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Thread: Suicidal moose in the Yentna river

  1. #1
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Default Suicidal moose in the Yentna river

    We left Deshka landing in our annual pursuit of the wiley swamp donkey. We were three souls aboard two crafts. Three hours later, we arrived in the happy hunting grounds. The first afternoon was spent setting camp and tree stands. The next day real hunting begins, in the morning we found little sign of the swamp donkey around camp. That afternoon two of us went up river to perform some mating calls. As we drifted my partner and I both nearly missed seeing a young bull standing in the river, I quickly threw the anchor. We surmised that this was a perfect forked horn. We had no shot as this moose was in the river. When the little guy realized we had him in our sights he scambled up the bank and could not get over a downed cottonwood, he ran back towards us swam down river about 40 feet to a better exit. When he got to the tree line he stopped and gave us a perfect broadside shot. I was about to pull the trigger when my partner said "let the little guy go" I concurred, this was the first legal moose I have ever passed in my hunting life. I pulled anchor and we drifted around the next corner, we anchored again and called two minutes later our little bull stuck his head out again giving us a perfect shot. Again we passed on him, I pulled anchor and he followed us down river for at least 500 yards. At any point we could have harvested him.

    The next morning we decided to take our third member of the party (who had not harvested a moose since the Reagon Administration) up river to see if our suicidal little friend was still in the area. We stopped down river a bit from where we last saw the little guy and I let out a call. Immediately was answered by a deep bull grunt I said to my buddy "thats not the little bull from last night". A couple more calls and the bull showed himself a 54 inch bull with 4 brow tines on one side. We called until he was in a good spot for harvest and one 60 yard shot from the .338 win mag and he appeared stone cold dead. We had to cross a small channel to get to the moose and when we fired up the boat motor our, dead moose stood up, jumped in the river and drown. The wise words of Bushrat aka Mark Richards popped into my head "Don't panic". We Lassoed the antlers to keep him from floating down river and the after several attempts at towing the moose in the shallow channel we decided to use a comealong to winch him to dry ground. It was a steep bank so we removed meat as we pulled him out of the water. About 2/3 of the way through butchering I went to release the comealong to get another bite and it exploded turning my thumb to hamburger. I had no feeling except an intense burning with lots of blood. One of my partners suggested I needed medical attention and me being the brave soul said "I'm not leaving without the whole moose". We lost no meat due to the river or my injury and we proceeded straight to the landing.

    My wife met us at the landing and took me to the ER at Mat Su. The fine folks at the hospital crocheted my thumb back together, gave me some great pain meds and effectively ended my 2011 moose season.

    The moral of the story is always use leather gloves when working with a piece of SH%& comealong and watch for suicidal moose their big brother may be waiting to fill your freezer.

    phone pics 125.jpg phone pics 126.jpg
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  2. #2
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    That was one heck of a good read. My compliments on the kill.

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    Member jnalaska's Avatar
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    Wow that's great and sucks at the same time. I have never had a dead animal come back to life but I sure do hear from alot folks that have! Moose dead in the water another problem I've never had and pray never do. Hopefully your recovery is swift
    Jason

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Awesome job and story James.

    I give it 2...er...1.5 thumbs up!!!
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    Hope there's no lasting damage on the thumb. Great reminder to be careful when remote! Congrats on the good bull.

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    We often offer a Hand, but you gave a thumb

    Frikkin awsome
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Man, hows the 'ol thumb doin' these days? Lose any part of it or just stitches galore?

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    Nice, successful hunt. BTW, OWWWWW!

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    And I being the shooter in this little saga would like to thank jkb and our friend Mark for helping me with this hunt. Without them I would not have been able to do it. Thank you again jkb.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Man, hows the 'ol thumb doin' these days? Lose any part of it or just stitches galore?
    Didn't lose much just a snip here and there but ive never seen stiches like these somplaces there was nothing to sew on so they rather far from the wound


