The Best-Laid Plans of Moose and Men

By , October 8, 2010

Yesterday, the last day of the Tier II Moose Hunt, was sunny and cool, a perfect day for hunting. Michelle went into town to help a friend and attend yoga class, so Aly and I planned to hunt “the Moose Highway” up the ridge, to see if there were any young, foolish and love-sick bulls around, and/or maybe some mushrooms.

Before we left, I had a few things to take care of, and called Michelle to confer on a point. She told me that a couple of trees had fallen on the trail during the recent storm. One was small, and could probably be thrown off the trail, she said, but the other one had blocked a good portion of the trail at a narrow gap. She described it as being “as big as any we’ve moved off the trail.”

The issue became what to do about it, and when. I hate crawling over windfalls on the trail, and like to get things like that cleared away as soon as possible. On the other hand, if we waited a day, we could get our hunting in before the season ended. But then, what if we got a moose? We’d have as much as almost half a ton of meat to haul home . . . across the windfall! It’s things like this that can prevent a man from doing anything, if he’s not careful.

We packed up and hunted. When we got to the windfall, it turned out not to be so bad. As the one who bucked up those other trees by hand, I can assure you, it’s not that big. It’ll take some work, but it won’t be a major problem.

We hunted the ridge without finding so much as an edible mushroom. No matter. It was a good day, and even sitting absolutely still, staring at the forest and straining to hear the slightest sound, Aly and I were together. That, to me, is always a good time.

As you read this, the gear is stowed; the rifle has been cleaned and returned to the rack. The three of us are up the trail, attacking that windfall with axes and bow saws. By tonight the trail will be cleared, and we’ll have another stack of rounds curing for winters to come.

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