Yeti

The moose i scared to death

Akcabin

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Jul 11, 2021
Messages
316
Near 40 years back I was blessed to go on my first fly out moose hunt. On the Stony river.
Myself n 2 buddies were going to do a 7 day hunt. One of them knew a pilot that could take us out. The trip out was fantastic as you have to travel through Alaskan Range mountains. As we broke threw the mountain pass, Stony river valley opened up into a narrow mountain valley with mountains on both sides, river down the middle.
The pilot made his approach on a narrow gravel bar that my buddy n the pilot selected when they flew out first. It was absolutely beautiful. With bright blue skies n warm sun. Mountains lined with golden aspen spruce. This was the first time I experienced watching an airplane leave me in the bush. All we have is what we have. And hopefully a pilot that remembers where we were.
After camp was set I was ready to explore. I couldn't hunt until the next day but couldn't resist checking out the area. One of the first signs of life I come across are holes dug into the ground. 8" deep holes from a grizzly bears looking for squirrels dug with 1 swipe. Pretty much behind our camp. But they were everywhere else too.
We built a huge fire from the pile of trees washed up in the nearby bend in the river we were camped on. Probably had a couple shots of whiskey n hit the sack. Well the river rock under me as the free cheapo kids air mattress went flat anyhows.
Morning came. I was pumped and up with the sun. I grabbed my rifle n headed out to a large open area. It froze that night n there was an inch of ice on the water in the boggy area. Pleased to see several cows out feeding. And with the sun starting to rise, more moose became visible. I watched as a younger cow approach a sandy yellow old cow that was on the trail. When the younger challenged the elder over the trail. Both moose came to their rear legs, with front legs swaying forward. Water flying in the air. The senior one won this time. But what a way to start my hunt.
I'm doing cow in heat calls when my morning constitution happens. I just get finished up when I hear a bulldozer coming through the thick brush. A dozer with 52" antlers.
He comes out broadside a fitty yards out. I shoot, he walks away n turns broadside again at near a hundred yards out. I fire my model 70 , 7mm mag again. This time he rears back on his rear legs n falls over backwards. I have just been blessed to harvest my moose.
I've yet to see another moose do this. And as I'm just approaching him my hunting partners showed up, awaken by the gun fire. I'm giving them a little badgering when the table turned on me. As we could not find the bullet hole or any damage. Now I'm being accused of scaring an old moose to death. Oh well tastes the same.
We got him on the meatpole built from the drift wood. Everything was going pretty good until it started to rain. And rain hard. For another week. Tents flooded with water. Glad I had my woolies to dry by the fire.
The biggest problem with camping in a river valley in the Alaska range is clouds. Pilots can't fly above the clouds n pick a spot to come down threw. We made the week fine and I called a couple more bulls into camp. My buddies weren't into trying to handle another moose.
The sun came out n our ride shows up 2 hours before dark. He says that he's overweight to take off on the now shorter gravel bar. We 3 climb in with no gear. He swings the tail of the 185 around at the end of the gravel bar. Tail in the water. Pulls the throttle n holds the brake until he can't. The plane rumbles across the river rocks. Then just as we run out of gravel bar the plane dips just a bit as the river bank lowered to the water. I watched as the wheel scratched the surface twice. The pilot also had to dodge the black spruce lining the river. One wing just above the trees, one just above the water as he banked to the right. Nobody said a word for 20 minutes.
That was a situation where I learned a lot about picking a buddies pilot friend for a drop off hunt. He did go back a few days later n get my moose n our camp. No antlers as he said a bear got them. And our camp did get raided as our gear was chewed up. Never touched my moose meat though.
I've since learned a bit more about heading out. I still don't like electronics though. I know where I'm at , most of the time anyhows. And I mostly remember this hunt as a another great opportunity to enjoy outdoors. As crazy as it was
 

GoGriz1234

Active member
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
136
Thanks for sharing the story - always love to hear of how and where others have hunted over the years.
 

Akcabin

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
316
Thanks man. This trip was sure a learning experience for me. This was only my 2nd moose, and it was my first time out on a drop off moose hunt. I was a forest fire fighter n had spent a lot of days in remote areas of AK so being out in the bush was familiar to me. But being stranded for near a week with nothing except for what we had. When it comes to learning what to pack in case stuff doesn't work out. Well nothing like actually having it happen. Along with hard rain we had sustained winds threw that pass.
Knowing that there's good pilot n bad pilots. The cat was the worst. I was just a passenger on this flight with no experience on a hunt like this. A pilot that almost left 4 men stranded in the bush. Between mountain ranges with no ability to be reached. And nobody else knowing where we are.
This was also pretty hard on my beautiful wife. So now when considering how I do things becomes more important.
I now use a pilot that I know is a pro. Old school bush pilot who only uses his electronics for back up.
Also would like to add. This is kinda one of those things that can happen. And although I was able to tell a story about harvesting a moose. There is another story about learning.
For me it was learning about good pilots. About at least checking out my buddies buddy flying credentials. It's up to me to protect myself. I now always carry a ditty bag on a bush plane. With what I know I will need. And experience, I do remember that other than being pissed at the pilot staying out in the bush was great. Weather sucked but I had fun. And the crazy part about this is it could be true. This was an old bull. And would not have survived another winter. And hard to explain no bloodshot meat or holes in the hide. Hey I'll own it.
So probably should have had a warning at the front stating that there's a lot of lessons to be learned.
And any hunt is good, it's just some are better
 

LostTexican

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Location
North West of ATL, GA
Never fails, opening morning of any hunt I have to dump at the worst time. I've learned to keep my bow/rifle close when I do.....I'm not above making a good shot from the squaring position lol
 

Akcabin

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
316
Yeah this was actually the second time. First time was an 8 point whitetail. Walked past me 40 feet away, right over to my buddy.
This was a crazy trip. I still remember my buddies giving me stuff because we couldn't find any bullet damage.
 

thusby

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Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1,469
Location
Greater Milwaukee Area
Yeah this was actually the second time. First time was an 8 point whitetail. Walked past me 40 feet away, right over to my buddy.
This was a crazy trip. I still remember my buddies giving me stuff because we couldn't find any bullet damage.
Had that happen before. No sign of entry/exit, no blood, no damage when gutting. I just figured it went in one ear hole and out the other while nicking a small vein in the brain.
 
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