Backpack Sheep Hunt…With The Goats

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For the second time this fall Sarah and I dragged our Dad up into the Mountains for an epic sheep backpack sheep hunt.

We woke up with the sun and started hiking. After four hours of hiking in the timber we started breaking out in to the open. Half an hour later we had found an old outfitters camping spot, and set up our tent. We all took a little rest and then started hiking up the valley that was adjacent to us. We sat and glassed for a while, but it started to rain and Sarah and I were getting quite cold. Dad turned around and pointed to a really big mountain that we were at the foot of. “Let’s go up there”, he said, “that will warm you girls up!” So we hauled ourselves straight up the mountain.

Backpack Sheep Hunt

There should have been sheep crawling all over the mountain face but there was not one. We sat and glassed, then walked a little further, then glassed.

Backpack Sheep Hunt

It was getting late and the wind was whistling across the mountain so we started slipping and sliding our way back down to camp.

The next morning, we hiked up a different valley. Half an hour into the hike Dad spotted a mule deer at the top of one of the mountains beside us. Then around noon we spied three mountain goats. We were hiking up the mountains and had just ran out of water when we walked around the corner and almost stepped right in a little stream.  It was trickling right out of the mountain! We drank our fill and replenished our water bottles with the water from the spring, and continued walking. The three of us had just crested the mountain when out of the corner of Dad’s eye he spotted a small herd of about 7 or 8 mountain goats. The herd of goats soon disappeared and we continued on our way. Soon after we had seen the goats we came across a whole bunch of sheep tracks. There were some fresh sheep droppings, and a sheep pee that was only a few hours old! We were really exited for a while, but were disappointed that by the time that we had got to the timber we hadn’t seen, heard, or smelled any sheep. We got back to camp just shy of dark, ate our homemade de-hydrated lasagna, crawled in to bed, and fell into an exhausted sleep.

Backpack Sheep Hunt

The rest of the week followed the same sort of pattern, get up, hike up a mountain, glass all day, and somehow managed to avoid all sheep encounters. We never ended up seeing any sheep on the trip, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Abigail

Backpack Sheep Hunt

Sick of all the words? Check out our videos at our YouTube Channel.

Have you ever been on a backpack sheep hunt?  Tell us about it.  Think separating the sheep from the goats is super biblical?  Whatever.  I’m kinda thinking you should share with your friends anyhow.

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Hunting in the Mountains: Grizzly Bear Encounter

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It’s time to hunt.  I’m not sure what else to say.  Hunting in the Mountains is such a powerful experience.  It’s beautiful, it’s challenging, it provides food, it’s how people survived for a long, long time.  It’s also how they died.

This was more of a scouting trip for a future trip, and as it turned out, a beary exciting trip:

We are no strangers to bears, black or grizzy, they come with the territory up here.  We’ve had a fair number of encounters, even some that raised our blood pressure a notch, but I’ve not surprised a sow Grizz with cubs at short range till now.

hunting in the mountains

We were dragging ourselves through snow and sleet across an alpine meadow when we spotted her at only 20 yards.  To our collective delight, she did not immediately spot and kill us.  We managed to sneak away to about 40 yards before she pinned us.  She popped her jaws as she began to circle us with a nervous lope.  We were definitely not within her circle of trust.  As it turns out, we were also just outside of her kill-before-being-killed personal space, the importance of which should not be understated.  When she got our wind she was quick to turn, leaving the .243 an unproven Grizz defence system.  It was awesome!

hunting in the mountains

hunting in the mountains

hunting in the mountains

The rest of the trip was loaded with beautiful mountains and valleys and streams.  That’s why we’re here, to be amazed.

hunting in the mountains

We were looking for sheep country and I think we found.  There were a few mule deer but no giants, which is all that was open.  We embraced some typical early season snow, which is good for us.  Being stuck in a cold, wet weather with few provisions makes our little house seem so much bigger and warmer when we get back home.

hunting in the mountains

Are you a mountain hunter? Married to a mountain hunter? Want to be a mountain hunter? Think mountain hunters smell funny?  Me too, lets spread the word.  Share this post on your FB or at least write a letter to your grandma and tell her about the awesome blog post you found about hunting in the mountains.

Sick of all the words?  Just go to our youtube channel for pure, don’t-gotta-read-nuthingness.

 

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Hunting Haida Gwaii

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Fishing in Haida Gwaii is awesome.  It’s just too bad there’s nothing else to do when your not out on the water…. Oh wait! You can hunt deer all day long! Deer Hunting Haida Gwaii is like duck hunting; you’re definitely gonna get an opportunity and if you’re successful you can stuff it in your backpack.  This makes it the ideal hunt for the kids:

There are plethora deer on the island, so many that the bag limit is 5 each.  They are tiny and tasty and easy to hunt.  We mostly drove to old clear cuts and walked through them nice and slow.  If we were out for a couple hours we would typically see 5-10 deer.

hunting-haida-gwaii

The season is any buck in the summer and any deer the rest of the year (closed April-June).  With a couple new hunters hoping to harvest their first big game we made certain to wait for the best circumstances.  We passed on a number of bucks that were too far or did not provide the best shot.  Both new hunters got their deer with one shot for a quick, clean kill.

