© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

The Moose Hunter

The other day as I was flipping through the channels and I came to the Outdoor Life Network. What I saw there is a story worth telling…

Two men were on a moose hunt in the backwoods of Maine. The older fellow had been moose hunting before and he was guiding the younger man on his first moose hunt.

As the guys were driving out to the bush for their first day of hunting, the camera captured their conversation. The experienced hunter told the young fellow that they stood a good chance of seeing a lot of moose over the course of their  trip. He went on to say that the young guy would have a choice to make. He could either shoot at the first moose that came into range, or if he wanted to, he could hold out and wait for a giant, trophy moose.

Young guy: (eyes the size of pie plates) Oh, I want to wait for the big one.

Old guy: OK, but the thing with these moose is that their actual size is a little hard to judge sometimes. They’re all such huge animals, that it can be difficult to really tell the size of the beast in low light or at different distances.

Old guy continues: So what we need is a code. If it really is a big, huge moose I’ll whisper the word ‘keeper’ to you. And when you here the word keeper, then you’ll know that it really is a big enough to shoot.

After nodding in understanding they arrived at their destination. Almost as soon as they’d gotten underway they came to a clearing, and on the other side of the clearing stood a moose. And it was clear that this was a monster of a moose! The young man was visibly excited. He got down on his knees in front of his buddy. And he lined up this big moose in his sights and you can hear him whisper to his guide and friend.

Young guy: Yes or no?

And he’d wait a second and again ask,

Young guy: Yes or no?

And this happened four or five times, each time with a little more urgency and frustration in the young hunters voice. Even watching on TV you could feel the tension of the situation. This young man is focused on his target and ready to shoot at this moose, and he’s pleading in this violent, tormented whisper,

Young guy: YES or NO?

He’s waiting, as discussed, to hear the code word before he fires at the beast. But the code word never came. And in this moment of dramatic TV tension the camera slowly panned out on the scene.

On stage left the moose starts to move away into the forest.

Center stage is the young hunter,  prone and waiting for the command to fire.

Stage right and slightly behind the young hunter stands the trusty guide, braced for the blast of the shot, with his eyes closed and fingers pressed deafly into his ears.

One Comment

  1. Posted August 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm | #

    How old is the old guy? He must be younger than me, otherwise, his hearing would already be gone and he woun’t worry about a little blast from the shot.

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