PSE’s John May’s Yukon Moose Hunt
Darin Dickey and I decided to go on a trip of a lifetime to the Yukon to hunt moose. We booked a trip and flew into Whitehorse, Alaska. Then, we boarded a float plane to fly a remote lake where there was a nice cabin for us to stay. There also were wall tents and horses for transportation. We’d get up before daylight and help round up the horses and ride out for about 3 hours, before we would get into really good moose country. The day that Darin shot his moose, we had seen his moose from a long way off. He and his guide went after that moose, and I stayed back and gave them hand signals to direct them to the area where the moose was bedded with a couple of cows. I watched as they called that 60 inch moose to within 30 yards. When he came in, he turned broadside to Darin, who got a double lung shot that I watched go down through my binoculars. We spent the rest of that day packing the moose out.
Then 2 days later, we found another moose. Darin and his guide were on one mountain, and my guide and I were on another mountain. We spotted the moose down the mountain below Darin and his guide. My guide and I got on our horses, went down the backside of the mountain where we were, traveled around the lake at the bottom of the two mountains and rode our horses up the other mountain. We got above the moose and tied up our horses for what I believed would be a long stalk. So, I grabbed a sandwich and some water to take with me. I went about a 1/2 mile down the mountain and stalked the moose that was bedded down below us. To be even quieter as I stalked, I took off my boots and stalked in my sock feet. I could see the bull, but the cows were between the bull and me. I began belly crawling. I was so close; I could see the cows’ eyes. I knew if I could see their eyes, they could see me, even though there was a little brush between us. So, I backed out and moved to a place where I had more cover. I found a smaller trail that I could crawl down to get as close as I could to the bull. The way the bulls and the cows were positioned, I knew I couldn’t make the shot. I opted to lay still and wait and see what happened. After about 2 hours, the cows got up and started to feed. The bull got up too, because the cows were getting restless and starting to move away from him. I knew I didn’t want the cows. Then the cows started feeding away from the bulls, and there was nothing between me and the big moose. The bull turned away from me and started walking down the mountain. I ran up on him just a little bit as he was quartering away and looking down on his cows, about 55 yards away. I came to a full draw and made the shot. The arrow hit him in the lungs, and he walked off a little ways. I ran up and got closer to him again. I’d read in a magazine article that when an animal starts running away from you, you can run toward him, because he can’t hear you while he is running. So I got 10 to 15 yards closer to him. Then he either heard or saw me and wheeled around to face me.
Although I knew he was mortally hit, he was looking at me like he was possibly going to charge. I drew my PSE X-Force on him again and put another arrow in his chest. After the second arrow hit him in the chest, he went about 50 yards. We were 3 miles from camp. But, because Darin and his guide were on the mountain, and my guide was with me, there was four of us to field dress, cape and quarter the big moose. The two guides used a really neat technique for taking the ribs off the moose. One guide put the back of his ax against the bottom of a rib, and the other guide would take the back of his ax and hit the top of the rib. That would break the rib and allow for the quick removal of the ribs from the backbone. We were able then to load the meat on the horses and lead and/or ride our horses all the way back to camp. But we still couldn’t get all the meat out. The next morning, we took a couple of the dogs in camp back with us, to where we’d left the rest of the moose. We’d seen a bear earlier. If the bear was on the moose, we hoped the dogs would at least scare him off or entertain him enough, until we could get away from him. We also took a rifle with us. But there was no bear on the meat, and we packed the rest of the meat out on our horses. This hunt was one of my greatest adventures.