It was early October, and it was finally time for my long-awaited moose hunt.
It was early October, and it was finally time for my long-awaited moose hunt. I had waited ever since I was a little girl for this opportunity, and it was finally here. So, my father, the one that looks after me, and I packed up our stuff and left our city in Alaska. We were heading to a place called Bethel, AK. After a six-hour long drive, we made it to our hunting unit. It did not feel like home to us but it was warm and cozy, like my bed at home.
The mountains were tall and covered with bright powdery snow like sugar. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was eager to set-up camp and prepare for our nine-day hunt. But Dad said, “We need to drive around and check out all the good places, just to make sure that we are in the best area.” This was partially understandable, but since I am a kid I'm not supposed to understand anything! So we spent another several hours driving. We went up and down through the mountains and then we saw it. The spot was beautiful; it was right on the edge of a vertical drop-off, overlooking everything. It was like paradise but colder!
We set up our camper and got everything ready to go in the morning. As the morning came and that annoying alarm clock was ringing in my ear like the sound of a pig getting their feet cleaned, I slowly yanked myself out of bed and got ready to go on yet another driving/scouting trip. This would be our first opportunity to really look around and see what these mountains had to offer. We spent several days really scouting the entire unit, and we had seen several decent bulls. Finally, the evening before the day we found the best bull yet, and he was right on the trail! I decided that he was the one I wanted. His rack was as big as an elephant's ear. As we were watching the bull closely, we noticed it was walking very slowly and was limping, so my dad had to call the closest conservation area. It seemed like a year before they showed up. Once they showed up, they had to shoot it, then collect all the meat and give it to the dogs and other animals at the closest city. They were happy to have some good meat to chew on throughout the rest of the day.
Once we found the right bull once again we were keeping an eye on it for about two hours now, and finally, my dad said I could shoot it! When I had the right angle, I aimed up from the chest to one third the total chest thickness. Once I got a look at it, I aimed and fired. “I hit it,” I told my dad. I hit it! The bull was not fully dead yet; you have to shoot it about twice to kill it for sure. The second time, I hit it in the chest area once again. All of his bleedings had been internal. An inch either way would have made our tracking job a lot easier. We also found that my second shot with the 300-grain hollow point went through the moose and took out both lungs. My final shot broke his spine and dropped him in his tracks. Once I made sure I killed it, we both went down there and we made sure it was dead, then we put the gun on safety, then we had to carry it up to our camper to get the organs and meat out.
Once we carry the bull up there, we get the table out from the camper. We start cutting up the bull. First, we cut the skin off and put that off to the side. Once we got the skin off, we started to degut him. Once done degutting him and deboning him, we were already packaging him before dark. After we de-boned the moose, it only took us two hours of packing fully loaded pack frames to get him to the road. As we hit the road, I was talking to my dad about how good of a catch I caught. They say that the easy part of moose hunting is up until you pull the trigger. Well, if this had been the easy part, I did not want to know what the hard part was. Then, a few hours later, I understood! Actually, we finally had a lucky break. As we were close to home, I called Mom and told her to get ready to fill the freezers with a lot of moose. As soon as we were done unloading the meat, it was around 5, but it was so dark outside that you could not see anything out. I still had to go outside to feed the animals that were not fed. My brothers and sisters were doing other stuff, and I had to go do it while they were inside, all nice and cozy warm. Once I got layered, I ran outside and fed them, then ran back in and helped my mom cook after my cozy shower. We were having some of the moose that we caught. It was so good I got seconds before everyone else. As soon as I was done eating, I went straight to bed. I was so tired.