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 - September Week 4
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page. The stories on this page are ordered by
date with the latest story at the top. Therefore, you must start
at the bottom and work up to read a series of articles in order.
Yet Another Bear Attack
one yesterday resulted in death. A forestry worker
north of Prince George started walking when his vehicle
broke down when he was attacked by a Grizzly bear
and the body was found 7km from where he had broken down.
Very little information was given on the news yesterday
so presumably there will be more information given out
This series started last week with the comment that there
seemed to be an unusual number of bear attacks by both
blacks and grizzlies this fall in both Canada and the
U.S. Prince George in north central British Columbia
has always had a large concentration of bears and not
a few deaths, mostly to personnel working as timber
cruisers for local mills, tree planters or for forestry.
The lightly populated region provides good habitat
for bears with dense undergrowth for cover, high wild
berry production and numerous rivers teeming with fish.
A longstanding conservation policy in BC protecting bears
and a moratorium in the last few years banning grizzly
bear hunts have resulted in higher than normal bear populations
competing for limited food sources. The unusual weather
this summer and fall may have contributed to lower than
normal food sources as well.
A few years ago when I lived in Prince George a friend
showed me a hunting camp on a lake that he and his family
used on a regular basis. On telling me that they had problem
bears in the area, I cleared out because I had already
gotten that bad 'raised hair on the neck' feeling.
A couple of days later he and another fellow that I know
very well went back in to the camp to drop off non food
supplies for the upcoming hunting season. Almost immediately
they spotted a grizzly sow and her two full grown cubs
circling around the lake toward them. It was obvious
that the bears had seen them as well and were making a
steady beeline toward them. Fortunately, the bears'
progress was hampered by heavy downfall and thick undergrowth,
and the guys had time to get back to their vehicle and
out of there.
The bears in this region don't seem to have the
normal fear of humans and almost seem to consider
man just another food source, which is highly unusual.
Are predator sows teaching their cubs to hunt anything?
And is this predisposition to hunt humans rather
than fear them something that is being passed down generation
to generation? Without extensive studies there
is probably no way of coming to any conclusion on that
score but perhaps a proactive approach should be taken
on the part of the Fish and Game Ministry to determine
the numbers in the area and perhaps expand the season
There is the argument that when man encroaches on bear
territory, he does so at his own risk. However, while
living in Prince George I can remember one year when the
city was plagued by both blacks and grizzlies, and that
the RCMP saw and chased out eight bears in the
city in one night alone. That indicates to me
that it's the other way around and fearless bears in the
area have no problem with encroaching on human territory.
Tired of Bears Yet?
wrap up this series for now with some additional information
on the last attack and put everything together regarding
protecting yourself in bear country.
Richard Louie was the name of the fellow killed the other
day and evidence points to a grizzly sow with cubs.
The sixty year old had just left a forestry protection
camp, ie a fire fighting camp, when his vehicle broke
down. My condolence goes out to his family. From his picture
he looked like he might be a pretty neat fellow to know.
If you've read the series in the past week, you will see
that scientists divide bears up into three categories,
all of which can cross over into another. There
are sows with cubs, rogue bears unafraid of humans and
predator bears that consider humans to be a food source.
Recognizing the type you are facing in case of an encounter
and deciding on your course of action must be immediate.
In case of a sow, you need to reduce your perceived threat
to the sow, either by backing up or seeming less threatening.
In the case of a rogue bear simply raiding your garden,
fruit trees or garbage, you need to remove those
temptations and contact authorities to come and remove
the animal. In case of an encounter with a rogue
or predator bear where your life is threatened, be prepared
to fight back by whatever means possible.
I felt this series was necessary in view of all the recent
bear attacks in North America and because this region
relies heavily on tourism. In the case of most bears,
you'll be lucky to get your camera out in time to get
a picture before they clear out, but there are
a few rules you need to follow any time you go out into
If hiking, try to go in the company of at least one other
person, carry a bell or attach bells to your shoes, carry
bear spray, firecrackers, a sturdy walking stick and if
possible, a knife. Most importantly, stay aware
of your surroundings at all times. You aren't
likely to surprise a sow or end up between her and her
cubs if you make her aware that you are in the area. Generally,
the same goes for a rogue bear. When camping, keep your
foodstuffs locked away from your living space or high
in a tree. Keep your camp clean and burn all garbage or
dispose of it in bear proof bins located in most parks.
If faced with a bear that doesn't look like it's
moving off, get your bear spray ready, light firecrackers
and throw them in the direction of the bear. Shout and
windmill your arms to make yourself larger and thump a
stick or club on a stump or tree. Bluff as much as possible,
because in the case of many bears, that's what they're
all about. If the bear perceives you to be larger or meaner
it will move away.
Most bear attacks seem to be the result of surprise
encounters so making noise and staying aware of
your surroundings and watching the bush around you, including
your back trail, is your best bet. And follow your instincts.
If you start to feel uncomfortable with your surroundings,
back out of there and retrace your back trail out of the
In conclusion, considering the number of people going
into the back country nowdays, it is no surprise that
there is the odd attack but if you compared the number
of humans encroaching on bear territory to the number
of attacks, the percentage is minuscule. So enjoy your
back country experience. Just be cautious and aware of
your surroundings, be prepared for the unexpected and
the unexpected is less likely to occur.
you would like to read the beginning of the series on
bears you can go to September3
A Bit of a Lumber Bungle
lumber truck rolled on one of the corners on Highway 20
just south of Nimpo Lake before the McClinchy
bridge. He was pulling two trailers full of lumber that
scattered all over the highway blocking the road for a
short period of time. The rear trailer went over first,
lost its load then the front trailer. It looked like they
either snapped back over or he over corrected trying to
keep the truck on the road because he ended up on the
other side of the highway in the ditch with his
trailer wheels pointing to the sky and the cab on its
side. The trailers probably pulled the cab over.
