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Mark Knapp

Just back from my Moose/grayling float trip.

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I just got back from my annual moose hunt and grayling fishing float trip. It's been raining here all summer and the rivers are all high and washed out. Beaver creek was so muddy you couldn't see the bottom in a foot of water resulting in horrible fishing. We were able to catch enough to eat but our normal 100 fish per day was just a dream this fall.

One of the consequences of Covid 19 this year was that none of the remote villages and towns were letting people float or fly into them to start or end trips so pressure on rivers that didn't require villages was dramatically increased. Normally we see one or two other parties on a ten day float trip on Beaver Creek, this year there were ten other parties. Everyone had to be patient of other parties on the river.

We had also had to cancel one of my other trips this fall that required a visit to a village.

We had one incident, early on, where another party made a moose drive (of 6 people) right through a spot we had been glassing for three days, watching cow moose and waiting for the bulls to show themselves. One of the drivers passed withing 30 yards of our camp. Kind of rude. We picked up and moved on down the river.

On the ninth day, of the ten day float, my buddy and I were floating past another parties camp in the evening, an hour or so before dark. At the end of the gravel bar, three or four hundred yards from their' camp, was a guy sitting on a log, we waved at him as we went by, he waved back with no other indication of anything. No sooner had we passed by him when I saw a bull moose just out of his view but within a long rifle shot of him. I looked back at him and could tell he didn't know the moose was there. I was within 125 yards of the moose, I shot it and when I did the guy on the log threw up his arms in disgust, blurted some foul language, gathered up his stuff and went to his camp. I hollered at him that I was sorry (to shoot a moose right in front of him, not that it was his moose).

After making sure the moose was secure I asked my buddy to walk over to the camp five hundred yards away and offer them half of the moose while I got started working on it. There's no way of knowing if he was even going to see the moose, or if he would have gotten it, if we hadn't come along but it seemed like a fair thing to do.

After a little while my buddy and the other hunter came over and we agreed he'd take half of the moose, he was very grateful for the offer and said he'd go back and get his partner and some game bags, knives and back packs in order to help with the butchering and carrying back their' meat. We got to talking about how much pressure their was on the river this year and I related to him the story of the inconsiderate guys that had done a moose drive though our camp. I saw a funny wrinkle on his face when I mentioned that.

When he back to where we were working on the moose, after talking to his hunting partner, he declined the offer of half of the moose. He said it was my moose, I got it fair and square and he wasn't taking any of it. I offered him a back strap or a tender loin and he declined it all. I said that maybe Karma would even it all out in the end and he got another weird wrinkle on his face. He helped process the moose and load it onto my raft. As he was leaving I asked him his full name and address, I was going to send him something nice. He wouldn't give it to me. He just said everything was cool.

Here's the kicker, it turns out, he and his partner were part of the crew that had made the drive though our camp. Karma, or what ever you want to call it is a funny thing. This time it was swift and pungent.

Here's my moose, perfect for eating.

Marks%20Moose-S.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Steeldrifter said:

Great looking bull Mark. That had to be a real enjoyable time!

And good on karma :)

It rained on us for most of the time but it really was enjoyable. There's really nothing like silently floating a river and watching it go by, even if the fish aren't biting and the mosquitoes are.

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1 hour ago, RickZieger said:

Lots of good eating there.

 

Rick 

Yep, and just think how many flies his skin will make. And knife handles on his head.

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Never had moose.  I'm assuming it's much like deer.  Nice batch o' meals, there.

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5 minutes ago, mikechell said:

Never had moose.  I'm assuming it's much like deer.  Nice batch o' meals, there.

It's very good but if you're not careful you can get a tough one. I like to shoot the two year olds, for that reason.

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We were in Batachawanna (sic) Bay, north shore of Lake Superior, a few years ago and spoke with the chef at the "resort" restaurant (everything is a resort in that area).  She said to make sure you take a moose in the fall.  In the spring they all taste like turpentine having eaten pine needles all winter.  She went on to explain the meat was green and there was no way to prepare it without the pine taste.  Therefore, she was not fond of moose.

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5 hours ago, BHouk said:

We were in Batachawanna (sic) Bay, north shore of Lake Superior, a few years ago and spoke with the chef at the "resort" restaurant (everything is a resort in that area).  She said to make sure you take a moose in the fall.  In the spring they all taste like turpentine having eaten pine needles all winter.  She went on to explain the meat was green and there was no way to prepare it without the pine taste.  Therefore, she was not fond of moose.

Not a problem, none of our hunting seasons are in the spring (except bears). I haven't heard of spring moose seasons in Canada either. I wonder who's shooting moose in the spring.

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No spring moose hunts that I'm aware of, at least not in western Canada.  Just bear, and snow goose.

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Nice looking moose.  I can’t imagine having to pack that thing out.  Pulled big deer out of some really bad places, but just moving something that big is a feat in its own.

Good to hear the guy did the right thing by you as well.

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3 hours ago, Peartree said:

Nice looking moose.  I can’t imagine having to pack that thing out.  Pulled big deer out of some really bad places, but just moving something that big is a feat in its own.

Good to hear the guy did the right thing by you as well.

It can be a big problem to pack them out if you let it. I guided for moose most of my adult life and have packed them a long way. In many parts of Alaska you can't bone them out so 600 pounds of stuff to pack out makes it a chore.

I know better now. Now I shoot young, tasty ones right on the river bank where I can pull my raft right up to it.

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Knew a fellow who shot a moose and it died in four feet of water. Took ten hours, 4 PM to 2 AM to field dress it and pack it back to camp.

Mark, congrats on a nice moose.

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