Life-Philosophy

Moose, Β 2017.

So, the moose story. 

finally. (Some of you have been asking for this post for a week) πŸ™‚

The morning of the day of the wolf adventure above, we’d gone up one ridge before day light (Fun.)  I couldn’t so the last climb to the very top, about 60 yards of what at that time I deemed “death slope”. 

This area is a little U shaped valley along a ridge, sitting between prongs, or points off the ridge. Ridge and river sit paralell, prongs point at the river, so open top of the U faces the river.  It’s about 0.4 miles from river to the bottom center of the U, 0.35 miles from one point to the other across the U.   Not a big area. 

From river to about .25 miles in, it used to be boreal tundra spruce… 90% no bigger than 8″ in diameter. Several years ago it burned. So it’s now a mess of 3″ Dia 8′ tall new birch, alder, and willow, with its floor covered in down, dead spruce… High stepping nightmare to hike in. But it’s dry and flat. 

At that .25 mile mark is a line, and small grove of larger older spruce forest.  It goes maybe 50 yards in depth. Behind it, the rest of the flat into the bottom of the ridge, of the U is moss covered tundra. Moss a good 1.5′ to 4′ deep in places, wet, spongy. And permafrost grown spruce, all about head height and 2″ in dia..   Thankfully that area isn’t muskeg tussoks, but the moss isn’t any picnic to hike in. 

From the right hand watch spot, on the first ridge point we climbed, from about half way up, looking across the U at an angle, to the next point, and the base of the 2nd point. 

So, anyway. 

That first day, they’d gone up the first ridge mid afternoon, to scout. Didn’t see any moose. That evening at dusk they went up again, and I hunted watching a sand bar along the river, couple hundred yards from camp. I didn’t see anything but a Huge beaver. 

All they saw was two other hunters on the next point, that hiked in from the river!

That next morning, (wolf day), we all went up before daylight,  and watched. That pic there ^^ is from my vantage point later in the morning. They were a bit higher than me furthet up on my right. 

We would have gone over and up the second point at that time, but figured the other two guys would be back that morning. They never showed.

Around 9 am, they saw a moose,  good sized one, a loooonnnnggg ways out on the burn flat past the second point, about 700 yards,  headed our way. 

I never saw him that day. You have to know what your looking for at that range, it’s amazing the one guy saw it to begin with,  but he has eagle eyes for that stuff… saw it at first with bare eyes, No Glass!! 

Anyway, about 10, they decended into the U and crossed the valley behind the trees, in the mossy mess, to the other point, and climbed it.   By 11, the moose had bedded down, off that point a few hundred yards out.   

I headed back to camp (mid way between points, on the river). They went off the other side of that second point and into the valley there, and scouted around, back to camp, around 1 pm. 

If we’d known that morning that the other two guys weren’t coming back, we’d have gone up that second ridge then, and could have shot that bull that morning, he came well within range before bedding. As it was, he bedded before we got anyone on that ridge.

Fast lunch, then we napped to 3pm, early dinner, then hiked in and climbed the second left hand point around 4pm.  I could only get up about 50 yards, and it was from this point I took this pic shown in the wolf post;

center U trees on left, big trees on right are on the far bank of the river, looking toward camp, other point on the left/center… 

3 hour watch, around 730pm was when he shot the wolf, and I went down to help. 

The big bull never showed again that evening.  Around 8 after we got back to camp with the wolf, our 3rd guy that had stayed up top(Ole eagle eyes) saw another pair of bulls headed in along the same line the other had taken into the area, these two a good 900 yards out. Younger smaller bulls, spike forks both of them, a medium sized one and a smaller one trailing him by a ways. 

Too far out, too late to worry about, but maybe the next day they’d range in better. 

Late dinner that night after he came down around 9, then we were up till 12am,while he skinned out that wolf. In the dark, in the cold, in the rain (sleet, almost snow actually ).  

Next morning about 530, up and breakfast, and they headed back up the steep 2nd point. Wanted to be there when that first big bull started moving around. 

