October is finally upon us. Unfortunately archery elk season is over and I did not get to harvest an elk. My dad got a nice 5x5 bull at six yards away with his bow that he got when he was 15 years old but I was not able to fill my tag. I actually don’t mind that archery season is over because my favorite hunting season has opened on the first of October. Duck hunting. This last Saturday I was able to go out and hunt ducks with my dad and my little brother. It was a great day that consisted of a lot of birds and a lot of shooting. After going through a box of shells I had shot a limit of 7 ducks and my limit of 4 geese. My dad and brother also shot their limit of ducks and geese. In total there was 21 ducks and 12 geese. It was a very successful opening day. After getting home we lined the birds up for a photo that included our dog who did a wonderful job retrieving the birds for us. Even a few days after the hunt he is still pretty sore. Cleaning the waterfowl didn’t take near as long as I thought that it would and our freezer is full of meat. If anybody would like some duck meat then just let me know because I’m sure we’ll have plenty this fall and winter!
I still go out every week and collect water samples but I have also taken on some new responsibilities. On Fridays I go up to Island Park and collect more samples that are specifically for measuring the turbidity of the water. I collect samples in seven different locations. I start right below Island Park Dam and I go down river and stop at the Buffalo River confluence, the Box Canyon, Last Chance river access, the Log Jam, Osbourne Bridge, and then I end at Pinehaven. After I return to the office I run turbidity tests on the water to see how clear the water is. It is obviously more turbid below the Island Park Dam and we are trying to see how fast the sediment settles as we get farther and farther downstream. This week I was hiking down to collect samples below the Dam when I stumbled upon something that very few people have ever seen in Island Park. Standing only twenty yards to my right was a mountain goat. I of course took out my phone to take a few photos. The goat wasn’t very scared of me and of course I tried to get as close as I could. He would just look at me and walk away slowly. I have never seen a mountain goat before let alone in Island Park so close to home.
Snow has already fallen which makes for great views but cold field work. Just the other day we were out collecting water samples and it was snowing on us. I couldn’t feel my hands as I attempted to unscrew the sample bottle. It was a few degrees above freezing so the snow would only stick to the ground for a few minutes so the roads were wet but they weren’t slick which was good. The cold temperatures are good and I hope they keep dropping because that means that ice fishing is just around the corner.
I wish I could stop time so I could just live in this wonderful stage of my life forever and nothing would change but sadly that can’t happen. My internship was supposed to end on the 14th of this month but fortunately I was asked if I would stay on the team until the end of this month and of course I said yes. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to work in such a great environment and with such great people. I am very happy that I get to add an extra two weeks or so onto my internship but I know that it will fly by just like the rest of my internship has flown by. Even though I will not be working here next month then I am sure that you’ll still see me fishing on the Henry’s Fork occasionally.