|Visitors coming in for sunflower seeds
8 a.m. +5 degrees. Arrived yesterday around 3 p.m. Just missed John who had been hanging around
for me all day waiting. This is pretty much a last chance bait run before my vacation scheduled in a
couple weeks. I like to hunt coyote and fox and take a weeks vacation every year to do it. I've fooled
around with the hand and electronic callers but it's too much work and I'm no good at it. My buddy
Dean (original owner of Buck Mountain Chateau) showed me how to hunt over bait. Coyote and fox
will respond to a free snack and develop a pattern at stopping at a bait station if provided. Freezer
burned meat will work but the best is road kill venison. "Road Kill Permits" can be gotten from any
State, County, or City Peace Officer or Conservation Officer (police/game warden). I was instructed by
a local game warden to hang my permits on the front door of the cabin so they know who to contact if
they have any questions.
I don't know how I got into the cabin last night. The MV7 ATV has about a 10" clearance underneath
and I had a 17" snow base to plow through. I have two winches on the machine I've never really used
and last night I found out just how valuable they are. They worked slick as snot. I'm sold on them now.
I really think if I get a lift kit and some monster tires and could get about 20' of clearance underneath
(five gallon bucket) I might be able to get in year round. Well see how this year finishes out, it is the
first real winter test for the MV7.
|The exit wound of a 25-06 Hornady 120 grain HP pumped to max powder charge
|Every trip in I get a couple of fav pictures and these are the winners for me
These appear horribly out of focus but blown up give interesting perspectives and have become screen savers for me
|The MV7 is in over it's head. It takes me about 3 hours to go the last half mile winching and
rocking the MV7 left and right as I gun it through the 17" snow base
|Poor MV7 took quite a beating. I had to use quite a lot of RPM to keep moving
|Although the trail in has firmed up over night...I'm still getting stuck in the cabin yard the next day
|Here's a nice compacted MV7 trail after it froze overnight
This should provide a nice solid base for the wheels to grab the rest of the winter
|Annual Winter Weeks Vacation
5 p.m. +18 degrees. Five and a half hour run to get here doing 55 mph due to the heavy load. Got 10
mpg with a truck that just turned 20K miles on it. What the hell...
I did stop for some pictures at Lester River right on the edge of Duluth but that was only for 15 mins.
Fresh fox tracks about 75 yards from bait. Lots of meat left, surprisingly, birds did not gobble it all
down. I stayed 25 yards away not wanting to leave any scent I may have picked up on my boots like
gasoline etcetera when I stopped for gas and walked around the gas pumps. I usually don't wear hunting
boots in the truck for that reason. The 1st couple nights are usually the best bait hunting esp with fresh
tracks in area.
Took three runs to get all my stuff in with the ATV and the big Otter sled. Evidence of pine squirrel in
cabin again. Stuff knocked down all over and paper towels shredded.
6 p.m. Fox already out there on bait!! Saw him for 2 seconds. He'll be back.
|I turned the camera right into the sun for this pic. A wide angle lens might be interesting.
|I call this place Seagull Rock right at the mouth of the Lester River on north side of Duluth. It
does produce some quick pics a stones throw from Hwy 61.
11 a.m. +16 degrees. The fox never came back last night. I have yet to venture outside of cabin much
this morning. The outhouse is full and presenting problems. We really shouldn't toss the paper work
down there I guess. Almost got a pine squirrel fight on video. They had been having words all morning
and it finally came to blows. They duked it out right on top of the bird feeder. They sort of jump at
one another several times with their arms and legs flailing and the loser takes off and continues to "dis"
the winner from a distant tree.
The only real goal I have today is to attach the fish house frame to the 'Otter' sled.
|Page under construction...
