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Author Topic: Good Memory Bucks  (Read 9359 times)

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2021, 05:07:45 PM »
Had someone ask me to tell this one so here it goes. Its an old story and I will try to tell it best I can remember, I posted the picture of this buck on here years ago, it was one of my dads favorites, along with the hunter, in fact it was one of the photos that was being copied(from what I heard) along with many of the others that I eventually took down. My great grandparents loved telling this story because Gabe was such a character but just one of many who were part of the "little Bellingham Camp. Some I was fortunate enough to have known personally, some I just heard stories of from when I was just a boy, this is one of those. I remember as a boy wondering what this myth was of Gabe(his real name) because everyone who spoke of him always laughed, or had a smile. Grandma always called him the gentle giant, so this may be not only a memory of a great buck but also of a great man.

Gabe started hunting in the camp back in the 30,s, my great grandparents started it in 1917, there were friends my great grandparents would take over that they trusted. Gabe along with many other friends and family eventually made up the camp that eventually numbered around 100, give or take on any particular year. I posted the pictures (for anyone who wants to call B.S  :chuckle: :chuckle:) of meat poles with 20-30 bucks on one pole, then you would walk about 50 feet to the next clan and they would have their meat pole with another 20 or so bucks, thats just the way it was back then, yep, good ole days, all friends and family. Yes, my great grandparents knew many of the original valley familys, they took them to Alaska to fish, hunt and recreate and became lifelong friends.

Gabe eventually ended up working in Alaska, doing work for fish and game up there in his later life. Gabe was a huge man to say the least, about 6.5, country strong and somewhere around 270lbs give or take but my dad said he wouldn't hurt a fly. Dad said he was out with Gabe many times as a boy back in the 30,s and 40,s, dad would say you had to twist his arm to get him to kill a buck :chuckle: He loved to hunt, just didn't like to kill anything :chuckle:. Well one day back in the early 40,s word was flying around camp that Gabe had killed a monster buck, dad said the shots came from where Gabe was at and one of the gals that was in the area along with my great grandma came back to camp to get help, dad said if Gabe couldn't get a deer out of the woods by himself, they knew it must have been big, grandma didn't say a word but had a special look on her face dad said. Well, a bunch of guys(including my dad) went out the trail(those on here that know me know the trail :tup:) and went out about 3 or so miles, when sitting along side the trail was Gabe, jet black hair, jet black beard and a big smile, next to Gabe was a giant deer, dad said it looked like a cow with antlers. A bunch of them took turns and drug him back to camp. I won't say how big the deer was, some on here know, and a lot of you seen the picture when I posted it, it was truly a monster, the picture I posted out of our album was of the deer hanging on the pole with Gabe standing right next to it, it made Gabe look like a little boy. I am very blessed to have been part of a family with such history and to have been able to have hunted in a time that our herds were actually being managed, the ďGame Department ď wasnít perfect by any means but predators were kept in check and they did try to put forth a quality product for hunters.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 07:29:24 AM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2021, 05:07:20 PM »
Heres another that I remember, the man in this story was an old fisherman friend of my great grandparents, he was based in Bellingham but did most of his fishing in Alaska, he was actually up on Kodiak when Pinnel and Gustafson killed that big bear(record at one time, Morris was a cousin of my great grandma) that I posted the picture of, its the Kodiak that my great grandma used to call "the 55 ford" because it looked like a car moving through the brush when she had seen it days/weeks earlier.

Anyway, Paul was another character, only I was actually able to "observe" his myth in person since I was just a boy when he was around camp, old enough to remember him in his older days but not his prime as my dad did. Paul(his real name) was another big man, in fact his nickname was "The superman of the Methow", he was slavic and had a thick accent,  forearms like Popeye (from pulling nets his whole life) and built like a fire hydrant, dang near square(those on here that knew Paul will vouch for that :tup:) Paul was known to "drag" deer only to come to the conclusion in his early days, that was to much work, so, he would cut their legs off, field dress etc, then just throw the deer over his shoulder and walk it out, much easier. Well Paul, "The superman of The Methow" was out with my great grandma one day, the spot they were hunting was a spot that a few days earlier produced about 300 head that was on the move during the first kick off of a migration. Paul had "a spot" that was in an area where about 4 routes converged, they had to cross a river, and then once on the other side would meet up with another route where they would "stage" for days or more before weather would move them out, then move approximently another few miles or so where 2 more routes would meet up with those. Paul had figured it out in the infancy of "The Little Bellingham Camp", to this day its a spot hunted by our camp but no where near what it was because of the way the seasons are set AND the lack of deer.

