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Discussion Starter · #841 ·
When Eric’s crew got back to the base camp I had my second season Chinese meal ready. I had reserved the same preparations for the second season team that I had for the first season shown here:
Food Ingredient Recipe Deep frying Cookware and bakeware


Food Ingredient Recipe Cuisine Mixture



As everyone was eating, I made sure to fill up my orange REC-PAC with everything that we would need: ( game bags, first aid kit, bottled water..etc). After eating, the crew gathered up the pack boards and loaded up the trucks.

Trousers Jeans Workwear High-visibility clothing Orange



With Pete back with us, and the rest of our full crew, it was obvious that my help wouldn’t be needed. I would be the recorded.

We all lined up for the trail. Couldn’t wait to get there.


Cargo pants Luggage and bags Bag Plant Backpack


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The trail isn’t mark. It’s narrow, but after 20 years of stumping on the ground even the newbies don’t have any problems following it. The thick black spruce walls on both sides make it next to impossible to divert from it.


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The trail eventually opens up into the small boggy area on the east side of the pond.
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There's always all kinds of signs in this little bog but we've only ever shot one right at this spot. It was in 2015. As Gilbert and his son were walking out of the trail in the morning precisely where the gang is above...This nice bull was standing broadside right in front of them...Talk about an easy hunt..!! A couple of shots from Gilbert and he was down. Right at the end of the trail...Easy field dressing and carry.

Plant Plant community Ecoregion People in nature Natural environment



Eric's carry would be a little more challenging. To Gilbert's right above there's a ridge with a fairly thick growth of trees. We have a winding path going through this but we don't maintain it as well as we should. This is what the guys are walking into here:
Plant Tree Natural landscape Wood People in nature







 

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Discussion Starter · #843 ·
All kinds of distractions Kevin...

Evening before last, my 8 year old grandson Tristan was with his Dad Jason ( my son) at Saint Anne’s University. Jason coaches the volleyball team. When they stepped outside after the practice, Tristan slipped on ice and broke his femur right above the knee. The Yarmouth hospital stabilized him with the temporary plastic splint seen here. He was operated on last night at the IWK and will not require a cast. He’ll be able to bend his knee but will be in a wheelchair for the next 6 weeks. Inserted metal plates will hold the femur in place until it heals. Never a dull moment...!!

Leg Dress Comfort Human body Textile


Comfort Textile Eyelash Patient Hospital bed




Back to the hunt...


Plant Moon People in nature Hat Grass


What a beautiful, calm. moonlit evening it was..!! Man, the feeling of being there never leaves you. It’s not easy to describe, but the level of enjoyment that comes with sharing a primitive hunt like this just can’t be duplicated. I’m sure that, in that moment and at that site, there was no other place on earth that any of us would have preferred to be.

It didn't take me long to line up the game bags and spread out white groundsheet...

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I did the same thing with the pack boards...


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After everyone had taken their first look at the moose...

Vertebrate Hat Hunting Mammal Working animal




The hunting knives came out and the field dressing started. No words were spoken, but we all knew who would be in charge...

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Hunting Hat Plant Trunk Art



Pete took charge. Man, I had forgotten how good he was at this. Along with his two adult sons, for the past 6 years, he's been butchering every type of big game that Alberta can offer. They average half a dozen big game animals every year.
Wood Building Natural material Engineering Art


None of Eric's team had ever done this before. But that didn't matter to Pete. When he gave you a command he expected you to do your part. It was a bit intimidating for some at the start...but they soon realize that what he was asking for was easy to do and a good learning situation. It wasn't long before the whole crew was at it like real pros and truly enjoying the process.

Outerwear Plant Nature People in nature Organism

 

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Well wishes for Tristan. I love nice clear night pictures. I can smell the moose.....lol. >Pete
 

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Damn Dave...seems like it's always pouring someplace close to you ! Send my best regards to your grandson !! Hope he has a speedy recovery.

LOL....I was always the " Skinning Pete" in my group of gangsters
 

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Discussion Starter · #846 ·
Kevin, I think that the reason a lot of the younger hunters are hesitant when it comes to gutting, skinning, and quartering is that they haven’t been exposed to it growing up the way that some of us have.

Fall slaughters was entertainment for the youngsters in my day. Everyone had pigs...cows...chickens. Preparing meat for the Winter was just a normal thing to do and we got involved in the process on a regular basis. Game animals ( deer, rabbits, grouse, porcupine) were just part of the same process. We didn’t make a big deal out of it.


