WEEK FIVE – SUCCESS, AGAIN!

I’ll write the post at some point, put in a photo until then!

Friday:
Leaddog shows up in the pouring rain, snow – “snrain” and warms up the camp, Probie and Robba arrives and all three stare out the window watching the warmy-changy event unfold before their very eyes. Eventually it stops and the three finally get in the woods to verify if mules exist in a certain area. Probie to the area of the 10point watch, Robba does his Piney Knob recon, with Leaddog standing guard in the knolls. Not one track is seen, so all decides to exit via the third cable after Robba does his environmental duty by collecting yet another barrage of Halloween themed balloons. Back to camp at dark, where the plan for tomorrow is conceived with the rest of the arriving gang.

Saturday: “The Call of the Raven”
The gang has a plan! Four watchers slodge (yes, slodge) their way to Billy’s watch, with the other four being transported around the target hill by Ftroop’s Uber which is affectionately referred to as the “FUber”! The four climbs and drives the mountain, to the awaiting watchers on the other side, finding bear activity as well as dancing mules. Two of the drivers, being the farthest – find exceptional hunting as they make their way up the mountain. As they climb, staying within proximity of each other, tracks are observed! Old snowed in tracks slowly turn to fresher looking tracks, then getting even fresher as the hit the top. Up, down back and forth these track go, looking like a he-mule was chasing she-mules. At the top, tracks so fresh are seen that everyone is on alert. A quick call from the outboard driver (no, no vessels were involved) asking the position of the driver to his left by using the call of the Raven, which was quickly returned – led to the report(s) of the rifle….the mule was bedded down between the two who were less than 100 feet apart! During the wait of their comrades with arms, the two almost gets run over by the mistress mule, less than 10 feet away….

When the dust settled, on the ground was a very nice looking nine-pointer! All assembles at the kill zone, photos taken, stories swapped and now the drag begins straight downhill to the awaiting FUber, who just got back to camp before be re-summoned to extricate mule two to camp. Joyous celebration is in order, which was joyous indeed! 😉

Sunday:
The gang wakes up to a snow-globed-white-washed world. A decision is made to not hunt today, clean the mule and camp and attempt to get off the hill. The one-third mile egress off the hill was a knuckle-whitened, pucker-upper ride. Lindy goes first and apparently had no issue, Polecat next with some issue, and Leaddog with surmounting issues. Having no traction, and sliding $50K worth of truck almost off the hill he finally made bottom – but the remainder of the gang had other thoughts. Sanding of the tracks made their egress more negotiable, all exits the ride from frozen hell with the note to sand the track before attempting to leave under similar conditions again. Leaddogs blood pressure was most likley 200 over 300, or whatever the doctors consider stroke worthy during the five minutes of breath holding, please don’t go over the bank ride.

Noteworthy: The ride down Rt 10 was almost as bad, but at least there’s guard rails! 😉

WEEK FOUR – SUCCESS!

Wednesday:
Yup, Wednesday! A retry of last years Great Alaskan Adventure is underway since little snow is on the ground and none forecasted! Select members of the gang decides to hunt a few days prior to the normal Friday gathering. Toucher and Leaddog arrives to a once again balmy 6 degree morning to find where the mules are, or not. After warming up the camp, a decision to hunt a local hill is in order. Both trod to the “lowlands” and hunts up the hill showing the Toucher new and mystical lands and hills not known to him before – where they find areas of feeding mules based on last weeks observation of beech and acorns in the target area. Beds, scrapes and rubs are also seen, exciting the duo as they roam the woods. Early in the hunt, a doe is seen slowly exiting the area, and a bit later one is pushed right to Toucher, who had his Super Secret Scent Sauce on, 10 steps away it was….both inform the arriving crew later of where the gang should hunt on Thursday.

Thursday:
Nope – not today! The decision to wait to extract a mule from the re-conned area is put on hold until ALL of the crew is in camp. A hunt up the creek and back on the other side is tabled. Watchers run to their spots as the drivers gather at their starting points. The drive is performed with precision, but no mules are present in this area. Tracks are seen, a few scrapes here and there, but we know where they are hiding!

Friday:
Back to the area of interest. Since it was determined that the Toucher hasn’t bagged a mule in some time, he’s now allowed to be a watcher. He takes command of Leaddog’s watch, where two mules have been taken prior. All as usual scrambles about to get in place to start the drive, when at a few minutes before noon, two shots are heard from the notch in the area of the watchers, with an announcement “this is how we do it!” by the Toucher. Digger on the high watch sees two mules sneak between the Toucher and him, one confirmed flattop and the other unknown. As you may figure out at this point, the unknown was a heavy beamed six weighing in at 150lbs! The drive continues, nothing else with horns is pushed to anyone. Finally – the pressure is off the gang! Most gets their maintenance CHU’s for the Friday Afternoon Men’s Hiking Club requirements.

