Mathews Inc.
15 Days Alone
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Nick Muche 30-Sep-16
Trax 30-Sep-16
Mad_Angler 30-Sep-16
Zbone 30-Sep-16
mountainman 30-Sep-16
Chad429 30-Sep-16
WoodMoose 30-Sep-16
BC173 30-Sep-16
Don 30-Sep-16
Scar Finga 30-Sep-16
HUNT MAN 30-Sep-16
Rick M 30-Sep-16
elkstabber 30-Sep-16
midwest 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
cnelk 30-Sep-16
Bou'bound 30-Sep-16
Will 30-Sep-16
T Mac 30-Sep-16
BUCKeye 30-Sep-16
huntmaster 30-Sep-16
Owl 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
iceman 30-Sep-16
Shiras 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Chip T. 30-Sep-16
Fields 30-Sep-16
Big John 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
dgb 30-Sep-16
buc i 313 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
orionsbrother 30-Sep-16
WV Mountaineer 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
brettpsu 30-Sep-16
Scar Finga 30-Sep-16
loopmtz 30-Sep-16
Mr.C 30-Sep-16
Badlands 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Scar Finga 30-Sep-16
Copperman 30-Sep-16
APauls 30-Sep-16
Destroyer350 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Julius K 30-Sep-16
deerman406 30-Sep-16
jcneng 30-Sep-16
Amoebus 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
DonVathome 30-Sep-16
Chip T. 30-Sep-16
Pyrannah 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
WV Mountaineer 30-Sep-16
Scar Finga 30-Sep-16
BOWUNTR 30-Sep-16
Russell 30-Sep-16
Jodie 30-Sep-16
sticksender 30-Sep-16
BC 30-Sep-16
elkmtngear 30-Sep-16
Dollar 30-Sep-16
Bowboy 30-Sep-16
LogicRules 30-Sep-16
drycreek 30-Sep-16
Bucksnort32 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
Kevin Dill 30-Sep-16
standswittaknife 30-Sep-16
BOWUNTR 30-Sep-16
oldgoat 30-Sep-16
Overland 30-Sep-16
LBshooter 30-Sep-16
Marty 30-Sep-16
JJJ 30-Sep-16
Paul@thefort 01-Oct-16
DarrylDunsloppy 01-Oct-16
T Mac 01-Oct-16
mrelite 01-Oct-16
Grunt-N-Gobble 01-Oct-16
Medicinemann 01-Oct-16
Alpinehunter 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
Aubs8 01-Oct-16
TheDream 01-Oct-16
BC 01-Oct-16
Don K 01-Oct-16
JW 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
reload 01-Oct-16
M.Pauls 01-Oct-16
Old School 01-Oct-16
midwest 01-Oct-16
Flincher 01-Oct-16
Charlie Rehor 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
orionsbrother 01-Oct-16
Stekewood 01-Oct-16
Matte 01-Oct-16
HUNT MAN 01-Oct-16
Stan NJ 01-Oct-16
APauls 01-Oct-16
wyobullshooter 01-Oct-16
rattling_junkie 01-Oct-16
carcus 01-Oct-16
stick slinger 01-Oct-16
XMan 01-Oct-16
rick allison 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
Matt 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
Keef 01-Oct-16
otcWill 01-Oct-16
habu john 01-Oct-16
ki-ke 01-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 01-Oct-16
JTreeman 01-Oct-16
trublucolo 01-Oct-16
BOWNUT 01-Oct-16
shade mt 01-Oct-16
INbowdude 01-Oct-16
t-roy 01-Oct-16
Pat Bischoff 01-Oct-16
huntskifishcook 01-Oct-16
sfiremedic 01-Oct-16
Rick M 01-Oct-16
wild1 02-Oct-16
elmer@laptop 02-Oct-16
TD 02-Oct-16
BULELK1 02-Oct-16
pav 02-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 02-Oct-16
Mitch 02-Oct-16
Bentshaft 02-Oct-16
Longbeard 02-Oct-16
jdee 02-Oct-16
Bou'bound 02-Oct-16
Arrowflinger 02-Oct-16
luckydraw 02-Oct-16
DonVathome 02-Oct-16
DonVathome 02-Oct-16
GeeQ 02-Oct-16
W8N4RUT 02-Oct-16
Jaquomo 02-Oct-16
MarkU 02-Oct-16
bigbuck 02-Oct-16
Shrewski 02-Oct-16
Beav 02-Oct-16
mountainman 02-Oct-16
Straight Shooter 02-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 03-Oct-16
Full Rut 03-Oct-16
Mad Trapper 03-Oct-16
Mad_Angler 03-Oct-16
loesshillsarcher 03-Oct-16
Z Barebow 03-Oct-16
Jasper 03-Oct-16
huntmaster 03-Oct-16
Wayniac 03-Oct-16
Bear Track 03-Oct-16
Shiras 03-Oct-16
DEC 03-Oct-16
sitO 03-Oct-16
Chief 419 03-Oct-16
bfisherman11 03-Oct-16
Bowhunter 03-Oct-16
Southern draw 03-Oct-16
GotBowAz 03-Oct-16
Dooner 03-Oct-16
Dry Lake Archer 03-Oct-16
Horseshoe 03-Oct-16
elvspec 03-Oct-16
Reflex 03-Oct-16
The last savage 03-Oct-16
The last savage 03-Oct-16
CurveBow 03-Oct-16
Gaur 04-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 04-Oct-16
GotBowAz 04-Oct-16
Big D 04-Oct-16
EmbryOklahoma 04-Oct-16
Fulldraw 04-Oct-16
IdyllwildArcher 04-Oct-16
SteveB 04-Oct-16
Butternut40 04-Oct-16
bowcrazyJRHCO 04-Oct-16
Kdog 04-Oct-16
E Alexander 04-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 04-Oct-16
MS Bowman 04-Oct-16
coyote hunter 04-Oct-16
Treeline 04-Oct-16
Herdbull 05-Oct-16
svrelk 05-Oct-16
thomas 05-Oct-16
EliteFan 05-Oct-16
Greg / MO 05-Oct-16
joshuaf 05-Oct-16
Duke 05-Oct-16
dm/wolfskin 05-Oct-16
kota-man 05-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 05-Oct-16
TurboT 05-Oct-16
wkochevar 07-Oct-16
Kurt in Memphis 08-Oct-16
JEG 08-Oct-16
bowfinatic 08-Oct-16
Gaur 09-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 09-Oct-16
bliz6 09-Oct-16
Ace 10-Oct-16
stoneman 10-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 11-Oct-16
Mr.C 11-Oct-16
Ambush 11-Oct-16
Shiras 11-Oct-16
Rancher 13-Oct-16
PB in WI 14-Oct-16
BC 14-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 14-Oct-16
Ishpeming 14-Oct-16
rideold 14-Oct-16
goelk 14-Oct-16
willliamtell 14-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 14-Oct-16
DiamondD 14-Oct-16
huntingbob 15-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 15-Oct-16
Kevin Dill 15-Oct-16
decoy 15-Oct-16
newfiearcher 16-Oct-16
standswittaknife 13-Dec-16
Florida Mike 13-Dec-16
Barty1970 13-Dec-16
wildwilderness 13-Dec-16
Sixby 13-Dec-16
Ironbow-cell 13-Dec-16
Fuzzy 14-Dec-16
Lost Arra 14-Dec-16
bud 14-Dec-16
Kevin Dill 14-Dec-16
Etsonaut 16-Dec-16
Autumn_Archer 18-Dec-16
Ohvaco 18-Dec-16
Kevin Dill 19-Dec-16
krieger 25-Dec-16
Hollywood 27-Dec-16
Iowa_Archer 27-Dec-16
Kevin Dill 28-Dec-16
Razorsharp123 04-Jan-17
Pyrannah 04-Jan-17
Dampland 04-Jan-17
Franzen 04-Jan-17
CCOVEY 04-Jan-17
Pigsticker 04-Jan-17
Kevin Dill 05-Jan-17
Scar Finga 05-Jan-17
Stalker 05-Jan-17
SaddleReaper 06-Jan-17
elkman52 10-Jan-17
Mad_Angler 13-Jan-17
Brokenarrow129 15-Jan-17
Kevin Dill 15-Jan-17
JLS 16-Jan-17
Herdbull 16-Jan-17
fisherick 17-Jan-17
GUN 17-Jan-17
From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Just got back from Alaska 5 days ago. Killed this bull on day 12 of my solo hunt. Spent the next 30 hours getting him completely butchered and packed in. Hard work but not complaining.

 photo P9200330.jpg

 photo P9200334.jpg

 photo P9200344.jpg

From: Nick Muche
30-Sep-16
That's just awesome! Congrats Kevin!

From: Trax
30-Sep-16
Fred Bear style, I like!

Congrats!

Wow, I relish the idea of 15 days alone in wilderness kill or not.

From: Mad_Angler
30-Sep-16
Wow.

So when do we get the full blow-by-blow story of your adventure?

From: Zbone
30-Sep-16
WOW, way cool, many CONGRATS Kevin!!!

From: mountainman
30-Sep-16
Wow! Congrats. Sounds like a great adventure. I'd love a recap as well.

From: Chad429
30-Sep-16
Congrats! That is awesome!!

From: WoodMoose
30-Sep-16
nice! congrats Sir!

From: BC173
30-Sep-16
Good deal Kevin...Congratulations!!!

From: Don
30-Sep-16
Awesome. Did you struggle mentally being alone that long?

From: Scar Finga
30-Sep-16
You R A Stud!!! AWESOME BULL! BEAUTIFUL!

Nuff Said!!

Scar.

From: HUNT MAN
30-Sep-16
That is so impressive to me. Wow !!!! Hunt

From: Rick M
30-Sep-16
Way to go Kevin!! Another nice one.

From: elkstabber
30-Sep-16
Kevin, thanks for sharing your adventures with us. From reading your past posts I've gathered that you do this nearly every year. Please post any details or advice you can.

From: midwest
30-Sep-16
Congrats....what an accomplishment! Would love to hear the story.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
"Awesome. Did you struggle mentally being alone that long?"

Not until I thought about deep fried halibut and cold draft beer.

From: cnelk
30-Sep-16
Congrats!

