Autumn hunting for Alaskan elk: For elk alone
September this year turned out to be wonderful: the air temperature varies between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius. But high humidity (places are swampy here) and furious mosquitoes do not allow us to fully enjoy the warm weather.
During the rutting period, moose are hunted with the help of a semolina that reproduces the guttural call-up sounds of a male. In theory, everything is simple: blew into it – and the elk, irritated by the roar of a daring competitor, was right there. But life has its own laws. No matter how hard I tried, how many kilometers I walked, all to no avail! And what is the most offensive: there are enough traces, what doubts there can be, the beast is somewhere nearby, but bad luck, there is no trace of it, as if it was deliberately fooling me.
But he saw a bear, a glimpse, true, and, moreover, from a distance, but, judging by the tracks, he wanders around all the time. Such a neighborhood undoubtedly makes travel more acute. Moreover, for the night I climb into an unpretentious Canadian tent, in which one cannot hide from an uninvited guest, but put it right on the bear trails: there is no other free and dry place.
For an understandable reason about leaving food in a tent or eating in it, there can be no question. In the evening, I usually return to the camp at dusk. And, naturally, the imagination is sometimes played out in earnest: it is enough to slip a peaceful squirrel or a dry branch from a tree to fall, as a gaping bear mouth immediately appears in the inflamed brain.
The main enemy is dampness
Going to Alaska, I took with me a carbine of non-oxidizing metal with a butt of polymers. This choice was dictated by my previous unsuccessful hunting experience in Canada, where the wooden box began to deteriorate quickly and the metal parts to rust.
And the rest – no problem! Plain tight and warm clothes for wet and cold weather. Long walking movements, of course, demanded to take with them the lightest and most compact equipment possible. And very useful vitamins and water purification tablets.
On the fourteenth day of fruitless searches, I, as always, sat by the fire for a hastily cooked dinner. I dried clothes, iodized corn and wounds, and, not without internal shudder, prepared to get into a damp sleeping bag. Either mechanically, or to clear my conscience, and, who knows, perhaps, on a whim, I took a slightly tired decoy – and did not believe my ears when the elk roar was heard in response.
Initially a little timid. Then more and more confident and loud. I was lucky: the wind was blowing in the right direction. Forgetting everything in the world, I rushed to meet the beast. Near a small hill at the very edge of the swamp, he stopped and stood waiting. Ahead, a crunch of breaking branches was heard incessant for a second. I intensely peer into the evening dusk. Finally, a huge dark mass emerges from the trees. Then involuntarily hold your breath. An impressive sight!
It seems nothing can stop the moose. He moves at me like a bulldozer, crashing everything in his path. Now I clearly see him in front of me, and the crosshair of my “Winchester 300 Magnum” rests on his chest. Shot! The elk moves backwards, then rushes into the bushes, but the second bullet catches up with them. This time the beast falls to the ground.
After waiting for half an hour, I carefully go to him. Seeing me, the elk rises. He is breathing heavily, and the puffs of steam burst from his nostrils noisily. We have to release another, third, bullet to finish off this giant, weighing at least 600 kg. Lying on his full height on the ground, he makes an even stronger impression, and an involuntary shudder runs through my body. No, I will never forget those two weeks spent in Alaska!