous for hunting. I saw cow moose & calf while out plus tons of wolf tracks, some lynx, lots of fox, but not much marten



Of course folks have been using the mountains for a long long time.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 12:42 PM



The cow and the calf powered their way up the slope through thick crusted snow to get away from us



But the rams just laid there. There were seven in this bunch
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 12:57 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 01:01 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 08:45 PM







It can't always go smooth

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/18/15 09:04 PM




Oh yea... this is the sign that greeted me on the way in. No I didn't put chains on.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/19/15 04:47 AM




Some of these camps have interesting features.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/19/15 04:54 AM




I like this one with the old cabin in the background. It was used during the 1920's for exploration purposes.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/19/15 04:58 AM

Looks like a Coors Lite, to me. Good taste.
http://www.trapperman.com/forum/attachments/usergals/2015/03/full-1544-271358-mj_carving.jpg
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/19/15 04:59 AM




One of Parks patrol cabins
Posted By: trappin moose

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/19/15 06:06 PM

Very cool! Thanks for sharing those pics!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/20/15 03:12 AM

Thanks moose. I only post on this forum because the folks on here speak my language. Big thanks to the pioneers of this forum like Family Trapper and White 17 who have built the culture of this site. A lot of helpful info and no posers.


check this out




we're right in the midst of filming wolverines. This male has been displaced from his territory and looks like he's had his butt kicked.
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/20/15 03:39 AM

Dang, that must hurt !
Great photos as always.
Posted By: Castor Gitter

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/20/15 04:35 AM

OUCH!!!!! Unique picture there!
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/20/15 01:34 PM

Beautiful country for sure!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/21/15 02:04 PM



How a wolverine moves when under full speed.
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/21/15 08:06 PM

I would move fast like that too if I has a bullet hole in my head like that lol I wonder what happened to him?
Posted By: tucker13

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/21/15 10:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Thanks moose. I only post on this forum because the folks on here speak my language. Big thanks to the pioneers of this forum like Family Trapper and White 17 who have built the culture of this site. A lot of helpful info and no posers.


check this out




we're right in the midst of filming wolverines. This male has been displaced from his territory and looks like he's had his butt kicked.

any pictures from other angles of this guy.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/22/15 10:53 AM

Holy Cowabunga. If a guy only knew what happened. Wonder if he will make it. Doesn't look too likely.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 01:49 AM





My cameraman got run over by a wolverine today crazy
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 02:07 AM

You are becoming the new Audrey. Keep 'em coming, Bushman!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 02:20 AM

A big team doing the heavy lifting AV I'm just riding their coat-tails. I am really enjoying it though.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 02:38 AM

Well, thanks for sharing. smile
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 03:58 AM

Your feeding them too well. There not taking no for an answer when the beaver meat supply runs low!! ;0)
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 03:59 AM

I would really steer clear of Frankenwoverine shown above. That one looks like he would be just willing for revenge.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/24/15 04:21 AM

The wolverine was being released from a live capture so Andrew set the camera on ground and left it rolling. He got some dynamite shots.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/26/15 04:19 AM

Thanks for letting us follow with ya this season Brian. Like to get into that video stuff a little more myself. Great pics and experiences.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/26/15 01:47 PM

Getting some nice shots of the wolverine.
Hey, i noticed an Argo a couple a pages back, i knew you would come around!
Nice country to ride in for sure. Thanks.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/28/15 05:24 PM

Those wolverines get addicted to the beaver bait in the live traps and put a few pounds on. There is some discussion on whether live trapping disrupts normal wolverine travel patterns and I'm sure it has effect. But their inherit need to scent post and mark territory keeps them moving I believe. We can see by our trail cams on carcasses that they gorge for a period and then take off, usually packing some grub to stash.

Taking a short break from bush life to setup the next stage of our filming. We're using chopper and fixed wings with long range cine-flex to see if we can follow a wolverine across the landscape. We need the cineplex so we can stay back 1/4 mile or so and get natural behaviour in action. We have cameras setup on two dens right now. You're going to have to watch the documentary to see what we're getting but I'm pretty happy.

My buddy from up north sent me this as a joke.




Claims he was always a Ladies Man, I say it was the shades while he claims it was all his fur.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/29/15 01:44 PM




This one is for you Tundra
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/29/15 01:45 PM

The argo definitely provided access where the snow mobile couldn't go, namely across open water channels. Good for that use but pretty slow overall.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/29/15 02:50 PM

Slow but sure Brian! Love those new Argos. The outfitter I guide for has 4 or 5 of them. The old ones were a pain....always breaking axles, but they fixed that problem a few years ago. Looks like your snow conditions were about like ours. What is the dimension of that cabin? I have a couple to build this year.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/29/15 11:16 PM

16x16 Yukon. Roof strapped, double tarped and tinned. It's working out real good. No movement and its a year old now. Planning my next one now
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/30/15 01:23 AM

Cool stuff, the wolverine pics are really interesting. I wonder how that one got scalped? They must fight hard.
Too bad about the one killed by wolves.
The camera man must have unbelievable patience!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 03/30/15 01:06 PM

He's got ADD when he's not in that blind Dale. But can really drill down when he's on the job. A good cinematographer for sure. We're going to keep filming all year and hope for spring and summer footage. Stay tuned
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/03/15 04:14 PM





This pic is of a wolf I spotted coming around a corner towards me. Gun was buried deep in gear ( I know...I know) but camera was close. It made tracks once it saw me.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/03/15 04:23 PM




I call this one "Serenity Now"
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/03/15 04:47 PM

Nice pictures!
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/04/15 04:18 AM

Great pics Brian. Not too often you get to take a pic of a wild wolf in the wild without having a braclet or some other sort of jewlery on..
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/04/15 04:30 PM

that wolf is begging for lead!
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/04/15 05:15 PM

Nothing wrong with just watching through glass w/o crosshairs !

Neat encounter.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/05/15 12:58 AM

Awesome. I had and blew the one opportunity I had for a wolf with a gun. There was not chance to shoot it at the time. It booked too soon. It was on a fresh March beaver kill on a slough. I stopped and picked up the beaver it was huge. He had just killed it and started eating the throat area out. All good for fur. I took it and left to check Lynx traps up the slough. I had the thought I should go and sneak back to take a look. Thought he would not return. Was gone an hour or so and on my return he had come back out in the fresh snow looking for his prized possession. One of my deeper regrets was to not play that one out a little smarter. One of the few times I had a good rifle to do the trick too.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/05/15 05:09 AM







Looks like a male I'm thinking
Posted By: takotna

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/05/15 12:50 PM

Lol, I'd say it's a male! Nice pic, love the wolf one.
Posted By: Clark

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/06/15 01:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
I call this one "Serenity Now"


..Insanity later!

Clark
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/06/15 04:13 AM

I took a quick trip to my cabins today to retrieve my LT440. I'm giving it to a buddy for parts. This machine was called the legend and it earned its name. Of course travelling through the different elevations means you go from dirt to snow back down to rocks.

My bridge was a little under the weather so I took the direct route, with mixed results










Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/06/15 04:15 AM




After extracting the snowmobile, easy job, we're back in the snow within 15 minutes
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/06/15 06:38 AM

Never a dull moment with you Bushman. ;0)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/10/15 04:00 AM





Made a recent trip to say goodbye to an old friend. After 20 years of making memories I've decided to sell my foothills trapline. Found the right guy and did the deal. Time to move on.

It was hard to sell this trapline but I was keeping it for the wrong reasons. I'd steal time from my mountain line to high grade the fur, especially during the early season. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's like having a beautiful woman and only visiting her once a month. Time to let someone else show her some love.

The upside is more mountain time and hopefully getting into some of my more remote corners.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/10/15 05:51 AM

Your an honorable man to let it go to someone that will give it the use it is set aside for.
Wish I had just one beautiful woman to choose to spend time with. ;0)
Posted By: glandman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/10/15 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman




Made a recent trip to say goodbye to an old friend. After 20 years of making memories I've decided to sell my foothills trapline. Found the right guy and did the deal. Time to move on.

It was hard to sell this trapline but I was keeping it for the wrong reasons. I'd steal time from my mountain line to high grade the fur, especially during the early season. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's like having a beautiful woman and only visiting her once a month. Time to let someone else show her some love.

The upside is more mountain time and hopefully getting into some of my more remote corners.


Wow!! That is one of the most rugged "A" frames I have ever seen in my life. Unbelievable full roof of solid logs!!
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/11/15 03:09 PM

How did this conversation go from traplines to women. Must be the end of the season. I wish I had traplines all over the country or women for that matter. That is an awesome A-frame Brian. Did you build it?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/11/15 06:12 PM

A shout out to Ben & Larry Gauthier who built the cabin in late 1970's and sold me the line in 95.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/15 03:45 AM

We just wrapped up the winter portion of our wolverine shoot. My partner came through once again and nailed some amazing footage. I'd love to share some of our gold footage but I'd have one peeved broadcaster. It'll be worth waiting for I'm thinking. I believe we have captured the first film footage ever of wild wolverine kits, which were totally white by the way. Plus a lot of adult wolverines as well. Got some excellent lynx footage as a bonus.

Our next challenge is to capture some spring and summer wolverine footage. Looks like we'll have to chopper in to our mountain location. A friend was up in choppers last week looking for collared female grizzlies but they were still in dens. I was a bit surprised as its been a real warm winter but I guess they're programmed to emerge at a certain time of year. Still froze in that den i guess.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/15 04:18 AM

Great pics as usual - thanks. The wolverine footage sounds great - we'll be waiting!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/14/15 05:44 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/15 04:45 AM

I was sorting some media and came across these.





Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/22/15 04:47 AM

I dropped a moose one day and by Day two a grizzly had taken the remains over. A buddy walked in on the carcass and said his hair was standing on end. He scanned around and spotted the grizzly under a spruce tree laying down and looking him right in the eye. The bear backed away and he felt pretty lucky.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/15 04:36 AM

I've got a new crop of marten coming along. These were taken after the season ended





Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/23/15 05:49 PM

Some nice colored marten there!
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/28/15 11:43 PM

Excellent pics Bushman! You're killing me. I'd do anything to be out there!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 03:45 AM




Some days are better than others Lever
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 02:13 PM

You need a snorkel on that skandic! Argos are hard to beat. Have a good summer Brian.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 08:44 PM

At first i thought that ski doo was holding it's own, but then i seen the rope.
Never ending fun.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 09:13 PM

Thanks guys, as long as it's interesting.

This time of year the posts seem to drop off so I'm going to dig through some stuff on occasion. These shots illustrate what a great area I live in







Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 09:16 PM







Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 09:21 PM





Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 09:31 PM

That is some amazing country you've got there Brian.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/29/15 11:09 PM

Simply amazing pictures Brian, keep them coming!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/30/15 06:38 AM

Oh so nice!
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/30/15 11:18 AM

Gorgeous country for sure.
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/30/15 04:41 PM

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 04/30/15 10:08 PM











There's a story behind each of these pictures. The caribou hunt was the last time I hunted caribou with Dad. I grew up hunting caribou with him so it was bittersweet. He's still chasing deer and elk though.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/01/15 01:31 AM

Dandy caribou! NWT??
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/01/15 04:20 AM

Yup McKay Lake. The hunt is shut down now
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/02/15 12:52 AM

Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/02/15 08:20 PM

Need to knit a hat for that guy. Wow
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/02/15 08:20 PM

Will be cool to see him make it and back in your study next season.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/04/15 04:49 AM

I'm hoping Brutus survives too Len.




A buddy was out at my cabins a couple years ago, and when he came around the trail he found a golden eagle holding a struggling fox in it's talons. I went back later that afternoon and the eagle lifted off from where it had been feeding. I'd have loved to seen the eagle grab the fox.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 04:10 AM




You can almost hear them crackle
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 04:42 AM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 04:45 AM



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YLUtHqHkjE

Some of you may have seen this but it was one of our first projects as a company
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 05:02 AM

[quote
You can almost hear them crackle [/quote]


I have heard them crackle on a quiet night with no wind. Lots of static up there.
Posted By: roe

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 11:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YLUtHqHkjE

Some of you may have seen this but it was one of our first projects as a company


awesome!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 01:18 PM

357- lots of talk over years about the noise associated with northern lights as to whether it even exists. But having heard them
I personally knew it was a moot point. Years later I read an article on how the needles of conifers act as receivers to pick up frequency given off by electrical pulses created by the lights. So does that mean they are silent on the tundra?
Posted By: Hivernan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/05/15 09:05 PM

I've heard them crackling while out on the Arctic Ocean on the ice like 10 miles outside of Barrow. So I would assume they would crackle on the tundra also. Went up there for New Years 1999/2000 my uncle took us up to prove that y2k histeria was bull. Lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/15 03:46 AM




I was out fishing on the Mckenzie river and thought this looked nice
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/15 03:47 AM




Every trapper likes to see a wolf peeking at them.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/10/15 03:49 AM




Not happy
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/15 09:23 PM

Digging up that old picture of that moose and me got me thinking. I've shot and seen some nice moose over the years




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/15 09:27 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/13/15 09:30 PM

Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/15 05:39 AM

Here's a couple for ya Brian



4 more months, we'll be hunting those big beasts again. My freezer is getting empty.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/15 05:53 AM

#3 picture is real pretty moose. We can start with bow August 25th until Sept 23rd. It's draw rifle after that.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/14/15 05:56 AM



In my backyard this winter
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/15/15 05:47 AM

Looks like tomorrow is going to be fun. taking off early to attempt to jet boat up my creek. It'll be a first ascent perhaps as I've never seen anyone up there in all my years. Stay tuned for full report and pics in a couple days...or have a stiff whiskey for me if I don't make it.
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/15/15 06:29 AM

Good luck!
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/15/15 07:20 PM

Good luck and have fun. Gotta love first ascents or attempts, excitement around every bend. Just picked up a new jet boat myself. 18'X54" Lowe flat bottom with 70hp Yamaha jet and prop unit. Ought to be fast and shallow runner. Got some mods to do and should be on the water next week.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/16/15 04:40 PM

Good luck on the run Brian, running an outboard jet or inboard?
Buddy of mine ran a small river up into the caribou mountains, they made it 60 miles up from the last road and hit major rapids.
Boat got swamped and stuck on some rocks in mid river where they tried to get to shore but current was much to strong. They had a locating device and called a chopper come in and pick them out of the boat hovering above the rapids. As they lifted off the boat tumbled down stream and was gone.
He flew over last week and located the boat over turned in some shallow rapids.
Planning a recover soon.
They had a Delorme device along, without it search and rescue would not have found them in time due too hypothermia.

The upper half of the river has never been run yet.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 04:10 AM

Glad i didn't read your post before I left Tundra. Inboard sport jet 200. FireFish manufacturer here in Alberta.

JR - You always got something sweet going on. Enjoy the boat

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 04:14 AM




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 04:18 AM




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 04:32 AM






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 04:56 AM







Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 05:00 AM





Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 05:07 AM






Moose had been rolling on beech


Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 11:52 AM

Sweet pictures bushman!! What a ride that must have been. Looks like you had some good water levels to work with
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 01:51 PM







It was all gold Lever until we hit this rock heading back downstream, only a couple mile from the truck. My buddy slammed his face & nose into the console and banged it up pretty bad. We caught air when we hit the rock but I was hanging on while my friend only had the wheel. When we hit it knocked him silly for a minute and he dropped to the floor. I grabbed the wheel from the side and steered us to shore until he got his wits back. He's tough
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/17/15 01:55 PM





Stopped at the lodge and of course a bear had to work some jerry cans over
Posted By: Rammer

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/17/15 08:37 PM

I just read through this whole post, and I must say I live In the wrong part of the world! Keep up the journal, it gives us flatlanders something to dream about!
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/17/15 09:15 PM

Looks like a crazy trip! Wow
Some awesome scenery and I bet not many people get back there
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 05:50 AM

It's remote for sure Dale. I retrieved my trail cams as well and got some nice footage

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 05:57 AM









Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 05:59 AM



And how about this...two wolverines scrapping
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 01:38 PM





I had some wolf traps freeze under the ice. I chipped a bunch out but couldn't get a couple. Just picked them up in the boat!
Posted By: TrappinAlaska

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 03:21 PM

Amazing you found them!
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/18/15 11:11 PM

Cool pictures! Worth the trip!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/19/15 05:52 AM




I'm still checking the media on the cameras I picked up and I got this beauty.
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/19/15 07:44 PM

Hey Bush, what make is you jet boat? Man that would be perfect for berry picking and caribou hunting.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 03:31 AM

Muskrat - firefish.ca Made in Alberta 4" draft under power and bounces off rocks good.
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 07:41 AM

Thanks I will google it
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 12:28 PM

no google required
www.firefish.ca
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 04:18 PM

What model and size do you have. I looked at the website last night and did not see one that looked like yours. The Snapper does but yours looks beeter could just be the paint job though.
Posted By: Malukchuk

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 04:36 PM

can you tell us more about your boat? Looks pretty neat I was curious about the motor noise and fuel consumption.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/15 04:59 PM

It is a snapper but customized. The present owner buys the shell and motor and adds his own touches. Firefish will build the exact same boat though. But he's backed way up. The engine is a 200 opti-max two stroke. The boat is 14' 8" and has an open hull. That way you can walk out in bow to cut sweepers. There is also a tarp for the front ad back. You can drive with the front on to keep water or rain off gear. The noise level was moderate and you could easily talk even with head phones on. I'm going over to try and make a deal on the boat tomorrow, complete with lessons, to old to completely learn through trial and error.

My jet boat buddies tell me it's a nice starter boat...I'll show them lol. Far as I can see only limitation is big lakes and heavy seas, not made for that. I'm surrounded by epic jetboat rivers, The smoky, wapiti, kakwa, and my buddy lives on the McKenzie, Liard, and Nahanni. Life just keeps getting better. New grandson ;last week too an 8 pounder
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/21/15 12:26 AM

Congrats on the grandson!
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/21/15 04:23 AM

http://www.trapperman.com/forum/attachments/usergals/2015/05/full-1544-279968-mjjtrap2.jpg

What's up with the watermelon? shocked
Posted By: smalltimetrapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/21/15 06:01 AM

Good stuff, Brian!
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/22/15 01:53 PM

That looks like an exciting river to run, the boat with a 200 Sport jet must must an awful lot of fun.
Could you make it up late summer or is it just during spring run off?

