Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Great Moose Hunt & Family Visit

FSR 202 Moose
When Linda's sister and family visit we have to fill almost every moment with a hike or some other activity, that is just the way it is, no exceptions. Well at least that's they way it always feels, there is so little time and so much to do that we have to keep moving to get it all done!

 This visit I was called on by the family to do one thing and one thing only. I was asked to take them out and show them a live moose in the wild.  The moose is Kenyon's, my nephew, favorite animal and he had never seen one in the wild.  Most of their family had never spotted a wild moose before so this was my job for their visit, find a moose. 

Three days prior to their visit I posted to Facebook requesting that if anyone were to spot a moose over the next few days that they let me know where and when  this happened.  I had many suggestions and quite a few of my friends spotted moose during that time frame. I also decided to drive up one of the local roads where folks say they had spotted moose. Forest Service Road 202 goes from the Wolf Lodge area up and over the mountains to the area leading to the Coeur d'Alene River from Fernan saddle. As I drove this road a cow moose jumped out in front of me and ran down the road.  I nearly hit her!

I now had many options for the day that we were to hunt for the moose and this told me that on this day every moose in North Idaho would be on vacation over in Montana and we would not see a track during our hunt!

On Tuesday of their visit we loaded all six of us into their van and left Coeur d'Alene city limits at 5 AM. Our destination was Big Hank Campground on the Coeur d'Alene River.  I figured that if we could not find a moose up in that area by this campground then I would know they were all Big Sky bound.

We drove up the river road and Linda and I told stories of seeing moose, coyotes, elk, and deer all along our path.  We drove slowly and as we came around a corner there they were, a cow moose and her calf! We had found the moose!  The two of them ran along the road as we slowly followed.  The bank was steep on each side of this area so they trotted on along river side.  Finally we were able to coax them across the road and up into the woods.  This happened just about 30 seconds before a large truck came speeding around a corner.  We were glad they ducked across when they did.

Driving on, just before Big Hank, we were moving slowly along the bogs off the right side of the road when I heard the splashing of a bull moose in the thick brush down below.  We stopped and were able to spot the young bull before he crossed away and disappeared into the woods.

Three moose in one morning!  My work was done and everyone was happy.

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