Nodwells

Trackrig

Member
I just found the ATA section tonight. I didn't see any other Nodwell owners on it so far, but it looks like it might be interesting to participate. I run a Nodwell RN110 mostly for out moose hunting on the Rex Trail.

If the pictures attached correctly, the first one is at the cabin at the second river. The second picture is getting ready to hang the moose on the hanging pole so it can be skinned.

The mud on the trail is deep enough that I've had it in the doors some years. This year the mud wasn't that deep, but I did have 2" of water coming one side of the cab and washing out the other door while crossing the first river.

It looks like the pictures worked. Oh, neither person in the pictures is me. I'm on the other side of the camera.

Thanks,
Bill
trackrig@gmai.com


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redsqwrl

Bronze Member
SUPER Site Supporter
Hi Bill, stout looking rig. I enjoy the insight into your efforts to get there, I am stuck down in the lower 48 and generally can find another way to get there, whether it be a road on the *other* side or abandon mining or logging road.
Keep the experiences coming, there are quite a few nodwells around my part of the world.
 

IMP

Member
Site Supporter
Is there a hunting restriction off the Rex that says you can't drive off the trail with your off road vehicle? How do you retrieve your Moose or work around that? I think they watch things pretty close in That area. Track rig Moose hunting is one of my favorite things to do in life. Can't wait until next fall!!
 

Trackrig

Member
Yes, they watch the Rex Trail rather closely. First of all you need to get a $100 permit from DNR which has to include a color photo of your rig.

They fly the trail during hunting season in both a white super cub and a helicopter. When it's the helicopter, it's the State Trooper's helicopter so there's usually the State Trooper, a F&G cop, and two DNR people in it. If they can put the helicopter down close enough, they will and come made sure you have your permit with you and then of course F&G has to check you also.

About three years ago they caught a Hagluund a good ways off of the trail when they were out in the helicopter. They gave him a ticket and took him to court. I guess all he could do was offer a stupid defense other than no defense. He said that since he hadn't bought a permit, he didn't need to abide by the rules of the permit. The judge didn't have the same opinion............

As for getting to your moose, the Rex is rather strange for Alaska. There's not a lot of open area or open swamps for glassing. There's the big swamp past the first river a few miles and then the big swamp several miles after the second river. We're in further than that.

As for getting the moose, I call them in. Where I hunt is on a little hump, sort of like an island where the trail splits into three parts because of three little creeks that make a couple of real nice mud holes. I sit on my little island out there and call the bulls in. Because it's very bushy around me, they usually come to within 50' - 75' of me. They have to get that close to make sure they're legal in all of the brush. Then one head shot puts them down with no ruined meat.

If we shot one on the motorized side of the trail, but off of it a ways, we always have a good four wheel in the back of the Nodwell. It wasn't there in the picture because we'd unloaded for camp and we had hauled in the moose from the previous night.

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Notice the bent aluminum ladder that folds down on the back???? That's what happens when you back up and don't remember to put it up.........

We carry 10' x 4" x 12" planks with us to run it in and out of the Nodwell on. Then when you get a moose we use the planks also. Up between the green fuel tanks there's an electric winch that we hook to the moose. You pull it in part way and it puts it at just the right height to gut it. None of this working on the ground stuff. Then as you saw in the above pictures we back up to the hanging pole and use an engine type hoist on him. You had raise and lower him as need for skinning and taking the quarters off.

Bill
 

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IMP

Member
Site Supporter
Calling them in is the funnest part for me. Looks like You have a no sweat operation there handling the meat. Very nice, clean methods. We try not to use or backs either. I made a pick pole on the back of my meat wagon to hoist the quarters up with a 4:1 snatched block then swing them into the Wagon. Then back in under the meat pole and do the opposite. Looking forward to retirement so I can spend the whole season out there. We haul a pretty deluxe camp in and eat / drink like kings. Always a big adventure / good times
 

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redsqwrl

Bronze Member
SUPER Site Supporter
What a great experience. again thanks for taking the time to share your process. that track rig is center stage.

This part is funny:

"They fly the trail during hunting season in both a white super cub and a helicopter. When it's the helicopter, it's the State Trooper's helicopter so there's usually the State Trooper, a F&G cop, and two DNR people in it. If they can put the helicopter down close enough, they will and come made sure you have your permit with you and then of course F&G has to check you also."

wages and salary for the crew, plus machine expense to make sure you have a $100 permit. Priceless. would there be 50 hunting crews out on the trail? 500 in the area? 50,000 in the region? I guess they have to try to make a presence or folks would take advantage and waste.

Here on the ice during the fresh water sturgeon season they use air support to direct ground crews to where late activity is going on. they use Subs to monitor the lake bed, BUT there are 6500 participants on a 240 square mile lake. many are intoxicated and or stoned to some degree. the vast majority follow the rules and respect the resource.
it is a short focused season with a harvest cap and many variables.

again thanks for the insight.
 

Trackrig

Member
Yes, it's great to be retired and not have to worry about vacation time!

Here's a shot from about 2008 when we had 5 Nodwells in camp. I could only get 4 of them in the picture at one time. Now days, there's just me left, but I'm working on acquiring a second Nodwell.