Paul and grandma were there a few hours before light, grandma had said they could hear deer moving up on both sides while they were sitting in the dark, grandma said it sounded like an endless herd of cows moving up the draws, only seeing shadows every once in awhile. Grandma said by the time it was light she would have guessed maybe 150-200 had come up the 2 draws on either side of "Pauls spot", it went on for a couple hours. Grandma said once you could see, there were deer everywhere, on both sides, some moving, some feeding but everywhere. They stayed quiet and still, some deer were literally 20 yards from them, grandma said they knew each other well enough that Paul was going to shoot one way and grandma the other. Grandma said Paul whispered "3", grandma picked a buck on her side she liked, knowing Paul had his, counted to 3 and they squeezed the triggers. Grandma said that it was a stampede, deer running everywhere, grandma said she couldn't even guess as to how many. Grandma said that she eventually seen many bucks spurting out of the draws that were much bigger than the 2 bucks her and Paul had killed(after the fact).

Well, that all happened when my dad was a young boy,  I heard the story many times, seen pictures of Paul (The superman of the Methow) packing out 2 nice 4 points, one on each shoulder for "the camera", I tell no lies. Paul was never the same after that deal. When I was a boy Paul was still "The Superman of The Methow", he still had forearms like Popeye, still strong as an ox, only he walked slumped over, his back shot. Paul would still get out of bed at 1 o'clock every morning, drive his Tote-Goat into everyones camps to make sure they were up, yelling (in his slavic voice) "there on the move, its snowing, you fools should be there already". The last year Paul was in camp was a year I will never forget, We had to shovel snow off the wall tents every half hour, never seen so much snow. I had finally hit the sack thinking "ill get an hours more sleep" when I heard Paul coming , in his red long johns, a 44 mag in his Alaskan across his chest, on his Tote Goat flying INTO OUR TENT flaps yelling "You boys still in bed, theres deer on the move".....Yep, good ole days. We killed 5 huge bucks that morning, thanks Paul :tup:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 10:56:41 PM by bigmacc »

Offline MADMAX

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2021, 05:20:52 PM »
Great storyís 👍
Back in the day

So sad nowadays
I Ain't Captain Walker.
I'm The Guy Who Carries Mr. Dead In His Pocket


What would life be without the thrill of the hunt ?

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2021, 06:10:10 PM »
Great storyís 👍
Back in the day

So sad nowadays

Yes sir, some of these young folks on here have no idea what this state was at one time :tup:....yep.

Offline MADMAX

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2021, 06:12:13 PM »
Even 10 years ago it wasnít bad
I bet 50 years ago it was heaven
I Ain't Captain Walker.
I'm The Guy Who Carries Mr. Dead In His Pocket


What would life be without the thrill of the hunt ?

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2021, 10:02:24 AM »
Even 10 years ago it wasnít bad
I bet 50 years ago it was heaven

Yes sir, now try 60 or 70 years ago, thats when my dad was in his prime cruising the valley(born in the 30,s), then 80-100 years ago when my great grandparents were doing their thing. I was very fortunate, both my great grandparents lived long lives, my great grandpa hunted into his 80,s and my great grandma into her 90,s, I was around to hear the stories first hand. My grandma wrote things on the backs of many of the pictures also, some are readable but unfortunately most are not but when my dad was still alive he would clarify a lot of the pictures. I was a boy when the hay-days of the camp were starting to wind down (50,s and 60,s), there were still about 60 or so people in the camp and man those times were great for seeing deer, it was pre cascades pass, a lot of the original valley families still around, some of the original great characters were still in camp, it was truly fantastic. Today, this valley is practically unrecognizable from the way I remember it just 50-60 years ago as far as the deer situation goes and even the valley itself along with its people, its politics and its charm has drastically changed IMHO, I wonder what my grandparents would think if they were around today and compared it to when they first hit the valley back in 1917, well I've heard stories and seen pictures and it wouldn't be "practically" unrecognizable, it WOULD BE unrecognizable.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 10:08:08 AM by bigmacc »

Offline MADMAX

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2021, 11:19:54 AM »
The spandex , soy and man buns have taken over
We still go over
My group loves it still
Will see how the chewuch late tag does this year for our young guy
I Ain't Captain Walker.
I'm The Guy Who Carries Mr. Dead In His Pocket


What would life be without the thrill of the hunt ?

