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Moose Hunt 2011
The Lucky Break Adventure of a Lifetime
September 5- 18, 2011
Hunters - Allen Flanagan and Tom VanderPlaat - 3,000 miles of Fun.
Outfitter - Little Dease Ventures - Mike and Carol Danielson
Feb-Jun 2011 - Background
I had mentioned to Allen during previous hunting trips that I would like to go moose hunting someday. He told me that he had gone in 2006 & 2009 with Bill Monroe. He was planning to return this year to Little Dease Ventures (Mike and Carol Danielson) in Northern BC. Kent Reimers, (hunting and fishing friend) and I had talked about going in 2012, as I likely could not budget this year given that my middle daughter Megan was getting married in August 2011. Getting a daughter married is a big but good investment. Kent and I stopped by Mike's booth at the Sportsman Show and saw Buzz Ramsey's Big Bull Moose. I got pretty excited about going on a moose hunt. It was nice to meet Mike and Allen enjoyed his previous hunts with him. In late June, Allen asked me if I might be interested in going with him this year. I talk with Sue (my wonderful wife) and she agreed to let me go. Jen, Allen's wife was excited for me to go, since she would have had to ride with him, if I could not go. I emailed Mike and ask if I there were any openings during Allen's hunt. Mike responded and said that he had an open spot for me - Lucky Break #1. Given my affliction of planning ahead, I started getting ready months before the September hunt. The planning included buying lots of new things, binoculars, hunting pants, and coat. This hunt was going to be 8 days of horseback riding. Luckily, Jen secured horse riding lesson with Kelsey for both Allen and me. Thank goodness! We rode four times and Kelsey showed us how to put on the saddle, bridle and various other important things. The lessons lasted an hour and we rode in the arena until the final lesson where rode to a nearby wheat field. As I gathered my gear, fortunately my good friend Pat Abel had several key pieces of equipment (pack bag, down sleeping bag and other things) he let me borrow. I practiced shooting my gun several times and reloaded bullets. Needless to say, I was really excited to go and had my gear all ready and stored in one of our spare bedrooms, several months in advance. I reviewed several gear lists so as to make sure I did not forget anything. I made a visit to the Gambles Meat (John and Jean) to make sure we had a place to take our meat upon our return. The first week of September could not get here quick enough. Oh, yeah, the wedding (8/20) was really wonderful and Megan was a beautiful Bride and we love having Dan King join our family. Another lucky break! For some reason Megan did not want camo as one of the wedding colors - go figure?
(Going Moose Hunting!)- I arrive at Allen's House at 7 am. We load his truck with all our gear. He had a large chest freezer loaded, we finished tying down the load and left at 7:42am with Allen at the wheel. As we travel through Vancouver via I-5, we are cruising along. Apparently, Allen was feeling generous and thought he should contribute to Washington State Patrol officer's Christmas Party. Oops going 76 mph in the 60 mph zone - caught the sharp eye of a waiting WSP motorcycle officer. The WSP officer waved us over to the side of the highway. Well, 16 mph over the posted is not quite allowed. I am sure the officer looked at the truck with the chest freezer and 3 big coolers and thought these guys are doing something crazy and need all the help they can get. The WSP officer cut us a break and only issued the ticket for 5 mph over the 60 mph limit. What a start! Lucky Break #2 - will there be more?
We proceeded through Washington (at the speed limit) and made it to the border about 2:00 pm - Sumas WA. We parked and entered the US border offices. We asked questions, filled out forms and then went to the Canadian offices. They inspected our rifles and we paid the $25 fee and away we go. No Problems at the border - Lucky Break#3 - We stopped for gas again and then hit the road. We drove through beautiful Frazer River Canyon to Prince George. We arrived at Prince George at about 10:30 pm. - 700 miles so far. We found a hotel to stay the night at SpruceLand Inn.
