The Moose Hunt

Seemingly intelligent and otherwise reasonable men embark on a 22 hour drive to the northeast corner of B.C. In search of the moose. This elusive animal is as big as a draft horse with longer legs. Think of it as a short dark brown giraffe. His habitat is usually swamps or heavily forested areas. Places where humans seldom venture. You’d think by the size of them that their poop would be humongous like a horse’s. Actually they resemble a pile of elongated marbles. Moose marbles they call them. They can even be passed off as chocolates to a rookie hunter. I once thought of drying them out, drilling a hole and stringing a leather thong through them. I could market them as moose marble neacklace’s. Able to ward off evil woodsy spirits of some foolery. My dear wife nixed the idea.
Nothing is more majestic than seeing a full grown bull moose in the woods. Through his binoculars, my son spotted one on the far side of a large clearing. The 7mm bullet took out his starboard shoulder from 550 meters. When I stood on the spot looking for a blood trail in the snow, I could hear a distinctive thump thump, thump thump. The sound of a 3 legged animal circling me. I whistled, he stopped, and from 75 meters I shot him between the eyes with a massive 405 grain bullet from my 45-70 iron sighted bush gun. He shrugged it off like it was a horse fly and continued to circle me. Another whistle, this time it hit the side of the head and he went down. That was 7:30 am, it was dark before we stumbled into the camper, exhausted. I never worked so hard in my life skinning and packing 1200 lbs of bloody meat. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I butchered the beast. The next day, 3 of us worked from 5:30 pm till after midnight just hacking off meat and putting it in baggies for the freezer. We never knew if a package was tenderloin or brisket. A friend said the meat I gave him was like shoe leather. Other times you could cut it with a fork.
That was 5 years ago, but always a sucker for punishment, we headed north for a larger species of moose. We traveled through some of the most beautiful terrain I have ever seen. The fall colors were out in all their majesty along the Peace River valley.
” It’s a sure thing, impossible to hunt there without seeing a moose. I guarantee you will see lots of game there.” Well if something sounds like it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
We hunted our brains out and were feeling slightly discouraged when I saw him. All 1600 lbs. of him. Unfortunately he was in pieces and being packed out of the bush by a caravan of ATV’s. They had travelled 100km. into the bush and 100km. out through the worst muddy trails imaginable. “It’s too warm here, they’re hiding in to woods until the rut in a few weeks” the hunter explained.
Later that evening my son shot a porcupine. Before he expired he rolled over, showed us his soft padded feet and cooed as if to say “how could you shoot me, I’m cute.” We also shot a grouse that day. “Shoot him in the head, he’s too close.” Blam, a direct hit to the body with a 12 gauge blew him to bits. Not enough meat left to feed a chicken.
Impa lake was the destination but it was surrounded by a mile of swamp land. We got as close as possible with my Rhino UTV then slogged our way through the swamp the rest of the way. Someone had built a raft out of blue barrels and old pallets. We had to try it even though something inside me said “this reeks of disaster.” We poled about 50 feet out into the lake when a rotten board broke under me. I went head over heels backwards into the muddy lake. “Aaaagh, I want my mummy” was all I could say as I slogged back to shore, covered in slime, bugs and leaches. We didn’t fare better with the Rhino either. We went about 50 yards then got hopelessly stuck. Half an hour of putting logs under the wheels in the mud, winching and pushing we finally got out. My dry son sat in the Rhino and laughed at me as I did all the work. After that I swore I never wanted to see Impa Lake again. I was ever so thankful for the freshly installed shower in my camper but it took 3 days to get all the grit out of my hair.
All in all we had a great father and son time and i’d do it again.
…Anywhere but Impa lake.

One thought on “The Moose Hunt

  1. hahaha…. the sight of seeing you roll backwards into the lake off that raft was absolutely priceless. I laugh every time I see it in my head. Getting the rhino stuck in the mud 15 minutes later was just the icing on the cake. And by the way, I thought we were stuck for over an hour!

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