Tuesday, 2 March 2010

And we're back!

I'm back from things, and phew, let me whine! First, I didn't catch a moose. This is a bigger problem, because I couldn't hunt a Caribou in the winter 40 mile hunt (it was closed), and my efforts at getting a Minto Flats permit were thwarted by a car accident. I'm mentally running through lists of possible sources of fresh meat, and we're a few months out from the next opportunity. I've followed the old wisdom that you should fish your butt off in the summer in case you don't catch anything in the winter, but I'm starting to get very, very tired of salmon.

Other sage advice is to be generous with what you catch. The good person does it because that's the right thing to do. But even the selfish person should, so when they run low on meat, they can go begging to their family and friends. ;)

Part of the problem was how ADF&G divided up the antlerless hunt this year. All the closed zones made it very difficult to get to legal animals, and it forced people to hunt in zones that they knew nothing about. Maybe that wouldn't have been so bad on its own, but ice conditions were horrible. I broke through ice on a small river at one point, and only luck made sure I got the snowmachine out. Other places, the warm weather caused overflow to melt completely through, cutting off access to several trails into the flats. And then there was Salcha.

Salcha has open water everywhere. Ice out there is fragile in places, and has shifted around extensively. It took excess of an hour to find a safe path across the river. Wesst of Salcha I saw my only legal animal, but I couldn't shoot it because I was too busy making sure my snowmachine didn't go into the water to get to my gun before it saw me and went running. Finally, to cap it off, some fragile ice broke behind me (shifted?), and I had to take a very, very long way around back to my truck.

In general, things went wrong. And that's really the last large game in the interior until bears start waking up. There's always the haul road for Caribou, if I can find someone to split gas with, but I'm not sure how that is in March-April. Getting up there is a long process, and an expensive one. Other options include going out birding for ptarmigan. Luckily, I love ptarmigan (both eating them, and I like them alive, too!), so that's an option. It would definitely break up the monotony of salmon-salmon-salmon! Or I could go out for other fish, too. There's some options, but nothing that'll get me red meat.

Well, there is one...
Fred Meyers'.
*shudders* No thanks.


Arvay said...

What are those bony things called that you get ice fishing on the Tanana? Those aren't bad, if you can get over the hideous faces on them!

TwoYaks said...

You know, I rode past about 10 ice fishers on the Tanana, and I really meant to stop and ask them what they were fishing for. Now I wish I had...