• By Ken Perrotte

Super Cubs on Rocky Riverbed, Horses with Attitude, Flu and Bum Knee - Mooseless Me

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Ever since I was a young kid, my one bucket list big game animal has been a bull moose. My luck in moose hunting has been spectacularly dismal - how does 1 for 4 sound?.

I took my first moose in Newfoundland. A hurricane hit Nova Scotia two days into the five-day hunt and it rained and blew hard for 36 hours. After the pounding weather moved out, we successfully called in a young bull. Next, the big country of British Columbia beckoned. My first trip came in 2007, hunting with Jordy McAuley's Finlay River Outfitters at the north end of 160-mile long Williston Lake, along the Rocky Mountain Trench.

The spacious, comfortable Fort Graham Lodge was home base. McAuley honors his late father’s Murdoch McAuley’s Canadian Army service with a shadow box on the wall sporting his uniform and service medals. The family crest, “Dulce Periculum” or “Danger is Sweet,” hangs nearby, along with impressive hunting trophies. A couple hunters staged directly from the lodge. Others moved to fixed outpost camps.

The highlight of the trip for me was flying around in the back seat of outfitter Jordy McAuley’s highly maneuverable Super Cub bush plane, my rifle lashed to the plane's struts. Following a flight that wound around mountains shimmering with the yellows and reds of late September’s fall foliage, McAuley landed on a rocky riverbed near an oxbow on the Akie River.

My guide, Bill Chapman, shared that our camp was about eight hours by horse from the closest main logging road. The nearest camp with electricity and other humans was about 50 miles distant.

I was assigned a horse named “Mystery.”Unaware of exactly where we were going to hunt, I was a little startled when the trail took us about a foot away from the edge of a bluff overlooking the river. The horse

plodded past the precipice, sometimes stopping to look around at the vista while my stomach and other part of my anatomy tightened and rose into my core. I begged the horse to keep his eyes on the road. One loose rock or careless step and it was curtains for both of us. Horses quickly figure out a rider’s experience level. Mystery knew I was a rank novice and mostly ignored my input, figuring he could sight-see, and graze often from the grasses and tasty willow leaves along the trail.

By day three, increasing discomfort grew in my right knee, courtesy of slightly torn cartilage untimely suffered in a softball game two weeks prior to this hunt of a lifetime. While my saddle savvy progressed, the bum knee deteriorated steadily over 5 to 7 hours daily in the saddle. Mystery’s’ choppy runs to catch up upon lagging behind Chapman’s horse had me calling him numerous other names, most of which were creative pairings of previously unrelated cuss words, After three days, the knee was so swollen it took both hands to lift my right leg over the saddle. McAuley flew in and we retreated to the main camp, landing at dusk. The guy that replaced me in camp shot a moose four days later.

When something just isn’t meant to be, the signs can be obvious. This includes coming down with flu-like symptoms within hours after arriving in main camp. Some idiot who was terribly sick saw fit to occupy the open seat next to me on the plane while I was flying to B.C. Awaking form a nap to see and hear him sniffling bleary-eyed, I asked what's going on. "My wife said I'm too sick to sit next to her so I had to move,"he said. Well, thanks a lot Bud.

Fever, sore throat, congestion and cough made complicated hunting. I ended up road hunting with another guide for the duration. Still, my guide Dennis Maki and I set out daily in a truck, putting in many road miles, glassing from strategic spots and walking into some hillside cutovers to call. One bull was responding and coming to a call as we stood along a logging road. When the moose was only about 80 yards out, but still obscured by vegetation, a Ford F-350 truck crested the hill 200 yards behind us and parked watching our activity. The bull hung up and then vanished.

We saw five grizzly bears, including a couple walking the dirt roads close to our truck, but, in keeping with my luck, the only black bear we encountered (I had a black bear tag) was a big specimen crossing a road near a beaver pond right at twilight.

McAuley's team gave it their all and I appreciated their efforts. That prime spot on the den wall remains vacant - more "mooseless" adventure stories to come. I'm wondering if that's one that'll ever be crossed off the bucket list.

For more on McAuley and his operation click on www.finlayriveroutfitters.com.

#moosehunting #SuperCub #FinlayRiverOutfitters

Subscribe for new stories, reviews, and more. 
(Don't worry, we won't spam you)

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2017-2020 Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, All Rights Reserved. Outdoors adventures, hunting, fishing, travel, innovative wild game and fish recipes, gear reviews and coverage of outdoors issues. Except as noted, all text and images are by Ken Perrotte (Outdoors Rambler (SM). Some items, written by Ken Perrotte and previously published elsewhere, are revised or excerpted under provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine


Privacy Policy:

What type of information do you collect? We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website. In addition, we collect the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information and purchase history. We may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. We also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, password, communications); payment details (including credit card information – although the site does not currently engage in any type of e-commerce), comments, feedback, product reviews, recommendations, and personal profile.

How do you collect information? When a visitor to the site sends you a message through a contact form or subscribes to receive updates and other communications about new stuff on the site, we collect that subscriber’s email address. That address is used only for marketing campaigns or other information we send regarding site updates or changes. Site usage data may be collected by our hosting platform Wix.com or by third-party services, such as Google Analytics or other applications offered through the Wix App Market, placing cookies or utilizing other tracking technologies through Wix´s services, may have their own policies regarding how they collect and store information. As these are external services, such practices are not covered by the Wix Privacy Policy. These services may create aggregated statistical data and other aggregated and/or inferred Non-personal Information, which we or our business partners may use to provide and improve our respective services. Data may also be collected to comply with any applicable laws and regulations.

How do you store, use, share and disclose your site visitors' personal information? Our company is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to share information or sell products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.

How do you communicate with your site visitors? The primary means of communicating with site users is via email for the purposes of marketing campaigns, promotions, and update. We may contact you to notify you regarding your subscription, to troubleshoot problems, resolve a dispute, collect fees or monies owed, to poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires, to send updates about our company, or as otherwise necessary to contact you to enforce our User Agreement, applicable national laws, and any agreement we may have with you. For these purposes we may contact you via email, telephone, text messages, and postal mail.

How do you use cookies and other tracking tools? Our hosting platform Wix.com and our analytical services providers such as Google Analytics may place cookies that facilitate their services. To be perfectly honest, Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, the owner of outdoorsrambler.com, never looks at cookies or any other tracking/data collection tools, only the aggregated reports provided by the hosting service or analytical services providers.

How can your site visitors withdraw their consent? If you don’t want us to process your data anymore, please contact us using the “Contact Us” form on the site.

Privacy policy updates: We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it.