I'll bet finding 2 wolf traps paid for the gas!
Posted By: coney catcher

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/22/15 01:59 PM

(This word is unacceptable on Trapperman);Brian i sat up reading all 41 pages until 1-30 this morning, you have some life style, it seems like life is just one big adventure, or loads of little ones, you live the life some of us can only dream about, good luck to you.
Congrats on another grandchild, i became a granddad in nov for the first time and its a great feeling, someone to take on all my fishing and hunting gear after my days.
Keep the posts coming they are fantastic reading and the pictures are absolutely amazing.


Good luck to you,

Brian [same name]
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/22/15 02:20 PM

Thanks for the comments. It's fun to share with others who love the bush life. I believe all of us here have an appreciation for the wild places, but some of us are more fortunate with locations and access. I consider myself very lucky Coney, and funny you should mention adventures, that's what i call them too.

Tundra - as far as I know I made first ascent of the river. The water drops dramatically by August so it'll be tough access later, but maybe not impossible. I bought the boat yesterday so i guess I'll be seeing. Lots of the places to play around here on mountains rivers.. I'm heading back again tomorrow to head upriver again.

I just setup a trip for beginning of June to head up to the Nahanni for a week of jet boating again. My buddy Floyd is lining up some trips to some unique spots. It's sure nice to have a buddy who have a few thousand year family history in a place, they kind of get to know the area!

By the way Tundra my friend Floyd takes folks out on the river for a living in the summer and traps all winter. He's based out of Ft Simpson and very reasonable priced. Anybody looking for a northern adventure could do no wrong with Floyd. Happy to provide a contact via PM to anyone interested.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/23/15 05:07 AM

Making another run upriver tomorrow. I'm dropping off my cameraman for a couple weeks to see what we can get.




The bears are out. My buddy took this shot a few days ago. Another cub was lagging behind these two
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/23/15 05:12 AM

Here in Alberta you are allowed to shoot ravens on private land. Around some cattle leases the ravens have learned to harass weak calves and sometimes stress them to death. A friend of mine was asked to help manage some out of control local population. They took over 400


Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/23/15 09:40 AM

The wings should make good winter flagging.
I read of an old set with a raven frozen in a lifelike pose, set on the edge of lake ice, with urine or scent on it. I don't know if it was in Bill Nelson's book or what. Should be good for lynx , wolverine and fox.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/23/15 11:55 AM

Or wolf Dale, makes deadly set. Also if you throw a few dead ravens at your bait pile the rest will stay away. It's 5:30 am here and I'm mountain bound, have a good day all.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/24/15 04:03 AM

So this turned out to be an interesting day. We got down to the river after two hour drive and after looking the river over we decided to turn around and drive home again. I'd say spring is two weeks early and the high water has come early. Sending cameraman out in helicopter tomorrow instead. Looks like I might lose a couple foot bridges this tear.





Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/24/15 03:44 PM

At least it flooded while you were on the "right" side of the river!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/25/15 01:33 PM

Good point AV.

I ended up booking a chopper to fly partner in to our location. He brought his 10 year old son who lives in Florida with his Mom. ( See us Canadians like the US, we make babies) The kid is tough I've had him on horse backing treks. He walks around in bare feet all the time.



Nothing like paying $1,300 an hour to fly dead beavers around. We had to haul bait in as well



The boys checking their face book status before the flight. It'll be social media withdrawals for a while
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/26/15 04:13 AM


I finally got a few days to work on my yard cabin. I put in flooring both inside and out on my deck.









Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/26/15 07:48 PM

Looks like you've been busy Brian. Love that little boat, looks as it should be able to take some punishment and keep on keeping on. Your cabin looks awesome. That buffalo hide really covers a wall. I shot one here that was 54 square feet of hide. Just got it rolled up in the corner. Have fun and be safe.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/27/15 03:09 AM

AK -My dad shot that buffalo in 1970's...these hides last forever The firefish has a 1" teflon layer on the bottom with seven stringers. We nailed a rock so hard we got airborne but no damage to the boat




The moose calves are out and about
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/27/15 04:49 AM




A moth at my house. Striking colours
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/28/15 07:52 PM




Glad it was just a trail cam and not a personal visit
Posted By: Deerslayer78

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/30/15 05:25 PM

Wish I could move to a place like that. My wife would have a fit no electricity (accept a gen.) or running water. That's what you get when you marry a girl from the suburbs. Wouldn't bother me a bit. The plus side no nosey neighbors for miles.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 05/31/15 01:36 AM




Nothing says a road trip like 16 jerry cans of gas and two coolers of dry ice. I'm heading back to the homeland for some fishing and jet boating. Hitting Ft providence first and then on to the Mckenzie River with the Nahanni next. Hope to have some good shots to share when I return.

My cameraman has been besieged by solid rain for a week and the river is raging down there. I'm thinking I'll have lost a couple bridges. Oh well time for an upgrade
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/01/15 11:25 AM

I
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/01/15 04:03 PM

Just wondering why the scandik? You going to be doing some dirt ridding? Great thread really enjoy it.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/06/15 12:57 PM

411 - I just dropped off 440 LT to a buddy who needs the parts.

I returned yesterday from another epic tip. I met up with my buddy Floyd in Ft. Simpson and we headed north on the McKenzie River until we hit the north Nahanni and then followed it as far as you can go in a jet boat. It took us two days of travel to get to that point. The end of the trail is caused by huge rocks and debris that almost closed the river off. The North Nahanni is an untamed river that is as wild as it gets. A lot of fast water and rocky channels. Also a lot of fossils, cool rocks, petrified wood, and

After a couple days on the Nahanni we headed to the Root River which takes you all the way up into the McKenzie mountains. This river is more shallow and braided and presented more of a challenge. A couple buddies came up with me in their jet boat and went aground in one section. My local buddy Floyd is a master of the rivers and performed some pretty amazing feats in his boat. I also love his stories of being on the land and his youth spent learning off his 90 year old grandparents who raised him. I also picked up a Dene elder friend of mine Louie, from another community, who had never seen that part of their nation. A couple great guy's to travel with.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/06/15 01:05 PM




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/06/15 01:30 PM

I saw a couple wildlife drama's while out as well. We came around corner and two wolves were harassing a moose. It had been in the river for quite a while as it's back legs were quivering. I spotted a third wolf off in a small tributary and it was standing over a dead calf. I'm guessing the pulled the calf down and the cow wouldn't leave so they started harassing it. The cow was gone when we returned that afternoon so maybe we saved it.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/06/15 05:41 PM


The Alberta boys got hung up on a gravel-bar


Our camp up the Root River



Lots of Morels around this year. I brought home about 30 lbs.



I got some nice grayling and and a decent bull trout, delicious




Lots of wildlife
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/06/15 10:41 PM

What a great trip! Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 12:57 AM

You're welcome 52








While I was fishing a bear walked by down stream I could see it from a hill I was on.
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 01:07 AM

Great trip and awesome photos Brian. Looks like your running with some good company. Been looking into those rough water jet boats, wow. Pretty sweet rides. Keep living the dream and exploring that great land. I'm down in Minnesota for quite a while, got some physical issues to deal with. Will be following your adventures to keep me in line.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 01:10 AM

Grayling is right up there with my favorite white fish. ENJOY!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 12:50 PM




No problem enjoying those Grayling, loved them grilled on open fire
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 03:31 PM

That looks tasty, beautiful country your showing us.
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 04:41 PM

WOW ....What an adventure Thanks so much BM

JR, take care, Don't let the humidity get ya down. Was going to mention the skitters but most likely tame compared to whre ya come'm from ;-)
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 05:17 PM

Sorry to hear you're down for maintenance JR. I got a feeling it'll take a lot to keep you down.

One of the amazing things about the Nahanni is the rock formations, fossils, and assorted colours. I already have a thing for rocks ( being a Prospector was one of my first dreams as a kid) so this place really blows me away.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 05:22 PM





looks like petrified trees too me

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 05:24 PM



These look like tracks to me.
Posted By: Nunamiut

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/07/15 07:45 PM

Cool pictures as always. I like the cool colors in the rocks you get around that area. The older folks around here say this year was one of the earliest and fastest spring thaws they have ever seen. We got some high heat early this year.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/08/15 02:28 AM

Now that is some cool stuff there. Love the variety of formations.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/08/15 04:06 AM

Very interesting rock formations. Petrified trees are pretty neat, some parts of them are hardened almost like agate.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/08/15 04:40 AM

Originally Posted By: trapper ron
Very interesting rock formations. Petrified trees are pretty neat, some parts of them are hardened almost like agate.


Well, he has been away for a while...........
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/08/15 04:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Nunamiut
Cool pictures as always. I like the cool colors in the rocks you get around that area. The older folks around here say this year was one of the earliest and fastest spring thaws they have ever seen. We got some high heat early this year.

Same to the north east in Canada. We had an early breakup muskrat hunting was 4 or 5 days long before the muskrats fought all the value out of themselves. Temps were 18C to 22C then for the last week a north wind and rain / snow blew in and we have been starting the wood stove for a few nights. Now it is clearing up again may go to the coast tomorrow.
Posted By: Bw32057

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/15/15 06:51 PM

Hey Bushman. I read about a forest fire burning in WW. Is your cabin safe?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 04:49 AM

Bw - All good in Willmore, way south of me


My partner flew over my house on the way to our location, he took a picture of my place. Not much for neighbours eh?

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 04:53 AM




He got a close up too
Posted By: hillbillyjake

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 02:36 PM

Beautiful place. Did everything come in on the river?
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 03:06 PM

Very nice base camp Brian. Best of all no grass to mow. smile
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 03:42 PM

I'll be there with the camper in a jiffy, got a place I can plug in? laugh
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/18/15 03:48 PM

I hear you Ron, but a full time job in summer time for the gardener ( my wife ) It's her passion. My son and I built the house and all the landscaping features ourselves but it's taken forever. I'm in no hurry. Jake - I'm 15 minutes away from civilization.


I'm just finishing up looking at our footage from our last film shoot, partner came out of bush 2 weeks ago. Our goal was to get some summer wolverine footage which is hard to do. We got lucky and nailed some great footage. Also got bears, moose, marten, and great wolf footage.

In one clip a moose comes rolling down the river in full sprint flood. It must have got swept off its feet. The young bull struggles to its feet and stands in the full force of the current shoulder deep. It walks into shore and stands there recovering. But earlier a black bear had walked along the creek and was still in the bushes, unseen. The moose started into the trees with it's ears pointed forward for at lest three minutes before turning around and plunging back into the creek and crossing to other side. But here's the thing the wind was blowing hard from moose to bear and the bear was hid. Six sense?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/25/15 12:52 AM

I'm down in the crowsnest pass in southern Alberta. I've been at a wolverine conference attended by a lot of researchers currently conducting research across Canada , lower 48, and a special treat Audrey came down from Alaska. Jeff Copeland from the Wolverine Foundation was also there. Obviously some interesting projects were discussed but our Alberta research project which is a collaboration with Trappers was a real topic of interest. There were three of us trappers in attendance and we had a great opportunity to dialogue and maybe even opened a few eyes and minds to the value trappers contribute towards conservation
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/25/15 04:08 AM

Awesome view of your house Brian
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 06/25/15 08:53 AM

That is good to get some positive light on trappers Brian. Kudos.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/15/15 02:53 PM


I was at the Alberta Trapper Rendevous last weekend. Sold out event over 500 in attendance. Lots of fires this year. Got a shot of water bomber lifting off
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/15/15 09:19 PM

We're getting lots of smoke from there and Saskatchewan here in Montana. Thanks for spreading the good mojo of trappers!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/16/15 04:09 AM











Finally caught up on some business so I can finally get out of town. Wife and I are heading to the mountains for a couple of weeks in the morning
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/21/15 04:15 PM


Weather is nice up in the mountains right now. I'm building a corral for our horses. They sure love their smudge
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/22/15 01:00 AM






Finally caught up on some business so I can finally get out of town. Wife and I are heading to the mountains for a couple of weeks in the morning [/quote]

Brian looks like you need to do a bit of work on your trap cabin before fall. crazy
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/23/15 02:02 AM

I'm a carpenter Ron but even I know when I'm beat. Along the Kakwa River part of the aboriginal population kicked out when Jasper park formed
Posted By: white17

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/23/15 02:15 AM

Bad bugs Brian ? We have NONE this year !
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/26/15 09:39 PM

Bugs were bad at first but once grass was down much better.
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 07/27/15 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: white17
Bad bugs Brian ? We have NONE this year !


Why no bugs something to do with all the smoke and fire?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/01/15 09:16 PM


Seems to be a good crop of sheep up in the high country but goat population is down. Lots of increased grizzly and cougar predation these days
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/02/15 06:07 PM



Major caribou migratory route through this pass



a welcome site to a sheep hunter, about 50% ratio ewes / lambs



The white speck is some idiots jeep, he rolled trying to climb the ridge. And no there are no roads to this location so he bushwhacked
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/05/15 12:51 PM


I had my friend do a carving of my old trapline cabin and my dog


Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/05/15 01:07 PM

Very talented friend Bush. Luv it.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/11/15 05:24 AM




I put up a zip line out at my cabin and my grandkids just love it More unplugged fun
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/11/15 05:41 AM



I had a Northern Flicker nest by the cabin. There were two chicks in the cavity, one much larger than the other. I was surprised that they were still in the nest but over the course of a couple days the parents coaxed the chicks out of the nest for good. Pretty noisy process
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/21/15 03:44 PM


Bear didn't like my trail cam. Bit right through the lens and wrecked cam
Posted By: Taximan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/21/15 05:37 PM

There's a cure for that.I've been using steel security boxes by camlockbox.com for several years on my Bushnells and have yet to get any damage.I just deal with black bears but before the boxes,I had several cameras trashed.I just get the standard weight ones but they have heavier weight ones as well.I haven't seen any evidence that they have even tried to bite the steel.
Posted By: suskymink

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/25/15 01:12 AM

I just finished reading all 44 pages of this thread. Great stuff bushman. Very envious of your life style. I hope we get the wolverine documentary here in PA and look forward to your future adventures. Great stuff!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/27/15 05:06 AM

Headed to the hills today to scout out some elk hunting spots



This one of my old camps




Found a nice sized puff ball and the redcaps are popping out also



Back in the day aboriginal families made a living along the river, today they have all moved into settlements






But their decedents still trap in the area



And just to prove I still got it I called a young bull into gun range...but was packing a bow



Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/27/15 10:59 PM

Those are some nice domed cabins you have there almost like a smurf lodge. What was that huge thing besides them looked like a giant glove?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/28/15 04:24 AM

You've been eating those mushrooms Muskrat? lol
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/30/15 11:41 PM





Headed back to the cabins for a quick visit and check some of my trail cameras
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/30/15 11:47 PM






Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 12:44 AM

Cowabunga Brian. Looks like you hit the jackpot on the trail cams. Quite the range.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 01:20 AM

That Griz even looks cranky in the picture. Some nice trail cam pictures there Brian.
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 02:24 AM

that's a trophy puff ball we love to pick them.. my mothers life was saved by a puff ball when she was a kid . great pics
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 02:25 AM

No mushroom pictures this time?
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 02:30 AM

I knew Canada had a pretty serious health care program, but when did you start providing prosthetics for bears?
Posted By: Nick McDade

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: saskamusher
that's a trophy puff ball we love to pick them.. my mothers life was saved by a puff ball when she was a kid . great pics


I for one would really like to hear that story.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 04:42 AM

Yup there's a lot of action up that way. No more mushroom shots for you 411, you get too excited.

I'm guessing Saskamusher's Mom might have had a major blood loss if a puffball saved her. Puffballs that have gone to spoor can stop blood from flowing in a wound.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 04:52 AM

Although I haven't gone up after a sheep yet, a few young fellows went in a week early and hiked a ways back and returned with this full curl ram. Tight curls but a beautiful sheep



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 05:09 AM




This is another grip that came in. A lot scruffier
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 06:46 AM

Man that bear looks thin. Looks like a backbone and rib ripples.
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 01:43 PM

ubetcha bushman that's exactly what happen to her we pick them green eat some and let some cure for medicine . ur trailcam pics are great do u leave them out year round
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 04:45 PM

Sask - I move them around but always have a bunch out. I'd love to hear more about your traditional bush medicines. I've been lucky enough to have learned a bit from old friends. Cattail pollen and yarrow also good for stopping bleeding
Posted By: Nick McDade

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 05:09 PM

Well I'll be. Never heard of that before. Very neat.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: alaska viking
I knew Canada had a pretty serious health care program, but when did you start providing prosthetics for bears?


Ha, just looked close at that black bear picture. Sure does look like a prosthetic leg. Must be the light and the camera. Maybe Brian is a secret Wildlife Vet. New reality TV show in the making. smile
Posted By: FullFreezer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 09:32 PM

Nice looking sheep!
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 08/31/15 10:04 PM

not much to it brian we pick them when there green and still growing set them in a cool dry place and they cure like a sponge if u get a cut u open it up pull out the spongey stuff inside and put it on the cut , it stops bleeding imidiately and disinfects the wound ,wrap it up and carry on . its nice if u can find lots about size of golf balls then generally one per wound .
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/01/15 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: saskamusher
not much to it brian we pick them when there green and still growing set them in a cool dry place and they cure like a sponge if u get a cut u open it up pull out the spongey stuff inside and put it on the cut , it stops bleeding imidiately and disinfects the wound ,wrap it up and carry on . its nice if u can find lots about size of golf balls then generally one per wound .

