My Alaskan Life

Finally got my traps out this weekend.  Although late (season opened Dec 1), I was earlier than last year’s set date of Dec 30.  Kurt went with me to see if we could get him a deer while we were at it.  Saw a deer on a beach as soon as we got to Admiralty, but the deer had read this book before and as soon as we slowed down it was off and into the woods.  There are only a few spots where I can pull up in my skiff in the lee of a south wind, the predominant wind, push the boat out with the anchor and line on the bow, pull the anchor off with a line attached to the anchor, run up into the woods and check my traps, and get back and know the boat won’t be up on the beach.  This year, I set 3 traps at each site, instead of two.  I know I missed 3 spots where I got marten last year.  One because I must have erased it from my GPS, one because the wind was blowing on the beach at that spot, and third because the tide was so far out the walk was too far.  Maybe I’ll set those when I check next week.  I figure if I have 3 sets at a site, I’ll get more than 1 marten if there’s more than one in the area.  If I check after about 5 days and there’s nothing, I’ll pull the traps as with the warming weather, the bait should stink plenty good for one to find it.  A co worker had some clams sent as a gift from the east coast and they got “lost” and so were unsafe to eat so I got those to try with the deer scraps and jam I normally use, with a little marten lure at the set.   It was a beautiful winter day, with the big mountains seeming a little bigger covered with snow and in the bright sun.  We finished setting at noon, so had a couple hours to hunt before it would start to get dark.  We got off near a point, and found all kinds of deer tracks and scat but the snow was crunchy.  I tried calling in few spots and we eventually circled back to the beach.  On our way back to the skiff anchored off the beach we saw what I think could only be wolf tracks on the beach.  We were a long way from anywhere for it to be a dog.  Gotta be tough to make a living as a lone wolf in the winter.  Maybe on the crunchy snow the deer bust through and the wolf can run on top.  Or porcupines, which would be an easy meal if you know what you are doing.

After my friend Mike passed away, his widow said I could take back the truck I’d given Mike, which had a prize lift gate and a front hitch receiver.  The battery was dead, so we got a new one and it started right up.  It ran rough all the way home, and did not want to go over 45 mph.  I thought it was going to end up being more trouble than it was worth to get it back and give to the Salvation Army for a pick up vehicle.  I planned to take it to our mechanic, but thought I’d poke around just in case.  I popped off the distributor cap, and bingo, there looked like the problem.  The contacts under the cap had crap caked on some of them.  I popped off the rotor, and the distributor underneath was rusty.  I went to the store to get the parts, wire-brushed the distributor plate and shaft, sprayed electrospray and sealer on the distrubtor plate, pulled off one ignition wire at a time from the old cap and put on the new cap, put dielectric grease on the contacts, replaced the rotor, and put it back together.  Ran like a dream.  Then back to Western Auto for a test run and some new wipers, stop leak for what looked like a weepy radiator, and fuses for the dashlights, which were out.  Back in the garage I cleaned the interior of the truck, replaced the fuse, adjusted the wipers, and tested the lift gate.  Everything checked out so hopefully this will work for the SA.

Temperature warmed up to about freezing so could be dicey on the roads.  Hope to get out and check the traps later in the week, and then once more before I pull them and we go to our inlaws south of here a few hundred miles.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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