Welcome to the Dirty Birch
Matchetts' little slice of the Wisconsin
A day in the life
of a Northwoods Moth Trapper...
I thought I would share an amazing day at work that I had
Many of you know about my summer employment
in the battle against the Gypsy Moth in these here parts. Most
of you know I also try to have my good camera with me all the time just in case
I come across any interesting critters in the woods. Yesterday was
Early yesterday morning on my misguided
adventure through the Chequamegon National Forest in search
of the Evil Moth, I was traveling on Forest Road 174 by the West Fork of the
Chippewa River taking in the scenery along my route, when what do I find
trotting down the road ahead of me but a little rag-horn bull elk. They released
in Wisconsin quite a few years ago.
As he strolls off the road and I pull up to
have a closer look, I find a bunch of cows and young bulls feeding in the
The reason he and the others in the picture
are so hard to see(yep there were a few others in the frame) is because the
absent minded Moth Trapper of Northern Sawyer County was using a damned camera
built into an old cell phone, while the high dollar equipment was left setting
on his desk at home. Now anyone who has spent any time around me knows that I am
thoroughly pissed at myself right about now, but I also am excited and very
fortunate to have seen part of the WI Elk Herd. I watched for a few minutes and
left them eating with out spooking them at all.
Two hours pass as I zig-zag my way through my
territory. I have gotten over not having the camera and am feeling awful lucky
to have had my encounter with those elk cows and young bulls. It's about 10:00
AM and I'm running my trap line on a remote dead end two-track near Ghost Lake,
looking for a place to turn around after checking the trap near the end and I
run into these guys...
I realize it looks like a couple brown specks
in the picture but I swear they are only 60-70 yards ahead of the truck. They
were absolutely huge racked elk for this herd! These are by far the biggest
bulls I have seen up here to date. Have I mentioned I hate camera
So now I put the sneak on, in a 6000lbs truck
and get to less than 20 yards from them...
I wish the pictures did them justice. They
were two magnificent animals with the biggest being a 6x6 and the other a 5x6,
if I counted right. If I'd had the real camera equipment along, you could have
counted the points for yourself they were so close and in the open.
Desolate piece of the Northwoods... Bulls up
close looking at me... Plenty of camera light... (this is when the photographer
is supposed to say, "It don't git NO betta dan dis!") and I've got no friggen
Still it was just an amazing day for seeing
wildlife. I also came across two decent bucks, numerous does and little fawns. I
saw two eagles close up, a fox, sand hill cranes and even a porcupine. There are
days when I am lucky if I catch a glimpse of a squirrel, and then there are days
like yesterday! I'm not exactly sure why everything in the woods seemed to be
moving yesterday, but I believe, they somehow knew I left my real camera
equipment at home!
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