Emergency Room Moose!
The night before....It was 11:00 p.m. on September 18, 2010 and I was lying flat on my back in excruciating pain in the Emergency Room (ER). It was the evening before I was supposed to leave for Whitehorse, Yukon for my bucket list Yukon moose hunt with Jim Shockey’s Rogue River Outfitters. It was the fifth time in four months I had made such a sojourn to the ER for an undiagnosed, but extremely painful, stomach ailment. Needless to say, I was nearly on a first name basis with the staff.
I saved three years for my trip. I don’t have tons of cash lying around, and I wouldn’t be able to simply write a check or fly out on my own private plane like some folks. It had been selling things on the internet, saving and sacrificing, and spending my kid’s inheritance. A lot of us have to do this to live our dreams. But it was worth it, believe me. Thank goodness for frequent flyer miles!
After being examined every which way, the ER Head Physician strongly recommended that I not go on my scheduled hunt. The risk was far too great; there were no medical facilities that deep in the wilderness. Crushed would have been an understatement of my feelings at that moment. After brief reflection, I looked at him and said, “Doctor, with all due respect, I have scrimped and saved and given up many things to take my trip tomorrow. They don’t give refunds, so unless you have a closet full of money to help me out, I need to go. If I am to buy the farm, the Yukon sure beats lying in bed. Perhaps you can prescribe some medication to help get me through the next 10-12 days?” I had also wisely taken the precaution of purchasing a Global Rescue® Medical Plan that would cover the trip, which seemed to reassure the doc.
I had done all my range work every week with my Remington 798 .375 H&H. That’s a Serbian-made 700 Remington with a Mauser ’98 action. My scope was a Nikon African Monarch 1-4 x 20 with a German #5 reticle. My mystery ailment may have put me way out of shape, but I could knock the wings off a flea (well, maybe a turkey vulture) at 200 yards from sitting, prone, kneeling and standing with sticks.
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