Last week, I wrote about a situation where my brother Gary and sister-in-law Tammy and I assisted a hunter from Utah who had been stranded in Unit 18B east of Wikieup after a flash flood had inundated his camp and his 4x4 pickup truck got mired in the gooey, soft mud.
But that was just part of the story.
After I winched him out of the mud, and his truck was once again up on drier ground, we started talking about javelina hunting. We knew it was going to be a few days before the area would dry up enough for him to be able to pack up his camp.
Mike, the Utah hunter, had the use of his new ATV and I told him about some spots that he should check for javelina if he had a spotting scope and binoculars.
He assured me that he had this equipment and with that we left him to continue our hunt. I didn’t have any problem sharing some information with a fellow sportsman who had run into some bad luck.
I was surprised the next day when Mike came rolling into my camp, well after dark.
Mike said that he had good news and bad news.
The good news was that he had gone to an area I had hold him about and while glassing, had found a herd of javelina.
Smith said after a mile and half trek he caught up with the herd and was able to take a javelina. While it was a general rifle hunt, when Mike slipped in on the herd he was able to use his sidearm, a 9mm pistol to take his first Arizona javelina at a range of 30 yards.
Then he told me the bad news.
After Mike loaded up his camp and put his new ATV on his trailer, he started down on the rough road that would eventually lead him to Highway 93.
Then he noticed that his ATV trailer was leaning precariously to the right.
Inspection revealed that the spindle had come off the axle and the entire assembly including the tire and wheel were gone.
Mike unhooked the trailer off his truck and drove down to my camp. He was going to go into Kingman where he was hoping to buy a new axle. Smith is a fabricator/mechanic and he said he didn’t think it would be a big deal to replace it.
The next day I got a call from Smith.
He said that he decided he didn’t have the tools to replace the axle, so he had bought a new trailer from Tractor Supply in Kingman.
Smith asked if I had a flatbed trailer, which I do. He said if I went and picked up the trailer, that he would leave the loading ramps and other equipment on the trailer.
I told him I would go and retrieve it for him.
The next morning my brother Gary and I hooked up my flatbed trailer and made the long drive to where the disabled trailer was located.
Imagine our surprise when we arrived to find that someone else had already found the trailer and had stripped it!
Gone were the ramps, tongue jack and they had even taken the Bearing Buddy off the axle of the remaining wheel. We believed that the only reason they had not taken the other tire and wheel was due to the fact the person(s) responsible did not have a jack to lift the trailer up off the ground.
It took a couple of hours, but we were finally able to get the trailer loaded onto my trailer for the trip back to Kingman.
When I contacted Mike again, I told him about the situation and he assured me the items had been on the trailer when he had left it.
Ultimately Smith said that rather than drive back from Utah that he would just give the trailer to me to either fix or dispose of.
Since I’ve got a UTV and the trailer is basically solid, I’ve decided to fix it up.
Doesn’t this situation make you think about leaving camps and vehicles unattended while out in the great outdoors?
It is indeed sad that in today’s world these kinds of things occur, and probably more often than we know.