Saturday, November 7, 2009
Its Saturday afternoon and my quarters are hung and the weather is perfect for aging meat in the mid 30's F.
I had planned Thursday to head up country for a few days but the weather was calling for wind snow and rain. My daughter is still not 100% from her bout with the flu and the wind Thursday was out of the NW at 30mph with gusts to 45. I decided to make a mornings hunt as my wife had to leave for work at 11am so I wanted to be home for my daughter as she is still absent from school. I left at 5am and drove up a dirt road which leads to a lake on the boundary of a wilderness area and as the sky lightened I started walking up slowly to a cove that moose frequent. It was blowing a bit and I was walking through some dense tamarack (We locally call juniper)stands. There was fresh sign everywhere and I slowed down. I pushed through some juniper and got a start as I jumped a cow and calf. They headed straight away through the brush and I heard more cracking and crashing off to my right. I knew there was an open marsh to the right so I started after them. Moose will often circle when pursued or stop on the far side of the clearing. When I broke out on the marsh I saw a cow and a calf, a cow and two bulls. One bull was about 150 yards and he stopped and stepped broadside and just stood there. I used a 30-06 with 180 gr nosler partitions. When I pulled the trigger he staggered and turned and started to run. He went about 20 yards and I fired again and he piled up hard.The first one would have killed him the 2nd stopped him in his tracks. If you notice the picture from a day or so ago you can see his nose and half his rack is buried in the turf of the bog. It was pure luck no skill to find him and a child could have made the shot. The difficulty now came with dealing with him by myself. I always carry commercial fishing twine and used that to spread him out so I could clean him. I got his insides outside then went home arriving home about 10 am. My mother in law came to watch my daughter and I went back to quarter him and drag him to the lake. I got the 4 quarters to the lake at dark which is about 5pm and headed out along the shore. It was too windy for the canoe and dark so I hauled the quarters home Friday morning. Its a winters meat and I feel truly grateful for it. The hard part of moose hunting is not getting them down but getting them home. I honestly enjoy the work involved, I appreciate the meat more when I work for it. It wasn't a hard hunt but it was tough getting the quarters to the shore. I love moose and caribou hunting but when they are dead I feel both good/bad as I walk up to them. If I didn't "REALLY APPRECIATE" the meat I wouldn't pull the trigger