25 December 2011

A Grouch's Tradition with a wolf addition...

On Christmas day it's my tradition to hit the woods for about half the day. Wife is usually prepping Christmas dinner, kids are typically playing with something they opened on Christmas Eve, waiting for the after dinner festivities and so I take a stroll.

Today's walk was rather interesting as I cut a wolf track and followed it, another wolf joined the first and this repeated until at one point I think I was on the trail of at least four, perhaps as many as six wolves. More on that later.

This hare run would make a good place for a snare.

Another good place for a snare.

The wind was up today, howling pretty good so I headed to the spruce bottoms and the thick cedars. The sky was heavy today, promising snow but it hadn't started yet. Dark enough to mess with the quality of the pictures though.

This would be a good improvised shelter. Enough downed trees to complete it, close to spruces and pines, lot of dry wood nearby as well.


Chaga harvested!

Since I had the foraging bag on the belt, I decided to collect whatever I found that I could put to use. This Birch was my next stop.

As I headed deeper into the swamp I made up my mind to walk down to Lost Beaver Creek, I wrote about that area earlier this year and brought back some footage of a Moose and calf as well as finding the remains of an adult moose. I wanted to see if I could find moose sign again.

More chaga but not quite time to harvest, also a little high for me, that was about 7' up the tree.

Downed Cedar tree, good shavings and bark to be had so I collected some.

Interesting forked cedar.

Some punk wood, sheltered from the weather on the lee side of this split cedar. Plan on using some of this to make some charred punk wood.

Still more good fire fixins.

Heading on down to the beaver colony at Lost Beaver Creek.

Lot of squirrel activity in this area.

The heavy overcast was causing a lot of noise in the images so they didn't come out as well as I hoped. Out now in the creek valley, all froze up so I was able to walk the creek.

More collecting for natural tinder.

Took shelter from the wind under this tree for a while, water break before heading further out.

More fire fixins.

Still more chaga but out of my reach.

Beaver mound all froze over, there was sign on the banks and through the edges of the frozen pound, I believe the beavers are locked away for winter. Did not find any moose sign at all.

Heading back into the tree line this hole in a cedar caught my eye.

While I was looking at the hole I noticed some tracks and a well worn path in the snow. The pictures did not come out so good. In the first two pictures you'll see the wolf tracks, one with a .223 round in it, and the other with a 20ga 3" magnum shell.

I followed the tracks, the one became many more, and in this image you can see where one of them marked his turf. He sprayed that scrub before moving on. Not sure what the deal is with the camera now, unless it's affected by the cold. It was 19 degrees today. They'd eaten that deer clean, crushing the bones. They'd even eaten the face and skull completely away up to the point where the skull becomes to thick to crush through.

I continued to follow their trail and came upon this dead 8 point buck.

Foraging bag full now.

Companions for the day, and yes, I'll be doing something with those antlers.

Turning my nose home and to Christmas dinner, reflecting on the passing of another year in the North Woods. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  1. Clicked on over here from Classic Gear and what a treat. Quite envious of your day in the woods.

  2. Everytime I readyour blog I feel like I should pack up my family and move back to Ely. Keep up the great work!

  3. Hey Chris, Idaho is great too!

  4. Just came across your weblog last week, found a link on another bushcraft site. I have to agree with the others in regard to how nice it is here.
    Your foraging bag looks to be Frost River or Duluth Pack. Which model?
    Keep up the great weblog. Reading your entries helps me get through my last six months of my assignment in Germany. Boy do I miss the good old USA.

    1. Hello Joseph!

      Thanks for the compliments, I really appreciate that. The foraging bag is a Frost River with some modifications. I had a couple snaps added so that the strap can be ran behind and over the belt, snapped in at the hip. It's the 'Lunch Bag' from FR.

      Stay safe and successful on your assignment!