Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting - MonsterMuleys.com

THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!

 
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Forums 2010 Hunt Adventure Challenge
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BearCat
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Jun-02-10, 
01:51 PM (MST)
"THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-02-10 AT 05:51 PM (MST) by Founder (admin)

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How to start this?

Yesterday upon returning from our Annual Family & Friends Memorial ATV Trip (picture included), I jumped on MonsterMuleys to see what was new. I right off the bat noticed the new forum and started to read Brian’s thoughts for the content. I thought hey this sounds like something I would be interested in. I have one major trip this year that is sure to prove to be a “once in a life-time hunt” filled with a lot of adventure thus “THE GREAT ADVENTURE” story started to take shape in my head. So I called my buddy up and ran it past him—I just wanted to make sure he would be ok with the idea as this would be another attempt (probably a poor one) at documenting our hunts and thanking him for being a GREAT friend. Yeah I do get a bit sappy every now and then, but a guy has to do what a guy has to do.

So as I sit here at work trying to pretend that I am interested in my job and turning my monitor away from my office door to keep prying eyes away (yeah you guys all know what I mean), I wonder if I am up to such and challenge. I mean this should not be just a couple of pictures or video and a few logs, but really a chance to document the entire process of such adventure. And most importantly what will it “GIVE BACK” to the community, my friends and even my son? I figure if anything it will cause me to reflect on what I need to do and keep me straight on what is important in my upcoming adventure and maybe let a dear friend know what this means to me---so off I go. One more GREAT ADVENTURE that I hope has a happy ending for everyone involved (and of course something BIG to hang in the BIG 4 spot in my house).

So if you do not have a big hunt planned this year or even if you do----come along on mine and I hope you have fun and maybe find something valuable to you!!

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-03-10   1 
  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-03-10   2 
   RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-03-10   3 
    RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-04-10   4 
     RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-04-10   5 
      RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-06-10   6 
       RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-07-10   7 
        RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-07-10   8 
         RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-08-10   9 
          RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-08-10   10 
           RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-09-10   11 
            RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-10-10   12 
             RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-10-10   13 
              RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-10-10   14 
               RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-11-10   15 
                RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-12-10   16 
                 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-13-10   17 
                  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-14-10   18 
                   RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-14-10   19 
                    RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-15-10   20 
                     RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-16-10   21 
                      RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-17-10   22 
                       RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-18-10   23 
                        RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-21-10   24 
                         RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-22-10   25 
                          RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-23-10   26 
                           RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-24-10   27 
                            RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-25-10   28 
                             RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-28-10   29 
                              RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-28-10   30 
                               RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jun-30-10   31 
                                RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-01-10   32 
                                 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-05-10   33 
                                  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-06-10   34 
                                   RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-08-10   35 
                                    RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-11-10   36 
                                     RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-13-10   37 
                                      RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-13-10   38 
                                       RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-14-10   39 
                                        RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-15-10   40 
                                         RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-16-10   41 
                                          RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-18-10   42 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-21-10   43 
  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-22-10   44 
   RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-24-10   45 
    RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-26-10   46 
     RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-28-10   47 
      RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-29-10   48 
       RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Jul-30-10   49 
        RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-03-10   50 
         RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-04-10   51 
          RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-05-10   52 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-06-10   53 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-09-10   54 
  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-09-10   55 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-10-10   56 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-12-10   57 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-14-10   58 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-16-10   59 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-18-10   60 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-20-10   61 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-22-10   62 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-23-10   63 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-24-10   64 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-25-10   65 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-27-10   66 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-28-10   67 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-29-10   68 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-30-10   69 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Aug-31-10   70 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-01-10   71 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-02-10   72 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-03-10   73 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-07-10   74 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  wyodeerhunt...      Sep-17-10   75 
  RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-20-10   76 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-21-10   77 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-22-10   78 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-23-10   79 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-24-10   80 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-27-10   81 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-28-10   82 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-29-10   83 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-29-10   84 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-29-10   85 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Sep-30-10   86 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-04-10   87 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-05-10   88 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-06-10   89 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-07-10   90 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-08-10   91 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-11-10   92 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-12-10   93 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-13-10   94 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-18-10   95 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-21-10   96 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-25-10   97 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Oct-27-10   98 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Nov-01-10   99 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Nov-08-10   100 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Nov-23-10   101 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Dec-21-10   102 
 RE: THE GREAT ...  BearCat      Dec-31-10   103 

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-03-10, 
10:41 AM (MST)
1. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Here we go…. I leave on September 5th and that give me about 93 days till my hunt. As many of you know there is so so much stuff to get ready. I have started making my lists and trust me I have lists. There is the list of what needs to be bought---ok If you talk to my wife the word NEEDS is a little off kilter. Perhaps what I WANT is a wee bit closer. There is the list of what to bring, which we all knows leads to more NEEDS. There is the list of things to do around the house. You guys/gals know that I mean it is all the CRAP that we have to get done during the summer. There is the dreaded list of how I am going to get in shape and how much weight I need to lose. And then there is just “THE LIST” of stuff that I need to get done for the trip. Here are my lists currently:

NEEDS/WANTS
1. New scope (looking at Leupold currently) probably the V2 as I believe that although good glass is important, we as hunters make ten times the mistake before our equipment fails
2. New sling
3. New scope covers
4. Work up my load for the Browning 300 WSM (going with some factory loads for this trip probably Barnes 180gr)
5. New Boots—Just got me a pair of Kenetrex HARDSCRABBLE HIKERS--$260 (got a friend that is a dealer)
6. Meat Bags
7. New Contacts (for my eyes)
8. New HAVALON Caping knife--$30 (got a friend that is a dealer)
9. New Maps
10. Cover for Gun?
11. Dehydrated food
12. Solar powered recharger for phone, Ipod, camera?
13. Space blankets or small plastic to be used as tarps

BRING (keep in mind that my buddy has a lot of the stuff so I will not have to bring all of my stuff)
1. Gun
2. Shells (two boxes?)
3. Two complete set of Sitka gear (coat, pants, shirts, base layers, socks, silk underwear, hats, gloves)
4. Regular Clothes
5. First Aid kit
6. Tent (taking two as to have one for gear)
7. Pad
8. Meat Bags
9. Knifes/saw
10. Pack
11. Licenses
12. Boots
13. Binos (scope he has)
14. FOOD (mostly dried, and pre-made stuff—I think I need a list for this-ha ha ha)
15. Money (how much still need to figure out)
16. Medicine (sleeping pills, vitamins, Advil, Cold medicine, Prevacid)
17. Cell Phone/radios/IPOD
18. Sun glasses
19. Possibles Pouch (flash lights, batteries, tarp, rope, sharpening stone, fire starter stuff, LOST stuff)
20. Rain Gear
21. Book
22. Camera
23. Journals for kids (I keep a journal for each of my kids since they were born, the best time to write in them is during plane trips for business or hunts)
24. Pictures of family

CONDITIONING
1. June 4th—weight of 215 (goal is 190)
2. Start vitamins
3. Start Diet On June 7th (going to do the HCG diet)
4. Right shoulder and arm have been sore for a couple of months –need to have it checked
5. First month will spend time jogging and walking with wife and kids—lose 10lbs
6. Second Month will spend time Jogging—Lose 10lbs
7. Third month will spend time Jogging with pack and climbing –Lose 15lbs
8. Going to be real tough to juggle this with kid’s practice, ATV/camping/fishing trips, work and home life—UGH (how do guys do it all?????)

GENERAL TO DO
1. Stain deck
2. Stain pillars
3. Put in shelves for wife
4. Build Pedestal table for Wyoming buck with habitat
5. Work on Basement Kitchen
6. Build shelves in Garage
7. Blinds in son’s room
8. Plant new Trees
9. Fix Stucco
10. Paint outside door moldings
11. Need to also research new deer spot for son’s general tag
12. Plan son’s hunt

TRIP TO DO
1. Get license BEFORE trip
2. Get Scope and site in gun and work up good load
3. Check on shipping of Meat and Head
4. Make sure items at WORK are caught up
5. Emergency contact numbers of friends and Hunt for wife
6. Verify Flights have not changed
7. Work on Backup plan if something happens BEFORE hunt
8. Check on EXTRA life insurance (WIFE LOVES THIS IDEA)
9. Need to plan out surprises for kids while I am gone (usually leave them pre-recorded Video messages and hidden gifts around the house from DAD)
10. Keep telling myself this is FUN!!!!!!

Well this is about it. It feels like I am missing stuff, but this hunt is a bit different since I am relying on a friend to help out with some of the logistics and equipment. It is tough for me to rely on someone else but I have faith in my buddy. Guess it is time to get to work—more to come and wish me luck!!!

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-03-10, 
03:29 PM (MST)
2. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

OK OK, I have gotten quite a few PMs about how I have not said what I was after and that is very true and by design. I wanted to concentrate on the pre hunt vs THE hunt. I have made a couple of hints in the posts at what it could be, so shoot me a PM and I give me your guess. There will be more clues as the story unfolds.

By the way Thanks for all the PMs and I truly hope you enjoy the read!!!!!

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-03-10, 
05:07 PM (MST)
3. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So if you do PM me and make a guess you have to give me the clue that gave it away and why--so no plain guessing. And Browtine, Yelum, WyoDeerhunter, and BucksNDucks you guys can not spill the beans!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-04-10, 
03:42 PM (MST)
4. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-04-10 AT 04:13 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Jun-04-10 AT 04:12 PM (MST)

What does this weekend have in store for me—maybe some scouting, or sighting in the new gun, or even perhaps some very needed conditioning---NOPE as with most of us there are other priorities that come up during our hunting year and this is just one of those.

But as I look on this weekend, I can’t help thinking that this is what HUNTING is all about. So it looks like I have to go and pick up my daughter from my parent’s house as they have been watching her since Memorial Day and have for years while the kids are “off track” (whomever thought of this stupid process obviously did not have two working parents and had to try and figure out what to do with young kids during their 2-3 week off track from school. I understand the idea to cram more kids through our school system instead of building new schools and adding new teachers. I can see the sound logic around fixing I15 for the Olympics and then tearing a large chunk of it down for the 114th exit and widening process---NOT- Oh well!) But as I head out tonight to pick up my daughter, I see that what I perceive as an annoyance is really proving to be a good thing!! Yes it is going to take time away from pre-season activities but it has given my daughter 6 days with her Grandma and Grandpa AND her GREAT Grandma and Grandpa!!!. And they have been able to take her out and shoot her little pink rhinestone Cricket 22 (yep I added them to her gun for her birthday). My dad has taken all of the kids out during their school breaks to shoot old Christmas Ornaments with BB guns and then 22s. He is able to do some of the things I can’t because I am too busy. So I sit back and remember the times that I used to go with my Grandpa on weeklong camping trips and do the exact same thing!!!!

And that brings up what this reply is about----why we hunt/camp/fish or do any of the outdoor activates. For me and I am sure like many of you, it is about family and friends long before it is about taking a big trophy. Sure we all want to bag the big one and many of us have lost why we hunt and get caught up in the TROPHY aspect (I am to blame as well). Our sport has turned into a trophy sport vs. hunting. Look at how many limited ONCE IN A LIFETIME hunts there are and guides and outfitters that keep pushing the BIG hunts and BIG $. Yes I think there is place for all of it, but I doubt anyone can argue that Hunting is quickly being managed for the ONE big shot at the TROPHY in your life and it costs big $ to play (I know I am generalizing a bit). With most of the point systems now you will be lucky to hunt certain spots in your lifetime. Our General hunts are deemed OPPORTUNITY hunts by DWR, opportunity for what a 2-3pt? Anyway sorry for the rambling----where was I, Oh yeah about why I hunt.

For me it has been a combination of people in the past that has led to this GREAT ADVENTURE coming up---good friends, my kids Hunter & Haillie, my father, but I think it boils down to my Grandparents. My Grandparents never did take any monster deer or elk and never went to exotic places. Any trophies they did get most of time the horns were left—frankly it was all about the meat and providing for the family and being with family. But there is one trophy that did make it and that I now possess in my house which brings back some memories…...It is a very cold winter morning in 2008 and once again I find myself at my Grandparent’s house in Wyoming. It is a small pink house my Grandpa built (not sure why it is pink), but I try to stop by every time I am in town. As usual my Grandpa (Willy) has a warm fire crackling in the fireplace and my Grandma (Priscilla) is making breakfast. Of course now a day’s breakfast is just coffee an old doughnut or some hot cereal, but I remember on most hunting trips waking up at 4:00am to pancakes, bacon and eggs and a warm trailer. Meal time was the best when Grandma was in camp as it was always hot and plenty of it. Now my Grandpa is 93 and my Grandma is 90 and you can still catch them hunting cow elk or down at the reservoir ice fishing if the weather is just right. If you are real lucky you might even catch them out the night before dancing at the ELK's lodge. Point being , is they still live in their house my Grandpa built, still drive and still fish and hunt!!! They represent everything good about the outdoors and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for passing on many of the skills and life’s lessons that I know and enjoy today.
So as I am catching up on their last ice fishing trip, I hurriedly run to the basement as I have done since I was very young to see the one thing that I hope to get passed down to me. No it is not a big gun collection, or anything worth a ton of money; it is my Grandma’s black bear rug!! Now this is not any rug-- this rug used to be almost 9’ when it was green and is squares at just about 8’ after almost 60 years. Yep I said 60 years. It was 15” between the ears and 6” between the eyes and lifted a jeep off the ground when it was hung in a tree. My Grandma shot it with one shot in 1954 up in the mountains of Big Piney, Wyoming with a 257 Roberts when she was 33. As I run to the basement, I am yelling out to my Grandma to tell me the story again---it is not like I do not remember the other 100 times she has told it, but it always seems to be extra special coming from her. Hearing the excitement in her voice seems to take you back to that moment. It always starts out the exact same way with “those were the days”.

I wished I could continue the story but it is much too long for here, but it is a great tale to hear. Last year my Grandma gave me her bear!! It now graces my office and a better mount you could not get today. It was mounted by Jonas Brothers Taxidermy in Denver and cost $155 to mount. But it is because of both of them and the time they spent with me when I was “off track” that helped cement in my young brain that this is something I wanted to do. For me it was never about the meat and more about the horns (which to this day my Grandpa does not understand), but to all of those people that grace our lives and ALLOW us to be part of their outdoor experience whether it is helping on a hunt, watching us on a spring break, giving us needed advice, covering for us at work or home, or teaching us the ART, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now it is off to pick up my daughter and as luck would have it am off to do some shed hunting and try to find a “deer” old friend that has elude me for many years—I guess I can check off conditioning from my list-ha ha ha.

This is my son with his first deer and his Grandparents!!

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-04-10, 
10:27 PM (MST)
5. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Sorry here are the pictures of the bear.

My Grandma & Grandpa

My Grandma

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-06-10, 
08:42 AM (MST)
6. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone I just got back from picking up my daughter and what a great time we had!!

As I mentioned we thought we would do a bit of shed hunting even though things had been picked over. I knew of a buck from 3 years ago that I spent about 8 weekends looking for in the past years(he was a 13x11 and would go 240ish, but I have never been able to find him.) I have tried to forget about him but just cant (you know what I mean). When I have a day here or there I try a new spot in the hope to find him--well no luck once again. I swear if I get to heaven the first thing I am going to ask GOD is to "please show me where MR. Big shed his horns!!!". Anyway no luck again and I think this is the last time I go out. Time to find a new MR. BIG.

I did however get to put about 6 hours on my new Kentrex boots and I can say I had some blisters after about an hour. I always put a couple of bandages on each heal BEFORE I break in a new set, but dang they felt so good that I thought I did not need them. Well these are not the lights so the leather is a bit stiffer (thick and will last longer) and I paid the price!

Anyway I got a few pictures of my daughter shooting gophers. Man she is a good shot!!!!

Here is my favorite picture of the trip!! No "deer" friend but did find quite a few "elk" friends

.

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-07-10, 
10:32 AM (MST)
7. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So back on the topic of this GREAT ADVENTURE….

To what extent do people go to make Hunting apart of their lives? I mean I know we all buy the latest and greatest equipment, we surround ourselves with friends and family that enjoy the outdoors, and of course we mount our trophies. Most of my friends say that I am an extreme hunter, but after reading many many of your articles on Monster Muleys over the years, I would say I am not. I have not gone to Africa or Russia or any far out of the world places (but that is going to change), I have not been so dedicated to give up everything for the pursuit of just one animal, and I have not spent thousands and thousands of dollars on a hunt, and have never had a guided hunt except one to Canada (because of a friend).

But I have done a few things over the years that my wife considers a bit extreme….

1. My wife wanted a fall wedding—we all know that would mess with the hunting dates so I pushed mine till the first week of August.
2. My first son was born around hunting and of course named HUNTER
3. My daughter was born in October only because a Chinese Birth Chart said that would be the time for us to have a girl and I could not deprive my wife of a daughter. But I was duck hunting on the day and the day after my daughter was born and my daughter till this day does not know why we celebrate her birthday in November!!!!!!! I wanted to name my daughter Cami Flauge Dolenc, but the wife thought that was a bit much—of course she would have gone by Cami!!!
4. Like many people my house has mounts. The difference is I designed my house around being able to display my mounts in particular what I call the Big 4. I have 2 of them and hope to get the third this year in my GREAT ADVENTURE. I have attached a picture of where it might go (the deer is a place holder). I might have to move them around a bit depend on their size.

Like I said not as extreme as a few people I have seen, but none the less much worse than what my wife expected when I told her I hunted when we were dating…..

Thanks for looking, I should have some scouting pictures soon.

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BearCat
(731 posts)
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Jun-07-10, 
10:49 PM (MST)
8. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

One more picture of the spot for the Big 4. As you noticed they are textured walls and then they are painted Green and then GLAZED (dark brown with a glaze additive) and wiped off to create an "antique" look.


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BearCat
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Jun-08-10, 
12:22 PM (MST)
9. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-08-10 AT 12:48 PM (MST)

Countdown—------87 DAYS
Weight Loss-----2 LBS (stop laughing!!)
Money Spent----$1,150 (Airfare, Boots, Knife)

As you have read in past hunting articles there is always A LOT of people that make a hunt happen. Most of these individuals have been part of our lives for a long time as they are usually family members. Of course my Grandparents, Father and now my Son/Daughter and Wife make the top of my list and probably yours as well, but we all know how hard it is to find a hunting partner!! Think about it….to find someone that hunts the same way, hunts the same animals, has the same time off, has the same economics as you, the same maturity, roughly the same age ---- the list goes on and on. Sure we may find someone for a season or two but a what about 5 years or 10 years or a lifetime? I have ALWAYS envied many on the site that have these relationships as I have always struggled. As my father gets older and my son grows up things are changing. I think we all feel the need to hunt together as a “PACK” per say; it just does not ever seem as fun to find a monster shed, shoot a monster buck or come home empty handed if you are all by yourself.

