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Bedrock Bob

Huge bucks, big bears and giant bloodsucking insects

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My son and I have been in the mountains for a few days and just got back for some turkey. Both of us found several ticks in our gear over the course of the trip. That is something that rarely happens in these parts. It seems there is a bumper crop of them his year.

About a week ago, on the second or third night, I pulled something off my leg in the sleeping bag. It was dark and I didn’t look at it, I just picked it off and tossed it. It could have been anything.

When we started realizing the ticks were thick I started thinking about what I pulled off my leg. I shook my bedding and changed clothes and kept a close eye out for ticks.

The country is wicked steep and rocky with heavy brush and tall ponderosa parks. My insulated Camelback would freeze up every morning. The shady sides of the hills were in the upper teens and the sunny side of the hills would be about 75. You go from freezing to dripping sweat in cycles all day.

We kept covered in several layers most of the day. Our dry goods would get damp and we would stop and hang things up to dry them out. Otherwise when it froze we would have wet clothes.

We would stop in the sunny spots on the ridges to peel off our clothes. Right where every other hair covered animal in the woods was enjoying the sun. We figured it was either ticks or frozen shirts.

I tried to set my pack away from the solano and hang my layers up high in the alligator junipers. Then I would shake each layer really good before I put them back on. We did the best we could to watch for bugs but with all the layers of cotton and canvas and the folds in the pack we still found a few bugs on the gear.

About the fourth day I noticed a spot on my lower right leg. I think it was where I scratched whatever it was off my leg. It was red and looked a lot like staph (impetigo). Right away I thought of Lyme disease. I kept an eye on it for a couple of days and washed it often. It got pretty bad. As things progressed I thought it looked a lot like a spider bite too. It had a really rotten center area.

We rolled in for a big turkey dinner and I stopped by the curandera. She said it looked like a spider bite to her but she hit me with some antibiotics and some salve. It was either a tick or a spider and I suspect it was a tick. I think I dug a little deep with a dirty fingernail getting him off. It was right under the cuff of my sock and it felt more like a tick than a spider in my fingers.

I have spoken to a half dozen guys that are back from hunting and they all saw ticks or had ticks. It is the year for them I guess.

So the moral of the story here is shake your dry goods boys. Don’t snuggle down in the grass on the solanos or lay your warm wet backpack down either. Shake your sleeping bags out and turn them inside out and let them get cold after you get up in the morning. Put your glasses on and go over your pannier to make sure no bugs have collected under the straps (I found one tick hidden between the pad and the nylon strap on my shoulder strap). And set your shoes outside the tent (I found one in the folds of my shoe). Better to have to warm up frozen footwear than have a garrapato crawl out of your shoes and into your nice warm sleeping bag with you!

Oh yeah, and we saw a lot of huge bucks and a big bear. Turkey, javelina, fox, and coyote. Found a half ounce of gold, a few nice sheds and a big corriente skull too.

Headed back right after Christmas. 

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I hate ticks!!!

What is a Corriente?

I take it that you were hunting gold not animals??? Sounds like a fun time, except for those darn ticks!

fred

 

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Sounds like you guys saw lots of good stuff, except for those little stinking ticks. We have seen more this last season up here in Nevada, well good going on the gold and skull sweet finds! Maybe after Christmas you guys can pull an once of gold and a bunch of meat. Now that would be Merry:4chsmu1:

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6 minutes ago, fredmason said:

What is a Corriente?

fred

 

Cow.

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33 minutes ago, fredmason said:

I hate ticks!!!

What is a Corriente?

I take it that you were hunting gold not animals??? Sounds like a fun time, except for those darn ticks!

fred

 

We were hunting lots of stuff. I call it multi-tasking. Our goal was a deer hunt and the scope of our efforts expanded as opportunities presented themselves. 

A corriente is a type of Spanish bovine. Long a$$ horns but not really a "longhorn".

DSCN0488.JPG

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35 minutes ago, hardtimehermit said:

Sounds like you guys saw lots of good stuff, except for those little stinking ticks. We have seen more this last season up here in Nevada, well good going on the gold and skull sweet finds! Maybe after Christmas you guys can pull an once of gold and a bunch of meat. Now that would be Merry:4chsmu1:

We got a couple small meat bucks and some turkeys. Javelina season will start after Christmas and we will finish filling the freezer. No elk this year but we are making up for it in catfish. 

We worked hard for about 16 hours for that gold. I hope I can get another half ounce before I collapse. My son is off climbing mountains again (the rascal) so it will be a lone wolf production. It will take me a week to do as much as the two of us can get done in a couple days. I figure a brush pig and a couple hundred buckets will probably take care of any gold fever that I might have left in me. Funny how the shovel brings you back to reality after the gold takes you way out there...

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54 minutes ago, clay said:

Cow.

Clay,

To be specific (and I know you demand specificity) a "cow" denotes sex and not species. There are cow elk, cow sea lions and cow whales.

A corriente is a bovine breed of Spanish descent. Not a Spaniard bovine or an Hispanic bovine. Not a Mexican bovine. An American bovine of Spanish ancestry. A corriente.

