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Thread: Moose hunt report - story and pics

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Moose hunt report - story and pics

    Typically the moose hunt here begins around the 15th of September, because we don't have a freezer and hang the meat in the shed until Nature's deep freeze in early October, but this fall my wife, Lori, and I, started hunting on the 11th. It was drizzling rain that day and we went upriver about fifteen miles.


    Stopped at a trapping cabin during the day to take the chill off and warm up.


    Didn't see anything, but had a great day on the river.

    The next day dawned with breaking clouds and sunshine and we floated and motored down about ten miles, stopped at a spot and called and had snacks and tea.



    Motored back and did some grayling fishing along the way at a couple of great fishing holes, and on one stretch of gravel bar while motoring back up there was a piece of drift log that had an odd looking branch. As we came alongside it I kept looking and it looked like the carving of a large bird. And then the head moved.

    Pulled over and it was an immature bald eagle, likely with injured wing, though we couldn't tell.



    continued next post...

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    Member akaviator's Avatar
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    Keep it coming!!! The pic of where you took the tea break is awesome.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Had rescued an eagle once in same situation, but wife didn't want to bring this one home ("Mark, you are not bringing that bird back home!") <grin> It let me get right up within a couple feet, walked on the log okay, couldn't fly. Wasn't sure how long it had been there, thought it may be hungry, and there were live grayling in the bucket, so I grabbed one and tossed it down and the eagle immediately pounced on it and began scarfing down.


    Pretty cool to see an eagle up close, they are huge birds. Left it another fish before leaving and hoped for the best. All in all an interesting day, and had fried grayling for supper when we got home.

    I should note that Lori had a hard time not laughing at my cow moose calls, said it sounded like a wailing ghost. Two days later, asleep at home at 5am, and I am hearing that wailing ghost and incorporate it into a dream. And suddenly it occurs to me it isn't a dream and I stir awake and listen hard and sure enough it's a cow calling out the upstairs cabin window. I scuffle outside, pitch black still, and the cow sounds like she is just across from the highwater channel on the gravel bar a bit upstream. Then she suddenly stops calling altogether.

    I start the stove and boil coffee water, check email (sat internet in the bush is a really something!), wait for it to get light. At 6:30 I grab the rifle and antler scraper and head out the door, intending to walk up the bank then cross over at top end of bar and do some calling. The river valley is fogged in and temp is in the mid 30s. I get fifty yds from cabin along the cutbank and there is a bull standing broadside right across on the bar with his head cocked, looking right at me. Busted! I kneel down all excited behind the tall grass and cranberry bushes and pull my gloves off, drop the scraper, and jack a round into the chamber. I stand up slowly and he's still staring and now's the chance and I let loose a round right behind his shoulder at perhaps fifty yards. And for the first time ever for me it looks like a pass through shot, hitting gravel behind the moose, and the bull kick jumps and runs twenty yds upriver along the bar and stops. All I can see is his forehead and antlers above the willows, no real followup shot, and he isn't running into the water and I figure he will fall over any second.

    A cow and calf suddenly come out of the willows and trot upstream, and the bull takes off at a dead run back out toward the main river. Now I'm wondering what is going on. Was shooting Nosler partitions, 165 grain. 7mm magnum. Killed plenty of moose with those reloads and none of them ever ran off like that after a lung shot, and again I've never had a pass-through with Noslers either. I don't know if he is gonna get to river and drown or what, so I hoof across thigh deep water there (breakup boots) and nearly lose my footing in the current, and head up to the top of the bar to walk back down against the wind. One in the chamber, scope now on 2x, *****footing along and eyeballing everything left and right and forward. A hundred yds down the bar, suddenly there he is dead on the ground off to my right. Whew, was really getting worried there. I walk up to him and kneel and stroke his head and say thanks. The main stress of wondering if we were gonna have any meat at all for the winter was lifted.



    Lori awoke when I shot and after she had coffee we headed out to begin butchering. First thing we typically do is get the tongue out, rinse it in the river.


    And after the first two quarters are off, we go for the kidney fat!


    continued next post...

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Was about 75 yds to the main river, used a little winter water hauler made from a fifteen-gallon poly drum (holds two buckets water) to pull the pieces back, worked pretty slick, lot's easier than carrying.


    Entire moose in the boat, ready to go all of a quarter mile back around the bend and hang in meat shed.


    Took the next day off to hang the hide (bull wasn't "rutty" at all, nice clean hide) and Lori wanted to jar up the heart and tongue. We normally make tongue sandwiches with it but last year we jarred some up and was really good mid winter.

    Diced heart frying before jarring - absolutely fantastic in spaghetti sauce.


    Cutting the boiled tongue prior to jarring.


    continued next post...

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Next day we headed back upriver, hiked some glassing spots.