That sure beats eating your tag :)

From: Bou'bound
30-Sep-16
Serious stuff there

From: Will
30-Sep-16
Amazing! Congratulations - that's awesome. Had to feel like a gift to be "off the grid" so to speak for so long.

From: T Mac
30-Sep-16
Wow! Awesome Bull and adventure tell us more.

From: BUCKeye
30-Sep-16
Awesome photos, awesome bull, awesome job

From: huntmaster
30-Sep-16
Congrats! What an awesome adventure!!

From: Owl
30-Sep-16
That's rare air nowadays. Congrats

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Before I start a story I'd like to point out something. I hunt with a longbow and sometimes a recurve. I don't consider myself a traditionalist or needing some sort of credit for that. I consider myself a bowhunter and that's my weapon. I'm not into class segregation or elitism. I figure elite is something you do or earn. You don't get it by choosing a type of bow. You guys are my brothers, and we hunt.

I'm going to relay the story here more like an article. I don't think you can really appreciate it when done in a half dozen posts, so sit back for a longer read.....

______________________________________________________

I've been hunting Alaska every year for moose, caribou and/or black bear for almost a decade now. Those years have given me some insight and experience which ultimately led me to seek new and different places to hunt, with new challenges to face. I hunted solo for caribou in 2015 and was diverted from hunting by a wild multi-day storm which kept me in survival mode on a mountainside in eastern Alaska. It all ended with a snowstorm and I flew out after 7 days of being alone in all of it.

For 2016 my pilot decided to open a new area by creating an airstrip along an unnamed stream in a valley known to hold plenty of good moose. The area had never been hunted due to lack of access. Somehow I earned the invitation to hunt this new valley for the first time. During our discussions my pilot gave me plenty of detail regarding the terrain, moose numbers and what to expect. He also wanted me to hunt it solo and use a bow. Check and check....I can do that! I got busy planning and readying gear. After some discussion I decided I needed at least 10-12 days in there to learn what the area held...about moose movement...and to get an opportunity to kill. With schedules and all figured in, I ended up planning for 13 days of hunting alone.

The time passed quickly as departure day neared. On September 7th I flew to Fairbanks and set the wheels in motion for the hunt....a hunt the likes of which I couldn't foresee ever happening. What follows is the story of that hunt, as factual as I can make it. There won't be any embellishment or stretching of the truth: I'll tell it as it played out. Airplanes, rivers, longbows, sharp steel and big moose.

From: iceman
30-Sep-16
Wow! You sir, are an animal! I couldn't do that many days alone.

Congrats!

From: Shiras
30-Sep-16
I can't wait! I hear you on the any bow thing, but you gotta admit doing it traditional is special.

Congrats, Kevin!

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Even before arriving in Alaska my pilot was sending me messages telling me about big bulls near my airstrip. He advised me to get my gear in order pronto as he had me placed first on the fly-out list for the 8th. I was up early and repacked stuff for the Super Cub....breakfast...few groceries....license and tags....I'm ready.

 photo P9070005.jpg

Faster than I can say it we were headed for the airport in North Pole and lifting off. I never get tired of bush flying and the endless expanses of tundra below. Flat terrain gave way to hills and low mountains as we entered wilderness territory. Eventually we flew through a low pass and entered the upstream end of a drainage...the one I would hunt. Almost immediately I began seeing moose below along the valley floor and up on hillsides. I scanned the topography carefully as we soared down-valley and circled the area for a better understanding. I liked what I saw...and in some cases didn't see. There were no beaver ponds...perfect. The valley was narrow which lent itself to bowhunting nicely: easier to get on a walking bull in narrower settings. Most amazingly were the number of shed moose antlers spotted from above. I counted at least 6 antlers visible from the air. Something like that pretty well confirms you're in a superb area.

A very large bull was standing on the side of a hill which had been burned 8 or 10 years previously. He was no more than 400 yards from us as we touched wheels and braked to a stop. I couldn't help but grin as I unloaded my gear while watching him watch us. I knew I was seeing a moose see his first humans ever. A few exchanges of words and suddenly the Cub was airborne and cutting out of the valley. It wasn't a new feeling to me...no profound “I'm alone” moment happened. I simply grabbed my gear and began looking for a suitable campsite.

 photo P9080010.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
It took considerable effort but I managed to cut brush and level off a somewhat decent campsite. I wanted to be back in some trees but that was impossible. The terrain was far too irregular and consisted of boulders covered with 18” deep sponge moss. I gave up and settled for a spot on the edge where water was abundant. Speaking of water, there was a spring-fed cascade coming off the low, steep mountainside right next to my camp. The water was clean and pure and I opted not to filter it. The recent cold weather had a thick crust of ice around the edges. Even the moss underfoot was semi-frozen when I arrived.

 photo P9080013.jpg

First morning: My camp is situated so that I can basically hunt as soon as I'm out the door. I woke early and made breakfast, then slipped into the gray dawn of a chilly morning. The first of many sunrises definitely didn't disappoint...

 photo P9080028.jpg

 photo P9100045.jpg

I spotted a couple cows but no bulls, so opted to play it loose and do a bit of sneaky exploring. I needed to get more familiar with this area and see what pieces of the puzzle might be revealed. I passed my camp at 10 am and noted the frost was still heavy in the shade.

 photo P9090031.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Straight across from my camp...across 300 yards of valley...the opposite hills were all part of very large burn. The dead black spruce now appeared to be gray hair coat across the hills. The second growth consisted of willow, scrub birch, blueberry, sedges, grasses, poplar and other varied herbaceous plants. The moose were living large in this cornucopia of moose browse and cover. The drainage shown in the middle of the image really had my attention. Experience told me this feature would likely be a major key in finding moose and patterning some movement. Little did I know....

 photo P9110057.jpg

The day ended with no bulls spotted, but I knew they were around. Moose are that way. You might see nothing for 2 days and then have multiple chances the next day. I wasn't concerned. I spent some spare time doing camp chores and making sure I had things ready for the hard hunting days ahead. I sat on a rock pile as the evening alpenglow settled over the valley and warmed my spirits.

 photo P9180268.jpg

I began to think and it came to me again. This is hunting as it was meant to be...old Alaska and undisturbed. I was an interloper but my task was to blend in and become another predator awaiting an opportunity. How many men will ever see an undisturbed part of this state in their lives? How many will hunt it with a simple bow and arrows? Alone and unfettered? The simple gravity of it was amazing and left me feeling thankful in many deep ways. It was also not lost on me that...not very many miles away from where I sat...Glenn St. Charles and Fred Bear along with several other notable bowhunters hunted 'old Alaska' in the late 1950s. I likely flew in through some of the same valleys and drainages as they did. Wood arrows...hand-sharpened broadheads....some bushcraft...it all seemed so appropriate at that moment.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Fairly dependably I fell into a pattern of morning and evening hunts with camp chores and sporadic midday forays in between. On day 2 I spotted a large bull but he was much farther away than I was willing to pursue. I had a self-imposed limit for packing in a moose. That limit could be lengthened or shortened according to intervening terrain. This guy was off limits absolutely. The same basic thing happened on day 3 and I resisted the temptation to go kill a moose in bad terrain. I spent the midday hours assembling my woodstove and splitting a supply of dry spruce firewood.

 photo P9130118.jpg

As I moved about the valley I kept my camera handy and took advantage of photo opportunities.

 photo P9090035.jpg

 photo P9110048.jpg

 photo P9110070.jpg

My camp was situated on the side of this little back channel branch of the main stream. I basically used it as a hidden walking path up and down the valley.

 photo P9110086.jpg

From: Chip T.
30-Sep-16
This thread is going to be a classic one of the best ever

From: Fields
30-Sep-16
One of the top 3 I ever read...... Awesome.. Congrats.

From: Big John
30-Sep-16
HOOKED!!!

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Everywhere I looked there were blueberries in abundance...even excess. They were growing all over my camp area and I could walk nowhere without seeing hundreds of them. I ate them until I simply lost interest.

 photo P9110084.jpg

Not long after arrival I found I wasn't the only blueberry admirer in the neighborhood.

 photo P9120100.jpg

 photo P9120110.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
 photo P9110089.jpg

Cold gray dawn over the valley on about day 4 or 5.

I spotted several moose hanging out across the valley up on the hillside burn. One of them was a tremendous bull with excessive total width. I watched with interest as he moved along a corridor of scrub spruce and toward a hidden cove of sorts. I felt like I knew where he was heading and might have a chance to play him. I slipped across the valley and into position on a small elevated knob covered with spruce trees. A couple of nasal cow bawls from me and I waited quietly. I never heard a thing, but 15-20 minutes later he appeared headed toward me...hooking brush and looking for the 'other' moose. His path took him to me but well out of bow range. He hung up at about 75 yards and played me until the wind changed long enough for him to smell me. In 10 minutes he was ½ mile away and going. His rack was gigantically wide and I named him him Airplane right then, because that's what he looked like headed away from me. Damn. Big doesn't mean dumb....or slow.

This is what the inside of the burn looked like in one of the more open areas.

 photo P9140142.jpg

That afternoon I nearly intercepted another massive-racked brute as he made his way down the valley. His closing pace was just too fast and I missed getting into position by 50 yards. He wouldn't come to the call and all I could do was grin as he ambled off into the evening.

 photo P9180245.jpg

From: dgb
30-Sep-16
This is very cool Kevin - congratulations! If you get a chance, provide an equipment list at the end . . . just curious! Thanks much!

From: buc i 313
30-Sep-16
Congratulations Kevin,

Well done for sure !

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
The days became one much like another and I had to work to keep track of the date. I hunted hard each day and my companion...the stream...was always there. Cold and fast; noisy and full of exuberance on its ultimate trek to the Yukon River.

 photo P9120107.jpg

I became less aware of its constant background noise as the days wore on. Some days I saw moose and others I saw nothing but Alaska, which is not such a bad thing really. Always there was something to find, interpret or understand in my quest to learn more about 'my' hidden valley.

 photo P9170210.jpg

 photo P9140145.jpg

I saw no sign of man and no planes flew over. It was almost as though I'd been taken back in time to the age of Pope & Young and dropped into interior Alaska to hunt, survive and tell of my adventure.

 photo P9150171.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
A few bits of personal observations:

Food becomes an inadvertent countdown calendar on these hunts. Each day finds me counting what's left and adjusting my eating to balance things.

 photo P9110079.jpg

If you don't have it, make it. If you can't make it, learn to live without it. If you can't live without it, you might as well give up.