Tuesday 9/6 (Dease Lake - 1400 miles)
Allen gets up and makes coffee - he needs this every morning. I go to the nearby restaurant for a breakfast sandwich - bunagel (bun like a bagel). Back on the road again - oops heading north - does not look right - turn around and are now going west towards Smithers. We arrive at Smithers - both of us want fried chicken for lunch and KFC is it. We buy gas again and hit the road. The weather is very nice - lots of sun and clear skies. We turn onto Hwy 37 towards Dease Lake and we see lots of black bears along the highway. The weather changes to pouring rain. We arrive in the town of Bell II for gas and snacks. As we head up the canyon the road follows along a river. The river is flooding and running across the road. At one point we stop because the stream is running across the road and about 4-6 inches deep with lots of debris. We check the road and drive through the flooded road. We talked about smaller vehicles could have a real problem with flooded roads and felt we should stop and warn someone. The rivers along the highway were very muddy and large trees was floating down them. We got to Bob Quinn Lake and tried to warn the highway dept., but no one was available. We stopped by Iskut at the Cafe for dinner, but the only menu item was pizza. We decided to go to the local market and pick up some snacks. Arrive at Dease Lake - it was still raining hard. We found out that they had closed the highway shortly after we had travel through it - mudslides. Lucky Break #4. We got a room at Northway hotel in Dease Lake.
Wednesday 9/7 (Dease Lake)
We wake up to clear skies and glad to be there. We eat breakfast at the nearby Cafe. The waitress was a young lady that was overwhelmed by the crowd from the road closure; she had just started to work there 2 weeks earlier. As we left the cafe, we saw Mike fueling his truck and he said he had to get a medical certificate for his driver's license. We talked with him and then went over the BC government offices to purchase our hunting licenses and tags. As we finished up getting our tags, Mike comes into drop off his certificate. We had time to kill since we would not be hitting the trail until the next day. We went visited a small gift shop and learned that jade comes from a local mine and then is all shipped to Asia. Interesting? We go back to our hotel room and pack our gear. We stopped by Carol and Mike's house. We meet Carol, Mike's wife- she was very welcoming and friendly. We also meet Daniel and Chris, the wranglers for our hunt. Allen and I decided to go for a drive towards Telegraph Creek and see numerous black bears along the road. Back to Carol and Mike's to load the horse pack boxes (panniers). What a process. The weight must be equal on each side and only have minimum space. The big challenge was how much salt to pack? We ate dinner - ham, rice and bannock (fry bread) which was all very good.
Thursday 9/8 (Leave for Windy Camp)
Get up, packed and eat breakfast. Mike, Chris and Daniel leave early to move the horses to the corral at 16 mile creek and then return to get the gear. The gear is loaded and everyone, including Carol goes to 16 mile creek at the head of the trail - starting to rain. The saddles and pack frames are all put on the horses. I am riding Jughead and Allen is riding Hozitla. We have 11 horses (5 pack horses, 5 saddle horses and #13 the new horse). Mike ties the pack horses from head to tail. It is 11 am; we mount up and hit the trail. So, thanks to Jen (Al's wonderful wife), for arranging the riding lessons! Well, these were rugged trails, not the wheat fields we had trained on. So first, #13 (he needs a name change as he is not too lucky) decided he was not interested in staying with the other pack horses. A few times Daniel had to retrieve him. Finally, #13 took off and was not seen again. We rode for about 3 hours to an old spike camp and ate lunch. My legs and butt were sore. Well, mount up again and up the mountain. Chris forgets his backpack and has to head back to the old spike camp - delays us by 1/2 hour. We travel over a mountain and see a moose cow and calf. As we crested over the mountain, we had to walk the horses through a rock field. What an adventure! I started to question my sanity as it was very windy and pouring down rain. Finally at 6:30 pm we arrive at Windy Camp and it is still windy and raining. Boy, I was very tired of riding! Well with daylight quickly fading, we found the shelter frame had been damaged by a big moose. Allen and I told Mike we had engineering experience and would fix the damaged shelter frame, while they took care of the horses. With twine, sticks and other materials, we repaired the shelter and pulled the tarp cover over the repaired frame. After a quick dinner, we went to bed -10:30 pm. That is when the big wind storm hit - strong winds and pouring rain. Mike, Daniel and Chris spent most of the night holding down the shelter, while Al and I stayed in the small wall tent. Both tents stayed standing - Lucky Break #5.
