A 27 year wait.
In June of 2019 shortly after the moose lottery had taken place, we were contacted by a hunter named Neils. He had been applying to the lottery for 27 years and was excited that he had finally been drawn for a cow tag. He had never been on a moose hunt before, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I talked with him for quite a while and told him we could try to swap his cow tag for a bull tag, which he agreed.
Sometimes you just get lucky, which was the case in this hunt. I was able to swap the cow tag for a September bull tag in zone 5, I'm not sure who was more excited.
After taking the summer to prepare all of the items for the hunt, and take care of all the odds and ends around the house before cold weather arrived we found ourselves once again setup for moose camp.
The 27 year wait was over.
Opening morning turned out to be a bust. With 70 degree temperatures and a howling wind, the moose just weren't ready to play ball. Tuesday proved to be much of the same, except Robert was able to call out a smaller bull, but opted to pass. By Wednesday afternoon feet were starting to drag a little after the several miles walked each day, early mornings, and all of the other reasons to be tired. In order to change it up a little Robert gave Olivia the option to hunt two different spots, it would be her choice. It turns out she made the right choice, which nobody ever doubted. They got to their spot Wednesday afternoon and within a few minutes of starting down an old skidder road, Robert made a call. Almost instantly a bull grunted out in front of them about 75 yards. Without any time to setup, this bull was coming. He was grunting with every breath he took and within minutes he was out to the edge of the road. Robert had instructed Olivia who would take the first shot, to shoot as soon as he gave her a good chance. She hammered the bull, and followed up by her father with another well placed shot. The bull didn't go far, only about 50 yards.
One of the most exciting things about guiding and moose hunting is wondering how everyone else is doing, it's the camp camaraderie that is built, the desire to have everyone succeed. I happened to be a few miles away finishing up on another hunt that afternoon when I got a message on my Garmin In-reach from Robert that said "big bull down!!!" I knew what that meant, happy hunters, and I get to go help pack a moose out. So the team assembled and went to pack their bull out.
The rest of that hunt is history, but more memories and friendships were made. We look forward to the day again that we can be in moose camp with Neils and Olivia.