I’d had too much mountain goating around, and general hiking the first couple days, was starting to blow out a muscle in my right thigh… Figured if I was going to be of any use helping to butcher,  and pack out meat if we got one, I needed to stick to the flat land and stop trying to climb ridges. 

I stayed in camp till around 8, then went and tried to hike to the sand bar I’d been watching,  long the river. That was Fun. Had to head into a stand of old growth spruce along the river, some 4′ in diameter at the base. And more dead falls. But unlike in the burn area, these were 10″ in Dia and bigger. And the area had a drainage ditch/street bed. 

At 9:10 I’d managed 100 yards from camp, and decided the heck with it, started to head back. (The very fresh bright purple bear scat in places added to the ease of that decision πŸ˜‰ , although we’d been seeing that scat,  most of it fresh within the week, purple (blueberry) or red (cranberry) all over the valley.  )

915am, 3 shots off the ridge above me. 

Headed for camp a little faster. 

About 10, my buddy got into camp. Eagle eyes had gone to start gutting it. πŸ˜€ 

They were up there watching, nothing moving in the flat, when suddenly he saw movement out of the brush at the base of the ridge below them… That big bull had skirted the base of the slope, too close to the ridge to be seen till he got out 100 yards or so!  Walked right by under them. 

He also went right by the spot I’d sat the evening before, within about 50 to 70 yards!!  If I’d have been up there he would have crossed below me, in perfect range, at a slow walk, broadside! 

As it was, he heard my friends, gave a lot at them up the ridge, and broke into a trot toward the center U trees.. 

They fired two shots that missed him as he turned, and then God blessed my buddy on the 3rd shot, as the bull got to about 350 yards out, into the mossy area, he shot for the spine downhill, bull facing almost square away from him.  Missed the spine, but the shot went into the rib cage. 

Little later dressing him out, the shot broke 3 ribs going in on the left side, made hamburger of its liver, through that lung, destroyed the aorta,  and passed into the off side shoulder or brisked.  Hydrostatic show made jelly of the other lung, and blood shot some brisket,  neck. 

The bull took a few steps, about 20′ if that, and dropped in his tracks.  

When oppenened up,  the body cavity was Full of blood, and there was no blood in the meat as we butchered it.. The shot destroyed the aorta, but missed the heart, and under a run, and adrenaline,  the bull heart kept going and pumped himself dry, bled out Fast, and dropped. 

The only problem was, the side of that tree line that he ran to. Lol. 

So packing him out was 50 or 60 yards of mossy muck, 50 yards of (active use!)bear trail through the timber,  and 200, 250 yards of the burn area. FUN. 

But at just a little over 1/4 mile, it really wasn’t that bad.  But I now fully understand an old saying here; NEVER shot a moose further than 100 yards from a motorized vehicle. πŸ˜‰ 

The most entertaining was getting the head and hide out. Skinning went so fast with three guys, them two cutting and my pulling the hide, that he decided he wanted it in one piece, to keep. The fact that it’s a chocolate brown and deep black, I can’t blame him, it’s gorgeous!  

And the 4×5 52″ rack, he wanted for a full European mount (antlers on skull). 

So, hide folded around two 10′ poles laid shoulder width apart, poles on shoulders, and carry it out. Oi.  I did about a 40 yard stretch of that in the burn area. As the guy in back. Learned how easy it really is to hike in that otherwise;  you can see your footing. As the rail gut carrying the hide, you see hide, not the ground. Oi! 

The head we hung from one pole, and carried the same way.   Uhuh. Better visibility, but man… Not fun. I did 60 yards or so of that in the burn area too.  They’d carried the head out of the mossy swamp without the pole, antlers laid on their shoulders… I didn’t see it, but wish I had!! πŸ˜‰ 

Took us all that first day to butcher it all, bone out the quarters, and skin it, and pack out about 1/4 of it. Took all day the next day to pack out the rest of the meat, the head, and hide. 

Going into this I was worried that my back and hips wouldn’t take the packing. They said that’s fine, it’s a group effort for all of it, I wouldn’t have to pack meat if I couldn’t/didn’t want to. 