So imagine finding that person and then being able to spend a few hunting seasons together and then have them move—now do it with two friends at the same time!!! Man it sucks is all I can say. I want to dedicated the next two replies to two very good friends. One is helping me on this hunt (wait till you see the pictures) and the other will not be able to go (already got his Big 4).

Fred is a friend that I meet over 15 years ago at a company we both worked at. We happened to be the ONLY hunters in the HI-TECH company and so we bounded fairly fast. But he was 15 years older, had moved up the corporate ladder, and was at a different stage in his hunting career (guided hunts—he was getting old). But we still ended up keeping the bond even though he moved out of state and back in state so many times I can’t remember. He invited me to his Texas ranch during our first year, and I remember telling my wife that I HAD to go and it was worth the money because this will never happen again. Man I was wrong—Fred has invited me back MANY MANY times and most importantly allowed both of my sons to shoot their first big game animals on his land!!! He allowed me to bring my wife and father along on the hunts and allowed us to become part of the history of the ranch. We have even gone on many hunting trips that he has helped with the “resources” and shot a few good animals together. Simply put …my life would not be the same without him as a friend. I hope to repay him some day.

Of course he has now moved back to SLC, so are families are able to spend many more camping trips together, hunting adventures, ATV adventures, and have the occasional movie night at our house. He will not be able to go on this trip as he was able to take his animal a few years ago and I just could not afford the “BIG” hunts at the time and still probably could not.

Thanks Fred for your friendship over the years!!!!

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BearCat
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Jun-08-10, 
01:52 PM (MST)
10. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-08-10 AT 03:56 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Jun-08-10 AT 03:54 PM (MST)

Here is Fred's Caribou from our trip!


Here is Mine! A better Hunt we could not have had!

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BearCat
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Jun-09-10, 
11:23 AM (MST)
11. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Man work sucks sometime!! I just got a ton of pictures of our general hunting area and some shed pictures, but I have NO time to write it all up so..... I had a few more pictures of some areas I built in my basement for mounts. Maybe it will give you guys some new ideas.

I will try to get the write up and picture soon.....

So I built two recessed areas on each side to accomodate two mounts. Our room is done the same way with the "antique" type of look and then Burgundy in the recesses. I did all of my basement myself so it is not perfect, but it is home.

Enjoy!!!


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BearCat
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Jun-10-10, 
10:17 AM (MST)
12. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Countdown —------85 DAYS
Weight Loss -------3 LBS (stop laughing!!)
Money Spent -----$1,150 (Airfare, Boots, Knife)
Well I think it is time to get this party going and get moving on the Trophy I am after!!! Enough of the intro stuff, but I am sure some replies will pop up from time to time as I still have to do a BIG piece on my GOOD friend. He has been sending some great pictures of our area and some KILLER shed pictures. Many of you will recognize him as he took most of the pictures that got us in EASTMANS last year!! He is always seems to be right there to help ANYONE out ….as many of you can attest. Once I start posting these pictures I am guessing that many of you will have pegged down my GREAT ADVENTURE TROPHY and maybe even the location.

So over the next few days I will be posting some killer pictures so come back. I can’t take credit for any of the following pictures, but it sure gets the old heart a pumping.

Thanks again everyone!





This is NICE to see!!!

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BearCat
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Jun-10-10, 
12:31 PM (MST)
13. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Everyone I just want to say thanks for looking and reading and I hope you all are getting as much enjoyment and knowledge as I am doing this.

When it reaches 1000 views --- then the fun starts!!!!!!!

I have a lot more pictures to post!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jun-10-10, 
03:53 PM (MST)
14. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Over 1,000 hits so here we go--- So my good friend Ernesto is the guy I am heading up with on my GREAT ADVENTURE. In case you had not guessed it -----my GREAT ADVENTURE is an ALASKAN MOOSE hunt. And when I said the trophy would be in MY Big 4, I was talking MOOSE, ELK, CARIBOU, and RED STAG. As I think many of you would rather see some pictures vs. listen to me , I will dive into the details a bit later on. But it is fair to say that Ernesto and I have become great friends over the years, and even though it was hard to see that friendship stretched when he moved to Alaska---I AM DIGGING IT NOW!!!!!

He knew I have been after a moose for years and even attempt a similar DYI fly in hunt 5-10 years ago, he invited me down for a DYI hunt with him as he will have a moose tag and a few other tags in his pocket. I mean how could I refuse even with this crappy economy. As many of you know, most guided hunts run you about $12k-$15k, and even DYI hunts are in the $3k-$5k and you do not typically have the “local intel” to put you in a great spot.

Well E has been up there for a couple of years now and is really starting to learn the place, but most of all he is getting to know the old timers and learn the good spots. For those guys that have met him or hunted with him, you know how easy it is to like him and get along with him (assuming you are not one of those freaking idiots that drive their ATVs in the sage while shed hunting). We both share the passion of turning those jerks in EVERY chance we can!!!

Anyway, E has been up scouting our area or areas very close and has found some AWESOME sheds. I hope to get up one time in the future and show him how it is done. Yeah E you know who’s the man is when it comes to shed hunting—ok except for the ONE time you kicked my butt. E has sent me permission to send you guys some very cool moose shed pictures and over the course of the next few days I will do just that. Plus he has some great tips that I will try and pass along as well.

Enjoy!!!!


Even though I check almost every rub here in the states, I think I have only found a few horns by them. But in Alaska you have much higher odds if you can find a rub as you can see.

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BearCat
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Jun-11-10, 
09:56 AM (MST)
15. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-11-10 AT 03:02 PM (MST)

I just do not know how you guys do it???? I read Founders post and he is up running/hiking a couple nights a week and I am sure everyone else is doing the same. Me not so much.

I guess I am just too dang busy with work, kids, family, house and……………. I have got to start making time. Thanks Founder for giving me something to shoot for.

But last night it was WAY COOL and a accumulation of weeks of discussions. You see my son’s birthday was in June and he asked for money from everyone. Like many 14 year olds, he is into the STUPID video games (he has daily time limits), and of course he wanted to spend the money on some new games and possibly some Motocross gear to LOOK cool. He already has the basic riding gear and more games than he know what to do with. So it was time again for Dad to jump in and TRY to talk some sense into him. Now in the past this has not worked very well as the end decision will always still be his but I there was hope. Well we had a chance to talk and I tried to explain the concept of buying things that would last, have a resale value, things to create memories, etc. Like many kids what he WANTS changes from day to day and at one time he had wanted a bow or a little 22 pistol to carry with us on our outdoor adventures. So I used those as examples in my speeches, always knowing that if we wanted games or something else it was his money to do with how he wanted to. But I was pleasantly pleased when he decided that he wanted a Walther P22 -5”in Army Green. Man I was happy to get him from thinking about the video games! Well he was about $125 short and so I told him had to work for the remainder. So a buddy of mine needed some yard work (thanks FRED) and every day my son would go over and pull weeds and then I would pick him up after work. He decided to sell the sheds that he had picked up this year (minus the good ones-ha ha). As luck would have it, we found exactly what he wanted on KSL and at $130 below what Cabelas was asking. After picking it up we then swung by Sportsman to wrap up spending his money on a holster and some ammo. He had exactly $.07 left after buying me a drink for my troubles (such a thoughtful kid—we still need to work on this!!). In a nut shell this is his first Gun purchase and he did it all by himself---you should have seen his face on the way home----PRICELESS!!!!.

So before you guys tell me how bad of a parent I am for buying him a auto pistol at the age of 14, you have to know my son and the way we hunt and do things. I would NEVER let him take it without me, it stays in the safe and before it ever fires we will be having some serious training. I am sure those that know him would appreciate his maturity level, but still the gun has 3 safeties that will always be on (manual safety, no shell in the barrel, and then the hammer down).

Well anyway since this post is about MOOSE let’s see some more pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks E for making me not sleep tonight!! I will also be detailing out the ENTIRE Expected Cost of the trip later next week.

GET-ER-DONE!!!!!

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BearCat
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Jun-12-10, 
04:30 PM (MST)
16. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Nothing fancy today or even pictures, but I did get out and go for a run this morning before the kids got up. I also can cross off staining the deck from my list.

Tomorrow it is time to drop off my son for a week with his uncle so we have another shed trip planned and of course shooting his new P22!

I will post more "moose" stuff tomorrow.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jun-13-10, 
08:14 AM (MST)
17. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well as planned I went to drop off my son with my brother for the next 4 or 5 days to shoot some prairie dogs, targets, ride some ATV and basically hang out with the uncle.

Well a friend of mine Fred and his daughter Ryann, decided to tag along and look for some sheds. Before that we got out and shot the new Walther P22 pistol that my son just bought. First shot off the bat he hit the can at about 25 yards--not bad. We then proceeded to shoot through 3-400 rounds. The neat part was his daughter decided to shoot the pistol, which would be her first time. She did great and with some coaching she too was hitting the cans. It just shows you that if you take a kid along even if they are not yours, the GREAT ADVENTURES just start to happen.

Anyway if any of you guys looking for a cheap ($300) little pistol to have fun with and shoot at some jack rabbits or prairie dogs then I would recomend the Walther P22. We had bought some of the more expensive CCI ammo ($7 for 100), but decided to try some cheaper Rem ammo that you can buy at Walmart for $18 for 550 and it cycled fine!!!. We had two or three that did not fire (later tore them apart and found that there was no primer in them), but for that cost who cares.

Well we then went out for a quick 1 1/2 hour hike and picked up 15 horns with a couple being fresh. Nothing big but still a hoot.


Well more tomorrow on some tips I have learned about hunting moose--pretty cool stuff and remember take a kid even if they are not yours!!!!..

Oh by the way the kids and wife are out getting ice cream and I will let you know that I am typing this instead---this sucks!!!

B

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BearCat
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Jun-14-10, 
09:29 AM (MST)
18. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Since I did not post any pictures of the sheds we found, I thought I would throw out part of my collection. I really only hunt deer sheds, but I have found one good moose paddle, and have about 25 elk sheds.

This pile is 4ft tall and 9ft wide. It is comprised of ONLY hard white and brown and do not include any elk or small two points (that is my other pile). It also does not include any of my big ones.

I think there is about 1,100 sheds in the pile but not sure--maybe the next time I move them I will count them.

Even though I can not remember many of them, there are a few that I still find in the pile that has special meaning and most of these were found with great friends and family.

I sure wished it was the way it was 5-10 years ago and I do not mean the quality or quantity, but rather the fact that you could trust taking a friend to your spot, or you could post pictures with skylines, did not have to worry or see ATV tracks in the sage etc. It was fun back then much more than it is currently.

Anyway the moose tip is on its way.

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BearCat
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Jun-14-10, 
10:29 AM (MST)
19. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-14-10 AT 03:22 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Jun-14-10 AT 03:21 PM (MST)

So here is one my MOOSE TIPS that I have learned from a couple of friends in Alaska (Ernesto and Bob).

A lot of guys can call moose by grunting with their mouth or using a call and a tube to help make the sounds carry greater distance. Ernesto swears that he is learning from the best, but only time will tell……But in addition to this an old friend in Alaska told me you need to thrash and tear up some bushes or trees. The key is to make some noise much like when hunting elk or whitetails. Most guys just use a stick or branch, but this does not mimic the sound of the moose’s paddles very well. And as you can see with the pictures from E, they are too dang heavy to carry a paddle around!!!! So there are a couple of options. Most of us carry up a propane lantern when we go and it usually has a hard protective container with a base (like the one pictured). If you take off the base and then use the top to thrash the brush or tree you will get that “hollow” sound of a paddle. Nice thing about this option is the built in handle on top for ease of use, as well as, it will not break and since you are bringing it up anyway...you save some weight.

The other option to make you a “thrasher”. Most locals will use a shoulder bone from a caribou but and elk shoulder bone works the same. You just cut it off above the knee with enough room to make a handle and then just trim the scapula down so you have a paddle. I then took some leather shoe lace material and wrapped the handle and made a loop at the end. If you then take this with you and rake the brush or tree you will also get the distinct hollow sound. My only issue with this solution, is that the time I went it rained 11 days out of 13 and my scapula cracked on me, but it still worked fine. Mine was also from a caribou and I think an elk scapula would be a bit stronger and thick and a better all around tool. I kept mine after the trip as I had them engraved as it was a gift to my hunting partner at the time. I will take a few picture tonight and show you what the final product looks like.

Well I hope that this tip might help you whether you are chasing moose in Alaska or the deep valleys of Wyoming or perhaps even right here in Utah.

Thanks again for everyone who is taking their time out to read this. It has been fun for sure and frankly breaks up my work day.


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BearCat
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Jun-15-10, 
08:58 AM (MST)
20. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone here is MOOSE TIP #2

This one comes from Ernesto and I would not have believed it unless he sent pictures to prove it.

As many of us know, a part of our scouting efforts is to look for sign of activity. That could be feeding activity, rutting activity, bedding areas, water areas, or game trails systems. Most of the time we are looking for the larger males and so we key into the activities that these monsters make. Say for example we have all heard that all big tracks are not always made by a BIG buck, but BIG bucks always leave big tracks, as well as, larger rubs tend to mean larger bucks.

But did you know that BIG Bull Moose leave ROUND dropping vs. OVAL droppings? I had never heard of this or even seen this in the moose country of Wyoming or Utah. But in Alaska if you are looking for a LARGE Bull Moose then one of the signs you should add to your bag of tricks is if you find OVAL dropping move on and scout another area. If you find LARGE ROUND dropping then spend more time in that area as “TYPICALLY” there should be a LARGE Bull moose in the drainage.

Thanks to Ernesto as he sent a couple of photos that show the difference and WHAT a difference it is!!!!. I am not sure if this holds true to the Shiras moose of the lower 48 but it appears to be true for the GIANTS that I will be after!!!!

Here is to everyone hunting moose this year---GO BIG AND GO ROUND!!!

More tips and shed photos to follow.

B

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BearCat
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Jun-16-10, 
10:32 AM (MST)
21. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

COUNTDOWN-----79 DAYS
WEIGHT LOSS---4 LBS (this is harder than you think)
MONEY SPENT --$$1,150 (Airfare, Boots, Knife)

Here are a few more pictures for everyone.

Dean

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BearCat
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Jun-17-10, 
10:23 PM (MST)
22. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone here is MOOSE TIP #3

Actually this will work on any hunting trip that you need to fly in order to get to your destination and perhaps many of you may already do this. With the increase in the price of baggage at the airports (by the way American Express is offering one free checked bag if you have a gold card which is about $50 savings round trip if you only use it ONCE!!), one option is to ship your gear directly to the guide or air service in advance.

There are a couple of reasons why this makes sense.
1. For the most part is can be cheaper to ship in advance because for most airlines it is $50/way after your first bag and it is limited to 50lbs!! When you ship you can ship it a month or a few weeks in advance so it is cheaper and you can ship MORE weight.
2. If you take your gear by airplane there is a GREAT chance that it will get lost and then you have to scramble at the airport to adjust your trip. When I shipped my stuff on my last trip, I called them to verify that my gear had arrived a couple of weeks after I sent it.
3. Also depending on what you ship your gear in, it will help on getting your meat/cape back if you so desire (I will explain this more in another MOOSE TIP).

Anyway just one more thought to think about in order to make your next hunting trip a bit easier and cheaper. I am doing some research currently and will let you all know what I find out for my trip.

BearCat

Here are a few more shed pictures to enjoy!

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BearCat
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Jun-18-10, 
10:24 AM (MST)
23. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone here is MOOSE TIP#4

As I mentioned earlier, a good option is to ship stuff up ahead of time and possibly save some time and money.

To add to this, I ship my stuff in some form of plastic tote or container. I put all of my gear inside along with a cheap duffle bag so that if I am flying further I can reload the gear in the duffle bag and leave the tote at the hotel/air service etc. and pick it up on my return home trip.

In order to help protect against prying eyes I drill holes along the edge and just use some heavy duty zip ties to fasten the lid down. Then it is easy to see if someone has gotten into it and the heavy zip ties takes a minute for someone to break. I also then throw in a second set for my return home.

If you are lucky and have gotten your trophy, another good use for them on your way home is to be able to put meat or your hides in it so that they do not leak during transit and they are SOOOOO much easier to move vs. a box that does not have handle holds. I would then just check or ship the duffle bags in this case. Then once you are home you still have the totes to use around the house.

Well just another thought for you to think about when planning this year’s trip.

I am off on another ATV trip this weekend to get in some “family” time before the season really takes a hold.

Take Care!!

ALL THE MOOSE PICTURES ARE COMING FROM ERNESTO--SO THANK FOR KEEPING THE PICTURES FLOWING

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BearCat
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Jun-21-10, 
01:22 PM (MST)
24. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well everyone I hope all the fathers out there had a great “Father’s Day”. I know I did. My family and I ended up going camping and doing some ATV riding at one of our favorite areas. We only saw a few deer and NO moose, but still fun the same.

There were many times this weekend that I caught myself wishing that I was scouting or checking out new hunting area that looked good from the trail, but like many of us, we still have to or want to spend time with our families and the next generations of hunters and outdoorsman. You can’t just simply expect to take your kids hunting one day and think he/she is going to like it. You have to start with the camping, ATV riding, shooting cans, hunting prairie dogs, and all the other things we do.

The good news is I got out and did some running early in the morning before everyone was up and really saw how out of shape I was---got to take it up a notch for dang sure. But man those pancakes and bacon and a cup of coffee sure tasted good on Sunday morning sitting in a grove of Aspen Trees!!!!!

BearCat


It is going to be a good HORN year!!

The NEXT generation!

Father's day nap!

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BearCat
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Jun-22-10, 
12:31 PM (MST)
25. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"


I have to say that this Hunt Adventure Challenge is a bit addictive.

