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03

Mar

Moose are BIG!!!!!


 

So I decided to post this in the humor section because some avid outdoors people may look at the title and say, “Duh!”  Well, I am coming at this from the perspective of what many may not think of when it comes to hunting a species like moose, which unfortunately we don’t get tags for very often, and that is that first I really didn’t know how to hunt moose.  I have seen many videos and hunting shows over the years but true tactics and how to hunt them was somewhat of an unknown for me.  Second, if you are fortunate enough to get one of these suckers on the ground, it ain’t an elk!  I have put a fair amount of them down and you can man handle them fairly well, even a big bull, but again, a moose ain’t no elk!  I was simply amazed when I walked up to my moose and marveled at it’s size.  Now, I will put my hunting prowess and reputation on the line and say I was not prepared for a dead moose.  I had no snatch block, no come-alongs, not even heavy rope.  When my step son asked me about these thing and I had to admit I didn’t have them, I started to question myself in my own mind and ask “What were you thinking (or not thinking about) idiot?” All of these items I listed and probably a few more that I will mention, are needed for an animal the size of a moose.  Luckily, my moose fell in the fortunate location of about 40 yards from a good two track road, not miles from the nearest civilization.  I was able to back my truck right up to him but still, this sucker was way too big to lift.  Some friends drove up in their truck (equipped with a winch and apparently a lot of sense because they had a snatch block, etc.) and helped us out.  After some struggles and a broken winch rope (I was not aware they made these new fangled “super ropes” that break) we ended up cutting the old boy in half and getting it in the truck.  Now for some additional items I would recommend….many good knives or replacement blades for your knives.  Moose hide is the thickest thing I have seen since my back hair!  I dulled three blades on an Outdoor Edge razor light and one on a Havalon. My step son went through several Havalon blades with his knife.  Next, that little hatchet or small saw probably ain’t going to cut it, literally.  You probably should have a good sized bone saw in your possession.  Of course, at any point we could have done the gutless method or not tried to be manly and broke him down further but hey, when you are that close to him with a truck, it’s a pride thing!  The next set of issues came when we got to camp.  Having meat poles strong enough to hold half a moose is pretty critical, especially since if it fell to the ground, we had no way to get it back into the bed of my truck.  I will say that with that thick hide and not being overly cool that day, we had to skin him and get that hide off and I am glad we did.  It was very frosty that night but peeling that hide back over his shoulder hump exposed meat that was still very warm and may have gone bad by the time I could get him to a processor.  I recommend skinning them!  Next recommendation is to have some heavier type rope, several sets of come-alongs and possible the nice metal gambrels (like the one’s sitting in the garage at my house that I neglected to bring along.).  All these will aid you in not having to break your back and use questionable Wal-Mart ratchet straps and prayers to hold it in the air.  By this time, I know Josh (my step son) was questioning if I had ever hunted before and/or if I had recently struck my head on something to cause brain damage, cause everything he asked about, my reply was “Oh, I didn’t bring that.”  In the end, we got both halves hung, we gently skinned out the halves without causing them to fall to the ground and they were still hanging the next morning.  Loading the moose was as simple as backing my truck to the meat poles and pushing them in.  At the meat locker, the bull was quartered and weighed….547 pounds of meat and bone.  Hopefully I am better at cooking it!!!

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