Even I was allowed to shoot one, I think the kids just wanted me to feel like I was contributing.

haida-gwaii-deer-dad

And, as always, we end up having to deal with steak on the beach, Unbelievable!

haida-gwaii-steaks

Check out all our videos on our youtube channel.

 

Feel something about hunting Haida Gwaii?  Feel like telling us how you feel?  Use the feeling buttons to share how you feel about all your hunting feelings!

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Fishing Haida Gwaii

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Looking for an epic hunting, fishing, gathering do it yourself adventure?  Like the kind of trip where all you bring is a fishing rod, firearm and salt and pepper?  You’ve got to consider Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and you’ve got to check out the video, Fishing Haida Gwaii:

The ferry trip between Prince Rupert on the mainland and Skidegate on the island is cool but perhaps the most inhibitive part of the trip (approximately 8 hours and a couple hundred dollars each way).  You can get the ferry info here.  It’s a little pricey compared to staying home but is way cheaper than taking a boat to Maui.

Once on the island there are a couple small towns but mostly it’s a lot of mountain and coastal wilderness.  We headed out on the logging roads to Rennel Sound on the west coast and set up at a forestry site right on the beach.

fishing haida gwaii

In order to tame the wild waters of the north pacific we enlisted our sturdy 14′ aluminum Lund. While it is not advertised as an ocean vessel, I’m certain that Mr Lund had this purpose in mind because it handles the rollers and chop in style.

Once out on the water it was three priorities: 1) don’t die 2) catch fish 3) don’t die

fishing haida gwaii

We managed pretty well, no one died and we ate like Kings.

Jigging for bottom fish is wonderful for the kids or any beginner.  It is as simple as dropping your lure to the bottom and jigging it up and down until dinner strikes.  The other awesome aspect of jigging is the excitement of what you may bring up.  Rock fish are common and super yummy, Ling cod are great and look like mini-water-dragons while halibut are the steak laden cattle of the sea.  We caught them all and even hooked a spring salmon on the halibut rod.

fishing haida gwaii fishing haida gwaii

fishing haida gwaii

We ate fresh fish and chips, roasted halibut fillet, sushi rolls with tempura cod and crab but perhaps none was better than freshly campfire-smoked candied salmon.

fishing haida gwaii smoked salmon in Haida Gwaii

fishing haida gwaii

Fishing Haida Gwaii is a serious adventure for the serious adventurer.  Even for the not-so-serious it is seriously a world class adventure.  Of course, sometimes going to the public library on a Friday night can be an adventure, so whatever floats your boat, seriously.

Think you can stomach the seafood while fishing Haida Gwaii or do you imagine you would become food for the sea while fishing Haida Gwaii? Either way is fine by me and either way you should probably subscribe to the blog and leave us a comment or something.

Sick of all the words? Just check out our videos on the gridlessness youtube channel.

fishing haida gwaii

 

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Gridlessness Explained

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Hey All, it seems we finally have a video that explains a few things.  Our friends at Exploring Alternatives made a beautiful video that we happen to be in, Gridlessness Explained:

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The Perfect Kid Caliber: 243

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Well, it’s time to usher in a new big game hunter, and you can’t be a big game hunter unless you shoot a big girl gun.  The perfect kid caliber for us is the .243:

It’s a pretty special birthday when you get Federal .243 shells, hearing protection and a couple paper targets.  Time to do some target shooting!

The .243 has been a huge success for us.  Not only has it cleanly killed a variety of big game animals, but it can be safely shot by the smallest of kids.  Without much kick, it offers them a chance to target shoot and hunt with the same gun.

Not bad for the fist time shooting a centre fire:

perfect kid caliber

We had just put a new scope on the Tikka so we had to sight it in.  Her first group was taken at 25 yards and was under an inch.  Confident we would hit the target, we moved back to 100 yards and she piled them up in a two inch group high and to the left.  After making necessary windage and elevation adjustments to the scope, she put down another nice 2″ group at an inch high.

I’m thinking she’ll have no problem when we put a deer in front of her.

Check out last years moose hunt with the same gun, and the first Annual All Girls Tannerite Shooting Competition.

What’s the perfect kid caliber for you? Let us know, throw us a like or share us with your circle of shooters.  Think kids and guns should be separated?  Me too, lets expose this nonsense to the world by exposing this post on facebook!

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Squeezing Goat Teats: Getting Milk

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I can’t hide it, this goat has me mesmerized.  The miracle of squeezing goat teats has arrived at Tippercreek and I’m almost speechless:

Its crazy to get such yummy milk out of the hairy teat of a little goat.  Crazy, but true. We’ve had goats before and loved them but never had occasion to milk them.  Its been a long time coming and its even better than I had hoped.  The milking only takes a few minutes and is super yummy.

