Rancher Don Submits Yarns and Yokes!
Rancher Don’s Moose Hunting Windy
When I was moose hunting on the Canadian border with my hunting buddy we canoed over four lakes and four portages with just the clothes on our back, our rifles, two sleeping bags and the canoe. We had to leave our base camp, where we had been hunting for five days with no luck and half our party had gone home early to go to work, and dash into the wilderness for about another fifty miles and get our moose and get back out in two days. Another fishing guide told us where he had seen some moose so off we went leaving shelter and food behind.
We traveled all day and got to the spot just in time to spot a moose but not enough light to clean or chase a wounded moose and it was getting dark. We slept (or tried to) under the canoe and it snowed about 4 inches of wet snow that night and we got quite wet and cold after the wet snow slid off the upturned canoe and fell on us huddled under it. We were up early and with nothing to eat or drink we headed back where the moose was the night before and we located it, shot it, and after getting it cleaned and cut into nine pieces and carried it a block to the canoe and loaded then we started back.
I am sure glad it was calm of wind because with myself 174 lbs, my buddy 300 lbs and about 900 lbs of moose we had only about 6 inches of free board before the water would start to come over the side and it also made for some hard paddling. It took us all day and half the night and we had only a poor flashlight to make about five trips across each portage as the moose was cut into 9 heavy chunks.
We located our camping gear(by now the flashlight was dead and we had no moon light) stashed on a island (done to keep bears from finding the food and ruining everything including our spare canoe we needed to transport everything another 10 miles to our truck which we left at a resort landing)we got all our other camping gear loaded and we started paddling. We Paddled and paddled and I told my buddy I don’t think we are getting any where. We started to check to see what was going on in the dark and we discovered the canoe we were in cleared a submerged rock but the canoe the moose and camping gear was in had gone aground. We paddled back down our tow rope and I felt around the other canoe and sure enough I found the rock probing with my paddle. I stepped on the submerged rock and immediately filled my boots with icy water but I was able to push the canoe off the rock. We thought the lake was about 5-8 miles long as we came in on one end and the Resort where we parked our truck was on the other end.
It started to get foggy and we couldn’t tell whether we were paddling down a finger shaped bay or still on the main lake. We did take a few wrong guesses as we followed one shoreline. Just before we got to the Resort the fog lifted and we could see the lights of the Lodge. The Lodge owner called the Game Warden at the game check point in a town about 30 miles away and told him we would be there shortly if he would wait. It was now 1:30AM.
We loaded everything up and got the truck running and noticed the tail lights on the trailer didn’t work. After trying unsuccessful to fix them we started off. When we got to the check point the game warden checked us through and we thanked him for waiting an extra hour for us. We asked him where we could get get some gas as our truck was almost on empty.
He said nothing was open in his town but I could check the next one 40 miles down the road. Well we watched the gas gauge go from about one eighth to empty and we kept going and praying. Well there was nothing open there and we went another 30 miles before we got on a bigger highway where we found a station that was open all night.
We got to my house at about 3:30AM and I had to be at work at 5:30AM and I had to drive another 25 miles. We sure were tired and cold all day before we could go home and start unpacking.
I hope if you are planning a camping trip here in the Branson area that it is a lot warmer and with more time for leisure.
At the Grand Country Theater at 2:00PM is the Comedy Jamboree and one of Bransons finest comedians Jim Dandy says he just came back from a trip to San Josa. The Master of Ceremonies Mike Patrick says no Jim you don’t pronounce the “J” but it rather sounds like a “H” and it is called San Jose which sounds like San Hosa. Jim Dandy says fine I’m going back in hune or huli.