Left Behind

A friend of mine called me after he had been flying one March afternoon.  Flying north along the Tanana River he spotted a dead bull moose, said for only being able to see its right antler sticking out of the snow that it looked pretty nice.  He said it was on the west bank a couple hundred yards up from the last bluff and should be easy getting.  I needed to hear no more and grabbed some gear and headed for the river riding my Tundra almost 2 miles up from the last bluff and didn’t see anything.  There was a big island out there about a mile and a quarter long, figured it must be on the west bank of that.  I came back again with a friend and had no success after wading through a channel to the island.

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I got good and wet crossing this one!

A week later I came back alone and was prepared to search every crack of the west bank, I wanted them antlers big or small. The third time was a charm in this case, spotted it with binos just over a mile up from the bluff on the island.  It was completely eaten with a winters worth of coyote tracks, shit, and piss every where. The coyotes pissed on its head so much it was really frozen in and I had to chop every bit of the left antler out before it was free.

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Chopped out, chopped off, and packed up I started walkin back and I tell ya them things were heavy!  Didn’t know it yet but I had a 58” rack with 4 and 2 on the brow and real heavy beams, no wonder!  Something like that belongs on a wall to be appreciated forever, not decaying on a river bank, I think the old moose would be honored.

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My daughter Clara with the rack. The kids love it when I bring home stuff like this!

Jared and I have found several other animals that were left behind with fates ranging from being snared in a gang set, wolf kill, barb wired, and just flat out poached.  Do these critters some justice, bring em home and clean em up, stain em, mount em. Share their story and honor there being of magnificent creatures!

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Wolk kill moose, a spike fork.

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Louis approaching a young bull caught in a wolf snare by its leg.

This snared moose wasn’t on our trap line and it was reported to the State Troopers, earlier that day Jared and I found other wolf snares that had been left open.  You’ve got to make sure and close every snare at the end of trapping season or this is what happens, a waste of an animal that could have fed a family.

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Came back a week later to find a bear had killed it, at least he left us the antlers.
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It was a steep climb for this one!
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Jared gets ready for the dirty work!

A middle aged bull exactly 50” we found in an antler restriction area.  I think someone didn‘t have a tape measure and bailed the scene!”

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I Found this caribou 50 yards off the Denali Highway outside of the federal hunt zone.  A couple bullet holes were in it, someone double checked the map then bailed the scene!”

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Found this awesome caribou while flying in a helicopter at work.  He had gotten tangled up in a barbed wire fence on military land, this one is at the taxidermist!”  Along with finding full racks we also find a lot of sheds which is really cool, just makes you feel a little closer to the wild!  Get out there and find some, they’re waiting for you!

Here are some general shed hunting tips.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    Nice pictures!! You got some good sized antlers.
    Pretty lucky guys to be out there finding treasures like that.
    Keep up the good work

    Like

  2. Dwight Phillips says:

    Love your enthusiasm, makes me want to call in sick and go do something outdoors!

    Like

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