Spring Camp 2006
2006 Manuel Lisa Party Spring Camp
April 6th-10th, 2006
Somewhere on Sweetgrass Creek in the Ruby Mountains, Montana.The Manuel Lisa Party camped on a beautiful tributary of the Ruby River named Sweetgrass Creek at 6100 feet elevation during the first week of April 2006. The camp was attended by Walt "Broken Horn" Walker, Greg "Beaverboy" Muich, Karl "Mad Dog" Wessel, Mike Nottingham, Mike Staigmiller, Casey Wiley, Gene "Bead Shooter" Hickman, John Kroskey, and newest pilgrim, Paul Degel.
The primary goal was to closely emulate a period correct trapper's camp targeting prime spring mountain beaver. The area presented many other activities including shed hunting, buffalo jump exploration, pictograph viewing, and general AMM camaraderie. The area was an excellent selection for trapping beaver with two dens and numerous dams creating excellent beaver habitat. Two flattails were captured via mound sets during the course of the camp by Pilgrims Wessel and Degel. "Beaverboy" Muich offered many tips on improving our period correct sets. The near freezing water gave a new appreciation for the hardships that our brethren suffered in the good old days. The party enjoyed a raucous blanket shoot with the competition being dominated by the steady aim of smoothbore shooters--Mad Dog and Beaverboy. Paul Degel lead a contingent of men on a 4 mile hike to explore an old cabin site and the buffalo jump. Wildlife was plentiful with Clark's nutcrackers, ravens, mountain bluebirds, prairie dogs, cottontail rabbits, wood snipe, brook trout, beaver, and elk near camp. We also encountered sign of other more elusive game including bobcat tracks and moose droppings. Weather for the camp started with cool temperatures as rain had sweep through the area one day before camp began. By the end of camp, we had experienced a couple small showers, chilly nights and warm days. All in all, the three night camp was one of the most pleasant that we have spent in some time.
Casey, Karl, the Mike twins and Walt at Spring Camp near Alder Montana.
Karl, Gene, Mike N, Paul, and Walt "Fire in the hole"
Skinning Spring Beaver
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