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Thread: 2010 Time In The Field With My Son...(The Kids a Shooter!)

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default 2010 Time In The Field With My Son...(The Kids a Shooter!)

    I have been busy processing this year’s harvest and have a personal rule about playing around too much on this site before the work is done.

    All of the meat is put away for winter now so I’m going to try to recap the highlights of this season for you all. To all the internet cops on this site, I would encourage you to keep your negative thoughts (if any) to yourself as I only write this to share my excitement and stories with some of the others who are also passing along the hunting tradition to young ones. Lately I have been reluctant to post anything here for this reason.

    I put a similar write up on this board last year to chronicle my adventures with my now 11 year old son. I had so many positive responses that I decided to try it again, so let’s consider this part 2 of the story.

    My primary goal of this season was to get him his first moose. He had proven last year that he could shoot and that he was ready for moose. We had several close encounters, but for one reason or another he did not get a moose last season.

    2010 started pretty normal…We set out for moose camp a couple days before season and made it in to set up camp. The night before the opening morning as we were putting a few finishing touches on camp I noticed a fork bull working his way from his bedding area and out to feed for the night. I watched him closely and tried to predict where he would be in the morning. I was 95% sure he was legal but of course I would need to have a better look at him in the morning and did not want to upset his routine this night.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default Part 2

    Opening Morning;

    Of course I had my mind on the little bull from the night before. I knew this would make for a good first moose for the boy. At first light we headed off to try and locate the little guy. I knew he would likely return to his bedding area via a moose trail that I had prior knowledge of. We made a beeline for the trail and found a good spot to glass from.

    After a few hours, I was convinced the bull would not be returning this way. We decided to head into the spruce and try to catch a bull before nap time. After a 2 hour uneventful hike we headed back to camp for a little lunch.

    As soon as I walked into camp and set my rifle down I noticed a new shape on the hills behind camp. I threw up my binoculars and quickly confirmed a cow and a nice bull moving quickly to the thick spruce. “Grab your rifle and let’s go” I said to my son. He followed orders and I set a landmark to where I thought the moose would be by the time we got to them.
    The moose were moving quickly, but my plan was perfect, we intercepted the bull exactly where I planned. Another quick look through the binocs showed the bull was very close to 50” but not quite. He definitely had 4 brow tines on his left and at least 3 on the right and he was within 100 yards. I looked back over my shoulder and said to my boy “he’s legal, can you shoot him from here”? “No he replied the brush is too high and I can’t see him good enough”. If you have tried to get a young hunter on an animal then you understand that they cannot see over the brush as well as we can. In my haste to pursue the moose, I had left his shooting stick behind and this was going to have to be perfect in order for me to let him shoot. Ok no problem I thought to myself. The moose are not spooked and they are feeding their way into the thick spruce. We will just quietly fall in behind them and wait for a good shot.
    After traveling 50 yards more I had him where I wanted him. The bull had fed into a V shape in the edge of the thick stuff and was moving from left to right broadside. We had a perfect shooting lane and it was about to happen!!! I asked my son again, “Can you shoot him from here”? “Not free hand” he replied. We spent the next few minutes moving my son from tree to tree trying to get a good rest that he could see the moose from. Each time a setup would not work he just looked at me and said dad you just shoot him. No I said this is your moose! He had told me all year again, Dad I don’t want a big one, I just want a forker. Still I really wish I had brought his stick! Finally he says “OK dad I can see him now. You can see the front shoulder? I asked. No I can only see his head and antlers. Can I shoot him in the back?
    No I said, thinking he meant the hind quarter. We played a game of cat and mouse with this bull for several more minutes until he scooped up the cow and they silently slipped into the thick stuff. I thought no problem they are still not spooked and the patch of spruce was surrounded by open swamps on all sides. We will move up again and catch him in the open. I never saw that bull again. He just vanished.
    As I made the long walk back to camp, with a very disappointed youngster, I looked down and noticed his bottom lip quivering. Hey buddy, Its OK well get the next one I assured him. But dad, I thought you said I could shoot them in the back if it was the only shot I had. You mean the hump I asked. Yes he replied, I had a perfect shot at the hump and you said don’t shoot. I thought you were talking about his hind quarter when you said can I shoot him in the back I answered. We had a good talk about how the events played out and he finally started to lighten up a bit, but he was bummed.
    It turns out it was probably better that we did not shoot him as we found out later that our party already had 2 moose down and that was a full day’s work.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default Part 3

    Sept 2;
    The morning hunt was fairly uneventful. We spent the day doing chores and a little fishing and set out again for the evening hunt. About 8:00 pm, from our new lookout knoll, I notice 3 moose feeding out into the alders. One I can tell is a small bull and is worth a closer look. We stalk down to the alder patch and I look up and see that we have been busted. The bull is 100 yards and staring right at us. We stand off for a while and he turns to feed off. At this point I see it. A Perfect fork on one side. I look back to my son and say he’s legal let’s see if we can get a shot. My boys’ eyes lit up and the hunt was on… This time I had his stick.

