June 30, 1999

GRUNT


Bear grass in bloom. Tarzan Springs area 6/99

Roads: 224, 46, 4650, 4651, 4671, 4672/head of 130, 4670/150, 4650/170.

Wednesday, the day before my birthday trip. Was going up to pull the cameras due to the Fourth of July weekend coming up, but they hadn't taken and pictures! I thought about where they were and decided to take a chance and leave them out. I pulled the orange road markers. I had told Steve the sites close enough. It was doubtful that anyone would hike in, take the elk backbone and pack it out. Anyway, I should be available later anyway.

Coming back down 4651, I was semi-comatose, just ambling along, enjoying the day, trying to take a picture of my shadow walking when: "GRUNT." I clearly had just woke something up that was on the high bank to my left (the west) behind a big fallen tree trunk. Then the grunt turned to a scream and then to a growl.

It was the same critter that had surprised Steve about a mile away, only now, I got the dose of the volume. I had the 357 out and I was in the firing position and moved into the shadows before I could think. No sun in this boy's eyes. It was like I was back in the USMC. Strangely enough, I wasn't scared at all, but I could feel my eyes scanning the woods like crazy.

Brush and the 3" plus reprod trees were parting enough I could see the tops move away from each other as the beast walked up the slope of the hill. It was walking, wheither on fours or twos, I couldn't tell; but, there was absolutely no rush. It was simply moving away from me and was moving trees a big man could only shake at best.

When I couldn't see the trees moving anymore, I climbed up the 3-4' bank and looked into the reprod and decided the hell with it. Too thick. Besides, if it was a sow bear with young ones and I surprised her in there, I could be torn up good. I just marveled at the event and turned and headed north on the gravel.

After a while, I turned east into the big trees along the river and walked down among them until I came upon an open glade. It was probably an acre, with good visibility. I walked over to a downed tree on the north side and sat down and thought about what had happened today and on the trip up with Steve.

I ate some lunch and drank some water and thought about the weird feeling I had had setting up the lower camera in the green area last trip. I had felt like something was watching me from shortly after I had walked into that glade. It was at least mile just south of where I was sitting, probably more like mile. That was where the elk bones were. Anyway, I hadn't even thought about it, but I remembered I had taken out my 357, without even looking up and laid it in plain sight on a stump and very shortly afterwards, the watched feeling left me. I had forgotten completely about that.

When I felt like it, I shouldered the pack and walked up the little slope to the road and back to the truck. Then I drove down to Tumble Creek. Its quite a few miles, at least 20 I'd say. Fire wood cutting signs had been put up and when I got out to walk the tree line, I heard saws, so just got back in the truck and left.

Then went up 4670 to near the head of Lowe Creek. Snow block. Didn't know Tarzan Springs was so near. Hadn't checked my map. Took the 150 spur for 5 miles until I could look down the slope at where the camera by the repod was. Good view of north Big Bottom. Steep, heavy regrowth. Nice on top. Fairly flat area that should be carefully walked sometime. Forest Service doing something. Fresh ribbons and tags all over the place.

Then took 4650 to 170 spur. Went on a long hike up 170. Steeper than it looked when I came back down. Tiring. At least a mile one way. Not an inspiring place, but not bad.

Drove down to 46 on 4650. Didn't like it. Reprod close on both sides most of the way. Curves, not much view, steep, no good searching places unless slope climber. Don't think most animals live on slopes anyway. They are transit and escape routes.

On the way back, I wished I had gone on down to Jim's Meadows and explored that area instead. Hadn't been down there yet. (As of Oct., still hadn't been down there. Probably next year.)June 30, 1999 - Wednesday, the day before my birthday trip.

Roads: 224, 46, 4650, 4651, 4671, 4672/head of 130, 4670/150, 4650/170.

Was going up to pull the cameras due to the Fourth of July weekend coming up, but they hadn't taken and pictures! I thought about where they were and decided to take a chance and leave them out. I pulled the orange road markers. I had told Steve the sites close enough. It was doubtful that anyone would hike in, take the elk backbone and pack it out. Anyway, I should be available later anyway.

Coming back down 4651, I was semi-comatose, just ambling along, enjoying the day, trying to take a picture of my shadow walking when: "GRUNT." I clearly had just woke something up that was on the high bank to my left (the west) behind a big fallen tree trunk. Then the grunt turned to a scream and then to a growl.

It was the same critter that had surprised Steve about a mile away, only now, I got the dose of the volume. I had the 357 out and I was in the firing position and moved into the shadows before I could think. No sun in this boy's eyes. It was like I was back in the USMC. Strangely enough, I wasn't scared at all, but I could feel my eyes scanning the woods like crazy.

Brush and the 3" plus reprod trees were parting enough I could see the tops move away from each other as the beast walked up the slope of the hill. It was walking, wheither on fours or twos, I couldn't tell; but, there was absolutely no rush. It was simply moving away from me and was moving trees a big man could only shake at best.

When I couldn't see the trees moving anymore, I climbed up the 3-4' bank and looked into the reprod and decided the hell with it. Too thick. Besides, if it was a sow bear with young ones and I surprised her in there, I could be torn up good. I just marveled at the event and turned and headed north on the gravel.

After a while, I turned east into the big trees along the river and walked down among them until I came upon an open glade. It was probably an acre, with good visibility. I walked over to a downed tree on the north side and sat down and thought about what had happened today and on the trip up with Steve.

I ate some lunch and drank some water and thought about the weird feeling I had had setting up the lower camera in the green area last trip. I had felt like something was watching me from shortly after I had walked into that glade. It was at least mile just south of where I was sitting, probably more like mile. That was where the elk bones were. Anyway, I hadn't even thought about it, but I remembered I had taken out my 357, without even looking up and laid it in plain sight on a stump and very shortly afterwards, the watched feeling left me. I had forgotten completely about that.

When I felt like it, I shouldered the pack and walked up the little slope to the road and back to the truck. Then I drove down to Tumble Creek. Its quite a few miles, at least 20 I'd say. Fire wood cutting signs had been put up and when I got out to walk the tree line, I heard saws, so just got back in the truck and left.

Then went up 4670 to near the head of Lowe Creek. Snow block. Didn't know Tarzan Springs was so near. Hadn't checked my map. Took the 150 spur for 5 miles until I could look down the slope at where the camera by the repod was. Good view of north Big Bottom. Steep, heavy regrowth. Nice on top. Fairly flat area that should be carefully walked sometime. Forest Service doing something. Fresh ribbons and tags all over the place.

Then took 4650 to 170 spur. Went on a long hike up 170. Steeper than it looked when I came back down. Tiring. At least a mile one way. Not an inspiring place, but not bad.

Drove down to 46 on 4650. Didn't like it. Reprod close on both sides most of the way. Curves, not much view, steep, no good searching places unless slope climber. Don't think most animals live on slopes anyway. They are transit and escape routes.

On the way back, I wished I had gone on down to Jim's Meadows and explored that area instead. Hadn't been down there yet. (As of Oct., still hadn't been down there. Probably next year.)


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