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Stoney River Moose hunt - part 4

blog Charlie Bright Dennis Bright Fishing Harrison jewell Hunting Laird Chambers Moose hunting Stoney River Talkahuana River

Stoney River Part four
September 4, 1980
We slept in till around 7 then got up and ate breakfast. Harry and Dennis rowed across the Stoney and Talcahuano, climbed up the mountain and looked for caribou. This was Dennis’ third trip up the mountain to look for caribou.
Laird and I sat around most of the day, cooking, reading, bathing, washing clothes, just a couple of old maids around the camp, then went out to the back 40 and watched the bog and saw nothing.
Harry and Dennis spotted 2 bull moose back where Laird and I had been, the antlers reflected sunlight to them from 2 miles or so away.
Later in the day I spotted a lynx on the sand bar. He was the same color \as the sand, the only way I could tell it was an animal, at first, was by noting motion in the opposite direction of the wind. I grabbed my rifle and scoped him. He had a rabbit in his mouth and was heading back for the alder thicket. He was a beautiful picture. I decided to upset the tranquility of the scene by firing at him from 400 yards. Laird later seemed a little upset that I had missed. Not sure what got a burr in his saddle. Probably jealousy as all he had shot so far was maybe a squirrel or two.
Dennis and Harry returned about 7 and we had caribou, potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. We heard about the moos and we wanted to go back out and hunt for them again, right then and there, but Dennis and Harry wanted us to wait for morning. They were really exhausted. Harry’s face looked thin, just as if he had lost 10#. Dennis looked tuckered out also. They discovered an artesian spring on top and also a small lake, but no caribou.
September 5, 1990
We get up at 5. I had boiled up the heart and tongue the day before, and was slicing it up thin for sandwiches,
everyone poo pooed the idea, until they tried some then, out came the knives and mustard. We then headed out for one more go round for old Bullwinkle and his friends.
We saw absolutely nothing. We put in a pretty good day of it, but finally wrap it up and head back to camp and cook up a stew with caribou, stewed tomatoes, and whole lemons sliced in half. The flank steak had been tough the previous evening, but was very tender that night.

By now we were all anxious to get home.
We were visited by the game warden again. He informed us the snow storm had forced him and down and that it was 3 weeks early. As I recall he stayed with us that night and took off in the morning.
Saturday sept 6.
We get up at 6, my back goes out and so everyone has to do the packing except me. I take a few pain killers and later admire the lousy spot we had put our tent down on. It was one rocky and lumpy son of a gun. No wonder my back went out.
It didn’t freeze that night. Most previous night’s our canteens were pretty chunky with ice. The sky was quite overcast, the ceiling rather low, but no rain. We finally get everything ferried over by 12:15 and then waited till 4:30 when a Cessna buzzed us, then landed.
We had a little excitement as Laird puncture the Zodiac, but was able to duct tape it up. Then Harry stepped into some quicksand and was sinking fast, so I had Dennis grab ahold of me, then laird grabbed Dennis, and I reached out and pulled Harry out. They had warned us about quicksand but we hadn’t noticed it until now.
The takeoff was very exciting as we barely go off the water in time to clear the trees over our camp. The pilot first informed us that he had been getting in 16 hour days, and was bushed, but “getting lots of flying time” which is important for young pilots. We started up above the mile stretch, using the ailerons to help get around the turns, then unto the mile stretch and then lifting up right above a barely submerged sandbar, which I swear, had we hit it, would have dunked u into the Stoney right by our camp, and things would have been very exciting then, for sure.
The takeoff was still providing some stress as the pilot had barely cleared the trees, when he reduced power, then noticed that wasn’t working too well and gave her the gun again.
We traveled through the pass, marveling at the rugged beauty of the mostly dying glacier and carved out valleys and rugged peaks, and then we exited the pass over winding rivers which did one almost interconnecting figure 8 after another as they meandered their way towards Cook Inlet.
We left at 4:45 without our gear, but with our meat and got back to anchorage by 6. Back in civilization. It was an adjustment as any of you who have done something will be able to relate to.
We went to the Barret “Best Western” hotel picked up some beer, took showers and called it a day.

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