I’m not sure what’s more exciting about this arrangement; the milk or the vegetation control.  That’s the beauty of goats, they eat all the woody, prickly stuff that fancier animals avoid.  They are perfectly suited to prosper on the litany of willow and poplar around here.

Squeezing goat Teats

We built a simple little milking stand that seems to do the trick.  It holds her in place while she eats grain and we get to milk her at a much more convenient height (rather than 8 inches off the ground).  We don’t have a barn at this point, so the horse trailer is doubling as our milking parlour for now.  It works great.

Goats are notorious for escaping.  We’ve been using 4 strand electric fence and it has worked well so far.  The baby has blasted through it at high speeds when she gets excited but has quickly returned to momma inside the fence.  Under normal circumstances they have avoided it and haven’t tested it like they would a “normal” fence.

The baby is a couple months old and still nurses a little.  Stealing milk is what I call it, and she won’t be doing it for too much longer.  Once we goat proof a few more of our fences we’ll be able to separate them for a bit and ween her completely.

Squeezing Goat Teats

Love milking goats and milking goats and drinking goat milk?  Share this story with your whole herd, goats and sheep alike. Think squeezing goat teats is for hillbillies and sillybillies?  I can’t believe I just committed to the word sillybillies on the internets.  Never mind. I need to re-think just exactly what I’m doing.  Sillybilly.

have you checked out our Birch Beer Video?  Beer and milk, that’s a thing for sure.

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The Off-Grid Bodger

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Meet Dave Godber, the off-grid Bodger.  When we moved to the woods we did it with good friends.  You’ve met Dave before in our other videos, but not like this.  He is The Carpenter, in this most terrific video just released by Hand Crafted:  

Like us, Dave and his family are piecing life together out here, taking it easy and generally taking adequate time to enjoy it all.  Dave is a Bodger, he follows a traditional woodturning craft, using green (unseasoned) wood to make chair legs and other cylindrical parts of chairs using a pole lathe.  Standard off-grid stuff really.

He makes beautiful hand made wooden chairs, you can check it out on his Silver Tree Woodworking FB page.

Think Dave is a huge stud and the epitome of off-grid ruggedness?  That’s cool, I guess you could PM him and let him know.

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What she said: Confessions of a city survivor

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What she said….

I’m not sure I can add any value to that testimony, so I won’t try (with the exception of the following pictures).

Even children can operate the Woodmizer LT15, hardly any are lost to serious injury:

What she said

Mill-hand with her freshly milled stack of 12′ and 16′ 4″x8″s:

what she said

Think operating a saw mill is only for adults?  Check out Beer for Children!

As always, if you like it, like it and share it and subscribe.  If you think we should be reprimanded for our off-grid behaviour, level your judgement with repeated online shares and shames.

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Birch Beer: The Off-Gridders National Beverage

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I just lost my homebrewing virginity to a tall, dark carboy of Birch Beer.  How do you make Birch Beer?  We don’t really know for sure, but you can check out our maiden voyage here:

Ok, it’s so simple, if you know of a lonely birch tree in your neighbourhood, you gotta try this:

How to Collect Sap from a Birch Tree:

First off, it must be collected in the spring.  Just put a hole in the tree and put a bucket under the hole.  You can read all about it here.

collecting birch sap

How to make Birch Beer from Birch sap:

  • Render down the sap so that it thickens up (don’t boil it, it will taste burnt).  We started with about 75 litres and ended up with 15 litres (this took a couple days sitting on the wood stove, adding more fresh sap each day).
  • Measure Specific Gravity (SG) with your hydrometer.  Ours was around 1.022, this would make very weak beer.  We added 800 grams of honey and the new SG was 1.038 (this should make beer around 5%).

how to make birch beer

  • Add a package of sparkling wine yeast (EC-1118) and place the whole batch in a carboy with stopper and airlock.
  • Enjoy the bubbling sounds from the airlock for the next 3-4 weeks (until it stops bubbling and gets clear).

how to make birch beer

  • Almost ready to bottle.  We racked it (siphoned) into a stainless pot and left the dead yeast bodies (the Lees) behind.  Add 90 grams (or maybe a bit more) of sugar (so that it will continue fermenting a little bit in the bottle to make it bubbly).  Fill bottles.

how to make birch beer

  • Wait at least 3-4 days for it to carbonate.

How to enjoy:

how to make birch beer

Love homebrewing? You gotta check out Beer for Children!

I’d like to thank Emma Hughes for posting her birch beer recipe at Miscellaneous Adventures, it pushed me over the edge and solidified my deep need for home made birch beer.

Ever made Birch Beer? Like this homebrew love story?  Tell us about it, like it and share it with even your remotest of acquaintances.  Already know how to make birch beer and you can tell we are a couple hacks? Hate beer and what it does to your belly? Then I recommend you expose us, and this low-carb post, with repeated facebook shamings.

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