Note on the Nodwell to the right with green bumper and the towel over the bumper - see the plastic hose under the towel? When I rebuilt the Nodwell there were originally two 50 gal fuel tanks in front of your feet. On the driver's side I replaced the tank with the batteries and the fuse panel used to rewire everything. On the passenger's side, we took the tank out, cut a hole in the top, sandblasted the inside of the tank and painted it. Then we put in a heater coil out of a hot water furnace. Then we ran the hot water hose from the engine that would normally go to the cab heaters to the heater coil in the tank, then on to the cab heaters. You fill up the former fuel tank with 50 gal of fresh water, run down the trail for 30 minutes and you have 50 gal of hot water for showers, washing your head, hands, etc. It's real nice when you get done gutting a moose. We also have one of those inflatable shower stalls that we hang from a 2X4 in front of the Nodwell for showers.

The second picture is of a four wheeler we caught up to on the way out. The mud was half frozen and slick. He dropped the right tires into the ruts and over he went. Look just to the left of the Nodwell's bumper and you'll see the butt of his rifle. If the butt is in the air, where's the barrel - it was about 8" into the mud. He wasn't having a good day. The rest of his group were on ahead of him someplace and he wasn't looking forward to unstrapping his gear to get the four wheeler back up right.

Bill
 

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IMP

Member
Site Supporter
WOW....I think 5 Nodwells qualifies as a heard of them! Safety in numbers so that's good. I just keep going with my hunting partner of 25 years, he has the same track rig I do. Last year on this trip we brought our brothers. This photo is our high country camp. We called it "Camp Epic". Hunting with the two or more machines is the way to go. Many times one machine will bog down in soft ground with nothing solid around to winch too. Having the other rig around solves all those problems. We pack out some heavy loads!
 

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IMP

Member
Site Supporter
Arctic Oven Tents. Made in Alaska. Awesome shelter. I highly recommend them! They are pretty expensive though. But this tent will keep you as warm and dry as you want to be in any weather. They are also very heavy. About 65lbs. BUT who cares? That's why I drive a track rig!!
 

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Trackrig

Member
Ah, yes. Nothing like a nice oil stove in a good tent when it's cold and nasty out. We don't have the same tent, but we have a very nice one pole tent from Cabella's. It's about 12' x 12', just right for two people and the stove.

Bill
 

IMP

Member
Site Supporter
This is a wood fired stove and a 10 x 10' tent with a 3' vestabule. It's the cats meow when you are wet and cold!
 

Trackrig

Member
Imp - I posted an edit to my post but I obviously messed something up.

We had almost the same wood stove, but gave up on it because I got tired of cleaning out the stove pipe when out there for several weeks - didn't like the mess. We were burning dry pine. What's been your experience with that?

It looks like you're using a 6" pipe, outs might have been 3" or 4" - it was what fit the roof jack. We take 35 gal of diesel and don't have to worry about stoking the fire at night.

Bill
 

IMP

Member
Site Supporter
That wood stove photo was my buddies stove and he did have problems with it the first night. But I think he just cleaned the stack and it worked after that. He his stove is bigger and has a hot water jacket. I just have a simple 9×12×14 metal box with a 4" collapsible stack and I've never had a problem with it other that having to feed it every 2-3 hours all night
 

samwe

Member
It sucks when any trail gets restricted or shutdown, but the damage to Rex is still being done by wheeled vehicles. Even those with winches seem to be afraid to use them.

We may have met... my friend I were hunting between the second river and swamp last year.
 

Trackrig

Member
What a great experience. again thanks for taking the time to share your process. that track rig is center stage.

This part is funny:

"They fly the trail during hunting season in both a white super cub and a helicopter. When it's the helicopter, it's the State Trooper's helicopter so there's usually the State Trooper, a F&G cop, and two DNR people in it. If they can put the helicopter down close enough, they will and come made sure you have your permit with you and then of course F&G has to check you also."

wages and salary for the crew, plus machine expense to make sure you have a $100 permit. Priceless. would there be 50 hunting crews out on the trail? 500 in the area? 50,000 in the region? I guess they have to try to make a presence or folks would take advantage and waste.

again thanks for the insight.

Yes, some do try to take advantage of it. During the 2015 hunt, there was a Hagluund back there that didn't have a permit. The chopper caught him way off of the trail so they wrote him up and took him to court. The dummy's defense was that since he didn't buy a permit, he didn't have to go by the terms of the permit which only allows you 100 yds off of the trail. The judge didn't agree with him.........

Bill
 

jask

Member
Yes, some do try to take advantage of it. During the 2015 hunt, there was a Hagluund back there that didn't have a permit. The chopper caught him way off of the trail so they wrote him up and took him to court. The dummy's defense was that since he didn't buy a permit, he didn't have to go by the terms of the permit which only allows you 100 yds off of the trail. The judge didn't agree with him.........

Bill

That is funny!! I bet he represented himself too!!?:brows::brows:
 

JimVT

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
I had a small tent stove similar to the one shown that was an oil burner and had a oil tank on the side. it got lost and never could locate another. it was smaller
have you seen any?
 

Trackrig

Member
I had a small tent stove similar to the one shown that was an oil burner and had a oil tank on the side. it got lost and never could locate another. it was smaller
have you seen any?

It was probably a military one. Look at some of the military surplus sites or go to Ebay and type in something like oil stove or military stove. I've seen them on there beforer.

Bill
 

Trackrig

Member
I had a small tent stove similar to the one shown that was an oil burner and had a oil tank on the side. it got lost and never could locate another. it was smaller
have you seen any?

It was probably a military one. Look at some of the military surplus sites or go to Ebay and type in something like oil stove or military stove. I've seen them on there befor.

Bill
 
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