Family Affair
By Sandra Black

It was a family affair that included Mom, Dad, and three sons, deer hunters all. Our oldest son received a moose permit after years of applying and felt it was a chance of a lifetime. It was a learning curve for his brothers and a memorable hunt that made for family togetherness.

We arrived at camp a day and a half early. Clear weather,anticipation and excitement were in the air. Our son had spent a month quizzing skilled individuals in how to hunt moose. He began by showing us a video by Maine Fish and Wildlife Department, gathering all the neccessary equipment, and learning the "traditional way" of calling the moose. He had the good fortune of having two of friends -one being a Native American - to teach him how to call. He practiced after work driving in his truck and in the shower etc. It all paid off. He called in nine moose in four days.

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Opening day arrived and we're up at daybreak. It was a beautiful morning with a slight gusty wind. Our expectations were high. We tried calling in three different areas where we saw tracks, works, buds eaten off small trees and moose wallows in the clearcuts. The forest was spectacular. We saw Canada Geese, a Bald Eagle, an owl, chipmunks, squirrels, and a bobcat. After lunch we were all looking in another direction when a large bull stuck its head out of the alders by side of the road. Our son got a shot at 170 yards and missed.

Day number two arrived and it was very windy! We continued the same calling for nine hours and trying different sites, no response. This is not an easy endeavor, it takes the maximum practice, patience and persistence. A nonhunter, I began to develop a new regard for all hunters and am considering joining their ranks.

The third day arrived, another crisp fall morning with no wind. Our son called one and a half hours and heard a response from a large bull. It was a long distance away. Dad and son discussed waiting for the best shot and being patient! All that work payed off. They bagged a 900 lb. bull moose with 14 pts. and a 45 1/2 " rack.Together they dropped the big animal on the edge of a clearcut as it stepped out on the road. They dressed it out and delivered it to meat cutter Barry Higgins in Charleston.

We are very proud of our son. He is a true outdoorsmen and this was the highlight of his outdoor experiences.

With our young grandson part of this family affair, we had three generations following in the hunting tradition of our forefathers. We were so grateful to be able to carry on this tradition in the great state of Maine and this wonderful country. It was a family experience we'll never forget.

Sandra Black is a nonhunting grandmother who lives in Hampden. A lifetime outdoor enthusiast, this was her first hunting experience.

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