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Thread: Moose and caribou on the wall

  1. #1
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    Default Moose and caribou on the wall

    I finally got around to finishing my moose and caribou from September. Just thought I'd share pics of the mounts.





  2. #2
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Looks good! I always like to see a caribou mount looking one way or another. I think caribou mounts look goofy if they are just perfectly straight...

  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Nice mounts and nice room. You have to have tall walls to truly appreciate a caribou or moose mount IMO. Kinda weird seeing a bou mount on an 8 foot wall. The nose hits me in the belly button! Well done.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  4. #4
    Member Berto's Avatar
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    very nice mounts!

    i have no idea what i will do when i get a caribou or moose mounted since i sold my good-sized place in the lower 48 but could only afford a much smaller one up here! oh well, i will have one of both mounted while i live up here and i will figure out how/where to display them

  5. #5

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    Great looking mounts!

  6. #6
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Absolutely beautiful mounts. Do you have a story recaping the hunts for us?

  7. #7
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    Default Sweet

    Beautiful mounts, let me know if you need some more animals to practice on. Great Job

    Terry

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys. That hunt was definately a dream come true. Lifetime memories were made. It was my second trip to AK. The first trip was a great learning experience (I did almost everything wrong, and came home not only empty handed, but it was overall not a very good experience). I licked my wounds for about a year thinking I would never go back, but my lifelong dream of harvesting a bull moose slowly crept back to where it occupied all my thoughts as it had in previous years.
    I began planning to head back. I called every air service I could find, and went back through all my old hunting magazines looking for any moose article I could find. One air service name showed up several times in my research - 40 Mile Air. I called and chatted with them, and it didn't take long for me to decide they were definately the right choice for me. My only hesitation was how late they book in the year, and the chance that I may not be able to book the hunt I wanted. But, after the disaster I went through the first time, I figured it was worth a chance.
    I was on the phone early on December 15th trying to book the hunt. I wanted a ridge-top landing hunt, and they had 1 left. I was told the area didn't have quite the moose densitities as some of the other spots, but did have some big bulls, and as a bonus, assuming the migration cooperated, I could hunt caribou at the same time.
    After many torturous months, the waiting was over. My partner, Vinny and I, landed in Anchorage, got our rent-a-car and headed for the hotel. The next day, after goofing around in Anchorage for a while, we headed to Tok. The drive was spectacular. Many times on that drive, I would pull over on the side of the rode and look out into the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen. That alone was worth the trip. I knew I was in for a special adventure.
    Along the way, we spotted several cow moose on the side of the road, and one black bear. We arrived in Tok late afternoon, and checked in with 40-Mile and got all our gear weighed. After months of planning and weighing, somehow I was still over my 50 lb. limit. I had to leave some things behind (my sleeping pad was one of them, and I would regret it), we were cleared. The next day was spent in Tok hoping for a call that we could head out early. No such luck, but at least I was able to catch the first day of football, and watch my Cowboys whoop up on the Giants.
    The next day were were off. We heard good reports about caribou in the area, and actually saw quite a few on the way in. We decided to try and fill our caribou tags early in the hunt, then concentrate on moose. Moose was my primary objective, but we were afraid if waited on the caribou, they would all be gone.
    Opening morning found us up high glassing for caribou. We spotted several, miles away with a river in between. We were getting a little worried as we watched group after group pass on a far, unreachable ridge. Our worry turned into excitement later that morning as caribou began to filter their way along our ridge. I was probably a little too impatient, wanting to get a respectable bull on the ground, but not waiting for a huge trophy. I am very happy with the bull I killed, but spent the next several days looking at some truely huge bulls. I harvested my bull from about 125 yards away, but about two and half miles from camp. After quartering and caping the bull, we headed back to camp with our heavy packs. We reached camp to find a huge herd of caribou waiting for us. There was one really nice bull in the group, and Vinny got his on the ground.





    The next day was spent packing and butchering, cleaning meat, and prepping the capes. Day three we began our quest for a moose. We tried calling and glassing close to camp on that day, hoping to get something close. We did glass up several groups of caribou, and one black bear that was miles away, but no moose. We decided that we would try the other side of the ridge the next day.
    That next morning we were up high glassing towards the Middle Fork and calling for what I was beginning to think was a mythological creature that only existed in my wildest dreams. But after only a couple of hours of calling and glassing, I saw what looked to be to huge antlers sticking our each side of a spruce tree. I almost couldn't get the words out. I looked, then looked again, rubbed my eyes and looked again. MOOSE!!! I had no idea how wide he was, but did know he had a bunch of browtines on one side. Years and years of dreaming, and there he was. I pointed him out to Vinny and headed down the hill in the bull's direction, cow calling while we were moving.
    When we got to around 250 yards, with the bull having spotted us, I decided it was close enough. My first shot was good, but it still took a couple of more to put him down for good. I was unbelievably frustrating trying to make it through the high brush to get to my bull. What probably only took minutes seemed like hours. When I got to him, I almost began to cry. I was on him like a kid on his pet lab hugging him around the neck. No words can explain the way I felt. I'm sure many of you have had those same feelings, so you know what I'm talking about. He ended up measuring 52", but I couldn't have been happier if he was 82".



    As they say, the work began. We got him quarted up and caped, and the meat hanging in the trees. We were a mile from camp, so began the first of many pack trips. That first trip out, I don't think my feet touched the ground. By the last trip, even my butt was on the ground.
    Bad weather came in just a few short hours after I harvested my bull, and would keep up for the next six days, ending Vinny's hopes of harvesting a moose. Every break in the weather was spent heading out to get more meat, before I got the glorious satisfaction of hauling my moose rack into camp.
    The weather prevented 40 Mile Air from taking us out on the day scheduled, so I got to spend a few extra days out, but loved every minute of it.
    Well, I know it's pretty long winded, but thanks for reading.

    Dan

  9. #9
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Great Story. I really enjoyed it!

  10. #10
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default don't be sorry

    You took the time to share a beautiful event with us and it's much appreciated. The longer the story better and I'm sure that just about everyone here would agree. The pictures are great and your mounts look beautiful. I should be getting my caribou back soon myself and can't wait!!

  11. #11
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    Smile Bull Moose

    I love your story . I went threw the same air service to get my first bull moose to , Dan ! 2007 . Great story .

  12. #12
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like you had one heck of a hunt and did a magnificent job mounting your moose and caribou!

  13. #13
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Excellent story!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Are my eyes fooling me or are there 5 brow tines on the left side?

  14. #14
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Default Hunt

    That was a really well thought out story & the best thing is it happened to you! I cant wait till fall so I can go back & enjoy some of that. I can remember the start of football now by thinking of moose season.

  15. #15

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    If there's one thing I enjoy as much as telling a good story it's listening to one. I agree, the longer and more detailed the better. Thanks. I hope to post a similar one after next fall.

    Now..... tell us a good one about your first hunt. I have a feeling I'll learn just as much.

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