who's hunting who ?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 (19:29:30)
Posted by longwalker
Two that got way, one due to their diligence one due to nerves.
We were hunting caribou in Alaska southwest of Bethel. The river road was very bust that morning with shoppers and hunters all traveling before the sun was above the horizon. Because of our geographic position on the planet the sun comes up more in the north than the east. Traveling down river heading south the sun came up over my right shoulder. About 40 miles outside of town we saw one caribou about 1000 yards out. Caribou usually travel in groups. Not wanting to drop the dime as it were we waited until the other hunters kept moving. ( knowing there had to be other caribou there )
We waited and waited but only one caribou was to be seen. Planning our stalk the wind was in our favor. We traveled about a mile ahead and layed in wait for the "unsuspecting" prey to walk in to my sights. Plan A did not work. Plan B was to approach using the frozen sloughs, and staying out of sight. It was during this phase we notices all the wolf tracks. A lone caribou on the tundra with all there wolf tracks he had to be one very cautious critter. Either by sent or motion the jig was up. Time for plan C. Get back to the snow-go travel to the east a long way and loop around behind him. 10 miles and we started to head back north. Just off a big lake we stop to glass for caribou and see something small coming across the ice behind us. I'm thinking what is following us. Way to small to be a bear?
Forgetting all about the caribou we watch and wait. The lopping gait is not familiar it doesn't move left or right just straight ahead coming toward us. The wind is out of the east, and beasty is coming from the south. At what must be 100 yards we recognize what it is a real live wolverine. Following us ! I didn't want to shoot it. I suppose I could have I just didn't want to. So it comes closer. Finally we let it know where we were by moving. Nothing, no reaction what so ever! The wolverine changed direction somewhat but gave no indication it cared or was concerned we were there. After passing us we watched with amazement as it went into a willow thicket. Being curious we followed up until the snow got to knee level. Wolverine tracks were everywhere. Mr. or Mrs. wolverine had themselves a den in that mess.
So there it was in one day, two critters no shooting. One so scared it was darn near paranoid, the other so darn confident it lead us to it's home.
The yupiks said the wolverine was following us looking for a gut pile. Knowing we were "gusicks" it had no fear of us.
It got me to thinking who was hunting who?