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Thread: More Great Kodiak Island History!

  1. #41

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    These posts about camp animals bring back a lot of memories. One season above the Smallwood in Labrador we had a young weasel living under the Tilt. He’d come out in the evening to seemingly listen to guitar music. We named him Gjerkin... Gjerkin the weasel. The lady sports never quite figured that out, thank goodness.
    J

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    We had a weasel move into the refuge cabin on Camp Island one winter. He was a noisy companion at night, knocking stuff off the counters, etc. Tame, but not that tame...... The next spring, I was dipping water out of the lake from the rock jetty when he ran past me and slipped into the water. I watched as he foraged around on the rocks underwater, hanging onto those rocks. Couldn’t figure out what he was doing. He climbed out of the water with a sculpin in his mouth, curled up on the rocks and ate his catch. We watched him do that dozens of times that summer. Called him Aqua Weasel. Whatever possessed him to try that the first time? But a great foraging strategy.

    MTV

  2. #42
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Feuer, R.C. 1958. Mammals collected in theKarluk Lake Region, Kodiak Island, Alaska.Murrelet 39:37-39 notes them eating fish taken from a river. Others must be hardwired for that behavior by now.

    A species review from Alaska: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/s...nhp/Ermine.pdf

    Gary

  3. #43
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    "Alone in the Wilderness" film, Dick Prenneke had a weasel or similar hanging around.
    More to steal grub than listen to music, however.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    "Alone in the Wilderness" film, Dick Prenneke had a weasel or similar hanging around.
    More to steal grub than listen to music, however.
    I have been doing a clean out and found a couple of letters from Dick Prenneke. I had a nice visit with him at his cabin on Twin Lakes years ago.
    N1PA
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  5. #45
    C-185's Avatar
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    This has been a great thread to read. I looked at all the Widgeon and Goose photos and was brought back to another time. Kodiak has always been one of my favorite spots in Alaska. I have hunted there for over 25 years, but have only flown there once. But it was to Camp Island and Karluk Lake to haul fuel.
    My superior skills continue to get me out of where my piss poor judgement took me......
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  6. #46

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    C-185, it's always a good thing to reminisce of the good old days, but there are many, many waiting ahead for all of us. You have only to make it happen. Before we are all to old......Scott

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-185 View Post
    This has been a great thread to read. I looked at all the Widgeon and Goose photos and was brought back to another time. Kodiak has always been one of my favorite spots in Alaska. I have hunted there for over 25 years, but have only flown there once. But it was to Camp Island and Karluk Lake to haul fuel.
    Kodiak is a wonderful place. Weather's not always ideal, but that just keeps the riff raff out.

    Fuel Hauls to Camp Island used to be one of my least favorite tasks every year.....we chartered a Goose until we got a Beaver assigned to us,

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    then it was all mine.....three barrels of avgas or Jet A at a time, or several 100 pound propane cylinders.... Our boat hauled the stuff to Larsen Bay, then I hopped back and forth to Camp Click image for larger version. 

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    Island.....about ten minute legs. When we had bear research going on, we'd haul 70 barrels of 100LL and Jet A and ten 100 pound cylinders of Propane. Lotta fun. But, this permitted us to work out of Camp Island, where the weather was generally better than it was in the town of Kodiak, and closer to where we worked most.

    Also, FYI, there were only six native land mammals on Kodiak Island: Brown Bear, Short Tailed Weasel (Ermine), Red Fox, River Otter, Little Brown Bat (I know, a stretch to call them "land mammals", but....), and a species of Vole. Everything else that's there was introduced, and some of the introductions were successful, some not so much.

    Here are a couple photos of the Mountain Goat introduction:

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    ,

    This was in the early 50s, and took place over the course of two seasons. FWS hired a trapper who lived up in the Kenai Mountains to capture Mountain Goats. When he had several rounded up, he'd raise a flag at his cabin, to signal a FWS pilot that there were goats to go. FWS would fly up to his cabin in an L-1 on wheels, load the goats, one at a time, and fly them to Kenai or Soldotna, where the goats would be transferred to a FWS Goose. Once all the goats were aboard the Goose, they'd launch for Kodiak. The Goose would land in Hidden Basin, and unload the Goats.

    Tom Wardleigh told me once he was flying a load of goats to Kodiak when something bumped his right elbow. He looked back, and one of the goats had slipped out of his ropes, and was standing just aft of the bulkhead, with his head through the tunnel, apparently enjoying the view out the windshield. Tom said he was totally calm through the rest of the flight, and when they went back to open the cargo door, he hopped right out and departed the scene.

    Note the big "barrel door" on the right side of that goose. Standard mod for FWS Goose.

    Lots of great history on Kodiak.

    Mike
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  8. #48

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    "Goats to go..." I love it!

    Last time I read or heard that was in northern Pakistan many years back. Those were to eat, however...

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    This was in the early 50s, and took place over the course of two seasons. FWS hired a trapper who lived up in the Kenai Mountains to capture Mountain Goats. When he had several rounded up, he'd raise a flag at his cabin, to signal a FWS pilot that there were goats to go.