Expiration dates mean nothing. Food labels, batteries....you won't throw something away because of a date. Everything is important.

A stack of firewood is more valuable than a stack of Benjamins.

Credit cards can be used for reading material when you're bored.

A big handgun is an adult teddy bear at 9 pm.

 photo P9130114.jpg

A few notes on gear: It's important, so I don't skimp. I know guys who do and get by which is fine...until it isn't. Last year's horrendous weather hammered home the need to take the best stuff you can afford or make. I'm near o-c when it comes to this, and hate preventable gear failures.

A good bedroll is important when you will sleep 15 nights on a 26” wide bed. Try it at home. Alaska isn't the place to learn your bed isn't up to the task of helping you sleep. One-third of your trip will be spent sleeping. Your bow will be used less.

 photo P9130125.jpg

Choose your food wisely and bring exactly enough, plus a couple days extra. Better to bring it out than run out. Steve O gave me the line on a superb dehydrated egg product and I brought them. They probably exceed the quality of most restaurant scrambled eggs...very tender and egg-tasty.

 photo P9180274.jpg

I switched from a liquid fuel stove to a canister unit. Mine is a Primus ETA Spider. It is superbly fuel efficient and fast. While heating water I can feel very little heat above the pan. The stove/windscreen/pan/lid combo captures over 90% of the btu output, hence I was able to make one canister of fuel last over ten days without skimping.

 photo P9130127.jpg

Speaking of nutrition, don't discount the value of locally available stuff. Berries count, as do grouse, hares or other in-season edibles. I found these lingonberries (low bush cranberries) not far from camp. They were a delicacy and I added them to my granola along with a few blueberries.

 photo P9140148.jpg

30-Sep-16
I'm in tonight! Congrats Kevin!

Looking forward to enjoying this.

30-Sep-16
I was wa dieting how you had done since reading on a thread a month back tgT you were awaiting your time to leave for this hunt.

I'm not surprised you got it done. You most always do. Congrats and God Bless

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
The days became indistinct as the hunt grew longer. One day blends into the next until the memory is more like a twisting river. The moose sightings became few and I began to see another hunt ending without a kill. I can deal with that, but honestly it's not like we are forever consoled by fresh air or content to wear out our boots without walking down a blood trail. We are there to hunt and to produce a kill if possible. I wanted that, but all I could do was play my role and let Alaska do her thing. I continued to shoot images in place of the moose I hoped for.

 photo P9190284.jpg

 photo P9160192.jpg

 photo P9150174.jpg

 photo P9190291.jpg

 photo P9170218.jpg

One afternoon the moose suddenly appeared. 2 bulls and 3 cows showed on the burn opposite my camp. One of the bulls was a stud and the other was darned fine, too. I called to them as they headed off the burn into the valley and generally toward me. The big bull actually trotted off the hill and toward me. I basically flew off my rockpile perch and forded the stream, then headed cross-valley toward a key movement point. I never made it. Moose began filtering out of the trees and moving my way. I was pinned 70 yards from my objective. I settled for a clump of willows to hide my form. And of course you already somehow know the big stud bull walked within ten yards of the key point I hoped to reach. I could only grit my teeth and send him a soft cow bawl. He walked directly to me and glared into the willow clump head-on. I held my breath and waited for the broadside turn. It came and I tensed the string as I leaned out for the shot. Too late...his turn became a 180 degree walkaway and I could only stare daggers into his wide rump. He left the valley and went over ½ mile west up into the edge of the burn. Then unaccountably he began a wide turn and began walking back my way. I lost no time getting to the key point and setting up an ambush in the highest probability spot I knew. 15 minutes later I found him. He had walked directly down the stream and was standing 50 yards from my tent. That was the moment I knew this hunt wasn't going according to Kevin's plan. The bull walked on as the sun dropped low and shadows consumed the valley.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Throughout the hunt I maintained contact with my wife Marilyn via satellite phone calls and texts. She was able to keep me updated on weather forecasts and it was a big help. She was also my constant supporter; always encouraging me to keep chipping and hope for the best. The day after the encounter above rain arrived again. I lost most of the morning's hunt and saw few animals that day. Her text message that evening: “Rain ending tonight. Clear and no rain tomorrow. Kill a bull day. Chance of rain and wind on the 21st.” I looked hard at the 'kill a bull' comment and smiled. The hunt was nearing its end and the weather wasn't helping.

I woke to partly cloudy and cold conditions the next morning. Breakfast just like always and then hit the vantage points. Zip except for a long range cow. Never saw a finer morning for moose to move, but that's moose. At 10:30 I decided to cut some brush and wood for a fire that evening. I was making a heck of a racket and not caring at all. Sometimes bulls are intrigued by these sounds and will respond. At this point I wasn't holding my breath. I was there more for moose meat than antler and would have happily shot a paddle horn full of wood arrows. Anyway...you know things never happen when you're expecting them.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
I glanced up and across the valley at the key zone...the side drainage...and my eyes caught movement. No glass required; a bull was headed to the valley in front of me. Panic. Grab the bow and get across the river. No good cover. Where to go? There....2 small spruce trees. I made time and got to the trees.

 photo P9210378.jpg

The bull was at 200 yards and acting rutty. Pawing, raking and slopping up a rut pit...looking good so far. Then he bedded and that was it. Nothing would get him up and there was no way to pull off a stalk. I could only wait and watch hm thru the glass. Long points and paddles. Plenty of bone up there. I was in anguish, wanting this dude to have a bad day and end up on my arrow. The wait went on for minutes....a lot of them.

From: brettpsu
30-Sep-16
Great story so far Kevin! Kinda reminds me of a Bart Schleyer type of story.

From: Scar Finga
30-Sep-16
Kevin,

I have never been on a moose hunt, and I have never hunted alone for more than a day or two, WOW and absolutely amazing is all I can come up with! You have a wonderful way with words and an uncanny way of describing things! I feel as though I am there with you! I love the descriptions of the camp and the struggles and scenery and your wonderful wife! Best Story I have read in a very long time sir!

Thank You SOOOOO MUCH for sharing this!

OH, and keep it coming!!!!!! :)

Best wishes and God Bless!

Scar!

From: loopmtz
30-Sep-16
Sweet!

From: Mr.C
30-Sep-16
very cool congrats

From: Badlands
30-Sep-16
These stories are what makes Bowsite awesome...my hunts look tame in comparison. Thanks for all of the hard work on the story telling.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
As a side note: I think the stories I like the best are the ones that put me side by side with the writer, or looking over the shoulder. That's what I aim to give when I write. I don't do it often. Also...

Basically all of the photography here is sequential in order. I didn't go back and take supporting images after the fact. I kept my camera in a pocket and shot pictures right along throughout the hunt.

Now back to our show.....

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
Unlucky

I've said it before. I have this sort of internal leveling philosophy about big game encounters. I figure in any hunting encounter with an animal, one of us will be unlucky. And of course it's almost always me which is part of the deal when you're carrying a longbow. This philosophy keeps me balanced and is a coping mechanism of sorts. I'm never terribly disappointed when I'm unlucky.

So when the bull suddenly rose to his feet and started walking my way I was startled. I didn't expect this kind of good luck. He was coming right into the open and acting rutty. That's when I noticed a big and very available cow headed down the valley. She spotted him and made a beeline to him.

 photo P9200296.jpg

I've never seen a cow moose throw herself at a bull before but that's what she did. Rubbing, nuzzling and licking...she circled him like he was her prince. I guess I stood behind my tree with a slack jaw figuring the unlucky part of this had just been decided. “Really?” A desperate cow bawl would do nothing, but I had nothing else for this bull. I wailed and he came 20 yards...

From: Scar Finga
30-Sep-16
its never the ones that throw themselves at us that we want, are all males the same????? :) LOL!

From: Copperman
30-Sep-16
this is why I joined bowsite years ago! Awesome

From: APauls
30-Sep-16
Well this is epic.

Outstanding writing

From: Destroyer350
30-Sep-16
This is awesome! More! More! More! LOL

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
The cow circled and played. Another bawl and another 20 yards. The cow was throwing herself on him and pleading “what about ME?”. At 50 yards I gave out a slight nasal squeal and that tripped his trigger. He raised his head and strode confidently straight toward my tree. The effect was one of watching a school bus drive right up to you and stop a few feet away. I was shocked when the bull was eyeball-to-eyeball with me at a few feet. I could have reached out and fed him a carrot. His eyes were moving and sides heaving as he stood there reading the situation.

I can't explain it...why I let it happen. I've been close to plenty of big and dangerous animals before, but this was the peak of insanity. A rutting bull with a cow in tow. 36” away if that. One lunge from getting plowed into the tundra or river behind me. Any sudden move was highly likely to produce a reactionary charge. I could only hold ground and hope it defused somehow. I was on a razor's edge and any sudden move by the bull would've likely caused me to react violently. And then it happened.

From: Julius K
30-Sep-16
Wow what an adventure!

From: deerman406
30-Sep-16
Nice, I need more!! Shawn

From: jcneng
30-Sep-16
GREAT story and writing, can't wait for more!

From: Amoebus
30-Sep-16
If this was a Netflix series, this season would close and the next post would be in 9 months.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
With no warning the bull swung his head to my left...his antlers brushing the top of the spruce just over my head. He turned and walked left with his massive shoulder right against the opposite side of my small tree. I somehow had luckily lined up my arrow with the gap between the 2 trees and he was going to walk right in front of it. As he began taking steps I slowly raised the bow...expecting him to see the motion and either bolt, stop or somehow react. None of that occurred and I tensed the string as his shoulder entered the opening. My last conscious thought was something like “There's no way to predict what's about to happen”....and then his chest was there. I hit full draw with no aiming and watched the fir arrow plunge between ribs all the way to the crest. The distance from bow hand to moose hide was 4 feet.

 photo P9200306.jpg

Maybe it was the cow's presence, but the bull sort of just jumped at the shot and trotted off 30 yards. I don't think he even felt much of the arrow. He walked slowly and his cow continued to circle him playfully. At 50 yards he stopped...head down...and began to do what I call the moose-hula. Hips swaying...head swinging....and then he just laid down purposely to die. It was as good a death as any bull moose can ever accept. That's what I told myself as I began dealing with the emotions of 12 days of solo hunting that culminated in the killing of an animal I revere. I wanted a good death for him and I did my part.

 photo P9200304.jpg

After approaching the bull and assuring he was dead, I took a few minutes to look him over and appreciate his bulk. I was less interested in his antlers truthfully, as I badly wanted his body for meat. He was in prime condition and I was grateful. I found myself kneeling by him and giving sincere thanks for his sacrifice. I thanked Our Creator for many things, including my safety. I then headed back to camp for a couple sat phone calls and some lunch. I recall walking inside my tipi and sitting down to collect my thoughts. That's when the enormity of it all hit me hard. I let myself take a well-deserved emotional ride. I'm usually pretty stoic.

