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> > Failed bird hunt on a pretty fall day in Alaska

Failed bird hunt on a pretty fall day in Alaska

By Troutnut on September 10th, 2013
The last couple weeks have brought unusually rotten weather for September in Fairbanks, so I took advantage of a few hours on a sunny afternoon to try a bit of bird hunting. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one with that idea. My go-to spots in the high tundra were all occupied, and I've been spoiled enough by Alaska's remoteness that I feel crowded when there are other people within a mile. So I tried walking around some high-bush cranberry patches in an old wood-cutting area down low, instead, hoping for ruffed grouse. I saw no grouse or ptarmigan at all, but it was a nice day to be out.

Photos by Troutnut from Miscellaneous Alaska in Alaska

Comments / replies

PaulRobertsSeptember 12th, 2013, 8:16 pm

Posts: 1776
Wow. Grouse hunting in such splendor. I miss my ruffs and duskies.
OldredbarnSeptember 12th, 2013, 9:34 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I felt an overwhelming urge to obey this sign.


You are a very wise man, it seems to me. Makes you wonder what's going on there.

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123September 12th, 2013, 10:06 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2457
Wow, the COLORS!!! Spectacular, Jason. Somehow, I doubt that said property owner had things "booby-trapped" or under surveillance such that you would be shot - more like pure intimidation. Of course, why take chances??

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TroutnutSeptember 12th, 2013, 10:27 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2567
You are a very wise man, it seems to me. Makes you wonder what's going on there.

Probably some perfectly ordinary people who know how to make a "no trespassing" sign that actually works. They're on a small parcel of private land amidst a popular public wood-cutting area. If they didn't deter trespassers, they'd probably wake up some morning to find somebody chainsawing the trees in their front yard.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123September 12th, 2013, 10:39 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2457
I can't blame them...I would probably do the same. Too many people in the more remote parts of the world don't think they have to abide by any rules whatsoever...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
FalsiflySeptember 12th, 2013, 10:41 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 657
Hell, why post a sign? Just shoot first, no questions asked.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
EntomanSeptember 13th, 2013, 3:24 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
The hills have eyes...:)

I think you're right, Jason. Ran into an Idaho landowner in front of his property this Summer with similar signage. He told me he had constant problems with store bought signs. Since he put up his hand painted scary one, he hadn't had an issue. He said the more demented looking, the better - even some intentionally misspelled words. LOL
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
OldredbarnSeptember 13th, 2013, 11:08 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
On our trip west in August my wife and I decided to set aside a day for serious birding. I googled the the local Audubon and found a great brochure, "Birding the Blackhills". It had about 40 different, mapped out, trails with expected birds etc. Really nice.

I decided to travel east of town (Rapid City S Dakota) and we took a trail called the Cheeroke Creek Loop which runs through parts of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.

I turn down this road and just before we approach a treed creek I spotted a couple birds flying up a driveway. I followed them. There was a big gate over the drive and I had no intentions of going any further than the apron there.

I'm watching through my binoculars and I see a Ram pickup barrowing down the drive in our direction. I pull out and just down the road a bit to get out of their way. The truck pulled up next to us and a little old lady gets out and wants to know what we were up to. She explained that the drive was hers etc.

I showed her my Zeiss binocs and the bird books on my lap and that on my iPhone I had the brochure up and explained I was following a local Audubon trail called the Cheeroke Creek Loop. She took the iPhone out of my hand to verify what I was saying and asked, "Why do they call it that?!" I replied, "Not sure ma'am...I'm from Detroit."

She seemed to settle down and told us where we had to go...Basically away from her place...My wife and I composed a tune about it called, "Granny got a Meth Lab"...

Some of this land is private cattle land and some is part of the Grasslands and public. Nearly every car that passed us that day stopped to see what we were up to...One guy in another Ram pickup stopped and asked, "You birding?"

I was just this side of my Detroit side raising its ugly head and telling them, "Hey! Damn it! This is a ****ing public road and its none of your ****ing business what I'm doing here!" Better judgement and gun rakes persuaded me to be a tad more polite and suffer through their paranoia...After all, I did have binocs and a 300mm lens on my camera...I guess I could look like a fed with those Michigan plates and the plate holder that says, "Michigan Fly Fishing Club"...Good cover I guess.

:) I did make a killing on the bird side though...Sprague Pipit, Cliff Swallows, Loggerhead Shrike, Lark Bunting, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Horned Lark youngster, Western Meadowlark, Killdeer, and a slew more I was unable to id...I was looking for Sage Grouse but no luck!
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jkeil911September 17th, 2013, 9:49 pm
Posts: 1thanks for putting some color in my day. those lingonberries are beautiful. nice backyard you have there.
SayfuSeptember 23rd, 2013, 4:01 pm
Posts: 560I'm having to deal with the opposite problem, signs going up everywhere No Trespassing, and in some God forsaken country I can't imagine many folks even wanting to be on....desert sage/lava rock as an example. One of my hungarian partridge areas that border AG land with sage brush had a no trespassing sign up in the sage, and no motorized vehicles, and shooting mentioned. I shoot a shotgun, and if I ran into the big coop foreman again I think he would let me hunt. But the ATV's get hauled in by the droves, and they fire their 22 ammo at cans etc. I see areas littered with bullet hole trash. What it amounts to from my observation is the country has turned ugly divisive. Neighbors don't trust neighbors.

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