We always did this as kids. Never thought nothing of it until I did it to a kid at school who fell on a piece of glass at recess. Her mother went off the deep end! LOL I was grade 3 at the time and was terrified of that woman for years. I never knew how crazy ignorance can make a person. It was the end of my playground paramedic career anyway!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/06/15 02:32 PM



I went out bow hunting with my son yesterday. one of the spiders out there evidentially got into some magic mushrooms
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/06/15 02:46 PM

We worked some nice river flats, some some decent elk sign but no action. While trying to bushwhack through one area we got into heavy willows and a lot of bear sign. Time to pick a different spot we figured, too thick to shoot a bow and too easy for a surprise bear encounter. No use asking for trouble.

A lot more bear encounters here in Alberta since our grizzly hunt was terminated. An outfitter friend was telling me about his party being harassed and stalked by one bear for several days. His sheep hunter was so unravelled he wanted to terminate the hunt, they changed locations instead. My buddy tells me if he had been alone he'd have killed the bear and disposed of it. It's all good for the government to put restrictions on the hunt but they don't have to deal with the consequences of a smart predator that's figured out they're no longer in danger of being shot by man. Doubt we'll ever see the hunt restored.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/08/15 04:59 AM

My wife and I headed out and started putting our hunt camp together. Hauled and stashed our gear and through up a frame for our tarps. Dug fire pit and built outhouse.









Saw a decent buck and had a cougar run across the trail. Took five grouse. On the way home came upon this grizzly feeding. Looks like about a three year old bear
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/08/15 08:56 AM

Ya it is bad news when the predators know they are the top of the food chain again. ;0) Have fun and be careful.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/15 02:40 AM





I saw this old ad in Backwoodsman and I liked the design so I built one


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/10/15 03:36 AM





I spotted a couple young rams down in the trees today
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/14/15 04:46 AM




The hunt continues. Saw a few cow elk but no bull yet. Decent sign so we'll see what the week brings
Posted By: chicken

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/16/15 01:25 PM

Good luck!!!
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/17/15 10:03 PM

Good luck to you on your elk hunt! Me and my son are heading out on our elk hunt tomorrow.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/15 02:55 PM

Back in town for a couple days before heading out hunting to a new location. Lots of elk action so far but no kill yet. On opening day of rifle I called in a great bull only to have my dog come running in while i was working it. My wife decided to let her off the leash in camp which was over a mile away. Oh well that's hunting. A late rut this season it seems. Lots and lots of bears as we saw some every day. My grandkids came out for the weekend which was a blast, but noisy. I'm taking my jet boat out for this next hunt.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/15 03:14 PM




Fall colours


My grandson wanted to go full camo on the hunt
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/15 03:20 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/05/15 05:15 AM




The fleet arrives at our river hunt camp



Only to discover that the cabin had sustained an injury



good thing my son and I are carpenters



We did manage to get some hunting in. My buddy called this bull over 800 yards down along the river bank. An easy pack to the boats



I really enjoyed the new boat
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/08/15 02:46 PM

Enjoyed the pics, seems the rut is later here as well.
Seen some snow up in the hills, winter is comin.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/08/15 05:56 PM

Good idea to cut all the leaners and chicots around a camp.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/09/15 12:00 AM

got warm here today but freezes at night. Heading upriver tomorrow for a day trip. Not my camp Boco but I hear you. Cut them when they're small is best
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/10/15 11:49 PM




I have a friend up from Mexico hunting with me. He's finding it "brisk"






The river gets interesting in spots.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/10/15 11:53 PM



Most of the river is good going though.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/11/15 03:34 PM

Pretty cool pictures Brian, sure got some nice country to play in! Did you get a feel for what marten numbers might be like while you were out?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/11/15 04:52 PM





Always nice to find a bear bed right by your camp, this one was about 200 yards from our tents



Fur sign looks good this year Dave. Lots of marten scat on logs and fur bearers in general seem to be higher. Our rabbits haven't peaked yet either, maybe this year.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/13/15 01:32 PM



I liked the way this shot came out. Fall colours mostly gone but river still looks beautiful
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/13/15 01:34 PM



My buddies look like professionals!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/26/15 02:33 PM





My friend just flew back to Mexico in time for the Hurricane. Luckily it missed PV and hit land south of his home. Before he left we dropped a couple deer and he got to meet the Canadian Rangers. The rangers were doing survival training based out of my lodge so Polo got to see them in action. The Rangers are a northern based citizen group that is mentored and supplied by the military. With many aboriginal members it assists the military in northern manoeuvres and search and rescue operations. Cool group
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/26/15 08:57 PM

Yes very cool bunch of guys!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/15 03:42 PM

Ironically CBC just had story on radio about the high mortality rate of Canadian Rangers. They're asking for the military to look into it.







Saw a buddy of mine over the weekend. He had packed the F&W officers into the high country to check on Sheep Hunters. He took a picture of this bull which was located on my trapline. Apparently called it in to 15 yards. He's not hunting so it's still running free.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/15 03:49 PM

It's - 10 this morning and thoughts of trapping are running through my head. My immediate plans are I'm going to take the few surplus beavers for bait, put down some footholds for wolves, start grabbing road kill for baits, and check out the marten sign. The prices may not be great but my love of trapping still goes on. Kind of like a country and western song with a real good looking woman who keeps doing you wrong.
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/28/15 06:07 PM

"but my love of trapping still goes on. Kind of like a country and western song with a real good looking woman who keeps doing you wrong." - Bushman

Great way to put it!
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/15 12:47 AM

-10? Must be Celsius? Still raining, here, though we did get 26f at my house a couple of days ago.
Posted By: yukonjeff

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/15 08:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman




Always nice to find a bear bed right by your camp, this one was about 200 yards from our tents.






Not much left of him ...just a glove eek

Great Pics as always Bushman keep them coming.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/15 12:58 PM

I'm thinking prices will be OK again this year. I had some marten on the summer sale and averaged over 90 bucks. Nice moose! Off to the woods on Saturday for the month of Nov. have a good season Brian!
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/15 01:35 PM

$90 thats not bad at all, eh Yukon?

Have a good season Brian, you have some nice country out there.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/29/15 02:31 PM

$90 !!!! Wow Dave that's good news. By the way enjoyed your story on fire in FF&G. I can relate. I'm anxious to revisit part of my trapline that burnt 5 years ago. Tundra- you're alive! All the trappers coming out of the woodwork. What's shaking up in your part of the world?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 10/31/15 04:44 PM

I decided I'd take the boat out for one last cruise before freeze up. A little nippy but fun




I saw some heavy game trails heading up the river bank so I pulled over for a look.




As I followed the trail I noticed a lot of beat down trails all heading the same way





So I figured I was on the trail to a mineral lick




Sure enough there was a good lick going and the area was pounded with elk sign. My son was waiting down at the boat and watched a herd of young bulls crossing the river 800 yards upstream. Obviously a good area to keep in mind for bow season next year. It's only accessible by boat so the elk are safe for this year.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/01/15 01:39 AM

Wow. Good find.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/11/15 08:58 PM




My buddy sent me a panoramic shot he took of my cabins.


I've been doing a lot of hunting and this is probably the least amount of game I've seen. I've yet to see a calf moose with a cow and few deer. Some mature moose but greatly reduced in numbers. Elk are doing fine but are concentrated in Agricultural land which I refuse to hunt. We've got tags good right into mid Dec so waiting for snow
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/11/15 10:33 PM

Hey your the wolf trapper. Better step it up. ;0)
Posted By: Jumperzee

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/11/15 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman


My buddies look like professionals!


That picture is hurting my head...there must be some sort of optical illusion going on. How the heck are the ropes holding the legs up tied off at that angle??? Seems like the legs would be pulled shut and the ropes should be going out behind them to hold it open like that???
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/15 01:03 AM

I was just looking at this thread yesterday, wondering when you were going to put up some more pictures! Love the cabins!

Looks like you guys are getting the warm fall weather as well. Its almost been feeling like summer here lately, I don't like it.

Last year on nov 22, I was trapping beaver through 6" of ice. I doubt there will be any ice in the next two weeks at least.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/15 01:07 AM

My take on it is that the ropes are holding it from rolling on it's side. The side the two buddies are standing on so they can skin that side out. smile
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/15 05:55 AM

Ron's on it. Ropes holding moose up for skinning. Those two guys are kind of fancy, I usually don't have all them fixings when i kill them.

I'll start posting more pretty quick once I get really rolling. Just doing sporadic day hunts for last couple weeks. Believe it or not I actually work once in a while, I just started putting up a 7,000 square foot shop. I'm trying out structural insulated panels for the first time.
Posted By: TrappinAlaska

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/12/15 11:14 AM

SIPS, when done correctly are a pretty impressive and efficient way to build a structure! Are you constructing the entire building with them or just the roof?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/13/15 04:13 AM



I'm all in. I did a mono wall that is foundation and above grade section. I also have SIP roof panels. Should be nice and tight. The exterior and inner panels are Magnesium Oxide panels, essentially concrete panels. They are fire proof, water proof, and won't support mould.

I'm off on an elk hunt tomorrow, getting down to the wire for bull season
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/13/15 04:38 AM

Dang! That is far from a little project! Looks like it will be one heck of a shop!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/14/15 05:50 AM

My son and I hit the trail early We took quads in 20 miles over frozen muskeg swamp into a honey hole. Lots of elk sign but no action. But my son dropped a nice white tail




Coming out I only dropped through once

Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/14/15 01:26 PM

nice shop bushman , years back I worked with a company that built huge food plant buildings out of colmatic panels , super easy to build and totally mouse proof and finished inside and out easy to keep clean and no mice very important on canola crush plants . the only draw back is they aren't that warm even a 4 inch thick panel doesn't give u much R value , and urethane burns like gas if it ever gets started . should be a great shop have fun ..
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/14/15 03:16 PM

Lots of R value in this system. Looking at about r-40 on this thickness. I'm going to try a house next.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/15/15 04:43 AM





The buck my son dropped yesterday is as fat as a hog
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/15/15 04:59 AM

Man you are making me drool! I miss venison back straps something bad! Congrats on the nice deer!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/15/15 05:23 AM

It was a cool kill. My boy and I had split up for a couple hours and just got back together. Were having a chat when he said "there's a deer" it was walking down the game trail with its nose to the ground. He grabbed his gun and i grunted a couple times. the buck turned and came straight to us and he dropped it at 50 yards.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/16/15 07:30 AM

That sounds like it could not have worked out better for you both. Fun that you were both in on the action.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/16/15 02:50 PM

It was a good hunt Len but I was after elk. We had heavy snow advisory over weekend and got about 8" of snow so winter has arrived. I'm heading back out this week as tracking snow adds a new element.
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/16/15 05:28 PM

Nice buck! Better than an empty freezer.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/21/15 03:46 PM



Well I finally broke the elk drought yesterday. Took my buddy out who hasn't shot one in ten years and he scored. Nice day for hunting.

I also had a cougar run right across the trail 30 yards in front of me. It had been peeing on a clump of grass and exploded into action when I came around the corner. 20 foot bounds between tracks. I have a cougar tag but that cat was outta there!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 11/21/15 03:59 PM

I wasn't on my trapline but fur sign was decent. I'm waiting for some colder weather before kicking off as I need some frozen waterways to get anywheres. But might be a good time for wolves so probably head out next week.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/15 06:04 AM




I finally got out on a trapline yesterday. Not mine but a buddy's. Different habitat, a lot of poplar regrowth with sporadic spruce. Some areas of old growth spruce, but Aspen the dominant tree. Lots of edge habitat and water courses. Good bio-diversity and appears to be a healthy fur population. This trapline has a long history of producing fur and my friend is sure to keep it going.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/15 06:10 AM





Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/15 02:28 PM

Those black & white pictures are pretty cool! What kind of boxes is your friend using Brian ? All four of those marten are perfect double strikes. Can you post a picture of the set?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/04/15 03:17 PM





I agree Dave those are good strikes on the marten. You can see how loose the marten box is hanging, just by a nail. The #9 pins holding the trap in can also be seen
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/13/15 06:06 PM




I'm heading out finally to get some lynx sets out down in the mountains, winter has been a long time coming. I've got a few marten sets out around home but I've been wanting to go a little harder.
Posted By: 357xp

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/14/15 05:02 AM

Looks good bushman.

Off topic question, do u drive a pre-99 Chevy ext cab pickup?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 05:48 PM

357 - Nope but i am a GM guy

I've been involved in all things wolverine for five winter now. Both filming and research. Our filming wrapped up 2 weeks ago and is now in edit for Broadcast this spring. I'm pretty sure we've captured the best footage on wild wolverines ever captured. We have a couple new born kits, two males fighting, inter-species interactions, and tons of solo wolverine footage.

But what make the documentary the most interesting to me is the research findings we reveal. The research is a partnership between the Alberta Trappers Association, University of Alberta, and Alberta Conservation Association. This is our latest ACA update:[b]

"This winter we have 34 trappers participating in the runpole program of which 12 are new to the project.
When you include the five sites that ACA will manage over the winter, we have a grand total of 65 runpoles, 130 trail cameras, 650 SD cards, 1560 lithium batteries and a mountain of dedication and perseverance unravelling the status of Alberta's wolverine population.
We are not only detecting wolverine when using the runpole technique, we are also gathering a stockpile of other furbearer information, so please remember that all photos and hair samples are important.
Data Recap
Over the past four winters, we have identified 59 unique wolverines (13 males,12 females, 34 unknown) on runpoles across the Rocky Mountains and Boreal Forest.
Last winter, 22 trappers and ACA staff operated 59 sites in the Boreal.
Wolverines visited 45 percent of the sites during 2013/14 and 31percent of the sites during 2014/15 in the Boreal. Note: the number and location of sites differed between years.
Last winter, we got 4.6 images of wolverines per trap night, which was similar to lynx (4.2 images/trap night).
Move over wolverine, make room for the fisher! Last winter, we logged fishers spending 20,000+ minutes at runpoles and collected a total of 45,000+ images of them. Fishers visited nearly half of last year's sites.
Lynx also appear to be quite common, visiting 48 percent of sites in 2014/15, which was similar to previous winter (53 percent).
Is the second camera at each site worth the hassle? Yes! We are finding big differences in what the cameras detect depending on species. The second camera has helped detect more wolverine, lynx, and wolves: shy animals that don't always approach runpole. "

Genetic Results

We submitted our DNA samples from winter 2012/13 and 2013/14 to a genetics lab in Montana. The DNA for individual and sex identification was obtained from 39 of the 50 samples tested (78 percent). Twenty-seven unique individuals (13 females and 14 males) were identified from these samples. Haplotypes, a DNA signature, was identified for these samples.

The results indicated that Banff and Grande Cache areas had similar haplotypes, primarily "L", but Grande Cache also has some similarity to the Boreal, having some haplotypes "A" in both areas. In the Boreal, haplotype "C" and "F" were the most common. As Mike Jokinen says, "Maybe we should call Grande Cache the wolverine land bridge of Alberta."

The haplotypes observed in Alberta wolverines have also been documented through other studies in the western U.S. and Canada and really show how connected populations are. For example: in the U.S., the dominant haplotype is "A" from 300+ wolverines tested. However, the wolverines from the Cascade Range in northern Washington and southernmost British Columbia were haplotype "C," The nearest wolverines with haplotype "C" are in the Boreal Forest of Alberta, indicating long-distance movement between these population
s. [/b]


The trappers contribution to this project in field days and equipment is over $300,000... so we've made a real contribution. We also have a lot of wolverines radio collared and are getting some interesting data. One of the things that we do is back-track on cluster sites. These are areas where the real time satellite signal shows the wolverines are spending a lot of time at. Of the 70 cluster sites backrapped so far the majority of them show signs of wolverines hunting beavers and hares. Very little ungulate scavenging. Another piece of info is the collar data shows the wolverines returning to sites that they had been hunting beavers at this spring and summer. They cached beaver at these sites and are now returning. Which illustrates how long a beaver carcass will last when buried in the sphagnum moss.



This is an interesting image showing collar data off one male for a three year period.


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 05:54 PM

The yellow dots are from when the wolverine was dispersing from it's parents territory. He travelled all over looking for unclaimed territory. The purple clusters show the past years movements. As you can see he has now established a territory and spends most of his time there. But you can also see he wandered outside of his new territory a few times. Collar data on other young males seems to show that they will return at least once annually to their natal territory. There is some thought that they may be checking on the status of the dominant male ( their father ) and could at some point claim the territory. The females often end up sharing a portion of their mothers territory and have been seen travelling in groups of three generations.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 06:09 PM

I applaud your efforts and look forward to seeing the documentary.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 06:31 PM

Very interesting Brian, thanks for keeping us up-dated
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 07:13 PM

Why are the movements oriented east and west?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 11:25 PM

compass is broke?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 11:27 PM

Boo - I believe the wolverine movement is mainly influenced by the waterways. I also would think the young males would avoid territories held by other males.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/20/15 11:53 PM

Brian why do you suspect young males would avoid territories held by other males? I know some bios hold this view on grizzly bears as well but I have not found it to be the case....bears are where the food is. Many times I have seen 2 big boars in the same berry patch. One year we killed 3 large adult boars in the same spot over a 3-three period...the regional biologist found it hard to believe. This past Nov. i caught 4 male wolverine in a very small area and there were others present. Just wondering what you have seen to come to that conclusion. They do follow water ways on my trapline as well.
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 12/21/15 12:37 AM

Bushman ... good luck with the lynx !
Miss seeing those great remote camera photos you use to post !
Posted By: Rammer

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 01:21 AM

Very interesting stuff for sure!! I've always had a thing for wolverines, even though I've never seen one!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 04:25 AM

Chicken - Stand by, I'm heading out tomorrow to pick up some cameras I haven't been able to access for last 4 months. Hopefully I can make it.

Yukon - Here's my thoughts on why wolverines are different. Radio collars and remote cameras are sure turning out to be valuable tools for revealing information we had no idea about. I agree with you about grizzly bears and really any Bio who thinks that about bears doesn't know nature. Bears have shown great tolerance for each other as long as the feed supply is greater than the demand. Hence areas like McNeil River.