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Eric really got into it...you could tell that he was thoroughly enjoying himself...
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Plant Plant community Tree People in nature Branch


At one point I decided to take a picture framed by the bushes. I mentioned that I wanted it to make it look as if we were in the deep woods. Eric responded: " Dave, we "ARE" in the deep woods..!" I had to laugh. I guess that familiarity can sometimes make you forget where you really are.

Everybody had a go at it. It's great when you have enough hunters to share the burden.


Plant Temple Hat Tree Event




We use to separate the quarters and lay them on the tarp before wrapping but recently we've been inserting the game bags over them before separating them from the trunk. This works well if you have enough help. This way it doesn't matter if the quarter touches the ground because it's protected.

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I took this photo as the last of the crew was leaving the bog. I had the easiest carry of all...my camera..LOL



Plant Natural landscape Grass Freezing Snow



Carries are always challenging but some more than others...

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Brian is helping Wayne unload the head and antlers. This, without a doubt, was the hardest carry of all. The head and antlers are very heavy but what makes them hard to carry is that the weight is not centralized...plus, the damn antlers stick out and catch on everything along the way.

Brian found it challenging just moving them around to place them in the truck

Hat Artist Event Meat Art


A mist was starting to form as we were leaving...A midnight meal of left overs would be awaiting us...

Pollution Fire Hazard Smoke Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #848 ·
Once everything was loaded aboard, we headed back to the base camp...

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Robert and Eddie had stayed back and warmed up the left over Chinese food...

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It was obvious to Robert that there wasn't enough left overs to go around so he had dumped a few cans of beans in a pot and added hot dogs.

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No complaints...even from our resident 'Chef' .LOL

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Or the rest of the crew...

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Once everyone had eaten and left I sat on my bunk and looked at the galley...

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Man, I don't think that I had ever seen it in such a mess...

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Cleaning all this up and packing would have to be a team effort for sure...

Before crashing we had made sure to separate all the meat so that it would have a chance to cool down during the night...
Vehicle Car Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting



 

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Discussion Starter · #851 ·
Ducker,
I know of one liquid ingredient that can greatly enhance the flavor of that tea LOL...I'll bring it to you in a few days...



Sky Tire Vehicle Car Tree


Conditions for icing up the meat were much better than the previous week...Tuesday was a clear, calm relatively warm day.


Eric had driven up with the two blue bins seen here.


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The process for re wrapping the meat hasn’t changed much in the past 12 years. One piece at a time was removed from the back of the truck and placed on the ‘cleaning’ table... the game bag removed... and the meat thoroughly checked for any debris or imperfection. Once cleaned, the piece was placed on the ‘wrapping’ table.

After multiple wraps of plastic wrap, each piece was individually iced up.


Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Sky




With Pete, Allain and Brian working together...it seemed just like old times...

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Everyone did their share...while somebody was doing the final wrapping, others would take over the quality control or the icing up.
Food Tree Plant Cap Outdoor recreation


Food Jacket Hat Cap Cuisine



Joey, seen here to the left talking to Robert, has a walk in cooler and always offers it free of charge to any of our hunters.
Food Table Cuisine Hat Cooking



Once every piece was wrapped and iced up, everything was secured in back of Eric's truck ready for the trip back home the following day.

Land vehicle Tire Vehicle Car Wheel


Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Sky


The work doesn't end there...

Tables have to be cleaned and all the bloodied game bags ( piled up in photo below) soaked in brine, rinsed and washed for next year...

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #854 ·

After the meat processing was done we had time to relax a bit.


We still had tons of food left in our freezer including rappie pie mix ( grated potatoes). So Eric took over the grill again and made a bunch of potato pancakes for a quick lunch.

Food Outdoor grill rack & topper Cuisine Dish Baseball cap




We didn’t start our exit preparation until the following day after Eric and his crew had left. Tuesday evening was spent relaxing. .

Military camouflage Chair Military uniform Camouflage Sharing



Jeans Musical instrument Guitar String instrument Musician


We still had a bit of booze left..!

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I took these pictures as Eric and his crew were breaking camp and leaving on Wednesday morning.

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle



Tire Wheel Land vehicle Car Vehicle



Wednesday would be a long day spent packing... What a mess...!!

Motor vehicle Table Gas Electrical wiring Machine


Kitchen appliance Saucepan Cooktop Cookware and bakeware Stove



We had tons of food left...most of which was still good....lots to sort out and pack


Food Tableware Dishware Serveware Plastic

 

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Discussion Starter · #856 ·
We decided not to prepare a cooked breakfast on Thursday so that we could disconnect all the propane stoves and disassemble the grill Wednesday evening.