From: DonVathome
30-Sep-16
AWESOME!!!!!!

From: Chip T.
30-Sep-16
Great hunt and story!!!!!!! One of the best. Now I would love to hear about getting the meat home and cost:)

From: Pyrannah
30-Sep-16
holy crap man.... this is awesome

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
I collected my kill kit gear and headed back to the bull. Uh...wait....did I say “bulls”?

 photo P9200315.jpg

 photo P9200326.jpg

Another bull was chasing cows in the valley and he headed my way when he saw me walking out. I played with him a bit but he was far too willing to threaten me so I gave up after some good pics and video. I had to talk to him to convince him it was time to go. All the moose backed off a couple hundred yards but I could see them for hours. The rutting and chasing was impressive. Cow moose were moving around and squalling like alley cats in the valley. I set my bow down and snapped a few pictures.

 photo P9200330.jpg

 photo P9200334.jpg

For the record I'm getting less and less about true 'trophy pictures'....the grip and grin variety. So many of them just seem to be glorifying the hunter's accomplishment. I try to keep it more about realism and documenting....portraying the moments after a kill. Hard to explain I guess. You'll seldom find me seeking the lens. Anyway.....

 photo P9200344.jpg

For the record I didn't measure this bull and haven't measured a big game animal in years. I stopped all the numerical stuff a while back and I simply kill what I like without verifying anything by use of a tape. That's me and that's how I hunt now.

30-Sep-16
You did well. Congrats again. You did a great job of writing it out. You have always had the gift of articulation but, it is obvious from reading this story that you are conveying your true emotions. Great Job all the way around Kevin. God Bless

From: Scar Finga
30-Sep-16
WV X 10!

Awesome!

From: BOWUNTR
30-Sep-16
Outstanding... all the way around. A classic. Thank you so much for sharing the way that you have. I suspect that your story is not over. Please keep it coming... Ed F

From: Russell
30-Sep-16
I'm speechless...What a great adventure and so well presented.

If there was a Bowsite Hunting Adventure award, you surly would receive it.

Congratulations!!

Like your choice of gear too. Kifaru makes some great stuff.

From: Jodie
30-Sep-16
Very nice Kevin, congratulations.

From: sticksender
30-Sep-16
Good writing. Congrats on your successful hunt!

From: BC
30-Sep-16
Very good. Awesome bowhunting adventure.

From: elkmtngear
30-Sep-16
Damn Kevin...that was epic! Thank You for documenting your awesome experience.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Dollar
30-Sep-16
WOW Awesome What a great read Now thanks blowing all future plans out the window.

From: Bowboy
30-Sep-16
Very impressive bull and great story also. Congrats on a great accomplishment and thanks for sharing.

From: LogicRules
30-Sep-16
Great pics, great story, and great bull. You are definitely a skilled outdoorsman and hunter!

From: drycreek
30-Sep-16
Very few times have I been on the edge of my seat waiting for the next paragraph, especially when I knew from the start that the writer was successful ! Helluva story Kevin ! The pictures were just icing on the cake !

From: Bucksnort32
30-Sep-16
Better than any tv hunt at most!!! Good job

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
So now I've got to tackle getting this dude field-processed and back to the staging area. Lots of work to be done and time is narrowing down steadily.

Time to get cutting.

No easy way to do it, but there are certainly ways to make it harder. It starts with completely skinning one side of the bull, followed by removal of the front and rear quarters. These are so heavy on a mature bull that it's usually a 2 man job. With one man I had to get creative, and so I devised a pole system to help me leverage and balance the quarters. It worked pretty well and saved me huge effort.

 photo P9200345.jpg

The finished rear quarter is off and laying my sil-nylon tarp I sewed before the hunt.

 photo P9200348.jpg

One big beautiful backstrap.

 photo P9200349.jpg

One half is complete. I like to photo-document my work in case of future questions about meat recovery. I use the gutless method always and it works. Even the interior tenderloins come out easily and without gutting. Done correctly there is basically no contact with the internal abdomen or contents.

 photo P9200352.jpg

By the way, I recovered the other section of my fir arrow after removing the rib meat. The broadhead was lodged in the opposite ribs.

It was dusk by the time I had half the bull done. I headed for camp and some dinner. Tomorrow would be long and physical.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
First thing the next morning I needed to bag 90 pounds of meat. Next I removed the head and set it aside. Tough job with just a knife.

 photo P9200359.jpg

The bull died with his body parallel to a small gulch. I needed to flip him but doing so would put him in the gulch. No chance of that, so I needed to pull him. Pulling gear is part of my kit now, so I went to work. I set 4 anchors in the ground in a semi-curve, then attached a double pulley to the anchors.

 photo P9200360.jpg

Next I made a 'moose noose' and slipped it on his leg above the hoof. I clipped in a carabiner holding a single pulley and a locking device. The rope I used was 3/16 Dyneema with over 5,000# tensile strength. I used this rig to turn the carcass 90 degrees and away from the gulch.

 photo P9200362.jpg

More work. I had to flip the carcass next. I had a plan and used it. A pole (and noose) helped me elevate the rear leg and get the hip up some. I got it as far as possible and 'set' the pole. All that remained was for me to hopefully have enough strength to raise the front leg/shoulder and power the whole mass up and over. It worked and I triumphantly flopped his body over. Skin...quarter...bone...bag...work steadily until completed.

I ended up with 10 bags of prime moose meat. A quick breather and I started backpacking the meat to the staging area. I spent the rest of the day packing meat and the head, followed by setting up an electric fence. It was a 13 hour day and I was definitely beaten down at the end...but I had done what I set out to do. I slept like a dead man sleeps.

 photo P9220386.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
There is so much more to the story than a notched moose harvest tag, but it's a privilege to do one.

 photo P9210385.jpg

All the work was done by the end of the 21st. Bad weather held me in camp until the 23rd when my pilot sailed in and got me out. I hadn't seen another human in 15 full days. I was almost unprepared for conversation. Meat, antlers gear and hunter eventually made the ride out. I recall taking a last look at my valley before climbing into the Cub. I knew I would miss it soon. It's now a part of my hunting life and memories.

 photo P9170214.jpg

From: Kevin Dill
30-Sep-16
In the end.

Moose hunting is tough. Solo hunting is tough. Combine them and you've got yourself a challenge. Doing it with a bow only makes the killing less likely. I know I beat the odds several times here.

Old Alaska. I never thought I'd see it. That river never leaves me now. I woke up in camp on the 23rd. By day's end I was in street clothes and sitting in a fine restaurant with friends. There was no sign I was a hunter. The restaurant was noisy and I enjoyed the people....the televisions....the chatter. Still...there was a moment where I dropped away mentally and the sounds faded. I was back standing along my river and hearing the steady gurgle and rush over rocks. Longbow in my hand....the sun was warm on my face. Then I heard laughter and my name....and the valley became a memory until my hopeful return.

Thanks for following my adventure.

 photo P9200369.jpg

30-Sep-16
Very well Done.. tons of respect of Course after two of us killed moose And we're completely overwhelmed by the size.. wow Kevin.. Congrats

From: BOWUNTR
30-Sep-16
Outstanding.... Ed F

From: oldgoat
30-Sep-16
Very cool! Congrats!

From: Overland
30-Sep-16
One of the all-time best threads on Bowsite. Better than any magazine article I've read. Outstanding adventure and excellent writing!

From: LBshooter
30-Sep-16
Well done, congrats! I would say your in an elite group, not to many hunters could do that long by themselves and complete the task.

From: Marty
30-Sep-16
Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

From: JJJ
30-Sep-16
Wow! Awesome adventure, thanks for taking us there!

From: Paul@thefort
01-Oct-16
Your adventure? It was my pleasure to be part of it even though after the fact as I set in my warm house with bath robe and slippers on.

I have stayed solo for up to 10 days while elk hunting here in Colorado but without a good book or two, I might go insane. How about you?

My best, Paul

01-Oct-16
So good! Inspiring...

From: T Mac
01-Oct-16
Outstanding recap Kevin thanks for sharing and congratulations!,,,

From: mrelite
01-Oct-16
Congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to post your experience, you did a great job describing it.

Did you ever see the bear that had the blueberry blowout?

01-Oct-16
Great hunt!!! Thatnks for sharing.

From: Medicinemann
01-Oct-16
A very enjoyable read.....well done.

From: Alpinehunter
01-Oct-16
Kevin, Well deserved Adventure resulting in a fantastic hunt, bull, pictures, and write-up. Thanks for sharing it with us! Elliott

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16
Danny...congratulations!

Paul...no book or things like that. I really don't want anything to take my mind off the overall setting. I think I'm pretty capable of just being there and staying focused on my tasks.

I never saw a single bruin. I did see 3 wolves above camp one day, and watched one bed for 15 minutes.

Appreciate the comments.

From: Aubs8
01-Oct-16
Great job and thanks for taking the time to share your story in the instructive manner you did! I enjoy your posts and perspective. Congratulations on such a fulfilling hunting adventure!

Mike

From: TheDream
01-Oct-16
Thanks for sharing. Great hunt!

From: BC
01-Oct-16
Hats off Kevin, that was outstanding.

From: Don K
01-Oct-16
Thanks for taking us along. I enjoyed this very, very much.

This is on my bucket list, but solo would not be for me.

As commented before for a person that has done this so much would love to see a total gear list on what you use.(and the egg recommendation)

From: JW
01-Oct-16
Wow! Huge congrats Kevin! That was the best story I've ever seen/read here on bowsite! Thank you for taking the time. Awesome adventure!!!

