Trial153

Island Bound and Back

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In the December of 2014 I was sitting in my den thinking about stuff, mostly bowhunting but also some other stuff as well. I was thinking that my father and I really haven't done anything in the way of epic together in my life. Yes we spent time together over the years, visits and family stuff and we talk a couple times a week. We had some great times fishing to together and few bird hunts and short deer hunts. But nothing in the way of adventures really. Chalked it all up to him living in TX the last 30 years and me being in NY. But mostly he been there and I been here. I wasn't coming at if from a pity party perspective at all because I been really lucky to have a great life in every respect. Divorced parents, distance ...yea I had all that and you know what? I was still luckier then most people. Anyone that knows me knows I am always hunting someplace off in the distance each fall, great times with friends and plenty on my own . That's said I thought it would be good to add some memories of just him and me. I slept on it and the next morning I sent him a text and asked if he wanted to come on moose hunt with me in Newfoundland. He didn't hesitate to say let's go. No questions, details nothing. Just let's go.

Anyway we worked out all the details together later. I pretty much had it all set up at that point it was just a question of if I was going alone or with Dad. When he said let's go...it got the ball rolling.

 

Two years later ....here are the pictures and some details . Be patent it will take a few posts to get them all in.

 

 

 

Dad didn't have really anything in the way of gear for a hunt like this ...so I did what I do Best Buy stuff.

Soup to nuts I got him everything he would need and even bought a new rifle for him to use.

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We headed out for at mid night for an 18 hour drive to Nova Scotia for the ferry. An over night crossing got us to the Rock at 7 am....

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Once getting to Newfoundland we had short three hour drive to Deer lake were we where going to spend the night and relax, flying to camp the next day( Sunday). I got a message from Dean our outfitter while driving telling me to meet him at the float plane base instead of the hotel. He said plans changed, everyone is here( all four hunters) so he was flying us in a day early, weather was great except the high winds ...so we were getting an extra day at camp.

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TO BE CONTINUED !! Don't post yet!

 

 

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The flight in was worth the price of admission.it took about 40 minutes in a Cub. Our pilot looked like a guy from a WWII movie. Steady hands and lots of wind...no issues and great scenery.
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TBC....Don't post yet!!!


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The other two hunters were also a father and son team from Wisconsin. Brian and Brian ....so Jim and Jimmy and Brian and Brian.

We landed a Island pond to welcome from Dwayne the head guide ( been guiding for the outfitter for 26years, that should tell you about the people here. Salt of the earth)
And his wife Wanda who would be our cook.
Dwayne has a fishing boat and takes the fall off to guide. Every word out of his mouth you can just tell how much he enjoys it and lives to do it.

This is Dwayne and Wanda the morning we flew out.
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The camp had long dock that brought you to a small lake side flat spot against one of the many Newfoundland hills next to the lake. A nice 4 room bunk house with a shower and wood stove, a meat house with freezer and then a cookhouse and guides quarters.
They had electric by generator, two Lund boats with new outboards. In short everything you needed .
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The walls were lined with years of pictures, moose and Caribou Bulls....lots of rifle kills and smattering of bow kills. In the corner of the lodge was an old board with arrows shot into. It I mentioned it Dwayne and he informed me that it's been 5 years since an arrow was shot into it! WTF?..I ask if it's that bad? And he said most of the bowhunters call it quits by Wednesday and use a gun. I thought to myself that I am going to sink a Solid into that board.

We got to relax all day Saturday and Sunday...No Sunday hunting on the island during September we were told...gives the berry pickers a day in the woods.
I was wondering were the other guides where and was told that since they all had there hunters tag out by Thursday last week they walked out. Wtf? How do you walk out? Anyway it turns out if you walk about 4-5 hours south they can park a 4 wheeler on a skid trail.....an hour or two of quad time gets them to the truck and they get a weekend home with their families. Seems like a worthy trade off. And shows how far back in we were.