Wolverines are much more like wolves... where territory is everything. The multiple wolverines you saw together are almost for sure interrelated. In one territory you can have the dominant male, two breeding females, possibly four juveniles that are young of the year, and even some young females from the previous years litter. Plus the odd nervous young male transient looking for new territory.

Wolverines spend a lot of time scent posting and will leave a bait pile about every 2-3 days to freshen up their scent posts. It also looks like dominant males may slip into the neighbouring dominant males territory to check out his competitions scent posts to make sure he's still there. To a wolverine scent posting is a way of life.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 04:41 AM

Do wolverines have a belly gland like marten to mark their home range or do they use their musk gland.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 04:53 AM

We've seen two behaviours Boco. One where the wolverine comes up to the tree and makes a quick motion almost like it's humping the tree. It's the belly making contact. The most common shots I have ( and a lot of them) are wolverines scent posting by squatting
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 05:46 AM

So you think they are very territorial? I mean, the males do not "cross the line", type thing?
The studies I have had the opportunity to review shows what appears to be, at best, seasonal "territories", but are loose, at best, and certainly no real boundaries.
That said, (these are Audrey's studies south of me, and the Berners Bay studies, which are right under my nose).

I have seen sign, and captures of what appear to be YOY litter-mates running together well into the winter, but the males, especially older, mature ones, seem hard to pin down. Here, they seem to run Willy-Nilly.
Some will be regulars, visitation-wise, others, well. Hi, Bye. Gone for good.
I'm sure you saw the information on the wolverine, (male), that was captured by ADFG very near my trap line, that was caught in a trap in the Stikine headwaters a year later. I think it was nearly 300 miles, as the crow flys. Probably 2000, as the gulo gallops.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 05:52 AM

Good stuff Brian. So do they urinate on the scent posts? I know they check out any place wolves are using as pee posts.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/21/15 03:18 PM

AV I met Audrey this fall and she's a real sweety. To say she was impressed with our results is an understatement. Yes I believe almost all the collar work in North America shows dominate male and female stay with an established territory as long as they can maintain it. Juveniles and displaced Alphas will definitely cover the miles though. Yukon- They urinate so much they should have two kidneys. But there is a musk as well. Perhaps the musk is important for breeding purposes while the urine marks territory. I'm off the the line for couple days.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 05:03 AM




It was good to be back on the trapline but the river wasn't looking so good.




I had to cross some shaky new ice so i put a sheet of plywood down




And got across no problem
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 05:24 AM

I headed up river to set lynx sets and lots of sign. Lots of bunnies too so i think this year might be top of cycle here. funny how Lynx cycle ripples through North America. Only downside was all the overhanging trees. Wet heavy snow at some point.



But after cutting at least a 100 of these I made it up to my cameras. Len you'd be proud of me as i used a machete to cut these.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 05:26 AM




This guy passed through a couple weeks ago. Theses are pictures of screen shots of video as I have my cameras taking video.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 06:04 AM

Awesome picture. I bet the video was pretty cool too.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 06:07 AM



I was actually more pumped about some otters. They are rare but I see signs of them every once in a while
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 07:24 AM

Nice pics Brian. Not much snow there either. Have a good Christmas.
Posted By: Silver Fox

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 09:59 AM

very nice pics
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 01:37 PM

The Otter was in Oct AK and the wolverine was two weeks ago. You're right that our snow is low but actually travel conditions were good. The ice froze up hard without the insulation of snow and then snow arrived.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/24/15 02:10 PM



It was a beautiful morning the other day. The sheep have come out of the back country to their winter ranges. The big rams should show up soon.

Posted By: hunterhawk

Re: Mountain Journal - 12/28/15 12:17 PM

Awesome thread just looked at pics and read some of it ! I agree with many others and you are living the dream! You have a beautiful house and cabins! And man you are really active! I'm insanely jealous! You have room for me in that house or heck I'll live in one of those cabins!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 06:55 AM








A few shots from the trail cameras. I just got back from the mountains.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 06:58 AM

Been wondering when you would show back up from having fun. Must be nice to have photos and decide which one you want to catch. ;0)
Posted By: HFT AK

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 07:45 AM

Awesome pic's!
Posted By: Chickenminer

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 08:22 AM

Great to see those trail camera photos again!
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 01:47 PM

bushman ur pics are great its neat to see what animals are doing when they think noone is looking , keep up the pictureotography
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 02:12 PM

The weather has actually co-operated this winter which surprised me. Not much snow but fairly cold so rivers are froze tight so I have good access. I've taken a few lynx and marten over the last couple weeks but the wolves are not co-operating much, as there is little snow. That pic is a solo wolf that was hanging around while the packs are running everywhere because of lack of snow.

Len I keep getting film contracts which make some of those animals worth more to me alive then dead. I have a no trap zone for my major bait site as I want to keep our film subjects happy. It's been worth it though as the cameras have revealed more about animals behaviour that a life time of observation could reveal, just like Saskmusher said!

We've spent the last three months in an edit suite putting our wolverine documentary together. It will be broadcast on Feb 25 on CBC here in Canada on The Nature of Things. For my US brothers it will be on-line shortly after the 25th. I'm pretty proud of the final product.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 02:18 PM




And just for the record I'm still a trapper! Picked up this lynx yesterday from a set that's been producing for over a decade and had taken a lot of lynx.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/12/16 02:51 PM

Looking good Brian. Nice that you can mix things up out there. Cant wait to see the film.
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/13/16 04:32 AM

Could we get a little description of the lynx set Bushman?
Great thread and can't wait for the show. I'll set the pvr for it so I don't forget
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 02:08 AM

SK - Nothing fancy. An upright pole stuck in the ground and wired to the big pine at first branch level. 9" loop about 11" off ground. Pole about 3' out from tree with dry branches for cubby. Chicken wing with lure for bait.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 02:21 AM

I'm in Costa Rica. I Took a break from low fur prices and I'm getting recharged for a film project in March. I still found my mountains though.




I flew into Liberia on the NW coast and grabbed a car. My wife and I like the local stuff as much as possible so we're not beach people. Although the beaches here are magnificent. We heard from a local about a private run hot spring about an hour back into the hills.



It was Well worth the drive, half way on very rough trails. The spring were perfect temperature and my wife and I were totally alone the whole time. An aggressive hike in really warms you up for a dip
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 02:25 AM




They had the hot waters dammed up and a change room built. Very cool
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 02:27 AM



On the way back we stopped at a local farm to eat. He had some interesting displays but no one spoke english. He had a Victor 0 trap!




I ordered the pork chop




But when they brought it... I didn't have the heart to kill it.
Posted By: T. Meyer

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 04:56 AM

Costa Rica is a beautiful country Bushman. I spent two weeks there this time last year, and can't wait to go back! We saw quite a few different animals, and at night would go out in the jungle to find the different bugs, frogs and lizards. Enjoy!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/22/16 11:48 AM

I was here 10 years ago and checked out both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. But there's a lot of country to see. Hope to fish for tarpon while here.
Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/23/16 01:36 PM

Thanks Bushman, enjoy your trip. I was down in the same area of costa Rica a few years ago loved it there. There's a concrete water slide down the side of a mountain if you want some excitement.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/24/16 04:52 AM

SK - I'm looking for some bush thrills!



Posted By: SK-Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/25/16 02:39 AM

There's some cool zip lining too
Posted By: Southfarms

Re: Mountain Journal - 01/29/16 12:35 PM

I just finished reading all 51 pages of your recent sagas, and I must say thank you for sharing your seemingly charmed life with us. I realize that a lot of hard work goes in to all that you do, but I am thoroughly impressed by your adventures and the stunning beauty of your area. Thanks again for sharing!

Stephen
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/08/16 01:53 PM

I'm still in Costa Rica but heading home this week. I enjoyed the break but I do love my winters. Tragic news yesterday as my brother in law flipped his tractor on top of himself and was killed. Farm accidents can be killers so be safe out there.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/08/16 04:49 PM

Thoughts and prayers.
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/08/16 06:39 PM

Sorry to hear of the bad news, prayers to you and your families.
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/09/16 03:28 AM

My condolences to you and your family Brian. Remember to celebrate his life and not his loss. frown
Posted By: That Fool

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/09/16 06:41 PM

condolences to your family
Posted By: T. Meyer

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/09/16 07:54 PM

Sorry to hear about your brother in law passing Brian, you're in my thoughts and prayers. Safe travels!
Posted By: Ryan McLeod

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/09/16 10:19 PM

Sorry to hear of your loss buddy.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/10/16 01:22 PM

Jumping on a plane and heading back to Canada today. I'm ready for some snow but it's been way too warm at home.


Thanks for all the kind words re my brother in law. Les was a real Macgyver type of guy, which contributed to his death. He had built his own chains for his tractor and told my sister he was taking it out to test them in the snow. He flipped the tractor on a creek and it fell on him in the water. What can you say, life is a gift that can be taken in an instant. But as I read the outpouring of sympathy from friends and family I'm reminded that if you really want to know what people think of you, eavesdrop on your funeral. You'll find out what path you've laid behind you, never to be changed. In my brother-in-laws case it was a path of love and quiet dignity. Not a flashy guy but a solid loving family man.

Enough said on this topic but ironically i've told only you guys about his death. Strange how a forum can become part of your support network and allow you to both vent and heal. Thanks for listening
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/10/16 02:08 PM

onward and upward bushman with the occasional glance back . have a good trip home
Posted By: AK TRAPR

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/10/16 04:35 PM

Sorry for your loss Brian.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/11/16 03:37 AM

Brian
Tough news to bare my friend. Sorry for your families loss. Glad you could find support through your network of friends here and elsewhere. Quality has it way of shining through for those that possess it whether online or in person. You have always been a bright spot in this forum as I am sure you will be for your family at this time. Blessing to you and your family. Life is precious.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/22/16 05:59 PM

I'm finally getting back into the mountains tomorrow for a quick visit. Out to the camera's and re-up some bait. We have a 30 day film contract for BBC and hope to get a bunch of mountain species. Our wolverine documentary gets broadcast this week. My Partner is getting a lot of press which should boost ratings.


http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/alberta+filmmaker+advances+understanding+wolverines/11734649/story.html
Posted By: AKHowler

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/22/16 09:30 PM

Sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law Brian. Condolences to you and your family. Cannot wait to see some more footage from your country.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/27/16 12:56 AM

Well I broke down today and bought an argo with tracks. All the industrial rental places in Alberta are in free-fall and there's some deals to be had. I got a couple year old unit with 300 hours for $10,000 U.S. I rented the exact same model last year and it was a beast. but I've owned argo's before so I know they can be money pits. But cool money pits
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/27/16 05:22 AM




Look who showed up
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/27/16 06:02 AM

What a great pic, Bushy! Once again, awesome!
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 02:22 PM

what type of tracks on ur new rig are they full tracks or half tracks , rubber or sectional
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 06:29 PM

Full tracks, rubber Sask
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 06:31 PM

Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 06:38 PM

right on u will love that they are a great machine
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 07:19 PM

Nice wolf picture!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 09:38 PM




Here you go Saskamusher
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 09:46 PM

Is that what you call a river over there? We have puddles deeper than that,lol.
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/28/16 09:59 PM

atta boy love it .....bravely go where no man has gone before ...... i followed a set of tracks across a big swamp one time and i figured if somebody crossed it with a 4 wheeler surely i can follow in rubber boots half way across and over a mile into the project i realised its not getting better and i was in fact walking on the tracks of a argo, waist deep tired and wet as the sun went down along came the guy that made the tracks on his way back with his moose in back of his argo and gave me a ride back to my truck , i was sold on the concept .
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 02/29/16 12:58 AM

I'm looking forward to making the most of the argo for sure. Don't worry Boco we got all the water you need. Maybe come have a look in June. I've seen it 300' wide and the ground vibrating it's rolling so hard.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 12:00 AM

Another tough trapper:

It was like a scene out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s extreme survival movie, The Revenant.

Last weekend, 69-year-old Jimmy Iqaluq was hunting for polar bears in the Belcher Islands when he broke through the ice, reports the CBC.

The Nunavummiuq was forced to abandon his snowmobile, but was able to pull himself out of the water, climbing onto a nearby island.

Stranded, Iqaluq had to figure out how to protect himself from the cold. He built an igloo, but a shelter can only do so much when you’re wearing drenched pants. This is when Iqaluq—who is a prominent sculpture artist—came up with a creative way to use the fox he caught earlier in the day.


With a knife, he skinned the fox and wrapped the furry pelt around his legs, MacGyvering himself a pair of pants.

Although rudimentary, the garment kept him warm. Rescue searchers found Iqaluq the following morning around 5 a.m.

Unfortunately, while Iqaluq is now safe at home, his snowmobile and gear were lost in the water.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 12:13 AM

I just got back from the hills. Man there is not much snow compared to other years.


my trails on river ice are getting pretty skinny, at one spot only 4' wide between flowing water. We're filming for BBC right now so I had one of their crew out there. She didn't realize how lucky she was weather wise as she even found the warm weather chilly. Saw a wolverine on the river, big male who we've watched over the last few years become the dominant male in the area.

My researcher buddy tells me he has four collared mothers that are in their dens right now, either giving or just gave birth. Dens are located in a beaver house, a slash pile, a peat moss complex, and a root wad where a tree blew over. Four different mothers using four different denning techniques. kind on blows away the theory that wolverines need snow in order to successfully den.


I'm going to try a build a bridge pier while the water is low. I'll go up with log rounds 4-5' and fill in with rocks


Posted By: Barryf

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 01:03 AM

Bushman there has bin 4 wolverins caught this year from where I'm frome last one was line beside mine
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 01:50 AM

One wolverine caught in Hearst last year was the biggest wolverine I have ever seen.It looked like a bear with the guy holding it.
Posted By: Barryf

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 02:49 AM

The one that was caught by my line was 48 pounds
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 02:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Another tough trapper:

It was like a scene out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s extreme survival movie, The Revenant.

Last weekend, 69-year-old Jimmy Iqaluq was hunting for polar bears in the Belcher Islands when he broke through the ice, reports the CBC.

The Nunavummiuq was forced to abandon his snowmobile, but was able to pull himself out of the water, climbing onto a nearby island.

Stranded, Iqaluq had to figure out how to protect himself from the cold. He built an igloo, but a shelter can only do so much when you’re wearing drenched pants. This is when Iqaluq—who is a prominent sculpture artist—came up with a creative way to use the fox he caught earlier in the day.


With a knife, he skinned the fox and wrapped the furry pelt around his legs, MacGyvering himself a pair of pants.


Although rudimentary, the garment kept him warm. Rescue searchers found Iqaluq the following morning around 5 a.m.

Unfortunately, while Iqaluq is now safe at home, his snowmobile and gear were lost in the water.


Must have been a HUGE fox.
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 03:10 AM

I'm just catching up on reading, sorry about your brother in law and prayers for the family.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 05:24 AM

There does seem to be more wolverines these days across all their ranges

Thanks Dale. Kind of hard to give much support when your sister lives across the country but I'm doing what I can

AV - Maybe the guy was just tiny?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 05:26 AM




Mr. Fox pants
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 06:19 AM

That's really interesting to hear about the choice and variety of denning sites. It certainly contradicts the theory that they require deep snow for denning.

Say, I was wondering, do you still trap wolverine for the fur?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 02:42 PM

I still trap wolverine. Here in Alberta we are on a quota and only allowed one a year. I just sold one to our provincial museum where it's going on display, I got $1,000 plus $600 for a lynx! I'm not targeting fur right at my filming site but I have a big trapline.

I basically sat this season out trapping though. I sold my early access trapline and by the time it was safe in the mountains I could see how the fur market was going this year so decided it was a good time to take a month off and travel this winter. Took some lynx and marten just fooling around by the cabin but this would be the least amount of fur I've ever harvested.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 02:46 PM



I know a lot of us have used an Alaskan chainsaw mill but I'm wondering if any of you have experience with the logosol models. They look like a quality product and I'd like to mill some of my own lumber this year
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 02:50 PM

AK - In regards to snow levels and wolverine denning it was researcher Jeff Copeland who came up with that theory. Recently I believe an application was made to have wolverines in the lower 48 classified as endangered based on climate change and loss of denning areas. It was denied. This new research demonstrates that wolverines do not require snow for dens but may select those areas if they have a choice.
Posted By: AK HUNTER

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 03:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy the rest of your spring out there.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 10:24 PM

The study on snow denning of wolverines allegedly found that although wolverines don't always den in a snow cave the ones that did had a lower mortality of cubs.
It is funny though that even as the enviros espouse global warming as a threat and human disturbance as bad,the wolverines are exploding south and east and are doing best in areas that were highly disturbed by logging in the past.
Right now in Ontario we need a count but the MNR has no money for that they say.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 10:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman


I know a lot of us have used an Alaskan chainsaw mill but I'm wondering if any of you have experience with the logosol models. They look like a quality product and I'd like to mill some of my own lumber this year
Buy a mobile dimension mill Brian you won't regret it they are an a awesome mill.
Posted By: francois

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/11/16 10:46 PM

interesting to read you and nice picture of Wolverine
the dream of many trapper
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 05:34 PM

Red Earth - I looked at them. Kind of commercial looking and not as portable as I'd need. Plus the cost brother, trying to bankrupt me? But if you got one come on down and do me some custom milling!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 05:44 PM



I like this shot. right out my cabin door





I bet none of you have seen this before
Posted By: That Fool

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 05:52 PM

awesome pic of the qapvik and its young
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Red Earth - I looked at them. Kind of commercial looking and not as portable as I'd need. Plus the cost brother, trying to bankrupt me? But if you got one come on down and do me some custom milling!
I do have one if you were a little closer i would come cut lumber for you anytime!! They are not bad to move I can do it by myself, they are a little pricey but I cut 3"x12"x12' planks in my spare time and paid for it in no time at all.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 09:20 PM

Seems like $15,000 to $25,000 all in? slick as can be for sure
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/12/16 11:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Seems like $15,000 to $25,000 all in? slick as can be for sure
Around $25,000, bought a bunch of accessories with it, extra track so i could cut 22' long beams and a couple different blades.
Posted By: ou812

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/13/16 02:52 AM

So Bushman.....my biologist mind wants to know.....what kind of parent are wolverines? Number of young? How long do they travel with the parent or parents? I assume the males probably aren't real good at parenting?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/13/16 11:11 PM

OU - That's the big reveal, both wolverine's male and female are remarkable parents, paying attention to their kits longer then other members of the weasel family, perhaps excepting otters? Females can shadow their mother for almost a year, and visit her on an ongoing basis. young males appear to follow their father until the late spring following their birth, at which time they disperse. Sometimes after dad has roughed them up a bit.
Posted By: ou812

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/14/16 01:40 AM

So are the females allowed to stay within the home range of the mother and bred by the father or are they kicked out? Males I assume are kicked out for competition reasons? Any links to research papers or studies published that I can read?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 03:56 AM

The collar data shows that the females will overlap territory with their mothers, but males totally leave the area. I just wrote a column that goes into it a bit. I'll post it.