Friday 9/9 (First Day Hunting)
Awoke early to clear skies for the first day of hunting. Mike, Allen and I rode toward the large mountain to the south. We rode to an area of open rock and got off the horses, Mike spots a bull caribou up the hill. Mike and Allen take off to put a hunt on it. I could watch the whole process, the bull was too small. It must have 5 point on the top of the horn and this bull has three. They get close and then it runs and stands within 40 yards of me standing with the horses - he is very curious about horses. What a beautiful animal. We saw several more caribou and one moose which was a long way away. The wind was blowing hard and we covered lots of country. In the early afternoon, we rode to a really nice area that looks up into a large cliff with a lake at the bottom. We headed back towards camp and Mike spotted a small herd of caribou with large bulls that were fighting. We put a hunt on them and got within two hundred yards. I learned a new trick as Mike was holding his arms above his head to look like a big caribou bull. Well it was not meant to be as they went to the top of the ridge and moved away. As we headed back towards Camp, Allen's horse stumbles and Allen falls off - Lucky Break #6 - horse and Al were not hurt. Back at camp, Daniel and Chris had dried clothes and more surprisingly had found some dry wood. Later that evening, Mike again spotted some large caribou bulls on the ridge above camp, a group of three. Mike, Allen and I discussed how we wanted to hunt the next day. We decided we would try to get Allen's caribou and then go to Cody Lake. Allen wanted to get a nice caribou before the rut began so the meat would be good. Dinner was Kraft dinner with burger (Canadians do not call it Mac and Cheese, but rather Kraft dinner). Allen cleaned the rifles and found that our gun barrels were rusting from the scabbard and all the rain and sweat of the horses from the first days ride. Allen decides to make a cover with a garbage sack and duct tape - it works.
Saturday 9/10 (Caribou Hunt)
We stayed at Windy Camp and are going to hunt caribou. I had another night of being cold - need to wear more clothes in the sleeping bag. Mike, Chris, Al and I mount up and head out. I am riding Eagle, as Jughead had a sore on his belly. The weather is pretty nice, but cold in the morning. We rode about 1/2 hour toward the big mountain and Mike spots a small herd of caribou. While watching them, he spots three large bulls. We ride up and stop behind a small ridge, Chris and I stay with the horses. Then we hear, one shot, another, another and another. Mike comes back and gets us, Lucky Break #7 - ALLEN GOT HIS CARIBOU! This is an awesome bull. Allen had one killing shot and couple of insurance shots. The 338 does the trick. Chris goes back to camp to get Daniel and three pack horses. Allen wants to do a head mount so Mike capes it. The meat is good no rut smell. We finished skinning it and remove the front shoulders, rear hams, back-straps, and rump. All the meat has to fit in panniers. We have four meat bags. Back to camp, unload and hang the meat in a tree - bears like meat bags. Daniel and Mike work on the cape then salt it. We have caribou tenderloin for dinner; I thought it was good, like venison.
Sunday 9/11 - (Ride to Lake Cabin)
We wake up, eat breakfast and pack our gear to go to Lake Cabin. Chris and Daniel go looking for the horses. Chris comes back after about 45 minutes and tells Mike they cannot find the horses. The horses have hobbles (chains on their feet) on and horse bells but still can feed all night and travel away from camp. Mike and Chris go to the top of the ridge to try to spot the horses. Finally after about 2 hours of the waiting, Daniel finds the horses about 2 miles away. They pack the horses and off we go at about 1:30 pm. We ride for 5 hours over some pretty rugged country, at one point a pack horse load has to be fixed. We see a cow moose and small bull at the top of the ridge. As we are coming down the back side of a steep ridge, we have to dismount and walk the horses down a narrow steep path. I twist my ankle, but keep going. We arrive at the Lake and a nice cabin. We eat dinner and go to bed. Al, Daniel and Chris are all feeling puny, as someone that had a cold that may have shared. We change the name of the lake to COLD lake given that everyone is not feeling the best, accept for Mike.
