Day 8....our hunt was over for several reasons. We had more than enough "stuff" to carry back to the truck, plus Kurt had to fly home on day 10. We were just plane out of time.
OK...here is the deal, standing in camp....it was four hours to the truck and a good 90 minutes the other direction to where the meat was (as long as a bear didn't find it)
We decided to make two trips to get the meat. The three of us would go fetch the first load of meat and then Jimmie and I would return for the rest while Kurt stayed back to break down camp.
Trip #1. We realized that we would be heading into an area that had 400 pounds of fresh moose meat and the chances of a bear being in the area was pretty good. We were all on alert as we closed in on the area where the meat was. It was extra spooky because the sound of the rapids drowned out just about any other noise in the area. We were afraid that the noise would either cover the sound of an approaching bear....or mask our sounds allowing us to get too close to a bear that would want to protect his find.
I can honestly say that I was "producing" bricks
as we closed the distance. Once at the meat, we wasted no time grabbing the first load and heading back up out of the valley.
On our way up the cut-back trail, we heard small rocks tumbling on the trail above us. Just then there was a flash of brown. Three individual magnum loads were quickly chambered as Jimmie yelled out. Just then a rancher on a horse rounded the bend. He laughed as he stated..."I bet you boys thought you were gonna' get eaten?!?"
My reply to him was...."No, you were a trigger pull away from carrying your saddle back to you camp" Kidding of course
We chatted for a bit and went our own ways. When we got back to camp, we continued on for another 3 hours to a spot we had predetermined to leave all of the meat until the next day. It was at a trail head where Jimmie could easily retrieve it with the aid of his 4-wheeler that was back at the house.
6 hours later we were back and camp and preparing to retrieve the last of the meat. Kurt stayed back to tear down camp and clean up the area while Jimmie and I headed down the valley to get the last of the meat.
This trip down the valley went without incident but we were still on alert for a bear that may have found the meat. Once back at camp we divided up the meat and our camping supplies and started our 4-hour trek to the truck.
I had been walking for over 12 hours and still had 4 to go. I was so physically and mentally exhausted.....so much so that I swore I would never hunt again as long as I got back to the truck in once piece.
It was now raining and the trail was getting very muddy. Just what I needed....MORE MUD!!!
When we got to the trail head where we dumped the first load of meat, we ran into two locals that were hunting for a big grizzer that had been seen in the area. I was so glad to be going home
Since the guys were standing near the meat we had hidden in the trees, we decided to continue on with what was on our backs. An hour later we were back at the truck. What a sight!!!!! I was so convinced my hunting day were over. I was wet, tired, half-broken and my feet were a mess. (I ruined a new pair of Rocky's on that trip)
We drove to the town of Palmer and after 2 Big Mac's and the best Coke I've ever had....I was ready to do it again!!!!!
With our belly's full, we headed back to Wasilla where a hot shower and soft bed was waiting for us. The next morning we loaded the 4-wheeler in the back of the truck and headed back to get the rest of the meat.
Day 9.......Soon after we had dropped the meat off at a locker, we headed back to Jimmies to start cleaning all of our gear. Kurt was flying out the next day and we had a lot of work to do.
Day 10....Kurt flew home, Jimmie went to work and I did NOTHING!!! I drove to Wasilla Guns that morning and rented a bunch of hunting videos. That is all I did the entire day.
Day 11 was long and boring because Jimmie was working again and my flight didn't leave until midnight.
The rest of the story is pretty boring....except where I almost missed my connection in Seattle because no one woke me up when the plane was boarding.
Oh yeah....then there was the surprise at O'Hare when I discovered that my brand new gun case looked like it was dragged behind the plane on the return flight. It was destroyed!!!! At least the rifle survived the trip.
Thanks you United for the new case!!!
Believe it or not.....I left a lot of detail out. So yes, this is the short version
The cost of my DIY Alaskan moose hunt.
Round trip from Chicago $330
Moose tag $500
Hunting license $80ish
Meat processing $240
Overnight shipment of meat home $380
As you can see....it was a very inexpensive moose hunt.
I'll post pictures if I can find my scans.....it was before I had a digital camera.