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Monday, December 17, 2007

Moose!!


About a week and a half ago the weather finally returned to normal and we have been in the teens or lower making the traveling for trapping and hunting better and better. Ron and I were going to go out on our trap-line Saturday morning and try to make to a cabin about twenty miles away where we would spend the night and return on Sunday. However, our trip was cut a bit short.

We had our sleds all loaded up with traps and gear when we finally left around 11am. We were about a half mile past the dump when I saw a bull moose standing in the trees about 75 yards away. I stopped and pulled my rifle over my head and looked at him through the scope. It takes a lot of effort to get the rifle sling over my head when I am all bundled up like I was. I expected the moose to move into the trees and I wouldn't have cared because we had big trapping plans for the weekend that would be ruined if I shot him.

Well, he didn't move into the trees and I knew he was a decent bull so I lined up and pulled the trigger. . .Nothing happened, so I tried again. Nothing happened. I looked down and apparently I didn't get the safety off so I fumbled with it for a bit, took aim and . . .nothing. I thought I was carrying a loaded gun, but apparently not! I put a shell into the chamber, pulled up and "click!" I pumped a new shell in, pulled up and "BANG!" I think I missed because I was rushing and by this point I was going crazy! I took a bit more time for the second shot, pulled the trigger, and "click!" Again, I pumped another shell, my last one, into the chamber. . . .The moose was gone.

Just kidding! He was hiding behind a tree. I could see his head and neck so I tried to put one through his head to knock him down, but he just stood there after I shot. My gun was empty and my extra shells were three layers down in a pocket. I frantically dug until I found a shell. I loaded it, pulled up. . .I took my time and leaned on my snow-go handle bars. . ."BANG." He just stood there! So I did some more digging, found another shell, loaded it, and . . . He looked hurt so I paused for a second, then he laid down. I got him!!

This all lasted for about 10 minutes of me shooting, digging for shells, waiting for him to show himself, all the while our snow-goes were still running. Ron said that he would have passed this bull up because of our trapping plans, but there is no way I was going to pass up an opportunity at a nice bull. In a way I hope we don't see another bull moose this December, but Ron still has a tag so I guess I would settle for seeing one just a bit smaller!!

My moose measured 53 inches wide, which I think is pretty good. Ron said that he thinks it is an older bull, which I think is also good. I guess I would say that I am happy.

Ron went to get Mike to help us haul out the meat and I began butchering. One of my students came by and helped while I waited for Ron to get back. It took us a couple hours, but when we were done there was nothing left but a few organs and the back bone. I skinned out the head and hung it at the dump for the birds to clean it up. Now comes the real fun. . .Cutting up hundreds of pounds of meat ready for the dinner table!

There are a lot of pictures of my moose added to our pictures site if you would like to see more.

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