And judging by the pelvis it was a young male bovine of Spanish descent. Possibly a radical, probably a Democrat but definitely not a cow.

Hay Guey!

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Multi-tasking, I like that!  Thanks for the info, did you pick the Corriente up and take it to some one who will decorate it?

I would have to be getting an ounce per shovel to work like that...haha

fred 

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3 minutes ago, fredmason said:

Multi-tasking, I like that!  Thanks for the info, did you pick the Corriente up and take it to some one who will decorate it?

I would have to be getting an ounce per shovel to work like that...haha

fred 

I will bleach the skull with H2O2 and paint it up. I am thinking black lacquer with white designs similar to the calaveras designs. Maybe integrate some hammered copper into it somewhere. Maybe some moonstones too. We will see how it goes. I expect it will be a few months before I get to it.

The gold in this area is mighty fine. No nuggets to speak of and you can stumble around with a detector for months and never get a tweet. But right at frost line there is a sweet spot that runs $20-$30 per yard. So it is pretty straight forward engineering. Just strip it to about 6" and run it.

It is not gulch placer so we don't have to wrestle big rocks or clean out cracks. No sweeping or tedious work. I can basically do it all from the end of a shovel standing upright so it is not too bad. We were using the puffer but I will take the big blower unit next time so at least I won't be cranking it all through by hand.

 

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cattle-traffic-sign-x-w11-4.png

Nice gold!

Edited by clay
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The last 2 years here have been unbelievable for ticks. At our main detecting spot here, you go 10 or 15 feet and wipe off 10 or 15 ticks. It was bad enough to where i couldn't take the little kids or the dogs anymore. 

We had a small herd of 12 Corriente critters and they were the hardest 'cows' to work. Hard headed as can be. They acted like range cows but they were in the pasture all year and never seen the range. Wild as all get out.

Nice gold Bob. Glad you got out.

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31 minutes ago, nugget108 said:

The last 2 years here have been unbelievable for ticks. At our main detecting spot here, you go 10 or 15 feet and wipe off 10 or 15 ticks. It was bad enough to where i couldn't take the little kids or the dogs anymore. 

We had a small herd of 12 Corriente critters and they were the hardest 'cows' to work. Hard headed as can be. They acted like range cows but they were in the pasture all year and never seen the range. Wild as all get out.

Nice gold Bob. Glad you got out.

Hell, even when I was out at you know where years ago, the ticks were really bad. You'd walk 100 ft and they'd be in your armpits already.

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16 minutes ago, nugget108 said:

The last 2 years here have been unbelievable for ticks. At our main detecting spot here, you go 10 or 15 feet and wipe off 10 or 15 ticks. It was bad enough to where i couldn't take the little kids or the dogs anymore. 

We had a small herd of 12 Corriente critters and they were the hardest 'cows' to work. Hard headed as can be. They acted like range cows but they were in the pasture all year and never seen the range. Wild as all get out.

Nice gold Bob. Glad you got out.

They can be rank rascals out in these mountians. And there are a lot of "wild" cattle in this particular area as well. Mainly the corriente or a similar bloodline. The range is the entire western flank of the Black Range and the area is pretty vast. About 12 miles wide and 30 miles long and big rough country. Lots of bears and lions. So these critters are pretty wild.

You sure don't want to get too close to one stumbling around out there. They will stand there in thick cover and let you get within a few feet sometimes. And they will take a run at you if you get too close. 

Most of the momma cows are corriente or crosses in this area and the bulls are Brangus. All the calves are black. I suspect this skull came from some of those wild cattle because I have never seen a male of the species in those hills other than the two big black breeding bulls. The rancher tells me that there are several feral cattle in the area. I figure this could have been one of them because it was definitely a young corriente bull. 

The bear had really been gnawing at the pile of bones. He left a nice tooth pattern about 3 1/2" wide on the pelvis. Probably the same bear we saw. We saw his tracks and marks for days before we finally happened across him not too far from the bone pile. 

Here is the marks the bear left on a big alligator juniper we had lunch under. About a 4 1/2" spread. An adult black bear for sure.

DSCN0476.JPG

 

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1 hour ago, Morlock said:

Hell, even when I was out at you know where years ago, the ticks were really bad. You'd walk 100 ft and they'd be in your armpits already.

And other areas of the body that shouldn't be discussed on a public forum haha.

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5 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

...The gold in this area is mighty fine. No nuggets to speak of and you can stumble around with a detector for months and never get a tweet. But right at frost line there is a sweet spot that runs $20-$30 per yard. So it is pretty straight forward engineering. Just strip it to about 6" and run it.

It is not gulch placer so we don't have to wrestle big rocks or clean out cracks. No sweeping or tedious work. I can basically do it all from the end of a shovel standing upright so it is not too bad. We were using the puffer but I will take the big blower unit next time so at least I won't be cranking it all through by hand.

I'm hoping for you you underestimated what that material is returning a yard, else you're gonna be running a whole lot more than 200 buckets if your target is still 1/2 ozT..

On the plus side it doesn't get much better than ground to shovel to screen, so that makes things realistically worthwhile when flying solo in lower-paying material..

