A towering bull moose stepped into the clearing in front of them. They had seen a number of smaller moose, some wolves, swans and cow moose, but nothing to take home. This one was big enough to take, he said.
It was the first hunt for Jackson, 12. The family has a long tradition of hunting but had been unable to get a big-game hunting permit for the last few years. This year, they won the permit lottery and took off Sept. 10, Tad said.
Jackson, who’d been trained to shoot by his father and grandfather, said he wasn’t scared to take the shot when the moose appeared. Before Tad could react, he’d dropped and let off two shots.
The moose stopped briefly, and Jackson let off a shot with a 16mm rifle that hit the moose in the lung, he said.
The moose began moving again, and he took another shot, hitting the moose in the liver. The bull laid down then, he said.
“My hands were shaking a lot,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t even smell (the butchering), I was so excited.”
Tad said he was surprised and pleased that Jackson was able to land the shots.
“I was dumbfounded,” Tad said. “It was surreal how everything came out. It doesn’t happen like that.”
They waited 10 minutes to make sure the moose was dead before beginning butchering, Jackson said. Moose steak is a family favorite, so they plan to have moose for a long time, he said.
The K-Beach Elementary student said hunting is an important tradition in the family. When they arrived home, they added his moose’s rack to the shed beside his father’s, he said.
“My friends were surprised when I showed them the picture. They haven’t seen the horns yet,” Jackson said. “I was just lucky, I guess.”