I can see by the counter on my thread that about 100 people are visiting my GREAT ADVENTURE each day and I have to say that is pretty dang cool! There is probably not an hour that goes by that I am not trying to think of things that might interest you guys about not only the hunt itself, tips, but also the people involved with the hunt. Even well before there was a prize for taking the time to write these articles, I had thought that it was a cool idea because in most hunting publication you get only a couple of pages to tell a story that for many of us took a life time to come about. I think each of you have a better understanding of my Father, Friends and even my Grandparents and I hope you are able to make this “GREAT ADVENTURE” with me to some small degree.

With that all said if any of you have any questions about the hunt shoot me over a PM and I will try and address it in the post. That way I can help answer any questions.

So with Father’s day, my kids needed to some small gift to give and so after talking to my wife I headed down to Sportsman’s Warehouse to grab one of the items on my list. Now we do not do a BIG gift or anything as my kids have to pay half of any gift they give, so my available dollar limit was small. Since I had not gotten my new scope yet(scope covers where out of the question)as I am waiting for Cabelas to do their STAIR PROMO (the one where if you spend X amount you get X amount back in a gift card), I opted for a new sling. So I walk into the store and immediately find a John Wayne picture I would LOVE to have for my den, so I call the wife and tell her that she REALLY needs to get this for me for a father’s day gift from her!!! She kind of laughed and said ok you just pick it up and save me the time (NICE)so I threw it into the cart. When I get to the slings there is at least 40 of them to pick from and it must have taken me an hour to pick out a freaking sling!!!! I mean there was some with swivels, camo, black, non-slip, name brands, elastic and simple ones. I mean I am glad it was not a MAJOR purchase. Heck I was starting to sweat just buying a sling and I still have to purchase a new scope!!!! Anyway I decided with a Browning sling to go with my gun in black as I thought it would look the best and heck it is a sling for crying out loud. So with swivels it came to $36, YEAH I CAN MARK SOMETHING OFF OF MY LIST FINALLY!!! Heading back to the counter I pick up a bag of circus peanut (man they suck!) for my wife and then decide to put back the John Wayne picture---yep you heard right. Even with a “kitchen pass” to buy it I put it back because as with most of us right now--money is tight right and I know that there will be A LOT of unseen costs for this hunt and future hunts. John will just have to wait for another day—maybe my birthday (July). My wife has always said I am an impulsive buyer and I can truly say she is right on the money—good thing she does not read the stuff on MM!!

Man what an experience for just a sling!!!

Well everyone thanks again and I am looking forward to your suggestions!

New sling

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BearCat
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Jun-23-10, 
10:15 AM (MST)
26. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Every morning I come into work and grab my cup of coffee and crack open my email and today was no difference except for the fact I have a ton of work related emails pertaining to a large project I am in charge of. So I have this struggle this morning on do I get cracking on the work issues and thus possibly get home earlier or do I write up a new blog for my GREAT ADVENTURE blog---well you can see which one won out!!!! I guess by the time I get home at night, I do not feel like spending much time at the computer since that is what I do most of the day at work. I do however check my email and see if Ernesto has sent me any new information or pictures---last night I was in luck!!!

As I am eagerly waiting for the email to open up, I am thinking what will it be today. Will it be more pictures of our spot, some information about the area, maybe a new LOCAL tip from one of his friends, or perhaps he just wants to talk about shed hunting (ALWAYS a topic with us). Well as luck would have it, this email had no pictures and was basically a gut check about our hunt. I think it was his way of making sure I was grounded on the hunt. I guess he does not know that I have been on many hunts like each of you that things just did not pan out. Anyway in our particular spot the moose densities are VERY VERY low, but there are some Monsters there. I guess we might be lucky to see 3-5 moose in the two week hunt, but they SHOULD be good ones. I guess between the wolves, grizzly bears and hunters the population just is not what it used to be. I have actually heard this from many people, but I guess when you are going up to ALASKA there is this perception that there are animals everywhere—I know it is not the case as my trip a few years ago we only saw one moose from the plane and only 50 or so caribou and that was it. I had a friend go on 4 guided moose hunts before he finally got his moose, so I can only imagine how tough it going to be.

So on that down note, I know that Ernesto is doing everything he can as a true friend to help push lady luck on our side and has gotten a ton of tips from his two good friends Ryan and Joe!!! I do not know either of these guys, but I would like to extend my greatest thanks for helping out as I know it takes a leap of faith sometimes. Thanks guys!!!! Also I would ask if any of you guys have any Alaska Moose tips, please share them with me as it sounds like we will need all the help we can get. If you share something just let me know if I can share it on the blog and if not—well your secret is safe with me.

Many of you might think what is there possibly left to talk about in the blog as I have done like 25 posts up to this point, but I have quite a few cool ideas coming that I hope you will like and give you some ideas for you next hunt. Do what I do, blow off work for a few minutes and take a minute and catch up on my hunt as well as many of the other GREAT posts, and if you have a hunt and want to share it---I am sure we all can learn something that might make our next hunt better.

BearCat

Some more Moose pictures

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BearCat
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Jun-24-10, 
10:13 AM (MST)
27. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-24-10 AT 11:29 AM (MST)

This is probably the first time since doing these posts that I am glad that you guys can’t post comments --- you will see later on I am sure!!!

This is my first video so keep the laughing to yourself! If you are at work you may want to close the door or something so people can not hear you laugh. I did not have a ton of time last night, so a bunch of retakes were not possible. But for anyone that knows me--this is me—unedited.

In the days of the mountain man, a "possibles bag" was used to carry everything that could possibly be needed for the day: black powder, powder measurer, flint and steel, lead balls and patch, a patch knife, and a skinning knife, as well as other personal items. Looking at the "bags" todw we would probably call them MAN purses as they were bag that hung over the shoulder much like a ladies purse. Today it is not much different than back in the 1700 or 1800’s except there is just more stuff to cram in one and we sure as crap do not carry them over our shoulders!!!!

I thought I would show you what is in mine and how I use mine. I have mine in a small bag that I throw in my backpack when I head out. What is nice about it is I can pull it out and throw it in the car or the atvs or whatever and still have the basics with me. There are a lot more items that you can add to yours depend on the situations and weight limits. For example I have one for my 14 year old son (Hunter) and his has a whistle, candy, mirror and a few other survival items that mine may not always have. It just comes down to how much room and weight you have to play with. I will not fine toon mine until E tells us how much weight we have per person for the moose hunt.

So I made a couple of videos showing what I have and some tricks I use in my bag. I hope you can get a few good ideas.

I have a friend that I have mentioned before named Fred, and he is always giving Hunter crap for using the word “like” in his sentences. I just know I am going to get a call or email telling me how many time I used the word Um or Uh in my sentences!!!! I will try and work on this for the next set of videos if these do not suck to bad.

As always enjoy!!

BearCat


http://www.monsterhuntclips.com/video/883/Great-Adventure-1

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BearCat
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Jun-25-10, 
09:11 AM (MST)
28. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-25-10 AT 09:44 AM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Jun-25-10 AT 09:42 AM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Jun-25-10 AT 09:41 AM (MST)

Right off the bat--- I am not a PROFESSIONAL on the next subject and do not pretend to be in any shape or form(not any subject now that I think about it) but……………..here are some of my observations.

We spend hours and hours getting ready for a hunt. Everything from researching the best areas, making sure we have the best equipment, checking our packing lists a dozen times, traveling to the spot, and then of course just the day in and day out of the hunt. So why are we so dang quick to take the pictures? I am sure I do not speak for everyone, but speaking from MY experience, I shoot an animal and then quickly snap a few pictures and then get on to the next step. I find myself not really taking a minute to enjoy the moment and surely not enough time to take GREAT pictures. Now I am not one of those GREAT guys that frequent the “photography” section like TFinalshot, Hoofsandhorns or HunterBob. These guys are GREAT and are willing to help you out any time.

So over the years I have come up with a couple of simple mottos—like my work experience says “KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID”

1. Take the time to enjoy the moment and come off of that “hunting high”. Enjoy it as it took you some serious time to get to that point.
2. Clean up as much blood as you can or cover it with dirt, heck wipe it off with your shirt—it can be cleaned. Some guys will go to the extreme and drag the animal away and even then tuck the legs up underneath—it is all up to you.
3. Decided on what is the “focus” of the picture. Meaning is it the animal, the scenery, both, etc.
4. I like to make the “focus” item NOT the CENTER of the picture. I think (just my opinion) things look better if they are not smack dab in the middle of the picture.
5. Of course you can “push” out the head/fish to make it look bigger, but hey lets be reasonable. You shot the animal as is, so be proud of it as is. I think many guys just laugh when they see a guy sitting at the rear end of an animal and it is shot length ways. I have gone to an extreme one time just to see what it would look like—looks funny, but man that axis looks like a monster.
6. Find some color. It could be a hat, a shirt, orange vest, a flower, a bush, the sky –just anything to break up the earth tones.
7. But I think the best and most important thing (and it is simple to remember) is something I learned in a photography class years ago and it is the triple FFFs. Which stands for FILL the FREAKING FRAME!!!! So I usually take two pictures one that has some landscape around it (ground, sky or brush) and then one that is close up and it fills the edge of the view finder to the max. I always seem to like the later and if you look at the magazines most of the winners have the later as the lead.

Once again glad to have you along on the ride and next time maybe you will be taking a picture of a friend’s trophy and remember a few of these points and make the hunt even that much better—Ernesto did that for me on my deer hunt a couple of years ago. You the man E!!!!!

BearCat

I think this picture shows the power of keeping the "focus" item off Center as well as capturing the color element. Of course I was lucky on where it landed, but still I hope you get the point.

The next two photos I believe show the theme of FILL the FREAKING FRAME (FFF). Even though we had to sit the camera on a rock vs E taking one, we should have paid more attention to how much of the frame was filled as I think the one with both of us could have been so much better.

VS.

Here are a few more that you can see follow the simple FFFs. Even though some have been shot with camera phones or cheap camera(not in focus), they still use more of the frame.

Really decide on what is important in the shot and shoot that. These next fishing pictures really show the difference of getting in close.

VS

There is really NO wrong or right just take a lot of pictures and I hope this helps!

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BearCat
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Jun-28-10, 
03:18 PM (MST)
29. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Things just do not always go the way we had planned that is for dang sure. We have all been faced with something that has changed our hunting trips and it is usually the guy/gal that is able to adapt and move on that comes out the winner. Same thing go for whether that is on a hunting trip, a day at work, or a planned weekend scouting trip.

I had planned possibly doing a little scouting this weekend or perhaps even grabbing the fly pole and heading out to check out a new section of water. I figure heck while I was scoping out our campsite for the upcoming July 4th camping/ATV trip, I miles get in some DEAN time. It was going to be a solo trip as my friend had dinner plans, my wife had to work and wouldn’t you know it my son had a birthday party to attend. As I was grabbing my fly fishing gear from the basement, my daughter walked by and asked me what I was doing. I sadly said I was going to do some fishing and she asked if Hunter was going, which I quickly responded “NO—he has other plans”. You see I am the type of person that would rather doing things with someone than by myself. She then said well I will go with you daddy!! I just about fell over because my daughter is and has always been a MOMMY’S girl. I have always been ok with that since I had my son to do things with.

It was at the exact moment I remembered a very brief conversation I had with Predator years ago. She had just taken her big buck, and I asked her how did she get involved in hunting as I just had a daughter and was curious. I mean come on I had a son so I was not totally clueless but this daughter things was new to me. I think she said that her father had taken her out as a kid and that I should just take her out and do things with her—ok that seemed simple enough at the time. But I was wrong….Haillie loved her mother and that bond was very difficult to break. If Mom did not go neither would Haillie. Over the years I would stop asking her to go with Hunter and I, because my wife would typically not go all the time. Sure we did all of the camping and ATV riding (at age 8 she can ride a 500 with the best of them), but it was just not quite the same as a 1:1 type of trip. I wished I had done more to EVEN out the bond when she was young as it just got worse and worse as time went on.

After thinking about how MY plans would have to change, I said sure lets “GET ER DONE” and so we just took a quick weekend trip up to scout out the camping spots for the July 4th weekend and what a trip!!! Just a quick rundown of the thing we did….. shot paintball guns, went fishing, rode ATVs, had ice cream, sat by the campfire, told stories, taught her how to use her first BIG girl knife, had two bull moose walk within 20 yards of camp, built a cool house if I say so (including bathroom and kitchen),and then went on some hikes looking for deer so she could test out her new spear-ha ha ha. It was going so well that we had only planned to stay one night, but she insisted that we should stay another. I guess Predator this is the way hunting partners start off—the same whether you are a son or daughter, JUST TAKE THEM!!!

Well guys I know this is not about my moose hunt, but I am hoping this is a start to a whole new story!

Once again the GREAT ADVENTURE was NEVER meant to be just a story about my moose trip (those you can find in any hunting magazine!), but what it takes to go on a hunting trip and sometime that planning starts when you are 8 years old going with your Dad.

BearCat

This is the club house.

The Spear (notice the detailed carvings)

One of the moose in camp-- Ernesto it must be a sign!!!

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BearCat
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Jun-28-10, 
07:03 AM (MST)
30. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

COUNTDOWN--------68 days
WEIGHT LOSS --------5 LBS (it is slow but I am trying to run at night and will pick it up as it gets closer)
MONEY SPENT -------$1,186 (Delta Air Frequent Flyer Miles, 1/2 Hunting Airfare, Boots, Knife, Sling)


I know that you had soooo much fun watching the last video, here is another. If I do another one, I will for sure cut out a few of the Um and Uh—I promise.

Sometime I think we are too quick to run out and buy something when we might have something that will work just fine tucked in a drawer (You all know I am an impulsive buyer). If something breaks, I tend to rob that item of everything that I MIGHT need. Whether that is a strap, buckle, bolt, or a bag—who knows when it will come in handy.

Here are a few of my ideas on Bags that I hope might make you rethink that item that you throw away or give to the DI.

Thanks for taking this wild journey!

http://www.monsterhuntclips.com/video/882/Great-Adventure-2

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jun-30-10, 
04:24 PM (MST)
31. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jun-30-10 AT 04:48 PM (MST)

I guess I have been waiting for the right time to write this chunk of the blog, and I guess it is now or never. It should have probably been the first post, but I wanted to save it till later so that more could read it I guess.

As many of you might know, Ernesto has been a friend of mine for many years and even though there is about 20 years difference I think we could easily have been brothers. We basically think the same about pretty much everything. We actually met probably 15 years ago as my father and his father worked together out in the Oil & Gas fields. There were many times that we would be helping out our fathers at work or tagging along with our dad’s to each other’s house and of course we would bump into each other. I did not think much about it as Ernesto was just a young kid, but I still remember thinking that if we would have been a bit older his and my love of the outdoors would have made for some good hunting trips . How funny fate can be sometimes since some 15 years later we would find ourselves very close friends.

We actually got re-hooked up through a post right here on Monster Muleys during one shed season. I remember him posting this GREAT picture of and elk shed with some skyline in the background which I quickly recognized. I had noticed that his number of posts was low (something like 10) and even though this was not one of my shed areas, I quickly sent him a PM and told him that he should be careful of what he posts or some idiot would snag his shed spot. He responded and I recognized the name and introduced myself and we quickly hit it off. Well after several months of emails back and forth, I just happened to see him on one of the dirt roads while shed hunting and we both were a bit surprised to see each other. I remember thinking what the heck is he doing out here and I sure hope he is hunting some coyotes--NOT. It later turned out that we were scouting the same area and when I would curse the SHED GODS at seeing a boot track in the dirt, I never dreamed it would turn out to be his. We later had some very good laughs about that particular meeting and what went on “behind the scenes”. Ever since we have had some GREAT days hunting and even better adventures out in the hills!

In 2008, I was very fortunate to draw a limited deer tag in Wyoming in an area that we had both hunted our whole lives. I had never taken what I would have called a monster buck from the area, but of course had always dreamed of it. So seeing the good news on the web I immediately called up E and broke the good news to him. I know I have NEVER heard somebody so excited for somebody else in my whole life! Let’s just say it was a good thing I could hold the phone a couple feet from my ear! Within a week HE had my hunt all planned out for me and was going to take off 2 weeks and fly from Alaska (he had just moved there) to help out with the hunt. To make a very long story short, WE ended up shooting my dream buck… He met all my criteria by being over 200” (212”), over 30” wide (31”) and had some trash (heavy 8x7). When I say WE got him, I mean it. It turned out that it was with E’s great pictures and my great shooting that we ended up as one of the featured stories in Eastman’s!

So in 2010, I get this call from E and I assumed we were going to talk about the upcoming shed season and what our plans would be, but instead he invited me up to go moose hunting with him!! I could not get YES out of my mouth fast enough. It has been a dream of mine for many years and even though I had tried it solo once before the big giants had eluded me. I actually think I booked the airfare soon after just so he would not change his mind. We have been bouncing ideas back and forth for months now and with about 67 days left, it is starting to sink in. Now we are setting out for another adventure and I am hoping that we will each get some MONSTER animals, but of all of a great time. The next 63 days are going to be crazy for sure as we each have other hunts sandwiched in an around “THE GREAT ADVENTURE” hunt and work is going to make it difficult for sure. In the end it will for sure go down as one of the Great moments in my hunting career and very glad to share it with such a dedicated outdoorsman!!!

After reading MM for the last 5 or so years, I have seen many friendships created because of Brian’s dedication and all of our passion for the outdoors. Even after all the crap you see on the internet, It is nice to know that some good can come of it.

Sit back and enjoy the ride!

BearCat

Ernesto at his best!!!

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BearCat
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Jul-01-10, 
10:05 AM (MST)
32. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Back a few posts ago I had mentioned some Tips on calling moose. One of those was to use a shoulder blade from a caribou or elk to rake the trees with as this would give you the hollow flat sound of a moose antler. Since I did not have a caribou I used an elk shoulder blade and then took a saw and trimmed down the outside edge into a bit smaller shape and thus took off that thin outside edge. I then took the section that goes to the leg and cut that down so I had just enough room for my hand. Seeing that the leg was also a bit big in diameter for my hand, I then trimmed that down to fit perfectly. Knowing that this would be wet most the time, I then just took some leather shoe laces and rapped the handle so I would have something to hang onto while I was beating the crap out of enemy-- I mean the trees. All that was left, was to drill a hole and put a tether on the end so that it would not fly out of my hand and kill my hunting partner and I was all set. Since I had made one for my hunting partner, I also engraved with a dremel tool with the year and filled it in with a little paint so we could keep them after the trip. Nice thing is it was small and light weight so it would fit into my backpack for the trip down and back.