I'm heading out tomorrow morning with more supplies for my partner. He got some nice footage this morning of a wolverine on the river



First trip for my "new to me" argo.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 04:01 AM



King Brutus








Brutus was aptly named for someone born into a warrior clan. He was a well muscled dynamo, boss of his territory, when we encountered him four years ago. Brutus’s area was one of the first that we filmed in, and he was the first wolverine we captured on film. He was also one of the first to be positively identified by his distinct chest pattern. The ATA and ACA had just started the run-pole pilot project to determine if in fact wolverine pelt colouration could be used as an indicator of individual wolverines, and Brutus helped prove that it worked. As readers may remember the run-pole setup captures both a photo image of the wolverines distinct chest pattern, and a hair sample for DNA typing. When we last saw Brutus via trail-cam images he was in the peak of his physical condition and without doubt the dominant breeding male in his world.

Four years later my cameraman partner Andrew, is up in Rainbow Lake, once again filming wolverines, when researcher Matt Scafford gets a call about a wounded wolverine in one of the live traps. Andrew accompanies Matt to the live trap where an old beaten warrior of a wolverine patiently awaits their arrival, while munching on the beaver placed in the trap to entice him in. The gulo is in rough shape with a large gaping open wound on the top of its head. The wound is so grievous there is brief discussion on whether the male will even survive, and what is the ethical treatment for an animal in this rough a shape. It’s decided to give the male a shot of antibiotics and to release him unencumbered by a collar, and hope for the best.

Now my partner Andrew is a bit obsessive when it comes to his filming and there was something bothering him about this old senior of a wolverine, a twinge of familiarity. So going back through our file of wolverines he was shocked to discover our old friend Brutus had found him once again. This was odd as we were filming quite a ways from Brutus’s original range so it was obvious that Brutus had left his home, and by the looks of him not without a fight! No one said it was easy to be a wolverine.

Brutus became what we would call a trap bum. He would access the traps and allow himself to be caught in order to eat the beaver. It looked to me like he was making a very wise decision to fatten up while dining within the security of his private and secure dining room. No wolves or other wolverines could disturb him while contained within the confines of the enclosed live trap. Brutus became such a nuisance that the researchers closed the live traps in his area so that he would disperse, but not before leaving him some additional beaver to recharge and have a fighting chance for survival.

So what happened to Brutus? If you were to turn to our researcher friends for answers I suspect we’d be waiting for a while. I’ve discovered that no one in the academic world is quick to jump to any conclusions, and rightly so as they want their findings to be supported by their peers. But I’m not restrained by such constraints and have come to many conclusions about wolverines over the last four years as a result of being involved in the research, filming, and even trapping of wolverines. So I thought I’d share some of my ideas about the life of a wolverine, and perhaps in time we’ll see how accurate they are.

Brutus’s life path is no different then any other male. He was conceived in his father’s territory and will have a life-long affinity to his natal area. He spent his first few months with his mother, but come fall he started following his father throughout his territory. His father was no stranger to Brutus. His dad had faithfully maintained security at his birth den and protected his mother from the threats of other male wolverines and predators while she was in the den. He had also shown up during the summer spending time roaming with Brutus and his sister. But come fall Brutus left his mother and sister, and began shadowing his father, usually half an hour behind. By observation Brutus soon learned the importance of scent posting, prime hunting sites, and the dangers of being a wolverine from his father.

But like all young guys Brutus had a bit of wanderlust and started exploring areas outside of his fathers territory. Short excursions at first, but as winter progressed longer and longer trips away from his home territory, learning to avoid the homelands of other dominant male wolverines. And then March came, and Dad had no room in his territory for another male, as breeding would again begin. During an encounter his father attacked Brutus, going for the head as wolverines are prone to do. His father savaged Brutus and brutalized him to the point he fled for his life, and lucky for him that had, as death was the only other option.

Brutus fled to one of the areas that he had explored on his explorations. His nose had revealed the lack of any scent posts by other dominant males so he knew he was safe. Over the next two years Brutus learned the ins and outs of his new territory and how to become a dominant male. However he was both the hunter, and the hunted. Learning how to prey on beaver, grouse, and hares, which would make up a significant portion of his diet, while avoiding the packs of wolves that lusted for his blood, was no easy job. One mistake and you either starve to death or get killed. A pretty steep learning curve.

But Brutus had both luck and skill on his side and he lived, and not only that he had a secret. Ever so often Brutus would sneak back to his fathers territory. A quick foray down to check on Dad’s scent posts and territorial scratch trees would quickly demonstrate that his father was still in control of his kingdom, and Brutus would depart. But one year Brutus found an empty territory when he returned, his father no longer maintaining the borders of his kingdom. No doubt he was dead. Brutus returned to his birth territory and became the dominant male at age five, when we met him.

It was good to be king, and for several years Brutus ruled as absolute monarch. He bred the three females who’s territories he overlapped and passed his genes on to several new generations. He reaped the bounty of the land, in the process becoming big for his species, a well muscled adonis with fur that shone with health. But one day another male showed up in the territory, and Brutus knew him well, for it was his son. And like his Dad this guy was big and strong, and three years younger. Brutus put up a fierce fight, for no king leaves his throne willingly, but youth and strength won out and his son drove him from his land.

Like an old time biblical prophet Brutus wandered the land, and one full of others who would do him harm. This is prime wolverine country and other dominant males would not permit Brutus any opportunity to occupy their territory so Brutus had to keep moving, and fighting to survive. And then his nose led him to the sweet odour of beaver, nestled inside the live traps, enticing him in, and reacquainting us with Brutus. Miles and miles from his original home this grizzled old survivor refuses to give up. Scavenging wolf kills and the beaver baits of the researchers has given the old guy one more chance. When spring came we departed and our contact with Brutus was over.


I don’t know how, or where his story will end, but while he may not yet be king, he is still Brutus, a legend.



















Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 04:14 AM

Thanks for the story, I could imagine it as a movie in my head as I read it. Great story about a great beast .
Makes me wonder what we don't know about fishers down here. Makes me think we don't know much about animals as we think we might. I guess that is why they are fascinating.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 04:24 AM

Dale when they did DNA analysis researchers found fisher are more closely related to wolverine than marten. I saw a picture yesterday at a trapper's of a fisher he caught inside a 330, and it's head filled the trap. A real monster
Posted By: Osky

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
I was here 10 years ago and checked out both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. But there's a lot of country to see. Hope to fish for tarpon while here.



Bush... when you get down there again look up Dan at the Rio Colorado Lodge up in the northwest corner. Terrific tarpon fishing and a nice homey place. There are a few others of varying comfort up there as well. I have been taking groups there for 20 plus years, top shelf tarpon fishing. Kicker is the best is later september.
Thanks for all the interesting posts.
Osky
PS don't be wandering around up there at night, too many coral snakes.
Posted By: Osky

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 01:18 PM

Great info on the wolverines. I'm not sure where we get the notion that everything in nature has to be cut and dried so to speak. I think if a wolverine was pregnant and the time came while crossing a road sh'ed have them there in the ditch and try to raise them. Any animal would.
Again great reads and pictures, thank you.
Osky
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 02:49 PM

This thread is inspiring, even though I am not a scientist, I would love to keep tabs on a few fisher and study and learn what the do and where they go. I know of a few fisher to start watching and set trail cameras for.
They like to hang out a some of my unoccupied marten boxes during the summer.

I think I will change this one out to a fisher den box. A fisher spends a lot of time there but can't get in.
Posted By: ou812

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/17/16 07:12 PM

Thanks for the insights to your work, very interesting stuff there. I have a ton more questions but will wait to read your articles.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/18/16 02:33 PM

Made a quick trip out to resupply the cameraman. Glad I brought the Argo, it's a real beast. Lots of snow in most places, but some areas the snow was burnt right off and I ended up crossing a lot of open water and had to winch up one icy hill. Getting some good film footage though.






Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/18/16 02:37 PM

Some info from the conclusion of last years season:


We live-trapped 24 wolverines from late-November through mid-April.  Traps were open 108 days, or 579 trap nights.  We averaged 24 traps nights/new wolverine capture.  We caught 13 males with an average weight of 13.62 (range is 12-15.5 kg) and 11 females with an average weight of 9.7 (range is 8.5-13 kg).  Seven of the females were lactating and we were able to find one den with two kits.  Currently, 18 of the wolverines are wearing radiocollars that will be collecting GPS data through the summer.  As of mid-April, we were able to collect 425 days of GPS data at two-hour fix rates.
• Males have home ranges that span from 400 - 1200 km2 while females have home ranges from 200 - 500 km2.   Plotted GPS data shows wolverines regularly crossing busy high-grade industrial roads as well as the numerous winters roads and pipelines that comprise the Rainbow Lake landscape. The vast majority of wolverine movements were less than 1 km over a two-hour period (n = 1,782).  These movements are likely of wolverines that are at carcasses or are resting.  The greatest movement distance over a two-hour period was by M6 (14.35 km).        
• We visited wolverine GPS clusters, or GPS points from a wolverine that are within close proximity of each other (generally 20-30 points < 200 m apart), and found wolverines feeding on the carcasses of black bears, moose and caribou (Table 4).  We also found evidence of wolverines hunting grouse, beaver, and snowshoe hare.  We found many sites that appeared to be resting areas for wolverines, where the animals would create latrines, caches, and dens through a system of tunnels and holes under down trees.  The wolverines would use these areas for weeks at a time, likely hunting for grouse and snowshoe hare in the area.  We collected scat from backtracking efforts and will analyze these data in the coming months to better understand wolverine food habits.          
• We also monitored vehicle traffic on over 100 high-grade industrial roads and winters roads in the Rainbow Lake area.  Although we haven't yet summarized these data, initial inspection of these data indicate wolverines are crossing high-grade industrial roads with greater than 100 vehicles/day on a regular basis.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/18/16 03:24 PM

Interesting info Brian ! I have a couple of questions. First how long do you plan to continue this project? Another question is do you think that heavy industry has changed or effects travel patterns in any way? I would think your higher game density down there would enable wolverines to travel less maybe?? I have never believed in "home ranges, or territories" for any of the weasel family, or bears for that matter...they go where the food is most abundant in my experience. We had a real strange year up here. Up in the high country along the NWT border where the wolverine population has always been high, there were virtually none. I know a few trappers up there who put on lots of miles all winter and saw very little sign. Down in the bush country where I was however we were overrun with them! I have never seen anything like it in 30-years of trapping. I ended up taking 6, all males.... 4 of them were big males! Did this on 20-miles of trail. Could have taken a lot more but decided to pull my traps as I didnt understand what was going on. Be intersting to see what next year brings. Just before I left last week we ran into another big male on the trail, and got home to find out my son had seen some too. In bush country it is very rare to actually see them!
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/18/16 03:46 PM

This is really interesting, Bushman. The story of Brutus is captivating. Long live Brutus!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/18/16 04:03 PM

Dave - the University is wrapping up their research in April. Low ungulate populations around rainbow. Four seasons of data now and Matt has to now write it up and do his thesis. But the ATA and ACA are continuing on. We have wolverine collared in Birch Mountains, located SE of wood buffalo park. It appears that gulo will tolerate some infrastructure , and Rainbow has a lot, but not heavy traffic. When new logging went into the area and trucks hauled during the night and ran over several wolverine . I actually believe weasel families do maintain territories for the most part, and certainly the breeding wolverines. But why wouldn't they migrate out in search of food if conditions warranted it? Glad u liked it 52
Posted By: ou812

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/19/16 01:45 AM

It will be interesting to see what the DNA studies show as far as relationships go.
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/21/16 01:47 PM

Looks like the argo is treating you good, about the only machine that can run in any weather.
How many wolverine have been collared in the birch mountain area?

Oh ya, i see you made your passenger get out and walk the edge of the ice to get a picture of you, smart man..
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/21/16 02:44 PM

Tundra- As of a week ago they had two wolverine collared in Birch. One female and one male Tougher country
Posted By: Inupiaq

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/21/16 07:21 PM

Iqaluk is aptly named. It can be used as a noun, meaning "fish". Or as an intransitive verb, "to catch a fish". So one can say, "Iqaluk iqaluktuq." (Iqaluk caught a fish. or Iqaluk is catching a fish.) Most Inuit get their names based on their character, so if one's rambunctious and gets into everything, they may be named pamiuqtuuq (river otter). Perhaps this isn't the first time Iqaluk and water have met!

For falling in water accidently the old folks use the word "chaqamaq" the a has the "uh" sound. It seems every year I get the chaqamaq award. I too went into the water 2 springs in a row now. Last year a friend from a nearby village was in town for some meetings and wanted to run upriver to hunt birds and look for eggs, as the river had just broken open that day. It's a big deal to get up there first and try to find the season's first seagull eggs and bless elders. Your name will travel all around town and facebook if you do. So, I quickly changed the gear-lube in my 40 horse and launched my 18 foot Lowe boat in the brown, fast moving current with ice chunks and logs floating by crushing everything. I didn't care so much about the eggs, I wanted wood! I had just bought this new 16" easy start Stihl and wanted to try it out.

Sure enough, as we launched, other hunter gatherers were watching and scurrying to get their boats in the water too. I said to my friend, "Yoi, we're the first ones in this year!" Was nice to feel water underneath you, the current pulling you here and there and maneuvering a boat through obstacles. The smell of fresh water, the feel of the breeze, the sight of waves after 8 long months of ice.

10 miles later we entered the mouth of the Noatak River. No eggs, but we did find a lot of good logs. Man, that new Stihl went right to work slicing through straight-grained, dry spruce no problem. I think I got wood just to use my chainsaw more than to get wood. Next thing I know I started getting greedy. Was about 1 AM and I walked on this ice chunk about 20 yards in diameter. There was good wood on the ice and some along the edges. I got the wood on the ice and there was one really good log just along the edge. The ice was grayish in color so I though if I really reach, I may be able to grab a branch and pull it up. Next thing I know I'm in the water. Immediately I threw my $310 chainsaw on the ice. My hip boots filled quickly and the current began taking my legs under the ice. I tried pulling myself up but the ice kept giving way. My partner got out of the boat and went to save me but somehow I got up. Didn't care about getting wet. Just worried about my 'saw.

The spring before another friend of mine and his young son and I tipped over in a 10 foot Smoker Craft but that's another story.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/22/16 04:37 AM

Update on Birch Mountains. they got collars on two more today, a male and female. So 4 with collars now, one a 3-legged female.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/22/16 05:10 AM

It will be interesting to see how their travel patterns differ in summer vs winter.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/22/16 09:45 PM

They caught another female this morning. That's 3 caught in last 24 hours. She was lactating. Yukon- last summer collar data showed a lot of movement along water courses. Clusters at beaver complexes where they stashed beaver in peat meadows. Very cool
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/23/16 01:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Update on Birch Mountains. they got collars on two more today, a male and female. So 4 with collars now, one a 3-legged female.
Is this up on Neils line Brian?
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/23/16 01:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
They caught another female this morning. That's 3 caught in last 24 hours. She was lactating. Yukon- last summer collar data showed a lot of movement along water courses. Clusters at beaver complexes where they stashed beaver in peat meadows. Very cool
Last year I had a wolverine steal a lynx I followed his tracks through the bush for about a mile, he went straight for a muskeg area where he dug a hole quite deep and stashed my lynx, after he buried it he urinated on the pile and several other spots around the hole.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/23/16 02:44 AM

You bet Red Earth. Up in Birch Hills. They put in weeks of work with little results and then all this action. Females being in dens keeps everyone close to home I think.


Was that lynx buried in moss?
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/23/16 12:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
You bet Red Earth. Up in Birch Hills. They put in weeks of work with little results and then all this action. Females being in dens keeps everyone close to home I think.


Was that lynx buried in moss?
. Yeah it was buried in moss, I talked to Neil a week ago and he told me it had been slow sure glad to hear it picked up, my line is about 20 miles as the crow flies from neils I hope to have time next year to look after a couple run poles. That 3 legged wolverine has me curious A couple years ago old Alan Purdy had one get in a wolf trap it got away minus its paw i figure it could be the one seeing as how we are so close.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 03:02 AM

It would be awesome if you could do the run pole. You got yourself a real wild location.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 04:22 AM





Another wolverine fell victim to wolves today. I think a lot more wolverines get killed by wolves then we ever expected.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 04:45 AM

Wow they did a number on that one! Not sure if I mentioned this before or not but I found a wolverine at a moose kill one time. It was still warm, and no damage at all! I wasnt really sure how it died until I skinned it;it had one small hole from right behind the front leg. A wolf obviously got ahold of it. Never could understand why it didnt climb a tree???
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman




Another wolverine fell victim to wolves today. I think a lot more wolverines get killed by wolves then we ever expected.


