Brennan: Fishing season coming soon

By Tom Brennan |

Taking down the bird-feeder is always difficult, but I did it in mid-March to keep the bears away.

Haven’t seen any bears in the neighborhood lately, but we live near Elmendorf Air Force Base which has a lot of wild country and places where the big critters roam.

It’s hard to put the feeder away for the season because it’s a delight to see the redpolls and chickadees flocking around the seed dispenser. Just a few weeks ago the birds virtually filled the view in our side-yard window. Watching them soar around the big glass-walled feeder hanging in its tree literally warms one’s heart.

Unfortunately, bears also like the seeds and when they come out of hibernation they are always lean and hungry after months without food. They enjoy those seeds almost as much as the birds do. And both the birds and the bears have other options in the springtime as the snow recedes, so the feeders come down.

When bears come into town they tend to get into trouble and that often draws Fish and Game agents to put them down, a duty most biologists dislike very much.

We haven’t seen any bears in our neighborhood for a number of years, but we see moose quite often. My wife tells me that when she was cleaning out our fenced back yard after the snow melted she found quite a bit of moose poop. 

It was left there by a pair of moose who jumped into our yard last fall, did their business, grabbed some apples from our tree and hopped back on out. Apparently a wooden fence tells the big critters it’s time to go so they hop on in, do what needs to be done and go on their way. They could access the apples from the bigger branches that hang outside the fence, but that doesn’t always interest them.

There are a lot of good reasons to live in Alaska and its abundant wildlife are just a few million of them. We have had many bright sunny days in the last few weeks and the beautiful sunsets that go with them, though it’s pretty cloudy as I write this column.

My wife and I came to Anchorage from New England about 50 years ago and initially only planned to stay for a year or two — at least that’s what we told ourselves. I had a job as a reporter at the old Anchorage Daily Times and Marnie was offered one as soon as the editors there met her.

We still have friends and family in New England but our closest friends and the family we created are now in Alaska and Washington State.  I wouldn’t move back to the East Coast now for anything; I’ll take my chances with the bears and moose.

There are bears in parts of Massachusetts and moose in northern New England, but I’ll stick with those that prefer Southcentral Alaska.

We are just a few weeks from the start of salmon fishing season in Alaska and once that happens thoughts about life in New England are banished from my head.

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