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16

Kevin Dill's Link
Don K and others...

My gear list is fragmented, abbreviated and changes every year. Sharing it would be pointless. I'd have to spend hours retyping and making it coherent. I've done it so much most of it comes naturally now. I don't mind answering some specific questions though.

The eggs are OvaEasy and they're superb. Link included.

From: reload
01-Oct-16
Thank you Kevin for sharing your adventure! Awesome!

From: M.Pauls
01-Oct-16
What a wonderful piece of writing that couldn't have been so beautifully put together without your awesome experience, your skill and your obvious perseverance! Well done hats off, and thanks for sharing!

From: Old School
01-Oct-16
Kevin - thanks for the recap of your adventure. A successful hunt on so many levels... A joy to read your story, thanks again!

--Mitch

From: midwest
01-Oct-16
Too many adjectives to describe this thread.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing it HERE!

From: Flincher
01-Oct-16
Kevin, thank you for sharing. Can you tell me about your pulley system?

01-Oct-16
Being alone! Way to go! Congrats and enjoy your freedom! C

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16
My pulling rig:

First off I don't have any supporting images to speak of.

I bought 150' of 3/16" 100% Dyneema rope. It's stout enough to winch a Jeep or truck.

I bought a small single pulley and a double pulley. Both have aluminum sheaves. They are Bluewater units.

I bought a CamJam XL (XT?) which is a combination carabiner/pulley/locker. It's not really a pulley but serves the same purpose. It has a locking mechanism which holds the rope from back-slipping when you pull. That's important.

A couple of decent sized quality aluminum carabiners from REI are handy.

Since moose die where they will, you're not guaranteed of a stout tree or other anchor in exactly the right place. You need ground anchors. I brought 4 pieces of 18" aluminum conduit to drive in the ground. The problem was rocks after about 12". The anchors held but they bent in a couple cases. So I'm still looking to improve my anchor system. I just ordered some Wolf Fang anchors to try during the off season. In any event I would bring 4 anchors every time to distribute the pulling pressure.

With a single pulley, double pulley and the CamJam I can create a 4:1 pulling advantage. After the first pulley, every pulley basically reduces pulling effort by 50%. It's not entirely that simple, but 3 pulleys will allow me to pull 1000 pounds of resistance with 250 pounds of effort. A fourth pulley drops that to 125 pounds. Things like friction, angle, pulley efficiency etc will all reduce the advantage somewhat.

Also you could theoretically use 550 (pound) paracord to pull 2,000 pounds in a 4:1 system. That's because there are essentially 4 lines traveling between the pulleys and each of the lines is handling 1/4 of the total load...or resistance.

All my pulling gear goes in a zippered bag just big enough to hold it. That way I've got it all if I need it.

01-Oct-16
You do not disappoint Mr. Dill. Phenomenal! Thank you for taking the time to post it up. I will be sharing this link with several friends.

Congratulations again.

From: Stekewood
01-Oct-16
What a great story. Thank you, and congratulations on a fantastic adventure.

From: Matte
01-Oct-16
No words can describe what it was like to be where you were for this amount of time. However sir with your words and photographs have brought the true emotions and adventure to us guys and gals world wide yearning for this type of expedition. Congrats on the hunt.

From: HUNT MAN
01-Oct-16
Thank you so much for sharing! This was a incredible to follow along.

One day I hope to stand in old Alaska! Hunt

From: Stan NJ
01-Oct-16
Simply.... "The Best" I've ever read on Bowsite.

Incredible adventure and you're writing skills are stellar!

From: APauls
01-Oct-16
Thanks again for putting the effort in to share the hunt. This is definitely getting added to my thread favourites!!!!

01-Oct-16
Un...freakin'...believable! Top-notch hunt, photos, story, and bull. Thank you for taking us along on an incredible adventure.

01-Oct-16
Awesome Kevin! Your story has definitely inspired me! Thanks for taking us along.

From: carcus
01-Oct-16
Just awesome, thanks!

01-Oct-16
Perfect!! Thanks a lot for writing it up and sharing

From: XMan
01-Oct-16
Outstanding job Kevin, congrats on a super bull. Greatly enjoyed reading about your hunt! Thank you for putting here on the Bowsite.

From: rick allison
01-Oct-16
Kevin, thanks for a great read...well done brother. I'm a longbow guy myself, but just a humble Cheesehead whitetailer...not in your class. I'm the farthest thing from a trophy hunter, I shoot what feels right.

Congratulations...brilliant!!!

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16
I will say....having done it....a solo moose hunt like this is not something to do unless you plan very carefully and KNOW you have the ability to do it. Killing the moose can be easy. What follows can be physically hard, awful or heartbreaking. A bull can end up dead anywhere and you can't stop it. Hunting around beaver ponds, lakes, tussock fields or big areas of rough/downed timber is how you end up with a dead bull in a place you didn't imagine. You might be forced to cut a bull apart piecemeal and haul each piece to a better spot for butchering. You could find yourself hauling 200 pounds of putrid guts out of a bloated abdomen if you gut shoot one and he gets into a difficult place. If you can't butcher and pack effectively with speed you might lose meat....wanton waste in many venues. You can't remove and recover antlers legally in AK until all meat is recovered.

On my hunt I decided early on to limit myself many ways. Close, sure shots only. Don't go in bad places to chase huge bulls. Try to kill close to camp and the airstrip. Play it conservative every day. Better to come home with no kill than break myself or leave a wasted bull in the brush somewhere.

Finally: be sure you've got the skills and tools needed to do the full recovery. This is NOT the time or place to butcher your first moose or find out if you can pack 700 pounds of meat and head. You'll need to work hard and steadily for many hours. You need to be the kind of person who can problem solve and devise while working. Despite all this you're still depending on a degree of good luck. The chances of bad luck after the shot are significant.

From: Matt
01-Oct-16
Congratulations on the incredible adventure, and thank you for sharing.

I see you had the scapulas in your meat pile - did you bring those home and may I ask what for?

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16
Dog chews.

From: Keef
01-Oct-16
Awesome truly awesome. Having hunted these big brutes myself I can't imagine doing everything alone. You did a remarkable thing and need to be congratulated for it. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

From: otcWill
01-Oct-16
Adventure Bowhunting at it's finest! Thanks for sharing

From: habu john
01-Oct-16
PBS is very well represented with you Kevin. As many have said here, you did it right.

From: ki-ke
01-Oct-16
Kevin

I got nothing. Truly speechless.

Grateful for the share, brother!

Steve

From: Kevin Dill
01-Oct-16
Thanks Steve. I know you know.

habu john....PBS is the reason I have the opportunity to do these kinds of hunts. Thanks.

From: JTreeman
01-Oct-16
Best thread on Bowsite in months, and possibly years.

Congrats, and thanks for sharing Kevin.

--Jim

From: trublucolo
01-Oct-16
Thanks for taking the time to share your hunt Kevin, that was a classic by most anyone's standards. Thoroughly enjoyed the write up and the pictures.

paul

From: BOWNUT
01-Oct-16
Great hunt and story. Thanks for sharing this.

From: shade mt
01-Oct-16
I enjoyed that kevin.

From: INbowdude
01-Oct-16
So what are you going to do with the shoulder blades?

From: t-roy
01-Oct-16
"Give me a lever & I can move the world". (Archimedes)

"Throw in a couple of pulleys & I can at least move a moose!" (Kevin Dill)

There's not much I could add to what's already been elaborated by the other posters. Simply awesome in all respects Kevin!!!

Congratulations and thank you for taking the time to share your incredible adventure with us!......Troy

01-Oct-16
Thank you for sharing. This thread was one of the best ive ever read.

01-Oct-16
Hell of a story. I really enjoyed reading about your adventure.

From: sfiremedic
01-Oct-16
Incredible read!! Thank you so much for sharing...

From: Rick M
01-Oct-16
Well done Kevin!! Give me a call when you have the time.

From: wild1
02-Oct-16
Congratulations, I enjoyed that!

From: elmer@laptop
02-Oct-16
Wow.....awesome adventure!

From: TD
02-Oct-16
Kevin... what a dream.... what an adventure.... wow....

Congrats.... to say the least. very well done, all the way around. Thanks much for takin' us along.... a bowsite classic.

From: BULELK1
02-Oct-16
WOW!

You did great sir.

Thanks for sharing

Good luck, Robb

From: pav
02-Oct-16
Excellent adventure, recap and photos!

Thanks so much for sharing the experience!

Paul

From: Kevin Dill
02-Oct-16
Thanks again gents. I really do appreciate every comment even if I don't respond individually. It's a privilege to write a good story.

A lot is made of being alone out there for extended periods. I think that all boils down to level of experience and personality. Some guys simply would go bonkers being alone that long. That's not a negative; it's just how they are wired. I'm apparently wired differently. I've always tended to hunt alone and avoid group hunts or noisy camps full of buddies. I get crazy being around the hyperactive storytellers and those who think an extended hunt is defined as 5 days without Facebook.

From: Mitch
02-Oct-16
Kevin, Congratulations and thank you for sharing your adventure here. A truly awesome hunt and write up. One of the best I've ever read.

From: Bentshaft
02-Oct-16
Congratulations Kevin, unreal story one of the best I've ever read if not the best. Now,that's the epitome hunting.

From: Longbeard
02-Oct-16
Kevin,

Been on here almost 2 decades now, and your story is definitely top 3. Outstanding!!!!

From: jdee
02-Oct-16
Great hunt/adventure !!

From: Bou'bound
02-Oct-16
some day there will be a feature on Bowsite Classics over the decades.

This will be in that feature.

I don't know what else could compare to what you did and how you did it. I really don't.

Simply the best.

From: Arrowflinger
02-Oct-16
Congrats Kevin! Would have been an awesome story even without a kill. You did an unbelievable job.

From: luckydraw
02-Oct-16
Very well put together story and awesome pics. Congrads on a great Experience! Thanks for sharing.

From: DonVathome
02-Oct-16
Kevin I liked your "carabiner holding a single pulley and a locking device"

I had rigged something similiar but your plan is an improvement and I will modify mine! Great idea and that is coming from an Engineer.

