Mark Gula, 2006 Moose Hunt
What an adventure. And the best
part was this trip exceeded it's build up of expectations. After
finding Wild Kakwa on the Internet, and having wanted to go on
a moose hunt ever since I can remember, it was nearly unbearable
to find out that I would be looking at a two year wait to get
on their list back in the fall of 2004.
The first couple of days were warm and windy. Not the best situation,
but we covered a good bit of ground in the tight quarters looking
for some action where the bulls could hear us. The highlight was
seeing a huge Grizzly strolling in the trail ahead a hundred yards
as we were working back to the four wheeler. What wasn't so cool
was the 700lb bear following us for a minute or two when he spotted
us. The only problem was, I knew I was the slowest of the bunch.
The next few days brought a great deal of adventure, calling in
a few small bulls, up close interaction with some moose cows and
calves, dozens of deer (both mule and whitetail), some elk, a
pine martin, coyotes, a wolf, a couple of fox and some black bear.
Oh yeah, and another grizzly at 30 yards that needed a reminder
that even though we sounded like a cow, we weren't and that there
were no calves with us for a late afternoon snack. Even as most
of the other hunters filled their tags in rapid succession, those
of us who were still looking were not concerned. The folks at
Wild Kakwa are always comparing notes in order to optimize your
trip and adjusting plans.
By the 7th day, the other folks in my group had tagged out, and
I was more than content with the experience. While I realize they
take their Moose population control pretty serious, I was happy
if I left with a nice picture of my two hunting buddies and their
moose. I had always felt that it doesn't matter what you get as
much as enjoying the time. I was on cloud nine, seeing the fantastic
bulls the guys I talked into this trip had. Two out of three of
us is fantastic on MOST outfitters scales. Well, Rick was not
about to let me off so easy. He took me out, with the added bonus
of Matt. Two guides with one hunter, like I said, they pull out
all the stops. It was a rare and much appreciated treat to watch
the two guides work. In spite of their best efforts, and an awesome
stalk up some hills through some very "moosey" terrain
through a bull's backyard and back down, they just weren't responding
to the calls.
That afternoon, Rick was back with a couple of guys looking for
bear, and I grabbed my brother Joe and buddy Tom to hit it hard
with Ricky. The plan was to work a couple of spots where the guides
had seen some moose, in addition to a few where we had some close
encounters earlier in the week. Every place looked good, and the
wind was nonexistent, but the first couple of miles proved fruitless.
We then moved down the road to a spot where for a couple of days
the big bulls were getting the best of us and staying a few yards
in the shadows. The four of us worked up an old logging trail
for a mile or so, with Ricky doing his best to flirt with Bullwinkle.
As we approached a point in the hike where it would take longer
to get back to the road than we had light, Ricky made the decision
to turn around and slowly cow call our trail in to see if we had
interested anyone. As Ricky had said, sometimes they take their
time in getting to the cows. Then, as we could see the light of
the clear cut that adjoined the road, we heard that beautiful
sound of a bull grunt. Joe and Tom froze in their tracks as Ricky
and I went into super stealth mode and snuck up to the continual
grunts. As we approached the road the sights of trees moving and
the sounds of a lovesick bull erupted full force just on the other
side. I steadied up against a tree for both support and camouflage
as the bull emerged from the brush. Oh no, all I can see was some
darn good antlers and the top third of its back through the brush.
The next thing I heard was Ricky and one word, "SHOOOOT!"
I told him I don't have a good shot. His only response was "SHOOOOOOT!"
Well, even I can take a hint that it was a very good animal so
I figured the best spot and let the 36 yard shot rip. The monster
dropped in his tracks. Ricky and I both let out a yell and after
running, high fiving, were were looking an what can only be described
as an ultimate dream come true. After covering more than a few
miles in some very thick stuff, I had a moose down ten yards off
the road. While some guys would credit fate or past good deeds,
I credit the hard, hard work of Wild Kakwa. They deserved an easy
retrieval after having on bull down in an evening and three more
down the following morning earlier that week. Joe and Tom caught
up after the shot and joined the excitement. It was truly an added
pleasure to have your hunting partners around to enjoy the moment.
It is now a week later as I write this and I still look at the
pictures and am in awe and disbelief of the nice bull.
Rest assured that the dreams you will have until you arrive at
camp of a top class Canada Moose hunt will soon come to life.
Rick and the guides simply do not stop until you have your bull
in camp. Rita and Kelly will do their best to get you home heavier
than you left with delicious, hearty food and awesome desserts
after every meal. But most of all, they are constantly looking
to make the total experience a success by giving 1000%. I would
tell you about the accommodations, but Rick is constantly evolving
and adapting to the setup to make your trip more enjoyable and
Thank you Rick, Ricky, Joe, Mel, Matt, Rita and Kelly for your
efforts. You folks are simply a bunch of the nicest people I've
ever met. We are booked for 2007 elk and for 2008 deer. It's hard
not to return to such a place when you know they treat you like