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Thread: Tanana Flats Excitement

  1. #1

    Default Tanana Flats Excitement

    We just got back from our second hunt in the flats. I killed a large cow last Tuesday, and we hunted the same area this weekend. My dad and his buddy went to camp on Thursday and my brother followed in Friday night. We had almost filled his cow tag on the way into camp two different times, but we wanted to see if they had already gotten a moose, so we weren't very anxious to drop one.

    We got to camp about 8:30pm. Dad wasn't back yet, but about 15-20 minutes later he came back with his rifle in the ready position and looking behind him. What happened was while he was up in the large spotting tree about 100 yards from where my moose carcass was, he was watching a large bull about 1000 yards out, and after the bull went in the trees out of sight, he started hearing some thrashing and grunting about 100 yards away. For about a half hour, it was intense crashing, trees breaking, huffing and grunting, so he thought a bull was all worked up down there. Things went quiet for a few minutes, and he heard it walking towards the tree. As soon as it came into a clearing, he saw it was a very large grizzly bear. The bear got to the trail dad walked in on, stopped for a couple seconds with his nose in the air, let out a large huff and bolted into the woods heading straight for our camp about a 1/3 of a mile away. He had to walk that trail to get back to camp, so he was pretty nervous, but no sign of the bear at least.

    We decided to hunt another area the next morning, and that afternoon we came back and decided to head out to that tree. We went to the area where the moose carcass was, and sure enough he took everything but a couple hooves. Later in the day we came up with a plan. They were going to hunt the river and I was going to hang around the tree and try for the grizzly if he came back. It was about 8:45pm, and nothing happening, so I climbed down the tree and headed back to camp. I was about 100 yards from camp on the trail when a hare jumped out underneath me and scared the crap out of me. I was calmed back down and just started walking when I heard a boat that was getting much closer come to a stop and turned the motor off. I figured it was the rest of the guys in our camp. About 2 seconds later I hear crashing off to my left, and I see a flash of blond. It was about 30 yards away and in a real small meadow. I readied the gun because I thought it was the bear, then all hell broke loose and it charged right in my direction. It rounded some trees about 15 yards away and I saw the rack. It was about a 40" bull moose (1X2 brows) and he was freight training right at me! I had one diamond willow about 8" in diamter that I was behind, and the trail put the moose right in my path. He was either going to the left or the right of the willow, so I hugged up on it, looking off on the left side. About 10 feet away he zigged to the right, so I leanded left, then he zagged back to the left on his next stride so I lept back to the right. He flew by breaking off part of the willow with his rack at about 2-3 feet away. He got about 15 yards away and I threw a bull grunt at him and stopped him in his tracks. I kept him close because I figured those guys were back in the camp, and hopefully the guy with the harvest tag would come out and get a shot, but I confirmed he only had 2 browtines on the one side so I messed with him a bit and watched him finally walk off into the large meadow where I shot the cow.

    It was an interesting swing of emotions. Thinking I was possibly going to shoot the bear, followed by thinking the bear was charging, then the sense of relief that it was a moose, shortly followed by the realization that I'm about be trampled. All in the span of about 15-20 seconds.

    The boat ended up being other hunters, so I ended up sitting back at camp for a while by myself. I was getting pretty nervous about the other guys around 10:30pm, but around 11:20pm they got back to camp on full step, lighting up the slough with the large spotlight. They had shot a cow about 2 miles up river around 8:45pm, so we all had fun stories to share that night. Jimmy cooked up one of the tenderloins from my moose wrapped in bacon and slow smoked/cooked over the fire. We were up laughing and lying till about 1:30 in the morning when we just couldn't keep our eyes open any longer. We got back Sunday afternoon, got cleaned up and processed moose till midnight last night. We'll wrap up the last of it today, then grind all the burger Tuesday night and cook up some moose ribs.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a heck of a time. I'm definately jealous. Great story too.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  3. #3
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Wow, you've had some good times in that area this year for sure!

  4. #4
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Great Post Jerod!
    Funny how the clock stops when the "unknown" happens and all of a sudden you are telling yourself - BREATH !
    Sounds like you have dem ole mooses well figured out for sure!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  5. #5
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Talk about exciting congrats on another great hunt Jerod

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    You know you're an Alaskan when....

    You can't go a whole hunting season without at least one near-death experience.

    Great telling of that story, Jerod.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  7. #7
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    had a nice bear on our last kill and came right through camp also... however he / she/ it never bothered a thing and only left tracks in the morning dew for us to see, my partner dropped his this weekend also...

    soo....


    thats three this week, don't you have a few more to fill also?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  8. #8

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    Yea Vince, we have a hunt coming up this weekend out in Delta. I was going to make a post on here later today or tomorrow. My neice drew the youth hunt on the ag fields out there. We'll be headed out early Friday morning and hopefully will get it done right away.

    I'll be back home in early October too, and was thinking about offering to take somebody with the DM685 cow moose permit out hunting for a day or night trip. I enjoy the heck out of that area and don't want to put the boat up for winter yet.

    The grizzly that was on my kill didn't leave any tracks, and I looked around quite a bit. It did leave some scat and it was 100% full of blueberry's. As many as we saw out there, it doesn't surprise me. I never did find where it buried the carcass either, he must have done a good job at it.

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    lol i thought you had nearly as many as we did... i still have one more little chena DM 729 to fill and then perhaps i will think about my FMA tag, that i could have filled any day this week yet. we are meated up well enough so there is no push other then having the kids out for the experience and if they do bag another then we will be looking for freezers to fill... sure having a blast this year though... has been a lot of fun putting others on moose and not having any real desire to do the deed myself .....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  10. #10

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    Vince,

    We had 4 antlerless permits for 20A, but could only fill two of them. My godfather died on New Years night, so obviously his isn't getting filled. My dad and brother also drew the tags, so we had to keep one of them open because for my neice's youth hunt, an accompanying adult has to mark their tag as well as the youth's permit. If they both took cows, which we could have done, then we would have to find somebody else to come along on the youth hunt so we could use their general tag. Kinda shady, but that's how it was explained to me by the bio and trooper at the same time.

    2 moose is more than enough for us, 3 is pushing it. We have a few people that we know who could really use some, so we are taking the opportunity to help them out as well. Sounds like we are on the same track though, I'd much rather get others on moose and help them out than take another one... at least this year.

  11. #11
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    Way Cool, Jerod.

    Almost a DLP onna Moose, while waiting for Grizz on Moose hunt...Love it!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

  12. #12
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    congrats to jerod and vince too on great seasons so far! I'm afraid I might be done for the year - a week plus two weekends has me about out of rope at home Who knows maybe I'll sneak out for a few early mornings to poke around the FMA with my bow before work!

  13. #13
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Jerod, congrats on your cow harvest and thanks for this story, enjoyed it. You were pretty cool and calm getting behind an 8" diameter willow as the moose was coming <grin>. Hope your niece does well in Delta.

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