I figured I was gonna feel real guilty doing that and planned to do as much as I could, as safe as I could. After the amount of work I put in skinning and butchering, and only actually cutting for 5 minutes,  I understood. It really is a group effort, and takes a lot of work for an animal this size. 

I wouldn’t have felt guilty not packing meat. 

But I did.  Some of that was entertaining,  we only had one pack frame. So you grab a meat bag, 30 to 40 lbs of meat,  sling it over one shoulder, and hike. Ugh. 

I did one trip with the pack frame, 55 or 65 pounds of meat..  That was easier since it balanced in one place on your back, and you had your hands free in the brush… But damn that was heavy. 

Moose down;

Me, Brian, the shooter, and Bullwinkle;

(I’m the fat one in plaid, Not the fat one with antlers!) 

Funny thing about that shot… he’s holding the other guys bolt action rifle, not his gun he used… lol. (He used his AR, in .308! Weird to be hunting with a black rifle, for me, but it works!)

Butchering(warning, slightly graphic);

Brian and Robert getting ready to haul the hide in the mossy area;

Them hauling the head in the burn area;

This next pic is pretty graphic, but I’m proud of it, so I’m posting it.   Shows what the carcass you leave Should look like… ALL meat harvested. Law requires all usable meat be taken, but a lot of guys leave a great deal… We did the legal, and ethical thing and stripped everything. 

All we left was a gut pile, a pile of feet, and that carcass. 

Anyway, great experience,  wonderful time with a good friend,  and a new friend (one of these guys I’d never met till the morning we headed out!) Wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! 

And, he called Friday night, went in to pick up my share of the meat from the processing place yesterday. (more expensive,  but I didn’t have time or the space to butcher and grind that much meat. Costing me abut $1/lb, not bad really), I got 200(!) pounds of meat, plus some tenderloin and heart that didn’t go to the processor. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

We pulled a little over 600 lbs of meat total off the animal. 

After what I’m giving away to friends, and folks I know that had a bad year, that need it more than we do, I’ll end with more than enough for us, will easily last us till next season, at more than two moose meals a week.  

 At this point, I know of 7 families that will be eating from this harvest, and I’m sure the other two guys are giving more away.. GOD IS GOOD!!!

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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, Journal, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Motorcyclist/Bikers; Tire Pressure!

Hey guys/gals, just a heads up type thought; go check your tire pressure!

Last week I got ready to go for a ride, and did what I always do, always have; get on bike, and rolling forward hit the front brake hard; front shock compresses,  and weight hits front tire hard. Watch front tire, and if it deflects/bulges, I check air pressure.  

I started that years ago with dirt bikes, and then my Rebel 250 street bike…

As i recall, several pounds low and they’d show it.  Apparently the tires on my V-Star are a lot stiffer of a side wall!

As I said, I did that test this last week and had the tire flatten a little.  So I checked them. 

Rear was 10 psi! 

Front wouldn’t read at all!!

 

Zilch. Nada. 

So, I’ve been ridding on basically FLAT TIRES. Thankfully God is gracious, and it hasn’t killed me!

Aired them up, and the bike rolls better by hand than it has in a LONG time. Now when I clutch to shift while moving, it will roll faster, where before it would slow/drag.  (Be interesting to see how much this improves my gas milage!)

Talk about stiff side wall tires! Run flat is an understatement!  Apparently they’re just so stiff my little test has never really worked on this bike.

Lesson learned. I’ll now gauge check pressure every month, and seasonally when the bike comes out of storage(yeah, should have been doing that anyway).

Can you imagine a tire run too low suddenly shifting or rolling sideways on the rim at highway speed? 

 

Eek.

Or for instance, a couple weeks before this, a moose ran out in front of me. I locked front and rear brakes and slid 20ish feet in a basically straight line at 60mph (didn’t know I could do that!). 

If the tire had flattened then, or rolled sideways? 

Option on hitting moose; bad enough…

Tire coming off rim binding up the wheel and cartwheeling me and the bike through the moose; uhuh…

So…

GO CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE!!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, GetOutdoors, Life-Philosophy, Motorcycles, Summertime, Theory/Thoughts, Vehicles

Parts make the world spin…

Among other things that spin. I’ll just leave these here; 

Currently trying to find a new one that I can afford. Actually, afford to ship is more accurate. 


