Northwest Hunter on a Hunt (Heavy Post)

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Sep 26, 2006
Pocatello, Idaho
To start off this post is something that just happened without me planning it. I am not an expert or anything close to being one, but it is about having fun and spending time with my son. I picked him up at the Pocatello, Idaho airport at 11:00 pm on Saturday night. He was coming from Panama on his way to Alaska and needed to stop in Idaho to get his 375 H&H, binoculars, range finder, and cloths that were here from his last hunt here. When we got home to Soda Springs after midnight, he got on his phone and found a ticket for me on the same flights and ask if I wanted to go. Well Duh. I don't need any excitement in my life and was perfectly happy to stay home. I told him I didn't want to horn in on his hunt with his friends. Too late Dad, your booked so get ready. We leave in 12 hours. Hay ya little squirt, when am I coming home? He said, "I'll let you know later". The only coat that I have that would work was blue which attracts mosquitoes. You see he is now going to take his camo coat back. I packed my Northwest Hunter rig and the Freedom Arms 41 Mag and a few shells and we were off. I was hoping to get Mike Barranti to sponsor me on this trip if I advertised his line of holsters. No such luck. I wore it every day and the only thing I noticed was that it was a little heavy the first day. He says that is the guns fault and not the rig. Well he still should have made a lighter holster. After the first day I didn't notice it at all. Thanks Doc, it worked above expectations. We flew to Anchorage with a plane load of crying babies and snoring ladies. We went to one of Jonathan's friends house for the remainder of the night. The next thing I heard was some 40 year ex-bush pilot hollering that the sun was up over the swamp. This is a picture of his living room.

We went over to another of his friends house to get Jonathan's truck. It started up but leaked Diesel fuel so we had to replace the fuel return lines. We took the snow plow off and got ready to go to moose camp. Had to get licences and hip-boots and some food. Loaded the plane and were off.

We got settled into the camp and found it to be an exceptional camp. It was on the only dry spot on the lake surrounded by fields of swamps and a few trees.

As you can not hunt the same day that you fly we went fishing. We had a pole and some lures there just in case the weather was bad and they could not fly to pick us up when the food ran out.

We got tired of catching fish and watching a pair of otters, so we returned to camp.

Notice the hip boots and the shoulder rig and gun. It was my anti-bear device. It would have been nice if I could have gotten a shot at a bear. I wanted to see what the 250 gr WFN cast with 17 gr of 2400 would do to a bear. I cut a stick about 8 foot long to test the water in the swamp ahead of me so that I didn't fall into a place the beavers had dug out an air hole or something like that. I didn't want to go in over my head and get the gun wet. I drilled a hole through the stick with my leatherman and put a piece of parachute cord through it to use to steady my hands and gun if I took a shot. I carried it everywhere. It also came in handy pushing the boat out from the bank. We went out to a stand that Jonathan had built years ago. We had seen a large bull moose there the day before when we had flew in. He was still ther but about a thousand yards away. This is a picture in back of the stand.

This is a picture looking in front of the stand.

The only thing I didn't like about the stand is that when I dozed off for just a minute, Jonathan caught a misquito by its legs and put it into my ear while it was buzzing or fanning its wings to get away. I could have shot him for that one. This is the same picture later on when the moose were suppose to be coming out to be shot.

We went to different fields of swamp in the boat and while trying to get out of the boat and onto the bank that was really just a little drier than the lake, I had one leg out of the boat and into the swamp and was attempting to get the other let over the front of the boat, I think Jonathan rocked the boat to make me slip and I fell into some really wet, murky peat moss and green foam that was whipped up by the wind the night before. I got my left glove wet and splashed some foam onto my coat and a little got an the holster and my gun. I wiped it all off and was O.K. until a week later when He had to tell everyone we met that I liked the foam quite a bit and wore it. I did take pictures when in the boat.

Another picture of lake with trees and Mt. McKinley in background. It was impressive even if it was 600 miles away.

A picture of the sun coming through some clouds that was quite bright and showed contrast.

Another one of the sun behind clouds

This one is from the stand where we watched a cow, calf, and a large bull and a smaller bull all eating together. They were about a mile away, but were fun to just watch with the binoculars. This one is a sunset showing rays of sun light coming through the mountains of the Alaskan Range.

Back to camp and frying some sausage, potatoes, onions and a little fresh corn cut off a cob. This is me in the kitchen earlier in the day.

Here is the vittles we were forced to eat. We could only complain about not having one of my bottles of Chile Sauce to put on them.

