by Wesley Nicholai
Moose hunting is always the season when everybody is hunting to get moose and to get meat for the winter. It is the biggest game hunting animal around the Kuskokwim delta.
One morning our father had woken us up around 7:00 in the morning. It was a foggy morning as we were packing everything we needed for the day.
When we were ready to leave, the fog started clearing up and the sun started rising. It seemed as though we were the only ones out on the river.
As we were heading toward Napaskiak Slough, we saw moose. My father started approaching them slowly but when we realized that it wasn’t a bull with no antlers we continued on.
My father was really excited until we realized that the moose wasn’t the right one.
Moose around the Kuskokwim delta are known to be found along the rivers or in meadows where they stay and eat.
As we continued on, we spotted a meadow where we saw the moose along the river. My brothers and I checked the meadow while my father stayed. My brothers and I were in the meadow, we stayed up there for a bit to see if we’d see a bull but, no luck.
After 20-30 minutes, we continued up the Napaskiak Slough but sighted no moose.
Later that evening, we saw people catch a bull moose right on the side of the river.
There wasn’t any luck on the first day of moose hunting, so we decided to head home. Moose hunting is always open 10 days, but it depends on the number of moose killed.
On the second day of moose hunting, we decided to head down river because we headed up river the previous day. My brothers and I headed down toward Napakiak and through the slough where our fish camp was.
During that day, my brother had spotted a bull moose but it was more than a mile away. We stayed in the meadow for more than an hour, trying to call it out, but it didn’t want to come out.
After we left, we headed more down river but still no luck. It was about to be midnight and started to get dark so we headed home.
As the third day came, I didn’t want to go in the morning so I decided to leave in the afternoon. My brother came to pick me and my youngest brother, Marshal. He had left my brother Jeffrey and his two friends at a meadow.
The day was so good and warm.
Before we left I took my cross on my neck and held it. As I was holding it, I prayed before we left.
Approaching the spot where we were going to check, I told my youngest brother, ‘’Load your gun,” while I was loading mine.
My brothers and I weren’t too far from where he left his friends and Jeffrey. We started heading up the meadow, walking through the trees. Where we were at, there were three different meadows connected in a row.
One time I remembered my father had told me, “You have to be quiet every time you hunt.’’
I remembered it and told my brothers to be quiet as we approached the first meadow.
When we entered the meadow, I noticed something huge was standing right in the middle of it. It was a bull moose just watching us.
I started whispering to my brother, ‘’Corey, there’s a bull right there.’’
He tried to hurry and I told my youngest brother, ‘’Marshal, come get your gun ready and shoot it.’’
The moose started running so I started shooting it and it slowed down and stopped like it was about to fall but my brother Corey shot it once, and it fell.
My youngest brother, Marshal, was too slow to shoot, so we shot it.
After killing the moose, Corey went to pick up his friends and Jeffrey. We waited as my brother went to pick them up. While we were waiting I had Marshal call my mom and dad to tell them we had caught a moose. My mother and father were so happy.
Howard, my oldest brother, came to help us cut the moose and it took us about 2 hours to bring down the moose meat. We left nothing else except the stomach.
When we got home, I realized that God had answered my prayers and I was happy. I thanked Him for the moose we caught.
Right away, we started bringing the meat up to our house and my mom worked on it right away. We gave some meat away to our family members and relatives. It was the fastest moose hunt I’ve ever been on.
All of our family members were really happy to get meat for the winter. We ended the day eating moose soup and I was very thankful for the moose we caught. Moose hunting is my favorite big game hunting animal.
Wesley Nicholai is from Napaskiak, AK.