Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 2014 Hunt is Over

Sadly, I had to clean the 35 Whelen and lock it into the safe today. Hunting season 2014 is over.

It started out in September when a good friend of mine, my son, and I decided to chase elk in Central Saskatchewan. My friend has lots of bull elk to his name, I've got a few, but my son had none. Between initially being too young to hunt, then a stint in Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces, he'd missed some wonderful hunts.  Now he was with me again, Steyr 300 Win Mag in hand, and itching at a chance at an elk.

We hunted for several uneventful days, then one evening a bull came to the call, and my son got his first elk. 

Next came moose season. In Saskatchewan there are draw seasons and regular seasons. We didn't get drawn, so had to compete with everybody else in the regular moose season. It was mid October, and the moose were just about done calling; furthermore, too many bulls had been educated by hunters in the draw season which had preceded. Every time we set up a call, bull moose tiptoed just out of sight, despite our best efforts to set up shooters downwind of the caller. Then, everything fell into place.

One morning we set up a dawn call; and got nothing to respond or even sneak in. We moved about half a mile and ended up right in the moose palace. After my first call, a bull answered immediately and I could hear him crashing through water. Soon he was answered by another, then another. By the time the first shot rang out we had four bulls coming in. We ended up bagging two within 10 minutes of each other.

That really capped our season, but it wasn't over.

We managed a couple goose hunts where the 15 snow geese we shot were smoked up into wonderful strips of jerky.

Later, in November, we chased Whitetail Deer, trying to get a trophy class buck. I and my son turned down several bucks in the 130" class, but my friend managed to bag a lovely 170" class deer. And the best thing is, I was there to see it all unfold. We watched the buck feed, then bed down about 350 yards from where we were. We crept to within 240 yards and my friend killed the buck in his bed. The shot was iffy for most hunters, but the guy I hunt with is a phenomenal shot. He has a Remington Sendero in 300 Win Mag, and the thing is a tack driver. The two make a deadly duo.  The buck died where he lay, simply slumping his head down. He didn't know what hit him.

So, I say farewell to hunting 2014.  I'm already planning for next year and suffering the eye-rolls of my wife (she thinks that September 2015 is far off and can't figure out why 2015  pre-season excitement  happens in December 2014.)  But, she does love elk cutlets and moose burger, and whenever I get something, she can't contain her excitement.  Life is funny that way.

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