Another Bear Attack!

July 21st, 2016

VERNON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A black bear attacked a woman walking her dog outside her home about 40 miles northwest of New York City, authorities said Thursday.

The woman, whose name was not released, lives in the Pleasant Valley Lake area near a country club and a national wildlife refuge, Administrative Lt. Keith Kimkowski of the Vernon Township Police Department said in a statement. The township has about 25,000 residents.

She had just left her house at about 10 a.m. ET Monday and saw a bear with three cubs nearby, he said.

The adult bear charged the woman, causing her to fall backward. A neighbor saw the incident and chased the bear into the woods, Kimkowski said.

The woman was transported to a local hospital to be treated for injuries from the fall. The extent of her injuries was not known Thursday nor whether she remained hospitalized.

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which has been studying and managing the state’s black bear population since 2001, was advised of the incident, police said.

Bear attacks in the state are rare, but because this bear pushed the woman down, potentially swatting her with its claws, it would be considered a threat to human safety, according to the state wildlife division’s website. Generally, those bears are killed as quickly as possible.

Startled black bears generally run, often up a tree, if they think they have an escape route, according to the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn. Females aren’t likely to become aggressive when they are out with their cubs, but they are on the alert for danger and will react to a person who is very close.WGI_0003

Fishing Yellowstone

July 19th, 2016

IMG_5413IMG_5436IMG_5459IMG_5466IMG_5687 (1)IMG_5699IMG_5578IMG_5680The adventure continues in Yellowstone national park.  The Flying Pig rafting adventures also has a fly fishing guide service and a mountain horseback ride and cowboy dinner that are part of their services.  Tony and I went to the fly fishing shop to buy some lures for those Yellowstone trout we had heard so much about.  The young man in the shop “forgave” us for using spin casting gear, and was kind enough to show us some “hot” trout lures and flies!

Early the next morning Tony and I headed for the small hidden lake Quinn had shown us earlier. There was a family with a fly fishing guide already there, but they stayed on the east side of the lake while we settled in on the west side.  We could see trout swimming in the crystal clear water and wondered if our lures would soon be attacked!  It didn’t take long to find out as Tony and I landed fish after fish.  They were more than eager to hit our offering, and everyone was a native cutthroat!  Catch and release only on these fine fighting rare fish.  Native cutthroat are becoming rare and that is why all native species are catch and release only.  To catch one is a thrill, but to catch 25 is nothing but awesome!  Our fish ranged in size from 10-13 inches. Absolutely a gorgeous little jewel from these high mountain lakes and streams. I did catch one brook trout which I was not only allowed to keep, but regulations say you must keep them or kill them.  They are considered an invasive species that competes with the native fish, and the Park Service wants them gone.  There is no limit to the amount of brook, rainbow, brown, or lake trout you catch in Yellowstone.

We returned to the Flying Pig fly fishing store and looked up the young man that sold us our fishing lures.  He was happy about our success, but we wanted some insights as to where we could catch fish we could keep and make a nice dinner.  He got out his pamphlet of regulations and said there was a couple small lakes that just opened to fishing 3 days ago.  He said they had some monster brookies, but the lake was hard to fish.  Seems it was surrounded by a bog and walking was treacherous.  He said what you lack in quantity you’ll make up for in quality!

Next morning we were of to Blacktail Lake bright and early.  We parked the car and started our downhill trek to the 3 small ponds that make up the lake.  The bog was scary to walk on as it moved up and down with each step. Our first half hour left us wondering if we got some bad information.  I moved on toward the larger end of the lake and “bam” I had a “taker!”  Felt like a whale to me, and when he broke the water and tried to shake my lure I was dumbstruck.  I kept a tight line with my little backpack Shakespeare spincasting rod and reel and soon lifted him onto the grass at my feet.  Sure enough it was a “brookie!” And what a “brookie it was!  I had no idea they grew to such proportions.  This fish was 19 inches and weighed about 3-1/2 pounds.  We were now very excited!  Tony moved down a little further and landed three fish in a row.  He waved at me to come down by him, and called me over to help identify his last fish.  It was a huge mature male brookie with the hook jaw and beautiful markings of a big fish.  After another hour we had caught 8 fish between us, and had lost 4 others.  Park regulations do not allow barbed hooks, so every now and then you lose a fish.  We had way more than enough for a meal, and didn’t want to be greedy so we put them in my backpack and headed for the rental unit.