9:30 p.m. The red fox is dead. I almost didn't see it out there. I dropped it where it stood having a
snack. It knew I was in the cabin, it kept looking my way. Many bird's, rabbits, mice, and grouse are
happy old red fox is dead. Many babies and eggs will not be eaten next spring. Piss on Mr Fox.
|This is what your friend Mr Fox eats...do you still feel sorry for him?
|One less baby bunny killer
6 p.m. +25 degrees. Spent the usual kind of day at Lax Lake...in over my head. The amount of work
one has to put in to do a little spearing is crazy. I'm in about 6 feet of water and the water is much
darker than last year due to the top 6 inches of ice. At noon I was wishing I had never started the
project. All I had accomplished was sledding the floor out. I still had to auger out five holes, hand cut
the block hole, and then bring the ice block out of the hole. The plan came together though...esp
bringing the ice block out. I felt as good about bringing that ice block out as I would have if I had
speared a 10 pound Northern.
|Five auger holes start the process
|My ass is already dragging and I have barely started
|The ice block probably weighs between 350-400 pounds would be my guess
|I finally get the dark house set over the hole and start to settle in
|The block is actually upside down, the
dirty ice on bottom is due to slush freezing
|The view...I'm just a tad shallow I discover. The
tallest weeds are just touching the bottom of ice
7 p.m. +9 degrees. Didn't see one fish today at Lax Lake. But that's ok since it's alot like deer hunting
for me and plenty of days I don't see a thing esp if I'm sitting. For me the dark house (or any ice house
for that matter) is about comfort and gizmo's. I like to experiment and see what works. Did the plan come
together is the question I ask at the end of the day, was I comfortable?
I took an extra foot of ice out under the door. You can see in picture above how that would be beneficial
seeing them coming in under the ice. So next year I'll cut the hole 3'x4'. I do have concerns though about
bringing a bigger block up out of the hole since I was pretty much at my limits as is. Wrapped up the day
with a good sunset pic. I had my fill today of the lake though. Cold coming for rest of week and no way
I'm going to be out there in -15 degree's air temp.
|Lax Lake can produce some spetacular winter sunsets
6 a.m. +2 degrees. Didn't make the cafe run to hook up with Corky and his gang in Silver Bay. I'd
have to get up at 4 a.m. to do it. Maybe tomorrow? Lost my ATV key somewhere between Corkys gate
and my truck? I carry a spare so not a problem. (Corky found it at his gate on ground). I always had
doubts about the key ring I carried it on. It had it's own little thumb clip and I had concerns something
like that could happen.
Plan today is to run to Duluth taking pictures on way down. Going to hook up with my little buddy
"WildBill" and we are going to watch a movie "Enemy at the Gates" which highlights a Russian and
German sniper during WWII.
Suppose to meet John at the "Opossum Lodge" at 9 a.m. (He was no show. They all cancelled due to
Got a few pictures along the shoreline on the way down to Duluth
7 p.m. -10 degrees. I dropped my ATV key by Corky's gate (he found it) fortunately, I carry a spare. A
pickup truck was parked by Corky's gate when I came in. It was a State forester I ran into down by
Corky's cabin. He was out on snowshoes checking on some State land south of Corky's.
Stuff starting to freeze in the cabin by the time I got up to it. Suppose to be wicked wind chills tonight.
The MV7 took about 20 mins to warm up, sputtering all the way up here. It finally got warmed up just as
I pulled into cabin yard.
I've had the wood stove running full blast for about 1.5 hours and temp up to +19 degrees inside.
The movie "WildBill" and I watched was quite good. It highlights the Mosin Nagant rifle(s) I own which
were actually made during WWII. "WildBill' says he's moving back closer to his hometown inland for
more hunting and fishing. He's getting sick of the stench next to the college campus, "The place always
reeks of perfume drifting over from the campus."
7 a.m. -18 degrees. Inside bunk room thermometer +36 degrees. Not much I plan on doing today I
6 p.m. John/Shanen surprised me on cross country ski's at noon. I dragged one of the road kill deer
down to my truck to give to John since I'm leaving tomorrow and have had no action. Note...this action
is critical to get scent out as you will see. We went out to Lax Lake to pull up my wood floor. The wind
chill was as brutal as it gets out on a flat surface with no protection. We stopped at John's place
(Possum Lodge) for chicken dumpling soup which was not bad.