Saturday:
Now that the Toucher has regained his driver status, which by the way was one of the shortest stints as a watcher by anyone, a recon of a local ingress route with an associated drive back to camp was agreed upon. The precipitation event of Halloween has washed out the road in several places, where repairs are unlikely for some time to come. This will keep some of the riff-raff out of the area, but a few hardy souls persist in their chase as evidenced by their two mile slogprints in the snow. No antlered topped beasts are seen in this area as well. Th gang returns to a most wonderful mule steak feast!

Sunday:
A retrace of the killzone results in does being pushed about, Beds’n Tracks, Beds’n tracks, Beds’n Tracks…..apparently the “vacancy sign” is still up! Hopefully this will change by the weekend.

WEEK THREE!

Friday:
Leaddog has the woods to himself, due to sad events in the flatland. After warming the camp, a recon walk ’round one of the mountains is in order – which was just that. Mule tracks were seen, some old, some new – no makers of said tracks presented themselves during the five mile trek. A fresh coating of snow assisted in showing the Leaddog which way they were traveling, in the opposite direction of his travel – as always.

Saturday:
With a almost full compliment of Polecat’s Rangers sans Digger and Probie, a hunt up the valley and a return on the other side results in a few does and flags observed, with some sign observed. Dr. Pork and his trusty sidekick Wallyhood (with his crossbow) makes their yearly appearance, and gets on watch at the end. No mules are pushed to anyone….why do we do this again?

Sunday:
Since nothing of value was observed over the past two days, a new location was chosen to hunt. Leaddog takes the high route on top due to Digger having the Hong-Kong flu and staying home to recuperate. Immediately, mules are found and pushed! Off the top past Polecat to Robba, something of size crashed its way down hill. Other flags and does are seen scrambling about, two Rangers have actual visits by does who wanted to sit on watch with them ! 😉 Food is in abundance in this portion of the happy hunting grounds, beech and oak offers a feast – and the gang will give a little “attention” to this area.

Coming later this week, another attempt at the Alaskan extended five day stay to roam to places where we shouldn’t be! Hopefully the warmy-changy snow event of last year will hold off, at least until we’re at the farthest point from camp – as always!

Tobias Wife passed

Well guys
Tobias wife passed last night. He is one of the few original members of F Troop left going back to 1968. Our sincere sympathy goes out to Tom and his family.
I knew Shirl from about 1966 when Tom went into the Marine Corps. She waited for him to come home from Nam as we all knew he would.
Dont know what more to say except God Bless.
Polecat

WEEK TWO!

Friday:
Toucher and Leaddog battles high winds and flooding waters as they make ingress to the happy hunting grounds. The lake below is flooded and the road washed out to the point where trucks are the only method to get into camp. The dam is at capacity, with it’s owner placing fill to create a berm to handle further flooding. Leaddog finds the Toucher doing driveway duty, and soon joins him in alleviating erosion at work. Ruts and washouts are present, only 4×4’s can make it up the hill. After a few hours of playing roadcrew, both attempt to at least hunt somewhat, and investigate what’s present in the area, only to discover that cable two has been compromised – no ladders to access the crossing as they’ve been wiped out by the waters from the warmy-changy event. A substitute is found, and both make their way to roam the area. Nothing is observed, except for washouts and much stream reconfiguration by nature. Overall 7″ of rain has fallen directly over the local area resulting in a watery mayhem. The remainder of the gang shows up, some stay in the flatland to tend to generators since power was out region wide – and of course at camp. The new camp generator proves invaluable, as it powers everything required to continue the gangs pursuit of happiness.

Saturday:
The gang decides to make a hunt, and clean up and repair the driveway on Sunday. All hunt rather close to camp, but not one mule is seen. Perhaps we need to get vessels and float Piseco Lake and look for swimming mules, and our ladders! All returns back early, and the road repair continues for a few hours. It is decided that Sunday will be devoted to the road, since it’ll be snowing in the very near future. Denmama goes home and retrieves his backhoe and 16′ dump trailer to assist in the repairs, thank God! A mule stake and fish chowder feast is consumed, with copious amounts of adult beverages as usual.

Sunday:
Roadmonkeys* to work! All rise to a nice day, which would have normally been devoted to chasing mules where they’re usually are not present. All spends the remainder of the weekend moving and placing material on the washed out road. Many, many loads of sand/gravel/rocks/boulders are delivered and spread upon the road, making it even better than before. Photos will tell the story from beginning to end……..

*Roadmonkeys – those who back in the logging days of yesteryear were hired to keep the logging roads open and safe to remove logs to the river drive. This was in the days of horse drawn logging, when men were men, and the sheep were scared…. 😉