The changing color of the tundra grasses and the cooling evening breezes usher in a special time of year: fall moose hunting. Last fall, Solomon and I went on a 2 day moose hunt, camped out overnight, caught a moose and returned home successful. This year we set out again. But instead of hunting Akuleraq, a place I know, he wanted to show me an area Northeast of here. We saw lots of moose and even more birds (ducks, geese, swans, etc).
There were several places like this along the way. Nothing around for miles. Someone’s fish camp/hunting getaway.
We ride around in the boat most of the time, checking both sides of the river for moose. But when we see a clearing in the trees or a field, we usually stop to check it out. Sometimes the moose are staying just barely out of sight of the river.
Later that evening, we set up camp before it got too dark. Even the best tents are a headache to put up in the dark.
So with our shelter for the night secured, it was time for some warm supper! It’s not as good as what I would’ve hoped. But when you’re chilled and hungry, if it’s warm, it’s awesome.
The next morning, I woke up a couple hours before Sol. Some commercial fishing boats had passed during the night, coming back from the coast, and had him up for awhile. I never heard ’em. Some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten is outside in the cold, tucked in a warm sleeping bag. A little before 7:00 I rustled out, had coffee, and waited on the sunshine.
Having the sun warm the chill from the air is a great feeling. I never truly appreciated that when I lived in Arkansas. It was strange when I first came here, my first winter; some days the sun would be out in full force but it wouldn’t raise the temperature 1 degree. Not one single degree. You could move from the shade to the sun and feel absolutely no difference whatsoever. Knowing that winter is just around the corner made the morning warmth all the more special.
After Sol woke up, he whipped us up some powdered eggs. I know. It sounds horrible. Surprisingly, it was pretty good.
That was our breakfast. Powdered eggs with some moose jerky I’d made a week ago washed down with coffee. Mmm-mmm!
We saw a couple of young bulls that morning a couple miles from where we camped but they didn’t hang around long enough for a shot. They were in a bad spot too, right beside the water. If we got a good shot and it fell in the water………oh Lord. I’ve never tried to pull a Volkswagen Beetle out of a creek by hand but that’s probably what it would’ve been like. Either that or we’d be quartering it up while standing in the creek. Neither outcome was appealing.
We took Akuleraq on our way home. A few miles from the main channel, Sol caught his moose with one shot. 100+ yards at a moving target, from a moving boat, off hand, a decent cross wind, with the sun directly in his eyes. Not bad Sol. Not bad at all.
On our way home I was able to catch a couple more beavers. I trap some during the winter, but I prefer this time of year to get beavers. It’s a LOT less work.
After they come back from Alaska Tannery in Fairbanks, we will try to make ourselves some nice, warm hats and mittens. I’ve tried lots of gloves and mittens over the last several winters and I can tell you from experience that nothing compares to real fur mittens.
Another successful moose hunt behind us and some fur for winter clothes. We’re already planning and looking forward to next year’s Fall Moose Hunt!