December 12, 2018

My Wolfed Down And Burned Down Wilderness Experience

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I noticed something yesterday as I did a 14 mile hike on single track, off trail, then back to single track in the Frank Church Wilderness.. I’ve wandered around in this particular spot since the 1970s.. This section is along elk creek going towards Porter creek and beyond to Sulpher creek.. The place has mile wide and miles long seemingly endless meadows surrounded by once pristine lush forests and under story now all burned to the ground and is a maze of dead fall.. The single track paths are clogged shut for miles now..

The place used to be an incredibly amazing wildlife observation hike and even a early fall excellent hunting experience.. Along with incredible fishing in lakes and streams.. I was attempting a 16 mile in and out into one of those lakes and within about a mile I decided to give up on the lake.. I was tired of the down timber maze after fighting four miles of that maze of waist and chest high obstructions.. I knew I needed to turn back.. I made a loop out of the hike..

I noticed not one single bear scat, wolf scat, Wolverines were not in there usual hang outs making tracks and scat either, No elk scat, with two coyote scats and one deer scat on this walk.. A place where it was normal to see herds of elk, various deer sightings, bears, fish in the streams.. Even the bird and squirrel life in there was boring.. I did see a dead bull elk.. While bushwhacking four miles I nearly tripped over a bloated, by my estimation dead for 24-36 hours bull elk.. Nothing had fed on it, I could not determine a cause.. I suspect arrow though and to far back from the lungs and heart into the liver area..I did not have time to put a knife to work to validate my suspicion..

Kinda strange I thought, after reading about the grizzly man fight over a dead elk in Wyoming upon first stumbling onto this prize dead elk in this ruined dead place in these deep dead sterile woods.. I immediately started looking for a charging black bear.. What are the odds of in all of that devastated by wolves and fires area do I stumble over this dead bull.. As i walked around in this once paradise I thought of Val Geist’s predictions of the aftermath of over populated wolves.. I thought to my self, the damned wolves came in here and eventually delisted themselves..

They had to leave here or die, and they did.. They cleaned the place out.. In 2006 through 2009 on various excursions into this area I observed them doing exactly that.. Running the trails like police dogs, inspecting every camp, devouring everything not fast enough to out run them.. I did bump into a pair of wildlife photographer about a mile in from the trailhead.. Out of Oregon.. He asked me what happened to this place.. I say’s to him, wolves and fires, and fires and wolves.. So I noticed something yesterday, wolves eventually delist themselves.. The place was sterile, wolfed down and burned down… I’m going back in there to salvage the horns and ivories in late spring..

And to cut the trail open for my horses so I can once again fish the best fishing hole I’ve ever known.. It’s ironic what Wilderness was and became here in this place and how we as people have varying definitions of what it is, was, could have been, should be and currently is.. I prefer a wilderness of abundant green forests with teeming wildlife myself.. While others are determined that a Predator pit and burned out wilderness is preferable.. Real Wilderness then by the UNEP and UNEP clones definition is a dead place, a place of ruin.. That then was my wolfed down and burned down wilderness experience yesterday September 20th 2018.. I will add that the photographers I passed admitted they did not like what they had come to see.. Shameful were their final words…

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