From: DonVathome
02-Oct-16
Kevin I liked your "carabiner holding a single pulley and a locking device"

I had rigged something similiar but your plan is an improvement and I will modify mine! Great idea and that is coming from an Engineer.

From: GeeQ
02-Oct-16
Lost my bowsite login info and had to look it up just so I could post to this thread. What an awesome story. No doubt one of the best ever shared here on the Bowsite. Thank you for sharing.

From: W8N4RUT
02-Oct-16
Wonderful adventure. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

Scott

From: Jaquomo
02-Oct-16
Fantastic job all around, Kevin. Returned from 30 days straight of elk hunting solo and then have the privilege to read this. What a special treat!

Thank you so much.

From: MarkU
02-Oct-16
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this hunt may well have been the "getting back on the horse that threw ya" after his ordeal last year with his solo Alaskan hunt turning into a survival outing dealing with horrendous weather/grizzly bears and just hoping to survive until a plane could get him out.

He wrote about it on the PBS site, but it took him a few months to even come back to the surface and start posting again.

His knack for being humble and yet conveying deep thoughts is inspiring.

From: bigbuck
02-Oct-16
Great Adventure!!!!!

From: Shrewski
02-Oct-16
Wonderful adventure my friend. Glad I could be small part of it pre and post hunt. Definitely a perfect thread to mark for the archives.

From: Beav
02-Oct-16
This was a true classic! So well written and great pics. Thanks so much for taking the time and sharing it.

From: mountainman
02-Oct-16
What a great story! Thank you for sharing it.

02-Oct-16
Kevin, great job representing us OH moose hunters! Love the "moose noose" I must figure out a way to work that in to normal conversations. Congrats on an awesome adventure.

DJ

From: Kevin Dill
03-Oct-16
Thanks to everyone again. I'm pretty surprised by all the comments. I just hoped this would prove to be a different and interesting read for members here.

DonV...chalk it up to some experience (rural life) and plenty of pre-hunt research. One of my biggest challenges hunting solo was how to handle a dead bull; the weight is incredible.

Bou...(Grant)...appreciate your comment as one of the elder statesmen here. I know you've hunted a little bit and get it.

Jaq...lots of value in 30 days of elk hunting my friend, regardless of outcome. Congratulations.

Steve...I find our discussions always lead me toward a greater understanding of some aspect of the hunt. I love your 'HQ'.

DJ...We Buckeyes don't go up there to mess around and get scratched up. Get it done and get home to big whitetails. From moose noose to deer and a beer.

Mark...You and I would probably have fun on a hunt. Pranks are fun right? Undoubtedly the wild-thang hunt I was on last year figured in to this moose hunt. I actually recorded a 'last message' on my phone during that hunt...just in case I didn't walk out. I admit to being a tiny bit debilitated afterward. But this...this recent hunt...was a triumphant victory by comparison.

From: Full Rut
03-Oct-16
Great write up and pics. Thanks for sharing. #Respect

From: Mad Trapper
03-Oct-16
Excellent read. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: Mad_Angler
03-Oct-16
Wow. Easily one of the coolest stories on Bowsite. Thanks for sharing.

03-Oct-16
Thank you so much for sharing. Congrats on the experience!!

From: Z Barebow
03-Oct-16
Fantastic read Kevin! Your writing captured the adventure,,, and then some. Thank you for taking the time to give a glimpse of a place few will experience.

From: Jasper
03-Oct-16
Epic! Awesome! Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.....

From: huntmaster
03-Oct-16
A fantastic read and story!! Thank you so much for sharing!

From: Wayniac
03-Oct-16
Congrats on a great hunt!!

Extremely well written, and thank you for sharing the info you did, as well.

From: Bear Track
03-Oct-16
Destined to be one of the best stories by a real hunter ever on bowsite.

From: Shiras
03-Oct-16
Kevin, I echo the sentiments of the others with what an outstanding story you presented here. Your words and pictures do a great job of telling it like it is. Your advice is sage as well and I appreciate some of the hints/tips I picked up here.

Great discipline on your knowing what your limitations are and something anyone planning a moose hunt should heed whether you are solo or not. Our pack jobs this year were .24 & .49 miles as the crow flies for the two of us. I could not imagine doing the half mile solo (let alone dressing the bull solo).

Adapt and overcome I think are great words for remote moose hunts in many ways. Your peanut butter knife reminds me of my spatula I made 2 years ago on our moose hunt, or the improvised cot leg we made for the one that somehow was missing when we got dropped off. We had no elevation changes where were this time so we made our own by getting up in the fir trees.

Your pulley system intrigues me and something that I think I will look into for future hunts. Anyway, a huge congrats to you for a great hunt, fine trophy, outstanding story and pictures. I guarantee that there are many people that think they would love to do what you just did, but only a very small handful that have the mental and physical fortitude to pull it off. I don't count myself in that small handful that could do it solo.

From: DEC
03-Oct-16
Outstanding is an understatement. Excellent adventure and an excellent example of how a story should be told.

Awesome stuff!

From: sitO
03-Oct-16
Truly enjoyed the entire event, you have a gift sir, thanks for sharing this adventure with us!

From: Chief 419
03-Oct-16
This trip defines adventure hunt! It must be great to get unplugged for that long. Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed report.

From: bfisherman11
03-Oct-16
Kevin, Congratulations. Great adventure and well written if not great story. Truly took us right there along side you.

I did a drop hunt in the Brooks Range for bou in 2006. Most memorable hunt I have ever had. Before I went I thought, "If I don't get a bou, at least I was in AK walking the same range Bear and St Charles once did". Your story brought me right back to my hunt. It lasts forever!

Thank you very much for the story and a wonderful thread for this site.

Regards, Bill

From: Bowhunter
03-Oct-16
Great story. Every hunters dream hunt. Thanks for sharing.

03-Oct-16
Congrats on a heck of a hunt thanks for sharing.

From: GotBowAz
03-Oct-16
Kevin, a big congrats to you. not only of your success but of the entire hunt. This is by far one of the best and truly inspiring hunt stories I've ever read. Thank you for sharing with us along on your adventure.

From: Dooner
03-Oct-16
Kevin, Thanks for sharing. You are the real deal! An amazing story, along with being an outstanding hunter. Respect.

03-Oct-16
Amazing story Kevin, and awesome point of view, feelings, and details of the adventure. Alaska is a special place, and your story is a perfect Alaska adventure! Congrats in all aspects of it!

From: Horseshoe
03-Oct-16
Kevin,

I echo the sentiments of the others and truly appreciate you sharing this experience with us. The physical and mental toughness required to achieve this accomplishment is hard for this Northeast deer hunter to comprehend.

From: elvspec
03-Oct-16
Mighty fine.

From: Reflex
03-Oct-16
Kevin, congrats on an amazing hunt/journey. Thanks for sharing such an epic story. This is one of the best reads I have ever encountered! I felt like I was right there....and now I wish I was!

03-Oct-16
Kevin.ive been an archer,hunter for 40 years,,you my brother...are indeed what ALL Hunter's need to strive to be!.. congrats and thanks for sharing your adventures!! Pat

03-Oct-16
Kevin.ive been an archer,hunter for 40 years,,you my brother...are indeed what ALL Hunter's need to strive to be!.. congrats and thanks for sharing your adventures!! Pat

From: CurveBow
03-Oct-16
Awesome and congratulations! I agree with all of the above comments.... Thank you for sharing....

>>>>-------->

From: Gaur
04-Oct-16
Congrats and Thanks for taking us along. I downloaded most of the pics and text and was reading the story waiting for my plane flight home from Mali. Had to open the tread again to see all the pics now that I am home. Hope to do a hunt like that in the not too distant future Randy

From: Kevin Dill
04-Oct-16
You guys are far too kind, but I still appreciate it. Didn't anticipate much response...not this much. Thanks.

Hunting alone gives a guy plenty of time to think about more than just hunting...or at least the success/killing part of it. One thing I've thought about many times is scale. When you think of moose you think 'big' creature. But see one walk around in a big stretch of valley in Alaska and he actually is very small...no larger than a cricket in a hayfield. He's just a speck of protein with life trying to stay alive and procreate the species. If he dies it's no big deal; the equivalent of the cricket dying. Something smaller will find and consume him but it's really a crumb-sized thing when you see the scale of it all.

A solo hunter is like a tiny tidbit of life trying to exist and not get harmed or consumed in all that vastness. 3 wolves would eat your body and scatter your bones in a few hours. A whisky jack is a beautiful bird but he would peck and eat your eyes soon after your death. You don't mean much to Alaska, unless you count the value of your body in calories.

I thought about this a lot while sitting and watching. I know I'm a bit abnormal though.... ;-)

From: GotBowAz
04-Oct-16
Great thoughts, great words and great feelings. Really puts things in perspective.

From: Big D
04-Oct-16
Kevin what a great story and adventure. You had me feel like I was right there along side of you for the entire journey. I also felt while reading...how will you ever go back to civilization because you left your soul in that valley.

Thank you for sharing Dave

04-Oct-16
15 days alone and a 4 foot shot! Amazing animal, amazing story! Congratulations!

From: Fulldraw
04-Oct-16
Bravo, and congratulations.

Thank you for allowing us to "join" you on your hunt. For many of us (me specifically)this may be as close as I ever get to a solo moose hunt.

Cheers

04-Oct-16
What a fantastic story! Grats on your hunt!

Did I miss it? Because I didn't see where you named the egg product you were eating...

From: SteveB
04-Oct-16
Wow, Kevin, loads of respect for every aspect of your adventure. Bull or no bull, it was a heck of an experience. One that most of us dream about and will never (or could never) do. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Much respect.

SteveB

From: Butternut40
04-Oct-16
Excellent! Thank you for sharing.

04-Oct-16
I enjoyed your mental insights. Being mentally tough and positive is Useful not only on extended solo hunts, but life in general. Epic writing.

From: Kdog
04-Oct-16
Great job, thank you for taking us along. Incredible hunt.

From: E Alexander
04-Oct-16
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

From: Kevin Dill
04-Oct-16
Very happy to report almost 400 pounds of prime moose meat has arrived at the airport. I'm thrilled!

From: MS Bowman
04-Oct-16
Great adventure, great story and great hunter! I've been following you for years Kevin as a traditional guy myself. You never cease to amaze. I really wish you would someday do a recap of all you Alaska adventures in one thread.