The driver got out with a broken leg but the truck and
trailers are most likely a total write off. The front
axel was torn off and the whole frame is twisted like
a pretzel. The driver was one of our 'New' Canadians and
probably not familiar with the highway and may not be
particularly experienced at driving truck either.
Autumn is setting in full force now. It's
been freezing at night creating a lot of fog in the mornings
but the day time temps have been pleasant enough. We
had fresh snow on the mountains the other day
and we're getting really nice fall colors right now with
the bright yellow leaves of the aspen and dark reds of
the buckbrush and gooseberry bushes. This is definitely
the best time of year to be here!
Flying Four Wheeler
have an interesting picture that I would like to share
with you. It's just one of those things that makes
this country so special. Those of us that live
here take something like this for granted but it occurred
to me when I saw this picture on the wall of a friend's
house that most urban dwellers would probably find this
highly unusual. Floyd and Lora ran a charter aviation
company using a fleet of floatplanes out of Nimpo
Lake for years and this was just a standard day
for them. Just freight, that's all. But I find a
fourwheeler on the float of an airplane being hauled up
to a lake pretty cool, myself. I really wanted
you to see this in detail so I've put the picture right
into the text. I just hope it doesn't slow down the page
load. Take a boo.
article yesterday. Sorry about that. I was out moose hunting
yesterday morning and on business yesterday afternoon.
Time just got away from me. No hunting today. It's a blustery
day with a huge system coming in off of the Pacific Ocean.
Between wind and intermittent rain splatters, no
animal in its right mind will be out there today.
They'll all be holed up in deep woods protected from the
elements and I chose to do the same today. We actually
have whitecaps on Nimpo Lake, and that is
unusual. We can expect snow any time now, and even though
it may melt, expecting the unexpected is key this time
of year. So, where in other parts of British Columbia
people are harvesting their gardens and looking forward
to a mild October, we have to start picking up garden
hoses and various gardening tools, and anything
else we don't want lost under the snow for the next six
months. Even though we could conceivably have
another two months of fall, it just isn't something you
want to bet on around here. The natives are saying
it's going to be a long, hard winter with lots of snow.
The chipmunks have gone into hibernation already. Which
seems kind of funny since I noticed several out playing
around in the woods yesterday. But you never know, we
could end up with a nasty winter. It would be nice
to have lots of snow for snowmobiling and I'll
sure be happy if that's the case. As will all the other
winter recreation enthusiasts in the country.
planes are gone. Or almost anyway. You get so used to
the floatplanes taking off of Nimpo Lake
past your property that you just don't think much about
it. I noticed that they had started to cut back on the
flights as we got later into fall. But I only just noticed
that I haven't heard Tweedsmuir Air take
off for a day or two now. Certainly not this morning.
Mind you, it's drizzling and heavily overcast so probably
not the most pleasant of mornings to go flightseeing.
You get so used to hearing planes and then suddenly...whoosh...it's
quiet... for the next six months. Tourist season is winding
down now for most of the resorts. My neighbour over at
Vagabond RV Park is shutting down her cabins and
will only be providing RV parking spots for the next ten
days. Although some of the resorts remain open
for late fall travellers and hunters, many are boarding
up cabins and draining the water systems. Year round resorts
such as Wilderness Rim Resort, Anahim Lake Resort
and Nimpo Lake Resort can provide winterized cabins
or year round accommodation for snowmobilers, skiers
and other winter recreationists that like to come
here for the snow. Anahim Lake Inn, Country Inn
and The Dean on Nimpo are very popular
places to stay in winter but make sure you book ahead
for rooms. It can get pretty busy mid to late winter when
the snowmobiling gets really good.
Fishing has been excellent on Nimpo Lake
the last few days. Two and a half to four pound
rainbow trout have become pretty common lately.
Anglers are finding that running their lure close under
the surface has been bringing them great success. The
water has been chilling down so the fish are firm. Fewer
bugs and less feed are leaving the trout hungry for whatever
you drop in. I've been told before by local resort owners
that some of the best fishing in Nimpo Lake is in
the late fall when the lake makes even the amateurs look
like pro anglers. Good fishing everyone!
The Last Day of September
of good and some bad for this month of September. It's
the last day of hunting season for me. No moose but I
really enjoyed getting out without getting killed on fuel
costs or having to fly into a different zone because I
had a local draw. The weather was a lot more settled today
with cool temps but lots of sunshine. We got two
inches of rain all told yesterday which seems to have
translated into a pile of snow on the nearby mountains.
Judging coverage from a distance is tough to do but it
sure looked like at least 6 to 8 inches of snow got dropped
on nearby Kappan Mountain and Goat
Pass. It's nice to see. Getting lots of moisture
like this before going into winter is good for the plants
and trees and should hold them through unless we get a
long hot October. Less stress may help the Lodgepole pines
fight off the Mountain Pine Beetle.
Fishing has been fabulous on Nimpo Lake
and I've seen some good sized rainbow trout come out of
the lake in the last week or so.
The neighbour got a beautiful big Mule deer
today. It has a pretty major layer of fat, so maybe
the old timers are right and it really is going to be
a long, cold winter this year.
On the bad side, the son of some locals that run a resort
in the area was killed last Friday in a freak logging
accident. Apparently he leaned out of the cab of his feller
buncher to remove a sign from a tree. His vest or jacket
caught on a lever that moves the boom for the dangle head.
It came around and pinned him between the tree and the
head. I'm assuming he was killed immediately. I knew the
fellow quite well from years ago and he often came out
and put his boat on Nimpo Lake in the summer. The funeral
is in Williams Lake on Monday. My deepest sympathy to
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!