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Stoney River Moose hunt - part two

blog Charlie Bright Dennis Bright Fishing Harrison jewell Hunting Laird Chambers Moose hunting Stoney River Talkahuana River

Wed August 27

We wake up early, it looks like rain, but we row across the Stoney to the other side.  We split up into pairs but soon it started raining heavily and since we had neglected to bring along rain gear, we head back for the boat.

Harry was supposed to be hunting with me, but he took off on a tangent.  We waited and waited but he didn’t show up so we rowed across back to camp.

We’re starting up a fire when I look up the river a quarter mile away and see a caribou crossing the river to the opposite sided of our camp and to where Harry is.

The caribou gets to shore, rest awhile, then darts down the beach towar4ds the shore right opposite our camp.  We figure he must have been startled by and Harry and sure enough, out of the brush comes Harry.

Laird row across to Harry.  Laird has by now been appointed our official boatman.

We prepare our noon meal.  By now everyone but me is frantically worried that we will run out of food and starve to death, or something.  We use up the last of the bisquick to make pancakes – a bad omen!!  Some of the crew are not used to an extended wilderness trip, or have no impulse control, and thus use up more than their fair share of certain items, or are wasteful of the basic stock of supplies.  My notes don’t indicate who these charlatans are, but obviously I didn’t think it was me.

However, in my opinion, everyone will survive, even if we don’t get any big game.  The major problem is in people’s minds.

Some take a nap, and in the late afternoon we head across, see nothing, and all but I head back across the river again.  They are going to prepare the rabbit and squirrel we got.

 Stay across till it gets quite dark, the rain is coming down like pitch forks and hammer handles and so Laird make his 4th trip of the day and picks me up.  We eat about 11:30 and hit the rack.

Thursday August 28

We cross the river, the three going upriver to the Island, I staying behind to try and catch fish & watch the crossing for more caribou.  I catch no fish in either river.

I go to the caribou crossing and wait and wait finally I go to the island where the others are.  It has finally stopped raining; the sun is out, although there some low hung clouds to the foothills and building cumulous clouds above.

I cross the Stoney to the island and hear gunshots.  The boys are hunting rabbits and squirrels.  We kill 5 rabbits and 2 squirrels and get back to camp about 2.  I go to the refrigerator cache, we call it, by the river bank but hear noise and see ptarmigan and I borrow Lairds .22 pistol and shoot one.

We then eat cheese and thuringer and bread and hit the sack for a little nap.

We awake and clean the animals, cooks a late afternoon meal of spuds and game, then go off for the evening hunt, Dennis and Harry up the Stoney on the camp side and Laird and me by the sand bar near camp.

Evening is when the animals along the river banks really pick up their tempo.  We hear beaver across the river, slapping their tails, the insects have quieted down to almost nothing, and you can finally notice true quiet.  During the day, the constant humming of the insects drowns out a lot of other noises, so it is very hard to hear, for instance the constantly changing sounds of the river, the sliding away of a bank, or the flip of a fin as a large fish strikes the surface.

At night, the imagination takes over, and it seems that every sound on the far bank must be a large four footed animal, and most probably a big bear.

We return to camp in the dark have a few snorts of bourbon and sack out.

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