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Guns & Ammo 080115 by InterMedia Outdoors

Guns & Ammo 080115 by InterMedia Outdoors

Author:InterMedia Outdoors [Outdoors, InterMedia]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: InterMedia Outdoors
Published: 2015-07-31T21:00:00+00:00


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THEY REMIND YOU YOU’RE ALIVE

CODY VOERMANS

CODY VOERMANS

SO OFTEN IN MY LIFE, the adventures I’ve been fortunate to experience have started with questions. For example, “What’s over that ridge?” or “Can I climb that mountain?” The beginning of my adventure for Alaska-Yukon moose was no different.

It began more than 20 years ago with the first time I inquired about an old photograph resting on a bookshelf in the basement of my grandfather’s house. The photo showed my grandfather as a young man, much younger than I had ever known him. He was standing with his hands on his hips, proudly supporting a large set of moose antlers strapped to his vintage pack frame. All 6 feet, 2 inches of his lean profile was dwarfed by the antlers, and I was captivated by his fiercely proud smile. It seemed odd that he could smile so confidently while straining every muscle under a heavy load, lost in a nasty tangle of 12-foot alder brush 200 miles from civilization on the Alaska Peninsula. Looking at that photo, I couldn’t help but ask my grandfather what it was about a moose that made him so happy. His response was short and deliberate, and it left me with more questions than answers. He said, “Son, there’s no better feeling than the strain on your back a great set of antlers puts there, but moose antlers do a little more. They remind you you’re alive.”

To this day, I’m not certain whether my grandfather meant that as a challenge or a warning. What I am sure about is that he had a solid understanding of how to motivate a 17-year-old boy. His words poured fuel on my growing passion for arctic hunting, and from that day on, I did more than dream of a northern moose hunt. I researched hunting areas and outfitters, read every available text on moose and moose hunting, and saved every extra dollar.

Choosing an outfitter was the easy part. At the time, my good friend Tavis (Tav) Molnar was a guide for Arctic Red River Outfitters in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Each winter after the hunting season, he would recount wild stories of trophy moose living too deep in the Mackenzie Mountains for even the most intrepid hunters to reasonably pursue. He joked of remote giant bulls sporting huge antlers that defied the laws of gravity and forced them to walk backward, dragging their heads under the weight. Tav was and is an expert storyteller, and he constantly fanned this fire by describing the giant bulls of the Arctic Red River and assuring me that I could be the first hunter crazy enough to pursue them on foot deep in the mountains. It didn’t take many stories for Arctic Red River Outfitters (arcticred-nwt.com) to become the only choice for my future moose hunt.

The hard part was saving enough money. Through my college years and for many years after, the cost of a moose hunt grew faster than my bank account, and my goal seemed hopelessly out of reach.



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