Monday, October 25, 2010

23-26 October, 2010 Big game Rifle Season begins.

The rifle season for big game opened here on Saturday. We didn't hear a lot of success stories. The weather was cloudy and drizzly all day. I went out on a couple of forays into the woods around here and walked probably five miles total. I had the scope on five does but the season is bucks only this year so I didn't fill my tag. In previous years you could shoot does the first week and last weekend but the predator population has grown considerably the last few years. Wolves seem to be the biggest problem. They were introduced in Yellowstone National Park over the objections of the majority of Montanans and have spread like lice throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. They've far exceeded the target population needed to sustain viable populations but the animal rights wackos keep fighting delisting in the courts. So we're stuck with a species that took years to eradicate and few people in the state want. This is just one more intrusion into our way of life by people who don't live here but desire to control what we can and cannot do. To say that there's a lot of anti-federal government animosity in the state would be a severe understatement! One of the side effects has been that big game populations have been decreased and movement patterns have been changed as elk, moose, deer, coyotes, and mountain lions have all been displaced because of the impact of wolves. Many of us here depend upon big game for our annual meat supply and the wolves and their advocates are not appreciated.

Susan spent Saturday in Kalispell at a birthday party for our second youngest grandchild and puicked up more stuff to finish the Uhaul. She went to a salvage yard and bought a door for the Uhaul and loaded it on the roof rack.  She went to the farm supply store and bought our winter's supply of chicken feed while it was on sale.  We decided to use 3-way for most of the winter when they don't lay many eggs anyway then go back to Layer feed in the spring.  The Layer cost about 25 percent more than 3-way.

Sunday it rained steadily most of the day. Susan made waffles for breakfast. Afterwards WE got out some clothes crates and I switched out my summer clothes for the winter wardrobe (although in northwestern Montana there isn't a lot of difference between the two!). Susan went thorough a couple of sewing crates to take inventory of and consolidate her sewing supplies. I went out for awhile in the late afternoon (it quit raining about 3:30) but didn't see anything legal to shoot. I worked on the article for Dirttime in the evening.

Monday I spent most of the day hunting. It was cloudy with light drizzle for the most part. Saw grouse and more does. Buck sign is sparse this year which doesn't make a lof of sense. You'd think the sexes would have close to an equal ratio of bucks/does. I've only found one rub on one very spindly tree. That's way below normal. Not as many deer beds as normal either. Bear sign seems to be about right though which may also explain the lower number of deer. Bears can be hard on the fawn crop but at least we can hunt them.  Susan had most of the day to herself and finished up storing some dried stuff and other odds-n-ends. She made pizza for suppee. It was fantastic and better than any store bought piza we've ever had. We watched a couple more episodes of CSI on the DVD in the evening.

Tuesday was another disaster weatherwise. We got some snow in the morning but not enough to stick on the ground. Snow makes the hunting much easier. First you can see more tracks and second you can see the deer easier. Most of my hunting is in the woods and it's difficult to see the deer before they see you. Snow makes spotting the deer much easier. We went to Eureka to wash my laundry and see about buying half of a hog from the butcher. It turned out that the add he ran a couple of weeks ago was a short term thing and he didn't have any to sell now. We went to the grocery store and bought some pork roast for supper. Susan cooked it in a large skillet on the stove with potatoes, turnips and carrots. It was great! We ran into several people we hadn't seen for awhile and by the time we got done yacking and went to the thrift store it was almost dark when we got home. I fed the buffalo on the way into town and they'd almost eaten the entire bale by the time we got back. I'm beginning to think they're too lazy to go look for food in the pasture. We got a couple of Netflix movies in the mail so we watched one of them on the evening.

A hill top near the cabin.  The view is out over Marl Lake with the mountains off in the distance.  There's some fog in a couple of the valleys before the highest ridge.

A stump pulled apart by a bear looking for vittles.

Monday morning - snow on the mountain tops to the east.

Tuesday morning - snow at home.  Unfortunately it didn't stay!

The cat helping Susan with her sewing stuff.

Sunday morning - a bored Steven tormenting the cat while it sleeps.

The cat had it's head under the lamp and we took it's picture.  REminded us of the hair cutting machine Dick Van Dyke had in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang.

The back door fo the Uhaul.  The screen needs replaced and the outside needs cleaned up and painted but the price was right and it fits the opening.  (We only have a 71 inch max height for the door.)

Susan took the paper off the windows on the Uhaul.

Ahh!  Cookies!

Sorting sewing stuff ... uhm, where's the cat?

We always laugh about the sign saying "Main Post Office."  We have a saloon, an antique store, grade school and a church in town.  How many post offices does anyone think we have anyway?

They had a fire at the bank last week.

They're routing their customers to the other two financial instituions in town while they put together temporary housing for the bank.

Our winter supply of chicken food will go into plastic buckets and be stored.  We don't have to worry about mice getting into them that way.

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