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Old 11-26-2009, 02:15 AM
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jderksen jderksen is offline
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Location: Prince George, BC, Can
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Default Hunt narrated

dans moose kill zone.jpg

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We started out with trouble. Dan's accompany to hunt form was in Smithers on Monday am. This was our departure day. The form had to be signed by the region 6, district rep. who is in Smithers. He had not hurried, figuring we would travel through any way. But we were flying in to 6:20 from 7:39. They said we had to carry the original and they could mail it. I talked them out of mailing it and the people here into accepting a fax. copy. Then we bought Dan's tags did a little visiting, went home to pack the truck and headed to Tim's to load the aviation fuel. At Tims we smelled gas and it wasn't a gas can it was my tank. That took hours to fix, but we were done by suppertime. After Brenda fed us we headed out. At Salmon Valley the truck started to buck. It slowly lost power and I limped it back home. I found the fuel filter plugged. I called Kelly at 9pm and he had spare filters. We headed out at 10pm and drove all night. We arrived before noon at Black Lake, which is as far north as you can go because of road deactivations. We waited for Tim and He arrived at noon. Nothing short of a world crisis could stop us now. Tim was notified just before takeoff that he was grounded along with every non-military plane in Canada and the US. We were a little blown away. As the second day grounded was nearing the end Dan had enough. He wanted to start walking. It was 25-30 miles to our lake, Chukachida. The only one who wanted this less than me was Tim. He rang up a whopping bill on his Sat-phone and finally got permission from the dept of National Defense in Gander Newfyland to file an emergency flight plan and we were in. We saw 2 moose on the way in. Tim let us off by an abandoned trapper cabin, which we cleaned up and moved into. In the last hours of light we went for a walk along Midas creek. There was bear sign everywhere. And it was fresh, bucketsful. We saw some goats on a mountain to the southwest, and then at dust a caribou bull sky lined on the mountain to the north. The lake was surrounded by snowcap mountains. The lake was so clear you could plainly see the bottom to 20ft. That night Ernie came in from filling water bottles and said that something was grunting at him. I went out and it sounded like a moose but was way to fast. (sets of 4 grunts repeating every 5 seconds) We listened for a while and went inside. Early the next morning we loaded into our boat (Tim's rubber dingy) and paddled toward the Chuckachida River. We had decided to chase the caribou bull. Then we heard the grunting again and looked to try to see a moose. A big Black Griz came down to the shore where we had planned to exit (100yrds) and started thrashing brush and pacing back and forth making the grunting noise. As we paddled closer he climbed up and away slowly until he was gone. We exited the boat 300 yards further down in the opposite direction to the one he took, and climbed up, way up. When we reached alpine we skirted the crest to keep from sky lining ourselves and began to round the mountain. As we crossed a saddle Dan saw horns and we did the belly crawl, but the caribou winded us and were 400yrds away when we saw them. Too far for me. We circled to try to cut them off but they beat us by a literal mile. We carried on around the mountain looking for goats. Man that's steep, scary stuff. We found them point blank but it was a nanny and kid. No billys on this hill and Dan said every one would snicker if I shot a nanny. We came back down and found our boat to be ok; we were worried about the Griz making adjustments. We acquired a few blisters that day and Dan announced an easy day tomorrow. We would float the Chukachida River in the raft and hunt moose. In the a.m. we realized that 3 was too much for the raft and I volunteered to walk along behind the raft on the game trail. After a mile or so the river got to rough and shallow and we abandoned the raft. We hoofed it till noon and found ourselves at Mt. McNamara. We spotted 2 nice billies in a basin on the north face and began the ascent. Half way up Ernie (he spotted most of the game) saw a cow moose down in the muskeg by the river. Then a 2nd and a 3rd. Then the bull. I figured he was at least 40 in. Dan put the 40 power scope on him and got interested. We upped our estimate to at least 50". Then we spotted 2 more cows and figured He must be the toughest boy around to keep all those girls. Dan stalked and killed the bull with 8 shots from 275 yards. One shot nicked the antlers but did not sever a point. The rack was 50 1/2" . Dan caped the bull and I quartered him. Ernie packed 3/4 about a km away and hung them in a tree. Ernie took the last quarter, I took the cape and Dan took the rack and back straps and tenderloins. We left at 4:30 and arrived at 5. 12 hours later, just before the sun came up. I was dead on my feet and they were bad. We had walked with wet feet and mine were blistered and split. We hung the meat and slept till noon. My feet were still a mess and the other guys were raw down there too. We decided to wait until the next morning to go back. We worked at Danís cape and cut fire wood. The next day we made it back at 11am. We stopped about 1 km away on a hill and watched and ate lunch. We saw no movement and went down into the muskeg. We advanced, whistled, watched, advanced, etc until we were within 50yrds. The bear stood at that whistle and we started backing up. He spotted us and charged. Dan yelled run and then stop. He was last in the running line, ha. We lined up on the moving brush, which was closing fast. The bear lost track of us because we were silent and he stood at 25 yards. Dan hit him in the chest and my shot was into a dead bear. Then we sat down and tried to figure out what just happened. It all went so fast. We were sure that we did ok, but you know how these "save the bear" people sound. We wondered if we could take the claws but figured we better let him be. It was a 500-600 lb boar, with a broken canine tooth. We figured he ate at least a 100lbs of moose meat. We took some pictures and loaded up the meat that was left after we trimmed the bearís marks off. Another tough pack. We had to cross creeks and get wet feet. When my feet get wet for hours they wrinkle and get soft. Then the wrinkles get blisters and finally if I don't stop they crack or split. They did. We decided to take another day off mostly because of my feet but the other guys had messed up feet too. At noon Dan had to go. I prayed I could talk him into trying a closer mountain and he agreed to it. After an hour or so we spotted a goat and it looked like a billy. It was my turn to kill so up we went. We got real close across a gully. The goat was about 150yrds at an angle of about 20 degrees up. I shot over him the first 2 shots and hit low on the leg with the 3rd. He took off running and I shot 4 more times. And Dan started shooting after my 5th shot while I was reloading. Dan connected solidly with his 3rd shot. When we got up to him he was shot up bad, chest, legs and neck. Those critters are tough. We had him ready for the pack by 5pm and were back to camp before dark. An easy day. The next day we tried the caribou again. The weather socked in bad but we decided to give it a try. The brush was wet and we were soaked from the belt down by the time we got to alpine. We couldn't find the herd and built a fire to warm up and headed back. We waded the river coming back and my feet were bad even though I hadn't carried any weight. I lost my binoculars somewhere and couldn't find them. The next day was an easy day we hunted from the boat and fished. The lake is full of Rainbow and Bull trout. Dan caught one 31 in. That night we spotted a bull moose on the lake and shot him at close range He dropped into the water and we rowed him back to camp. It was an old bull with a 45 IN. rack. We butchered him at camp and floated the carcass down into the river to keep the grizz away. The next day I found my binoculars on a trail and then Tim showed up with Andrew. We loaded up ASAP and were back at black lake. Andrew and I drove home and Dan and Ernie flew with Tim. We cut meat on Sunday aft. And explained the grizz to the c.o. on Monday am. She understood our predicament and we were gone. Now I need to get my goat rug going.
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Last edited by jderksen; 10-20-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:29 PM
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Weasel Weasel is offline
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GREAT photos and hunt replay. Just like the articles I read in the 50's and 60's. Sure makes a mans imagination run.
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