Monday 9/12 -( Moose)
I get a good night sleep on a nice foam pad, but awake with a sore throat, someone shared the cold with me. Horses are saddled and we (Mike, Al and I) mount up and go up the trail to moose hunt. We rode for about an hour and half and come on the top of a ridge and spot a cow moose with a calf. A small forked bull is with them, but no big bull moose around. We move to another ridge and keep looking - I love my new Pentax binoculars. We returned to camp, again riding horses most of the day. This is six days of riding horses most all day - sure glad for the riding lessons. I had forgot to tie my raincoat onto the saddle and found it on the way back to camp in a big mud puddle. We have a full moon and clear skies, so moose are scarce much of the day. Daniel and Chris worked around the cabin.
Tuesday 9/13 - (Hunt the Lake)
Mike wants to work at the cabin and asked Daniel to take Allen and I hunting around the areas of the Lake. We mount up and ride to the areas around the Lake. Riding was a real challenge, lots of swampy areas and no good trails. Daniel has no problems riding through the tough areas. At one point, we ride through a steep ravine with a large bog and Allen's horse gets stuck in the mud to its chest. Allen falls off and get soaked - Lucky break #8 - no one is hurt and we get the horse out of the bog. Allen and I spot several groups of moose, but no big bulls. We returned to camp and Mike has built a shelter for the ATV, another bunk and tarp over Daniel's wall tent. Mike had the metal for the roof but could not find the screws. He would have to buy more, apparently Canadian fasteners are expensive. Allen had kept the caribou tongue and Daniel decided he wanted to eat it. Allen skinned it and Daniel was happy to eat it. Dinner is pork chops, potatoes and corn.
Wednesday 9/14 (The Biggest Lucky Break!)
We woke up to overcast skies. Following a breakfast of oatmeal, we mounted up and started up the trail. I mentioned that I have had several successful hunts when I have had camp oatmeal, though oatmeal is not my favorite breakfast - either are eggs. All five of us rode out together, as Daniel and Chris were to go to the next spike camp and set it up. I was riding Gunny, a big black horse. We rode to the top of the mountain again and arrived at the big meadow. We tied up the horses and walked out to the big meadow. Mike spotted a cow and small bull. Mike is an excellent moose caller and we had fun getting the small bull to come look at us and could have easily shot him. Allen, Chris and Daniel met us and Mike asked Allen, if he wanted to go the spike camp and hunt the area along the way. Allen agreed to go along with them. We watched them ride off as the horses do not like to be separated from each other. Mike and I rode over to a nearby ridge, tethered the horses and grabbed our lunch sacks. We walked over to a small ridge and sat down. As I sat down, I put my binoculars up to look down a small draw and said there is BIG ONE! Mike was only seconds behind me and said there is another shooter bull farther down the valley with a cow. We sat for a few seconds and Mike thought that the two bulls might fight so we needed to get the next ridge to be ready. We went back the horses and rode over the next ridge. It started to rain and I put on my rain coat. We walked down the ridge and Mike spotted the big bull standing in the trees. All I could see were the big paddles (moose antlers). Mike started calling and rubbing a tree with a stick. The bull was not moving and must have heard my raincoat or winded us, because he turned and ran down the small valley where we first saw him. Then a few minutes later the cow ran through the same area. This bull was the first big moose with antlers I had seen and boy what a difference from the small forked bulls. We ate lunch and got back on the horses to the next ridge. We stopped and left the horses and then sat on a ridge to glass the area. After about 20 minutes, Mike said he thinks the second bull may have travel through a small draw behind us and was going to take a look and be right back. After 15 minutes, I looked up and here is Mike.