The research sure blows holes in the old wives tales about wolverine whopping on wolves - don't it?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: RichM AB
Originally Posted By: Bushman




Another wolverine fell victim to wolves today. I think a lot more wolverines get killed by wolves then we ever expected.


The research sure blows holes in the old wives tales about wolverine whopping on wolves - don't it?


Not necessarily...probably depends on how many wolves. There have been fights filmed where the wolvy won, and they certainly dont go out of their way to avoid wolves.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/24/16 11:59 PM

Yukon - I suspect any footage you've seen of wolverines fighting wolves are because they've been penned up together. Every single wolverine track that was followed during the 3 year research showed absolute avoidance of wolves. I have no doubt that a wolverine that is cornered will fight like...well...a wolverine! But if they can they will climb a tree to get away.

Just this week my partner filmed a wolverine on a moose carcass. Head comes up, wolverine is scenting the air, goes on alert and stares upriver, turns and bolts away as fast as possible. Five minutes later a wolf is skirting the site sticking to the bush. A couple hours later the wolverine returns and is on high alert the whole time its feeding. I believe wolverines are terrified of wolves.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/25/16 12:01 AM

Rich - lots of old wives tales about wolverines seem to be getting discredited. such as solitary loners, scavengers not hunters, need snow during denning, avoid industrial infrastructure etc.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/25/16 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Rich - lots of old wives tales about wolverines seem to be getting discredited. such as solitary loners, scavengers not hunters, need snow during denning, avoid industrial infrastructure etc.
Went up to my line today and the only wolverine tracks I saw were on a busy oilfield road, I saw some beside a drilling rig awhile back.
Posted By: EurekaTrapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/25/16 02:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Rich - lots of old wives tales about wolverines seem to be getting discredited. such as solitary loners, scavengers not hunters, need snow during denning, avoid industrial infrastructure etc.
Next thing will be you can't really dispatch them by putting a paper bag over their head and suffocating them.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/30/16 08:33 PM

Headed out to retrieve my partner from the mountains after 28 days in the blind / camp. Spring has come early after the mildest winter in memory. I'm really liking the tracked argo.




losing all the ice bridges
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/30/16 08:37 PM



not great snowmobiling conditions
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/30/16 08:38 PM





But who needs snow
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/30/16 09:15 PM

Looks like you are having an early spring like us! Those argos are incredible machines!
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal - 03/30/16 10:27 PM

Would hate to be the guy on the tundra crossing that water.. lol,
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/10/16 12:05 PM

It's hard to believe I was snowmobiling a couple weeks ago and guys are already out on the rivers in jet boats this week. It's crazy how weather has changed so much in my life time.

I've been having a bit of fun helping my buddy and fellow trapper get some material to his cabin site and start his cabin. A remote area that takes a bit of effort to get into but good trapping country.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/10/16 12:07 PM









Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/10/16 12:08 PM

Back out today to see how much more we can get done. Bringing my son who is a working machine.
Posted By: RichM AB

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/10/16 05:35 PM

I love watching cabins take shape! Mind you I get great satisfaction in turning a pile of lumber and sheeting into buildings period.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/10/16 09:05 PM

Brain, you really really need to come for a visit....and bring your son! Looking real good you have really put a lot of work into your line.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/13/16 04:34 AM

The work continues




Started with bridge over a cut that saves big detour around beaver slough



Places trusses




Almost ready for tin
Posted By: decoy

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/13/16 06:05 AM

No trees for wind protection?
Posted By: Tundra 300

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/13/16 01:35 PM

New 6x6 eh? Nice site for the cabin, i'm thinking my next cabin will be out in the open, main reason is forest fires. Much less chance of it going up in flames.
Now i have been clearing and thinning trees, sounds like another dry summer coming up.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 03:26 AM

Tundra you know your stuff. Safe location plus wind to keep those mosquitos away.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 05:09 AM

You have quite the setup there Brian ! How does that 6x6 compare to the Argo ?
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 01:48 PM

nice pics is there any chance that argo half tracks would fit on the back axles of that 6x6
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 07:45 PM




Roof is on and ice is gone

The 6 x 6 is my buddies and he uses it trapping pretty steady. A lot faster than an argo but won't go where it goes, but maybe with those tracks Sask is suggesting?
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 09:03 PM

Nice pics of work and scenery again!
Good planning for fire and bugs too
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/22/16 09:28 PM



as set of these on the back would be sweet , then add a set of camoplast 4 season for the front .
Posted By: mjk

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 03:36 PM





Posted By: mjk

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 03:37 PM

Posted By: mjk

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 03:40 PM

Posted By: mjk

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 03:40 PM

I think that that would be a great combo for trapping summer spring fall and winter it covers all seasons
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 03:50 PM

mjk that is a great outfit i love the angle of attack of the back tracks it solves the biggest problem with the camoplast track system . after 5 years of useing the track system we have never had a problem with the front ones the back ones are a different story . im not a fan of belt drive bikes but i wonder how the belt takes the low end torque of the track system , have u had any belt issues mjk.
Posted By: mjk

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/23/16 04:13 PM

It is not my quad it is a guy from northern sask that build it I just really like the machine. And think that it is a great looking quad.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/29/16 09:29 PM




Don't you hate it when this happens? I took my black bear out for a walk. I left him tied to a tree for an hour while I was cooking breakfast and a grizzly came along and ate him.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/29/16 09:56 PM



Then to top it off my pet fox slipped his chain and took off. I went looking and found a golden eagle perched on top of him, after just killing him. A sad day
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/30/16 12:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman



Don't you hate it when this happens? I took my black bear out for a walk. I left him tied to a tree for an hour while I was cooking breakfast and a grizzly came along and ate him.
Thats a big bear!!!
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 04/30/16 01:41 AM

Wish we could use bait like that!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/07/16 09:24 PM




Got back into the mountains this week. A pretty dry spring.
Posted By: phutch30

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/09/16 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman



Don't you hate it when this happens? I took my black bear out for a walk. I left him tied to a tree for an hour while I was cooking breakfast and a grizzly came along and ate him.



I don't know Bushman that looks like a classic suicide or some type of sick bear sexual fantasy to me...grizz is just an innocent bystander....prob didn't even know he was being filmed
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/10/16 12:43 AM

So....the black bear commits suicide by hanging, and along comes Mr. Brownie to "take advantage" of it. Jeez. Do you guys, er, folks, have issues? I mean, really. Can it be THAT bad?
Of course there is North Carolina................... confused
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/10/16 04:57 PM




While out looking for sharptail leks with my grandson and buddy we came upon a set of deer legs hanging. That deer must have suffered hung up in the fence waiting to die. Yup trapping is cruel.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/10/16 05:21 PM



A male sharp-tail putting on a show
Posted By: phutch30

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/10/16 09:36 PM

drove through a sharpie lek turkey hunting about a week ago. One of the males ran over and attacked my tire. Fun to watch when a female wanders onto the lek. The males lose it.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/11/16 04:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman



While out looking for sharptail leks with my grandson and buddy we came upon a set of deer legs hanging. That deer must have suffered hung up in the fence waiting to die. Yup trapping is cruel.

Noting else left to show the demise?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/12/16 11:27 PM

AV If you look to the upper right of legs there's a rib cage all chewed up.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/13/16 02:31 AM

I see a dark clob of something, but is un-identifiable by my sorry eyes. Those appear to be front legs?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/13/16 10:23 PM

AV - You must be hungry! I think those are drumsticks not wings.





New calves are out
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/13/16 10:29 PM



This one was lying on the ground still wet when I saw it two days ago
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/14/16 04:15 AM

I see it now. 3 leg sections had me thrown. As in 3 bone sections. I see no shoulder blades.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/16/16 04:24 AM

I sat with an bushman today. I always listen for stories. 1936 out with his dad snaring spruce grouse or fools hens. Here's where the story gets real. Slim pole with snare on top slowly lowered over birds roosting in trees after being spooked up by dogs. His dad would slowly lower snare over birds ... And here's where it gets real. The snare didn't go around neck. You loaded it around body so wings were pinned then pulled down out of tree. A quick move to crush skull while holding wings so they wouldn't beat and scare off remaining birds. They use to fill grain sacks with birds. I get pumped when I hear real story like that
Posted By: nube

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/16/16 02:15 PM

I have noosed them with a fishing rod before believe it or not lol Surprised I could do it. And the thing was dead real fast. It can be done
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/20/16 09:43 PM

Attention to business has robbed me of some bush time but a man has to earn a living. But all is not lost as I can plan out my next treks. I'm heading north with my wife to celebrate our 25th anniversary on a fishing trip in June . What a good woman. Going to a spot my NWT buddy calls remote which means something. Jetboating up the McKenzie then up river to Blackwater Lake. Can't wait It's traditional territory for my amigo and I'm hoping he will share some knowledge and visit some old sites.




Not far from Great Bear Lake, another dream destination
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/21/16 03:36 AM

Looks like with a good Sherpa, (wife), you could walk to G.B.! grin
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/25/16 07:10 PM





Last night
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/26/16 01:34 AM

YOU WIN! cool
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 05/30/16 11:38 PM




I finally had a chance to get the boat out on the river






It sure felt good





I even got to see another new calf
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/02/16 05:25 AM

I'm trying to get some hours on the boat before I head north this month. Had a good day on the water.





Tried a little pickerel fishing but too early, poplar fluff isn't flying yet.



Our area has some of the largest dinosaur bone sites in the world. Wonder what this is?




Someone has a sweet little cabin along the river.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/16/16 12:40 AM




I was heading up to visit some researcher buddies who are studying mountain goats but the weather is too extreme today. I have driving rain while they are in a snow storm. They have had no goat kid recruitment this year, zilch for babies. The goats are so stressed out from predators that they didn't even get pregnant. The researchers have seen wolves and grizzlies almost daily so the goats are on the move constantly. This photo is from up there a few seasons ago, so nothing new except no young ones to chase.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/16/16 01:20 AM

The answer is obvious. So many in Alaska bust Ted Spraker's balls about predator control, yet reap the benefits from increased moose and caribou. He gets a huge thank you from me. That said, I don't even live in that country. He has done well for my area, in general, as has the B.O.G. in general.
My hat is off to them. Good luck in your area. Without killing the large predators, well, you know the results
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/17/16 07:42 PM

I'm heading North this Sunday for my expedition up to Black Water Lake. I hope to have a good story or two when I return.

But I hope I don't top this one. I'm heading this way and I went to school with one of these pickers. A CBC report










What's the best way to fend off a wolf that's stalking you? Bait it with a bear cub, of course.

It sounds incredible, but that's exactly what Joanne Barnaby did when she got into a terrifying situation while out picking morel mushrooms near Fort Smith, N.W.T., last Friday.

Barnaby and her friend Tammy Caudron headed out to an area burned by wildfires to spend an hour or two searching for the elusive morels. They soon became separated, leaving Barnaby alone with her loyal dog, Joey.

Once her pail was full of mushrooms, she turned to head back toward her truck.

Fort Smith Yellowknife map
Joanne Barnaby was mushroom picking when she got separated from her friend near Fort Smith, N.W.T. (CBC)

"I heard this growl behind me. There was a long, tall, very, very skinny wolf. A black wolf. And his legs were spread and his hair was standing, and he was growling, and baring his teeth."

Joey charged the animal, but the wolf stood its ground.

"I don't think Joey expected that," Barnaby says. "I didn't want him hurt, of course, but I also knew that if the wolf got Joey, I'd be next."

'Trying to wear me down'

The wolf started pacing back and forth in the direction of the truck. Barnaby says it was forcing her to go farther east, away from the highway.

"It took me a while to realize that he knew what he was doing. He was trying to wear me down. He was trying to separate Joey and I," she says.

"I think he was weak. He didn't look healthy. He looked old to me ... I don't think he wanted to take us both on."

What followed was a 12-hour hunt. The wolf continued to pursue Barnaby and Joey, as they were pushed farther from her truck.


'I started praying to not let the mosquitos drive me insane.'

- Joanne Barnaby

"He was dogged. He was just determined," Barnaby says. "I was in trouble."

Barnaby said she became dehydrated, her calves and thighs were aching, and there was another vicious attacker that was testing her mental strength.

"I was going crazy with mosquitoes. There were zillions of mosquitoes."

Dangerous plan pays off

At about 4:30 a.m., Barnaby heard a loud noise. She quickly recognized it as a mother bear. Listening closely, trying to drown out the buzz of mosquitoes, sure enough she heard a cub respond from far away in the distance. The two bears had been separated.

"I realized that there was a chance that the mother bear would tackle the wolf if she felt that the wolf was a threat," Barnaby explains.

"So I made the choice of walking towards the cub."

It worked. After walking about 20 minutes, Barnaby's dangerous plan paid off.

"I heard this big crashing behind me and realized that the mama bear had attacked the wolf, or maybe the other way around, I don't know, but they were fighting and I could hear the wolf yelping and I could hear the mama bear growling and I could hear all this crashing and I just took off!"
Decision to live

Finally free of the wolf, Barnaby and Joey both "perked right up" when they saw a lake.

"I had brought one can of beer with me. Silly choice," she laughs. "That little can of beer ended up saving my life."

She drank can after can of water and finally took a break.


'This one was a decision to live and it was really powerful.'

- Joanne Barnaby

"I started praying to not let the mosquitos drive me insane. Then I just started talking to people I love, some of whom are still with us, some of whom have passed.

"As I talked to them and told them how much I loved them," Barnaby said, her voice breaking, "everything they mean to me, it energized me, and I was determined to see everybody again.

"All night I had been making decisions of sorts, but this one was a decision to live and it was really powerful."

Lessons learned

When the pair finally climbed onto the highway Saturday morning, Barnaby saw vehicles parked on the road about a kilometre away.

"I was like, 'OK, we're good. We're really good.'"

A police truck, carrying a local RCMP officer and a Parks Canada worker, drove to Barnaby and Joey.

"They both jumped out of the truck and we had big hugs, and of course they were full of questions, but they didn't have any bug spray for me! I couldn't believe it!" she laughs.

Barnaby is still kicking herself for not bringing her gun into the bush, calling it a "huge mistake."

"Don't do what I did. Don't go without your gun," she says. "Anything can happen.

"If I had had that gun, it would've been a very short situation."
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/17/16 09:41 PM

I guess she won't forget that for a while.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 12:12 PM

Made it to my first stop in the NWT. Stayed the night in Hay River This is my home town and when I was a kid the harbour and town was full of boats and workers. Before the Dempster highway was built everything went on a barge here, and then down the McKenzie River. Pretty quiet now. Off to Ft Simpson today.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 03:14 PM

Did you look up Andrew Stanley,famous star of the wild north FHA?
Posted By: bullgetter

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 03:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman



I was heading up to visit some researcher buddies who are studying mountain goats but the weather is too extreme today. I have driving rain while they are in a snow storm. They have had no goat kid recruitment this year, zilch for babies. The goats are so stressed out from predators that they didn't even get pregnant. The researchers have seen wolves and grizzlies almost daily so the goats are on the move constantly. This photo is from up there a few seasons ago, so nothing new except no young ones to chase.


Brian I assume this is Caw Ridge you are talking about. Too bad as these goats are always a treat to see. They seem so tame I would think they are a pretty easy kill for a Grizzly unless they can get to some escape cover. I hope to draw a sheep tag in there this year but we will see. Been a couple of years since I have been up there.
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Boco
Did you look up Andrew Stanley,famous star of the wild north FHA?


He should just keep going past Simpson and come see Muskrat411 we'll jet boat up the Rat River look for the Mad Trapper! If he goes up the Nahanni River, Headless Valley is named after my great uncles. we'll there headless corpses any ways. True story, Game of Thrones Deh Cho style.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 05:45 PM

What about Albert Faille the famous gold prospector.Did he ever find his gold up the nahanni?
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Boco
What about Albert Faille the famous gold prospector.Did he ever find his gold up the nahanni?


Turns out the gold he was looking for was on the Yukon side. A prospector stumbled on it a few years back while caribou hunting......about 5 km from my cabin. I have since sold that line, but talked to a geologist friend this spring that did some work there last fall....he said he has never seen anything like it...just roll back the moss and the gold is right there. I trapped all over that country for 20-years and never knew it!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 08:43 PM

Made it to Ft Simpson with one stop in Jean Marie River to buy Moccassins. Saw two baby great greys on side of raid plus a lot of Sandhill cranes. Heading to Wrigley then into the Mckenzie River this evening and heading north. Already did Nahanni on a couple trips. We might try the Root River and head up into the Mckenzie Mountains. Come on down for visit 411. Remember were connected by Johnny Bouvier!
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: yukon254
Originally Posted By: Boco
What about Albert Faille the famous gold prospector.Did he ever find his gold up the nahanni?


Turns out the gold he was looking for was on the Yukon side. A prospector stumbled on it a few years back while caribou hunting......about 5 km from my cabin. I have since sold that line, but talked to a geologist friend this spring that did some work there last fall....he said he has never seen anything like it...just roll back the moss and the gold is right there. I trapped all over that country for 20-years and never knew it!!


Everything likes the Yukon better, especially gold.
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/20/16 11:52 PM

yea but you got the diamonds!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:08 PM

My wife and I have returned from our 25th wedding anniversary trip. We did 2000 miles in one week getting to destinations. It was over 90 degrees / 34 celsius when we started out but cooled off as the week progressed. Saw a lot of bird life , Sandhill cranes, Peregrin falcons,





We drove to Wrigley NWT which is as far as you can go on summer road up here. We put our boats into the Mckenzie River and headed 60 miles north to the confluence of the Blackwater River. As we made our way up river we could see a forest fire was burning.





As it turned out the fire was burning where we were headed. We decided to camp the night and see if the fire would pass by. The next day as we headed up the Blackwater river we were in Smoke and flames along much of the way. We were very cautious as a small river is no protection from a fire storm. It was surreal watching flames burning alongside the river, black on one side and sometimes green on the other
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:14 PM

As we got closer to the lake we made our way out of the fire zone and the smoke started to clear. We had 7 miles of rapids, bad enough that most locals avoid the river



Actually too hairy in spots to even try and get a picture

Once we broke out into the lake we were in paradise it seemed.




Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:17 PM

The fishing was exceptional with lake trout right off shore. We had a 17 pounder on line within minutes of throwing hooks in the water.






Also big pike and grayling




We ate fresh fish every day.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:22 PM




One very cool feature is the bear "Ridge" that guards the entrance to the river from the lake, can you see him? Start at the claws by the water edge and the rest pops into view




I found a minnow up on shore which showed why the blue silver hooks worked

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:24 PM

From start to finish the trip was great. I enjoyed catching up with old friends and sharing time with my main partner, my wife. She's a keeper.


Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 02:50 PM

Looks like a great trip.It also looks like an old burn where your tent is set up.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 03:00 PM

Yes Boco that country has burned many times. Lots of moose, we saw 5.
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/26/16 04:22 PM

Absolutely beautiful! Glad to see the fire didn't put an end to your adventure.
Posted By: Aknative

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 05:17 AM

Thanks for sharing! Looks of the head on those lakers it should have weighed more!
Posted By: frozen okie

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 01:04 PM

Bushman it's funny you tell that story, I'm driving down to OK and as I was coming through out of Whitehorse, I found an AM radio station I got to listen to a Ballard , it was called the Ballard of Barnaby Lake, but it's a little different, something about whiskey and getting drunk and dancing with a wolf and sow with Cubs. I liked it
There sure is some pretty country up there
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 02:16 PM

AK - I've always been told that a big head with smaller body is the sign of a slow growing population, like these northern lakes.

Songs about wolves and whiskey can't be bad.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 02:20 PM




We caught quite a few this size. When cooked they took on an almost yellow buttery colour and the flavour was fantastic.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 02:21 PM




While I was off exploring my partner is filming hummingbirds for the BBC. Here's something I've never seen, Rufus hummingbirds on a nest
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 03:19 PM

Looks like a fantastic trip Brian! Great pictures too. A biologist told me one time that when a lake trouts head looks to big for its body it is a sign that the fish is going downhill for whatever reason. Not sure if thats true but I have seen it here too.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 06/27/16 09:54 PM

I feel better about eating them and taking them out of the gene pool now Dave, thanks.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/06/16 10:23 PM




The hummingbirds are still laying eggs, these are from Sunday
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/06/16 10:32 PM



This nicely coloured black bear sow was small but had two cubs, one dark and one her colour.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 03:45 AM



I've had a stubborn leak on my cabin roof so I decided to do something about it. Started with a crazy carpet.




Ended up as a chimney gasket and the leak is gone
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 03:49 AM



My son decided we need a new door on one of the other cabins. Big door with double side lights so lots of light getting through now




The hummingbirds are hitting our feeders hard





While I settled for elk steaks
Posted By: Dale Torma

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 01:37 PM

I sure enjoy your journal.
The predator worship sickness started in the USA in the hippie era and has spread like a cancer worldwide.
Only we know and believe that predators need control. We are a minority and politics trumps over science. Even some scientists are on the protection side because of politics and money.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 01:53 PM

Once you're disconnected from the circle of life and death it's easier to start bunny hugging. Try having a black bear grab your grand daughter and see what it does to your attitude. I used to give black bears in camp one chance, now I give them one bullet instead.
Posted By: muskrat411

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 07:25 PM

Man Bushman that sounds like a story worth retelling if you already told it once.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 09:01 PM

I had a shifty black bear that stalked my camp. Used to lie under spruce tree and hide until your back was turned and then grab gear you just set down. I knew it was a bad one. I had my gun handy and told my family to let me know if they saw a bear as I was plugging it. I was sitting in my cabin when my 7 year old granddaughter burst in and told me she had just sen the bear.

Where?

Right on the deck and I just petted it!

I grabbed my 308 ran outside and saw the butt end of the bear running out of camp. i ran as fast as a fat middle aged trapper can move and caught up with it in open poplar. I barked at it and the bear stopped, stood up, leaned on a poplar and stuck it's head around the tree to take a look at me.

I take comfort in knowing I was the last thing that bear ever saw. It was not a big bear, 2-3 year old male my guess.

I went back to the cabin and got the rest of the story. Bear followed her up on deck, she thought it was my malamute so she turned and pet the bear without thinking. The bear recoiled, stood up, and huffed at her which was when She burst into the cabin. Still makes my blood run cold thinking what could have been.

And in case you think that's a one off I've shot 3 predatory black bears in 20 years and every one of them meant business. Young males every one of them.
Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 09:46 PM

I was charged by a small bear once.I was making a beaver set one evening early November I think it was.I was setting the crossover out on a fairly long dam.I was hunched down mking the set when I heard a rhythmic splashing sound.I looked around and a small bear was running along the dam towards me.I stood straight up with the sandvik ready to dent his skull.When I stood up he was about 30 feet away and put on the brakes and turned tail and ran back the way he came full speed.
I believe this bear was used to hunting the odd beaver,and when he seen me hunched over and smelled the castor on my clothes,he thought I was a beaver.When I stood up he realized I was something else and got a scare\surprize,lol.
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/11/16 10:12 PM

Im loving your journal Bushman, always nice to see what you are up to out there, keep the pictures coming! And wow, thats a scary situation with your grand daughter. I agree with your logic though, put a bullet in those bears, they are nothing but trouble.

I got charged by a small bear a couple weeks ago. I was out canoeing and fishing for the day with a friend, and we pulled over to check out the rapids/portage trail. We started walking down the trail, and I just heard some faint noises that didn't seem right. So I stopped to listen, and didn't hear anything. So as we kept walking, I heard something again. I knew something wasn't right, and my friend says its just the wind. Now I'm just pausing and listening, I didn't want to walk any further. I could hear breathing, and then it got louder and closer. The bear was coming right towards us, so I grabbed a small dead tree on the ground and started waving it, and hitting some trees and brush while yelling at it. We had nowhere to run, so I figured standing my ground would be the only option in this case. Thankfully the bear go to about 10 yards and wasn't sure what it wanted to do. It paced back and forth huffing, snapping its jaws and swatting. My friend was behind me and I told her to just slowly walk back into the river and ill keep an eye on the bear. We backed up right into the water and let the bear calm down a bit. I figured hitting the water would be the best bet as I don't think a bear would be as comfortable attacking anything while in the current like that. Thankfully it ended up going back up the ridge, but still didn't go very far. I walked along the river to get the canoe, and promptly got the h#ll out of there.

If I would have had a rifle, that bear would have been toast. 99% of the time bears will be long gone before you even catch a glimpse of them, but theres always the one odd ball that will change your way of thinking. Don't let your guard down and don't be too comfortable around these guys, you never know which bear is having a bad day.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/12/16 03:48 AM

Seems any one who spends time in bear country runs into a bad one sooner or later. Thank goodness 95% of them are harmless. Do you remember Fred Trost and Michigan Outdoors way back in the day? He had a clip that a guy filmed while fishing in lower 48. It showed a small black bear stalking the angler and making a determined effort to take him down. The angler whipped it across the face with his rod several times and kept screaming at the bear. It went on for quite a while, can't remember how it ended, but he got away. That film sequence to me show a classic predatory attack. I suspect a 100 pound bear could kill an average person and even a superman on a bad day. You get ambushed from behind you could be in a lot of trouble. Don't forget to draw eyes on the back of your hat, throws predators off.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/12/16 03:52 AM

I've been lurking on a Canadian Auction site that specializes in Aboriginal and Inuit items. I finally bought my first item. A small scoop fashioned out of copper and musk ox horn in mid 1800's








Beautiful Amber colour
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 04:14 AM

I woke up yesterday in the mountains. I opened my eyes, stretched my arms over my head, and said " Happy Birthday Brian" I turned 57. Part of me wonders how I got to 57 so fast, but another part of me says I've done a lot of living for my age. Bottom line though is, I was left thinking life is sweet. I came out of mountains today to have dinner with Mom and Dad to celebrate my fathers 86 birthday, as he was born on July 26 1930. I asked Dad what he thought of turning 86 and he looked at me and said " Son, all I know is life is so sweet." So are genetics Dad...thanks.

So a few things went down the last few days. I've been looking for where an old horse trail intersects one of my trails. I knew where it hit my trail along the creek, but have never been able to find the other trail head. The bush is thick and it's on steep sidehills. I had a couple hours the other day and decided to make a concentrated effort to find the trail. It only took a short time. I just cut across a sidehill and hit a heavy trail and started following it. Within a few minutes I spotted a familiar sight. An aboriginal fellow had owned and trapped my line, back in the 90's. Some white guy owned in in between and never trapped.

I've come to recognize his lynx sets so I was pumped when I saw what looked like one of his sets.




Then I looked up and saw a real treasure



I knew for sure I was on the right trail
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 04:19 AM




I decided that what a 57 year old needed was a day trip up into the alpine. i got a thing about this place called Caw Ridge. so decided to visit. Got a few miles into my trip and hit fresh grizzly crap. Ohhh back home.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 04:45 AM




I climbed up into the Alpine and the weather was perfect except for mach 10 winds.




See the sheep? I saw about 200 ewes and lambs over the course of the day. i screwed up and left phone on roam and ran it down. of course perfect photo opportunity arose. came over a ridge on foot and a band of 30 were right there. i was 15' from the lambs for 10 minutes. man they were cute
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 04:48 AM

When you get up high the flowers are still in spring mode. the slopes were alive with colour.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 05:20 AM

By the way thanks for the 1,000,000+ views of my journal. I've been writing since I'm 14 but I only write in a few things constantly. Number 1 is my own personal journal, next my column for Alberta OutDoor's men ( greatest mag around) then the Alberta Trappers Association magazine, and finally and maybe most important this forum. We all are learning to navigate this new digital world but this forum has been an old friend and you all have been friends in a digital kind of way., So thanks
Posted By: trappertom52

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 11:56 AM

Happy birthday to you and your Dad! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your find. That's quite a nice present!
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/24/16 06:22 PM

You beat me to 57 by a couple months Brian. Happy Late birthday. Glad you took some time to enjoy it. Great photos and stories as usual.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/26/16 05:01 AM



Banner year for berries. Within an acre I have raspberries, blue berries, cloud berries, high bush cranberries, saskatoons, and even some strawberries still ripe. Great eating.

I like grilling the breast on grouse, lay a piece of Havarti Cheese on the breast until melted then put blueberries on top of the melted cheese and eat when hot. Hmmm
Posted By: Bw32057

Re: Mountain Journal - 07/26/16 01:57 PM

happy belated and keep up the great work on the thread. I eagerly await your new pics and posts.

best regards,

Drake
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/05/16 01:04 PM

I've been getting lots of bush time but pretty much exciting stuff like repairing and staining cabins. Yesterday though took the jet boat out and checked on some hunting spots and a buddies cabin. Got to run some white water and went on a death hike to check out a lick my buddy wanted to show me. I've never though that hunting around a lick is that good personally but he was jacked up. 3 more weeks and bow season opens up. Hunting soon.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/05/16 04:50 PM



Water was high






One of the little tributaries shows why. Lots of rain over last 24 hours. Water up to car windows in down town
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/05/16 04:57 PM




All the usual suspects on the river
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/09/16 02:18 PM

We've been having a wet year as I mentioned with lots of lightning and thunder. A hotel under construction just burnt down after getting hit by lightning. We also had a direct strike on a tree about 150 yards from our house. It blew out the controls on my electric gate.


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/19/16 04:25 AM




His favourite tree





Bow season starts in a week. the hunt begins for another year
Posted By: Elitebowman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/19/16 01:57 PM

Hi Brian, what season starts for bow season in a week? We have an early black Bear season that starts here on Sept. 17 I think it is. That is our earliest season that starts here. I haven't been on here all summer. Caught up on some beautiful pics of yours and your journal. Always nice stories, and pics. Thanks for sharing your beautiful area on here. Lucky you are.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/23/16 06:16 AM

On Aug 25th moose - elk - deer - etc are all open for bow.

I blasted out to the coast for some fishing this week. fished off Vancouver Island. Action was slow but the company was good and the scenery stunning. We managed to boat some springs or kings as some call them.



Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/23/16 06:16 AM



A good feed
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/23/16 07:56 AM

Man that looks tasty.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/23/16 03:19 PM

Boy, that black and white film sure makes you look a lot younger, Brian! laugh
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/24/16 01:39 AM

JEEZ! I just saw that you have had more "READS" than Family Trapper's daughter filleting halibut! And you did it all, right here! Way over a million!
I'm impressed, to say the least.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/24/16 02:36 AM





Nope still old and ugly AV. I hang with younger guys as it's more fun to wear them out.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 08/24/16 03:03 AM

cool
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 01:49 AM

Back from the east coast. Beautiful weather and a great time. But as I was leaving I did a quick pre-scout



I hope they're still holed up there, I'm heading out tomorrow with the bow
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 01:54 AM

Fire At Will!!!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 01:24 PM

Myself and fellow trapper Bill Ambercrombie participated in the writing of this document which refutes some commonly held beliefs about wolverines onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jwmg.21137/full To my knowledge this is the few times trappers had input into a peer reviewed research paper. A big salute to Alberta Conservation Association for seeking out trappers as partners on this project
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 03:19 PM

Link won't work, for me.
Posted By: bctomcat

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 03:31 PM

Does not work for me either.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/06/16 05:49 PM

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jwmg.21137/full
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 09:07 PM

Thanks FT I took off after that elk, right after getting back from the eats coast. I've flown about 5,000 miles in the last 10 days.

I went back to the point on Tuesday evening where I had spotted the elk on and worked my way along the shore, upstream. The wind followed the river current, and that mountain river is noisy so I got in undetected. Not much sign coming down to the point, just one heavy beaten game trail. I walked in 50 yards and could see the bush was a jungle of wild rose bushes and thorns, standing 5' high. The game had one trail only pounded down and it was way too thick for a bow shot so I backed out. I went back onto the point and started my way along the upriver portion. As I rounded the point I started to see a few more trails coming in. It was starting to get dark so I cut straight west back to my vehicle. As I cut across the center of the point I hit several heavy game trails running north / south. But little for tracks or other sign. But to me it looked like all the action was heading south so I decided to return in the morning.

Got back in early and worked my way along one of the trails. Nice and easy going on the path and I took my time. It started to look real elky to me and sure enough I hit fresh elk scat. Some calf and adult. I had seen a couple calves with the herd the other day so figured it was same bunch. I spotted a fresh rub through the trees and worked my way over to check it out.
Posted By: ttzt

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 09:19 PM

Dang cliff hanger!! You're killing me! What happened next?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 09:21 PM



It was freshly done. sap was clear and still flowing down the tree and shavings curled up along the base of the trunk. I was in old growth pine and spruce forest with mossy floor and pretty open view. Just the kind of place the solo bulls like. I scanned around looking for more sign and sat quiet for a while. I pulled my phone out to take a picture when I heard an elk bark off to my south about 30-50 yards away. The wind was blowing to me so I knew the elk hadn't scented me.

But I played this game before so I didn't waste my time calling but rather backed off and circled downwind hoping to setup and intercept a bull circling around me. I hit the edge of the river way quicker than I suspected so I waited in ambush for a while but no action. I walked down onto the shore and hid for a while by a heavy game crossing thinking a bull might try and sneak across the river. While hid there I heard four cow calls on the other side of the river over about a 45 minute span. No way to cross so I went back into the bush and stalked into the area the call came from.

I was in the bulls bedroom. There were half a dozen trails intersecting at the spot. Funneled there by the river and steep ridges it was a thoroughfare for game moving around. The flat itself didn't show much daily elk occupation except for the bull. And he is strategically placed next to a river for escape, multiple trails to intercept travelling cows, and tons of food as he is the only guy around.

In one spot I could see where he took off, a tree he knocked over, and a fresh rub.

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 09:45 PM




I also found a bear den while I was stomping around. Couldn't reach the back end of it with a 8' stick.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 09:48 PM

I'll leave this bull until late October or November assuming I haven't harvested a bull. I cleared a game trail out so I can sneak back in at some point once the leaves drop and it's gun season. A tree stand would be deadly right now during bow season but I have other spots to check out as well. We're bringing horses out next week which opens up a whole lot of area I avoid as I'm not up for packing an elk out of there on my back, horses however are a game changer.
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/08/16 11:05 PM

Oh so fun. Miss that elk hunting. Lots of exercise compared to my Alaska Moose hunting.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/23/16 04:32 AM

The hunt goes on. We played with the big bull for two days, but he wins for now. We actually had him located within a 1/4 mile section of a point but he chose it well. Impossible to penetrate silently, and he wouldn't come out. Swampy area surrounded by overgrowth so thick you had to force your way through it. But we found an old overgrown road that leads to a point overlooking his honey hole so we cleaned it up on the way out. I might return quietly and sit and wait and see what happens. Steep mountainside trail leading down into the flat



found some massive trees down on the flat




The entire Smoky river narrows down to 25 yards across with a strong flow, would be an interesting ride in the boat



I'm now hunting further down river. Seen a couple bull moose, couple cows, and several deer. Going out for a week so we'll see how we make out. Then out for dads moose hunt

Posted By: Boco

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/23/16 05:02 AM

Holy chit is that ever a huge tree bushman,you could build an overnighter in there and not even have to kill the tree.
You could hang a few marten boxes on that one.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/23/16 04:21 PM

Boco that tree is the most massive white spruce I've ever seen. I contacted forestry and they're choppering out some staff to measure the circumference. They feel based on the photo it may be an Alberta record. They would steal some of it's cones for cross breeding as it shows unusual characteristics for a tree in Alberta. The younger spruce in proximity to it are also larger than average, probably descended from this monster. it'll be interesting to find out the rest of the story.

I did score a major find though. As I was hunting an island sandbar along the river I saw a skull sticking out of the sand. When I first saw it I thought bear based on the size but when I dug the jaws out I saw it was a cougar, and a big one. F & W gave me a found wildlife certificate so I've got it home.

