Thursday, September 03, 2009

I Killed My First Moose

For those that know me well, know that I like to hunt. Since my career as a momma began, hunting has taken a short hiatus, except for the occasional evening dove hunt when in Texas. The main reason for the hiatus is due to the nature of hunting big game in Alaska. Here hunting moose typically involves a week at what people call “moose camp”. One gets to moose camp by many hours atop a four-wheeler or horse. This is quite impossible with an infant. However, who needs a week at moose camp with a 30.06 when you can easily off one with an F250?

Last night as I was driving home from the movies I noticed that it was the time of day when moose might be out. It was dusky dark (about 9:30 pm). Just as I flipped on my high beams I saw a wall of hide ahead of me. A large cow and her two yearling twins were crossing the road at a quick clip. I jammed on the brakes sending my bowl of left over popcorn flying (at the movie theater here you bring your own bowl and they fill it up for a dollar, needless to say you end up with ample left over popcorn). I swerved and missed the momma and the first calf. I nailed the third one square in the back right hind quarter. This yearling calf’s back was a few inches taller than the hood of our F250. Luckily the west Texas manufactured “cow catcher” of a grill saved both me and the truck.

I pulled over and looking into my rear view mirror noticed that the calf’s back was broken, but it was struggling to get up with its front legs. In a panic I called Jeff to see where the “truck pistol” was. Unfortunately, he had taken it out. He told me to call the troopers. When I called the troopers the dispatcher first asked if I was okay and then if the animal was still alive. I said ‘yes’ and that an angry looking cow was standing sentry by the road. I have heard of irate momma cows charging both man and vehicle in defense of a dying calf. I wasn’t about to get out of the truck alone. She asked if I could “dispatch the animal and drag it off of the road.” “Dispatch!” I thought… is she really asking me to shoot this calf? What kind of back woods crazy place do I live in?!!! As she is giving me instructions I look in the rearview mirror and the poor thing has finally expired. I tell her, “No need, it just died.” “Well, then please drag the moose off of the road, set a flare out and we will call the next person on the road kill list. What mile are you at?” she asks. “Here is your case number for you to fill out your participant accident form,” she informs me. I grab a napkin and write down the case number.

I hang up and notice I am shaking. How am I going to drag this 200 lb. “baby” off of the road I think to myself? About then I see car headlights approaching from the rear and the south bound lane. The car pulls up behind me and a lady about my age gets out. “You okay?” she asks. About then the other car has pulled over and a man is getting out. The gal informs me she is an EMT and he is a first responder. We get some rope and they drag the calf off the road while I get the flare. I slay my first moose and take off for home in a matter of minutes.

The very large pipe bumper and grill were completely bent back unto the hood of the truck, but the truck runs fine (I never get the courage to go over 45 mph) as I complete my journey home. The next day Jeff uses a neighbor’s bull dozer to put the bumper back in place. The only damage was a superficial 2 inch crinkle in the hood, some cracked plastic on the grill, and a serious decrease in the blood lust that once defined me. I don’t know if it is having two babies of my own or the fact that I annihilated a goofy yet beautiful animal with a two ton truck, but I cried the whole way home with only the conciliation of the momma having had twins.


Tom and Nancy said...

All I can say is... WOW!

I'm glad you were driving cautiously.

Katie said...

Oh Dana that is so sad, but I am glad you are ok!!!