The pivot wear;


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(Bonus points awarded if you can tell me what it is πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ˆ )

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Damages, Life-Philosophy, Vehicles, Wrenching

Gum tin improved.

The Camel snus tin I’ve been using for my gum has been working great. With the seal in it, it’s water tight, at least keeping out sweat or any other moisture I get in my pockets. 

And it’s durable, even though its dented some from being pressed in the pocjet, the gum isn’t crushed or mangled. 

My only problem was the snus advertisement that it was.  

I don’t particularly care what other people do, and I try not to care what people think of what I do. But, I don’t want to be seen as possibly using snus. Or just seen as doing something that I don’t do, regardless of what… 

 So I dug out a can of paint. Was going to use basic black, but found this small can of Krylon that I had. It was an almost exact match to the blue my truck used to be. 

Truck hasn’t been that color for 5.5 years, didn’t need to keep it anymore, so might as well, right? πŸ™‚ 

Voila;

Categories: Custom, EDC, Life-Philosophy, Modifications, Pocket-Tin-Kit, Theory/Thoughts, tool mods

Most carried, Β most used item.

​Most of you will remember that my most used carry item is a flashlight, far exceeding all others, even a knife. 


Not surprising since it’s dark a LOT here in the winter, which is basically 7 months of the year, (3 hours and 40 min of daylight yesterday!) And add to that my work always has datk, dim, shadowed, odd little nooks and cranies to see into… and my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I seem to need more light in general these days. 

Anyway, I need to fess up.
There is an item I religiously carry everyday in the fall through spring, basically once I gain a jacket to easily carry it, which coincides with Dark nights… 

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I’ve had that headlines for about 8 years now, and love it! I’d say it’s maybe 100 lumens on high with all three leds going. Not a lot, but it’s enough in the pitch black outside. 

I’ve worn it working construction, doing yard work, shoveling, plowing, daily my Dane tasks like hauling groceries in, or getting firewood in. (Every evening for the past two weeks in fact!) It’s been worn snowmobiling, atving, hiking. It’s been used when I’m broke down, stuck. Or when others are broke down or stuck… It’s even been a room light during power outages. From fall 60F to record setting -65F it’s taken it all


It really is a life saver, worth it’s weight in gold. 

One of the greatest Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. Mom got it for me that year after I asked for one. I wanted a Petzl, that’s what was available locally, so figured I’d get it… She ordered this from our favorite outfitter, Cabelas. I had deffinate reservations about the brand and led style, fjgured it a cheap off the wall item with a brand name slapped on it, would be dim and useless. Boy was I wrong! 

Before I got it that Christmas, I figured I wouldn’t be getting one, so bought myself the Petzl… 

I’ve used the Petzl maybe 4 times! The Browning is brighter, better modes. Ironically, mom ended up with the other one thus last winter when we had the big power outages.

It’s been basically bullet proof for the 8 years, still looks and works as new.

For most of the year, it’s, if not my most carried, most used item, it’s in the top two!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Cabelas, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Flashlights, Life-Philosophy, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, Winter

Court house carry.

Had to drop off some paperwork at the local courts on Friday… I hate going placed with security checks.. 
Such a PITA to make sure your not carrying anything that won’t pass… And you feel like such a fool doing the “EDC Macarena” (90s flashback anyone? ); Which is the process of patting yourself down, checking every pocket 4 times over, for knives, guns, baseball bats, scissors,  or any tools… etc.  Ugh.  

Anyone that’s ever lost a pocket knife or lighter to TSA at the airport when you don’t have time to go back to your car, or Noone close by to hand it off to, knows what I’m talking about… Such a drag. 

You do realize if the let Everyone with a firearm into these places, they’d be safer than with no one with a firearm? 

Erg. Nope, not starting that rant Here. I start and I’ll go on for days. Neverending that sentence. 