    Didn't see anything that day. Then the major rains came, temps mid forties, and we knew the river would come up, so we waited out the rains for two days. Sure enough, river came up higher than it had all summer, unusual for that to happen in the fall. It was mud and muck and puddles and waterfalls streaming off the hills everywhere. We felt rather guilty not going out in the rain and cold, and on day three of rain and gloom we figured we better get back at it looking for moose #2 to fill the larder. Went upriver 20+ miles, strong current, slow going, stopped a few places to call, was generally one of those cold miserable days...saw a spike-fork bull on the way back but didn't get a chance at him. Long day and was glad to get back home and start the fire and warm up. We were enjoying tenderloin and moose burgers though from the first moose! Yum, can't beat frying in kidney fat either.

    We head upriver again the next day, cover the glassing spots, and for some reason I'm feeling like this is the day, the rain was off and on, skies were clearing at times, at it was nice and cool with no gnats. I'd had to put the headnet on doing the first moose once the gnats came out.
    Didn't see anything from the bluffs, decided to head up to one of the larger tributaries and we parked across that valley, got out near bow of boat with rifles and I started waaah waaahing and Lori tried not to giggle, and not five minutes later a bull grunts and walks out of the trees across and just below from us. He is maybe 80-100 yds away.

    Lori has the .270 ready and gets him in the lungs, he trots maybe ten yds and is again broadside and I shoot trying to spine him, no go, and Lori shoots again and spines him and he crumples. Big hugs and smiles and we note we both have shaky hands <grin>. Two perfect shots from Lori, my spine shot was high and grazed hide behind the ears.

    Full on in rut, very smelly! Here is Lori with him.



    Died in a favorable location with head downslope and it's nice when you can get them on their back and tie a leg or two off and butcher that way initially. Note the boat in the background, was all of thirty feet to the river.


    We took our time, no gnats, had shot him right at 2pm and boat was loaded and we were heading back downriver at 6:15. Bit more rain on the way back, but not bad. Laid the meat on some logs on gravel bar at home when we got back, didn't think we'd get it hung before dark.

    continued next post...

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default last of the story and pics

    Next day we got all the meat in the shed. Decided of late to try to use less brawn and more brains, and rather than hump the meat up the bank we used the water hauler and a ramp made from spruce boards to pull the pieces up one at a time. Worked slick!


    A full meat shed, we were so happy!


    More heart to jar up, likely make tongue sandwiches with the other tongue. First bull was 36" and Lori's was 43". Perfect size for us to deal with.

    I haven't hunted with my wife in some time, had kids shortly after we moved to the bush and Lori was always home taking care of the kids (and dogteam) and when the kids were older they went hunting with me, and sometimes friends would fly out to hunt with me too. Kids have recently left for college and lives of their own and we are now empty nesters and this year it was just us, and we really had a great time together. Our love of the wilderness is what brought us together, what brought us out here, and after over thirty years together we are still very much in love with each other and with the place we are blessed to call home.

    Now I guess I should figure out what cut of meat we are gonna have for supper tonight <grin>.
    Best to all,

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    Thumbs up Congrats and thanks for the pictures too

    You're eating high on the hog now this winter. Great job both of you.

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    Default Congrats

    WOW! Thanks for the story and the pictures... Congrats to you and your lady on two nice bulls. I just love to hear the stories from other peoples hunts..

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    Cool pics 'rat!!


    Do you guys eat the livers as well?

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    Great story! Thanks for sharing! Congrats to you and your wife both!

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    looks like fun.

    Its good to hunt with the wife, I often do, or is it that she hunts with me??~~LOL!!~~

    I like the little sled. I carry a small plastic tarp for the same effect. Getting older lets you use that brain power more than that brawn, and that , initsself, is an improvment over youth....~~LOL!!~~

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

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

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Mark - thanks for sharing

  13. #13

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    Mak and Lori, congrats to the both of you on your annual meat harvest and your continued love for each other. I really do enjoy your harvest stories Mark and the pics are great as well. Again, congrats to the both of you, good eats this winter!!!

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    Awesome Bushrat, just awesome!!

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Question i just have one question.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    and sure enough it's a cow calling out the upstairs cabin window.
    how did you get a cow to call out the upstairs window?
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  16. #16

    Default Nice Mark!

    Way to go Mark! Glad to hear your meat is secured and your eating well! I am looking forward to November for my hunt.

  17. #17

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    Thats some good eating here. Impressive looking meat shed for sure. Congrats to you both. Thanks for the story and pics.

  18. #18
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Congratulations

    Great story and great hunting with your wife.

    BTW, having Lori pull the sled sure makes it easier for you - nice brain work.

    Phil

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    Thanks for sharing pictures of you and your wifes life there Bushrat, I always enjoy reading your posts and pictures of where you live. Back in 1973 I spent a summer at the Halls cabin upstream of Erny Wolfs gold camp. Best time of my life. I used to walk down to the Yukon and look over to your side of the river and watch the sun dip down under the horizion and come right back up. I have always wanted to get back up there, Nearly made it this summer with my boat and go devil but Canada wouldn't let me in. Keep posting pictures and go back and get that eagle, it will be some nice company this winter. Seb

  20. #20

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    Awesome story and pics Mark, and great that you and Lori got to share the fall harvest together! Thanks for the informational shots butchering the moose, it's always great to get them close to the river.

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