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2021, 03:39:53 PM »
This is a story of another Paul, an Ironworker friend of my dads who hunted out of our camp for over 25 years. There were many Ironworkers in our camp through the years, I knew many of them as a boy but sadly none are around today, only one of them actually died of natural causes, the rest all dieing in on the job tragedies, Paul was one of those.

Back in the 70,s Paul looked like Wyatt Earp, hair over his ears, big mustache and movie star looks, the guy could have been a star :chuckle:, my dad always teased him about why in the world such a good lookin guy was walking the iron when he could have a cushy job in Hollywood, hence the nickname, "Hollywood" :chuckle:.

I had only seen Paul kill one buck in those 25 years, a 2 point, not because he didn't hunt hard, not because he couldn't see etc. I just don't know why, its a mystery. Dad would send him into different spots and areas that always produced, Paul would be in there at prime time(weather, migrations etc) and come out with nothing, only seeing some does(his words). I would go with him, my dad would go with him, it didn't matter, we would see does, thats it. The next day someone would go to the same spot and kill a dandy, it was like he was snakebit. Just plain weird. Well, one day during a really good season, all the stars were aligned, (we thought :chuckle:) for Paul to get a nice buck, the weather was prime with storm after storm hitting the high country for over 2 weeks. The snow was 2-3 feet in the summer range and a nasty wind had been blowing in from Canada for a couple days(my dads trigger was always the wind and where it was coming from), dad had a particular spot in a particular route that was in a particular corridor that he predicted Paul would kill a monster AND have his pick of multiple monsters. Paul started in at about 1 A.M or so, another fella in camp was with him, it was only about 2 miles in but all up hill and a nice drag/role down hill after he killed the big fella. They were in there until dark that night, I was to pick them up on a road around 8 P.M. They were there, by them selves, no buck! On the way back they said they seen around 30 does all day, they were tired and disgruntled to say the least. Paul said he was going to sleep in the next day and wondered if I would give him a ride to town the next day to pick up some coffee, I said sure. I already had my deer so I slept in also, we headed to town about 9 or so, we went not more than 100 yards out of camp when going around the first turn in the road was a 2 point, Paul killed it as it ran down the side.

The next year the weather was perfect again, snow, cold, wind, perfect. Paul was going into the same spot my dad had sent him in the previous year, only this time he was going in the night before. He took his sleeping bag, some visqueen, a few cans of chili and of coarse, his coffee pot, back then we drank out of all the creeks so water was not an issue. We dropped him at the trail head around 2 in the afternoon, he said to pick him up in 2 days. It was around 7-8 o'clock the next night when we seen a human in the dark coming into camp, when he got closer the firelight let us see it was Paul, he walked by us with a weird look on his face, threw all his stuff into the back of his truck while we were all sitting there asking "whats going on", the only thing he said as he got in his truck was "ill talk to ya all later", then he left, we were all puzzled to say the least. Paul was always a loner and a bit aloof but this was even strange for him. A year went by and Paul died in a horrific accident in San Francisco, some may know about it, it was national news. I asked my dad years later if Paul had ever told him about what happened out there, what made him come back early etc., dad said Paul never gave an explanation, didn't want to talk about it and whenever dad brought it up Paul would act strange. The only thing that Paul hinted at was that "he seen something", to this day I myself don't know the story but I believe my dad did and out of respect for Paul, he never shared it, I just don't know, Ironworkers have a bond and my dad never broke it as far as Paul was concerned. I did get to see Paul kill his buck though, R.I.P my friend.


