Jay's Dream Hunt
By: Jay Begner
When my Business/Hunting partner Ed Crowley called me one day and said “we are hunting Moose in Canada this year buddy”, I thought to myself how in the heck am I gonna afford that! Being a working class man in Southeast Iowa, with 3 kids and a mortgage, I don’t exactly have extra money to travel the world with! But he told me he traded an outfitter hunts to our Iowa farms and we could go for the cost of our tags! I was beyond excited. This was truly an opportunity I would never have dreamed I would have.
Months went by as the trip got closer and closer. I secured a rifle, got it dialed in, got my paperwork in order(or so I thought!) and the day finally came when I had to leave and head towards Saskatchewan Canada. The only way to get across the border with antlers and meat is to drive it across, so the plan was to drive to Minneapolis airport, meet Ed, leave my truck there, and jump on a plane with him. IF we were successful, I would fly back, get my truck, and meet Ed who would rent a truck up there,drive down from Saskatchewan with the meat and antlers to Winnipeg airport, leave the rental truck there, and we would both drive back to the states with our trophies!
Well, the plan didn’t go exactly like that since when I got to the airport and they asked for my passport, I handed them what I was given at the passport office only to find out it was a “land cross only” card! Which means I couldn’t fly with it! Totally bummed, I jumped back in my truck and drove the additional 14 hours up to camp! If you are gonna fly, you need the blue book passport! Lesson learned.
The first few days of the hunt were slow. The Rut was winding down, and high winds and warm temps were against us. Calls were not carrying, and movement was slow. On Day 2 I did see my 1st moose, but it was a baby. On day 3 Ed saw a small moose at 50 yds and decided to pass it, waiting for a monster bull he has been after for 2 years (that the Outfitter ended up shooting 2 days after Ed left!) We spent a lot of time calling and moving, walking miles every day. One thing I can say is the new Early Season Green midweight camo was perfect for this type of hunt. It was comfortable, quiet, and was perfect for the 25 degree early mornings with a base layer, and breathable for the 55 degree afternoon hunt with a lightweight base. It blended in great with the brush and terrain! On day 5 Ed told me his accountant needed him to come home because taxes were due and he had to sign papers. So off Ed went the next morning. I decided that I would stay til Sunday even though we weren’t having luck I hoped it would change. And boy did it!
Day 6 I went with Ed’s guide Joe, and told him a few of the spots I wanted to check out because of a feeling I had. We went to the 1st spot, called for a bit and got no response. I told Joe lets move to this other spot I had sat and called at a few nights previous. For whatever reason, I just knew that spot had something going on! Not 10 minutes into settling in and calling, I hear what sounds like a freight train coming through the woods! Trees breaking and snapping, I knew it had to be a moose. What seemed like an eternity was probably only 10 minutes, but he finally stepped out at 20 yards! I made a perfect double lung shot with my rifle, and he didn’t go far. Words cannot express what I felt at that moment! My Dream Hunt of Lifetime, Saskatchewan Moose was 53.5 inches wide, weighed about 1600 lbs, and was an experience I will never forget! Bringing those antlers home and showing them to all my friends in Southeast Iowa made me feel like the king of the world! I want to thank my wife for holding down the fort while I was gone, my amazing friend and hunting/business partner Ed for putting it all together, and my Treezyn camo for making me comfortable, quiet and concealed to be able to seal the deal at 20 yds!