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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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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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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How to catch a bee swarm: Act Swift

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Bees can be insanely awesome, and it’s never more evident than when they swarm. We had an epic week of chasing swarming bees, its that time of year… swarmy.  How to catch a bee swarm?  You gotta act Swift:

Why do bees swarm?

Bees swarm when the colony is growing very quickly and the queen feels that it’s time to franchise.  The queen takes about half of the worker bees (can be 10,000 or more) and leaves to find an appropriate spot to build a new hive.  The worker bees that are left behind raise a new queen and continue life as normal.

how to catch a bee swarm

Surprising fact:  Bees can look crazy when they swarm but they are actually super docile and rarely act aggressively (this is because they stuff themselves with honey for the long flight to their new hive location and are a little honey drunk).

 

How to recognize a swarm:

As a beekeeper there are early signs of an imminent swarm, such as the aptly named swarm cell (the workers create swarm cells to raise a new queen when they feel the old queen is going to leave in the near future).  For the rest of us the first sign of a swarm is a growing mass of bees emerging from a hive such as the picture below:

how to catch a bee swarm

Once out of the hive the bees can be seen and heard flying in a tight pattern above the old hive.  They will usually start to congregate on a tree brach with the queen at the centre (apparently waiting until everyone shows up).

How to catch a bee swarm: 

This is where you need to act fast.  The bees may only stay in a clump like this for a couple minutes and somehow you need to get it contained in a bucket or box.  Raise the container up from below the clump and shake the branch until all the bees fall off.  The bees will begin to take flight so put a lid on it and get it to an empty bee box as soon as possible.  Gently dump the bees in a new box with frames, place the cover on it but do not seal it up.  If you successfully captured the queen she should find the new box a suitable home and start to settle in.

how to catch a bee swarm

Not Swift enough to catch the swarm?  They’re gone!  Maybe a neighbouring beekeeper will catch them, how nice of you to share.

Did you catch Sarah’s other bee clinics?  Check them out here:

Spring bee checkup (featuring Drake)

Bee Reproduction (with Dave the bee magnet)

Tired of all the words?  Just watch the videos on our Gridlessness youtube channel.

Now you know how to catch a bee swarm.  Appreciate Sarah the master Beekeeper and her hapless beeminion?  Like it, share it and subscribe to it.  Hate bees and hope the planet dies?  Share this post with your FB friends to let them know what the enemy looks like!

Bee food, yummy:

how to catch a bee swarm

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I’m off grid and I’ll pee where I want!

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People used to be able to pee wherever they wanted.  Not so much anymore.  So often we are left to clench and hold it, hang our head in shame and meekly ask “can I use the bathroom?”.  I’d had enough, and now, I’m off grid and I’ll pee where I want!

Gridlessness is a state of mind. It’s hard to describe, so I won’t try, just watch the video:

(The awesome new song in this video is Chopping Wood by our friends Last Horse Standing)

Going off grid is basically about doing what you want.  Want to build a house but don’t have a permit?  Sorry… a permit?  What’s that?

Can’t afford a house? No problem, just whip up a little hovel.  A nice big house won’t make you happy anyways (we had dirt floors for the first year and Rose loved it!)

I'm off grid

We love to travel and adventure together as a family and homeschooling lets us do it. Wherever or whenever we go, the kids studies can be worked around it.

I'm off grid

I'm off grid

Wanna be a part of getting your own food?  Collecting and making our own food has got to be the most rewarding work we do.  Hunting, fishing, foraging and gardening is our favourite pastime.

I'm off grid

I'm off grid

Want to build a culvert house? A forced air incinerator? Blow something up?  Go off grid baby!  No one is out here to tell you what to do or how to do it. 

I'm off grid

Tell us what you think of I’m off grid. Try out one of the fancy new “feelings”, or leave us a comment. Even better, subscribe, for weekly off grid adventures, emailed right to your doorstep.

Have you seen Beer for Children?  You should check it out, it’s an off grid essential.

Think that being off grid is just for granola eaters and not for girl breeders? Share this post with all your FB friends to show them how confused you are.

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