Weather was the only reason I can think of for the astounding lack of sign and sightings of moose, sheep, and to a lesser extent, caribou. It rained--and during the latter period, snow--from August 23 through October 6 creating an abnormally high water table and fully saturated ground. There wasn't a 24-hour period in which was precipitate-free. Here those conditions mean flooding over the permafrost, thawing of same, silt laden streams and rivers, and still waters way above the high water marks. Game lit out for the high country early and no doubt friction developed between the normal residents and the newbies...
I normally see three bulls during the season; this was the only one I saw. He became my--and others--annual meat supply a day later when he ran into me downriver where the season was open for federal subsistence resident permit-holders like myself.
It's a long story and I do plan to write it up as I do most of my experiences, but for now let me just brief it and provide some photo back-up. Were it not for a small pack of wolves (three adults and a pup of the year) I probably wouldn't have even seen this yearling bull.
After dropping my wife off--she'd spent two weeks assisting me--at the airstrip I returned to camp. In making the half-turn and falling from planing the boat I saw this bull laying down in front of camp. I took photos from camp as I did all connected events that followed. The camp area closed 9/25, but I had the permit that allowed me to hunt downstream about a mile and a half. September 30 found me calling just inside the open area on a good slough and that's where I ran into the wolves that I learned from the tracks at camp ran this bull. Three came out within 50 yards and although I tried I didn't succeed in getting the camera out to get them. (I won't shoot wolves until November as their pelts aren't prime--I also trap wolves then.) However, I did photograph what I figured to be the leader and that's the one seen in the photos. After the excitement--and fatigue in freezing-in-place--I began my return to the boat. Upon reaching the river bank I ran into junior starting up the bank. Not wanting him up top--nor in the river--I waited until I thought was "good enough." It wasn't and he still collapsed rearward after I shot him in the neck, falling into the river. I documented all this as is my habit, but I should save the retrieval, etc., for another time. Here follows some photos:
Last edited by alcesgigas; 10-17-2012 at 03:01 AM..