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Friday, November 30, 2012

Bryan's Pocket Gear Part 2

In his pockets he always carries two Bic lighters.  The Spot, a Camera and a cotton cloth to wipe the snow off his glasses.

Bryan's Clothing Gear, Generator on Wheels

Leather pack boot is Maverick from Sorel with thick removeable liners.
80 % Wool pants with cargo pockets are made in Canada and go on top of long underwear and he wears a belt plus heavy suspenders.  His thick 75 % Wool shirt is from Woolrich.
These bright orange bib overall are what Loggers and Fallers wear.  They withstand the heavy beating of trail making, and logging and are not easy to melt if too close to a fire.... which most skidoo pants do. 
 These Maverick Sorel boots have closed rings.  Those half open fasteners that most boots have now a days will trip you good one time too many. It is really hard to find any boot like this one. 

 The sheepskin/leather cap and black leather mitts are from
Bryan always wears a ball cap underneath.... the visor keeps the snow out of his glasses.  Also a snud keeps snow from going down his jacket. 
The three fingered faller mitts with 100 % Wool put out liners.... plus the Orange Bid Coveralls and heavy duty suspenders are from Savoy Equipment down in Vernon, BC. If anyone wants their email address just contact us.
 It has been - 24 C last night and the Generator comes in the cabin at any thing below -12 C.  It is on a wheeled trolley for easy handling along the walkway around the cabin.

Exhaust is about 2 feet from the propane divider. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Boreal Owl, Moose Rub, Cinnamen rolls

 Bryan saw this little 10" Boreal Owl sitting by the trail.  He stopped and watched it til it flew off.  Lots of Moose sign up in Walkers Valley, fresh rubs and tracks on the trail.

Trail end for now.

 One of Vikki's favorite Cook Books for in the bush.

Marten Season

This Marten was got in a 160.  It is also a good Wolverine set for us.
Bryan couldn't understand why this Marten didn't fall out and swing away...  the Marten had it's teeth in the wire mesh.

 We store the Wolverine boxes up on small trees.  The Bears can swing them round and round without destroying them.  Below are Mountain Goat tracks.  They cross here at this low elevation on their way to higher ground.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BC Government Wolf Management

The plan proposes a balanced approach to Wolf Management in BC.  It will try to ensure self sustaining populations where Wolves can fulfil their ecological role and meet the cultural, recreational and economic needs of society.
The Government says it is committed to helping stakeholder's ranchers and First Nations manage the impact of Wolves on their livestock.
The Ministry says at present 1,300 Wolves are being taken each year by trapping, hunting and wildlife management.
Biologists suggest that upwards to 30% of the Wolf population could be taken every year without hurting their numbers.
Thompson, Kootenay and Okanagan are seeing increases.  Cariboo, Skeena, Omineca, Peace are seeing stable numbers.

Below is what we are sending to the BC Government.
We live in the far north corner of BC in a very remote area.  Over the last 6 years we have seen a substantial increase in the Wolf population and a great decrease in the Mountain Goat population.  
We are Registered Trappers and have harvested 14 Wolves in the 6 year period and with the noticeable increase we see, we intend to trap once again for them this winter.  For the $150.00 per Wolf we receive at the Fur Auction and the amount of effort it takes to harvest one Wolf the only reason a trapper does it is to stop the Ungulate population from being decimated and to curb the impact the large Wolf populations have on the whole food chain.  They not only hunt Moose, Caribou, Elk, Mountain Goat and Deer, they wipe out the Beaver, Otter, Wolverine, Marten, Grouse, Rabbit and anything they track down.  Each year a Wolf pair can have 3 to 8 pups so they can increase rapidly.
An Ungulate Enhancement Program sponsored by the BC Government to help offset the effort a Trapper must put in to get and skin a Wolf would be good for the BC economy, the Ungulates and the Trapper in BC.  Is is not environmentally friendly to go around in helicopters counting and shooting Wolves, also it is an immoral and technically illegal act, giving Anti's something to use against Wolf management.   Poisoning Wolves is not acceptable at all and should be in no ones discussions.  Just where do you want the money to end up?  It should not end up in rich corporate Helicopter Companies pockets.  That does not benefit the rural working man or woman or the rural communities.  
The cheapest way for Wolf Management is to give the Trapper an added incentive.  A Marten takes 1/2 hour where a Wolf takes a 100 hour investment  in setting snares, maintaining those snares and then skinning out a Wolf and for all that you get paid more for the Marten.  
In S. E. Alaska, the Government has encouraged anyone taking out a Moose tag to also take out a Wolf tag.  The Wolf populations there are climbing rapidly.  In the Teslin area of Southern Yukon, the Ungulate Enhancement Program gives 300.00 for each Wolf head a Trapper submits.
Wolves should not be encouraged to populate areas where traditionally they never existed.  We are in our 60's and have talked to lots of old friends who were 40 years older than us and Wolves were not in the Okanagan.  Wolves are geared for Moose and Caribou populations.  Wolves will devastate White Tail Deer and Mule Deer populations.  We had a Trap Line in the Okanagan 7 years ago and came upon a fresh Whitetail Deer that two Wolves had killed and all that was left in 8 hours was a little few hairs.  If you figure out how many Deer two Wolves can eat in a year it will amaze you.  Wolves are moving down to the Okanagan because of the increase in the populations of Wolves in the north.  
A Trapper is the eyes on the land.  They know when they see too much Wolf sign.  They also know when there is a decline in animal populations.  We haven't been aware of any survey for trappers to fill out regarding what they see.  The BC Government and the BCTA should be working together on all of this for the benefit of all.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Banking up the Cabin, Lake Edges still open, Scalloped Potatoes

 Now that there is finally some snow Vikki was able to bank up the cabin and the chicken coup. 