Sunday afternoon the other three guides came walking into camp. Ivan, Jamie were Dwayne bothers and Jason was the last guide.
We met them all that Sunday night over a great big turkey dinner. Turns of Jamie was filling in for Hector the regular guide, his wife been battling an illness and he needed to be with her for the week. Jamie hasn't guided at all in few years as his work been too busy but he kept his license and jumped at the chance to fill on short in but he could only stay in till Thursday.
At dinner we would pick guides names out of a hat to see who would hunt with how. They let me draw first without Jamie's name in the hat in account of him leaving early..they figured the bow hunter would need his guide all week. I drew Ivan the youngest guide of the bunch, my dad drew Jamie and Brian and Brian had Dwayne and Jason.

TBC...... don't post yet!!


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Monday morning had us up early. It's was spitting a little rain and the winds were about 20mph....so it was raw and cold. Nonetheless we headed out. It didn't take long to see that moose in heavy winds liked heavy cover.

Ivan and I took a boat with Brian and Jason...we dropped them off at a spot and the went a couple miles to there south via boat. The first morning I was spotting moose in the distance, as smaller bull and some cows far off. Ivan then spotted a moose way out up on hill side....I was thinking it was a mile out. Ivan said he couldn't tell what it was other then a moose. After he showed me where it was a quick look through my glass didn't take but a second to see it was good bull.
I told him I wanted to try for him....he looked at me like I was nuts and said let's go.
We worked out way around and down wind and where going to try to get above him...hunting along the way. We got to within 30 yards of cow in heavy cover ...thinking maybe a bull was near by we stayed and called...no luck. It took the better part of the morning to struggle up to the hill and side hill over to the area the bull was last seen. Once there we didn't locate him again. We called and made a couple sets to no avail but we works the area slow and methodically. Our best guess was either he was holed up with cows that we couldn't see in the heavy cover or he work his way out along a finger ridge. We hunted our way back to boat with nothing of note happening.

We had about two hours of light left and Ivan said let's hit the boat and see what we see...we still had to pick up Jason and Brian. We motored in that direction and after a bit Ivan seen a bull on a point of land jutting out into the lake. It looked like a solid bull so we went after him...he motored slowly and was going to drop me off behind him so I could either make a stalk or cut him off leaving the point. We did nt get very far when a cow came up near the bull and she left the area bull in tow. nothing ventured nothing gained. By the time we got to the landing to meet them Jason radioed and said they were about 45 minutes out. Brian missed a bull with his rifle a couple hours before. ( side note ...Brian said it was 50" ...Jason said it 35 ish....I believe Jason)

We decide to hike a couple hundred yards in to high spot and glass...no sooner then we get there we spot a wide bull working inside of timberline. He was walking parallel to us. We quickly moved about 100 yards closer to another hill and the bull came to the edge of the timber. I nocked an arrow and got next to Ivan with nothing but a little bush between us. I ranged him at 92, and ranged a couple closer land marks. Ivan made a cow call and the bull looked at us and started walking in....it was just that easy. He was either going to walk head onto us or turn into a low spot between the knoll we were on and another little hill. He turned. I drew and Ivan huffed at him and he stoped. He was quartering away a hair and I figured 45 yards. I shot and heard a hollow thump and also seen the arrow ...pass through but a touch higher then I wanted but looked good.
The bull took about 20 steps up the knoll and fell over backwards off the side of it. 800 pound of moose toppling over backwards is a sight. I looked at Ivan and he was smiling and singing. Very excited. I wasn't just yet. I nocked another arrow and got of over to the where the bull the fell over in. On my way there the other two guys showed up in the distance when then seen me they thought I was in stalk so they stoped and waited. Anyway the bull was dead.he measured exact at 40. I was happy.
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With plenty of hands we made quick work of things. We packed out the straps, loins, chucks and antlers and would come back for the quarters in the morning .

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TBC ......don't post yet!!


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We headed back to boat and was excited to get back and find out how my father and Brian sr did.

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TBC ....Don't post yet!!


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Back at the dock we were greeted by the other guides and hunter who heard on they radio a moose was down. They thought Brian killed it with a rifle. I was hurt....is that confidence they had in me?? Wtf??? I made sure I rubbed it in good about needed a guide all week to kill one with the bow.

