Last day of hunting season – desperate for winter meat

 Moose - Pictures

1979 – 1982 Burns lake. I had some moosemeat in my freezer, but it was going to be a long winter. I would like to secure another 1/2 a moose, to make it comfortable. A winter without moose meat, is not to recommend, for a growing family. I had seen lots of moose, but the bull I had permit for, was never the right time or place. So, I made a plan with a friend, the last day of the season I would take the afternoon off, I worked way too many hours anyway, and we would drive to a place where I had seen many bulls.

I meet my friend downtown Burns Lake, he had started early to celebrate this moose kill, by spending a few hours at the local pub. We took the ferry to Southbank, and I drove on to find some old logging areas, I know them very well, but I can not describe them to you, these places are secret to a hunter.We came up to the right place, my friend was still thirsty, and had brought some more beer with him.

I stopped the pick up, and had to ask my friend to stay inside, he was now talking a little loud,  enough to scare any animals. I did not take many steps on the soft side of the gravel road, before I saw this great bull moose. Magnificent, part of the joy of hunting, is to see and study the animals. I used my scope, counted at least five tags on each side. Lots of meat. About 150 yards away, a perfect distance, a perfect end of the hunting season.

But it was a boggy, wet swamp, between me and the moose, could not drive the 4 x 4 much closer. It would take many trips in the mud to get the meat to the road and the truck.

Looking at my hunting partner, he was now getting useless for hunting purposes; not to be trusted with the knife, and unable to help carry, he would actually now become a bother, and just in the way of things. It was also getting darker, still enough light to make the kill, but it would sure be dark before, I could get the meat to the road. Skinning out a moose in the dark, yes I have done it, but it takes time, it becomes messy, the hide gets cut, it is not a clean operation, I could easily damage some of the hide and meat.

Looking at the bull in the scope again, he had not moved at all, he was just standing there, proud, alert, but not nervous. I had his heart in my scope; all this fine meat. Looked down the road to the pick- up, my friend was now outside to relieve himself.

I made an executive decision, released the bullet from the chamber, put the gun down and clapped my hands. The large bull took a few steps forward, and beside him, like a mirror image, was a cow !

 If I had shot, I would surely have killed the bull, and likely the cow too, with the same bullet. I only had permit for a bull. If I had not killed the cow, just wounded her, I would have had to track her down, and kill her, without a permit, but my duty as a hunter, what  a nightmare. Walking back to the pick up, my friend asked if I had seen anything, he thought he heard some noises in the bushes.

I asked him to find me a cold beer, in the late afternoon, darkness coming on, that was what I now needed. I drove him home, and I went to my home for dinner. I was happy to butcher out an extra calf  for that winters meat.

And I still have this beautiful picture, on my mind; a large bull moose, king of the forest, and his cow, in a swamp, alive, in the sunset, up north. You can not purchase a picture like that for any price, you have to earn it.

For you triggerhappy would be hunters out there, the bush is not a place for you.


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