As all good hunting stories start - So there I was...Quietly glassing the nearby valley and Mike comes back and says: you want to shoot a big moose? Heck Yes! That is what I came for! He had spotted a big bull moose bedded down across a small draw. Mike has so many years of spotting moose that he can find them even in the toughest of conditions. We got back to the horses and rode about 1/4 mile and tied them up. Mike and I walked about another 200 yards to a small bunch of trees. Mike told me that the bull was about 150 yards from us and he would try to get him to come closer. He started calling and grunting and within minutes I could see through the tall brush (5-6 feet tall) the paddles of the big bull moose. Mike continued to call and rake a small tree next to me. The bull was not happy, he grunted and was tearing up the bushes. The bull is now at 100 yards. The wind is perfect - blowing at us. We keep waiting and then the bull steps out of the brush at 70 yards with just his head and front shoulder exposed. Mike tells me to wait he will keep coming. I am standing near a small tree but feel like the bull should see me. Apparently they have very poor eyesight. With my gun ready at my chest, Mike says he is a shooter ask if you want to shoot him - 50 plus incher. I tell him YES - for sure. The bull moves forward another few steps, tossing his head and grunting. Mike says he wanting to show off his stuff and was ready to fight. However, the small tree I am standing by was in the path of my shooting lane. Mike calmly says, just wait he will keep coming, he thinks we are another bull. The bull moves two more steps and I have a clear shot. Here with my Ruger Hawkeye 30.06 - Nikon scope set at 4power and loaded with 165 gr Nosler partition, I raise my gun and put the crosshairs right behind the left shoulder and squeezed the trigger. BANG! The big bull hunch up and just stands there, Mike tells me to get ready for another shot just in case he bolts. The bull takes a few steps forward but then sticks his tongue out. Mike says he is hit good - lung shot. The bull tips over! YAHOO!!!! BIG LUCKY BREAK #9!!! I am thrilled beyond belief - I got my first Moose and he is big!!. I thanked Mike for all his great skills and effort. He calmly says and now the WORK BEGINS.
We go back to the horses and bring them up closer. We pulled out the meat bags and other gear. We go back to the BIG Bull and what an animal! They are very large when you are next to them. Mike thinks he is mid 50's and very respectable (turns out to be 56 1/2 inches). The bull had fallen over in the only puddle of water within a 10 acre area. The puddle was about 9-10 inches deep and 10 feet in diameter. We struggled to move the head so we could take a couple of photos. Then back to business, we turn over the head and big horns so it will lie on its back. I had two small ropes in my day pack, so we could tie off the legs. Mike and I pulled and tie off the front and rear legs to nearby small bushes. With lots of effort and me lacking any knot tying skills, poor Mike was struggling to watch me tie knots while he tried to hold the heavy moose leg. Finally we got to its back and began butchering. We skinned it and field dress it. When we open up and removed the guts, the lungs were destroyed - (Thanks Nosler). We had to work hard to make sure we did not get any of the puddle water on the meat. What a challenge. A good aspect to the puddle water was it was cold so should help cool the carcass. In about two hours we had the most of the skinning completed. The rib gage was full of blood, so I used a gallon Ziploc to bail all the blood out. Mike removed the tenderloins and I put them in a bag and into my day pack. By now it is about 5 :00 pm. I am pretty well exhausted. We get back on the horses and head for camp. Surprisingly, Mike and I do not have too much blood on our clothing so Mike tells me we will tell Allen and others that we just saw shooter bulls and that he had a picture of me in a large mud puddle. We arrived back at the cabin about 7:30 pm. Allen had fixed a spaghetti dinner, good thing, because I was hungry and tired. We were getting ready to eat when Mike pulls out his camera and shows Allen the puddle picture - The BIG Moose and me!! High fives all around and I tell the story. We have a toast of Pendleton Whiskey. I get cleaned up and fall into bed exhausted. I hoped no grizzly bears would find my moose before we returned.
