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New Ontario Shooters Association







Moose Hunting in the Yukon

October 2010 -- Stephen K.

On Oct 12, 2010, New Ontario Shooters Association wrote: Hi Stephen. Thanks for the pix. They are already on the Club Pictures page. Hmmm.... There has to be a great story behind all this. If you would like to write it up, the article would be included in the Member Ramblings section.

Steve: I just returned from traveling for two months and am overwhelmed with stuff to do. I simply don't have the time now to do it justice. I'll briefly answer your questions and you can take it from there. Stephen K.

Why you specifically wanted to go to the Yukon for this hunt?

Because they have the largest moose in North America.

Why choose moose (as opposed to bear, whatever) in this location?

Moose are my favourite animal to hunt and, in my opinion, they have better meat than beef. You can't eat grizzly bear and I take issue with hide hunters (also see next answer).

How you chose the outfitter (or however the hunt was organized)?

A Canadian citizen can hunt moose and caribou with a Yukon resident every three years. It's called a "Special Outfitting License" and the Yukoner can't charge for the guiding service but has to be present as an outfitter would have to be.

What were the travel arrangements getting there and then locally?

I drove my truck and camper to the Yukon and then we chartered an aircraft to fly us into a remote lake.

Any problems shipping firearms/ammo?

None.

What gun did you choose and why?

I used a Hill Country Rifle Custom .30-06 with a Zeiss 1.75-6 scope; 180 grain Triple-X Barnes bullet. No loss in bullet weight and the rifle shoots 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards -- I've never had a more accurate rifle.

And the camping and hunting story while you were there?

Set up base camp in a canvas, wood-stove-heated tent. Hiked out or rowed (we had a boat) daily through an old burn area and saw moose every day. Combined it with another couple who helped butcher and pack moose. The front quarters weighed 95 pounds each and the rear quarters weighed 125 pounds each. The neck weighed the most and we took a total of 665 pounds of meat to the butcher.

How did you ship the rack and/or meat?

Froze the meat rock solid and packed it in cardboard boxes inside the camper wrapped in sleeping bags. Drove all the way to Ontario and the meat was still frozen! The rack was a bit of a problem moving around to sleep and eat in the camper.

Any other useful stuff you learned?

Yukon moose are big, don't shoot one very far from camp. We called them right into camp. Get up early a.m. because that's when the moose are moving. Early September for best weather, late September for the biggest moose.

Any other tourist or fishing stuff you did?

Drive the back roads to Skagway/Haines (for salmon and halibut fishing) and Dawson City (Klondike Gold History and Diamond Tooth Gertie's -- only legal gambling in the Yukon). Lived in the Yukon for ten years so visited friends and ate lots of halibut and salmon and my wife picked lots of berries.

Any interesting people you met?

Where do I start? Go to Dawson City and talk to the locals. At that time of year, everyone is friendly because most of the tourists have gone south.

Your overall assessment of the adventure and would you recommend it to others?

Besides Alaska, there are no larger moose on the planet. Alaska has too many mechanized hunters. The Yukon is pretty much like it has been for 50 years, although the caribou herds are diminishing.

Stephen K. also had a photo-only hunt for caribou to gather references for a commissioned painting. First is one photo of a trophy bull caribou. And then see the final oil painting titled: "Nomads of Finlayson-Caribou". The herd home map is courtesy the Yukon Fish and Wildlife co-management website.

Click on the individual images here to see a larger view.

Stephen K's
67 inch
Yukon moose
Our tent
at Yukon
base camp
Peeking
into the
shadows
Ron our guide
holding
Stephen's rifle
Barb, not
panning
for gold
Unnamed lake
now is
Barb's Lake
Ron loading
Barb's pack
with game
Game
preparation
continues
Barb's Lake
another
view
Stephen
cooking
backstraps
Ron scouting
burnt-over
country
Stephen K.
photo hunt
for caribou
Stephen's oil
painting from
his adventure
Location of
Finlayson
Caribou

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