We had a fish fry that evening and it was heavenly fare.  Baked potatoes, grilled trout, and a salad hit the spot after a long day of taking in the many wonders of Yellowstone.  What a bonus on this trip of a lifetime.  I showed our pictures to the young man at the Flying Pig fishing shop and he wanted me to txt them to him.  He said they were some of the biggest brookies he had ever seen!  Me too!

Note:  First photo is one of the many cutthroat trout we caught, second is the 12 inch brookie I landed that day, and the rest are the Monster Brookies we caught and ate that evening!

Mike

Rafting the Yellowstone River

July 18th, 2016

IMG_3193IMG_3191 (1)IMG_3215IMG_5345IMG_5357IMG_5366IMG_5402IMG_5365IMG_5353IMG_5372IMG_5364During our Yellowstone vacation my daughter Meghan had booked a rafting trip through “Flying Pig” Adventures.  My wife is a non swimmer and had to be coaxed into going with the stipulation that she wasn’t going to paddle.  Our trip was scheduled for July 5th. at 11 a.m. and we were there plenty early to receive our instructions and guide assignment.  We lucked out and got a young lady by the name of Karna who fit in well with our group of “misfits!”  She knew her river well, and was a wealth of information concerning the area surrounding us.

As we leaded our 12 person raft Mark and Quinn were put in front (young studs.)  Then Myself and Meghan across from me, with Alena beside me and Nina across from her. Next was Tony beside Nina and my wife Lorna across from Tony!  That’s right “no paddle” Lorna!  Turns out we had the three boys (Brady, Jacob, and Logan) hunkered down in the middle of the raft, which left no room for Lorna.  Reluctantly she took her paddle and her seat on the side of the big yellow “beluga!”

The trip lasted about 2 hours of leisurely sightseeing coupled with number 2-3 rapids, with a number 4 thrown in there just to keep your heart pumping. Both Jacob and Brady “rode the bull” as they saddled the front of the raft with a rope between their legs.  They had a blast as the “white water” splashed over them onto everyone else behind them.  It was quite exhilarating!  As I glanced at my wife I could see that the fear was gone and she was, in fact, enjoying the ride.  I was quite proud of her as she dug her oar into each wave that came after us!

The scenery was awesome, the river just wild enough to “make your day,” and the family bonding was priceless!  Mark, Quinn and Jacob even dove into the Yellowstone at one point and drifted away from the raft.  Karna paddled close to them where I had to pull them back into the raft.  Good thing I listened to the instructor as we were told how to do that!

We were more than happy that we booked with “Flying Pig” and were also going on a mountain horseback ride and cowboy cookout booked through them, but that’s another story in our book of Yellowstone Adventures! Hope you enjoy the pictures, but you really need to be there to experience the adrenaline rush for yourself!

Mike

Yellowstone July 4th.

July 13th, 2016

IMG_5246IMG_5249IMG_5252IMG_5305Today we venture to the parks most famous site; Old Faithful!  Its a winding two hour trip from our place, and can make a queasy person carsick, just like it did me.  On our way we stopped at the Norris Geyser.  The landscape was like something out of a science fiction movie, and is close to where a young college graduate fell in and his remains were never recovered.  He ventured off the boardwalk past danger signs and paid the ultimate price for ignoring the warnings! “Sad!”  We spent about an hour there and then moved onto the “hot springs” area.  With the steam rising from the ground, and craters everywhere it looked like the moons surface, or at least what I visualize the moon looking like!

Next stop “Old Faithful!” The geyser faithfully shoots a blast of super heated water (warmed by the hot volcanic activity in the area) 0ne hundred feet into the air every hour to hour and a half.  Quinn was able to show us a parking area unknown to most, so we didn’t have to walk very far.  We were able to get in the second row of seating in the semi-circle surrounding “Old Faithful” which made for some great viewing.  The geyser was true to her name and put on a show for everyone to fondly remember.  We stopped into the huge Yellowstone Lodge and got an ice cream and bought some souvenirs.

On the way back we stopped at the Grand Prismatic Spring.  Yellowstone’s largest hot spring, at 370 feet in diameter can be accessed by taking the boardwalk through the geyser basin.  The pool color is deep blue and is surrounded by yellow and orange colors which give it a prism effect.

Saw many elk and one huge male bison about 250 yards off the road.  Got some great pictures, but accidently erased everything on my camera.  Can’t believe I did that!  Saw more elk around Yellowstone’s headquarters and then went back to our place and grilled some very tasty steaks.