 If your cabin looks like this you can make a big difference by getting snow up to past the floor.
Even though it has been - 10 c to -18 C the edges of the lake are still open. 

SCALLOPED POTATOES cooking on the wood stove all day for Bryan's return tonight.  Vikki took the lid off for the photo.  
You slice the onions and pototoes thinly and layer with salt, pepper and butter on each row.  Then Vikki heated up some Condensed Milk with water and poured over the top.  It takes about 5 hours on the wood stove.  When finished you can add some cheese to top for the last 15 min.
We like to talk lots when Bryan comes back from being out at the linecabins so supper is always made well in advance. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Amarilas, Bryan off to Walkers' Valley, Crackerjack Popcorn and Don Taylor

This Amarilas has bloomed twice a year for 5 years... It is always a treat.  
Bryan tested the ice on the Narrows and it is thick enough to cross and so off he has gone with Ishi to the Walkers Valley Line cabin to activate the trail.  He took Poncho the 550 Tundra Long Track because he has to use the Roller Coaster trail alone the lake. 

 Bryan came back the next you can see it is cold out -18 Cel.  He said there was lots of Marten, Rabbit and Wolf and Moose sign.

"On Sched". Dick in Watson Lake told a neat story about Don Taylor who recently passed on.
Don's sister in England said that Don could read in French and English in grade 3.  He went to the same school as Prince Andrew.  When he was 15 he England and went to work on the Gang Ranch in central BC.  He left there and headed north.  Don never knew that his father had contacted the RCMP and asked that they keep him informed as to his wayward son's whereabouts.  So every time Don moved further north or got another job his where-abouts were passed on to his wealthy family in England.  It made us all smile.... a good remembrance of Don Taylor who held "On Sched" for trappers and remote travelers for 30 years.
Make 1/2 cup Popcorn.
Combine 1/3 c. Molasses,  3/4 c sugar, 1/4 c water, 1/2 tsp vinegar 1/8 tsp salt and heat on low heat stirring until begins to boil.
Cook without stirring to 270 degrees F (hard ball)
Remove from heat, add 1 1/2 tbsp butter, stir slightly and then pour over popcorn.  Use wooden spoon to mix.  
Once cool break apart.

 Off Bryan goes again to set traps this time.  He spent the night out at Walkers' and returned.  Ishi and Hannah greeting him loudly. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Steep Drop Topples Vikki and her Tundra 300

The lack of snow plus the 6% out of level for the last 25 feet did it.  Vikki had waited at the bottom until she saw Bryan's headlights hit the top of the hill and then she headed up fast.
The Steep Drop is a NASTY 3 part climb with 2 switch backs covering 500 feet with a rise of a hundred feet.  The first is a really steep 75' climb...then a flat, than a really steep 70' with a bench then the last 150' is at 30%.  One side is a cut bank and the other is a 300 feet steep slope into a creek ravine.  The terrain dictates that it is the only access.
It happened so fast Vikki can't recall anything other than knowing she was over the bank and her skidoo was upside down tottering on her.  She hit the kill switch and started yelling HELP!!!  She then called BRYAN!! over and over again as loud as she could.  It seemed like minutes and minutes went by.  She then started to worry about hyperventilating and so stopped panicking. Bryan would come.
Then there he was.  He got the skidoo off Vikki and she dragged herself back up onto the trail.  Now the job was to get the skidoo upright fast as the carburetors would be flooding.  Getting the 10 feet skidoo turned around on a 5 foot wide trail is not easy.  There was snowshoes, first aid kit, lunchbox thrown up the trail.  With all the pushing, shoving and Vikki yelling "It's going to go over!!!" Bryan got the front end onto the trail pointing downwards.  Vikki's head at this time was on a level with the track.  She was over the bank again trying to keep the skidoo from tipping over.
After she calmed down and crawled back onto the trail she kicked snow with her feet trying to level the trail as she climbed up to the top.
After Bryan dragged it down the hill to the first landing he turned it around so that the gas tank was lower than the engine.  The engine would keep flooding and he had to get rid of the gas.  Dusk was settling fast and the light was dimming.  Bryan took out the spark plug and turned the machine over a bunch of times.  Well over 1 minute with the pull cord.  He was trying to get rid of the gas.  Then he used his lighter to dry the end of the spark plug with the flame.  Then he depressed the throttle all the way and tried to start it.  It didn't and so he did the whole process of drying the spark plug again.  Playing with the throttle it finally started.  Don't reve it up.... just baby it.
Vikki was at the top looking down, saying "Please start.... please start"  It was a great relief when it did.  Bryan rode it up with no further trouble.
At coffee this morning, Bryan said the new plan is for Vikki to wait for 2 minutes when she sees the lights at the top... that will give him time to shut off his machine and walk back to the top and watch her climb up.  Also he said he will level the trail with snow from the high cut bank. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rivers Start to Freeze up

 It's been -15 Celsius for a couple of weeks and no snow. 
River has dropped well over 12 feet.
 Ishi is pretty active til after lunch and then she is quite happy to snuggle up under the wool jacket for the rest of the afternoon.
 It is easy to see where the squirrels are dened up what with all the hoar frost.

Now this is a big old Cottonwood and the flat tailed one gave it a go.