It all started when my father, Jeff, and I sent in our applications for the moose hunt as we’ve been doing annually. Knowing from past experience that we didn’t have a very good chance of getting drawn was painful, but having a positive attitude helped. We had just finished a successful turkey hunt in the spring, and the thought of going moose hunting and turkey hunting in the same year sent chills down my spine. After the applications were sent in, the wait began.

A few months later, right before I was about to go to bed, my father called from work and said, ‘”You lucky bum, you got drawn for Moose Hunting!!!!” The reason behind him saying this was because he had been putting in Moose Hunting Applications for ten years, and his best friend and hunting buddy had been putting in for more than twenty. Whereas, this was merely my third year putting in an application. When he said this to me, I literally jumped four feet in the air in celebration. Not only did I get drawn, but I also got one of the best areas in the state, and for a bull tag!! The preparation began immediately.

It took many months of anticipation, preparation, and hard work until we reached the weekend that we made our trip up north to the camp we had rented in The Forks. It was about a two hour ride, but boy was it worth it. When we got there and finally got to see where we would be staying, we noticed it was very small, but it got the job done. It was a small white cabin, with two bedrooms and bunks, and a common room furnished with a dining table and chairs, and a kitchen. We were set up two days before opening day, so we began our hunt by scouting certain areas, looking for moose, or sign that they would leave behind. In the two days before the hunt, we saw a total of 13 moose, about an even split between bulls and cows. This boosted our confidence level quite a bit, and also gave us a good idea as to where we should hunt. I went to bed the night before opening day (October 10, 2004) dreaming of the state record moose I wanted to shoot.

On opening morning, I was up and ready to go at 4 a.m.. I was excited, and so was my father. (Who was the sub-permitee) we got ready, ate a little breakfast, and then loaded in the truck, ready to hunt down a moose. We drove up the Capital Road, and turned into where we were going to start the day by sitting. It was very chilly, and we had to wear several layers of warm clothing. We sat on the top of a hill, with my dad’s friend and his son in kind of a four corner position, scanning a large area, After sitting for about an hour or two, we decided to get in the truck and find a new place. We all piled into the truck, and as we drove for what must have been a grand total of two minutes, we saw a bull off of the side of the road, about a hundred yards away. My dad and I scrambled out of the truck, loading our guns at the same time. Simultaneously, we raised our guns and got him in our scopes. We conversed and tried to decide if he was the one that we wanted to take. We decided in the affirmative, but by the time we did this, the moose began to walk away, so, in a panic, we jumped the gully on the side of the road and ran to get into position. By this time, the moose was back to us, and looking over his shoulder. I took aim, and squeezed the trigger….. .and… .nothing happened. Cussing to myself, I looked at the action on me side of the gun, and the bolt wasn’t all the way forward. I then heard a loud bang, and saw dirt fly up behind the moose. That was my dad who had fired what he has jokingly called “a warning shot.” The moose ran to his left and stopped broadside. This time, my dad didn’t miss. He fired a beautiful shot that we could tell penetrated the lungs deeply. Then, it was my turn; I fired a great shot and hit him in the same place. My dad fired once more, to be sure that we were effective, but the moose was going down anyway. All four of us (me, my dad, Rob (his friend), and Robbie (his friend’s son) watched in awe as the massive animal fell to the ground.

This is when the excitement began, and congratulations flew through the air like flies. Finding the moose took us a while, considering that it had fallen in brush that was quite thick when we found it, we celebrated and gave each other high fives. We took lots of pictures, and then began the dirty work. The gutting and dragging it to the truck took about 7 hours, then we went to the tagging station to find out the weight. The dressed weight (weight after the animal has been gutted) was 640 lbs., which made the live weight approximately 855 lbs.

I enjoyed this experience very much, and I hope that someday, I get to do it again. A tip to anyone who wants to moose hunt in the future, it takes a lot of preparation and equipment, so make sure you are ready. If you are, the rewards are great. Happy Hunting!!

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