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGrumpy View Post
    And I being the shooter in this little saga would like to thank jkb and our friend Mark for helping me with this hunt. Without them I would not have been able to do it. Thank you again jkb.
    Your welcome and keep the thumbs up coming it cracks me up!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkb View Post
    We left Deshka landing in our annual pursuit of the wiley swamp donkey. We were three souls aboard two crafts. Three hours later, we arrived in the happy hunting grounds. The first afternoon was spent setting camp and tree stands. The next day real hunting begins, in the morning we found little sign of the swamp donkey around camp. That afternoon two of us went up river to perform some mating calls. As we drifted my partner and I both nearly missed seeing a young bull standing in the river, I quickly threw the anchor. We surmised that this was a perfect forked horn. We had no shot as this moose was in the river. When the little guy realized we had him in our sights he scambled up the bank and could not get over a downed cottonwood, he ran back towards us swam down river about 40 feet to a better exit. When he got to the tree line he stopped and gave us a perfect broadside shot. I was about to pull the trigger when my partner said "let the little guy go" I concurred, this was the first legal moose I have ever passed in my hunting life. I pulled anchor and we drifted around the next corner, we anchored again and called two minutes later our little bull stuck his head out again giving us a perfect shot. Again we passed on him, I pulled anchor and he followed us down river for at least 500 yards. At any point we could have harvested him.

    The next morning we decided to take our third member of the party (who had not harvested a moose since the Reagon Administration) up river to see if our suicidal little friend was still in the area. We stopped down river a bit from where we last saw the little guy and I let out a call. Immediately was answered by a deep bull grunt I said to my buddy "thats not the little bull from last night". A couple more calls and the bull showed himself a 54 inch bull with 4 brow tines on one side. We called until he was in a good spot for harvest and one 60 yard shot from the .338 win mag and he appeared stone cold dead. We had to cross a small channel to get to the moose and when we fired up the boat motor our, dead moose stood up, jumped in the river and drown. The wise words of Bushrat aka Mark Richards popped into my head "Don't panic". We Lassoed the antlers to keep him from floating down river and the after several attempts at towing the moose in the shallow channel we decided to use a comealong to winch him to dry ground. It was a steep bank so we removed meat as we pulled him out of the water. About 2/3 of the way through butchering I went to release the comealong to get another bite and it exploded turning my thumb to hamburger. I had no feeling except an intense burning with lots of blood. One of my partners suggested I needed medical attention and me being the brave soul said "I'm not leaving without the whole moose". We lost no meat due to the river or my injury and we proceeded straight to the landing.

    My wife met us at the landing and took me to the ER at Mat Su. The fine folks at the hospital crocheted my thumb back together, gave me some great pain meds and effectively ended my 2011 moose season.

    The moral of the story is always use leather gloves when working with a piece of SH%& comealong and watch for suicidal moose their big brother may be waiting to fill your freezer.

    phone pics 125.jpg phone pics 126.jpg
    Nice harvest! Wow, that makes me really leery of come-along.

  13. #13
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    those comealong's are a sweet winch system but.... wow they can bite and bite hard when they do...

    I bet you will remember that trip for a long time.

    good luck on the recovery and congrats on the swamp donkey...

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    Way to go, well, except for the thumb ! Heal quickly, heal well !

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    Sounds like you guys had an awesome trip going until the whole thumbburger incident. Glad your okay, and this just goes to show and remind everyone that comealongs can be dangerous. Many a fencebuilder has lost an eye when something went wrong and the cable starts flying if you have to use a winch or comealong out there be careful guys.

    Jim and gang, glad you guys scored a nice bull, good job.

  16. #16
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Everyone put their hands together for jkb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    Sounds like you guys had an awesome trip going until the whole thumbburger incident. Glad your okay, and this just goes to show and remind everyone that comealongs can be dangerous. Many a fencebuilder has lost an eye when something went wrong and the cable starts flying if you have to use a winch or comealong out there be careful guys.

    Jim and gang, glad you guys scored a nice bull, good job.
    I'm gonna wear goggles, flak jacket, and an oven mitt!

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Wow! That wasn't what I was expecting to read as the story progressed. Nicely done on the moose...and even better done at keeping a good sense of humor about the thumb. That's a shame that it happened, but at least you all got to bring home some freezer filler while you were at it.

  19. #19
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Hope you recover well - good story - my first experience with a come-a-long and a moose taught me several lessons. One being that small ropes, and even med ropes, when used in conjunction with a cable come-a-long stretch a really loooong ways and that taughtness can be very dangerous. If possible use a light chain as it is better than rope, and heavy rope looped a cpl times is also better...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  20. #20
    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Good thing you didn't need to thumb a ride home after that!

    Kidding aside I salute the effort and meat in your freezer.

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