Anyway,

I even left stuff I normally carry home, and didn’t wear my big coat, to avoid forgetting I had things on me.

 All of that, and I actually did forget I had my flashlight(it’s not pocketed, I belt loop clip it). Found it half way from the car to the door.. Given how cold and snowing it was, and I was so close, I figured what the heck, try it. 

Amazed me actually,  it went through fine. Amazing because at 370 lumens on high, and that’s not rare in good lights these days, even in broad daylight, at less than 15 or 20 feet, this sucker Will blind you. But I’m not argueing! πŸ˜‰ 😎

Here is what the rest of the days carry was, adding back my Victorinox multi, Case folder, and vintage 1985 slim Zippo.  

Categories: Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Life-Philosophy, Theory/Thoughts

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.🌄 One of my favorite Tolkein quotes from the poem of Strider, in Lord Of The Rings.. I identify with the line and the concept, since I tend to ‘wander’ through life, with little pre planned or ‘normal’, direction. 😎

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Am making a series of copper tags, to be available soon. This is the first, prototyping a “battle worn” finishing process… Like it had survived the battle of the five armies, or at least a few skirmishes with Orcs. πŸ˜‰ I like it! Turned out good I think.

This one is not available, it’s mine, but others will follow soon! ✌

It’s a somewhat long but fun process; cutting old water pipe to length, splitting, flattening, then cutting to size and smoothing edges, drilling. Then stamping, re flatening, texturing in various ways, and progressive levels, and repeats, inter mixed with chemical and heat coloring…

It’s fun and somewhat random, get to play around with what ya get, making each one unique.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, EDC, Frigid-Metals, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts

EDC update and concepts from this last week.

Atving, hiking, bush bumming, and also round the homestead and town too, over the last several days.

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Its very, very, VERY rare anymore for me to wear a gun when not in the woods.

But I get lax on carrying a gun in the woods in the winter with snowmobiling,Β  since the bears are sleeping, and the moose/wolves etc tend to hear you coming and avoid you… And it’s too much trouble to carry in the back woods for 2 legged vermin; they’re few and far between out there.

So sometimes in the spring it takes me a little bit to transition back to remembering to take a gun.

Little over a week ago I was out for a ATV ride, that took me through the edges of fairly remote wilderness that is just behind our ridge.Β  Ridding along looking into the valley on one side of the trail, I caught movement in my periferal vision on the other side of the trail: a large mass of brown in motion…

I naturally slowed down, and did a fast “about face” type look that way, but nothing was there, nor visible as far as I could see off the trail that way (quite a ways actually, but my experiences with game seeming to magically disappear into thin air; their ability to hide and blend in, tells me there still might have been something there).Β 

First thought I had was “damn! I’m not wearing a gun!!”Β Β Β  I should have been… large oversight on my part, especially considering I had planned to be in that area before leaving the house.. 😳 Whoops!

No idea what the big brown movement I saw was. From its size and color, it could have easily been a moose or grizzly bear. Or it could have just been the edges of my periferal vision blurring the brush too… Only God knows.

But at any rate, it was a good reminder for me to start going armed in the back country again.

So anyway, every day out since, even just around the neighborhood or out in the back woods, I’ve worn my Beretta Stampede in .45Colt.Β  It’s a little on the weaker side when it comes to brown bears/grizzlies,Β  but I don’t carry or use this gun much, and I felt like doing so for a while… I figure 6 holes of Any caliber in anything I encounter is still a world better than No holes.. ;)😆

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After another one of those trips out mid week, I suddenly realized what else my carry was missing this week. When sylvanbowyer on Instagram liked(thanks!) the previous days edc post… All my woods time, atv or not, a trail to follow back out or not, I should have a compass on me! Thus, yesterday’s carry included my Trunord compass in the sweet case Slvanbowyer made for it. Even got used once when I was curious of my exact direction. 👍😎

Also discovered one evening that the face of the Trunord is GITD (glow in the dark )

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(A comment to my buddy Weston; if I had a pic for every day, you would note, that other than adding the compass, my cary didn’t change for the week! 😆 )

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, Guns, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors

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