In the state of Alaska wild game and fish is never wasted. If an animal is hit, a poacher caught or for any reason there is fresh meat or fish it is not wasted but given to residents to consume.
Last night just before 9 pm I got a call from the state troopers. They had a Moose available and did I want it? Yes! Of course I wanted it so I got the directions and called our dear friends Dan and Robin to ask if they could “claim” it for us as we would not meet the 30 minute window to arrive on scene. Dan of course was out the door and gone before I could say thank you. Dear hubby, Cati and I loaded the tools needed to Field dress a Moose and in the Argo we went to head to the road. All was going well until we reached the bridge to cross the creek. Ah oh, only half a bridge left. Dear hubby gets out and looks over the situation and like our brains do on many occasions we both got a great idea, the creek narrows just above there and there’s fallen logs so why not “jump” over there? Okay realistically my mind Was thinking “lack of a safe crossing will not stop me from hundreds of pounds of meat” so with a whoosh of my mom cape, the crunch of the willows I must drive through and the sounds of the meat grinder dancing through my head I attempted to cross the minor abyss standing between me and meat. Like a boss the little green giant navigated through the rough crossing and we were off.
Finally arriving at the truck, a mile until we reach a real road, 6 miles to the turn off the troopers said to take and only a 1/4 mile hike to the prize…..right! The first of the instructions were spot on, the 1/4 mile hike not so correct. It was more like a mile through a gravel pit, over a couple of hills and down a draw next to a huge water hole but we were there and The prize was a huge cow Moose. The reason she was available is she decided a hiker was a great punching bag. Sad, but that’s what momma Moose do when they have babies. Poor guy going for a hike felt terrible he had to protect himself and after seeing her 2 orphan babies I felt bad too but her death would not be in vain, she will feed several families.
Our friends son Brandon is awesome. Yes, I will admit I am envious of his knowledge and he came to help get it field dressed and hauled in for which I’m eternally grateful for. Yes, we could of managed but watching him quarter that Moose I learned so much. I’m no rookie to field dressing deer and antelope but Moose is a totally different creature due to its size but he made it look simple and I will say I am much more prepared for the next one due to his instruction. My back also is thankful for he and his son bringing wheelers and a meat wagon to haul it out. Alright if I were a man that meat wagon would cause me to have a serious man crush on him. (Snicker) I wish I would of gotten pics of it as it’s incredible!
By the time we got back to Dan and Robins house it was 12:30 a.m. and I was cold, wet so I left Cati and the men to hang and wash off the meat. I went inside and visited with Robin until finally at 2:30 the guys were all visited out and it was time to head home.
The first thing that happened when I pulled out of the driveway onto the road is a Moose jumped out, close call but I didn’t hit it. Thank heavens as I was about Moosed out for the night. We turned onto the trail to head to the Argo parking area and when we got there another Moose was standing by the Argo and then another! I thought I was hallucinating! They of course spooked and trotted away but one was curious and kept inching back towards us, Cati was a little nervous and that girl jumped in the Argo faster than I have ever seen her move.
We finally arrived home around 3:30 a.m. Bed never looked so good!
Our adventure will reap the reward of meat for the freezer, jerky and we will of course share with our friends. It’s was great spending time with hubby and Cati building another memory that will be passed on for generations I hope. I am thankful for so many things but mostly that we and our friends all made it home safely. That is the best blessing of all.