Mike

 

 

 

The Yellowstone Adventure Continues July 3rd

July 12th, 2016

IMG_5181IMG_5194IMG_5205IMG_5208Tony, Alena, Nina, Jacob, and Brady along with Mark, Megan, and Logan arrived today.  We helped unpack them in a mountain downpour!  After everyone was situated we went to the Iron Horse Grill situated right on the Yellowstone river in downtown Gardiner.  Quinn had recommended this place and it did have a real Western atmosphere, but most were not happy with their meal.  Everything was charcoal cooked and some of the burgers (beef and elk) along with the chicken were very “well done!” We did not go back, and were leary of anymore of Quinn’s recommendations, although he did redeem himself later!

After the meal Quinn took us on a guided tour of three of the waterfalls around our area.  Undine Falls was along the roadway and no walking was involved.  It was a beautiful falls and we took several pictures before moving on to our next stop which was Wrath Falls.  We had a mile walk to get to this little gem in the mountains, but it was worth the hike.  Quinn has actually climbed to the top of the mountain where he discovered a “wolf den” fill of elk and bison bones.  We met our first “whistle pigs” here (small squirrel like rodent) and Quinn was able to get one to eat from his hand!

Next stop would be Tower Falls which was our final destination about 25 miles from Yellowstone’s headquarters. While driving there Quinn decided to take us “off roading” on a 6 mile detour on Blacktail Drive.  He has seen many big game animals on this side trip, but not today,  We did see one black bear and a female moose which was quite a delight.  Moose are not real common to see. Onward to Tower Falls where there is a huge gift shop and refreshments.  The falls were quite spectacular and everyone spent way to much at the gift shop.  They had a few Native American item but I refrained from buying, but I did take pictures of the handiwork thinking “I can do that!”

We returned and Quinn showed us around his living/work area. We saw a pronghorn antelope and several elk going back to our rental in Gardiner. Note:  The first 2 pictures are Undine, then Wrath, then Tower Falls.

Mike

 

 

 

Return From Yellowstone

July 10th, 2016

FullSizeRender Sulfur 3IMG_5110IMG_5253I was reluctant to take a flight to Montana to visit Yellowstone on July 2nd.  I’m not a seasoned traveler, and just the fact that airports seem to be a favorite target of our enemies, made my reluctance worse!  The 4th of July holidays just seemed like a good time to stay away from airplane travel. Well I “manned” up and took the flight to Bozeman Montana where my grandson Quinn picked up my wife and I.  Quinn has worked as an I.T. specialist at Yellowstone for two years, and was to be our personal guide.  We booked a place in Gardiner just 1 mile from Yellowstone’s northwest entry.

Joining us on July 3rd. would be daughters Alena, and Meghan, and their families, who were driving from Chicago and Monroe Michigan. But before they arrived Quinn took us on his own personal tour.  He knew of a sulfur springs area where very few tourist ever ventured.  First he showed us his housing and work area.  We had to dodge huge piles of elk “poop” as they were everywhere.  they literally had the run of the park, and you had to keep your distance so as not to interfere with them in any way.  Rangers were stationed to make sure people kept there distance, but people that think Yellowstone is a “petting zoo” get themselves in trouble constantly!  That was one of the biggest lessons I learned from being there for 7 days (people do just plan stupid things, and pay the consequences!)

Any way took us to his private sulfur springs viewing and low and behold there was noone there!  This was super cool!  We were able to take some great photo’s, and were really impressed by this geological phenomena taking place before us.  We were viewing a sight that has it’s origins hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Later he took me to a small lake that the public has no clue about, even though it’s within a mile of downtown Yellowstone headquarters.  This information would come in very handy when my three grandsons were all wanting to catch a Yellowstone trout.  Not to mention me and my son-in-law Tony.  We were dying to wet a line and put some trout in the frying pan.  But that’s another story from our Yellowstone book of adventures that I will share on a continuing basis.  Stayed tuned as there is a lot more to come.

Mike

 

 

 

Yellowstone Here We Come

July 1st, 2016

IMG_0965 (1)FullSizeRender.jpg  quinn black bear #2IMG_0325001My grandson Quinn works for Yellowstone Park and has for the last two summers. Two of my daughters and their families along with my wife and I decided to pay him a visit this year.  He has been there long enough to know all the nice little (non-tourist) places, and will make a great guide.  We’ll be staying in a huge private home with a beautiful view of the Rocy Mountains.

Our itinerary so far consist of some “white water rafting” and a horseback ride with a chuckwagon meal at the end. Hiking and maybe a little fishing along with lots of photos should  be to everybody’s liking.

Quinn has had some very “cool” experiences while at Yellowstone, and has seen every animal that calls this park home.  There has also been some chilling reminders that the animals that roam this rugged landscape are wild, and not cartoon characters.  Several people have died since his arrival due to ignorance and not respecting the animals or the terrain!  Bison can gore you, and cliff jumping into unknown waters can ruin your day.  We have been warned and plan on respecting Yellowstone for what it is; pure and wild!

