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Outdoors with John Perkovic

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I finished my night shift of working in Beluga at 6 A.M. and slept till 11:30 and decided to hike into Three Mile Lake to do some Pike fishing before having to go back to work at 6 that night. The trail into the lake was still flooded by the spring thaw that saw a lot of snow disappear in a very short time. With the extra water also came an abundance of very aggressive mosquitoes. These bugs were so bad that sometimes I was swatting four and five at a time off my arms! The three mile hike from our camp to the lake is also a type of aerobics, as you not only are hiking at a fast pace but also swatting bugs with both hands. I saw several swans on the lake and an occasional eagle drift by overhead. I picked out my Johnson Silver Minnow bait and cast along the weed beds but never had any pike pay attention to it at all, so I dug out a old Musky favorite of mine called a Hog Wobbler. A short time later I boated my first pike of the day. I switched to a gray rubber mouse and caught two more of these toothy predator fish before having to hike back out to return to work. A six-mile hike and a couple hours on one of my all time favorite lakes to fish all before work—one of the reasons I love fishing and working in the Beluga area of Alaska. I hiked into this lake on three different occasions but found the pike still not biting very well after their spring spawn. While at work we had frequent visits from a spruce hen that would walk within two feet of us on the rig— the tamest bird I have ever seen in the wild.

Our next job was in Shirleyville and after driving our crew truck to the new location I...well I was...taking advantage of the bushes located on the edge of our new drilling pad. I walked back to my truck and as soon as I turned around a bear walked right over the same exact spot I was standing not ten seconds earlier. A black bear that weighed about 240 lbs, and one that had no regard to all the traffic involved with rigging up a drilling rig. Game seems to be all around us in this area but the major inhabitant seems to be the bears that are simply everywhere.Shortly after this bear incident I saw another one at our location. I think perhaps the west side of Cook Inlet is a good example of what can and will happen if we don't control our predator animals. I think that the moose numbers are way down here and I don't believe they will come back until we start controlling the predator problem. Forget about what some people of the lower 48 are saying about shooting wolves and bear, it is up to us to manage these animals so that we can also protect our moose and caribou herds. I prefer moose and caribou on my plate any time to wolves and bear. Those from the lower 48 who have threatened to boycott Alaska because of our hunting of wolves and bear...well sorry you feel that way, however I'm sure you will miss Alaska a whole lot more than we will miss you. To all my fellow Alaskans... See you next week!



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