04-Oct-16
Congrats !! Great story ! Thank You for sharing, felt like I was there

From: Treeline
04-Oct-16
I am having difficulty getting thru it all and just to the point where you started breaking down your bull. Will have to make time to get thru the rest of the story tomorrow.

Awesome experience all the way around - photos, adventure, on your own, great trophy... It just doesn't get any better! Congratulations for a job well done!

That hunt is definitely on my bucket list! Even though I have broken down and packed out a ton of elk and a couple of Shiras moose, the challenge of getting an Alaska-Yukon moose out without any help in bear country is pretty daunting!

WOW

From: Herdbull
05-Oct-16
Well done Kevin. Solo hunts have been dear to my heart and I have connected with you in your solitude. This is credit to your spirit and your written word. We all appreciate your effort and for sharing so many helpfull tips. A fellow PBSer, Mike

From: svrelk
05-Oct-16
Truly outstanding epic story!.as someone who loves to hunt solo when not with my son, I think you may have given me a bucket list hunt to pursue...

Thanks for sharing, Jim

From: thomas
05-Oct-16
This is my next hunt I want to do. Can you do this hunt with a rifle at this time of year or is it strictly archery season at that time? I'm a bowhunter for the most part but I've never been to Alaska and think I'd feel better with a gun in my hands! But your story is truly inspiring and I think what hunting is truly about and we have lost most of that in today's hunting world I feel! I just got back from a 10 day DIY archery elk hunt and I didn't kill but it was a great hunt

From: EliteFan
05-Oct-16
Unbelievable solo effort.

You have my admiration and respect for taking this on by yourself.

As cool a story as I've read on BS.

Some truly outstanding pics and a great moose to top it off.

I'd love to do this.

A tip of the hat to you, Sir!

From: Greg / MO
05-Oct-16
Kevin,

I've been reading bowhunting forums since the advent of the internet and it becoming commonplace; I fondly recall listening to the beeps, whines and whistles that signaled a connection to fellow hunters who shared the same passion as I did.

A former journalist who wrote for a variety of papers and magazines, I worked my way to editor at a couple of those; I eventually began teaching rhetoric and composition at a D-1 university before leaving for another career field. I still write features for a bevy of magazines, including Petersen's Bowhunting.

I say all that not to highlight me, but to highlight YOU and what I'm about to say: That, sir, was the one of the finest pieces of storytelling I've ever had the pleasure to sit down and lose myself in.

Your tale stirred deep carnal cravings to be deposited onto one of our Creator's most majestic canvases and to test myself against its unforgiving ways. I gleefully acknowledged my emotions rising up in a crescendo with each sighting of a bull, only to be slightly let down with the passing of each opportunity -- after all, you were in Alaska.

Thank you for allowing us a brief respite from the constraints of civilization, and to allow hundreds of us to tag along on your solitary adventure. I think we would all agree that you were in the true "civilizaton" that we all yearn for.

From: joshuaf
05-Oct-16
Awesome story, and I'm pretty impressed with your preparation. A pulley system, and electric fence (I assume for keeping bears out?)? Awesome.

From: Duke
05-Oct-16
Kevin: This thread is the reason why I enjoy this site... Truly an enjoyable read you put together with quality photographs to boot. The hunt itself, well that is remarkable on so many different levels! Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for taking the time to put it all together.

Great job!

From: dm/wolfskin
05-Oct-16
Love it. Great hunt. Alaska is a beautiful place on the ground or in the air.

From: kota-man
05-Oct-16
Well done Kevin...A CLASSIC thread.

From: Kevin Dill
05-Oct-16
Many, many sincere thank-yous for way too many good comments. I'm really just a regular guy who you'd never look at twice in a store. I believe my wife would tell you I'm something besides normal, lol. I don't know how she puts up with my adventures sometimes.

I picked up my moose meat today and delivered it to my meat processor. Next to the last step until the journey ends at my freezer. I've already started planning next year's hunt.

From: TurboT
05-Oct-16
Loved all of it. Great story telling and photos. Thanks!!!

From: wkochevar
07-Oct-16
Having just spent 8 days in the bush chasing moose to no avail, it is so nice to read this detailed account of your successful hunt. Although I never count my success based on a kill or not, I have a much greater appreciation for the success that comes from taking a moose with a bow and arrow....these are not easy animals to hunt and I commend you on your perseverance and determination to make it happen. My sincerest congratulations!! And, you are one hell of a story-teller....thanks for taking us along!! Kip

08-Oct-16
Wow, what a great read, thank you! As a whitetail-only hunter who drives 10 minuets to my hunting spot, this story really makes me rethink exactly what hunting is. Incredible.....this is the kind of hunt we all dream of, but only a very few will ever get to experience. Thanks for taking us hunting with you.

From: JEG
08-Oct-16
Like many have already said, thanks for sharing and congratulations on a great experience!!

From: bowfinatic
08-Oct-16
Kevin thank you for taking us along on your journey. Incredible story and determination to undertake a solo hunt like this. You made my day with your story telling. This is why i love bowsite. Best wishes

From: Gaur
09-Oct-16
Kevin, What are you planning for next year?

From: Kevin Dill
09-Oct-16
Gaur...

Playing my cards close right now, as a lot is still undecided. I'm going back to the same valley but there will be a new wrinkle. I've never been one to do things the same way, over and over again.

One of these days I might take some time and relate my near-disaster caribou hunt from 2015 for you guys.

From: bliz6
09-Oct-16
Awesome Kevin!!

From: Ace
10-Oct-16
Kevin,

What a gem, just superb! Thank you so much for sharing your hunt, I think most of us know how privileged we are to be taken along for the ride.

You might see yourself as just an ordinary guy, but to me you are a rare combination of Philosopher, Hunter, Gentleman and Storyteller. You do all of it so well, and I really appreciate you allowing us in on (what I suspect was) such a personal adventure.

This line is a perfect example of the philosopher part: "A solo hunter is like a tiny tidbit of life trying to exist and not get harmed or consumed in all that vastness. 3 wolves would eat your body and scatter your bones in a few hours. A whisky jack is a beautiful bird but he would peck and eat your eyes soon after your death. You don't mean much to Alaska, unless you count the value of your body in calories."

I know you have a lot of moose meat. I suggest you make some Corned Moose with any brisket meat and Mooso Bucco with the shanks.

From: stoneman
10-Oct-16
As mentioned, it was a privilege to read your story! Thank you for sharing.

From: Kevin Dill
11-Oct-16
Last evening I brought home 5 big coolers loaded with my processed moose meat. It's all in my basement freezer and I have to tell you...I take a lot of pride in that. I worked a lot harder to have good moose meat vs the rack he carried. From a hard work standpoint, the last spike has been driven.

I hope all of you have a great season. KD

From: Mr.C
11-Oct-16
beautiful in every aspect! Thanks for sharing

From: Ambush
11-Oct-16
Without seeming to, you've very eloquently and truthfully given us the marrow of remote, solo hunting. I read it through three times already.

One thing that really sticks out is your description of how small organisms are on the landscape. I often am hit by how insignificant a human [or moose] is when embedded in a mountain range or vast wilderness. Hunting to kill can sometimes seem so hopeless. But then, like meteors hurtling through an immense galaxy, sometimes there is that chance, close encounter or even a spectacular collision! Moments that leave us humbled and exhilarated with self worth at the same time.

Thanks for putting us a few scant feet behind you, as your own "spectacular collision" unfolded.

From: Shiras
11-Oct-16
Kevin, I really appreciate the care you take in keeping the meat clean and in good shape. Even though I donate most of the meat from my moose I try to take pride in what I will be giving to others to enjoy. I did bring home 100lbs and enjoyed some great steaks the other day!

From: Rancher
13-Oct-16
Best read I have ever seen,felt like I was there with you.I will be looking forward to your 2015 Caribou hunt if,and when you write it.Thanks again.

From: PB in WI
14-Oct-16
Kevin - far and away the best story I have ever read on Bowsite. Maybe the best hunting story ever. You said "As a side note: I think the stories I like the best are the ones that put me side by side with the writer, or looking over the shoulder." This was titled "15 Days Alone" but in reality you took us all along with you. Thanks for letting us experience the hunt vicariously through you.

This is how hunting should be. I am so tired of the bravado, arrogance, and feeling of entitlement so evident in most hunting tales. Thanks for being real. That is so difficult to find nowadays, especially in an election year.

I know your gear list is constantly changing but I am curious which camera you used on this trip. Thanks again.

From: BC
14-Oct-16
I know we're right in the middle of hunting season now but when you get time after, it would be great to read about your caribou adventure. Thanks Kevin.

From: Kevin Dill
14-Oct-16
Camera for this and several previous trips has been my trusty Olympus TG2. I'm going to be taking something different next year though: likely a small camcorder with good ability to produce superior screen shots.

From: Ishpeming
14-Oct-16
Thank you! Best storytelling. EVER!

From: rideold
14-Oct-16
One heck of a story. The kind of story dreams are made of. Can't thank you enough for sharing this. It really made my morning.

From: goelk
14-Oct-16
Kevin, how many fuel canister and what size did you use for your trip? I really enjoyed your story and i;m inspired to go to Alaska at the age of 63

From: willliamtell
14-Oct-16
Kevin I hope I get there someday. I almost certainly won't, but you've at least shared a really good insight into at least some of it. Congrats on a successful adventure before you even drew the bow back, and knee-shaker of a conclusion.

Question - you're back there with the brownies, you've done it before, and you're completely comfortable with the whole scenario. The .44(?) lets me know you're no Timmy Treadwell, but what is your thought process on hanging with large predators?

From: Kevin Dill
14-Oct-16
goelk, After this trip I can confidently say 2 of the medium sized canisters would easily run me 2 weeks using the stove I brought. I don't waste fuel and don't use any for lunch. I'm basically heating water for freeze dried meals.

From: DiamondD
14-Oct-16
Just an outstanding story Kevin. Is that a Kifaru tent? I would also like some info on your cot and the electric fence system you set up around your meat cache.

Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

Dean

From: huntingbob
15-Oct-16
All I can say is "WOW"! What a read. I and a friend did a drop camp for moose 3 years ago. We were in the tough walking stuff. But for you to actually break a bull moose down alone...I am not sure what to say? Really! They are so damn big and 30 minutes after they die it really takes two guys to lift a hind doing the gutless method. You did something that I dream I don't have too! Best damn read I have ever set my eyes on! I do like that your story is picture rich and enjoyed every bit of it. I did 18 days on my sheep hunt but not all of it alone. Doing what you did really alone ..no plane traffic is so quiet! We had lots of plane traffic on my moose hunt. I'm sure you had a lot to think about with no one to talk to. I'm glad you found someone to drop you Solo. That is not the norm. Thank you for the time it took to share your story and I have a lot of respect for you doing what you did Solo!

From: Kevin Dill
15-Oct-16
".....what is your thought process on hanging with large predators(?)"

I guess a book has been written on the topic. First I know the odds of an injury encounter are very low. The bush flight is statistically more likely to result in injury or death. I don't obsess about predators but I do take logical (my logic) steps to protect against avoidable encounters. I do things that some might disagree with, such as keeping all my food in my tent, cooking and eating in there. True wilderness bears don't have a natural attraction to human food and those odors. I figure the easiest way to condition them to want human food is to put it 100 yards from my tent and have them get into it. I have never had a bear raid my camp after a decade, even though they are around.

I'm careful (not obsessive) to be watchful for bear sign and bears when out and about. If I think an encounter is more likely than usual I will tend to avoid thick cover and places where we might surprise each other. Staying in the open (as much as possible) is one key to not getting surprised by a bear. Nothing is perfect and there is always a chance of things going wrong. Ultimately I think most fears are unfounded based on the real odds. You're not really 100% safe anywhere in daily life.

Wolves are of no concern to me. I see them almost every year and they are spooky as coyotes.

From: Kevin Dill
15-Oct-16
"Is that a Kifaru tent? I would also like some info on your cot and the electric fence system...."

Kifaru Sawtooth. My cot is an 8 year old LuxuryLite which has proven to be the best investment in sleep I've ever made.

I built my own electric fence. I used stout carbon shafts cut to create 2-piece posts which screw together. The posts have guy loops at the top so I can brace them if needed. My insulators are made from black rubber fuel line. Wire is poly-aluminum braided conductor. I used a Speedrite AN20 charger and my ground rod is a 7" aluminum gutter spike that weighs nothing. I keep all of it (except the posts) in a small kit bag.

From: decoy
15-Oct-16
One word.....WOW !!!

From: newfiearcher
16-Oct-16
Congratulations on such a great hunt! Great job describing it.

13-Dec-16
Just wanted to bump this for an incredible story and a great hunter. Still don't quite understand how one manipulates these animals all alone.... Great Hunt...

From: Florida Mike
13-Dec-16
Wow! I missed this thread back in October as I was in Kodiak. First of all, Wow. Great adventure. Truly inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to share on BS. Felt like I was there.... Mike

From: Barty1970
13-Dec-16
"You don't mean much to Alaska, unless you count the value of your body in calories." A quote for the ages... Many thanks for sharing your adventure...good luck and good hunting!

13-Dec-16
Thanks for the bump. not sure how I missed this earlier

From: Sixby
13-Dec-16
Thanks so much Kevin. That's the best Hunting story I have read since Hunting with the Bow and Arrow. You took us right there and so graphically and humbly. God bless you, Steve

From: Ironbow-cell
13-Dec-16
Fantastic story telling. Pictures to take you there. Simply awesome. Thank you.

From: Fuzzy
14-Dec-16
Awesome!

From: Lost Arra
14-Dec-16
Thanks Kevin for the time spent composing and posting this hunt story. Truly outstanding. Can your family eat an entire moose before next season? In addition to whatever deer and elk you kill on your "casual" lower 48 hunts?

From: bud
14-Dec-16
That was good. Talented writer and Hunter. In Chicago for 2 weeks working this helped keep my sanity....

From: Kevin Dill
14-Dec-16
Lost Arra.....the answer is yes and no. There's only 2 of us here now and a big load of moose meat in the freezer...along with whitetail venison, black bear, salmon and halibut. We give away some of the meat to family and friends as they can use it. Moose (and deer) basically eclipses the use of any beef or other domestic meat in our diet. We eat it all the time and use it in many recipes. We have found lean meat can be kept and used for up to 3 years if wrapped well. So that moose meat will get eaten.

As for other animals and meat....I'm not a guy who needs to keep up the killing and trying to find people or places for meat. I don't kill more than we can eat or provide to others. Throwing out meat is a travesty and makes me feel guilty any time I've had to do it. When the freezer is well stocked I tend to become a very selective and careful hunter.

From: Etsonaut
16-Dec-16
Awesome story! Thanks so much for sharing Kevin!

18-Dec-16
Wonderful story of your adventure. thanks for taking us along

From: Ohvaco
18-Dec-16
Wow. Appreciate your willingness to share. So well done. My hunting buddy and I are hooked on elk but agree we must do an AK moose. I started looking into it a year ago ... it's time start again and get it planned ... alas we are not getting younger. Thanks again for sharing an epic adventure.

From: Kevin Dill
19-Dec-16
Thanks guys. Coincidental this thread popped back up yesterday. We spent part of the day preparing and canning several jars of moose stew for those cold winter evenings ahead.

From: krieger
25-Dec-16
Spectacular account! I feel richer for having read it, rewarded as if it was my own adventure. Well done.

From: Hollywood
27-Dec-16
Solo for moose is a defining hunt. You can either do it or you can't.Worst time to find out? ...on a solo moose hunt. Great job. Your rib roll looks exemplary.

The bull scares the bahjeebies out of me though! Did the thought, "I sure hope he's legal" ever occur to you?

From: Iowa_Archer
27-Dec-16
WOW! I somehow missed this story when it was first posted...but I am glad I saw it now. Fantastic adventure and super write up and the pictures were even better...and that is saying something. Congratulations on a true hunt of a lifetime and one that not many others could achieve. Well done!!

From: Kevin Dill
28-Dec-16
" Did the thought, "I sure hope he's legal" ever occur to you? "

.

Not once. I focused entirely on killing him, except for about 45 seconds of thinking he might be about to kill me. Imagine being 3 or 4 feet from a cape buff looking right at you...except he's 6' tall at the shoulder. It's one of those moments you truly have to experience in order to know how you'll feel and react.

Appreciate the comments again.

04-Jan-17
Likely my favorite Bowsite thread of all, even reading through it a third time! Thank you for taking the time to put this together and share it with all of us here.

Your way with words and storytelling, and just the brief mentions of a near disaster caribou hunt from 2015 have me chomping at the bit to hear that story as well.

From: Pyrannah
04-Jan-17
kevin, I really enjoyed this story and your caribou story on the other site. Thank you for taking the time to post them.

I am currently contemplating a solo trip but unfortunately I just don't think I have what it takes to be in such a remote situation alone. Just don't have enough experience.

From: Dampland
04-Jan-17
amazing documentation. I could not physically handle a hunt like that, but really enjoyed reading about it and the pictures. Also, I am REALLY hungry for moose meat right now, and I've never had it before.

From: Franzen
04-Jan-17
Nothing like a healthy side of humility to go with a great hunting story. I didn't get this one read earlier in the season, but have now had that privilege.

Great read; a hardy accomplishment to be certain. Thanks for the writeup.

From: CCOVEY
04-Jan-17
Awesome story! Congrats!

From: Pigsticker
04-Jan-17
Congrats, This is an epic post!

From: Kevin Dill
05-Jan-17
Christmoose gifts....

 photo IMG_5508.jpg

 photo IMG_5510.jpg

We also canned a batch of moose chili and gave it as gifts.

From: Scar Finga
05-Jan-17
Hey Kevin, I didn't get my stew, if needed I can send you my address:) Once again Great story, You Are The Man!

Scar.

From: Stalker
05-Jan-17
I think that was the best hunting story I've ever read. I couldn't break away from reading it. WOW!

From: SaddleReaper
06-Jan-17
Kevin,

This was easily the best story I've ever had the pleasure of sinking into... Your generosity to share this, and way with words is a treat for all of us, so for that I thank you!!

In fact, this is so inspiring that now I have to experience a hunt of this nature. My life will feel incomplete if I don't, so thanks for that as well :)

From: elkman52
10-Jan-17
Kevin,your pilot said he wanted you to hunt this area SOLO,yet you took us all along with you anyway. Can't thank you enough

From: Mad_Angler
13-Jan-17
What sort of zone were you hunting? Didn't you have antler restrictions?

I hunted an area twice. It was 50" or 4 brow tines. My group killed 4 bulls over 5 years. 2 of those bulls were undersized (I was not the shooter in either case). We had to turn those bulls back to the DNR and the shooter received a ticket.

15-Jan-17
Kevin, Hands down the best hunting journal I've read. And very educational as well. A moose hunt has been on my to-do list for several years now, and since I've been working in Anchorage lately, it is a reality for 2017. Just reading about your experience and your gear will save me a few years of trial and error, for that, I thank you.

I have done five solo elk hunts in CO, and loved every moment of each of them, even though I never was able to arrow an elk. The close encounters I experienced were well worth the time spent traveling to and from, home and the remote locations.

Thanks for sharing

From: Kevin Dill
15-Jan-17
This thread has gone longer and farther than I ever imagined. I guess we all just need to flop down and read an adventure story now and then. I know I enjoy a good one, whether or not a shot is taken along the way. Even if I don't kill an animal I try to find the maximum value in every trip I take. I really got lucky at the end of this one....calling a bull in to 4 feet and not having it blow up in face was just...no words for it.

.

Thank you for reading and hopefully enjoying. I've already begun working on my 2017 trip plans and feel pretty good there's another adventure waiting. KD

From: JLS
16-Jan-17
I'm not sure how I missed this when you first wrote it, but I'm sure glad it popped up.

What an incredible, honest, transparent recount of a true adventure. A sincere thank you for sharing it with all of us. This is by far one of the best hunting stories that I can ever remember reading. The quality of writing and photography is simply outstanding.

Fine work my friend.

From: Herdbull
16-Jan-17
Keep up the good work of showcasing your great bowhunts Kevin. Mike

From: fisherick
17-Jan-17
Fantastic read and adventure, congratulations.

From: GUN
17-Jan-17
Thank you for sharing I enjoyed this read.

  • Sitka Gear