Moose Hunt – Day 2 – Saturday at Camp and a difficult kill (NOT graphic)

I did not write on the Saturday – it is a day when the majority of our group arrives and we have a lot of work, fun and a party to celebrate the annual reunion.  I was working with my Father early in the morning when we realized we needed supplies and I decided to make a quick run to town – it would be the last time I would see civilization for 8 days.

We drive 13 kilometers on a closed logging road.  You could drive a car, depending on the condition of the road.  It’s an awful mess in winter that even a four-wheeler (ATV) would struggle to navigate.  I carry an unloaded shotgun with me on this road (as many do) in bird season.  When I get to pavement I lock and store the gun, go to town and unlock it once off the road again.  It must be unloaded in the vehicle – this is acceptable because we are not officially on a road.

On my way into town I saw a partridge.  It takes a few careful moments to stop, get out, load, aim and shoot.  I was successful.

The attached video DOES NOT show the bird.

When you harvest a partridge, you “clean” it immediately.  It’s a dirty job – there are no knives involved, simply your hands and eyes to guide you.  Sometimes I find this easy, other times it is very difficult.  I generally find it more difficult to clean a bird than a moose.  A moose feeds so many of us so often – a bird seems like a much more extravagant harvest.  1 life for 1 meal for 1 or 2.  I find a bigger guilt associated with fowl than larger animals for this reason.

As I drove down the road I felt queasy (I am bound to be teased for writing and sharing this :)).  I shot a brief video trying to capture that moment – one of the tougher moments of the hunt for me.  This was shot within minutes of harvesting the bird (which is currently in our freezer):

I know that some may have a problem with the word “respect” associated with killing an animal.  It is something I debate a fair bit – I know many hunters (including myself) who would claim to respect and/or even love the animals they hunt.  I also know many farmers who would lay claim to the same of the animals they rear.  Can one really love something it hunts?  These are questions I’m not sure that there are answers to – but they certainly make me think and am conscious of them.

Saturday night was a party before the hunt began Monday morning – stay tuned for the day by day…


  1. your honesty and willingness to let us in to [what seems like] the complicated emotions you feel when hunting is heartwarming.

    BTW – very cool to hear your canadian accent – i always forget to add that when i’m reading. ;)

  2. hmm.. i don’t know about this driving and filiming yourself thing… Nice beard BTW. :)

  3. I completely agree with your feelings about the hunting harvest. It’s emotionally difficult.

    The technique I was taught for field cleaning a grouse was very quick and simple. I hope no one gets upset by this description and you may delete this if too graphic. Lay the bird on its back. Spread the wings and stand on them as close to the body as possible. Grab a leg in each hand and pull. Done.

  4. Al I think leaving that comment is a good thing – again a tough thing to do and when understood in context, it’s important to pass these techniques and knowledge.

    I may shoot a video of such a thing – but not yet… As you sensitively approached it, it’s a difficult topic and one that we are exploring cautiously. I was very curious as to posting about hunting – what would it mean, would we lose people, break into debate etc…

    Reading comments such as yours and that of Tigress (no disrespect Jen – and in fairness this was before the hands free law…laugh)… well let’s just say it’s comforting to read comments from y’all, even when we have different views of a charged subject.

    Smiles and cheers to Al, Tigress (you too Jen!) and the rest for welcoming the posts and considering them with an open mind!


  5. kiwiswiss says:

    Hi Joel,
    I think that by now, most everyone who visits knows what to expect with regard to your hunting posts. I appreciate the lack of graphic detail in your video, even though I am a hunter, and clean animals and birds regularly. I believe that if you don’t respect the animal, you will make a poor hunter. Respect for the environment, and all the creatures that dwell in the wild (game animal or not), is essential. Lack of respect damages the animals and their environment, and our reputation as hunters and firearms owners/users.
    I still get queasy sometimes cleaning an animal, and the smaller it is, the more likely that is to happen. We eat a lot of rabbit. Skinning and gutting a rabbit, though quick, is more personally difficult than doing the same to a deer. I think this is for the same reasons as you state. Each one feeds two of us twice. (We don’t eat huge portions of meat.) A deer on the other hand, is a large undertaking to clean, and becomes clinical after a while, it also supplies us with meat for a long time.
    This was harder to write than a 1000 word post!
    Take care,


  6. Paul, thanks for the comment and I can’t agree more with you – including the last sentiment! I grew up and around hunting – it’s something O’ve known my entire life and yet it’s the toughest topic I’ve had to write about.

    These topics are easily discussed amongst hunters where there is little fear of offending others or receiving feedback that we may be less comfortable with.

    I have found writing about it to be very interesting in that it further challenges me to think about such things that I’ve long accepted. :)


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