5:30 a.m. -18 degrees. Well I got up to start packing and Mr. Coyote was out there. I fired and
apparently it was a clean miss? I found nothing. I don't get it. The fox was a smaller target and I get him
but not the coyote which is twice the size...? Same thing last year but al least I hit him last year high.
What the hell...but note to self next year...drag a carcass daily to get scent out!
|Miscellaneous pictures from the week
7 p.m. +36 degrees. 10 weeks since I've been here. Work, not feeling well, and plain old not in the
mood to come up got me. Still have a 15" snow base!!!! On way up saw (2) dead bear in ditch.
Never seen that before. Both were north of Hinckley a tad.
Corky not home. Sighted in (4) guns.
10 a.m. +36 degrees. Went down to Corkys and stopped 200 yards short to piss. Good thing I did I
heard a shot, it was Corky zeroing in on a big old coyote which he missed clean. Haaaaa....didn't
need to give him any excuses why he missed. We tracked for a good hour but not a drop of blood.
He can't figure it out either why a man can miss a perfect shot but it happens to us all.
Took a hike about in the snow. Saw the big four finger wolf track behind cabin by Ron's stand #2.
|A pair of Coleman catalytic heaters (3k BTU's each)
take the edge off on the really cold nights below zero.
The cabin has zero insulation.
|Props which have nothing to do with bait hunting other than to look cool for pic's
|The Mini-14 or a shotgun is the weapon of choice if tracking after the 1st shot over bait
(The Mini-14 is set up with Leupold "heavy" crosshairs)
|Fire...the nights entertainment
|The daylight view of bait
|The walk about in 15" snow
(I've had my fill of winter)
|I never know what tomfoolery I'll find in cabin when I arrive
3 p.m. Rain all the way up. Arrived at Corkys gate with Kelly and Sparky to find Tess stuck in the
mud with his car. Lance was there getting him out. I noticed Tess' 4 wheel drive pickup sitting in his
driveway when I went by. Lance said, "No pictures. Corkys going to be pissed as is." I had Kelly snap a
few in secret from the truck...haaaaaaaaaaa.
Pine squirrel in cabin. Sparky had great fun chasing him around in the cabin and eventually out the
|The ice house and floor takes
up the entire bed of truck
|The "Otter" magnum sled works well but I find myself wishing for the next bigger model
|Tess stuck at Corky's gate.
6 a.m. Rain heavy all night. Roof even leaked. Windy now with skys clearing. Off we go to the Split
Rock River to fish for Steelhead. (I have a separate page of pic's just for today...see link below)
6 p.m. It was a tough day down there but beautiful for sure. The water was higher than last year
and we probably were wasting our time to high above the rapids for Steelhead. Hitting the sack early
(Sparky already asleep) for an early start to the Beaver River and Gooseberry River.
Where it emptys into Lake Superior
The guy in picture caught nothing all morning but...
stated 50 yards away a guy was hitting the Steelhead
6/16/08 - 6/18/08
Up with Kelly, Samwise, and Sparky. We stayed at cabin two nights but mainly as a base camp
while we made it a north shore excursion. We ran down to Split Rock 1st night on ATV at sundown
but lots of dead heads and river way down so not actually not worth the run. Note to self...don't
bother unless it's a morning run. The mood of the river and woods is so so down there at sundown.
Kelly said she was getting sick from ATV fumes on way back. Both her, Samwise and Sparky sat
on back of the MV7. Took tons of pictures...here they are more or less in order of our day spent.
|Black sand beach
all to ourselves
|On to the Split Rock Lighthouse
|You must decend these stairs to get the lakeside view
This was only half the stairs...we passed a few walrus sitting off to the side on the numerous landings resting