Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moose Camp 2009

It seems that good times always come to an end much too quickly.
I wait all year for moose season. I always plan a month long camping trip far back in the wild country. It's as much about just being out there as it is hunting.
This year was disasterous!It was over in 4 days.
I tried passing up several moose to make it last longer, but as it goes.We usually have a short camp only a few miles from home while waiting for the opening day of hunting in the Caribou Hills.
Short camp lasts about 5 days until the real opening day.We can never afford to pass up our winter's meat, so we have to take moose if one presents it's face.Unfortunately, too many moose presented their faces in the first four days.
Lin bagged her bull on day 2 with a nice shot through the neck. It was a fine year-and-a-half old bull. They are the best and tenderest meat to eat.We had it back in camp by day break and hanging in a cold storage unit before noon.
I passed up several on day three which I probably shouldn't have done.
The fourth morning I bagged my bull before the sun was up. I suppose it was just about when it was light enough to see.I was glad to have another fine young bull, but it was sad to have to be done before we got to go to "real camp".There was no justification to go to real camp because it cost's $225 for a permit.It was over. We stayed an extra day to just sit around the camp fire and reflect on our success.
Don't get the idea that it is a wizz to go out and pop two moose quickly.
No other hunter bagged anything out of a ton of moose hunter's camped everywhere.They drove the roads and trails from sun up to sun down. The only problem is moose never stick that long nose out after first light, then they hit the thickets and watch all those wanna-be moose hunter's pounding the muddy trails.Then those hunter's are back in camp after a long days riding before deep dusk.Once again the same moose seldom come out of the thickets until deep dusk.
I hunt the first light and the last 30 minutes before dark. The rest of the day we pick berries, tell lies around the camp fire, or catch up on sleep.
In Alaska first light is at about 0500, and deep dusk can be around 2100 hrs. So it's 2200 hrs before we get to bed.
Having said all of that, it makes for very short sleep before having to get up at 0400.Most of the hunters sit up around the camp fires until 2400 hrs before getting to bed.The next morning they are woke up by the roar of our moose rifles, because we have enough sence to get our sleep during the day so we can be up at that wee hour.
I have had complaints of others because they jump up out of bed when I set off my 375 H&H Magnum right next to their tent.
This year I could have shot 2 big bulls standing in the trail. The only problem is right behind the moose was one of my friend's tent. They were not at camp. I didn't know it or I may well have dumped one of the big bulls next to their tent. I knew if I shot, the bullet would have easily gone through the moose and poked a big hole in the end of the tent.I knew they were already mad at me for waking them up early for years, and leaving big gut piles too close to their camps.It's not kool to have big gut piles next to your camp because they draw the big old fuzzy grizzly in too close to camp.You can see how they don't sleep very well with those big old bears wandering around their camps.
I'm not a mean old geezer, but I do have a decent sense of humor. Especially when I have been trying for years to get those lazy old pharts up early enough to shoot their own moose.
I hate to admit it but I do kind of enjoy messing with them.The rest of the year we fish and do other things, but when it comes to moose hunting, we agree on nothing. We spend long hours debating moose hunting issues.
Not to brag too much, but my camp has bagged many bulls while they have had to eat beef and dead hog for winter's meat. Maybe a chicken once in a while.
My good old moose has absolutely no growth hormones or fat. It's probably those "growth hormones" that keep those old pharts from getting up early enough to get moose.
I have even offered to go with them and show them how to do it, but that sort of gauled them a bit. I guess when they get red in the face and start shaking, I should back off and not needle them too much.
They are still camped out there and I do envy them for that.It'll be a small miracle if they get a moose, unless one stumbles over one of their tent posts and breaks it's neck.
By the way, we got a couple of gallons of blue berries, cranberries, red currants, crow berries, watermelon berries and low-bush cranberries.Dang! I miss being out there.
Actually two of my nephews drew moose tags in a unique moose area. I'm going along to shoot video of their hunt.It will be a river boat trip up a river in the best moose hunting area in Alaska. It is a place where only 20 tags are drawn. I am excited about going with them.
I'll bet I won't have trouble getting them up early. I have found that a cold bucket of glacier water in bed always helps the late risers.Just having fun!!


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