As you can see, we used the heck out of it and called in a few small bulls but nothing worth packing out. One note, be carefull of what you hit as I hit a broken limb and put a hole in mine. We also used the lantern lid while we were there and to me they both sounded very similar and carried a good distance.

Well I hope that helps everyone—later!!! Everyone have a great July 4th, as I am off to the mountains for some fishing and ATV riding.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jul-05-10, 
04:39 PM (MST)
33. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone I hope you all are having a great July 5th!!.

I just wanted to say to all of those MM guys/gals out there in Evanston, WY---YOU PEOPLE REALLY KNOW HOW TO SHOOT SOME FIREWORKS!! If none of you have ever seen Evanston on July 4th you are missing out of one of the truly amazing nights.

As many of you know, we were up at Bear River Lodge area riding ATVs all weekend, and heard from a local to go and check out the fireworks in Evanston. We figure why not as it was not much of a drive. We got there at 8:30 and there were fireworks everywhere. So much that we thought we had missed the city show. Well the REAL ones did not start till a bit after 9:30, but we were at the baseball diamonds and I guess the city blocks off two HUGE parking lots by the diamonds and there were hundreds of people shooting them off before, during and after the main city ones (which were the best I have ever seen). We watched fireworks for 3 hours straight!! And I do not mean those little cheap ones, they were big ones and it must have been at least 50,000 individual fireworks lit!!. We jetted out at 11:30, but was told by some very nice locals that they go on till 1:00!!! And the big lots kind of represented the two main retailers in Evanston and every year it is a contest to see who was the winner---well WE the public was the winners by far so thank you from all of us as it was AMAZING. We will be there next year even if we have to drive from SLC and stay in a motel!!!!

Thanks again and everyone should see that at least once in their lifetime!!!

Laters.
B

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BearCat
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Jul-06-10, 
07:19 PM (MST)
34. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jul-08-10 AT 10:16 AM (MST)

What a weekend!!!

I am sure many of you guys/gals might have been out scouting and checking out some new areas. Since my big hunt is up in Alaska, there is not much scouting I can do so I am using the time to get with family and friends. Of course I am still researching some good new areas for my son’s southern general deer tag (feel free to drop me some good areas).

I have hesitated a bit about sending this particular blog out because I originally did not think it had much to do about my up and coming GREAT ADVENTURE trip and did not just want to POST something. But as I was trying to make my way through all of the endless work emails from being gone an extra two days this weekend, it hit me that this weekend had everything to do about my hunt in Alaska!

My weekend involved many of the people that will eventually make my hunt possible. There are my loving wife and kids that will cover for me at home while I am gone for two weeks. This in no easy task when you add up the dinners, the chores, taking care of my dogs, and just all of the little things a “single parent” would have to do for two weeks alone. All three of the good friends in the pictures (Fred, Randy, Mike), surely will be there for my wife if anything should happen around the house while I am gone. We all know that when you plan a hunting trip years in advance EVERYTHING that can go wrong will probably go wrong. These three guys will be there so that maybe I will have a little piece of mind (while I am bring home the meat for the winter --ha ha ha). It is these ATV/Camping trips that help build that bond, that even without any words—I will know they will just be there for us. Last but not least, my family (in this case my brother) is and has always been there for me. But I know that many people with siblings do not have that tight bond and just maybe it is because they did not have a hobby like hunting or camping to bring them together. We all know that in order to go camping it takes EVERYONE as it is not a simple task. Perhaps this coming together to get ready for a camping trip, creates those strong unions that we rely on later in life?

So my weekend had a couple of days of ATV riding, some fishing, some drop dead fun paintball battles, and as you have heard earlier, one heck of a July 4th Fireworks display!!!

If anyone wants some information about the July 4th Fireworks display or the ATV/Camping around Bear River Lodge just drop me a PM and I will be glad to help out!!!

BearCat

The entire group

Paintball (bruises come free)

Some happy fisherwomen

The only KEEPER I have ever caught!

Not exactly what you expect to find way way up in the mountains on an ATV trail.

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BearCat
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Jul-08-10, 
08:36 AM (MST)
35. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well even though I am not out busting the brush scouting, I am still trying to do as much research as possible. I am sure someone else might be going on an Alaska-Yukon moose hunt so here is some tips/guidelines you might find useful. I am not saying they are all perfect, just some tips.

· Know your moose: Greatest spread measurements, palm lengths, palm widths, and beam circumferences vary considerably among the three moose subspecies. Generally, Alaska-Yukon moose measurements are the greatest in each category, followed by Canada moose, and then Shiras moose.

· Wide racks: Because greatest spread measurements are a part of the moose's final score, the wider a bull's rack is, the better.

· Long palms: Since the length of the palm on each side is added into a bull's final score, the longer the better.

· Wide palms: As with a palm's length, the wider an individual palm is, the higher the score will be.

· Good brow palms: Look for well-formed brow palms since these add to a bull's length of palm measurement.

· Number of normal points: In the scoring of a bull moose's antlers, the length of individual points isn't counted in the final score. But the number of normal points is, so the more, the better. Generally, top-scoring bulls will have 10 or more normal points on each side.

· Beam circumference: While difficult to judge, a thick antler beam circumference of six to seven inches or better is desirable.

· Width: On most mature bulls, the distance from ear tip to ear tip is about 30" when they are laid out flat. The length of an ear is roughly 10". So, imagine the ears laid out flat. If there is another ear length to the outer part of the farthest reaches of the antlers on each side, then it is roughly a 50" bull, give or take a few inches. If you have an ear and a half on each side, then the bull is in the upper 50s to near 60 inches. If you have an extra two ears of distance per side, then you've got something good - in the upper 60's almost 70.

· Width: I have heard from taxidermists that it is 7 1/2 inches from one pedicle to the other on a mature bull and on that basis, if each antler stuck out 3 times that length from that spot you would be over 50 inches. Three times 7 1/2 = 22 1/2 times 2 = 45 inches plus the boss spread of 7 1/2 = 52 1/2.

· Width: The distance between a moose’s eyes is 10” So double that on both sides and add back in for the real eyes and you would be at the 50” mark.

Thanks for taking the time and I hope this helps.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jul-11-10, 
02:17 PM (MST)
36. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Still doing some research on my spare time at work and ran across something pretty cool that took me by surprise. As many of us use Google earth for a variety of different things, have any of you ever been looking and just found something that does not belong. Well the below picture is of a desert area that I know very well and when I happened to see the below object (a plane), I had to sit back and think----“there is no plane sitting in the desert off the side of the road”. But clearly there is one in the picture. After some time, it started to make sense that if the satellites were taking pictures there is a chance a plane could be flying and thus captured in pictures. I have never seen or heard of this, but thought it would be cool to share as we are all doing more and more scouting with Google earth.

Enjoy!!!

BearCat

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Jul-13-10, 
01:19 PM (MST)
37. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Oh my over 3,000 hits that is GREAT!!! Thanks everyone for taking the time to check this out.

As I look back over the last month or so of this journal of THE GREAT ADVENTURE, I know that I have not done as much to get in shape as I have wanted to. It is by far my biggest challenge every single year. I am not a person to procrastinate by no means , but finding the time is hard for me. I have tried to carve out some time (and yes I have done some running), but life has a way of interfering in my plans. I am not sure how others do it and still juggle work, home, family and other summer time activities!! I know that I have not just sat around the house as many of my friends can attest to. I am not complaining by no means, but the reality is setting in and I have to do something to change it now!!! Of course, sometimes I am just dead tired and do not want to go and run or hike, but 90% of the time there are just things to catch up on or to do with the family since we really only get about 3-4 months of summer before all the hunts kick in. That is only 12-16 weekends top!!

With that I am going to make this my number one priority from here on out!!!! I turn 42 on Thursday and that gives me just over 7 weeks to prepare and prepare I will. I think it is seeing Founder hiking all the time that is driving me to be better this year—thanks Brian! I am going to try and give an HONEST break down once a week. This is not for you but for me so that I can keep track—maybe it will help someone else, because if I can do then you can do it.

Here is my plan of attack as most of my work will be done on the weekdays as we have several more ATV trips planned on the weekends. Nothing too fancy by no means but it should work for me. I have eating pretty good and have lost 5lbs so I am just planning on keeping this up and just making sure that I have a salad EVERY time we go out to eat.

• Week 1—Run 2 miles on M/W/F—this will be my warm up week and I will either do it in the evening or the mornings. (probably evenings). (ATV trip this weekend-will try and do a hike early before family gets up)
• Week 2—Run 3 miles on M/W/f---At this point I am going to add a bit more distance and then start on running a bit harder and faster. (ATV trip this weekend- will try and do a hike early before family gets up)
• Week 3--- Run 3 miles on M/W/f---At this point I am going to add a bit more distance and then start on running a bit harder and faster. (Fly Fishing Trip this weekend-both days)
• Week 4— Run 3 miles on M/W/f---At this point I am going to add a bit more distance and then start on running a bit harder and faster. (Work Party for Duck club this weekend—both days)
• Week 5— Run 3 miles on M/W/f---At this point I am going to add a bit more distance and then start on running a bit harder and faster. (Probably have to work Sat, Sunday doing the annual Lagoon day)
• Week 6— Run 4 miles on M/W/f--- I will probably keep this for a couple of weeks and try for some weekend hike. (Probably have to work this weekend—maybe a hike up the mountains on Sunday)
• Week 7 – Run 4 miles on M/W/f---I will probably keep this for a couple of weeks and try for some weekend hike. (Open weekend before hunt plan to spend it doing whatever the family wants to—hope I do not have to work!)
• Week 8 – I leave for Hunt on Sat and I know there will be 100 things to get done, so this week will be up in the air but hope to grab one or two quick runs

Well that is my plan and I will give you a run down every Monday! I think I will use Tues/Thur to spend time with the kids and try and focus on doing some sort of low impact exercise with them (riding bikes, soccer, etc.)

Thanks everyone and I hope your trips are working out well!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jul-13-10, 
02:25 PM (MST)
38. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Over 3,000 hits that is GREAT!!! Thanks everyone for taking the time to check this out.

This GREAT ADVENTURE has really turned out to be quite rewarding. I have never been much of a blogger to say the least. Early on I used to post all the time, but it seemed like over the years there was just more and more bashing happening on the site and less and less of the sharing aspect-----so I stopped. I really miss the good replies that come from these types of forums, but frankly LOVE the fact I do not have to listen to all the crap!!! And yes for anyone that knows me I am “thinned skin” and can take things very personal!!!

Anyway thanks everyone and I hope you have found something useful in the blog and like some of the new stuff that I have planned.

BearCat

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Jul-14-10, 
02:44 PM (MST)
39. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So I doubt I will use this little trick on my hunting trip to ALASKA (Ernesto would kill me), but it does help out when you have your kids on your scouting trips or even a camping trip.

I have used this for many years and I think you will be amazed at how COOL it really is. This little trick will make your night time fire turn some amazing blues, greens, and teals. (and I am not just talking about small flames)

1. So go to Home Depot and buy you some ½ copper pipe and then cut it up into 1 foot sections ( I would get about 6 feet).

2. Then you will need about 6-12 feet of an old garden hose. You really only need about 6 feet for a “one time” shot but I usually bring up an extra round for two nights.

3. Take the hose and cut it into 1 foot sections as well and split the hose (best to do it before you cut it into sections)

4. Then take the split hose and put it around each of the 1 foot copper sections

5. Once you got your fire going good and it is real dark outside take the 6 sections and lay 4-5 in the fire but around the outside of the fire (make sure they are still in the fire and not just in the coals), then take the remaining 1-2 pieces and lay them in the center. This will create a nice ring of bright blues and greens and teals as the rubber melts and causes the cooper to heat up. Surprisingly you do not get the nasty rubber smoke as you might think.

So this will last for a long time and you can re-use the copper pipe. The key is that you have to have the two together and they have to be in the flames. I hope you enjoy.

Ernesto if we have extra room in our packs I will bring a dozen of these-ha ha ha.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

BearCat

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Jul-15-10, 
12:40 PM (MST)
40. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone I got a few more pictures from Ernesto that I thought I would share and get the blood to start moving. I think I have about 52 days until we head out!!!

Another shed found at the base of a rub.


Ernesto I will take one of these or bigger!!!

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Jul-16-10, 
10:33 AM (MST)
41. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

What is one of the best things about going on a BIG hunting trip?

I know the excitement of the hunt ranks right up there and without doubt it has to be the time spent in the mountains with family and friends, but another aspect is all of the NEW cool gear you NEED to buy. My wife would say NEED is a strong word, and I then promptly remind her that she owns about 85% of our walk in closet space and trust me it is filled. That usually ends the discussion, but if that does not work then I bring out the big guns and tell her that she has me!!!!

Anyway I came across a product that for sure fits into the category of NEED. As most of us have struggled to keep our bino’s clean while wearing them around our necks on a hunt, very few products I felt had a good quick and easy solution. In my mind many where hard to get on and off or were just too bulky. I am not into the whole bag design as for the most part the only piece that gets dirty on mine is the top eyepieces as the other lenses are pointed down, and of course they are waterproof. You never want to put binos in a wet bag that is for sure!! So I just happened to come across a product from TANGO ARCHERY called “Clean Eyes” that is perfect for my situations. For $20 I ordered two of them (one for Hunter) and just got them in the mail yesterday. Man they are cool. They are built around a neoprene base with an elastic strap and just cover your eyepiece. They come off in a heartbeat and pop right back on. They seem to fit a variety of binos as I have them on a pair of Swaro EL and Cabela’s Guide Binos.

So if you guys are in the market check these out (I have not affiliation with them).

BearCat

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Jul-18-10, 
10:49 AM (MST)
42. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Just a quick update on my workout routine.

I was able to make it out and run 2 miles on Mon, Tues and Frid, Sun---which for me is good. I can feel that I am getting in better shape. It is tough to make the time, but each time I picture myself packing out a Moose and knowing that I will need to be in the best shape possible.

Next week I plan on taking it up a small notch and going a bit farther or faster. I still have a long way to go, but it feels good to have a plan and to accomplish it.

Good luck to all of you guys!!

BearCat

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Jul-21-10, 
10:30 AM (MST)
43. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So this write up is for something that for me is very important. Most of my friends know me as the guy that is ALWAYS prepared, maybe a bit of a know it all (I do A lot of research), and most importantly a guy who likes to pass things down to the our next generation. My wife kind of hates that about me, because I am always buying stuff on the notion that it will last forever or I can pass it down to my kids, which really is just another way of saying “that is going to cost us A LOT more”. Either way I try to make sure memories are remembered, but funny thing is I do not shoot any video!!! I guess I like the personal stuff which leads me into the next write up.

Many years ago—actually 14 years to be exact, I wanted to start a journal for my son. Nothing too big just to write in it all the things that I may not have said over the years, or sayings that I thought might help guide him through life. Of course I mixed in a healthy dose of his “firsts” to show him how proud I was of him and even the history of his Mom and Me. I have written about his first deer, his first gun, and even the bad things that have happened. I originally thought it was for him, but over the years it turns out to be a nice thing to sit down with and just read. I am not much of a writer when I do not have a spell checker around, but hey it is me and that is what I wanted him to remember. I try to put some key points on a sticky notes as they happen that helps jog the old memory when I finally have time to write in the journal. The current plan is to give it to him (he knows nothing about it), when he has his first kid and perhaps it will help him and maybe just maybe he will write one for his son/daughter.

My point is there a lot of uses for something like this. I have also given one of these to a dear friend of mine, as he has a ranch and I thought it would be neat for everyone that gets to hunt on it to leave a picture of their trophy and add a quick thank you. You know something that he can take with them long after the ranch. I have also used one to document my fishing trips, as well as, some of my big hunting trips--- they serve as a great knowledge base for the next trip. For example I have looked at the entry I made on my 2000 caribou/moose trip to jog the old memory. They also make great journals for your grandparents and even though videos are great, it is nice to be able to maybe one day have your great grandkid to be able to read your own words from a time long forgotten. They are also great in keeping all your notes organized on a particular area or buck. I have even added hand drawn maps, landmarks, and key points to mine which have proved very valuable in the past.

So the journals I select are some of the best you can buy with a leather backing and good paper (want them to stand the test of time). They now make some hunting and fishing journals along with a whole bunch of others. Some of these have nice forms to fill out and others are just blank paper. The one place I like is a site called Renaissance-Art, and is one of the few good journal makers.

So with all the pre-work we do to go on these GREAT ADVENTURES, maybe having a written journal might not be a bad idea.

Hope you guys enjoy.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jul-22-10, 
11:35 AM (MST)
44. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well Guys I got a few more pictures from Ernesto, which is just making the wait that much harder.

I will try and post a few, and a couple of these are pretty cool so you will have to check back.


BearCat

How would that be to pack out a dead head 8 miles in? (not sure it is legal in AK, but just thinking about it hurts)

Now that is a burr!!!

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Jul-24-10, 
09:14 PM (MST)
45. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey guys week two of the conditioning and I am holding my own.

I ran 2+ miles two nights last week and then got up at 4am on Sat and headed to the mountain with a small 20lb pack to check out an old haunt of mine and see what was kicking. Pictures to follow--lets just say it was a good trip--kind of!!

Then Sunday we are doing a 8 mile bike ride--so I feel good and the legs feel good now I just have to take it up a notch!!!

BearCat

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Jul-26-10, 
01:14 PM (MST)
46. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jul-26-10 AT 02:03 PM (MST)

Well as I promised the rest of the story with pictures.

What a weekend. I knew it was going to be busy but as I sit down to write this (at work), I am tired and sore. Every muscle hurts to some extent and I realize that a 42 year old Corporate Manager has soft feet and needs to get out more!!

Wanting to get a FULL weekend in, this is what I had planned.

Saturday
--get up at 4:00am and head out till about 1:00 or so for a morning hike. Just thought I would head up to an old hunting area I used to visit.
--get back to the house around 2:00 and load up the ATVs and take the friends and family up to a new spot and have a BBQ at 9,120ft!
-- get home around 8:00pm and head out for a movie

Sunday
-- get up late (7:30am) and kick off the morning with a good breakfast and mow the grass and do yard work
---head out around 10:00am with the bikes and go for a 8 mile round trip bike ride on the Provo.
--get back home around 3:00pm and clean the house as we are having a big BBQ for my stepson’s 21st birthday at 6:00pm
--done at 9:00pm and then clean up the mess and fall into bed after checking work email and MM.