I may not post again till we get back, but will try and a least post some photo’s.  We have a friend staying at the house and he’s going to take care of my turkeys who are starting to fly already.  Hope none of them fly away.

Mike

Another Fatal Bear Attack In Montana

June 30th, 2016

Sheriff: Grizzly kills person near Glacier National Park

A.T.V. Safety

June 29th, 2016

IMG_2147IMG_4886 (1)A couple weekend s ago I was at my cabin with Dave and three teenagers who were looking forward to some a.t.v. riding.  One of the teenagers was my grandson who had brought two of his buddies with him.  Dave and I were going to prepare a site for a new small cabin, and had quite a lot of work to do, while the boys rode the trails around my place.

I have a Polaris 330 two wheel drive and a Polaris 500 4×4.  Dave has a brand new Polaris Sportsman 570, and my grandson also brought his dirt bike along.

Before the boys hit the trails we gave them a pep talk on a.t.v. safety and rules.  Of course teenagers already know “everything” and they assured us that they were “cool!”  Helmets were mandatory and my last words were “treat these machines with respect and remember they belong to me!”

Dave and I had to go into town, as the boys headed out to enjoy the bright sunny Northern Michigan day.  We had not been gone an hour when we received a phone call that there had been an accident, and that they couldn’t get the  (my) four wheeler to move.  We returned back to camp, listen to their “story” and headed out to assess the damage.  It was much worse than we expected.  A huge pine tree had missing bark about 2 foot long just on the edge of the trail.  My machine was busted up, with the left side front being totally wrecked.  Tie rods, axle, frame, running board, plastic, transmission, lights, and cargo carrier were all damaged.  We could not even pull it back with Dave’s 570, as the wheels would not turn.  Had to get Dave’s truck to “drag” it back to the cabin. The $5000.00 dollar 4×4 looked like a “total” loss, but the teenager responsible only had scrapes and a few bruises.  It could have been much worse!

The Helmets kept this situation from being worse, but my little talk about safety was not taken very seriously!  We found where the boys had been making “donuts” all over the trail, and speed and inexperience led to the wreck.  The boys were riding three in a row, and from what we could piece together the middle rider turned to look at the guy behind him and drove straight into a pine at 20 miles an hour,  Never take your eyes off the trail when riding!  I have seen this happen before and it’s one of the most frequent causes of accidents on the trails. You can have great fun with these off road machines, but “control” is the name of the game.  In an instant you can loose control by not respecting the machine your sitting on.  We learned a valuable lesson and others need to take notice and learn from our mishap.  It can be very costly, and the potential for being hurt is a possibility!

Mike

Expanding Our Cabin Site!

June 27th, 2016

IMG_4988IMG_4989IMG_4274 (1)The new pole barn is complete, so it’s time to move on to the next project around camp.  Right now I have room to accommodate 16 people in the main cabin and the bunkhouse.  That’s fine, but when the whole crew shows up there’s 24-26 people to put up.  We been discussing a plan “B” and this past weekend started clearing a section of trees for our new 16×30 cabin.  I have an Amish work crew going to be there the first full week in July and the excavating is being done this week.  We are going to include an 8×30 foot front porch for those quite northern evenings.

The loft area will cover the full 16×30 and will sleep 10-12 people.  Bathroom and small kitchen downstairs with a woodburner and living room.  We are going to need another septic system and a new well.  I’ll do the plumbing but will need some help with all the other things to make it liveable.  Having three buildings on ten acres may seem like overkill, but I am surrounded by Federal Forest, and the AuSable River is only a mile away.  There’s plenty to do with a four wheel trail just outside the door, and if you want teenagers to come to “Papa and Grandma’s cabin” there better be plenty of things for them to do.  I also have a zip line and a shooting range to keep everyone occupied!  No t.v. allowed at our place. It’s always good to know that you have a safe and secure place to go as a “safehaven” in times of distress or trouble.  We live in world of uncertainty and complex world wide problems, so our little compound may come in very handy one day.

Dave and I cut about 14 trees down at the excavation site, and then had to cut them up and haul them out of the way.  We were both pretty sore the next day. I took a short video of Dave cutting down a pine tree that landed in the exact spot he said it would!  A 4-wheeler and trailer were in the path, but Dave dropped the tree where it did no harm.  I have quite a pile of timber for the night time campfires and “s’mores!”

Click on IMG 4988 for short video clip!