The Reimer clan has returned from its annual winter moose procurement expedition, which once again proved to be successful, resulting in a freezer full of fine moose meat to see us through the winter.
Riley, our chef and next son-in-law to be, was first up on the board. We had spent the better part of the day snowmobiling in from Churchill to Dymond Lake and getting the cabin heated up in preparation for the big moose hunt. The days are rather short in the Arctic in December so we opted to go for a ride late in the day (2 p.m.) to check for moose signs.
We came upon some very fresh tracks and the decision was made for Riley to take the bull that was making them! A very fine 300-yard shot with his new Winchester 30.06 did the trick and after much handshaking, backslapping and a few congratulatory smooches from his sidekick Karli, we got down to the real part of the moose hunt.
The real work of course, was getting all that fine meat cut up and back to camp before dark, in –40 degree temps before our fingers froze solid! Karli made short work of getting a much needed fire going while Riley and I hustled to butcher the moose. The trick to staying warm with bare hands in the cold weather is to get at it quickly while the animal is still throwing off body heat, with a quick dash to the fire occasionally to supplement the experience. We managed to make it back to camp with all our body parts still attached in less than three hours.
On Day Two the rest of the clan arrived and we all headed out the next morning under a bright blue sky into sharp temps of -45 with the windchill! The cold snap really had the moose on the move looking for browse and it did not take long before we were once again into fresh signs.
Son Adam wasted little time and took a very tasty 2-year-old calf with an awesome head shot from 80 yards with his trusty 30.30. While standing on a snowmobile seat no less! Again after pictures were taken, a fire was first on the list of activities before jumping into the tough work of prepping the moose for returning to camp. It is no small feat to skin, cut up and get the meat packed up and on to the sleds in those -40 to -50 temps. Thank goodness for brush, matches and tea around a hot fire!
With the day only half shot we packed up for the return to Dymond Lake Lodge, but we hadn’t driven 500 yards before we ran into three more moose, one of which was a huge bull! Wow, these kids have no idea what a real moose hunt looks like — this is getting way to easy!!
The cow and her calf quickly headed for the heavy timber and the cover of thick willow bushes, which in that area stood over eight feet tall. Unfortunately for the bull, he did not follow her, and decided to cut his own course along higher ground. That left him exposed to the sharp eye of Fraser and his Grandpa’s old faithful .300 Win Mag.
Fraser didn’t have to wait for an engraved invitation and made no mistake with two quick shots to take down a beautiful trophy bull moose. A new fire was quickly built and the two son-in-laws got down to the business of skinning and prepping the moose for the return to the lodge. This one had us running out of daylight and we were a tired, cold and hungry crew by the time we got back to the lodge. But all agreed, it was an awesome experience.
We rebooked our moose hunt for 2013!