What's not to lek? (not ff)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by ScottP, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    Left the sunshine and warmth of the Cali desert for a chance to see this:

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    Gonna have to be set up for observations long before Dawn shows her crack, temps in the teens until the sun's up, and snow's a definite possibility - can't wait! Might as well post some pics here of the trip over the next week, although internet service down at base camp will be sketchy at best:

    The Blue Pony; my wife's aunt and uncle, who are letting us borrow it, went to Havre High School.

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    The command module; you want shag carpet, I'll give you shag carpet

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    You want a CB radio good buddy, here you go

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    dinner at the Willow Creek Cafe; wife had ribs, I went with the chicken

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    Larry Pogreba's truck. John Gierach wrote about him in a few of his early books - a bit of a tinkerer and inventor; he's built a bowling ball cannon with a range of over 1 mile (apparently the finger holes cause the balls to fly erraticly)

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    Willow Creek high-rise

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    Out and about in Three Forks

    the Sac

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    took this fishing a few times on Willow Creek (great fishing, lots of rattlers)

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    Bud Lilly's digs

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    Off to the Beaverhead Valley in the morning
  2. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    The drive down was fine; stuck to the Jeff through Twin Bridges so I never had to take it over 50 mph, which was a good cruising speed for all concerned (my wife was driving the lek truck and she kept my backside clear). A little tight through L & C Caverns area but luckily no oncoming traffic to deal with; rest of the drive was a breeze.

    Got set up in camp [IMG]

    and met up with Ben, the guy who's running the sage grouse study through Montana Audubon.

    Sal, his English Setter, a real sweetheart that I met 2 yrs ago.

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    We hit one of the leks this morning; best count we had was 18 males/no hens (the guy who manages the campground had been out a few days before and spotted 30/20); Ben attributed the lower numbers to overcast weather. Sorry no pics but our P & S has a decent zoom but nothing that would show more than dun lumps with white spots.

    Afterwards, a stroll through town

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    Back in camp (there in there, but it doesn't open for a few more weeks)

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    Local color, or black-and-white as the case may be

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    Scoped out some more spots we're going to work over the next few days

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    then drove into town to fuel truck and ourselves

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    a great day in beautiful country.

    Regards,
    Scott
  3. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    New day, new spot. Again, no bird pics; sorry but the observation spot was 1/2 mile away, although we did come across a male and female in the road on the drive in (couldn't get the camera out fast enough before they flushed).

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    this was their dance hall; by 9:00 AM the party was over

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    it's that time of year; they're doing it on the ground and doing it in the trees

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    concensus was that an evening of warm soaking and fine food was in order (no shots of the springs - a number of intoxicated patrons and bad bodies not worth showing; suffice it to say it was refreshing)

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    gotta love a place with skunk pelts in the front window

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    next day's viewing spot required a bit of a hike and climb (views were worth it although only 1 grouse was spotted)

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    beating the bush for samples

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    Sal flushed one after a beautiful set; her reward back at the truck

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    leaving the Valley of 10,000 Haystacks

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    slide beaver, slide!

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    greeted this morning with a little dusting

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    at 17 degrees the propane stove went belly up so broke out the Supercat; 5 minutes later and coffee was a go

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  4. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,417
    Seattle, WA
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    Beautiful, Scott. I love that country. Searching for sage hens is as good a reason as any to explore the out of the way places there.

    Was that Willow Creek the tributary to the Jefferson River? I wish the names Lewis & Clark gave to the three main tribs of the Jefferson had been retained; they named them for Jefferson's three principle virtues. Willow Creek was the Philosophy river; the Ruby was Philanthropy river, and the Big Hole was Wisdom river. Only the last name survives in the little town on the headwaters of the Big Hole. What we call the Beaverhead, remained the Jefferson to its headwaters to Lewis and Clark.

    Dick
  5. ScottP Active Member

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    Dick,

    That's great information to know and, yes it is beautiful country (especially before the mosquitos have had a chance to spread their wings). The water below the beaverslide is a Bighole trib, a little south of Jackson.

    Regards,
    Scott
  6. Steffan Brown ...

    Posts: 548
    Seattle, WA
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    Looks like an awesome trip. That taco bus in Dillon is legit. We stopped through there last summer and enjoyed the bounty.
  7. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    12 degrees and not a cloud in the sky; perfect spotting weather and the grouse obliged.

    Baldy Mountain greets the morning sun

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    and a few hours later

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    munchin' in the willows

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    frontier justice

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    Got the guy talked down to $1500 and he's willing to throw in a chamois and some Turtle Wax. Call me crazy but I think I'm gonna do it

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    Regards,
    Scott
  8. vmthtr in green bay Member

    Posts: 80
    Green Bay WI
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  9. Canedawg Member

    Posts: 188
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    Scoot P. Did your wife's anut and uncled got to Havre High when it was off fith ave across from the church? I am from Havre but it was along time ago.
  10. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    They were at Havre High in the late 40's; my in-laws a few years later.

    Regards,
    Scott
  11. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,132
    Wetside, Washington
    Ratings: +191 / 0
    Great report, I really enjoyed that.
  12. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 484
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    wife declared a town day; done birding by 11, so we took a ride down the hill

    car alarm

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    great burgers (although the guys at the flyshop said Papa T's were better)

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    don't ask

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    thought about getting some as stocking stuffers for Christmas

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    no magic tricks from this merlin (although he made a field mouse disappear)

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    Nice day

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    jackpot

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    I bragged about the food here so the wife wanted proof; she got it

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    always worth a peek

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    last morning out

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    always yield the right of way; saw about 20 more where they were supposed to be (best count of the week)

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    neighbors dropped by to say so long

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    trip back to Three Forks was uneventful; Blue Pony back in the stall

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    Regards,
    Scott
  13. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,099
    Grand Coulee, WA
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    I love the photography, but didn't I see this somewhere else?;)