Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Winter is a growing wisp in the air here in Southcentral Alaska. Couple that with work and a plethora of other commitments, and you have a recipe for time drifting away all too quickly before the snow flies.

We decided to carve out a weekend moose hunt before the time disappeared. Maps were studied, boat fuel needs were sketched out, tags were picked up, and off we roared towards the confluence of the Susitna and Yentna rivers. The area had not been scouted, but all information showed reasonable moose habitat and river access. We know all too well the success rate of unscouted hunts, but spending a few nights in the Alaskan wilderness was more than enough of a siren song to lure us away from work and town for a few days.

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The habitat was indeed adequate, but thanks to several weeks of steady rain we found ourselves standing in knee deep water alongside the marsh like clearings. We stood quietly in the crisp darkness, performed cow and bull calls, and watched as the morning sun rose and slowly crept across the clearing, eventually bringing warmth to our position at 9:30 am. The evening hunt found our hip waders in the same wet depths as the sun dipped through the clearing leaving us with the fall chill yet again.

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While we did not encounter any moose, stoically observing a little postage stamp of Alaska yielded playful ravens and a lone wolf stalking the river bank. The northern skies exploded with stars each night as we slept soundly in the crisp air.

There was no harvest that weekend, but the time was undeniably well spent.

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