We had a moose walk through the camp kitchen that night at about 11:00 and I was already in the sleeping bag and was not going to shoot a moose at night while bear footed and wearing only my BVD's. There will not be any picture of me like that. I did go a week without shaving and combing my hair. My idea of camping has been Super 8 and to really rough it was Motel 6 up to this point. I now have another perspective on camping. We had some wind that blew part of the tent down one morning. It was the day they were going to pick us up with the plane. We fixed it up and loaded what we were taking to town in the boat. There was white caps as we were going across the lake to get calmer water for the plane to land on. We ended up with 3 inches of water in the boat and had to drain it out while waiting for the plane. It was good to get onto dry land again. We went to another area and hunted a couple of days there. Here is a picture of a moose that was close to us there. We named her Elsie.

Here is a picture of me hugging Elsie. She was cooperative but not very alluring to the Bulls. We could hear them in the brush and trees, but they wouldn't come out and get shot.

We drove up a mountain canyon and I got a picture of some goats high up the mountain.

We spent a few days in Anchorage getting Jonathan's drivers license renewed and working on the planes. I brought some frozen Salmon that one of Jonathan's friends caught in Bristol Bay last summer. It was really about spending time with my son and he mentioned a few things that the statute of limitations had run out on while he was growing up and living at home. I really had a lot of fun and the one bad, (REALLY BAD) thing that happened is his friends that took us out to eat seemed to all like Sushi. If I have got to eat night crawlers and raw snails with seaweed, I will stay home next time. We flew out to Shell lake where Jonathan has 24 acres of land that we will build a cabin on someday. I hope to get to go to Texas to hunt with him and another of his friends sometime. I plan on going to Panama in January and visit him. Hope to get out ocean fishing with him there. I hope there is no Sushi bars there. I hope you got your moneys worth for sponsoring me on this trip Doc. When I got home everyone was calling me uncle Silas and thought that I was getting on some show about ducks instead of the callshot fan club. Sorry about that never happening. I did find and cut a really crooked stick that will make a great cane for when I am in need of one. I got a few odd looks carrying in on the plane home. That is their problem, I had fun and hope to again sometime again soon. Steve


May 2, 2012

Looks and sounds like a fine time :D I have a friend that used to go on long walks. He'd walk about 6 miles to go visit people in the town to the north of him. He said the most annoying thing about the long walks was people always pulling over and wanting to ask him about the walks while he was on the road, and interrupting them. He cut a great big walking stick to take along, and said after he started carrying it, most of the people quit stopping to talk.


Aug 20, 2006
soda springs, idaho
Great write up Steve & I know you had a great time. I sure hope Elsie doesn't give birth to a calf next spring thats wearing a Barranti rig!! And thank you for the Salmon, its great.



Ruger Guru
Sep 18, 2002
Lake Lure NC USA
I know you were forced to take a trip to Alaska,,, & forced to rough it a bit. Shame on them boys for treating an old man like that.

But,, I'd bet the time you spent with your son was priceless!


May 19, 2004
Loved the story and pictures of your adventure. I can appreciate your words of roughing it by staying in Motel 6 etc. It reminds me of my late hunting buddy, saying we were roughing it when our motel did not have a remote control for the TV.
Your statement about being located "where the moose were supposed to be coming out to be shot" just made me laugh out loud. In my mind thats a classic statement. I'll remember it for a long long time.



Hole Shooter

Jan 6, 2007
Great story!! I enjoyed every line of it. The pictures were great too!! You were so fortunate to be able to spend that kind of time with your son!! I know that was the best part of the trip. Making memories!!
Thanks for sharing your story.

Jeff Hoover

Feb 25, 2009
Steve those are some of the best pictures I have seen posted in a long while. Beautiful country! Glad your son was able to get a rare picture of you in the kitchen :lol: :p Looked like a heckuva trip, and one you will remember forever. Great adventure!

Hope you didn't get any paper cuts handling(cuddling?) Elsie. I see those barrels in some of the pictures. Did you ever have to have a turn in one? :lol: :roll: :shock: :D :p :oops:

Guess I'll have to shop more for a Christmas present for you. I was gonna surprise you with some sushi lasagna.........

In all seriousness buddy, I'm envious of such a cool trip!


Jul 30, 2008
coleman texas
No! No! No! You're supposed to SHOOT the moose and HUG the eskimo woman!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Great story as usual, thanks for sharing it with us.

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