So all in all it was a good weekend as I found a couple of moose, found a great buck (if you like typical, not my cup of tea), and got some needed exercise. Bad news is I hurt all over and I have a very LARGE blister.

I hope everyone else fared better than me!!

BearCat

You just have to love the morning in a big basin!

Going to make someone happy just not me.

It sucks to be me!

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BearCat
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Jul-28-10, 
09:50 AM (MST)
47. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Jul-28-10 AT 02:21 PM (MST)

What is that one thing that each of you will not leave behind on a hunting trip no matter how much space or weight is left in the pack? I would imagine that it would be a great topic for another thread, but it leads into my post very nicely.

For me it almost comes down to two items( yeah I know I said ONE item). I will always bring my rain gear (even if it is not going to rain) as it provides a nice wind block after getting all sweaty on the way up in the mornings and the last thing is I have learned that I am not a very “friendly” person if I do not get a good night sleep which for me boils down to having a pillow!

Now I am not talking about having a full size down pillow like at home, but I am also not talking about wadding up your jacket either. I have tried a number of different options over the years hoping to find the perfect low weight/low volume solution. Things like taking your pants or shirt and stuffing the arms/legs with all the left over clothes, the small air filled pillows, the small backpacking pillows, and of course just your empty backpack. Well I hope I have found the solution. I just bought a Teton Sports Pillow at Sportsman’s Warehouse for $19.99 that I think will work out great. It is just your basic camping pillow but it is 20”x20” and as you can see in the pictures this really makes for a nice size. It is very light weight and comes with its own stuff sack. I went to SW and was able to find a small compression sack and with a little bit of work got it in and compressed and saved at least 1/3 of the size. I think this should round out things pretty nicely. I talked to a couple of sales reps at the store and they said they sell these as fast as they get them in because people use them for traveling in the airplane and I think they would be great left in the car for those long trips and for $19.99 it seems like a bargain.

Once again thanks for hanging around and seeing what else I NEEDED for my trip!!!

BearCat

Here is the pillow and a can for comparison.

Here is the stuff sack that came with the pillow.

Here is the new compression sack I purchased.

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BearCat
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Jul-29-10, 
02:41 PM (MST)
48. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

In one of my post, I showed you a old car that we found up where no roads existed (just a small ATV trail), but I think E sent me a pictures that has to be the best.

As I understand it they were like 8 hours into the heart of Alaska and happen to come across this. As you can see, it has been there for some time and one just has to imagine what it was use for as there are NO roads at all that deep into Alaska.

But knowing E, he used it to his advantage and took up residence on it to glass for those monster sheds.

Thanks for the picture E---I sure hope one of those are around to help us pack out MY moose!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Jul-30-10, 
10:09 AM (MST)
49. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey guys I forgot to show this beauty that E found on the same trip that he decided to take the CAT for a drive.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-03-10, 
10:22 AM (MST)
50. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

What a GREAT ADVENTURE it has been already!! This will be my 50 posting and there has been 4,000 views!!!! Thanks everyone for making this such a great time already. I can not even imagine the post after I get back and only 32 days and counting till I leave!!!!

The sad news is that this will be the toughest 4 weeks at work that I have and of course it is right before the trip. With workouts, packing, honey dues, and work it is going to be tough!!

It is hard to believe that over a year has passed since E and I have talked about this trip and started putting it together and now it is down to 32 days! I am excited and nervous—I just want things to go good with no injuries and of course bagging a few animals would always be nice.

Well it turns out that we are going to be able to add some extra weight to our trip which means some more comforts!!! Yep maybe some cots, better food, extra clothes and a bigger tent. I think this is a wise idea even if it is costing us extra as a 2 week trip up in the Alaska bush can be daunting to say the least.

It turns out the E has purchased a new tent that many of my friends rave about and that is the Kifaru Tipi. I actually know the owner Patrick from about 15 years ago when he sold his Mountain Smith backpack business and launched into the specialty hunting and military packs. I have had his spike camp pack for the last 11 years and have loved it and it has been of great quality. So E has purchased the 8 man tipi and has also purchased the stove for it—must be nice to have money!!!! I know that this will be a great investment for him, as he will be using it on many of his trips. I can’t wait to use it as I have been looking at buying one for years, but they do not have a floor (optional floor can be added) and have always worried about the small critters, but I guess that is why there is extra material on the bottom so you can burm around it.

So here is a small write up on the tipi, but for more information jump on their website.

8 Man Tipi
Weight===7 lbs 9 oz
Size=====18’ x 15’
Height===8’ 6”
Cost=====$1,174

BearCat


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BearCat
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Aug-04-10, 
09:34 AM (MST)
51. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

To keep expanding on the Kifaru concept here is also the Medium stove that you can buy. I have not seen one but by the pictures this thing really packs down and is made of Stainless steel instead of tin or something like that.

Man E I can not wait to live in comfort and hope you can figure out some way to get the hot tub on the plane!

BearCat

Medium Stove:
Weight===4 lbs 6 oz
Size=====9"x12"x8"
Cost=====$333


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Aug-05-10, 
12:25 PM (MST)
52. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

As many of you know, Cabela’s offers some pretty good discounts later in the year and of course I wanted to cash in on them. So I thought I would share some information with you guys just in case your NEEDS list is getting large. I have spent a good part of one day searching the web for OLD promotions to get an idea of when and how much they have done in the past. This will help me decide if I should wait to purchase my items and if I will have time as I am now officially under a month till I leave (29 days).

Currently they are running a $20 off if you spend $150 or more which is about a 13.3% savings. This is good till 8/10 and you get the money off of the purchase. This is very similar to past years with the exception that it has been as high as $30 in like 2007.

The one I was curious about was their Cash Card promo. This is the one that says you get a $50 gift card if you spend $300, $100 if you spend $400 and $150 if you spend $500. These cards are only good till Dec 31st once the money is on them and you have till Oct 1st to use the promo. This is a smoking deal with savings from 15% up to 25%, but only If you have more stuff to buy after the initial purchase. I have used mine in the past to buy Christmas gifts and such----FOR ME!!!! This promo has come on anywhere from the end of July to the middle of Aug from my research. That is putting it dangerously close to my hunt.

This is how the two stack up with a little magic.

My future purchases:

1. Scope===========$300
2. Scope Mounts=====$100
3. Ammo============$100
4. Extra Browning clip==$50
5. Scope Cap========$25
6. Misc=============$25
Total=================$600

I could possibly save $80 using the current promo if I have a couple friends help me out (promo is good for one person) or a 13% savings

Or I could get back $150 using the possible future promo and even though it is not truly a savings you still get additional gear if additional gear is NEEDED of about 25%. And if I combine it with the first one in the sense that I buy $150 worth of stuff now and then $500 of stuff later (yes I would have to spend an extra $50) I would get another $20 off on top of that!

Anyway as you can even when it is not field scouting there is still a bunch to do. Of course I have not even asked Sportsman’s Warehouse yet but I know they will usually match/beat the above discounts if you ask them.

Dean

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BearCat
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Aug-06-10, 
10:39 AM (MST)
53. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Aug-06-10 AT 10:57 AM (MST)

As a few of you know, a couple of us do an annual fly fishing trip each year and for the past 4 years it has been great. There is always the 4 core guys and then a few other friends thrown in for good measure (ok more for laughs but what they do not know is fine).

So what does this have to do with my quest---well you can imagine how tough it is to eat right on such a trip. Now I did my part by not eating too much junk (chips, candy etc.), but as the designated cook on these outings it is up to me to make the guys happy. Of course I brought some junk food for the other guys, but man dinner is another story. After fishing all day, how do you come to camp and have a salad--it was time for a burger.

I had brought the grill up and we had a GREAT bacon cheese burger that everyone LOVED. For those of you guys already screaming foul play---It was a LEAN elk burger from a cow my son had shot a while back so that has to count for something. Of course I had to dress the burger up a bit, but with the sound of the river behind us and a clear night after catching cutts, browns, and some cuttbows on the fly rod—this just seemed to hit the spot.

A couple of burger tricks:
--One trick I use is to cut up some of that precooked bacon and onion and put it into the ground elk while I am forming the patties. This will give it a bit of fat when you are frying it and oh man it is good.
--The other trick is instead of putting your BBQ on while it is cooking and then having all of it run/burn off by the time it gets on your bun try this-----cook the burger and then at the end before the cheese add your favorite BBQ in the middle and then quickly place a slice of cheese on the top, this will then melt and seal in your BBQ sauce so each bite has some sauce. Just a little trick I came up with a few years ago.
--I also pre-form all of my patties at home with a cheap patty maker I got from Wal-Mart, and then freeze them in advance so that when we go on a trip they are ready and I just take out the ones I need.


Well I know this is not going to help any of us get the big one, but I can tell you there were a couple of happy guys sitting around the campfire that night!!! Hunting/fishing is just like everything else in life you have to have fun and enjoy the small things sometimes.

Take care I will see you around the fire!!

P.S. the black background is a cliff wall at camp next to the stream at about 9pm after we got back from fishing.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-09-10, 
09:34 AM (MST)
54. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey Guys just wanted to let everyone know that I guess the Cabela's Cash Card is out. My buddy got his on Sat, I am hoping I get one, but if anyone is in the Riverton area and not using theirs I would love to snag it.

I also headed to Cabela's and used the $20 off of $150 or more and picked up some shells and scope mounts and a Moose DVD.

I actually grabbed one extra box of Federal Premium 180 Grain Barnes Triple-Shock and of course they will not return it so if anyone is interested let me know I will give you $10 off so it would be $50 and they are for 300 WSM.

Have fun at the store!!!

D

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BearCat
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Aug-09-10, 
12:43 PM (MST)
55. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Everyone thanks, I had a friend come through with a Cabela's card!!!

Thanks again!!!

Dean

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Aug-10-10, 
03:03 PM (MST)
56. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone just thought I would tell you that I never did get my Cabela's Cash Card, but I was able to work something out. I am heading down tonight to pick up the last of my gear and will give you the details later.

Just a little trick to deal with Customer Service Departments and some of you might alreadyknow this. I have worked in Customer Services for almost 10 years and one little trick I have found is that if you have a big/complicated issue the FIRST person you talk to will give you your typical answer something like this "I am sorry that is company policy or I am sorry we can not do that" etc. ALWAYS ALWAYS ask to speak to their Supervisor or Manager. They will then transfer you and then re-explain the situations. Usually this second level will be able to help you and has 100% for flexibility, but if not ask for their supervisor.

Most people just stop at the first level, and never get the issue resolved to the full extent.

I will say that I try not to abuse this method, but definetly feel that as a VALUED customer companies should do what they can.

Thanks guys!!

Dean

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BearCat
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Aug-12-10, 
09:04 AM (MST)
57. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Hey everyone just another product update.

As I think I might have mentioned earlier I purchased a Havalon knife a few months back as I have heard great things about them. Now I am not entirely sure I would use one of these solely for hunting (not because they are not sharp), but if you need to cape or deflesh a hide in the field then I think this is perfect. They are extremely sharp and when changing out blades I have to say I am scared. I know for a fact if that things cuts you –it is going to hurt.

They are extremely light and come with multiple replacement blades. I am planning on using mine on my Moose or even wolf if all goes well. I will let you know how it goes, but it would be great also as a spare in your possible’s pouch.

They make several different styles and it even looks like they have a fish fillet knife that would be killer to have. Check them out at Havalon.com.

Dean

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BearCat
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Aug-14-10, 
03:21 PM (MST)
58. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

As I sit here at work—yes I am at work on a Saturday, I can’t help but think of what a great day I have had already!!!

Wanting to get out and get some exercise I talked my buddy Fred into going with me this morning as he has a deer hunt in a couple of weeks. Man for being 53 this guy can hike!!! Anyway we meet at 4:30 up the mountain at the trailhead and get going around 5 or so by the time we change into our gear. The first part of the trail is easy but oh man that last section is straight up. And after a 2 hour hike we are looking at some great country. I had been up there about 10 years ago, and was hoping there might be something to peak our interest as we are looking for some new hunting grounds.

The first few minutes at the top he spots a few does here and there and I told him that there was another basin just over the hill so we pick up and make the sprint. As soon as we pop over the hill, I am yelling for him to get down as there was about 7 elk feeding in the basin. Turned out to be two good 5 pts and couple of spikes and a few cows. We then start picking out deer and find a good 3x4 (man I hate 3 pts), but this one is real decent. After about 30 minutes and a few smaller bucks spotted and our first elk bugle from an unknown bull below us, I wanted to check out the buck I posted last week and see if by chance he was around.

That little trip took us about an hour and we hit right at 8 and I was sure we were too late—NOPE. A couple more bull elk and a few smaller bucks and then all heck broke loose. There across the ridge was what I thought was the buck from last weekend with another bigger deer. We were father away and so I am not 100% sure it was the same deer but hey who the heck cares if there are 2 more big ones in the same basin!!! The other buck was BIG, he had huge forks on his fronts and backs and was heavy, but not as wide as I would like (probably 25-26”), He was supper tall and heavy—did I already say that. Anyway Fred thinks he is a straight typical going 200 but I think he is in the 190+ range. Either way he was nice and the other was wider but not as good backs. So these bucks stayed in the shade till it was no bigger than a house and we finally had to jet, but that was at 10:07 and these guys were still dinking around. Right then and there I thought Big Bucks are like Fred, both of them are old, smart, and retired and do not have to go to work so if they want to dink around till 10am then they can!!!!!

Well to have Fred there and see some good deer and a few elk made the trip. We then bailed off the mountain and I came straight to work. Sorry I did not get any pictures as my camera was dead when I pulled it out—oh well. At least we got 5-6 hours of great hiking in which will get both of us in shape for our hunts.

Happy Spotting!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-16-10, 
12:53 PM (MST)
59. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

After a bit of work on Google Earth, I found out that Fred and I hiked 7.1 miles round trip. Now for some of you that probably is not a lot, but I can tell you that I felt every inch of that the next day walking around Lagoon with my kids!!!!

I am not sure if I have ever been so sore! I would have thought after running for the last few weeks that would have helped--not so much.

Just proves you can NEVER be in good enough shape and have to change up the routine a bit.

Dean

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BearCat
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Aug-18-10, 
10:17 AM (MST)
60. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

ONLY 18 days left till I leave!!!!

What is the one thing we all have in common whether it is a Big Fishing trip, a small camping trip or a GREAT ADVENTURE?

WE FORGET THINGS ---and always seem to remember the item when it is too late!!!

No matter how many lists I make, I always seem to forget the little things. Yeah we remember our guns, poles, tents, sleeping bags, food etc, but it is the little things that break us.

So as I am checking my list, I can’t help thinking back to all of the things I forgot over the years. This is not meant to be a huge list just the little things that get forgotten. Some of mine can really make or break a trip and if you have ever hunted with a guy like my friend FRED---the earplugs are a must. Here are just a few things that may help each of you!!!!

1. Small roll of duct tape/electrical tape
2. Simple medicine (cold pills, allergy, Advil, antacid)
3. Nose drops (hate not being able to breathe at night)
4. Earplugs
5. Extra batteries (lights, range finders, scopes, hearing aids, cameras)
6. Extra pair of contacts/glasses
7. Small first aid (or just bandages)
8. Sunglasses
9. Licenses
10. Tooth Brush
11. Small Tools (screw driver, allen wrench, pliers)
12. Bow release (for those of you that can not shoot fingers--Fred!!!)
13. Cell Phone

Ok I know there is probably more, but these are the ones that have messed up my trips for than once, so take the time and think of the small things that you need!!!

Thanks for following along--I hope soon to be sending updates from ALASKA!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-20-10, 
03:30 PM (MST)
61. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

In the last few days before the hunt most of us are packing and repacking for our trip, going through checking lists, and doing those final touches for our GREAT ADVENTURES. I am not that much different, but I also realize that our families kind of take it in the shorts while we are gone. I mean there are the school car pools that need to be handled, dinners, problems around the house, and let us not forget the kids to keep in-line. It is tough on the wives and kids for sure and over the years I have felt guilty about running off for weeks at a time, because guys let us be frank---if my wife wanted to head out for 2 weeks and leave me at home with the kids all HECK would break loose. I just do not think I could do EVERYTHING my wife does and still go to work!!!

So I came up with a little Surprise back when I left for my Alaska trip in 2000 and here is what I do.

1. I first go and buy a bunch of cheap things that the kids and wife like. Bags of candy, dollar store items, games, puzzles, and even gift certificates rank on the top of my list.
2. I then video short messages to the family, just telling them that I miss them and what I THINK is happening on the trip. So I probably will do 5-10 short videos.
3. At the end of the video I give them a clue to where I have hidden one of the above mentioned items.
4. So I then have my wife play them every couple of days so that they get these surprises through the entire time I am gone.

Yeah it sounds kind of cheesy but they love it and it gives my wife something to hold over the little devils to make sure they are not driving her mad.

A Happy Wife == More Hunts!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-22-10, 
05:06 PM (MST)
62. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Everyone Ernesto is out hunting Caribou in our general area so I am SUPER eager to hear back from him on his success as well as what the pilots are saying about our area---KEEP TUNED!!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-23-10, 
12:04 PM (MST)
63. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well guys I guess most of you are hard at the archery deer season and I wish you all the luck.

I remember saying in 2000 on my last attempt at a moose and a caribou that I love Alaska so much that I was going to return every other year—how wrong I would be. Now after 10 years of waiting and a whole year and half of planning, I have 12 days before I start my GREAT ADVENTURE!!! I have to say I am scared and excited. I hope all the connecting trips work out, hope Ernesto does not break a leg or something, hope the weather stays good---I guess I will just HOPE FOR THE BEST like we all do.

I finished my last honey do around the house this weekend and plan to spend next weekend doing some scouting for my son and spending it with the family. I have a few small things to do, but all in all things are well. I have tried to think of everything to make my wife’s job a little easier with the house and kids. We have even gone through drills in case of a break in or an emergency. I guess know all I can do is HOPE FOR THE BEST.

These next two weeks are my HELL week at work as well as working out. I have told myself that I will be running EVERY night except for the weekends and eating only salads. I feel good now, but can’t wait to go this last mile. I just hope the knees will hold out. As with 4-finger, I have been battling a messed up shoulder since before Memorial day and the last few weeks have been good. I just have to be careful the next two weeks and HOPE FOR THE BEST.

I guess that is what life is all about—HOPING FOR THE BEST.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-24-10, 
03:31 PM (MST)
64. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well I just got off the phone with Ernesto and they took 3 Monster bull Caribou!!!

