Who would have thought my first moose would be the pinnacle of my hunting career, reaching my peak at 12 years old… My father took me for my first moose in the most wild of places, Aniak Alaska. No place for a 12 year old, at least with out a rifle.
Make no mistake, my small Colony Middle School body was athletic and ready to shoulder a 350 Remington Magnum lobbying 225 Barnes X bombshells toward massive targets. I still have the Barnes X bullet that harvested that moose, still in the same condition (a perfect X) as the day we recovered the bullet from the bulls opposite shoulder.
I still remember the experience as if it was yesterday. It was literally the last hour, of the last day, of the last minute we could be hunting. I had to travel back to Palmer Alaska via bush plane for a middle school football game, and of course the 6th grade. I had already harvesedt a beautiful mountain caribou and was happy to go home when my dad Greg spotted bull.
He came to the tent and told me to put on my chest waders and rain jacket, he spotted a big bull. I threw on my warm hunting garb and jumped out the tent. We traveled around one mile down from our base camp into a willow thicket. My father scaped the stock of his 416 Remington Guide Special on a spruce tree, then moaned like he had kidney stones….. The bull emerged out of the willows as if he was attracted to the light like insects to bug zappers. I turned down the power of the scope just as my father had taught me, the bull walked directly at us closing to an uncomfortable distance. I knew the moment was upon me, I shouldered quickly and delivered decisively. The moose would run only thirty yards before jumping directly into a mud bog. I packed out the back straps as dad packed out the hind quarter. We ate happily that night and I left for school the next day with serious bragging rights. Dad stayed for 4 more days to pack the shoulders, the neck, the other hind quarter, and the lastley the the monster moose rack out. Thanks DAD!
This is why I love the outdoors, everyone from age 12-70 years old can have the same luck and enjoy the experience all the same. Bottom line, enjoy the outdoors! Memories like this are out there, you just have to go get them. Best of luck hunting and always cherish what the woods has given you, even if your 12 years old. I’m still smiling 12 years later…..