After dinner and couple beers the boys wanted to see me shoot an arrow in The Board . I had a dilemma. I found my arrow laying on the ground after the bull died ...it either hung up nock or just passed right through and was just laying on the ground ...anyway it was bloody and perfect no damage. I really like to reuse arrows that I kill with...a karma thing. However in this case and with "The Board" I thought that the arrow deserved a final resting place. Anyway as they watched and jeered me not to miss...I shot the board . Solid and all....
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TBC ?..don't post yet!!


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I think my father was the happiest person in camp when I came in with that bull Monday night. He had rough day out Monday in the wind...him and Jamie hunted a Ridge behind camp. 30 years of flat landing will catch up to you in this country. It's not easy going at all. Any way I soon learned that I think the reason he was so happy was that I could now carry his pack around the rest of the week!!!

The next morning Ivan wasted no time telling me we where going to hunt with my dad and Jamie till dad killed a bull.
We went to the area I killed my bull. The idea was a morning hunt then pack the rest of my bull out to the boat...have lunch and then go back out. The morning was uneventful. Ivan an I climbed a big *** hill and glassed for a couple hours while Jamie and dad stayed lower. We spotted a couple in the distance that morning but nothing that we were interested in.
We found out that Brian and Brian killed moose that morning 10 minutes apart and were in a place called north lake....it is lake away from out camp. Turns out they take a boat to the far lake sure and hike in to another river...they have big canoe with an outboard waiting there to access north lake. Yea this place is amazing.
Anyway Brian JR bull was 31-32 inch Brian's Sr bull was almost 42! After lunch Jamie and Ivan asked if we mined if they took a couple hours to help the other two guides get those bulls packed out. We told them sure. The wind was still blowing hard and I could only think better weather was on the way.
They returned and we went out for few hours to spot that yesterday morning I glassed a few moose. Ivan was calling and we posted in an opening. We had a cow and small bull come out at 80 yards or so...otherwise it was uneventful. Dawayne and Jason still had one bull to pack out of north lake the next morning .....more on that later.
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TBC.....don't post yet!!!


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The next morning found us heading back near the ridge that hunted the first day, we kept thinking about that bull that gave us the slip. We glasses and seen some unidentifiable moose in the distance but nothing in a position to make a move on.
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As that was happening mid morning we got a call from Dwayne saying he could hear a moose on a strip of land between the island pond and north lake as they were packing the other bull out. So we headed over there. We set up and called.....we could hear a bull in the distance and possible a cow call also.

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We repositioned and ended up on the other side of a strip of water with the bull on the opposite side. We where hoping that bull would come to the edge for a long but clear rifle shot for dad. I kept picking of pieces of moose through the trees on the sill on the opposite bank.
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Jamie and Ivan were having a heated debate between brothers. Jamie said we needed to get in the canoe and cross over. Ivan wasn't fond of the idea as we left the life jackets at the other boat....about 1000 yards away.
They ask my dad what he wanted to do and he said let Jimmy decide. My answer was to untie the canoe. I said let's get our asses over there.
We quietly crossed about 150-175 yards of water to the other side. We had a short walk to the ridge top, we where in think timber and we could still hear moose in front of us.
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My dad and Jamie get up about 20 feet in front of me and Ivan. Ivan calls and the woods in front of us sound like truck is coming through. Dad and Jamie are whispering and I can see soon bits of moose through the trees like 50 feet in front. Next thing Ivan takes the boat paddle and rakes a tree. Then I see Jamie look over to the left and say Big bull !! My dad swings over I and I can see another bull like 35 yards to left. He shoots and loose sight of the bull and I hear Jamie say shoot again. Dad shoots and again and Jamie says hit him again. Next thing I head trees breaking as the bull goes down!! Holy ****!!!!
We couldn't see the moose after he fell into a big spruce tree, but there was as steep decline that went to a marsh behind the bull. They didn't want the bull to head down to it. There was a bunch of dead falls between the bull and us. Ivan says to my dad to give me the gun and him and I climb the dead falls to get to the moose ....we find him here. Ivan starts to sing again.
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( FYI there ended up being two bulls in that patch of woods. The first one in front of my dad and Jamie was smaller bull and they thought possible a cow also. The bull he killed came up the side looking for a fight when Ivan started paddling the tree)
TBC....don't post yet!!!


