American Hunter - December 2012 - 61

that he has a mistress. Yeah, we're going
to get along.
It's  a.m. We have to wait six hours
after flying to hunt so we settle in and talk
over the game plan.
"There's a pack of wolves just up the
river," says Brian. "The hunter who just
left missed a big gray wolf with my rifle.
And there's a big grizzly on the gut pile a
half-mile straight in front, so after your
moose hunt you're welcome to hunt
wolves and grizzly if you like. As for the
moose, we'll go on back into the slough
and get downwind of good cover and call.
They're responding now."
The only problem is the heat. It's
downright comfortable. The week before
it snowed a foot and howled for days.
That's the Yukon. You just never know.
You'd think the Yukon is an Inuit word for
snow, but the Yukon was named after the
Yukon River; actually, it's a little like naming your dog "Dog," as the word "Yukon"
simply means "Great River" in Gwich'in.
A pair of whiskey jacks (also known as
"gray jays") visit us as we wait. They land
on our arms and take every morsel we
give them. They don't migrate. They spend
the warm months hiding food in caches
they utilize in the frozen months. They're
a reminder that winter is about to draw its
dark curtain across this northland.
When  o'clock comes we pile our gear
in a skiff, go downstream and turn up into
the backwaters of a meandering slough.
The boat touches gravel bottom here and
there as we navigate around trees spring
floods left strewn carelessly. A light breeze
is blowing yellow poplar leaves over the
calm water.
We tie up the boat on a sandy bank and
I kneel to look at wolf tracks and put my
hands into huge grizzly prints.
"Yeah," Brian whispers, "we're not the
only predators here."
We climb an embankment and push

through willows growing in a burn. We
stop at a blackened stump overlooking a
bog between us and a mountain and Brian
moans that long, eerie sound cow moose
make when they want to breed. We listen.
Crack!
Maybe  yards south of us a small
tree has broken in two. Another snap ... a
moose is moving. Bulls will grunt, too. But
breaking limbs are often the best indicator
that a moose has decided to check out a call.
We wait but nothing appears. The
evening goes like that. We hear a few
more limbs snap but then silence. When
we round bends back in the silent slough
beavers slap their tales as they submerge.
They startle us in the breathless evening.

When light wanes to dusk we ride
the skiff back to camp. That night the
Northern Lights put on a show and
then morning dawns clear and crisp
and we start out again. We go back into
the slough and tie up the boat again and
tread a half-mile on foot along a smaller
tributary. We stop where the previous
hunter killed his bull. There are big grizzly tracks everywhere. Ravens are on the
gut pile. Their calls are so much more
charming than their smaller cousin the
crow. They have a higher, more musical
tone that rolls out and across this big
country on still mornings such as this.
I use my binocular to inspect the site.
The grizzly has buried the spinal column

Jim Shockey's Rogue River Outfitters
In the Yukon, Jim Shockey's Rogue River Outfitters sells guided hunts for Alaska-Yukon
moose, mountain caribou, mountain grizzly, black bear, Dall sheep, stone sheep and
wolf across nearly 12,000 square miles of prime big-game habitat. In 2012 two hunters
killed bull moose more than 70 inches wide. Hunters fly into Whitehorse and are driven
to base camp before flying to bush camps. Shockey also offers adventures in camps
across Canada. To learn more logon to jimshockey.com/pages/guided-hunts/yukonhunts or contact Dan Goodenow at 248-613-7549 or dgoodenow@jimshockey.com.

. ❘

 ❘  


http://www.jimshockey.com/pages/guided-hunts/yukon http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2012

American Hunter - December 2012 - 1
American Hunter - December 2012 - 2
American Hunter - December 2012 - 3
American Hunter - December 2012 - 4
American Hunter - December 2012 - 5
American Hunter - December 2012 - 6
American Hunter - December 2012 - 7
American Hunter - December 2012 - 8
American Hunter - December 2012 - 9
American Hunter - December 2012 - 10
American Hunter - December 2012 - 11
American Hunter - December 2012 - 12
American Hunter - December 2012 - 13
American Hunter - December 2012 - 14
American Hunter - December 2012 - 15
American Hunter - December 2012 - 16
American Hunter - December 2012 - 17
American Hunter - December 2012 - 18
American Hunter - December 2012 - 19
American Hunter - December 2012 - 20
American Hunter - December 2012 - 21
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 24
American Hunter - December 2012 - 25
American Hunter - December 2012 - 26
American Hunter - December 2012 - 27
American Hunter - December 2012 - 28
American Hunter - December 2012 - 29
American Hunter - December 2012 - 30
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 33
American Hunter - December 2012 - 34
American Hunter - December 2012 - 35
American Hunter - December 2012 - 36
American Hunter - December 2012 - 37
American Hunter - December 2012 - 38
American Hunter - December 2012 - 39
American Hunter - December 2012 - 40
American Hunter - December 2012 - 41
American Hunter - December 2012 - 42
American Hunter - December 2012 - 43
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 45
American Hunter - December 2012 - 46
American Hunter - December 2012 - 47
American Hunter - December 2012 - 48
American Hunter - December 2012 - 49
American Hunter - December 2012 - 50
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 57
American Hunter - December 2012 - 58
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 60
American Hunter - December 2012 - 61
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 63
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 65
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 97
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 104
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