This is just an updated extension of my Alaska post.  This is the big guy.  The picture above is the first of the two moose we hunted during my trip to AK.  My uncle and I are shown above with this 63 inch Alaskan Bull Moose.  It took us close to two weeks of hunting before we came across this beast.  When moose like this one have a particular area that they “own” as their territory, they make it known.  The woods of their territory often looks like it was sculpted by an elephant.  Broken trees, matted down shrubs and briars, patches of mud (their wallow).  It is pretty amazing to see their habitat and also see them in real life.  As I had said before, they are very ghostly when they want to be, moving around thickly wooded area with more stealth than a squirrel.  For most species in the animal kingdom, the strongest, healthiest male has the territorial rights as well as the breeding rights to the females.  It stays this way until that male is challenged and beaten.  This is all relative to survival of the fittest.  This is a natural way to ensure that sickness and disease is not passed on!

63 inches is the distance between the two farthest points on each paddle.  63 inches is a pretty decent score for an Alaskan moose, but what is more impressive is the size in terms of diameter at the base of each antler (indicative of a healthy diet).  The dramatic angle of the two and three drop tines on the front of each paddle were most likely a deadly advantage for this bull during fights which is also unique.  My uncle, who has years of Alaskan moose hunting experience determined the weight of this at around 14-1500 lbs.

In order to succeed in taking this magnificent animal, we hunted this spot for a few days.  Even though this was his territory, it was only part of it.  He didn’t show himself until it was just about dark!  When he finally did, he was the last to show up.  As we sat and waited, the silence of the woods at that point was almost uncomfortable.  There was no breeze and no activity.  Being as far as we were from civilization, it was almost creepy not to hear the background noise of a truck off in the distance, the white noise of a busy highway or the buzz of a plane.  The first thing that broke the silence was two smaller yearling bulls crashing through the brush play-fighting, which is quite a site because even they are huge!  Once they had given up one of them started to meander his way over to the downed evergreen tree just in front of my position.  Moose will often eat the twigs on some evergreens and as this one was, he was slowly making his way toward me.  All of us had known that the one we were after would show up, but when?  At this point my heart was pounding so heavily that I was starting to think it would give away my position and ruin this hunt!  None the less I was also standing behind a tree that was only about eight inches in diameter, so I was sure my cover would be blown!  I could clearly hear him chewing the twigs when he made it to within probably 15 to 20 feet away from me.  Finally I see what must have been the mother of this little one come out from the thicket and she must have called him back because he turned around and made his way back to her.  As I was consumed by an incredible feeling of relief, the big guy finally makes his appearance right out of where we thought he would come from.  Just as quickly as my heart rate slowed from not being caught by the younger bull, it was now all jacked up because this was our shot!  I took aim and fired as my dad backed up my shot.  We were determined to get this one, we had put a lot of work into it. Later comes the hard part, the field dressing and butchery.  That is a process…