Most of the left over produce and canned and bottled food was packed in bins and coolers before we went to bed Wednesday night. And the stoves along with the grill were also remove from the galley tent and packed away.


Tent Building Soil Concrete Camping



First thing on the list Thursday morning was disassembling the double cabin tent...

Plant community Tent Sky Camping Tarpaulin




Bit by bit, the trailers were loaded up with all the camping equipment and the left overs...

Tire Wheel Sky Motor vehicle Vehicle



All the combustible garbage was burnt...
Plant Wood Pollution Gas Landscape



I would be driving back home to Digby County with Pete. I captured this photo of him as we were ready to leave...What a relief to see everything packed for the return trip home...!!

Tire Land vehicle Wheel Plant Car



A few miles from our base camp we had to stop and wait for a pulp truck to finish loading up...

Tire Wheel Sky Plant Automotive tire



I knew that planning...preparing...and setting up for a multi team 2 week deep woods hunt would be extremely challenging, and it most certainly was.

Meal wise, everything went pretty smooth,

But dining was another story, this is not how you want to eat when you’re tenting for an extended period of time...

Temple Tent Jacket Leisure Hat





Not having a designated dining area was the biggest draw back. For 2 weeks walking through the galley tent was like going through an obstacle course.

Tent Shade Outdoor furniture Outdoor table Tints and shades


These large folding armchairs seen here are, without a doubt, the absolute worse seating arrangement that you can have in a tent. Each one takes the room of 3 people and there's always one blocking your way.


The best dining arrangement we ever had was on our 2012 moose hunt. We had the 3 dining tables at one end of the galley tent and all the cooking was done at the other end.

Jeans Trousers Shirt Tent Hat
 

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I hear the cogs grinding....some smoke coming out...new eating establishment in the works ? I see some of your "1 sheet of plywood tables" still going strong !!
 

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David, thanks for taking the time to share the memories ! >Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #859 ·
EPILOGUE to our 2019 moose hunt


Our 2019 moose hunt was note worthy for several reasons. Not being able to use our usual camp site posed a few problems. We would be 2 miles from our cache and our outhouse( so the woods had to do), and our access to Bell Lake would be too far to bother with. We had a nice big clearing for our set up with plenty of room but it just wasn’t the same.


The canoe stayed here for the whole week...no one had a chance to take it to Bell Lake.


Sky Plant Tree Land lot Natural landscape





But Robert and Eddie would still have a chance to fish when they drove to Cheticamp Lake during the second season when Eddie’s hunt was over.
Tree Smile Glove Plant Car


Eddie was slated to leave after the first season but was enjoying himself so much that he decided to stay for another week. He hunted every day of season 1 at the Honey Hole but ended up skunked. Eric got his moose there on the first day of season 2...that’s just how hunting is..!!??

I took this picture of Eddie with Eric’s antlers.

Plant community Plant Smile Tree Wood





Once we were set up, we ate well, but, as I’ve already mentioned, the set up didn’t permit us to have our dining tables inside. It rain all of the first week so basically we couldn’t use them. It wasn’t until the end of season one that we were able to put them together and enjoy a bit of time outside.

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Another factor that made our hunt a bit more challenging is that we had 4 teams and for a few days we were as many as 15 at the site. There was a lot to tend to.


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Alyre and Christien seen above would end up shooting at one at the Raspberry Bog...

Cloud Sky Plant Natural landscape Cumulus


But it was a good distance away and the wet conditions exacerbated the situation. After a thorough search, no signs of a hit were found. This would be the only chance that Alyre would get. He ended up not filling his tag.




Even though the two hunts were very dissimilar, our 2019 moose hunt was, in one sense, a duplicate of our 2009 hunt.

If I counted right, our harvests at the Honey Hole and Don’s Bog are now tied at 8 moose per site. But oddly enough, 2009 and 2019 are the only years when both sites were successful.


Joey had gotten his on the first day...at the Honey Hole in 2009.

Jeans Smile Tire Hat Wheel



And I had gotten mine later in the week at Don’s Bog...
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The situation was reversed in 2019...Heather and Dale would be successful at Don's Bog in the first week...


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And Eric would be successful at the Honey Hole in the second week.

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Both bogs would be productive in the years 2020 and 2021...

2020 moose hunt story to follow...
 
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