is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada
called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain
ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full
of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity
to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without
Wilderness Adventures - August, Week 1/2011
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great
contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just
go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
The Dump Grizzly
was the very first day all summer that gave us a clear
blue sky with not a cloud in sight right from this morning
until this evening, and it was beautiful!
For a couple of days after getting home from our trip
last week, the weather was kind of sorry with rainy overcast
and perfect for the continued well being of the blood
sucking vampires, but things have definitely improved!
While we have had clouds move in and out, we've seen more
sun than not this past week and the added heat has definitely
perked up my garden considerably, and driven
the bugasaurs into the grass. Today was amazing with a
warm breeze accompanying the sun and the last three days
I've actually been able to accomplish quite a bit outside,
sans bug netting.
It's been getting a little cool some nights, which means
working outside first thing in the morning is actually
very doable because the bugs are pretty sluggish until
things heat up. Last night it got down to just two
degrees above freezing but it doesn't seem to have done
anything any harm. Now if this weather could just
hang in there for another week or so.... and from all
the forecast models so far, it looks like it's going to.
I was just at our refuse dump halfway between Nimpo Lake
and Anahim Lake and noticed that there's still a bear
trap there. Just over three weeks ago I was talking to
a lady who had stepped out of the share shed at the dump
only to be confronted by a grizzly bear.
She's from Bella Coola so she knew to yell and startle
it so it would take off long enough for her to get into
her truck. The dump is wired with electric fencing including
the cattle guard, but she said the animal didn't even
hesitate to cross the cattle guard ahead of her. I went
up and asked a neighbour if he would go down and test
the fencing the next morning in case all the cloudy days
had caused the battery on the solar charger to drain.
He checked the fencing and said it was carrying full charge
so there was nothing wrong with the fence.
That evening Andy and I dropped in there on our way to
taking some salads to the BCFA dinner and saw the
grizzly big as life on the bank next to the garbage dump.
We eased up on him with the truck and got within 30 feet
of him before he picked up his bag of groceries and skedaddled
for the fence at the back of the dump losing groceries
out of the bag as he went. Just before the fence we saw
some dirt flying as he dug and we figured he was burying
his now empty garbage bag when pop! He was out on the
other side of the fence! If he didn't have a hole there
already, he had just dug one in a matter of seconds. Hard
to believe considering his size. No youngster this
boy, but a fully mature grizzly, I'm guessing male since
no one has ever seen cubs, and at least four years old.
He had a reddish brown coat and was actually a really
nice looking animal. Unfortunately, now also probably
a relatively dangerous one. A bear that will let you get
that close to it with a vehicle is no longer afraid enough
of people. And the fact that he was obviously not concerned
by the electric shocks from the fence puts a grizzly
bear into an enclosed space with a continuous stream of
people, all bringing food.
The dump was providing lots of food to this bear, he had
an excellent water source nearby and lots of good cover
in the surrounding woods, so this guy had no reason to
leave. What would happen is that he would gradually become
more and more habituated to people and one day when he
was feeding on a prize moose carcass in the dump (wild
animals, parts and hides are often dumped there) his old
instincts of protecting his kill would come to the fore
and the chances are...the next person looking over the
edge or throwing their garbage in would be exposed to
a charge from the bear. What if they had kids with
The first thing I did was call Cariboo Regional District
in Williams Lake on Monday morning and asked them to get
a sign out here warning of a bear in the dump so that
someone not informed would at least have a heads up, and
the guy I talked to was very accommodating. I then went
through all the channels and talked to a few different
people in Fish and Wildlife and one of the CO's from 100
Mile House called me back by that afternoon about the
bear. They had already received a couple of other calls
and were headed out here the next day. He said they
had the same experience with a bear up in Terrace that
had become used to the shock from the electric fence and
just wasn't bothered by it. We discussed options
and I described the ideal surroundings including water
source nearby. I didn't see there being a lot of point
in trapping the bear and he agreed but they would come
out and check out their options.
The thing with dump bears is once they get used to that
great food source that provides such easy pickings, they
aren't going to leave and if you make them leave, ie trap
them and take them away, they'll just come back. It's
said that bears can smell food up to 20 miles away so
you would have to take this bear 50 to a 100 miles away.