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Dad is super excited. This is all new to him. Jamie and Ivan are all smiles. I think I enjoyed seeing him kill this bull better then my own. His bull ended up measuring 38" !!!!
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TCB.....Don't post yet!!!


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Packing this bull out is a breeze. We are 100 yards from the canoe through some deadfalls and down a hill....I take the antlers the loins, strap and a side chuck. Jamie and Ivan have a quarter each. We make trip to the canoe and they return for the other two quarters.
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By the time we had all that down to the boat. Jason took another boat over to our original boat. He then hiked to the landing where the canoe was kept. He was waiting there for us to pack out everything to the main lake and boat.
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TBC ......Don't post yet!!!!


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It took a nice little hike to get the meat to main lake. Jamie and Ivan took turns carrying the extra quarter....yea one on their back and one over their shoulder. These guys worked hard.
At the boats Jason had the best pick up yet...a 6 pack sitting in the cold lake water for a well earned beer after all the work.
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We enjoyed a nice night with all the tags filled!
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The guides walked out the next day for some really well earned extra family time. These guys were top shelf, personable, friendly and hard working. My father and Jamie became fast friends on this trip, they were two peas in a pod. 1430f95989377d68d9e9404ace049bc1.jpga576f042db7a2edab630ffe1af2209c8.jpgfcef867a92e1459f048a97784f97b01e.jpg

TBC ....Don't post yet!!!!


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We settled in for the rest of the week...a meat load went of that Wednesday morning and the last moose would fly out when we left. Dean our outfitter called the camp daily to check on things. He had a pick up set up for Sunday morning when the other group was flying in. However he said if we wanted we he could get a plane in that afternoon ( Thursday) I'd we wanted to pay for it. He also said that we could just send the money when got home to make it easy.
Dad and I originally said no we would wait however Brian and Brian wanted to leave. They were willing to foot the whole bill for the extra plane ride on their own. However I got to thinking that we head out early and my dad would get some extra time home with the grandkids ...and I wasn't due back to work till the following week anyway. So we got in on the ride.
I had to quickly bone out dads moose for more cooler space before the plane came!!
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It was no problem changing the ferry reservation and we where home in no time!
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My wife was waiting up for us with a celebratory beer at 1 in the morning!! In case you didn't know she is amazing. Who else would put up with me?
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TBC .....don't post yet!!


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The next morning we turned the house into a meat shop with 550-600 pounds of boned out meat to cut up, wrap and freezer...all with the kids under foot. It was a mess up everyone was happy!
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TBC!!!....Dont post yet!!!


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We finished out the trip with lots of family time. The kids loved having papa there. Pumpkin picking and dinners out....
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We weren't back more then a few hours and the talk turned to...." when are we going back?" Dad said let's go!!!
We rebooked for 2019!!!!!

Thanks for reading!!!!!
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Excellent adventure and thanks for sharing. You tell a good story!! That is some beautiful country and great pics.

Never went on any "Big trips" hunting with my Dad. We did do Canada fishing once. And a bunch of local deer and overnight north country deer. His age does not let him hunt anymore now.

I have started taking my son, now 17, on some trips as you only live once. We have done Georgia gator, Florida hog and North Carolina white tails twice. He turns 18 this year and am already thinking on what we may do this year virus permitting. 

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Excellent adventure and thanks for sharing. You tell a good story!! That is some beautiful country and great pics.
Never went on any "Big trips" hunting with my Dad. We did do Canada fishing once. And a bunch of local deer and overnight north country deer. His age does not let him hunt anymore now.
I have started taking my son, now 17, on some trips as you only live once. We have done Georgia gator, Florida hog and North Carolina white tails twice. He turns 18 this year and am already thinking on what we may do this year virus permitting. 

Glad you enjoyed it.

Go on every-trip with your son that you can, life is short. Those will be memories you will have forever .
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Thanks for posting I really enjoyed reading it!  Both your trips are on my bucket list!  

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Another great post that I really enjoyed. Filled with beautiful pictures, and a wonderful story!

Congratulations to you and your Dad. You are living life my friend.

 

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