Alaska DIY Moose 2000
I'm going to give you the condensed version of this hunt because I will get carpal tunnel if I go into too much detail.
A friend and I headed up to Alaska for a 7 day moose hunt with his bro-in-law (an Alaskan resident).
Day 1.....get to O'Hare airport just to find out that my flight had been canceled due to mechanical problems. The ticket agent told me that he could put me on a different flight and if I hurried, I just might catch it. 30 minutes after arriving at the airport and I was already sitting on a plane. I sure got lucky there.
Now the interesting part....my change in flights had me going to Dallas and Anchorage (that was a long flight!!!)
Day 2....we got up early in Wasilla and got all of our gear, along with an Argo packed and head north to Talkeetna. Once there, we got on the Talkeetna Highway and headed deep into the tundra.
Once we arrived at our designated parking area, we offloaded the Argo and head to an area 12 miles west into the "bush". It started to rain and the absence of any roads or trails made travel quite difficult. Within 1 hour of leaving the truck we were forced to abandoned our Argo trailer because it did not work well in the terrain.
In leaving the trailer, we were forced to leave some of our gear. This has some importance later.
They delays forced by the issues with the trailer made it obvious that we would not make it to our destination that evening. We traveled as far as we could but still left enough light to set up a spike camp.
That camp was nice because we were wet from the rain and need warm, dry clothes and a hot meal.
We woke up the next morning to fresh snow and the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen.
Day 3....bright sunny morning and only a few miles to go before we got to our destination. We got stuck several times along the way (both days) but the winch on the Argo easily pulled us out.
Then we ran into SUPER SWAMP. If you have never been in Alaska...there is a lot of swamps up there. Swamps = MUD....SUPER MUD. We got stuck in the SUPER MUD and were forced to cut a few trees down in an attempt to get some traction under the wheels....all eight of them. We also had a large post that we would drive into the ground when there wasn't a tree to hook the winch to.
Well, it was during this time in the SUPER SWAMP when the Argo died. We were able to get it started after several cranks but the battery seemed exhausted.
We decided it was no big deal because we had a jump pack. This is when my buddy confessed then he took the jump pack off the Argo to make room for something else. SO.....our jump pack was several miles back in the trailer that we left stuck in another mud hole.
It was then that I realized that my dream of hunting moose was over. There was no way we could continue on without a healthy Argo. We sat there for a while letting the Argo run hoping the generator, battery, (whatever those things have on them) would charge up.
We were now face with a huge decision to make.........continue on with a sick Argo or head back to the truck. Since I had already seen several moose (cows) since we had left the truck, I wanted to hunt. BUT.....the last obstacle before we got to the camp was a small river that we would have to navigate with the Argo. It would suck to make it to camp and then have to swim back across because the Argo wouldn't start.
We decided to let the Argo run for 30 minutes. We would then shut it off and re-start it. If it starts fine....we continue on. If it doesn't start or starts hard....we head back to the truck.
Well....we shut it off and it was dead...."D" "E" "D"....dead. We cussed a bit and then decided to have a big lunch before we headed back to the truck.
FYI....we had already left a bunch of gear in the trailer and now we were forced to leave in the Argo anything that we couldn't carry.
I think there is a limit to the size of a post so I am going to continue Day 3 on a reply........
Why shoot on the last day what you wouldn't shoot on the first?