Now you're taking him into someone else's region and putting
the problem on them. You could haul him a 1000 miles or
so up into the Yukon or some other place where it's just
wilderness, but who can afford to send two CO's, a truck
and a bear that distance? However, I know that the CO's
get slammed a lot if they're forced to shoot a bear and
will usually try to trap and move where it makes sense,
but to me, that probably isn't practical in this instance.
Hence, a trap set up just outside the dump fence.
Apparently, though, the food has been removed from the
trigger but the door hasn't shut. That sounds more like
a person removing the food so that the bear won't be trapped.
I can think of only one local crazy that we have that
would do that and more power to her.
If the CO's were smart they simply shot the bear and quietly
took it away and left a trap there just to make everyone
happy but who knows? We left two days later on our little
trip down south and I haven't heard much since. CRD had
a sign up within a day and the next day it was gone. Whether
they took it down or it was stolen is debatable. Apparently
the sign went back up and the bear trap went in and that's
where things have been since we've been back.
It's always a shame when an animal becomes habituated
to humans and their food but in this case, I don't
think more could be done to protect the animals from themselves
or us than to put up a strong electric
fence. I'm sure some would say, well if humans didn't
live in bear habitat there wouldn't be any problem at
all. Well.... I guess most of you who know me know what
I have to say to that so I need not repeat it here.
I was mowing the lawn today and was floored to see
how much the lake level has gone down. It's definitely
at its low level for summer, even though this hasn't been
a hot one. I wonder if someone tore out some beaver dams
farther down the Dean because it sure seems to be a drastic
drop in the past week or two.
We've had some real gunge in the water on our south facing
shorefor the past week or so. It's algae like nothing
I've ever seen before. As Andy said, it's so thick it
looks like you could walk on it. Thankfully, after a brisk
wind today most of it has been carried out. It's a month
or two early and way thicker than usual so I can only
assume it's the result of all the nutrients washed into
the lake this year from the high water. I really
hope that it doesn't change the oxygen levels or damage
our wild fish stocks in Nimpo. We haven't seen
a lot of wind this year, so the lake isn't turning over
or renewing its oxygen levels as it usually does. I guess
we'll know by next spring after ice off. Hopefully by
then the particulates will have dropped out and our water
will be clear again.
I got a new fishing reel for my birthday this year and
Andy just brought home some new fly line to put on it
which he did tonight. So I'm pretty excited about testing
it out on the fish and definitely don't want to fight
algae or see fewer fish this summer when we do get a chance
to go out.
Hey! Speaking of which... I had some folks write to me
through the website and they told me about a loon that
kept going after their fish after they had them on the
line. I mentioned last summer that someone else reported
this happening on this lake, which I had never heard of
before. Other lakes, yes. Here, no. Dennis and Lorraine
have been coming up to Nimpo Lake since 1988 and a few
years ago had this loon go after their fish. They
didn't have a camera with them but brought one with them
when they came back out on the lake after lunch. You have
to see this photo. It's awesome! I'll post it up on the
right but do check out the Picture
of the Day.
I think you'll be impressed!
The Accident on the Bella Coola Hill
As you know, I wrote a blog on June
about a tragic accident that occurred on the Bella Coola
Hill at some unknown time last fall, winter or this early
spring. Little was known about the gentleman found in
his pickup over the side of the Bella Coola Hill although
there was great conjecture while RCMP gathered more information
and notified family members.
This week I received an email in regard to the accident
and since many people have emailed me asking if there
was more information about the man, I would like to post
here what was sent to me.
"His name was Ian. He was a beautiful boy who
fought on behalf of our country. He was a brother, a son
and the father of twin boys.
Ian loved nature and wilderness and wildlife and he is
the deceased man who was found perished in a traffic accident
in Bella Coola in June. Hopefully, this knowledge will
find closure in your town via the simple offering of prayers
for his family."
We salute you, Ian.
I think the photos on the right are most appropriate and
are courtesy of Ted Hlokoff.
is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's
blog at July
The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a
remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a
beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search
engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim
Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities
in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large
as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough
room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible
country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip
of the iceberg, so join me!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!