These are Barren Ground and I guess the scores (rough) were 356, 415, and 426. Those are HUGE bulls.

Best part is they saw a MONSTER Moose in our area. I am stoked--wish me luck.

I hope to have some pictures soon and will post. I am just glad everyone had a great time and came back safe!!!

Way to go E!!!!!


BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-25-10, 
01:43 PM (MST)
65. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So even though I am not one to wait till the last minute, I thought I would give you guys a heads up on something that many of us take for granted--a driver's license.

I was buying something the other day, when the clerk said hey your driver license is expired. I thought nothing of it until this week, when all of the bells and whistles went off—heck (used some other choice words) I need a CURRENT driver license to get on the plane for my moose trip. So I go down and sit in line for an hour and luckily because it had been less than 6 mths I did not have to take the test.

So I am sitting talking to the gentleman and as we get to the end he takes my expired license and proceeds to give me a PAPER temporary. I guess they do not issue you the plastic ones right then and there for renewals. So I ask him if this is ok at the airport and he said NO. Did I just hear him correctly? My heart hit the floor—so I thought what the heck (one again I used another word) am I going to do. So I asked the gentleman and he gave me back my old license and punched two holes in and said this SHOULD work.

So the point being is if I had not asked for my old one back I would have a problem getting on the airplane for sure. So I am taking my passport, old drivers license, birth certificate, and my new temporary drivers license so I am covered.

For you guys in Utah it takes 6-8 weeks to get your hard drivers license so make sure you plan for that in the future or ASK for your old one back.

My last big thing is getting my eyes checked so I can bring and extra set of contacts with me.

Last thing is to pack!!!!! ONLY 9 days before I leave!!!!

Happy Hunting and hope this might save one of you guys in the future!!!

BearCat


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BearCat
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Aug-27-10, 
08:14 PM (MST)
66. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

In one week I will be on the plane to Alaska. Ernesto is send me photos of the caribou today that you will just have to see--they are toads!!!

I am going scouting in Wyoming for our Elk and deer tags so maybe I will have some good photos to share.

I spent last night going through my possibles pouch and some of my gear--photos to follow.

Good luck.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-28-10, 
08:41 PM (MST)
67. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY I GOT SOME PICTURES!!!!

Well as most of you know Ernesto went on his BOU hunt and took some friends (he has a lot) and they smoked the hunt. I am sure he will post some pictures in the other formums, but his hunt was in or next to our unit so I have to show them.

My hat is off to him because as a true friend he was one of the last to shoot giving the other guys first chance--which turned out to be GREAT.

Enjoy and remember time in the mountains with friends is priceless!!!

Congratulations GUYS!!!!

BearCat


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BearCat
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Aug-29-10, 
06:44 AM (MST)
68. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"


Hey guys I got a few more pictures that you just have to see. I know they are not the as they are off my phone. I am sure E will post some soon.

Let just hope his luck rubs on me.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-30-10, 
03:36 PM (MST)
69. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

While many of you guys/gals were hunting this weekend, I was preparing once again for my moose trip. I started hiking at 5:00am with my friend Fred and was taking him into the spot I had spotted some bulls and the two GREAT bucks. I figured I would get my last exercises trip in before the hunt and perhaps Fred might get lucky with the bow. We found the two BIG Bucks but no elk. The walk in was going a bit smoother than the last time and I could feel that I was in better shape. Even now as I write this, I am happy that I am not sore like the last trip two weeks ago---improvements have been made!!! As with most trips in to hunt, we had some time to catch up and as with all good friends we talked about family, past hunts, the economy, work and of course about my blog on MM.

He was saying how much he liked the blog and how he had gained a lot of good information over the last 3 months. I told him about an idea I had been contemplating for awhile and before I could finish my sentence he said it was a great idea and should “run with it”. Well he is a pretty level headed guy and if he thought it was good then to heck with…………. “Leter Rip Tater Chip”

Founder (Brian) wanted this Hunting Adventures to not only get people involved more, but to SHARE in each of our adventures. So what would my GREAT ADVENTURE be if you guys could not share in the prize!!! No-- you can’t have my MOOSE horns if I am so lucky to take one or the guide Wyoming deer trip—you think I am stupid!!! But one thing I would have in abundance is packs. The two prizes for winning first place is the guided deer hunt of course and the cool Outdoorsman Backpack System worth $450!! I know Ernesto just bought all new packs and equipment so he does not need it and I have three Eberlestock packs so I sure as heck do not need any more. (first time need is outweighing want)

All of you have been following me with over 6,000 visits and I have over 70 posts so you guys have some idea of what my chances are and what size I am after. I believe the legal size is 50” or greater but I am hoping for something much better. My first legal day to hunt is Sept 8th and I leave on the 4th. All you have to do is GUESS the score!!!!! That is right the person closest to the Gross score on my Moose wins. So maybe you guys will be as anxious and nervous as me!!! I will have it scored as I do not know how to score a moose.

Here are the simple rules.

1. The winner gets the backpack/item that I get from Monster Mules (just in case they change it, but it should be the Outdoorsman Pack System)
2. I have to win the contest—I do not win---you do not win.
3. Starting today I will take your GROSS score via a Monster Mules PM (private message). I will take score up till Sept 7th. I will not be able to reply after the 4th. Since I do not know what it will score you have as good as a chance as anyone
4. One score per registered Monster Muleys person
5. I will take them in order on how they hit my PM box if there are two with the exact same score (I will try and notify if there are two with the exact score but this is only possible up till midday on the 4th)
6. Score could be between 0 and up (per Brian anyone could win even if there is not a animal killed as it is based on the story and experience and not the kill, so theoretically someone could win with a 0 score if I came home empty handed)
7. Anyone can win even the moderators as no one knows the score unless you have a crystal ball.
8. Winner gets the item I guess in January as that is when Brian is awarding the prizes


Well everyone I hope you are bit more excited—I know I sure am and like I said my intentions have always been to bring you along as much as possible on my GREAT MOOSE ADVENTURE!!!

Hunt Hard!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Aug-31-10, 
10:14 PM (MST)
70. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Here are some more great Bou taken by Ernesto and the guys.

This is Scott's bull--GREAT job!!!

BearCat

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BearCat
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Sep-01-10, 
09:06 AM (MST)
71. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well here is the last of the Bou pictures. This one is Adam's Bou and as you can see it is another nice one.

Not bad 4 monster Bous in ONE day.

Enjoy everyone. I can offically say I am a "short timer" at work. My brain has checked out as I leave in 3 days!!! Pretty much can not think about much else than the trip. I hope everything goes well and we just have a GREAT trip.

I have packed and repacked the bags(will have some pictures tomorrow). And besided a few small things and setting up the surprises for the family--I am all set.


BearCat

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BearCat
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Sep-02-10, 
07:29 PM (MST)
72. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Short and sweet--yeah right!

I swear I have packed and repacked this backpack every night for the last week. I have added stuff taken stuff out---I guess at some point I just have to stop. It is almost an addiction to get it just right--you guys know exactly what I am talking about.

This is everything that is going with besided my gun case. I got it at about 45lbs which gives me a bit of wiggle room.

It is amazing how much stuff you can get in if you ROLL your stuff and I use a rubber band to keep them rolled.

Thank goodness we have decided to pay for an extra trip to get gear in, because this does not include Food, Tent, or cooking items. Not sure how we would stay under a 50 lb maxium weight limit--guess Ernesto might have to loose that big head of his after those 4 Monster Bou.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Sep-03-10, 
01:34 PM (MST)
73. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

ONE DAY.....

It is hard to believe that after years of planning and most importantly saving the money for the trip that by tomorrow at this time I will be getting on an airplane!!!

I have to say I am very nervous and exited. I hate to leave my wife and kids alone. We have friends that can cover but I know that if something happens I would not forgive myself. All of the what ifs are going through my mind.

But at the same time I am exited that this might be the end to a quest that started some 10 years ago. Could it finally be over or will it end with just some good memories. Who knows--I guess you just have to believe in all of the work and preparation and leave the rest up to GOD.

So the last night at home we went to dinner and watched a movie and dinked around the house. Tomorrow will be riding the bikes to a new restaurant (JIM's) in our neighborhood and have a big breakfast. Then it will be just hanging out for a few hours and off to the airport.

I still have the video surprises to do tonight and hide the things and I can say I am good.

Just got the SAT phone sent to me from Arizona as all the ones in Alaska are gone. Who knows maybe I can send out some good new to my wife to post.

Well good luck everyone!!!

Dean

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BearCat
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Sep-07-10, 
10:33 AM (MST)
74. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well guys I am sitting here waiting to fly in for moose with the bad ass Ernesto. Weather sucks. Lots of clouds with mixed rain. Will report success in 10 days. I miss my wife.

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wyodeerhunter
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Sep-17-10, 
07:33 PM (MST)
75. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Well guys as you can tell Ernesto posted the last update from the airport!! Leave it up to him to say crap!

Well more information to follow but wanted to get everyone updated as we are back in Anchorage.

It was a hell of a trip and tougher than I had ever expected, but it was well well worth it.

Let just say I shot a HUGE Moose. I have not had it scored yet, but it is just under 70". Yep you heard right. It was a hell of a hike being 3 miles from camp with the round trip taking about 5 hours. THANK GOD for Ernesto--there is no one that can pack like that guy!!

I will update later when I get home as I am using Ernesto's butt slow computer

Dean



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BearCat
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Sep-20-10, 
03:24 AM (MST)
76. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

So lets get started with the actual hunt story!!

Saturday 9/4/2010

I spent most of the day with my kids and wife just wrapping up things around the house and of course threatening the kids with their life if they did not behave. We went out to breakfast and generally just goofed off as my plane did not leave till 7 or so. As I had hoped, everything went very well at the airport. I escaped without any issues with the bags as I had pre weighed them ahead of time and doubled checked all my gear. I then swung by a couple of shops to check out some “last minute trinkets” just in case I could not find anything in Alaska—it is always good to bring home something no matter how cheesy it is. I also grabbed a couple of Clive Cussler books for the flights and tucked in a candy bar to help with in flight munchies.

After 4 ½ hours I arrived in Alaska at 12:55 am and sent a text to Ernesto to pick my butt up. After a few handshakes we were back at his place and I was tucked into my couch which I would end up calling my bed for my stay in Anchorage ---THANKS a ton ADAM!!!. At this point I was too tired to do much "moose" dreaming and just wanted to get in the hills and start the hunt---I would soon end up regretting this.

Day 1 is finished without any major issues.

Dean

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BearCat
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Sep-21-10, 
06:27 PM (MST)
77. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Sunday 9/5/2010—Day2

After a fairly good night on Adam’s couch (Ernesto roommate), I was able to say Hi to everyone and Ernesto and I were on our way to pick up some last minute things. We hit the Cosco and picked up some of the “needed” items which include trail mix, bags of candy, and the assortment of snacks to get us through our trip. Then it was over to the sporting goods store to pick up tarps, rope, fishing stuff, and all of the little things we would need.

The plan was that we would leave on Monday morning to drive to the air service operator for our drop and then take a hop on Tuesday to our location and thus be sitting pretty for the Wed opener.

That night they had some friends over and we ended up having Halibut enchiladas that were great! Then back on the couch for on more night.

I have to say that even though it was great to have the extra time built into our schedule to pick up last minute items and to make sure all of my gear got to Alaska, it was a bugger to sit around when I wanted to get going. Those that know me, know that I am not a patient person so this was a huge test—one that would prove quite useful later on in the hunt.

Once again another day down with no issues—this is a good thing!!!

Stay tuned as I have a ton of pictures and videos to share.

Dean

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BearCat
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Sep-22-10, 
02:11 PM (MST)
78. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Sep-22-10 AT 02:30 PM (MST)

Monday 9/6/2010—Day 3

Woke up bright an early and had a big breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon (HMMM love bacon). After breakfast, we did a last minute check of the gear to make sure we had everything—yeah right. We ended up forgetting the bacon!!! Then we loaded up the truck for the drive to the transporter and hit the gas station for some power drinks and of course Dill Pickle flavored Sunflower Seeds (2- 1lb bags) that would prove to be one of the best last minute adds.

The drive up was pretty uneventful, but the scenery was spectacular!!! We had a ton of time to talk through the upcoming hunt and decide on a tentative plan of attack, which of course would change once we set up camp. The best part was reliving some of our earlier Shed Hunting trips and having a few good laughs.

Once we arrived at the transporter we were hoping to be transported out that night even though we were scheduled for Tuesday. This would have given us an extra day of scouting and saved us a $85 hotel room. So we hung around the office for a few hours once we had filled out all the paper work and I got a quick photo E just chilling. The office was lined with pictures of past hunts and I found myself thinking if mine might get put up there someday. Well it turned out that we would not get out that night so off for some dinner and a visit to the last bed & shower I would see for a few weeks. It is amazing how such simple things like a hot shower and bed start to mean something on day 9 or 10 of your hunt!!!

Dean

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BearCat
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Sep-23-10, 
10:57 AM (MST)
79. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Tuesday 9/7/2010—Day 4

Let’s see on Day 4 things were really starting to take shape. We woke up early and headed over for a big breakfast—of course bacon was on the menu!!! We then took a quick jump over to the transporter and did a final weigh in (I think all that bacon was starting to materialized as I think I gained a few pounds since leaving SLC) but we were still way under due to paying for an extra “gear load”. I believe we were scheduled for a 11 am departure, but it had been raining the last few days and this morning was no different. With strong wind gusts it was making it difficult for the transporter to stay on schedule---I think we were both worried we might not get out till later that day or even tomorrow as there were already a couple of parties that had to turn around and return. The stress /excitement level was high with us and other parties. Everyone was ready to start their own GREAT ADVENTURES.

But 11:00 came and we were just getting in the air—a couple of quick pictures and off we went. Since we were taking in a “gear load” we were going to have to make a couple of stops and transfer planes. We took a 206 (holds 3 guys) into a jumping off point and then transferred to the MUCH smaller and nimbler Super Cubs that would fly us the last leg. I had only flown in Beavers before so the Cub was quite a shock—it was SMALL!! There is just room for two guys (you and the pilot) and about 50-70lbs of gear. After being strapped in like I was going to the moon, we took off and made the trip to what we would call home for the next 9 days.

As we approached an average sized river, I started scanning the ground for a run way—man was I wrong. With no runway present and us losing altitude quickly, I started to think “he is not going to land on that gravel bar is he”. Sure enough we touched down on a gravel bar that was about 50 yards wide and 100 yards long if that, and they got all three planes in that space. These guys were the very best at what they do and felt like we had landed on pavement.

After a quick “do not get eaten by the bears”, Ernesto and I head up to look for a suitable campsite and lug all the gear up. With more storm clouds on the horizon we needed to get the tent up and quick. The Kifaru Tipi and stove went up in a snap and after throwing out the bedding and getting some wood we had the makings of a good camp.

A quick stroll to the edge of the timber resulted in me spotting a LARGE Grizzly about 3 miles away and we were excited—game on!!! Ok maybe tomorrow!!!

We did take a quick 2 mile hike up the mountain behind us to get a lay of the land and the maybe by chance spot Mr. Bullwinkle , but only Caribou were seen scattered as far as the eye could see. NOT a good sign.

Dean

Ernesto being Ernesto

Our three chariots

Ernesto already digging into the food!

View from camp with the Grizzly being on the second farthest ridge

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BearCat
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Sep-24-10, 
12:06 PM (MST)
80. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Sep-24-10 AT 12:25 PM (MST)

Wednesday 9/8/2010—Day 5 (1st day of hunt)

We had decided the day before that we would start by checking some of the higher finger draws coming off of the main river in the hopes that the big bulls would still be up where the willows had a majority of their leaves on. That meant for an early morning and so we got up at 4:30am and quickly got ready and had breakfast. For me this consisted of hot cereal each morning, but for Ernesto that meant a danish while supplies lasted. He would later move to a bagel with peanut butter and then the last couple of days it meant an assortment of candy!

We headed up the mountain with about a 1,000 ft of elevation change. I will say that normally this might not have been difficult but with a foot of moss and sinking 8-10” with each step this was not my idea of fun. Note to self: that if there is a next time, tie sponges to your feet and do a treadmill with pack till you die would be the best pre-season workout. We covered 3 drainages that day but only saw several hundred caribou and a ermine. We also identified some good areas for the next day’s adventures and at the same time identified the “Too Freaking Far” area, which is quite funny looking back as this spot would ended up being our last ditch effort. From my prospective this was already shaping to be a tough hunt as it also rained off and on all day and even though it was not cold, the constant driving rain made the hunting difficult. I kept thinking if this was going to end up like my 2000 Alaska hunt where it rained 11 of the 13 days.

Arrived back at camp at about 8:00 (enough light to shoot till about 8:30), and had a quick dinner of mountain house (man they have improved over the years) and started planning for the next day. It had become our HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ritual to start a fire in the Kifaru stove each night and each morning and I believe having this helped us give 110% effort every day. Got to get me one of these for my tent set up. You could easily boil water on it and as everyone knows that crackle of a fire is a must in every camp.

Here was hoping for tomorrow.

Dean

Some of the bigger bous we saw.

TO FAR--the big section of water you can see in the background was were we had deemed to far--yeah right. Turned out mister big called this home.

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BearCat
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Sep-27-10, 
10:11 AM (MST)
81. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Thursday 9/9/2010—Day 6 (2nd day of hunt)

The second day caught us waking up a bit late due to all of the rain that fell that night before. It was 5:30 before Ernesto got the fire going (he is very slow and it is a good thing we brought 4 boxes of matches)! After a quick hop outside to check the weather and to see a man about a horse, it looked as if today would be much of the same with rain and more rain-definitely not what I was hoping for. But we each convinced each other that it was better than a sunny day as the bulls should be out more and not in the thick timber (at some point I am going to realize I suck at trying to figure out animals).

We pounded down breakfast and grabbed the boots, socks, and liners that were sitting around the stove. So far we have only lost one sock to the “Fire Gods”, but we know it just a matter of time--- oh crap I just leaned up against the stove pipe and singed the outside of my new poly sweatshirt. That sucks!