    Mike

  9. #49
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    Goats were similarly introduced in Washington's Olympics back in the 1920's(?).
    Lots of controversy in the past 25 years or so about whether to get rid of them, and how:
    poison, net capture from helos, shoot, shoot from helos, etc.
    It usually dies down after a while, then a few years later another flare-up.
    A hiker got too close to one a couple years ago at Hurricane Ridge (the heavily visited "Crown Jewel" of Olympic Nat'l Park),
    or vice versa, and got fatally horned. That started the whole thing back up again.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  10. #50

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    I hauled a load of dynamite from Kodiak to Ouzinki in a Goose with a pilot named Dwight in about 1981/82.
    Big waves, rain, wind, flames coming out of the round engines while turning around on the beach. Exciting ride.
    Last edited by Carey Gray; 03-22-2018 at 08:42 AM.

  11. #51
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    John Ball, on the wing of a FWS Widgeon alongside a FWS Goose at the outlet of Karluk Lake, sometime in the early 60s???


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    MTV

  12. #52
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Likely mid-50's. The Goose S/N 1147 NC709's history is here: http://www.wdaguy.com/goose.html Page down and hit history. Later had four engines at one time.

    The Widgeon S/N 1319 was N728 is now N1595V in Idaho.

    Gary
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  13. #53
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is Harvey's taking out some bear hunters from Deadman last November.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinner2 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is Harvey's taking out some bear hunters from Deadman last November.
    Steve may be the only person still operating a Grumman Goose or Widgeon in a charter operation in the country. He started operating that Widgeon in the mid to late 70’s, and has run it pretty steady since, in Kodiak.

    MTV

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Steve may be the only person still operating a Grumman Goose or Widgeon in a charter operation in the country. He started operating that Widgeon in the mid to late 70’s, and has run it pretty steady since, in Kodiak.

    MTV
    Freshwater Adventures out of Dillingham (http://www.freshwateradventure.com) operates two Gooses. Up until a fatal wreck a few years ago they also had a Widgeon.

    Jim

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    Freshwater Adventures out of Dillingham (http://www.freshwateradventure.com) operates two Gooses. Up until a fatal wreck a few years ago they also had a Widgeon.

    Jim
    Good for them. Now that nearly every village in Alaska has a large runway, it’s gotten harder to make these old airplanes continue to pay their way. Hard to justify a Goose if a Cherokee six or Navajo will do the job.

    MTV
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  17. #57

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    Enjoyed the road down memory lane with this post. The first teeth I pulled on live "patients" were on Kodiak brown bears darted from the back of a Bell Jet Range piloted by Vern Lofstead working for ADFG on the Terror Lake hydro project bear study. Have enjoyed many deer hunts to Kodiak but have yet to draw a brown bear permit there with a lifetime of applying. It rubs me the wrong way that a nonresident hunter can come to Alaska and is guaranteed to get a permit to hunt Kodiak brown bears and there are some that have done so more than once and as an Alaskan resident I must draw the permit with around one percent odds where I deer hunt. I asked the Alaska Board of Game to alter the permit ratio of allocating up to 40% of the brown bear permits to nonresidents and the commercial interests controlling board declined. If interested see the attached complaint for a needed change to the history of Kodiak brown bear allocation so the residents of the state may have a better chance enjoy our natural recourses.

    https://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/complaint

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    Deer shot supervised by the rifle barrel maker of my rifle.
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  18. #58
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    For better or worse, the Guides have always pretty much owned the bear hunting on Kodiak. Most of them, at least in my experience, ran really clean and legal operations. Including a few who were somewhat notorious bandits when operating in other parts of the state. Too many witnesses on Kodiak was always my guess.

    Nevertheless, IF you do draw a permit on Kodiak, the success rate is pretty high.

    I always preferred watching them myself. Very few had much of an attitude, and easy to get along with. A fellow named Peter Robb worked for ADF&G when I was there and stayed on Camp Island over winter a couple seasons as a care taker. I walked a couple stream suveys for salmon with him on those tiny tributary streams flowing into Karluk Lake. Peter never carried a gun on these, and he knew every bear on those streams on a first name basis. Gave me the willies walking past a big male bear just fifteen feet away, but Peter said they all expected him, and he made noise.

    MTV
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  19. #59

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    Damn neat stories. Each account paints an Alaska version of a Charlie Russell composition in my mind.

  20. #60
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    More Great Kodiak Island History!

    My years flying in Kodiak were some of the funnest and challenging I’ve had yet. I did little hunting, and am an armchair outdoorsman at best, but I appreciate that island greatly, and enjoyed the people I worked around. I still go back several times a year and just performed a wedding there for my friend this past summer. Here a a picture Pete took of me on a memorable formation flight from the south end home. Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Last edited by Kodiakmack; 12-27-2020 at 03:21 PM.
    HAVE FUN. DON'T DIE.
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