This september my father and I drove up to Tok, Alaska from Council Grove, Kansas to hunt moose on the middle fork of the 40 mile river. We had researched hunts for several years, and we had chosen to go with 40 mile air. My Father had just turned 50, and i had recently graduated college, so a hunt was the best way we could celebrate each. We were flown out by 40 Mile Air, and dropped off on an unguided hunt. we set camp close to the river, were past hunters had set camp as well. The first 3 days of hunting were slow, we spotted a few bou, and a couple cow moose. Our calls were not working yet, and we were yet to even see a bull. On the 4th day, I had decided that I would take a bou if one were presented to me. we had hiked to a higher elevation where we cold glass the river bottom easily, we spotted a large cow, but still no bulls in our area. Around 9am we started to see movment acros the river, about a mile away, and large numbers of bou were headed our way. We had several young bou come within 20yards of us, and then we spotted a small group of larger bulls. I do have to say, it was hard for a Kansas whitetail hunter to hold off on a young bou, they are still so much larger than anything we encounter. We watched this group of larger bulls work their way toward us, and we postioned ourselves on a ridge where I should get a shot. Sure enough they walked right under us, and at 12pm I made a 227yard shot down the steep ridge and dropped my first caribou with my .30-06 Springfield with 185gr Berger Bullets. Since we were in zone 2 of the caribou hunts, we were able to place my moose harvest tag on a bou because we had fille dout the caribou registration ticket as well.
After pics were taken we got right to work on quartering the bou. Once we had both quarters and neck meat off one side, i packed them in Tag Bags, strapped them on my pack, and headed for camp. now I like to think I am a strong guy physically and mentally, having played 4 years of college football here in kansas, but hiking a bou, around a mile, back to camp, was the hardest thing i had ever done in my life. I can not even begin to describe it, and there isn't a terain quite like it. It took me 3 hours to get the first two quarters back to camp, and then return to the kill site. And it was late into the night when the last pack of meat was return safely to camp. My father and I were exhausted. We ahd prepared ourtselves for this hunt, but there is not a terain like that in kansas that could give us a simulation of the Alaska interior. bUt we completed it, it was hard, but the feeling of accomplishment when finishing was amazing.
The next day was dedicated to some serious meat care. we hung our bags on a meat pole that was left from previous hunters, and we hung a tarp over them to keep the sun off of the bags. We were happy that the weather was turning colder, and the meat kept very well. Then it was a dinner of fresh bou heart, and i do have to say, the bou meat is some of the finest I have tasted.
The next several days we hunted closer to camp, knowing that if my father harvested a moose, we would not be able to make another hike like we did on my bou. I called everyday, glassing the country side, but there was still no response from any bulls. We had heard before we flown out that the rut my be postponed because of warmer than normal weather, and we were starting to think that might be the case. on our 8th day in the bush(september 13th), My father and I had a serious talk about what we should do. we came to the conclusion that if he is presented with a nice bou, then he will take it since we have yet to see any bull moose activity, and the season will close in 4 days. We also did not want to pass up on these caribou that were in our area, not get a moose, and then not see any more bou. So we decided to put ourselves in a postion for my father to take a bou. We sat on a large gravel bar 1/4 mile up river, where we had noticed was a common crossing point for the herd. After sitting 2hours, the bou crosse dthe river behind us. I rolled video footage as my father spotted the bull he was going to take. Once this bull crossed the river and was on dry ground, my father dropped his bou from 99yards with his.270
Then the work started again, but this time it was a much easier hike along the river. As my father quartered the bou, i hauled it back once again, but htis time a round trip was a mere 20 minutes. We finished the pack with over 2hours of daylight left. ANd our hunt was now over. The next day we flew out, and were happy to be successful on our first hunt in the great state of Alaska. Eventhough we had our hearts set on moose, we were completely happy to both take home a nice bou. The hunt was hard, and extreme. It tested our physical and mental toughness, and pushed our bodies to limits we ahd never seen before. But in the same sense it was the most amazing thing we had ever completed. It is safe to say that we are now hooked, and we will make it back to Alaska one day, hopefully to get that moose.
One thing that helped us greatly on our hunt was all of the knowledge we aquired from all of you on this forum. We would like to thank all of you. If anyone has any questions about our hunt, feel free to ask. we are happy to share our story
-Mfox & Knute78
These our pics of our base camp