We headed up to a huge beaver pond that we saw while flying in and at just 1 ½ miles from camp and on a good trail, it only takes us about 45 minutes. Our plan is to check for sign and hopefully catch something around the pond or the adjacent smaller rivers. We got down there and made a few calls and are amazed at the sheer size of the pond. This beaver has completely shut off a large stream and the dam itself was 5 ½ tall-truly amazing. Ernesto thought it deserved a closer look. We then made for higher ground and found a good spot to watch for the next couple of hours. This is when we remembered the 2 lbs of sunflower seeds we brought along and then proceeded to get our sodium fix for the year. Couple the beauty of Alaska along with a good book & seeds and you have a good way to pass a few hours while grunting.

It was not long before Ernesto got ancy and wanted to go check out an area down the river and so I decided to stay for the evening and see what would come out. It turned out neither game plan worked out and the tally for the day was a few hundred caribou and a cow moose. Chalk up day two to the rain.

Dean

The Area we were watching.

One BIG beaver dam

How do you pass the time away--seeds and a book.

Giving a few Grunts by the pond in the rain!!

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BearCat
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Sep-28-10, 
09:42 AM (MST)
82. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Sep-28-10 AT 01:50 PM (MST)

Friday 9/10/2010—Day 7 (3rd day of hunt)

Day 3 found us going up high again since we had not seen any bulls in the bottom (saw one cow yesterday). We decided to head up into some of the headwaters of the canyons leading into the main river system. Our hopes once again was that some of the big bulls were still higher in the valleys since the rut had not really started yet and then of course to get as far from the camp as we could (there had been some bou hunters in our camp 2-3 weeks prior to us)

This meant that we had started to poke around into the area I called “To Far”. We had both decided early on that we were going to give this 110% and that meant trying EVERY possible location even if we were pushing the distance. Ernesto was always there to say “Dean we can get him out no matter how far we go”, this was really code for he was up to taking more and more of the burden on packing out the meat. By this time, I could feel my legs and back getting stronger and stronger and was able for the most part to keep up with a guy that was almost 20 years my junior—YES I know he was taking it easy on me, but at least I was holding my own and I think he was a bit surprised as well. But as we all know, packing out 600 lbs of meat and horns is a whole other story.

Once on top we proceeded to check a couple of the closer drainages and hiked to the top of those to see if any big boys were still having breakfast. After several calling setups, (grunt 3 or 4 times and raking a tree --wait 10 minutes and do it all over again) we decided to change it up again. I guess it was about 4 pm and Ernesto and I split up as he wanted to check the next couple of canyons and I wanted to spend the evening glassing the 3 or 4 canyons we had called just wishing something would come to our earlier calls.

After 3 days of rain, I saw my first sunshine at 6:06 pm (funny how you remember those things) and I have to say it brought a new sense of energy to the hunt. I kept thinking things are going to look up. I bailed off shortly after 8 pm and was surprised to see Ernesto back at camp. That is when things got exciting.

It turns out that after E left me he dropped off the mountain about ½ way and started calling. After sitting down to catch up on his reading and seed eating, he noticed palms coming across the meadow—game on he thought. So he called in this nice bull and got it all on video the only problem is he was not sure it was 50” so he passed on it. I think this was a good call after looking at the video. He then decided to head down into the river bottom.

While crossing a stream he came around a point and saw a ball of fur. I know Ernesto---- and I am sure he was thinking “oooohhhhh ahhhhhhhh that is so cute, which then turned into holy $hit that is a cub grizzly bear and mom must be close, he then heard mommy bear charging through the willows at 20 yards and he promptly thought “where is my best friend Dean”. Fortunately for the bear/Ernesto the bear stood up and found out that all the commotions was being made by this scrawny smelly human and that she would take her cub and get the hell out of dodge.

Now most people would get their butts back home, but E thought he would head down to the river and check out some new country while he was 3 miles from camp. Once at the river he made a few more calls and got an immediate answer from across the river. But nothing he did would convince Mr. Bullwinkle to show himself. As night was fast approaching and knowing that his two new furry friends were probably still around he headed for camp. Once there he enjoyed some candy (my favorite kind) and changed his messed drawers.

Not a bad 3rd day for Ernesto—me I saw nothing.

Dean

I am having some difficulty with the video but will try again tonight.

This is what I would find on my bed if Ernesto beat me back to camp--just his way of saying how much he cares (those are my favorite candy bar)

Great feed but no moose up high

Will the rain ever stop?


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BearCat
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Sep-29-10, 
09:18 AM (MST)
83. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Sorry guys I am having trouble with the video uploads--guess it does not like Ernesto's file format.

Here are some photos of the bull he called in. We thought he was under 50 or very very close--your call?

BearCat

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BearCat
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Sep-29-10, 
09:18 AM (MST)
84. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Sep-29-10 AT 10:14 AM (MST)

Sorry guys I am having trouble uploading the video--I guess it does not like Ernesto's video format. Here are a couple more pictures of the bull we passed on. We think he is under 50 but not by much?

BearCat

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BearCat
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Sep-29-10, 
09:17 AM (MST)
85. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Saturday 9/11/2010—Day 8 (4th day of hunt)

After reviewing the tape of the bull Ernesto called in the day before, he was just too close to the 50” mark to go after and waste any more time on—better to be safe than sorry. We also figured that he would be the biggest in the area and thus decided to flip 180 degrees and head up the river and put some distance between us and the camp again (once again I do not know why we think we know what the animals think!). This would once again put us by the beaver pond and into some new country about 2 ½ miles from camp.

All this time we were still trying to stick to a loose plan that we had talked about before the hunt.

1. Hunt high in the first couple of days to see if the bulls were in the headwaters of the small feeder streams where the willows were still full of leaves, then mid level mountain, then river bottoms.
2. Hunt close to camp at first (day 1-3), then expand and go further (day 4-7), and then on the last few days hunt back close to camp (day 8-9)
3. Give a 110% every day no matter the weather.

Even though the rain had stopped and the clouds were starting to vanish we did not see or hear any moose that day. I have to say we were very disappointed and that by the end of day we had yet to see a legal moose. So far we had one cow moose, one under 50” moose, a couple of grizzlies, and few thousand caribou (by day 3 all the caribou had moved on and we did not see another for the rest of the trip). Even though you keep telling yourself that it is ok to eat the tag soup and that it is better than work, a person can’t help but wonder if that is really true. At this point, it is tough to give 110% but this is where having a great hunting partner comes into play. There were times that Ernesto kept me going and there were times that I pushed us on. We both knew we had a better chance out of the camp than sitting and watching the river and HOPING something would just walk by. We never took a down day or even a morning/evening!

As with any good outdoors trip, God can giveth on the trip (find stuff) or he can taketh away (loose stuff). My wife tends to measure my hunting and fishing trips by how much gear I loose. I have lost jackets, knives, sunglass, cell phones, IPods, countless hats, fishing reels, gloves and a number of lesser things over the years. Our trip was not much different. I had lost my havalon today to the “Swamp God” , Ernesto lost his trekking pole to the “River God” and he also lost a sock to the “Fire God”, but as luck would have it I did find a fairly old leather hat at one of our favorite calling spots above the beaver pond.

But hey at least it was not raining!!!

BearCat

Can you guess what Ernesto is roasting--yep a candy bar.

The tent after 4 days of hunting hard

Did I mention we heard wolves all night--perhaps that is why the moose are hard to find

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BearCat
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Sep-30-10, 
10:58 AM (MST)
86. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Sep-30-10 AT 01:14 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Sep-30-10 AT 12:21 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Sep-30-10 AT 12:19 PM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Sep-30-10 AT 12:17 PM (MST)

Sunday 9/12/2010—Day 9 (5th day of hunt)

With options running low, Ernesto and I said that today we were going to go even further into the “Too FAR” and push the envelope. This area was well out of our range (4 miles) and since nothing was happening closer to home, we had to give it a shot. Go hard, Go Far and then figure out why the heck you ever wanted a moose!!!

We left early in the morning and started for the high mountain peaks that had some killer drainages that just had to hold moose. We spent much of the day checking out these drainages and calling every 15 minutes. I would guess we were about 1 mile up from the main river system and was hoping that the big boy had not left on his quest for a mate.

We also knew that we had wolves in the area for the last two days and at least 3 grizzlies and probably more we needed to put as much distance from them as we could. These are not what you would call ideal conditions but hey at least it had stopped raining on Day 4 and the sun was out.

At about 5 pm we broke up again (in the hope to cover more ground) and headed our separate ways. Ernesto was going to head mid level again and I would head over to a new section and see if I could find something. I had not seen much except for some great country when I started to bail off the mountain at 8pm. Just then I saw something white over on the hillside in the sun. Oh man game on as I was sure this is a paddle glowing in the sun I thought and it is on my way to camp. I am so excited I can barely get my binos out. As I pull them up, I find the object but something is not right. We had just walked through that field earlier in the day so I know it was not a shed or anything like that AND it was moving! I clear the sweat out of my eyes and sit my gun down to get a better look; low and behold it is Ernesto walking across the field with his shirt off!!! Who in God’s name walks around in Alaska with his shirt off. I thought that sneaky little bugger has taken this calling stuff to far. He trying to call them in by using his WHITE back as a moose paddle. Well if he thinks I am going to take my shirt off and walk beside him (two moose paddles) he is crazy as a loon!!!

Well he is about 1 mile away and I hustle to catch up—yeah right. I get back to camp and ask him what the HECK he is doing and he said he was hot—at 8:30pm? I just decided that after 5 days the sun was getting to him.

So another day of no moose but I did find my first AK moose shed right in front of Ernesto—who is the shed hunter now!!

Dean

Even the Blue Berries are getting hard to find--great photo by Ernesto

One of the MANY creeks we had to cross (averaging 6 crossing a day)

Usually this is what was at our backs as we tried to make camp before the bears came out to play.

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BearCat
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Oct-04-10, 
10:49 AM (MST)
87. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Sorry guys had to run on a hunt last week. I think this is where I left off.

Monday 9/13/2010—Day 10 (6th day of hunt)

I had told myself months ago that this trip was going to be tough and even though good friends would help out with research, rides back and forth and of course a place to crash for a night. This was not a guided hunt or a group hunt! We were on our own-- no one scouted the area for us, no one was cooking dinner for us, no one was there to help pack out the meat, and no one to correct our mistakes-- it was a true DIY hunt with a great friend. I knew it was going to be challenging and not sure if I was up to it. I had told my wife long ago that at 42 perhaps this was too much, perhaps it was time just hunt with my young son and become more of a teacher.

Physically I was going to have to try and keep up with Ernesto, which by all classifications is a billy goat on two legs and much younger than me. I was going to have to handle sore muscles, blisters and rain, as well as, anything else Alaska felt the need to throw at me. It was 9 days of tough bogs, timber, water and long hikes, but I could prepare for that I thought.

Mentally it would difficult to keep the game face on day after day and give 110%. A lot of guys hunt hard for 3-4 days and take a morning off or something of that nature, but I knew I only had a limited time and did not have anyone to blame but me. But this is tough to prepare for except to know that in MOST hunts it happens and to expect it—not everyone shoots his animal on day 1! 6 Days of hunting and not seeing a legal moose can like in any other hunt, start to play tricks with your reasoning.

So by Day 6 the mental game was for sure playing a big role. We had checked high and low and we had hiked to the ends of the earth (ok maybe not that far), and we had called with short setups and long setups and for the most part we had not seen more than 1 bull and 1 cow. We were starting to run out of options. I know I was thinking hey can the transporter come and pick us up and put us in a new area? Even though this is an option in most cases, Ernesto and I sat down and did the math and it just did not make sense—we would just have to tough it out and do the best we could. There is always next year.

So on Day 6 we decided that we would do something that both of us HATE, but had heard from many sources that this time of year it is one of the best options---yep just sit and let the moose come to you. We both hate to just sit, but this time of year is known as the “
walking “ time. The big moose basically spend all day walking from one drainage to another looking and herding up cows. It made sense to sit and call and let one come our way. It meant an easy hike and a pretty easy day. It also meant to bring a book and some seeds. So I borrowed one of Ernesto’s books and head up by the pond to sit all day. There was good sign there and plenty of feed along with a couple of smaller drainage dumping into it. Ernesto headed down the canyon to sit as well with book and seeds in hand.

After 9 hours of sitting (which sucks-thank God for a book), I had only a loud unknown grunt sound from across the creek to break up my day. Since it only happened once and not in response to any of my calls, I was pretty sure it was Sasquatch and since I was pretty sure it was not Sasquatch season –I knew I would see one (that is the way hunting works) so I dug out the camera but he/she must have winded me. Ernesto also came in with a big fat ZERO for the day.

Oh well day 7 and things have got to get better or do they?

BearCat

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BearCat
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Oct-05-10, 
09:02 AM (MST)
88. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Tuesday 9/14/2010—Day 11 (7th day of hunt)

I warn you in advance that this is a long one but worth it!!!

It is kind of weird to look back almost a month later and think about Day 11. It felt at the time that this day would not be much different than the other 6 days of hunting.

I mean nothing had really changed. After day 3, the rain had stopped and it had stayed at about 75 degree during the day and except for the heavy frost on day 4 it was beautiful. We had not heard any wolves howling for the last few days so we took this a good sign, but I really think we were just trying to convince ourselves that this was the root of all of our evils. We had put in about 4-6 miles every day and had hunted from before sun up to sun down. Ernesto and I had tried to hunt high in the basins, the many heavily wooded feeder streams, we called and grunted, we dove into the main willow river bottom and had tried hunting close to camp as well as far away—nothing seemed to be producing a legal moose.

I am not sure I would say the spirits were low, but they were for sure not high. Each day we convinced ourselves that by changing one little piece of the puzzle would bring that monster moose within range. This was not a guided hunt, we only had ourselves to figure out what worked and what did not work and right now we had the “what did not” down to a science. So day 7 of the hunt started out the same with a breakfast of candy bars for Ernesto and a bowl of hot cereal for me and then grabbing gear and clothes and heading out in wee hours of morning.

Since the night before we had decide that we realistically only had one more day to hunt, we would go for broke and head down river to the “To Far” region and give it one more try. I secretly was hoping to try and call the moose in from the other side of the river or at least see if a bull was challenging the small 50” Ernesto had called in earlier in the hunt.

We head out and hiked briskly to the area Ernesto had called in the other bull and made our move. We had setup so that we could easily see a half mile away and I started to grunt and rake a nearby Black Spruce with the moose scapula we had found a few days earlier. Not too far into the calling, I picked out a paddle and then the bull making its way down a feeder stream . At about our elevation the moose took a hard right turn and headed straight for us. I was stoked as this was the first moose I had called in. It took him about 30 minutes to close the half mile distance and soon was within 75 yards. I quick glance over him and we knew he was not a shooter. Even though we thought it was the same 50” that Ernesto had called in earlier, it would turn out that it was his younger twin and was only about 46-48” wide. I knew he was not legal, but a sense of pride came over me for knowing that I had just called in a Moose deep in the Alaskan Wilderness—what a rush.

We then had decided to proceed down the main river another 2 or so miles to try our luck with the stubborn bull that was on the other side of the river and at the same time have some Mountain House for lunch (canned span was getting old). In the back of my mind I wondered if this bull might be bigger only because he was less willing to come to the calls like these younger moose. Since the bogs and trees were so thick we dropped down into the river to walk the remaining mile or so and quickly noticed a couple of fresh moose tracks and grizzly tracks—I jacked a round in just to be on the safe side.

I had found a spot up on the bank that provide a higher view of a section of the river that had blown out over the years which allowed for a few less willows to block the path of an approaching moose. My only blind side was up behind us and that was down wind. This felt good and we had a good 180 degree field of view to the river. As we threw our gear down, Ernesto had decided that it was time to finish his book while I started to dig out my gear (we were going to stay a couple of hours). While unpacking, I moved up slightly from Ernesto to get in the shade and hide my outline , as well as, to provide a good raking tree. I quickly threw out a couple of short grunts followed by some serious scraping (man I love how the scapula sounds!!!) which I then followed up with a couple more grunts.

I have to say the next 15 minutes are somewhat a blur, but after talking with Ernesto we pieced enough together to formulate this story line.

I remember hearing a couple of funny “qerplunk” noises and thinking that it sounded like someone throwing rocks into a river. I looked up and halfway across the river was a bull moose coming. My heart jumped into overdrive and I quickly yelled softly to get Ernesto’s attention, but.......

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BearCat
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Oct-06-10, 
09:43 AM (MST)
89. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Tuesday 9/14/2010—Day 11 (7th day of hunt) Part 2

….I guess he was just getting to the good part in his romance novel. I then yelled a bit louder and he looked up and I said “BULL” and pointed. He dropped the book and threw up the binos and then said “oh that is just 3 Brow that you called in this morning”. I looked in the scope and even though he did only have 3 brows on one side, I thought that looks bigger. But the moose was in some heavy willows and was proceeding to tear a small tree apart and was also facing broadside so maybe he was right. Ernesto then grabbed his book and was going to get back to the part where the “ girl kiss the boy ” when I said Ernesto I do not think that is him. He then decided to look again at the exact same moment that the bull turned and start to come to us. At the time, I was looking through the scope trying to do the math----between the eyes is roughly 8” so I needed to estimate the number of section on one side. Hmmm there is one..two…three…four… oh hell I must have made a mistake so I started over one….two….three…four….heck this is not the same moose. It seemed that Ernesto was also doing the math and we came to the same conclusion at the exact same time. He yelled “Shoot that F^$%@^%” (only time I think it is appropriate to cuss). By this time the bull knew something was not quite right and was facing head on with his eyes pinned on us. I knew I had only seconds to act and with the larger river about 60 yards to his right and a small but deep little stream about 40 yards to his left it did not offer me much room. I placed the cross hairs just under his chin and touched one off. The bull reared back on his legs and while in mid air, he spun around heading hard to the big river. Knowing that I could not allow that to happen no matter what, I jacked in another round and sent it on its way. This one being a bit unplanned, I had forgotten I am 3 ½ inches high at 100 yards so I hit him high behind the front quarters in the no man’s area. Round three was already sliding into the chamber when he rounded a large willow clump and this time I took my time and aimed a bit low and on his front shoulder. As the sound was echoing off of the timber behind me, his head dropped and plowed into the gravel.

