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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2015 was a little strange for trail conditions on the Rex or Gold King trail this year. We went in around the 10th with a Nodwell RN110, three people and a four wheeler in the back. We were headed for our normal camp at Fish Creek, about five miles past the second river.

The first place of interest is always getting around the end of Seven Mile Lake. This wasn't a worry this year. Some years I've had mud in the doors. There was one Honda four wheeler sitting there - I assumed it wasn't running because no one was around.

There wasn't a lot of deep mud this year. By deep I mean over my tracks, but there was a lot of steady mud, hole after hole. We did find some deep water holes, but they had solid bottoms in them. Actually saw very little traffic. One group of Argos was just a little past the new power line. They had given up on the mud and made camp there. The surprising thing was when we got to the first river crossing there was absolutely no one camped there and then after crossing the river there was no on the other side camped either.

The river was deep at where the trail hits the river. When you bail off of the bank, it was a little over four feet deep because I had about 2" of water coming in one side of the cab and going out the other side. It wasn't a problem, just interesting. You always wonder if it's going to keep getting deeper??? It seems that I saw some four wheeler track on the other side, but they would have had to gone up river to cross. Only saw one side by side on the other side and he was being towed by a Hagglund through the mud. The main problem with the second river for Nods is the far side where the river has cut some new channels. No deep water, just trying to get a Nod around driftwood trees and dirt banks - Nods aren't known for sharp turns.

There's one burn area that's always a pain. The rains washed out the main trail a couple of years ago. You can't take a Nod down the wash without strong odds of slipping a track. The wash was dry this year and the smaller rigs were going through it without a problem. The larger rigs have to go up on the left / north bank through a burn area. The problem with it is at the end of it are a couple of large stumps that you need to back up and work your way around.

At the Horse Shoe Ponds there were several tents and a couple of Muskegs. I don't know if they had gotten anything.

Stopped at the 2nd river cabin. A Griz had been inside of it again, made a mess of it as usual. It came in one window and went out the other. Someone hauled my red picnic table across the road to the camp area there. It looks like I should build a new outhouse, but I seldom stay there anymore. Might have spent the night there before going on, but the Griz sure made a mess inside.

The 2nd river wasn't any problem, no one camped on either side.

After you get past the 2nd river, through the fire break, and across the second field, is the spot I don't like. There's a creek running on the far side that always gives me a problem, never been stuck in it, but it always worries me. This year I tried crossing it between the old and new trail. I went into it and as we came up the other side, we quit moving. The tracks were just spinning with the nose pointed in the air. It eventually grabbed and we climbed out of it.

Going from there to Fish Creek is never any trouble other than it's up hill in a lot of constant uphill mud holes. If you pay attention to your GPS, you gain more elevation than you think you do. Usually have to let Nod cool off a few times. It's never a problem when you leave because you're headed downhill.

Got back to Fish Creek and set up camp. It was nice for a day or two, then rained hard for three days so we sat under a tarp with a nice fire going. Right in front of the camp on the main trail, you can see evidence of water running down the trail there, but this is the first year I've actually seen it running while we were there.

Around day 7 or 8 after the rain, I called a bull in that we shot on the side of the trail. Hooked a chain on him to get him oriented the way we wanted, dropped out the 12' 4" x 12" planks and winched the moose up. You bring them in just until their head is starting into the bed. This leaves the stomach at a nice height to gut them without bending over. Of course we shot him right before dark. So we hauled him to back to camp and left him for the night. It was cold out and leaving him propped open on that cold steel bed, the meat is fine as usual.

And as expected, my hanging pole broke when we started to hang up the moose to skin him. That pole has been there for at least 10 – 12 years and handled a few moose. Tore down the old pole, put up a new and heavier one, hoisted up the moose, skinned and quartered it. Other than a newbie out there with us who fell off of the ladder putting up the new pole, everything went fine.

Other than the bull we shot out in the little field right before camp, it was a nice quiet hunting trip. A Nod 240 came through, two Bombardier Muskegs, and a Hagglund towing the side by side. By reading the trail, there was the Thiokol, one or two Hagglunds and I think a Nodwell 60 in further than us. No four wheelers or Argos came in that far under their own power that I know of.

A couple of hunters were dropped off up at the air strip about a mile further in from Fish Creek. Never heard any shots so I'll assume they didn't get anything. The day before we were leaving, we heard a couple of shots from down by the field at the 2nd river. When we went out there was a father and son camped in the fire break, the shots we had heard was them shooting a black bear. I think they had a four wheeler and Muskeg.

On the way out I don't think we saw anyone except a new group at the Horse Shoe Ponds. They had a Muskeg, an Argo and a four wheeler. They had just gotten there I believe. There still wasn't anyone camped at the first river. We had a couple of sandwiches and went on our way. It was a long trip out, we got to the highway in time to get a steak at Clear Sky.

Another successful hunt - didn't get stuck, didn't break down, and we got a moose.

Oh, and a note to the Great Alaska Hunter that used the Fish Creek camp in probably Nov of 2014, apparently all you could find to shoot was the toilet paper. Hope you ate it two. Behind camp is the toilet area where I have (had) an upside down new paint can with a fresh roll of toilet paper inside. It has a lid on it and is turned upside down so the toilet paper stays dry for anyone that needs it. Well, someone had to come along and shoot the can full of holes. Probably one of the people who shoots up the road signs from 20’ because that’s all they can hit. I hope he goes out there again and needs some toilet paper to use…………
Bill
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I really enjoyed your read and congrats on your hunt. It's been just over ten years since I've hunted the Rex trail, I love that place. My first year there I was living on Kodiak(ten years), and they had given out 700 moose tags for the Rex. The season had opened four days before we got to the trail, and before we even got to the first river we counted 68 moose gut piles along the trail itself, pretty disheartening at the time, but there were still moose "everywhere", and we did manage to fill three tags. Our goal was to get back to the gold mine area, but the water levels and mud didn't allow it. That area in the fall is like nowhere I've ever been since because of the serene solitude, and of course the grouse hunting back there too, get's me going almost more than the moose hunting! Don't know if I'll ever get back there now as I'm stuck back here in Wyoming, which I love too, but Alaska is hard to beat, anyway,,, thanks for the story, it's nice to read about a place that one is very familiar with.
 
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