Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Home from Hunting
The great hunter has returned.
On Monday of last week Jeff got a call from Danny Presley, a local hunter and good friend. Danny invited Jeff on a late season hunt last year, but the moose were run off due to a rapid change in weather and wolves. This year Jeff got another opportunity to go with Danny when his hunting partner had a heart attack the night before their hunt. They left with the horses and four wheeler to hunt a 70" moose that Danny had spotted via his air plane in Willard Canyon.
From Danny's explanation and the viewing of maps, Willard Canyon is a day's ride into the Caribou Hills. This is also a day's ride past all other hunting camps further into the bush. The first evening they called in a 58" male that was traveling with two honeys and was in full rut. They passed on this guy in hopes of seeing the 70" bull Danny had spotted two days prior.The second day in, Jeff spotted a group of moose on his way to the horses early in the morning. They scoped out a 67" male bull that was large bodied. Even though the spread was smaller than the bull they were gunning for, Danny said he was a good looking male with wide palms. To explain to all the non-moose hunters: a legal moose is 50", a good moose is 58-62", with most Boone and Crockett moose beginning around the upper 60s" (depending on many rules, drop tines, points, etc.). Danny is a big time trophy hunter with a half dozen B & C moose in his garage alone. They hiked about a mile and 1/2 down to the moose. Jeff rattled with some moose scapula, Danny cow called and up he came rearing and ready to fight. Danny took the moose on the morning of the 13th. Jeff said he was a fat boy that was still sweet smelling. It took the rest of the day for them to skin out the bull (in the pouring rain), and hack out a trail for the horses. At dark they had to tarp the moose and pray that nothing got him during the night. Jeff took some of the backstrap and fried it up for dinner. He said it was delicious even before it was aged. Back at camp they listened as a pack of wolves sounded like they were having a hey day in the valley below. Resolved that they wouldn't find much the next morning, they took the horses down to the bull. Amazingly, the moose was there all in one piece! They spent the next two days packing him out. The neck alone weighed 75 pounds and one of the back hindquarters weighed almost 200 lbs. Needless to say, Jeff is a little sore.
After 6 days Jeff and Danny returned from the Caribou Hills yesterday. We now have half of 600+ lbs. of meat hanging in a cooler at McNeill Canyon. It is a privilege and honor for Jeff to go on a hunt with such a seasoned hunter. Thank you, Danny! Thank you God for bringing us to such a wonderful place!