Instantly Ernesto jumped up and started to yell “lets go”. We sprinted off the side hill in a fashion that looked much like a couple of young kids running for the ice cream truck. I was still searching for a place to cross the little stream while Ernesto was wading across the 2’ deep water while trying to unravel the tape measure (had to be there). You see I had just figured he was a legal bull not really putting 2 and 2 together, where as Ernesto was a bit better at this type of complex math and had already figured we had just dropped a 65” moose. As we get over to the giant, Ernesto hands me the tape without missing a beat and tells me to hold it on a particular point. I do and then Ernesto said “Dean stop screwing around and hold the damn tape”, I say I am, which he then get mad and blurts out “ damn it hold the tape horizontally (not at an angle) on the point I showed you”. At this point I am thinking I am going to have to pack out Ernesto along with this moose if keeps this crap up and I yell “Damn it Ernesto I am holding it horizontally and on the point”!!! He drops the tape measure and says “Dean do you know what you just did”---ok I might not have graduated Valedictorian but I am not stupid—yeah I shot a big moose I said. He then explained “Dean you just shot a 70” moose and there are like 2 or 3 of these shot a year”!!! I guess I can check off #3 on my big 4 list!

Well as one might expect all hell broke loose with high fives, chest bumping, hugs, “I love you man” and all of the crap that comes at a moment like that. I am still not sure how guys just calmly tell each other congratulations and be done with it! It was so unreal that as I type this I can’t believe it happened to us. It finally had all come together. Here in front of us was over a half a ton of animal with antlers almost 6’ wide. I know time stood still as we relived what had just happened. This was promptly followed with “oh crap” he is huge and the GPS says we are 3 miles away from camp as the crow flies. It was 10:06 am and I guess day 7 was going to be different.

After a few pictures, we formulated our game plan. I would quarter the animal while Ernesto deboned the quarters and loaded them into game bags. We then would haul the meat, and horns up a short ways and into the shaded trees. Our hike out would consist of all the gear we brought with us as well as a load of meat. I would be using my Just One pack and he would be using his Mystery Ranch Pack (yes Ernesto everyone knows you love your pack).

We finished all of this at 3:30pm and was ready to go with some HEAVY packs. Ernesto was probably at about 130lbs and I was at about 80lbs with three miles of the ugliest country Alaska had to offer. I had never needed to haul the much meat out in one time, but Ernesto was hell bent on getting this meat out ASAP. The first ½ mile was tough but I soon fell into a coma like hike and kept telling myself that this could be done.(a lot like a rhythm only you wish you were dead). It is hard to explain, but we had two river crossing, countless bogs to cross and then heavy timber to navigate. All I can say is that I have packed out elk before in Wyoming, but never with this much weight in 12” of moss. Needless to say we got back at camp at about 8:00 pm and after hanging the meat we headed to the tent to each lunch-yeah I said lunch.

After dinner , we spent time going through the pictures and reliving the day’s events. I knew tomorrow was going to be bad for both of us as Ernesto had this game plan of hauling out an additional 5 loads in one day!!

I hope you guys enjoy the pictures!! I will have more tomorrow.

BearCat

This is our first view of him with the trashed tree stuck in his rack.

We were sitting on the ridge to the right.

More of the same.

You can see the river in the background--not much room.

Ernesto kept telling me to NOT look for a black moose as they are more brown--not what I expected. Only his legs were black

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BearCat
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Oct-07-10, 
09:00 AM (MST)
90. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Wednesday 9/15/2010—Day 12 (8th day of hunt)

Up at 4:00 am to start a long day of pulling meat out and making the 5 hour round trip to camp for each trip. The plan was for Ernesto to do three trips and I to do 2. Sounded good at the time, but oh how things change.

We walked like mad men going into the kill site stopping for nothing. We arrived in just under an hour (should have taken 1 ½ hours) and came in downwind hoping to catch a grizzly bear or wolf having breakfast. A quick glance over the site, revealed only a pair of noisy ravens—how I hate these birds.

Because I had sliced the muzzle from the tip of the nose to behind the eye on my first shot and thus burning the hair with the bullet going in and out, I had decided that I would not try to cape the moose and risk the scar on the mount—yeah one less trip (finding out now that it was a $680 mistake)!!!! After a quick loading of the packs we pulled out around 8:30am. This time the first ½ mile was worse for me as my pack was heavier and for some reason I could not find a good straight line back to camp like on the first trip. I kept finding myself either too high or too low, either in the bogs or in the trees—UGH nothing was working. I got back at camp about 1pm a full 1 hour after Ernesto. He was already on his way for round 2 and I mentioned to him in passing that I was not sure I could make another trip that day, but I would grab lunch and rest up and see how I felt. My backup plan since we had an extra day was to just get my other load the next morning (the rack). Of course he had other plans.

At camp, I was exhausted and had the start of a blister. I knew that if I went out again it would take me 6-7 hours vs. the normal 4-5 hour round trip. Making it well after dark carrying horns and meat before I would arrive back at camp—it just did not sound like a safe thing. I did not want to meet a Grizzly on the trail or break/tear an ankle in the uneven terrain with the heavy weight (I have one ankle that was damaged years earlier and not as strong even with my brace on). I would just get up in the morning and do a trip.

Ernesto hit camp at about 3pm with the second load and grabbed some grub and took a much needed break. I broke the news to him, but he was dead set on leaving early (pick up on Thursday vs. Friday). He decide to go in and get his 3rd load and possibly my 2nd load if possible (which was the horns). At about 9pm Ernesto rolled into camp with the last bag of meat (lighter than all of the others) and the horns—man he just saved me a trip!!!! I felt bad that I could not go the extra trip, but I knew my limits and pushing those would get me or both of us in trouble.

All I can say is THANK YOU Ernesto!!!! You are truly a great friend, and a better packer I am not sure exists.

While he was out on the last trip, I had started packing all of our gear and getting stuff ready for tomorrow’s retreat. I also took the liberty to cut up some tenderloins, and make some mash potatoes and gravy. And what would a meal be without Ernesto’s beloved candy bars for desert! Finally some real food and knowing that everything was back at camp made for a GREAT night by the fire!

BearCat

80 lbs and back at camp--one happy hunter!

Last load back at camp--one happy Ernesto! You ROCK!

Moose tenderloin and mashed potatoes and gravy--oh and the last DR Pepper-UMMMMMM

Ok one more picture--it was like heaven to have real food--glad to have the extra gear load.

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BearCat
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Oct-08-10, 
08:20 AM (MST)
91. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Thursday 9/16/2010—Day 13 (9th day of hunt)

Have I ever said that Ernesto can be a pain in the butt---well he can (me I am an angel ALL the time).

Keep in mind that we had called the night before with the SAT phone to tell the transporter to pick us up today. Because it was one day early and off of our scheduled time, they said they would try but it should not be a problem. So we called again this morning to verify and yep they had us down and would be out. Ernesto took this as GET THE HECK OUT OF BED AND GET EVERYTHING DOWN TO THE AIRSTRIP. I was really looking forward to sleeping in and stuff. Luckily I had most of the camp broken down so that was pretty easy.

I told Ernesto that I would carry ALL the meat down to the runway which was about 400 yard from the meat pole since he had the last packing trip. All along I can hear Ernesto yelling to hurry up as if the plane was just about to land!!!!

By 8:00am the camp torn down and packed up and all the meat was down and in the shade. So we waited…and waited…and waited some more(you get the idea). Ernesto it was a good thing we hurried!! Ha ha ha.

As I laid by the meat dreaming of my wife and kids and hoping everything was still intact when I got home, I hear the plane breaking the crest of the mountain and glance at my watch….yeah it was 12:30pm. To Ernesto’s credit these guys do like to have everything sitting on the runway ready to load… so it all worked out.

The guys landed without any issues and after some congratulations we had all the gear loaded except for me. As they only had 3 chariots available, I would have to wait with my pack for about an hour till another plane could swing out and pick me up. I snapped a few pictures of the planes leaving with one heavy wing.

We would then meet back up at the office where we would make the rounds with other hunters coming in and do the “look what I got strut”. There were many nice bulls with some sporting large palms but most in the 56”-60” range, but there were none even close to the 70” mark. A quick visit to the office to pay our remaining money and off to get the meat and horns and into the truck for the long drive home. Of course we swung by a local joint for a burger, fries and a coke—they were all out of candy bars it seems.

After a long ride we arrived in Anchorage at 12:30am—time to show Ernesto’s roommates what 70” looks like and then off to bed.

BearCat

Ernesto WAITING for the plane.

Ernesto WAITING some more

Loaded up--I wonder how many horns have ever fallen from an airplane strut before?

I wonder why it is drifting to the right--oh yeah that damn moose. Ernesto is in the plane in front.

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BearCat
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Oct-11-10, 
11:31 AM (MST)
92. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Friday 9/17/2010—Day 14 (10th day of hunt)

This would have been day 10 of my hunt with us being picked up today if we had stayed with the original plan.

Instead we woke up late (thanks again Adam for giving me a place to sleep) and headed down for breakfast with plans to cut up the backstraps, roasts and tenderloins later today.

We also headed down to check out UPS and USPS to see about shipping the horns back. After talking with them, it appears the UPS is the best route to take but I have to split the horns ($300 vs $1,300) and build a box. UPS said they would build the box for a $100, but I figured I could do it and so for $30 bucks I buy the cardboard and tape. I am not sure if you guys have ever tried to build a box that is 49”x30”x 30” and have it support 50lbs but it is not easy. As a matter of fact after an hour of dinking around, I throw up my hands and we drive back down to the UPS store and I cave in and have them build it. So for $430 I get is sent to my house and it turned out that I got it in 4 days!! I taped all the points up and taped the rack together but they added a COMPLETE box full of peanuts—what the heck am I supposed to do with all of these? There is NO WAY I am letting the kids jump in them. I just found out that you can donate them back to a UPS store—yeah.

It seems like it was a pretty boring day but it was GREAT to have the extra time to send out the horns and to help cut up all the meat. Well worth building an extra day in my future hunts as it also nice to have if the transporter would have had bad weather and could not have picked us up (I have heard horror stories of guys staying 3-4 days extra because of bad weather).


BearCat

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BearCat
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Oct-12-10, 
09:13 AM (MST)
93. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Saturday 9/18/2010—Day 15

Today was going to be an easy day for sure. It started with a BIG breakfast at one of Ernesto's dinners and then I finished up packing for the trip home. Coupled that with taking the rest of the meat to the butcher shop to have summer sausage and jerky made and looking for some gifts for the family, it was time to head to the airport. There is only one direct flight with delta and it flys out at 12PM (night).

For the most part everything went well except for my phone falling off in Adam’s car on the ride to the airport (thanks for bringing it back Adam!!).

After 15 days away from the family I am glad to be going home!!!

I arrived in SLC at about 8:00am on Sunday and was greeted by all the kids and my wife!!! Man it was good to see them.

I noticed that Delta punched a hole in my gun case so after a quick trip to the service desk, I got a voucher for a new gun case---SWEEEEET!

Time to get home and catch a few hours of sleep before I have to get up and get caught up on life before work kicks in tomorrow—UGH!!!

Later

Dean

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BearCat
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Oct-13-10, 
09:33 AM (MST)
94. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Here are a few more pictures.

This is the shed that I sniped in front of E. I think it turned out to be the best one we found. Most of the rest were very old.

Just another picture of life after day 5.

I have Brian looking at the video to see about getting it uploaded also I will throw a couple more posts out with the Good and Bad of the trip and then a Cost breakdown to wrap things up.

Thanks everyone.

Dean

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BearCat
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Oct-18-10, 
10:54 AM (MST)
95. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Oct-18-10 AT 01:45 PM (MST)

Well Guys/Gals I know you are probably getting tired of this post so I am trying to wrap it up. But I wanted to make sure I leave you with some useful information or at least what I think is useful.

So I will do a GOOD and BAD post on what worked and what did not work on my trip only with any tricks I picked up.

GOOD
1. Research—one reason we were successful was due to all the research and relationships that Ernesto had built over countless years
2. Kentrex Boots---as you know I had problems for the first month but once I bought a ½ size bigger they were GREAT. We walked in water for 6 days and these never leaked and never let me down!
3. Havalon knife---I thought that this was too small of a knife for gutting and it probably is, but for deboning and caping this is the only way to go.
4. Extra Gear Trip---If you can do this on your trip it made a world of difference. I have done one trip in 2000 that was 50lbs and then this one and I can’t tell you how nice the comforts were after a long day. It kept us going and putting in 110%(cost us $350/each) Ask Ernesto how nice it was to have candy bars and Dr. Pepper!!!
5. Kifaru Stove---Going to put one in my tent (some outdoors shops will put a stove pipe hole in your tent for a fee). There are many out there but I loved the stove pipe idea that Kifaru used
6. Airport bags---Used my American Express to get one bag shipped for free up and back (saved me $35/each leg so $70total)
7. Bandages---Brought plenty of the big bandages (2x3) for the back of my heals just in case. I wore them every day as I still had some new skin where I had those bad blisters
8. Book---Books helped us get through some of the long calling periods. Try picking up ones about the area you are visiting. I had some Alaska books and they were cool. You can then donate them to the transporter for the next guy.
9. Clothes---Everything I took was synthetic. It was easy to dry off and I even washed them in the stream to keep them clean (I even had synthetic boxers)

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BearCat
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Oct-21-10, 
09:23 AM (MST)
96. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

The BAD!

1. I know this gets pounded a lot but I wished I would have been in even better shape. When you think you are in shape you really are not for this type of hunt.
2. Not really sold on the Kifaru tipi tents. Ours leaked when it rained even though it was seam sealed (perhaps not good enough?), also still not a big fan of dirt floors. We laid tarps down, but if you have to do that then why not get one with a floor. We also had a mouse get in ours but luckily did not get to the sleeping bags. Also we had the 8 man and it would have been crowded with 3 guys walking around as there is not much head room
3. Do not try and build your own boxes for shipping. It is worth letting them (UPS) build them and take the responsibility.
4. Do not forget to bring a couple pairs of extra travel clothes if you have a place to keep them or the room. I had to wash mine to have something clean, but then again I had arrived a couple of days early and stayed a couple of days after
5. If you are not shooting a stainless gun, bring some oil or WD-40 or something to put on your gun or it will rust!!! I was in luck and had some lip balm that I was able to grease up my gun with. (do not laugh as it worked). Same thing goes for Damascus knives as they will need to be oiled well.


I have to say there is not to many bad points as things went pretty well, but I hope this helps.

BearCat

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BearCat
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Oct-25-10, 
09:35 AM (MST)
97. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Thought I would give you a quick rundown of the trip costs. This does not include all of the equipment or “needs” that were purchased before the trip. Maybe this will help you decide on a DIY vs. guided. Some of these items would be paid by the guide so you will need to adjust these to get it Apples to Apples, as well as, some of these can be split with more people. If you assume that the average guided trip is $14,000 and I split some items with E, I spent about $3,500 (apples to apples) so about $10,000 savings!!!! That would let you do about 4 DIY trips to the price of one guided.

All costs are per ONE person going.
1. Plane ticket from UTAH to ANCHORAGE—Delta----$550
2. Extra Baggage on Delta-----------------------------------$70 ($35/bag/way—I used a AE card and got one bag shipped free)
3. Hunting License------------------------------------------$485
4. Shipping Horns only back on UPS (cheapest)--------$291
5. Having box built for horns------------------------------$110
6. Pilot’s Tip--------------------------------------------------$100
7. SAT Phone rental and air/party------------------------$250
8. Gas for drive to Transporter (round trip)/party-----$160
9. Food/party------------------------------------------------$200
10. Transporter (no game)/hunter-----------------------$1,800
11. Transporter (moose)/hunter--------------------------$900
12. Extra Gear load/party-----------------------------------$700
13. One night lodging at transporter/party----------------$80

Total------------------------------------------------------------$5,696

BearCat

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BearCat
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Oct-27-10, 
03:14 PM (MST)
98. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Guys I found a few more pictures that I thought you might like.


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BearCat
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Nov-01-10, 
09:42 AM (MST)
99. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Just a quick note for you guys that participated in my little guess the score contest, I got your guesses saved. I took him down to the taxidermist and he will be scoring it and then I will post the results later on.

If I should take first place then we can arrange on getting you that pack as soon as I get it.

I just did not want to leave anyone hanging and let you know my word is my word.

Happy Hunting!!!!

Thanks

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BearCat
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Nov-08-10, 
02:48 PM (MST)
100. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

LAST EDITED ON Nov-08-10 AT 02:55 PM (MST)

Well everyone I think it is time to end this GREAT ADVENTURE (yeah I am sure some of you think it is about time). I think blog #100 is a good one to call it quits. Man if someone would have said I would have posted a 100 times over a 5 month period with over 10,000 views I would have called them nuts. It really turned into a labor of love or addiction-- you pick.

I know it might seem like it was long at times, but I rarely give something less than a 110% and I just wanted to bring you along and most importantly give something back to the group. I hope that each of you enjoyed the adventure and perhaps found something useful even if it was just a good laugh at the goofy videos!

This was not some fancy guided hunt, or even some cake hunt as you guys probably figured out; but just a couple of regular guys doing it our way and hoping it would all work out. I feel very lucky to have taken the animal I did, but most importantly having Ernesto as a friend. Thanks again Ernesto for a great time and friendship!!!!

Of course I would GREATLY appreciate your vote when the time comes as I have never been on a high country guided deer hunt! You will not see this in some magazine or in some other contest and even though we did end up taking a nice bull and buck in later hunts—I figured this story was best left alone and was perfectly suited for the MMrs (the only place I could go on and on for 5 months!!!!)

Anyway If any of you guys need anything, just IM me and I will do my best to help.

Thanks for coming along and take care!!

Dean

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BearCat
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Nov-23-10, 
10:29 AM (MST)
101. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

Everyone, I know I said 100 would be my last, but my son pleaded with me to post a picture of his first pheasant that he got last week.

I guess it was not part of my Moose trip, but I guess it is still part of the the Overall GREAT ADVENTURE.

There you go Hunter and Haillie--enjoy!!

Dad


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BearCat
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Dec-21-10, 
10:40 AM (MST)
102. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

I thought a few of you might like to see the final product. I just got my moose back and it turned out great or atleast I think so.

It is a BEAST. It is a good thing I have a friend that is not afraid of heights because at 15 feet this was a bit more than I cared to handle by myself. We moved the elk around to its place and the moose took it's place over the fireplace.

I hope you enjoy!!!

BearCat

At the taxidermist.

Over the fireplace

Close up

Just BIG.

The whole gang!

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BearCat
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Dec-31-10, 
09:36 AM (MST)
103. "RE: THE GREAT ADVENTURE!!"

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!

A few of you was asking about the score of my moose--well it scored 208 1/8. Not the biggest, but not small either. I am happy!!

Take Care.

BearCat

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