It snowed most of the night, as you could
hear it pattering on the tent, and continued as we had breakfast and packed for
another days hunting. Tent bound wasnt an option, for one I deliberately
didnt bring a book to read, second I was looking forward to hunting in some
beautiful weather, beautiful being rain, hail or shine or in this case, a snow
blizzard. We headed out with hopes high that the weather and passing days
was bringing the Moose rut closer, that tracks would be easier to date and
follow in the snow and of course the now heavily snow-capped mountains would
push a few beasts down lower.
We trekked out into the snow wearing some
slip on leg waders that helped with footing due to the print size and kept us
The wind felt like it was cutting your face
with hard as rock ice pellets blowing across your skin at speed as the wind
gusted over the white mountains down into the valley. Visibility came and went
throughout the morning, sometimes dropping to little more than fifty meters at
best. Still, we ventured on up river determined to put in every effort possible
of finding the beasts lost in time.
We moved into the trees alongside the river
bank where we could peer out onto the river, somewhat sheltered from the
belting winds, cold and snow. My bow and back pack was getting heavier with
snow as it settled in any and all spots it could catch whilst blowing in.
It wasnt the right conditions to head up
high for the Black Bear, plus we still wanted to get a better look at the bear
with the spotting scope and confirm it was a shooter.
About five kilometers up the river we
stopped after crossing a small meadow and glassed what we could see,
considering the visibility, which seemed to worsen by the second. A Moose
appeared walking down to the river on the opposite side.
Speechless, I looked at Byron and pointed
the Moose out, that at this point was just a dark object through a white rain
of snow that was hard to look through, especially as the binoculars filled with
snow after 30 seconds of viewing. Quickly I flicked them off and looked again.
A cow and its calf walked out onto the river bank, the spirits were high and
this was awesome to see as we got comfortable and watched both animals cross
the raging river with ease and walk within bow range of us. Under the torrent
of harsh weather, it was quite the sight. No bull in tow, which was always a
possibility, but a great sign all the same.
In the early afternoon, the day did a
backflip as the wind turned from east to west and the sky opened up to the big
blue. The sun shined through well, burning up the snow and warming our skin.
Porcupines were out to feed and the squirrels were running around. We covered
some fifteen plus kilometers again this day, venturing into some great country
and calling in some promising spots, but still no bulls.
After sixteen hours hunting, I struggled to
stay up, but tonight was possibly a great night for the Northern Lights to
shine. The westerly winds had cleared the sky and the northern lights were high
on my list. 11.55pm and all I can say is magical, I captured a dozen great
shots of the majestic scene.