Back around 2009 a rifle came up for sale in Nome, where I was living at the time. I had some extra money and was thinking of guns and custom knives as an investment. The rifle was a pre 64 Win. Model 88 in 284 caliber. It was in good shape and the asking price was reasonable. I purchased the gun.
It stayed in the closet and was never fired. I did pick up 3 boxes of Win. ammo shortly after purchasing it. Ammo was scarce and found some at a gun show in the states.
Last spring I decided I should do at least one hunt with the gun. I drew a moose permit for the Ruby area so figured I'd try the gun on that hunt. Had hoped to bring the daughter, but missing that much school was not that good of an idea.
Got in to Ruby on Sun the 14th. Used to live there and still have a house and truck there. Bought gas on Mon. Loaded up the truck, and headed out for a few days of camping out the Ruby road. Was really looking forward to the camping and calling and accessing areas that others wouldn't likely be hunting.
About 15 miles out I hit this area:
My permit was for the west side of the road and just as I passed the cabin in the background, I spotted a young moose on the west side. Realizing that my hunt would be over if I bagged him, but also feeling like you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, I exited the truck, left the road (to be legal) and placed a shot into the animals chest just as he began to move. The bull crossed the road quickly and entered the willows on the other side. I watched his antlers over the willows and then saw him sprint into some spruces on higher ground and disappear. I had a view of the road for a ways and he was headed for it when I last saw him but didn't cross it. I was skeptical I had hit him, but decied I would do some checking in the spruces. Walked up the road and entered the trees beyond where I had last seen the bull and began working back towards where I had last seen him. Less than 2 minutes of walking slowly thru the trees and almost stumbled over this:
Good thing he was dead as he would have had a good chance at stomping me by the time I had seen him. I had my cam and the tag in my pocket, so notched the tag and then took a minute for pics, then got the plastic tag and fixed it on the antler.
Here is the obligatory rifle on the antlers pic:
The 150 gr. Win. power point entered the chest a tad high but destroyed one lung. Never found the bullet but am pretty sure it didn't exit the other side. The bull didn't leave much, if any, of a blood trail but blew blood all over when he stopped and died.
I was by myself and did the whole animal alone. Pack was about 25 yds and it wasn't a completely mature animal. Not that heavy.
So the hunt was over, and the associated camping trip. With the warm fall temps, it was best to get back to town and get the pieces hung. Got the meat back to Fbks thur and have put a lot of time into meat, burger, sausage, etc. Freezers are full and still have Bison from the daughters kill last March.
I'm not all that satisfied with the 88 as a useful gun. The mag does not work with the bolt as it should. Feeding is dicey and requires a very strong, purposeful stroke to get it to work. I tried another mag, but it was worse. The classic gun will go into the closet again to hopefully accumulate value over time.