Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Moose Hunt

The anticipation for the fall moose hunt began the day after Super Bowl Sunday... I had caught the fever... All spring and summer I was counting down the days to August 5th when I'd come home to Alakanuk and enjoy many boat rides before work started... Well, as we all know, I hurt my knee. This meant a few different things...
1. Later than desired arrival back in AUK. 
2. A rather unpleasant conversation with my surgeon where he told me that I'd not be going on any boat rides, hunting or otherwise, this fall which resulted in the first tears I'd shed in quite a while. And 3. A strong urge or desire or motivation to do my physical therapy and go hunting.

Since I got home a month ago, I've been on many boat rides. Sometimes we'd go out seal hunting, other times we'd cruise the sloughs in search of moose. Every time was a much needed mental break from work, college, cleaning, etc. 

Tuesday night of this week I got a phone call to go out boating. I regretfully turned it down because I was in the middle of about 10 projects here at home... A 10 P.M. message made me regret my decision when I learned that they'd caught a moose. So Wednesday, after an unusually exhausting day, I went out on a boat ride. We cruised down past where they'd caught the night before. Saw two HUGE bulls, but they took off before I could get a shot at them. We headed back out... Saw a cow before we hit the Yukon. Then Bummer turned the boat toward Aquleraq (I hope I spelled that correctly) slough. By the time we hit the slough it was probably about 9:30. I was daydreaming, thinking about a conversation I'd had with my uncle about how lucky I am to live here and do all the fun things I get to do. I was thinking about how I'd probably call him to tell him that we'd missed two big bulls when Pius said, "Get ready!"

What do you know... There is a little bull moose swimming across the slough not far in front of us... Then all I hear is a combination of Bummer's and Pius's voices telling me to wait til he's up on the bank, get ready, shoot now! etc. 

Long story short, I shot him. 3 times. Dad doesn't like me sharing my accurate retelling of where I shot him, but I will anyway... First shot to the rear quarter... Then either antler or guts, followed by the other... At that point the moose headed up on the bank, and with my gimpy status Bummer told me to stay in the boat while he went up on the bank after the moose. He shot him once in the lungs before I headed up to check him out. 

Since I am from a long list of B.S.ers and folks who like to stretch the truth a bit when it comes to hunting and fishing stories, here is a more fun version of the shooting... The moose came up out of the water, raised up on its hind legs, flipped me the bird as I shot him in the back leg... Then as I was aiming again, he reared up again and flipped me the bird again and thats why I shot him in the gut. By then I was getting really mad, so I aimed straight for his antler just to piss him off.... :) <---all obviously false, but in good fun, right? :)

We started cutting him up, but soon it was too dark. We brought part of him home last night, then Bummer and I went back this morning for the rest. I spent the entire day today working on moose. Bummer and I hung the 2 legs I kept to skin and cut meat off the bone. We cut up 1/2 the ribs, the brisket, and cut the neck meat out. I've got 2 more legs to work on tomorrow, I'll be sharing those with some teachers... I finished cutting, cleaning, bagging, and vacuum sealing my meat about an hour ago, just after midnight... 

Here are a few random pictures from the past month of boat rides... I'll be working on a video for the fall hunt, as well as getting that winter hunt video put together... Keep your eyes out for both of those. :)

Bummer cleaning his boat from John's moose Tuesday night.

Pius and I being awesome, like always.

Super rainy!

First bull... Second moose I've caught. 

Its funny that such a large animal can be cut up
 and put in such a small space...

Jammin out and cutting the back leg. Thanks for teaching me, Bummer!

Silly guy sticking his tongue out... Well, I guess it can be known
that this time I got the last word and tongue stick out. :)

Help making pizza, taking a short break from cutting moose. :)

Who needs orange slices when you've got canned peach smiles! :) 

2 legs, a brisket, one side of the ribs, the neck, a little salmon from
fish and game (what they caught and counted), and a bit of halibut
from Bummer... This freezer is starting to look good. :)

Here's to a weekend of rest, relaxation, boat rides, laughter, and fun.


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