    We continue to quietly slip in for a closer shot at this moose but the brush is thick and it is very tough to see. At about 50 yards the moose spooked and I only caught a glimpse of a single cow heading one direction and another cow and the small bull heading another. We gave chase along an old river bed along a ribbon of alder. After quite a while it was apparent they had given us the slip. We sat for a while and tried to gather our wits and began the hike back to camp as it is now about 8:30pm.

    I look up to the hill where we spotted these moose from and notice the cow and bull are up in the red brush just staring at us and they are probably ¾ to 1 mile away. There they are I told my son. Are we going after them he asked? I don’t see much good in it I told him they know where we are and it’s getting late. The bottom lip began to quiver again and it broke my heart.

    I tell you what I said to him pointing to a knoll about half way to where the moose were standing. If we can get to that knoll and peek over, if the moose are still there and we have enough daylight, then we’ll try another stalk.

    Off we go for the knoll. We get there fairly quick and as planned climb up to take a peek. The moose are still there and they appear to have relaxed a little and started feeding again. I can hit him from here my son announces with authority. I just laughed and said “No you can’t”. From our new vantage point I picked out the best route to the moose. We had the wind to our advantage and I knew that once we slipped off the knoll we would not see the moose again until the next knoll that I had planned to shoot from. The stalk went perfect and when we peeked over the shooting knoll the moose were still there. We ducked back down and I told him OK this is it. Do exactly as I tell you and we’ll get your bull.

    We slithered along using cover until the last 30 yards. I really wanted to get to the top of the knoll as I knew he would have the best shot from there. It was not to be. With every step the moose got increasingly nervous and I knew this was it now or never they were not going to let us any closer. Quick come up beside me and get your gun on the stick I barked. He set up very quick. OK, chamber a round and get on the front moose I told him…Stay on him while I verify were on the same legal bull. Ok it’s the right bull I told him. Wait! The cow is moving in front wait until she clears, Ok she’s clear now shoot the back moose I tell him as I lift my gun for a follow up shot. I get my crosshair on the bulls shoulder and say when you’re ready go ahead and shoot. I have shot many moose in my time, but now I’m shaking like a leaf I think I have my first case of buck fever in years.
    Out of the corner of my eye I’m watching him and the moose at the same time. Just then I see the boy flinch bad. He tried to shoot but I think he changed his mind at the last second.

    At this time the moose turned quartering away and began to trot off. Shoot now he asked. Yes! I said if you have a shot take it! Now I’m back to looking through my scope and the gun goes off. Down goes the bull. Not like a sick slow down, but like gone, crumpled and out of site. I was shocked. I look over to him and his eyes are as big as pie plates and he slams a high five my way.

    Great shot I say now get another round in and stay on where you last saw him in case he gets back up. After several minutes it was clear he was done. We made our way to the bull and he was down and out. The .308 shooting 180 NP had done a fine job and it was over. My boy had just killed his first moose. I don’t want to sound like a sissy here but this was the most emotional kill I have ever been involved in. I had to fight the lump in my throat as we set about the pictures and quartering of this moose.

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    Default Part 4

    Sep 3;
    After the exciting events of the night before I decided to let my boy sleep in as I slipped out of the tent to try to find my bull. I was able to spot and put a good stalk on a small legal bull. This was a complete bonus moose as I had only hoped to accomplish getting him a moose. After his moose I honestly didn’t care if I ever shot another one.


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    Default Part 5

    The next several days yielded one more moose and we decided to cut the trip short and get the meat out.

    We had to make one full load for meat while leaving camp behind. We still had caribou to hunt, but I decided to send my boy home with the meat run and get him back to school and we could come back later for caribou.

    We had moose to butcher as priority 1. The next day on the trip in to retrieve camp, I ran in to this nice bull caribou and just had to.

