Big Game Hunt Report


In 2006, I saw 67 moose in 2 days. This year, 1. That’s more than just a change of luck. That’s a 98.5% decrease. Their populations had already tanked by 2007, and this past winter’s ridiculously deep snow did them in again, according to locals. I’ll have to remember to mention what winter, or perhaps worse, the torture of ticks, does to animals next time somebody gives me a hard time about hunting one. Death by insects or starvation would suck worse than death by bullet, I’d wager.

Other than a short bout of luck with some ruffed grouse, action was slow. I had a draw for a calf moose. No moose in sight, nevermind a calf. So after the first night, my hunting partners suggested picking up a general bull elk tag, just in case we saw one. Not that we’d seen one. But somehow the elk populations are good despite the deer and moose taking a kicking – probably because they’re extremely smart. That evening I picked up a bull elk tag – cows and calves are by draw and I was declined my draw this year. The very next morning, we spotted 3-4 cows, 2 calves, and a legal bull in the same field where I shot my first moose in 2006. Funny how you don’t forget the locations where you shot animals. The elk were 650 yards away – no chance. At least we’d seen SOMETHING.

Then came evening. Spent the evening seeing zero moose, again. Then, about 15 minute before legal shooting time ended, we decided to see if the elk perhaps had made a mistake and come out around the bush where we saw them in the morning. As luck would have it, they made that very mistake. And as luck would have it, they were within shooting range, looking into the sun at us, unable to catch our wind, and kept feeding and walking towards us. Your fate when hunting is tenuous. You can be frustrated, tired, and disappointed one minute, and a minute later be full of adrenaline and have an animal on the ground to field dress. So no calf moose this year – for the first time since 2006, our freezer will be full of elk rather than moose. I’ll take it. The quarters are hanging at 2.2C and 60%RH in my garage, and in a few days we’ll be butchering. I’ve already started a dry curing project, more on that next.

6 Responses

  1. [...] Perennial Plate « Big Game Hunt Report 12 [...]

  2. Chad says:

    Where do you hunt, if you don’t mind me asking? And when and what are your plans for butcher day?

  3. Kevin says:

    Hey Chad – I think my dad would smack me if I told you exactly. Out past Slave Lake, roughly though. You don’t need to go that far for deer and moose, you can get them here, it’s just that I have family and friends that own land up there and know lots of farmers so we can get lots [sections upon sections] of permission.

    I’ve got a friend coming over to help butcher when the time comes – we’re aging the quarters in my cellar at the moment.

  4. [...] foraging this summer, and it looks like she’ll be jumping in on helping Allan Suddaby and I butcher elk this weekend. So there you have it: disclosure of bias + an explanation of why I was at her event, [...]

  5. [...] day we butchered this year’s bull elk, we started curing a couple pieces of eye of round whose fate was to dry in my cellar. Outside the [...]

  6. [...] $12 from these guys at the city market downtown, until my smarty pants friend Kevin remarked that his was free. Plus the cost of a tag. Indeed, that spurred me to think about doing a comparison flavor-wise [...]

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