Friday, December 19, 2008


With our recent snowstorms I have been thinking about the power of observation. My wife noted some tracks out in the backyard and asked what they were. Most likely a cat I said. I went on to explain that cats tracks seem to meander more than dogs do.

There are other observations to be made in the snow as well.

Snow will obviously melt on south facing slopes, but also on the south western side of exposed boulders.

There are ways to tell some really specific things about the weather, both on the ground and up in the atmosphere, but closely observing snowflakes.

Since wind can be a killer in the white months, when looking for a shelter, look around for prevailing wind direction. You will not bare patches, drifts and "frozen waves" or "dunes."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Still here

Well, it has been a looooong time since I last wrote here.

For my loyal reader out there..... I apologize.

I wasn't much of a backcountry hunter this fall. Or much of a hunter for that matter. Elk hunting was disappointing. Lots of other hunters about, no elk sighted or heard, but I did find some sign. Anyway, I ended up being so discouraged and had such a bad migraine, I came home early. I also found a nice little watering hole, but it was really brushed in and I couldn't figure out how to really hunt it effectively. I am sure the bulls were wallowing in it as the rut heated up. Alas, it was pretty clear when I was there, indicating it was just being used for drinking

And I haven't been too motivated to get out much since then. I'll blame it on the wife.... she is pregnant and I didn't want to leave her for extended lengths of time. And gas prices.... it's not worth it to drive an hour to hunt for two and come right back. And a new job... I didn't have any paid time off until recently. Anyway you slice it I didn't get out much.

But there still is time. I'll get out for rabbits I am sure, and birds, especially ducks, should start heating up with the coming colder, wetter weather.

I have a handful of projects for the dark winter evenings as well. I am planning a bowfishing- exploring boat.... a pirogue as a matter of fact. They are a cross between a canoe and a flat bottom jon boat. I am also continuing to work on a good, durable alcohol stove. And I have a knife that is now almost completely sheathed as well as one more puukko blade. Also I am going to attempt a fire piston! I found some good directions here, although I think I will end up "dressing up" mine a bit with some exotic wood scraps leftover from bows. And speaking of bows, I need to get going on a basic bowfishing model for the spring....