My boss doesn't understand why a guy would want to go out in this weather to harvest a moose. I don't understand why a guy wouldn't. But then again I don't understand a guy chasing a little white ball all over God's creation in a rain storm either.
I got back to town Thursday night and dropped the fresh meat off at Glenn's for processing. I hunted from Sunday to Wednesday, dawn to dark. I got to explore farther up one river than I had ever been. Lots of air pockets in the river ice, enough to make you catch your breath a couple of times.
The ptarmigan kept the game fun. The banged up scope on the Nylon 66 kept me reaching for more bullets. LOL. On the last day of the season I was into the ptarmigan thick. They were hiding from the wind in flocks of 50-60. I had only a couple of hours left and had switched from moose mode to bird mode. As I was chasing a crippled bird a small owl swooped down and hit the ptarmigan. It was smaller than the ptarmigan and soon gave up the fight. It was cool watching him try to get on top and the fight was on. The owl finally gave it up and flew off. From then on the ptarmigan flocks would not fly or run. I could get 10' away and they held firmly, until I shot. Then the sky would erupt in white missles. They never went far before they settled back down and off I would go after them.
I had just got back to the track rig when the second cow of the hunt walked out of the spruce. Oh crap, a moose! Gotta grab the binocs, uncase the big gun and get out of the rig. Oh, a cow. Wait, there are 2 moose. The one with his head in the brush might be the one. He had dropped his horns, but he was a bull. Just had to wait for the head to come clear and put one right at the base of his ear. He dropped like a rock. As I watched thru the scope his head came up. I stared hard, not believing he wasn't meeting his maker already. The howling wind kept his ear moving so I placed another shot in the exact same place. Never moved and the head stayed up. What the hell? Now a third moose came out of the spruce looking very unhappy. I hiked back to the rig and drove over. All the moose that could, ran away. Mine had originally fell on a birch tree about 3-4" diameter. The initial weight had collapsed the tree, but it soon sprang back, carrying his head up. I didn't mind paying the insurance with the second shot and felt better knowing the first shot had done it's job. Gotta like those Barnes bullets! I also liked the fact that both bullets had left just one hole.
I tied him off to the back of the rig and pulled him out of the brush and deep snow. He was about 3 years old and in good shape. I rolled the quarters off of him, leaving the hide on. I stacked him in the rig and covered him with a tarp and 2 sleeping bags to keep him from freezing. I got back to the cabin late that night hungry, tired and very satisfied. The next morning only the brisket had frozen. I peeled the hide off and bagged him up for the trip to town. I had fun with the back bone as I had left it in one piece, minus the ribs. Glenn had room to let him hang for 4-5 days and I am now anxiously waiting for the call to pick him up.
So all in all it was a successful trip. I had hunted hard during the Sept. season and 2 or three winter trips. The moose numbers are down, but there are a few out there if you can put the time in. I'll post a picture of the little guy when I get them.
Final tally: 20+ days hunting, 17 ptarmigan, 3 spruce hens and one moose, nothing broken (I did misplace my Swarovski 8x32 and haven't found them yet!) and no permanent injuries. (Sore backs and frozen body parts go with the territory)
Great hunt in the great land!