Like I said, "Good memory bucks", yep I have a few :tup:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 04:10:35 PM by bigmacc »

Offline High Climber

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2021, 05:59:30 PM »
Bigmac what did you speculate Paul saw out there? Thanks again for sharing your stories! Incredible stuff you guys lived up there back in day

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2021, 06:12:10 PM »
Bigmac what did you speculate Paul saw out there? Thanks again for sharing your stories! Incredible stuff you guys lived up there back in day
i donít know, to this day itís a mystery, myself, my brother and a couple others remember that whole deal, Paul didnít look right but he went about his business until the accident. My dad talked with him many times, not always about what happened of course, but dad would bring it up time to time. Paul died, I believe my dad knew something, he never did go into detail, all he ever said was ď something must have happened ď , like I said, Ironworkers are a different breed, they hold things close. I myself do not know, his family does not talk about either. I sure as hell donít want anybody bringing up Bigfoot, not cool.

Offline blindluck

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2021, 09:00:53 PM »
Hmmm, very interesting

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2021, 04:06:53 PM »

My last for awhile, those that know me know this story.

1961, we were caravanning it out of camp, one road in, same road out. A few of the pictures I posted were from that year, we had 20 or so rigs single filing it out of camp, cold, snow on the ground and multiple deer tied onto each rig. Where the old "Little Bellingham Camp" was we had about a 3 mile drive until we hit a fork in the road, an old skid road that guys with jeeps and tote goats would frequent(today its actually a gated road, one of the many my dad helped to get closed during hunting seasons) and on this day out of camp, somewhere around the 1st week of November the lead rig heading out(it always had folks in it who hadn't killed a deer that season) came to a stop. My dad, mom and myself were 4 or so rigs back, I remember a friend of grandmas from Lynden(won't say the name) jumping out of the passenger seat and running down the bank. She had a 30-30 and was firing as she left the truck. I remember my dad saying something like "what the hell", those that know dad know that he didn't get to excited unless he was "poked with a stick" :chuckle:, then you better run. Well, the second rig and a couple more rigs had people bailing out, eventually my dad calmly stepped out and said something like(using my dads lingo for those that know him :chuckle:), well, hell, thats not a bad buck! Eventually, after a whole bunch of shots a pretty nice buck was killed by the gal from Lynden(with some help :chuckle:). A few on here remember this story, it was a dandy and there may be some on here that remember it because it was the talk of the valley back then, dang thing was 31 inches wide, had 13 total points and took 13 bullets :chuckle: to finally kill it. Another buck that reminds me of the old camp, killed in "the fork in the road" ;)

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2021, 08:46:57 PM »
One more :chuckle:

Im thinking around 1963 or 4 because this fella died a few years later(ironworker), We will call him Mike( because that was his name :chuckle:). Mike was a diabetic, bad, couldn't go anywhere without his shots, he had a little bag with all his syringes and always told everybody if he hit the ground to just stuff a candy bar in his mouth :chuckle:. Well, Mike was a tough S.O B, about five ten and tougher than Whitey( those that know me know who im talking about) and half as ornery. Dad brought Mike into camp the same year that Paul was there. Mike wanted a buck, Whitey had taken him hunting in Wyoming a few years earlier(thats where dad, Mike and Whitey met, putting up towers outside of Sheridan). Well, Whitey is the fella I've told stories of that was kicked in the face by a mule when he was young, lost an eye and had a box full of fake ones, for every occasion. Ive already told that story. Dad took Mike into an area that he had been having conversations with some Game guys about, they knew there was some routes that moved through a particular area, BUT, there was another "corridor" that they knew my family knew of and were in the process of doing some homework for some tagging. Mike was on a hillside 2-3 hours before light, when the sun was coming up he heard movement behind him, he flashed his light to see 2 Game guys, they asked him have you seen anything? he said no, how did you guys know about this spot? they said probably from the same guy you heard it from :chuckle:.Mike killed a buck a few years later, a nice 3 point and then passed away, not from diabetes but from a fall...R.I.P Mike.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2021, 09:07:16 PM »
Hey "brother" take pictures of these, I aint gonna remember them forever :chuckle:

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Re: Good Memory Bucks
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2021, 09:28:36 PM »
Great stuff :tup:

 


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