Day 1 – Heading to Camp
Written 1 week ago today – the day I left for the moose hunt.
Lunch time. I’m at work. I got up at 5:00am this morning. A quick walk of the dog, some last minute packing and I was off to work. Today is a day when a surprising amount gets accomplished – I like to leave knowing that most things are looked after and that the phone won’t ring while I’m away or that I will come back to an avalanche. An ounce of preparation matched with an awesome team is enough to make my vacations remain as vacations and my returns be fairly smooth.
This will be the last day I work with a beard this year. I grow it exclusively for the hunt every year – it’s a fun tradition and one that helps keep me warmer on cold days (at least that’s my theory).
I also find that staying focused makes an otherwise long day go quickly.
I will leave around 4 or 5 and head north with few errands to go. I’ll be in camp around 9 or 10.
Arrival in Huntsville. Buy beer, snacks for the week and a couple of small items left on my list. I know there’s a small crew of retired guys (including my Dad) waiting. I am bouncing off the walls.
I also saw 3 deer on the side of the road outside of Huntsville. It’s not deer season but that could be a good omen. I’m a bit nervous – it was a tough year last year. It had been a difficult year outside of camp for many and the complete lack of hunting success added to the tension. I hunted from early morning to past sunset every day (30 minutes after is legal).
It is great knowing that there is a small group of guys in camp (they came up yesterday and today). There will be 6 of us tonight, most of the rest arrive tomorrow and 3 (including a mystery guest that only my father knows the identity of) will arrive.
I am in the middle of the forest in my pickup truck. I was driving the abandoned logging road that leads to our cabin (13 kilometers from the nearest “real” road. I thought my headlights were flickering on far away trees before I realized there was something other than light running in front of me.
I thought it was a dog at first and sped up when I knew it wasn’t. I was chasing a bear up the center of the road without even realizing it! It was bigger than a cub but not a monster – about 300-400 pounds. I backed off and he turned into the woods. It is shocking to see an animal run around 30 kilometers an hour (about 18 miles per hour) turn into the pitch black woods and keep running the same speed.
I stopped and listened to him scamper. He ran for 2 or 3 seconds before going completely quiet – did he stop and look back? I wasn’t waiting to find out and took off a little freaked out. I have driven another kilometer since and have another 9 to get to camp.
Will write when there’s more to write about the actual hunt.