Swamp

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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1 hour ago, nugget108 said:

And other areas of the body that shouldn't be discussed on a public forum haha.

The rascals make a beeline for the goodies, no? They can sure run for cover.

Some areas on a guy are alpine forest and some are more pinon and juniper scrub if you know what I mean. The little suckers are easy for me to spot out in the flats but once they hit the tree line they are pretty much home free until I can get the spectacles and a convex mirror. They are like spotting Coues deer now that my eyes are getting bad.

Lifting a leg and looking down there really close after 15 miles of side hilling is a rough experience to begin with. Finding a tick in the thicket is downright gritty man.

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When I go to Missouri-land of ticks- I buy a bottle of flea and tick shampoo...I use it for all over head and body wash...I have not come home with a tick since I started using it.

fred

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17 minutes ago, fredmason said:

When I go to Missouri-land of ticks- I buy a bottle of flea and tick shampoo...I use it for all over head and body wash...I have not come home with a tick since I started using it.

fred

Fred... You left out chiggers as well. Those are worse then ticks in many ways.

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I use the lemon/eucalyptis oil spray-forgot the name but rated #1 by consumers-no DEET for this old man and no problems as organics work fine.John

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Avon "Skin-So-Soft" lotion is the best stuff you can buy to repel chiggers and ticks. No kidding. And it's probably not even poison. 

Fred, I use the canine flea soap too. And for years I used Sevin on my pack and outerwear. Now I use pyrethrin. I think it is basically the same stuff that is in doggy soap. 

Pyrethrin will darn sure kill them but it wont repel them. It only lasts a couple hours so it is great for a gear delousing. The problem is repellent and re-infestation. The Avon product is the best darn stuff I have found. 

Chiggers are awful but we don't have many chiggers in my neck of the woods. We have black gnats and deer flies though.

A swarm of black gnats or deer flies will put a fellow in the hospital quick. And LOTS of folks are extremely allergic to those things and don't even know it. If one deer fly takes a chunk out of a soft spot on you, you will think an alligator bit you. If five hit you, you will swell up like a football. If ten get you it will put you in the hospital. And we have about a dozen different varieties of those suckers.

They will kamikaze dive into a piece of deer meat and have their whole head buried in a hole as quick as you can pull them off. If you are showing any tender white skin they will nail you. They will hit you under the arm if you are wearing a tee shirt and it will hurt so bad it will almost drop you.

We got into the black gnats on the kayak this summer. Before we could get our head nets on our eyes were swelling shut. We were on the water and could not get away from them. They literally took two of us out in the span of about two minutes. By the time we realized we were under attack it was too late.

My daughter in law had to get medical help and some powerful antihistamines. She looked like she had been beaten up by a sailor. It took me an hour to get my left eye open the next morning. My face was swollen for three days. They ate the tops of my ears off and chewed my eyebrows off. Gnats and biting flies are as real as it gets.

Interesting fact- Only female biting flies eat meat. The male flies suck flower nectar and leave schite alone. The females are carnivorous and will take you down and devour you alive if they could. They need blood and meat to produce eggs. Consequently, when their cycle is just right if you expose any tenderness whatsoever they turn into zombies and feast on your flesh. Sound familiar?

bee5.JPG

 

A deer fly on a cactus flower. 

 

 

 

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you're right Swampstomper..... I figure 400 buckets at $30/yd.

(I feel a tick on my neck)

Edited by LipCa
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On 11/24/2018 at 3:13 PM, Bedrock Bob said:

Interesting fact- Only female biting flies eat meat. The male flies suck flower nectar and leave schite alone. The females are carnivorous and will take you down and devour you alive if they could. They need blood and meat to produce eggs. Consequently, when their cycle is just right if you expose any tenderness whatsoever they turn into zombies and feast on your flesh. Sound familiar?

If I'm not mistaken, in many if not most insect species that drink blood, the males are innocent vegetarian pollenators, while the females require blood proteins to manufacture eggs.  It's almost certainly true of the skeeter clan.  I read once that male mosquitoes are responsible for pollenating more food crops and wild food plants worldwide than are bees.  In Alaska, while the females of the state's 35 mosquito species are driving herds of caribou to commit suicide by drowning while attempting to escape exsanguination, the males are pollenating tundra plants that will feed more caribou (and Native peoples).  Like politicians, most of Earth's species are adept at both playing and rigging their own games (and the gentle mods will kindly forgive the mention of politics). 

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With the wet fall, even the desert is exploding with ticks.

I give the dogs an oral medication that makes their blood toxic to ticks and fleas.

I have two friends that have recently come down with Rocky MTN Fever and Lyme Disease. Be careful out there.

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1 hour ago, Edge said:

With the wet fall, even the desert is exploding with ticks.

I give the dogs an oral medication that makes their blood toxic to ticks and fleas.

I have two friends that have recently come down with Rocky MTN Fever and Lyme Disease. Be careful out there.

Yep, I discovered those little meaty flavored anti-tick and flea cubes for dogs shortly after ending up in the Ozarks.  Once a month treat for the pups, and no more daily tick-picking (except for the millions of chiggers and ticks that ended up on me).

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