Thursday (9/15) (Big Moose pack out)
We get up the next morning and get ready. Chris and Daniel saddle the horses and ready 3 pack horses. Daniel, Mike, Allen and I head up the trail with the 3 pack horses. Chris stays in camp to build a meat pole and other chores. We rode to the ridge above my moose to check to see if a bear was there. Many times, a bear will find the carcass and bury it, thus ruining the meat. We had left a large meat bag on a bush as a flag and could easily find the spot. Sitting on the ridge there were No Bears - thank goodness, though Allen had a grizzly tag. We went down to the moose and started the butchering process. We removed the front shoulders, rear hams, briskets, neck meat and other main meat parts. We placed the meat in cloth bags then into the panniers. We removed the head at the lower jaw for a European mount. We then wrapped the head with a meat bag and tried to place the horns on the horse. However, the pack horse was scared of the horns and was not interested in pack them. Finally, we covered the horse's eyes with sweat shirt and put the horns on top of the panyard. This process took over an hour and the horse was still not happy. Daniel and I rode all the pack horses back to the cabin while Mike and Al continued to go hunting. We arrived back at the cabin and unloaded the horses. Chris had struggled to put up a meat pole, but it was not sturdy enough to hold the moose. We worked together to put up an additional pole and reinforced the ends. We used the ATV to hoist the game bags and tied them off about 12 feet off the ground, so the bears would not get them. With the meat hung and horses cared for, I cooked dinner. Daniel had taken part of the intestines for making bumguts. He and Chris had made a deal and Chris was to cut it up. As Chris had never made this delicacy, he missed a few details. Like cleaning them before cutting them up - he found a moose pellet. Daniel fried them and they smelled good, but I was not going to eat them. Mike and Al returned from there hunt - no shooter bulls. We ate dinner and celebrated getting the meat to cabin. Six big bags of moose meat, the front shoulders weigh more than 100 pounds. Time to hit the bunk.
Friday 9/16- (Wolf Hunt)
We wake up and get ready to go hunting for Allen's moose. Mike, Allen and I ride up the trail and proceed with caution up to the moose carcass in case a grizzly has found it. We set up on the ridge above it glassing, and spot a pack of wolves on a nearby ridge. Allen has a predator call and moves down below us to try the call. The wolves do not seem to respond. Then the pack seems to catch wind of the carcass and start moving towards it. As we watch this whole process of the pack of wolves moving toward the carcass it is pretty amazing. The wolves find it and are very cautious about approaching it. Mike tells me they can detach the smells from us and horses from the previous day of butchering. The two largest wolves go to the carcass and the others are staying back standing guard. We then spot another pack of 5 wolves that are coming from the same direction. Allen has a wolf tag and I do not. Daniel and Allen began a hunt on the wolves. The pack of five makes their way toward the others, but rather stay up on the ridge and begin howling and calling. What a show! Meanwhile Mike and I sit and watch Daniel and Allen move down the ridge towards the carcass. The real challenge is getting to a good vantage point in the high brush and not being detected. Allen and Daniel move within range, however, the wolves have seen or heard them, also they are both wearing blue shirts. The wolves start moving actually towards them, one large female move to within range of Allen and he shots but missed. A smaller wolf is within range and he gets that one - right between the eyes. We all got back together and look over the wolf. We mounted up and went hunting over several areas. We did not see any more moose, only caribou and a porcupine. Daniel collected caribou moss to take home as they like to make a tea with it for medicinal purposes. We rode back to the cabin and ate dinner. We told Mike that we need to fly out on Saturday as we both needed to get back to work on Monday. Mike had a satellite radio phone so he could call home and Chris could call Mike's daughter as they had just got engaged. This hunt was a heck-of-a test for a future son-in-law. Chris is a paramedic in Vancouver BC and had not been hunting before but knew how to handle horses. Mike told us that the Hwy 37 was only open with a pilot car, so hours of travel were limited due to the mud slides and repairs.
