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Bearpaw Season - Spring 2022

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After cat season we worked on a few projects, I think the most interesting project is Brian's updates to his 85 Toyota HiLux which should now probably be called a HiRunner. He swapped the HiLux cab body for a 4-Runner Body which he shortened 28 inches so that he can still have a flatbed. It's not perfect but it's a hunting rig, and a very functional hunting rig that will go about anywhere any highway licensable hunting rig could go. It has lockers front and back, 4 inch body lift, engine with several modifications to increase horsepower, and 37 inch tires. He took me for test run in it, we drove places I would never have tried to drive in the past. Right over the top of a tall snow pile from plowing the driveway all winter, through a snowy field that no ordinary vehicle would negotiate, and we took it on the highway where it also handled well, the project was a success.

Four door 4Runner cab on the 85 frame with flatbed and dog box in place. I almost forgot to mention, we ordered a double transfer case Brian is getting ready to install that is going to allow that rig to really crawl when needed.

It was too hard to get into so he added running boards. I was at first concerned they might hang up, but when he took me on the test drive it has so much clearance and those tires provided so much flotation in the snow (even when climbing over the snow piles) I donít see how the running boards will ever be a problem.

We started the spring season with the youth turkey hunt. We had 5 kids the first weekend, two were contest winners, they got several birds and had a great time so it was a successful hunt in many ways, it's especially fun to listen to the kids tell their hunting stories each day.

Weíve been watching the birds closely and trying to determine exactly how well they came through the winter. At one of the ranches we hunt there were about 250 birds earlier in the winter, this spring there are about 125 birds there. Weíve noticed about the same percentages on most of the properties we hunt, Iím pretty confident that in much of our area we had about a 50% winter loss. Last fall we had the most birds Iíve seen in several years so even though we lost some birds (probably during that week or two below zero) we still have a lot of birds to hunt, itís still going to be much better hunting than some years after hard winters that took an even larger toll on the birds.


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