Posted By: Taximan

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/23/16 04:40 PM

Wow!That's a very mature looking mountain lion skull.Did you measure it?
Posted By: Ridge Reaper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/16 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Family Trapper
Too thin to sew? balony. You may have to use some patch material however depending on the whole. You can make that silnet material if you want to get serious.



Not sure how Kif does it. Call they will be more than helpful I am sure. Or go to the Kif forum and ask away. Some great folks there.
http://www.kifaruforums.net

I have thought about hanging the tent for sure. With the stove installed however I don't find it in the way. I use it as a hanging anchor point. I usually have multiple wires hanging off the pole to dry gloves etc. I also hang my lantern off it.
xxx

I personally sewed the attachments loops on the outside to produce a higher anchor point in order to pull out the tent at head level. And it is something I would really encourage.

Can't find a photo of it on the outside. But you can see what it does for me on the inside.
To the rear of my head you can see the pucker where it is pulled out.
I have not taken my liner out since I installed it so I sewed it right to the tent at these spots as well. Otherwise the liner is drooping and I didn't want that either. Just a regular sewing machine I got at a garage sale.
Hmm you can see the hole I had fixed too. ;0)



I used to use material clamps like shown in the second photo but got tired of them coming off.
You can see them in use here. Now their are loops at these spots at each seam if I choose to use them. Placed a little higher however.
Love them.


Posted By: Ridge Reaper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/16 06:33 PM

xxx
Posted By: Ridge Reaper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/16 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: trapper ron
I'm going to add this for those having trouble making a round loop. I have used this method but prefer the method used by Boco, mostly because it is what I learned about 40 years ago.

One of our Instructors who harvests wolves consistently every year has a technique he has demonstrated at our Instructors meetings and at several of our convention. If you are looking at the snare he likes the lock to be at about 10 o'clock so it will drop very fast. He uses a "W" at the end of his support wire. What he does is take a very fine wire, a really light strand of copper wire will do, and he wraps it around the support wire, then winds it around the snare cable loop about 8" back from the lock. Just enough wraps so it holds but will pull out with very slight pressure. This will make even 7 x 7 wire make a nice round loop. If you look real close you can see that light wire holding the loop.

xxx
Posted By: Ridge Reaper

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/16 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Family Trapper
I had put this up in a post a few years ago but I will add it here as it pertains to the discussion and it should add to the conversation.
Brian if you want the post moved to a new thread just say the word.
My take on loading came from models of prebuilt snares I got from Rally Hess. A master snareman and someone that believes heavily in loading. The terminology and such that I put on here is my own concoction to make it more clear. The cable I am using is 1/16th 7 by 7 and prone to be a teardrop. I post this here to show that loading can have huge affect on shape.
Yukon you ask why people dislike a teardrop. A lot more taken with tear drop than without that is for sure. But that comes from far more snares being made without than with IMO. As well as trapper not knowing how to load them. I use the same method as Bctomcat.
When I look at a teardrop I see a snare shape exactly opposite of the shape I would want for the target. A large mass going in on top. (the head of a wolf or lynx) and a large opening on the bottom. (the feet). Creating a snare that I believe would be more prone to a leg being alllowed to enter the snare with the head. It just feels better to me to have the rounder shape. And one more conducive to the head up high in the snare. And I think you can get by with a smaller opening as so much of the loop is not having in a non target area. Creating even more weight on the snare distorting the shape.
I like the idea of having the large opening up high where the head is entering. Also it covers a wider area of the trail where the target is coming through. (the head).
That can't hurt. But more importantly is the speed. You have to drag closed a teardrop shaped snare all the way to the end. Compared to a loaded snare that naturally wants to close. Causing less pull on the animal and less likely for detection and backout.

Example of a 7 by 7 1/16 inch cable snare


Take that same snare and build in some lift on the cable behind the lock and you begin to get a shape that opens up the snare for better head entry.



Take that same snare and load and shape it and you will end up with this.
Granted this is not a wolf snare but I bet you can go a long way to opening up the shape and make it a lot faster with loading it. The picture like the ones above were taken with the snare held vertical not laying down. This is the hanging shape.
I achieve this by loading and shaping. The loading and shaping zone are described on the box.

Heavily loading the first inches past the lock dictates the direction of the cable as it circles around. I like to shoot for a horizontal direction rather than the slanted one you get with a teardrop. I continue to load further but with a lot less pressure. I also like to shape the cable in the shaping zone as well to round out the opposite side. Done the same way as loading but with a lot less pressure.
And wow fast in comparison to a teardrop is saying it lightly. You just can't compare how a teardrop snare closes compared to a loaded snare. A



Here inlies the issue you have to be very careful when loading snares. Many snare you build are not set up to take loading. Thus a good reason to make your own.
When you load heavily you need to account for the curling of the cable within the lock. Compare the two photos below.
This snare can not be loaded.



This snare can be.



Resulting in this.








When I look at this snare I see a small opening that could possibly brush up agains the side of a wolf's head and cause him to defer to the right or left or even back out. haha. Watch you will probably get a perfect catch in it. ;0)


Hopel this helps some guys new and old to snaring. Brian I hope it adds to your journal.
We can move the discussion on loading to a new thread if people are interested in carrying it on further.
xxx
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/23/16 07:41 PM

Taxi - No i have not measured the skull, good idea I will. It was missing one canine so I took a large wolf tooth and inserted it into the spot. Looks good but the cougar has bigger diameter tooth.

ridge Reaper - not sure of your posts intention but thinking you have made a mistake. Either that or you have been up on that ridge drinking moonshine.
Posted By: Taximan

Re: Mountain Journal 2014 - 09/24/16 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Taxi - No i have not measured the skull, good idea I will. It was missing one canine so I took a large wolf tooth and inserted it into the spot. Looks good but the cougar has bigger diameter tooth.

ridge Reaper - not sure of your posts intention but thinking you have made a mistake. Either that or you have been up on that ridge drinking moonshine.


It would be ideal to mold and cast the same canine from a similar sized cat.
Posted By: tucker13

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/24/16 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Boco that tree is the most massive white spruce I've ever seen. I contacted forestry and they're choppering out some staff to measure the circumference. They feel based on the photo it may be an Alberta record. They would steal some of it's cones for cross breeding as it shows unusual characteristics for a tree in Alberta. The younger spruce in proximity to it are also larger than average, probably descended from this monster. it'll be interesting to find out the rest of the story.

I did score a major find though. As I was hunting an island sandbar along the river I saw a skull sticking out of the sand. When I first saw it I thought bear based on the size but when I dug the jaws out I saw it was a cougar, and a big one. F & W gave me a found wildlife certificate so I've got it home.



Very cool find I am interested in what the cat scored as well. Did you dig around for any other bones?
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 01:29 AM

Skull was washed up on sandbar without balance of skeleton. Been too busy to measure it
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 01:57 AM

I've been on the river in a hunt camp since Saturday. Weather has been a bit warm and even mosquitos which is unusual for fall. But beautiful fall colours and lots of animals moving about



The elk calling has been sporadic and we hadn't spotted one as of last night. I got a couple answers late in the evening so I decided to return to same ridge early in the morn. Buddy dropped me out of his boat and went around the point to walk in from a different direction, while another friend cut through the middle. We were about 1/2 mile apart from each other. I heard two bugles right away but then things went quiet.

I worked my way along a ridge through open aspen forest. I set up on the edge of a clearing and gave a couple cow calls. No answer. I waited a bit to see if a bull might sneak in without calling, very common these days. I decided to give a mature bull call so I let a big bugle rip. Within minutes I hear banging and crashing heading straight towards me. I scanned the bush edge and a cow and calf elk bust into the clearing heading straight for me.

I had camo on my face and the cow couldn't see me. They ran into 20 yards and veered to the right. I thought to myself there has to be a bull around and just then a bull came storming into the clearing and ran towards me. At 35 yards he put the brakes on and was staring in my direction. I had the cross hairs on him so I pulled the trigged and put one into the front of its chest.

The bull ran towards the cows and I took two snap shots but I knew it was a goner. It started getting wobbly and keeled over 80 yards from me. A nice 6 x 6



Before too long my buddy showed up and we started breaking the meat down getting ready for the pack out. My other friend showed up and left to bring the boat back around to our side/




I made 3 trips of about 3/4 of a mile and my buddies made two and we had the elk back at the boat.




I'm heading back out in the morning to help my buddies get their elk.
Posted By: alaska viking

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 03:48 AM

grin grin grin Way to go, Bushy! cool
Posted By: trapper ron

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 04:22 AM

Very nice. Way to go. smile Hope your buddies score also.
Posted By: saskamusher

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 06:00 PM

very nice bull , our bulls are getting quieter every year not sure if it jus me or weather or jus the poor management practices being used on our elk herds , im blaming the later as we have seen this coming for past 20 years but the govt wont listen to anything except cry baby farmers , oh well great elk elk hunt bushman thanks for sharing it with us that are stuck on the job .
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/28/16 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: saskamusher
very nice bull , our bulls are getting quieter every year not sure if it jus me or weather or jus the poor management practices being used on our elk herds , im blaming the later as we have seen this coming for past 20 years but the govt wont listen to anything except cry baby farmers , oh well great elk elk hunt bushman thanks for sharing it with us that are stuck on the job .
Elk have gotten quite in my area as well, I think its a combo of to many predators and to many hunters in the bush with bugles in their hand.
Posted By: Allan Minear

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/29/16 02:27 PM

Congratulations on your bull elk Bushman that's one to be proud of how wore down are the ivory's ? And are you going to make anything with them ?
In some area's down here the elk no longer bugle or very rarely due to increasing grizzly and wolf numbers, but where those predators aren't as prevalent they still bugle and carry on.
Allan
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/29/16 09:36 PM

Awesome! Congrats on a nice bull.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 09/30/16 03:42 AM

Well back in for a couple days. They're calling for rain and snow for next 48 hours and then weather smartens up. I'm leaving for the mountains with Dad on Monday in hopes of getting his moose. He's as determined today at 86 as when I was kid following his long legs through the bush of the NWT. My Dad is a cool guy.

My buddies didn't have any luck while they hunted and I spent my time repairing a trapping cabin roof that was getting pretty rough. I hauled in material in boat and framed up new roof system on old roof. We'll tin it in a couple weeks once I'm done hunting.




And this is my $40,000 Mokai replacement. Crazy company wouldn't sell me one of their units so I bought myself a real boat instead.





still wouldn't mind one of them Mokais though
Posted By: LeverAlone

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/02/16 04:00 PM

Nice elk Bushman! Love the other pics, thats a giant of a white spruce, must be at least a couple centuries old for sure. I wish we had rivers that were runnable in a boat like yours, would beat paddling and portaging for sure lol. We are near the edge of the Canadian shield here, so we get lots of drops and ledges, which are impassible by boat and even canoe in most cases.

I'll be out on the river again soon for another moose hunt this year, cant wait.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/03/16 01:46 PM

Ok confession on the Spruce, two trees, I had my son line them up to look like one. I was sure family trapper would spot it but he must be chasing fish or moose sheds.
We cut up the elk yesterday. Got to love those back straps as I cut 55 steaks out of them. In regards to elk ivories they are a nice amber colour. Off moose hunting with my Dad today.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/09/16 02:05 PM

I've just returned from five days out with my Dad. It was a bitter sweet experience. To be able to still hunt with your 86 year old father is a blessing that few will ever experience and one I treasure. Yet at the same time it's hard not to be sad as you watch the inevitable changes to a man who was once a giant to you. And at 6' 2'' and 225 solid pounds he was a big man.

My father took me hunting and fishing from day one. As a young kid I remember hurrying to keep up with him as he cut circles through the bush chasing moose. It was around camp fires and sitting in cabins I learned my families history from him. And his stories mostly revolved around hunting camps from his youth spent with grandfathers and uncles, as his Father died when he was 7.

Dad is a story teller and a people person. His mind is a sharp as ever and he was able to hike a couple miles with me in some hilly terrain, but only for one day. After that we posted and called for moose, but no luck so far. The bulls only started moving a couple days ago and we're getting snow right now so maybe next week.




We did harvest a respectable mule deer though. It had 2" of fat on its back and looks like some good eating. Another great hunt with Dad.
Posted By: Allan Minear

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/09/16 05:16 PM

Congratulations on the nice mule deer my favorite memories of my dad also revolved around hunting and fishing then family time and work. Good for both of you and I hope you get a good moose for your dad .
Allan
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/11/16 06:05 PM

Still out there at 86...that is impressive! Congrats on the kill and memories.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/17/16 07:14 PM

Winter weather has struck, predictions are we're going to have a real winter this year




Which makes me happy as I'm hoping to trap hard this winter. I've spent a lot of time on wolverines last few winters so it'll be nice to concentrate on straight up trapping. When I'm cutting up meat I save all the scraps and fill up bait bags for trapping use. I bought a 1000 bags in bulk and they've lasted me for years. I was able to fill up 4 dozen bait bags so far this year so I have a good head start for the season. One bag generally lasts all season and because of their size seem to stay attractive to furbeares.




I stayed home for a few days to let the weather settle and finally tackled a project that's been on the back burner for a while. I collect beadwork and was looking for a free standing design for some shelves. I came up with my own design and it does the job. Only problem is I need a few more now

Posted By: Ryan McLeod

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/17/16 07:27 PM

Collect eh?

I'm betting you beaded everyone of those by yourself. Bushman to Bushwoman- "Heading to the cabin to do some beadw....I mean going to trap"
Bushman to self- "Hmmmmm....Did I remember my favorite thimble?"

Just kidding, Quite the collection you got there! See a few different styles.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/17/16 10:21 PM

I wish I had beaded those myself Ryan! When my first kids were being born I did some beadwork in the hospital on a loom to pass time but that was decades ago. I buy from northern BC, Alberta, Yukon, and NWT. Mostly NWT though as lots of old friends and relatives still involved in old ways. This is a small portion of what I've got over the years. I'll post some other northern work as soon as I get displays built.
Posted By: Moose maniac

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/19/16 04:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Winter weather has struck, predictions are we're going to have a real winter this year




Which makes me happy as I'm hoping to trap hard this winter. I've spent a lot of time on wolverines last few winters so it'll be nice to concentrate on straight up trapping. When I'm cutting up meat I save all the scraps and fill up bait bags for trapping use. I bought a 1000 bags in bulk and they've lasted me for years. I was able to fill up 4 dozen bait bags so far this year so I have a good head start for the season. One bag generally lasts all season and because of their size seem to stay attractive to furbeares.




I stayed home for a few days to let the weather settle and finally tackled a project that's been on the back burner for a while. I collect beadwork and was looking for a free standing design for some shelves. I came up with my own design and it does the job. Only problem is I need a few more now




Hey Brian where did you buy those mesh bags at?
Posted By: akblackfoot

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/19/16 04:35 AM

Amazon has them. Just search mesh produce bag.
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/29/16 02:23 AM

Is there anything better than hunting with your son? J pulled a cow elk tag that was only good for a few more days. We headed out this morning and got lucky
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/29/16 03:48 AM

Pictures Brian!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/29/16 03:46 PM

Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/29/16 03:53 PM

I actually was checking google earth and found an area that looked worth checking out. High sand eskers surrounded by tamarack swamps. The place was full of deer and elk sign. After 15 minutes of hunting we bumped 3 cow elk that hung around long enough for my son to take one. 230 yards shot. Drove quad right up to the elk so didn't even have to pack it. Might be the easiest hunt we ever had, but we've earned it!
Posted By: yukon254

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/29/16 10:58 PM

Hey Brian, looks like a lot of fun. Nothing like getting out in the bush with your kids! I finally got to enjoy an easy hunt myself! Got a good bull right in camp on the first day!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/31/16 05:26 PM

Nice moose Dave. Looks like you could have called him right into the freezer?

Spent the weekend cutting up meat, grinding burger, and making jerky.


Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 10/31/16 05:30 PM

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I bought them from this outfit, they also make cloth meat bags
Posted By: Family Trapper

Re: Mountain Journal - 11/02/16 05:53 AM

Quote:
I was sure family trapper would spot it but he must be chasing fish or moose sheds.


Just catching up on things. Been gone out west for some time.
I thought the focus was a little off on the close part of that tree. But to be honest I took your word for it. You got us good!!
Posted By: Hiline Bob

Re: Mountain Journal - 11/02/16 03:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Bushman
Is there anything better than hunting with your son? J pulled a cow elk tag that was only good for a few more days. We headed out this morning and got lucky





No! I agree, hunting and trapping with my boys is one of my favorite experiences of fatherhood! cool
Posted By: Pete Tschantz

Re: Mountain Journal - 11/02/16 04:18 PM

what an awesome thread! thanks to all for sharing the pictures and stories. Good medicine!
Posted By: Bushman

Re: Mountain Journal - 11/08/16 05:38 AM

I wrote up this years elk hunt for a magazine I write for




Silent Elk


The call sounded far off and faint, but I knew better. I’d been busted too many times in the past by an elk I figured was over half a kilometre away, but in reality was only a few hundred meters off in the thick brush. In these conditions an elk’s call fades out faster than most hunters realize. But in this case the bull might as well have been ten miles away, as it had picked its calling location wisely, virtually untouchable.

I was back in hunt camp along the Smoky River with friends, Al & Bing. I’m a late arrival to their over 30-years of hunt camp, having only joined them the last few years. Accessible only by jet boat their camp is strategically located in good game country, but still hard to hunt. Anyone with delusions of shooting game alongside the river is going to end up with an empty freezer. The elk in this area have been hunted hard for years and have adapted accordingly. They frequent the river flats at night, feeding heavily on peavine, then retreat to the river slopes during the day.

Also gone are the days of bull elk bugling recklessly throughout the day, allowing you to pinpoint their locations. These days elk are far more likely to come in to a hunters call silently, looking intently for another elk before making their presence known. If you’re lucky you’ll hear the crack of a broken branch as they sneak in, or… as more likely, get busted by your scent as they circle the location they heard your calls from. Two hunters can us