I slept a lot better last night and Im up
this morning as keen as ever, but have at least managed to settle the nerves
and shakes. We are discovering that the wolves and bears are hunting the area
pretty hard and hunting Moose while they are at it. So far we have only seen predator
tracks over the top of Moose tracks and these predators dont wear size eleven
We headed down river today towards a few
likely locations with open meadows and a couple of large draws that cut from
the mountains to the river. The search continues, as the Moose are proving very
elusive. No complaints though, the more elusive they are the more I want one
and the more I want one the harder I will hunt.
I looked back over my gear while having a
quick break and glassing the mountains:
Hoyt Carbon Matrix, 70lbs. Winners Choice
String. Sure-Loc Lethal Weapon Sight. Victory VAP shafts. 150 grain VPA two
blade Broadheads. Carter Enterprises Quickie 2 Release Aid. Tight Spot Quiver.
Fuse Carbon Blade Stabilizer. Trophy Taker Smack Down Arrow Rest. This was my
chosen set up for my dream hunt and I had all confidence it would get the job
done in this harsh environment.
We sat down for a while glassing, as wed
already covered some fifteen plus kilometers over the last two days looking for
Moose and or fresh sign. With miles upon miles of heavily and barely penetrable
timbered country, it seemed our best chance would be to glass up and down the
river and the mountains in view.
The YouTube videos hadnt portrayed a great
picture of Moose hunting, as they all seem to just appear and come to the call,
but this wasnt no computer here and now. It was cold, windy and hours where
ticking by without even peek at a moose. The hard work is lost in video. The
hours of hiking, hours of glassing and hours of calling and waiting, none of
that is portrayed from the safety of your study. Their prints were big enough
to see from the air when we flew in, but their enormous bodies and vast antler
heads were kept hidden despite looking over thousands of acres of superb landside.
It all seemed a little ironic at that point. How could something so big be so
hard to find, especially when we knew they were about.
I spotted some Caribou bulls up high
travelling towards the river, possibly shooters if they came this way across
the river, but as mentioned earlier, for us to cross the river is suicide, its
a waist high raging flow and bone snapping cold.
We decided to move up onto some higher land
for a better view and moved along some migration trails. Moving into the
forest, I found a neat artifact, that of a Grizzly Bear with its skull and
bottom jaw still intact where it laid, very cool. We moved on after a few
photos, sticking to the migration trails and climbing up the side of a mountain
downstream from camp.
The view was spectacular up here and made
for a great glassing point and gave great prospective to the area we were
nestled into. Game trails and small clearings ran up between camp and the base
of the mountains, right through the middle of the thick timber. We couldnt see
this country earlier and it looked very "Moosey". But without scenting it up
just yet, wed spend the next few days at least sticking to our plan to cover
more of the river both up and down stream, depending on the winds, and glass
for hours on end.
My first encounter with a Caribou came
while heading back along the river this afternoon, a very fascinating animal,
not the beast I was looking for but still a great experience. I couldnt help
but to test the water so to speak and stalked the caribou to see what I could
get away with. Seven meters away, I was wishing it was a big symmetrical
bull. You cant get away with any noise or movement with Mountain
Caribou, but you can fool them into thinking youre a Moose or another Caribou
pretty easy, which allows for movement and some sound.
I also put the binoculars onto a Black Bear
today up high on camp mountain, around three hours hike away. It got the heart
racing as I thought about the Black Bear tag in the pack. We glassed the bear
for a while and the best way to reach it, but wouldnt be achievable this late
in the day.
In the morning after glassing for Moose
wed hike up there and have a closer look. There were a lot of berry bushes up
high and we figure the bear was established in the area, being that it stayed
out for a few hours today feeding on one patch of many. The likelihood was very
little that wed see a Black Bear down low or travelling much, as the Grizzlies
seem to rule the lowlands with no Black Bear prints seen at all along the
river. There were certainly plenty of different sized grizzly prints though.
Another night closed in as we reached camp
along with an icy breeze as the wind started to blow in from the East. "Nothing
good comes from the East," said Byron as we cut some branches for the stove.
Sure enough the clouds started to group under the darkening sky and the tent
started to freeze over.