Third Check

Spent the past week at the fish culture conference in Ketchikan. Met a number of people who were from my neck of the woods in NY and western PA. Also met a man from Victoria, BC who was friends with a Peace Corps friend in Smithers who came up here with his partner and trolled with me the first year I had the Dutch Master.

We ended up getting stuck in Ketchikan an extra night due to a mechanical. I had been watching the weather and though Friday was the one weather window day to check my traps, and I thought I wouldn’t make it back on time to get out and check them before dark. We flew into Juneau and it was a bluebird day and flat calm. And we arrived 25 minutes early. I checked my watch, and decided right then to get out and check if nothing delayed me. I figured if I could leave the ramp by 1 pm, I should have just enough time to get to the traps and check them by sundown at 3:45 pm. I knew I could take either way back to town and have the city lights get me the rest of the way as long as I could see them before it was pitch black and be safe getting in.

I got to my first set, and it took awhile to realize I’d pulled these traps last check. Lucky for me I did find the knife I’d left there, or it would have gone likely to a camper this summer. The next set, which I didn’t get to check last week, had one marten and the other trap was tripped. I got one or two marten at this same set the first check. I would have pulled it otherwise because it’s impossible to get in there on any southerly wind, but I had to leave it with this much success so far. I got one more in the next set and so 2 for the day. I wanted to set further south but ran out of daylight and got back to the ramp right at dark. I got the boat out, and had quite a bit of water in it so have to check for a leak. I also took the time to rinse off the marten in a stream this time, too. When I got home, I hung the marten in the garage to let them drip dry,

Today, i skinned the two marten, and then went to buy some lime to try to make some buckskin from the last deer I’d taken the last day of the season. I’d fleshed it and it had been laying on a table in the garage. The lime is supposed to free the hair on the hide. When I pulled the hide to start getting it ready to go in a lime solution, I saw the lime would not be needed. The hair was coming off by itself. So, I spent about an hour getting all the hair off I could. I hung the hide up in the garage, and the little hair that’s left will come off in a day or two.

Mark Stopha

Alaska Wild Salmon Company

4455 N. Douglas Hwy

Juneau, AK 99801

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