The picture, as it often does, says it all. I’m lucky I have a non-blurry picture for all my jumping up and down with excitement. We had a tough hunt. Not including the 900 km to get there and back, I figure we drove about 900 km per vehicle, seeing lots of jack squat. Last year, we saw 62 moose in 2 days. This year, maybe 6. Everyone seems to be agreeing that it may have something to do with 6-9 feet of snow in the area last winter. That’s one thing. But with populations high, wildlife management folks released WAY too many tags in the area in anticipation of another big year this year. Well that did not happen. Which meant loads of hunters chasing very few animals. Frustration. Hope came last night when dad and I spotted 11 moose in our evening drive, many in a concentrated area.
Well the photo was taken in that very area, visited this morning. Fully having prepared myself for the worst of leaving empty-handed, having partially packed as we were leaving in a couple hours, we suddenly had not only one calf, but two. The morale crushing at-times-torturous difficulty of the hunt seems to have made this finish only that much more epic. I was in shock that it actually happened for many hours. Still am.
I learned a lot on this trip, and there are far too many details and stories to belabor you with. I just finished cleaning up liver, hearts, kidneys, and tongues. I’m showered. But after a long day of adrenaline, field dressing, loading animals, skinning, hanging, cleaning gear, packing, loading, driving home, unloading, cleaning – I’m beat.
More on all of this tomorrow, when the butchering begins.