Saturday 9/17 (Fly out and Leave Dease Lake)
At 9 am, Mike had talked to Carol and the float plane would be arriving at 10 am. We would have to hustle to get our stuff together including the meat. We quickly packed out bags while Daniel, Chris and Mike loaded the ATV and small trailer with the meat. Allen joined Daniel to take the meat down to the lake. The trail to the lake has several creek crossings and Daniel was struggling to get through the first one. We worked to get the ATV down to the lake and we arrived just as the float plane landed. We started to load the plane, but the pilot was very concerned about the weight as he had never taken off from this lake. We loaded about 8 bags of meat and the moose horns and there were still lots of gear left on the ground and 2 more bags of meat. Allen and I loaded up and took off. We made it up and flew the 25 minutes to Dease Lake. Lucky Break #10. I love float planes. Carol was waiting for us at the lake landing area with Allen's truck. We unloaded the plane and went to the house. Mike would be coming in on the next flight in about an hour. At the house we sent electronic message home and organized our gear. We returned to the Lake and met Mike. He had the rest of the gear and meat. We took pictures and went back to the house - about 12:30 pm. The pilot car schedule had the last car of the day south at 4:00 pm. We need to have our carcass inspected but no one in Dease Lake was available. We packed the truck with horns on top and left Dease Lake at 1:30 pm. We arrived at the pilot car check point on Hwy 37 at 3;30 pm and got in line - Lucky Break #11. We traveled behind the pilot car almost to Bell II and along the way we saw the mudslides (up to 3 meters/ 10 feet) that had occurred just after we had driven through on our drive up to Dease Lake on 9/6. We arrived at Smithers late evening on Saturday. We kept driving in shifts all night. We both took turns sleeping in the back seat for short periods.
Sunday 9/18 (Home SAFE!)
Just kept driving - we stopped for Allen's coffee and breakfast at a Tim Horton's (like a dunkin' donuts). We arrived at the US/Canadian border about 10:30am. During previous moose trips, Allen had problems with crossing the border with game horns, so were worried about getting held up. We got in line and were directed to the inspection area. We went into the US border office and were asked to fill out a form. We completed the form and we were back on the road - Lucky Break #12. Back in the US of A! I called Sue and Allen called Jen. Jen had notified Gambles meat and Snyder taxidermy that we would be stopping by this evening. We arrived in Hillsboro about 4:30 pm. First, we stopped by Snyder's to drop off the caribou cape and horns. Then we stopped by my house and dropped my horns off and other gear. We drove to Gambles and delivered the meat. They had to plan to cut it up in the next two days. Finally drove to Allen and Jen's house to get my truck and off load the freezer. Jen has pizza for us -- how wonderful is that? I get home at 8:30 pm exhausted.
Conclusion -- (GREAT FRIENDS!)
This hunt was an adventure of a lifetime and I was so happy that Allen let me join him. We definitely had many lucky breaks! I have to give a big thanks to Mike, Carol, Chris, Daniel and the horses. What great people and animals! Mike and Carol are really great people and treated me wonderful. Chris has passed the test for a son-in-law - good luck! Daniel did a great job taking care of the horses and is very kind person. As for the horses, they gave their all - every day and persevered through some very tough conditions. This hunt would not be possible without these wonderful animals. Finally, Allen is a kind and wonderful person and fun to be around. As I have been telling people, when you spend 30 continuous hours in the same pickup with a person and are still good friends at the end - that means a great deal to me. Thank you Allen for being such a great friend and I could not have done it without you. Thanks to all for making this a wonderful adventure I will never forget.Allen - You are the best!!! Luckiest Break of All!!