Around this time ever year I spend hours looking at maps and checking over equipment to ensure it can handle another hunting season. All the while, I hope I will be lucky enough to provide healthy, wild Yukon meat for my family.
We are very privileged to have the resources we do. The Yukon is known for its healthy population of moose, our largest species. A clean, unpolluted ecosystem provides the biggest, healthiest, antibiotic-and-steroid-free meat you can get.
This year we are going back to our old ways.Hayley and I are heading out, just the two of us. Over the past three years we have brought friends on our moose hunts. Last year she didn’t even come with me due to school obligations.
In 16 hunting seasons, we have only missed a handful of them, and last year was the first time she was unable to come. There is nothing like having your child there, learning and enjoying quality time.
From her pink boots when she was three, to her sometimes-smug teenage remarks now, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute we’ve spent together.
Hayley is now 16 years old and going into Grade 11.
Where has the time gone?
My little redheaded goose-hunting partner has gone from entertaining me to being able to help and teach me a thing or two. She still won’t help process our animals, but I can live with that.
As the days draw near to our fifth Yukon moose hunt together I have no ideas and no plans on where to go or how to get there.
So many places to go with so little time.
Hayley has committed to come with me on this, and at least one more adventure. Soon she will be in university pursuing her own adventures. I’ve told her I will fly her home anytime she likes, to come on our soon to be sometimes-annual moose hunts.
I hope that all we have done, and all the time we’ve spent together has helped her; the world is not so different from the wild; there are challenges to overcome and varying risks to take for varying rewards.
Before long, Janessa will be done and on her way as well. She plans to become a marine biologist, spending her life outdoors helping our fragile world. We have also spent numerous hours together on different trips. But she started working at 13, and that takes up a lot of her time.
Throughout my life I have tried to get people outside, not just my wife and children.
Fishing, hunting, hiking, whatever; It doesn’t matter — just head outside and enjoy.
My other hunting partner Chris knew nothing of hunting before we met’ I’m not sure he’d even shot a gun.