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    Default Part 6

    The next week with the moose and caribou in the freezer we set out to get him his caribou and put the cherry on top of one of the best hunting seasons ever.

    We were able to put a textbook stock on a group of about 20 caribou from 3 miles away.

    With the sun at our back and the wind in our face the band of caribou fed to within 300 yards and lay down. There were 3 good shooters in the group and we timed perfectly who would shoot and when (I was not one of the shooters on this hunt). My son shot this one at 250 yards with a well placed shot in the neck that didn’t ruin any meat.

    11.jpg5.jpg

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Great writeup and a big congratulations to the kiddo!! (oh, and you too I s'pose)
    AKmud
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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default The Grand Finale

    3 generations of moose killers on this trip is kind of a big deal!
    Here are Father, Son, and Grandson with their moose.


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    I hope you enjoyed the stories and made it to the end. Believe me I could have gone on much longer I was in 11 gut piles this year and the memories will be there for generations.

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    Great job there Dad, loved the 3 gen photo. Love the "my first moose grin" on his face as well.

    Steve

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    Awww Man, THAT is one of the Best Hunt Reports I've read in a long time, and that pic of your son and His Moose, Pure Joy There, for all of you. And then the pic of all three Generations together, Right On

    Thanks for posting and the whole write-up, Outstanding
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Thats good stuff right there. Tell the lil feller he did a fine job and congrats.
    I'm Pro-Pike.

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    It couldnt have come together so sweetly for a better guy, you know I credit you with a large share of getting my kiddo's their first caribou this year. What an outstanding trip for you guys, and thanks for all the help in planning and pulling off our trip.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    As others have said, this is simply a great hunt story!! I also love the 3 generation photo, that is one that will mean the world to your son for the rest of his life. I sat out this hunting season but have been dreaming of getting my boys back out in the woods for their own firsts, Even in my minds eye I couldn't come up with a more perfect season than the one you have had!!

  14. #14

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    Great stuff NorthRiver!!! Glad to see your son was able to get his Model 7 barking this year!!! Couldn't have happened to a better kid too. I shot my first moose and my dad 5 minutes later bagged another. The best part about it my Dad's dad (my Grandpa) happened to be along on the hunt as well as his grandson and son were able to put two moose down 5 minutes apart. It wasn't until several years later that I realized just how special that day truly was with 3 generations of us getting out and skinning out some critters on a very sucessful days and I know your son will come to realize that as well. Thanks for sharing such an awesome and inspiring story. Between Brian's pic heavy thread and this one I am thinking kids aren't such a scary thing after all. Thanks again and tell your son I said great shooting and congrats!!!

    Oh yeah and 11 gut piles?!?!?! Man leave some moose for the rest of us. Congrats to you on a very successful season.

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    Congrats to the boy. See you at the rink.

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    Congrats on a season to remember! We had the three generational thing going too this year and got my neice her first moose, she is 11 as well. What a great feeling. You can really see in my brothers face on the video how choked up he was getting after the moose went down. Too cool.

    Can't wait to get my kids out there.

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    Member preed's Avatar
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    super awesome great story! what a fantastic hunt you had, congratulations.

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    Pretty amazing season. Gonna be hard to improve on all those firsts. Maybe a bigger moose next year?

    What were the internet police supposed to find wrong with your story?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    What were the internet police supposed to find wrong with your story?
    martentrapper,

    Who knows. I just thought Id put that in just in case I forgot to do something right.

    Thanks all for the kind words.

    Ak_Lanche, your one of the toughest guys I know. If a little kid scares you...I may have to rethink my opinion of you. It is all worth it. You definitely have to rearrange priorities but nothing is more rewarding. And that little Model 7 doesnt bark, It roars! This is his 3rd BG animal with it and all have dropped like a rock! That little .308 is the real deal. I'm sorry I ever doubted it before. Oh yeah and as far as saving some for the rest...Take a look in the mirror bud. I read your reports, your a tough act to follow.

    Chriso, thanks but it was all you! You did the legwork and made it happen. I'm so glad it worked out for you...Wheres the story? a 6 yr old on his first is pretty huge in my book.


    Thanks again to all for the encouragement. I will read this to my son today after school.

  20. #20
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Very good write up, love the emotion it portrays and i understand them completely having been on a few " first time hunts" this year.. wonderful job, absolutely wonderful!
    "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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