Mossy Antler Hunt
Let me preface my story by stating that my name is Dave Ames. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1996 and have not been actively hunting since 1997. I motor along ok using two canes and have some balance and tremor issues. My brother Daryl and I met Chris Franke at the Washington Sportsman’s Show Jan. 2014. She was the only moose guide who gave us an emphatic yes on being able to accommodate my disabilities. We booked 7 day moose hunt for Oct. 2016 on the upper region of Quesnel Lake,B.C. Was I in for one hell of a ride!
Mossy Antler Hunt
This is a story unlike one I’ve ever told. It starts at the mouth of Quesnel Lake, 70 miles of crystal clear glacier fjord water oh so freezing cold.
The two hour boat ride to Mossy Antler cabin was an epic ordeal in itself. Rain driven frothy swells churned the water and I then realized how the Captain and Gilligan must really have felt!
Our new friends Alf and Marie helped store what seemed like two tons of food and gear. They had literally tracked us down by our Washington truck plates and then invited us to their Likely town pub for a cold Canadian beer.
After checking out Marie’s trapping cabin with her grizzly bear marked porch we arrived at our destination. The astounding panoramic vistas had my eyes misty and unclear. After 2 yrs. of planning, working out and outfitting our long awaited bush hunt was finally here!
I’ve been hunting all my life and hardly ever lost my nerve but thinking on those grizzly claw marks had me a might concerned about becoming his hors d’oeuvre!
We saw a huge bull that first clear sunny day. He snuck in behind us to investigate the zombie like cow calls that Chris randomly screamed his way!
Never had I heard such a dreadful and mournful sound. I was to repeatedly ponder, is this the way moose are found?
Being the first day we were incredibly excited and pumped. The moose Gods were smiling on us, no way we’d be skunked.
Here’s where I admit that my quad experience is nil, so I was perched behind my brother hoping I wouldn’t take a nasty spill.
Nobody warned me that the water bars in B.C. are as deep as my chin. After seeing Chris race down and out, my brother just gave me a big huge grin!
We hit that first one doing about twenty five. My legs went one way, my top half the other. I’m not to proud to say I think I screamed for my mother!
After that, all was well because I’d learned my lesson and hung on like hell!
As the days quickly progressed and became more increasingly surreal, it became clear that Chris Franke was a woman of steel.
She leapt tall quads in a single bound. Could chop big rounds faster than I could lay them down. Hike and cook, pack and haul. She had me on bended knee saying please stop Chris I’m gonna bawl! Even her fruitcake dog Arte hid on the couch too tired to howl.
Five days of brutal machine and body thrashing later, we had not seen nor heard any more moose. As the old saying goes, cooked was our goose!
Sunday morning Oct. 23, 2016. Daryl and I are tired, road weary and kinda stinky with sweat. Neither one of us wants to make that long empty truck ride home just yet.
Heading past old moose track lane and huge grizzly scat landing, time suddenly did slow. It’s now 10am and Chris is up ahead frantically waving her arms, hurry let’s go!
About five seconds and three shots later our trophy did lay. The harvest of a lifetime was complete on this the last day.
Now the fun starts is a statement that all successful hunters deem relevant. My question is how many have dressed a huge giant elephant?
It took all of us three hours to skin, quarter and game bag our prize. Loaded gun was always near to deter Mr. Grizzly’s prying eyes.
I cannot possibly put pen to paper all the fascinating memories from those gruelling yet special days. Chris Franke is an awesome outfitter whose friendship will forever stay!
Thanks Chris from the Double D boys
Dave and Daryl Ames