His & Hers Moose Hunt

Glori H.

There is nothing more serene than being out in God’s country where most other humans don’t or won’t go. I am a 56-year-old woman who spent her first 13 years in the urban jungle of the Bay Area in California. My brother and I were raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet. Being poor, people often helped by giving us portions of their wild harvest, such as bear ribs, deer, and elk. That is probably where I acquired my taste for wild game. My family eventually moved to Washington state where I married into a family of avid hunters, and I have been chasing wild game ever since.

My husband Jeff and I have long had moose hunts on our bucket lists, but here in Washington you can only hunt moose if you get drawn for a special permit. We first met Kiff Covert of Covert Outfitting when we attended the Washington Sportsman’s Show in Puyallup, Washington in 2017 or 2018. I was impressed with his high success rates and loved that his hunt area for Shiras moose was only an hour north of our home in Tonasket, Washington. We got to know him a bit, picked up his brochures, and resolved to book a hunt in the next couple of years. Initially, the plan was to go in 2020 but when the whole world came to a stop because of COVID, we were unable to enter Canada for a time.

As soon as Canada re-opened, we called Kiff and sought to book a hunt for 2021. With all the rescheduling of hunters he was having to do, available dates were limited. Yet, somehow Kiff was able to provide a week in October for my husband to hunt, with a spot for me to tag along as a non-hunting guest. 

So close yet so far! Getting across the Canadian border would require multiple vaccinations, and both of us to produce negative COVID tests on both sides of the border. We finally had everything lined up and made our way to Peachland, BC. We arrived at a beautiful Airbnb overlooking Okanagan Lake and were met by Kiff and his incredible team of guides, Aaron and Brent. Two other hunters were also scheduled that week: John from Washington, and another couple, Don and Sue from Nevada. Don was the hunter and Sue was a non-hunting guest like me. I soon learned that Sue loved to hunt like I did, and we were both excited to share this experience with our husbands. There is nothing better than being with people who are as passionate about the sport as you are! Tracy the cook was so sweet and accommodating, making sure we were well fed with rich and delicious meals and deserts, even adjusting as necessary for my dietary needs. Everyone was warm and generous, and we were off to making lifelong friends.

The first day of our first hunt began early with a hot breakfast and coffee. Gathering our gear, Jeff and I jumped in a truck with Kiff, Don and Sue set off with Aaron, and John was with Brent. The air was crisp, light snow covered the hills, and the moose were feeding. Excitement was in the air! 

Once back in the hills we saw at least 13 moose, mostly cows and calves – although we got especially excited when a beautiful bull ran right in front of the truck! Unfortunately, he didn’t stop to stand still for a shot. The excitement had not yet died down when the truck radio crackled and Aaron’s voice exclaimed, “Bull down!” Don had harvested a nice moose. What a great start to the week! By the end of the day, John too had a bull tagged and bagged – wow! Meanwhile, Jeff’s moose tag was burning a hole in his pocket. 

Over the next few days, we were dogged by warm temperatures and a low cloud ceiling that sent the moose into hiding. Kiff explained how moose are more active during sub-freezing temperatures. The less-than-ideal conditions persisted and we saw no moose the next few days and were beginning to feel a bit discouraged. Meanwhile Kiff kept positive and working hard. 

Finally, on the second to last day of the hunt, the fog lifted, and temperatures dropped. The moose were moving again! A small bull presented itself and Kiff suggested this might be Jeff’s only opportunity to bring home a moose. Jeff took his shot, and the bull was down. 

The guys had left me waiting in the truck when they’d headed out on the two-seat side-by-side, so I was the third to know. “Bull down!” Hearing Kiff’s voice on the radio sent a thrill through me. He asked that I relay the message to Aaron and Brent, and I was happy to do as requested and then report back that they were on their way. I really appreciated how the guides in Kiff’s operation were keen to contribute to the success of the other hunters. Shortly, Kiff returned to the truck to get what he needed to break down the moose and bring me out to where the action was happening. “I’ve already got you on the calendar for next year!” he reported with a grin. Apparently, Jeff had told Kiff to go ahead and book me for 2022!

As Jeff and I headed home a few days later, we talked about how nice it had been to get to know Don and Sue. “How about you shoot Sue a text and ask if they’d like to go on another grand adventure together someday,” Jeff suggested. Great idea! Sue texted back almost immediately, suggesting we all return to do a girls’ moose hunt with Covert Outfitting. Before we’d even reached the US border, Sue reported that she’d connected with Kiff and was scheduled for the same week in 2022!

From that moment I began to dream about the day we would return to complete our bucket list. As a Christmas present my husband ordered me a custom-built .30-06 from RBros, and he worked to perfect the right load to knock down a moose. My hunting load was a 190 grain AccuBond bullet and Hornady’s Superformance powder running at 2870 feet per second, more than sufficient for a Shiras moose. I spent many hours at the range and out in the field, producing consistent groups of less than one MOA out to 450-yards. Finally, the day came when we were on our way back to Canada, and I was full of anticipation and excitement.

Arriving at another beautiful Airbnb in Peachland, BC felt like coming home. The house was full of familiar faces and warm hugs. It was so great to see everyone! We laughed and chatted until Tracy arrived with another one of her wonderful homecooked meals. After dinner we took care of the licensing requirements and discussed the plans for the next day. Sue would hunt with Aaron, and I would be with Kiff. We were all excited for the girls’ chance to experience their moose hunt. 

The first hunt day was a bitterly cold morning in Peachland. Snow glistened all around, trees and shrubs covered in hoar frost creating a winter magic. But again, as last time, we found ourselves plagued with stubborn fog! Adding to that, a dump of snow from a storm the week before required we use snow machines to get around. Kiff led the way on a snowmobile while Jeff and I followed on a tracked side-by-side. We were to stay close and ready. 

We hadn’t been underway for long when Kiff spotted a couple moose near the ridgeline of an adjacent hill. As he came to a stop, he motioned for me to come forward. I jumped out of the side-by-side, pulling off layers of gloves and hats. The moose visible in the light fog weren’t very large; Kiff asked if I wanted to try for one of these or wait for something bigger. Not being picky I was perfectly content to harvest the bull and began to prepare for the shot. Jeff set up the shooting sticks while Kiff handed me my rifle. I loaded a couple of rounds, positioned my rifle on the sticks, and found the bull in my scope. Just then the fog dropped and obscured my view. Dang it!

We waited, leaving the machine running, hoping the bulls would still be there once the fog cleared. Although Kiff was concerned that the moose would wander off before I had the opportunity to shoot, he suggested we give it another few minutes. Nearly ten minutes passed. Miraculously, when the fog lifted, not only were the two bulls still there, but a third bull had joined! Once I could clearly see, there – standing broadside, silhouetted against the snow and looking at me – was the moose of a lifetime. I squeezed off a round, and just to make sure, I fired another round. It proved to be unnecessary as the first had found its mark and blown a large hole through both lungs. The other two bulls trotted off into a thicket of trees. My moose took two steps in the opposite direction and collapsed in the snow. Kiff and I climbed aboard  the snowmobile and zipped over to a better vantage point, Kiff periodically glassing to ensure the animal had expired. When he was confident that the bull was indeed dead, he turned to me and made it official with a handshake and a grin. “Congratulations!”

Now for our next trick! We need to get to the bull, which required climbing the hillside covered in more than two feet of snow. My legs seemed to disappear in the rut of tracks being broken by Jeff and Kiff. Going slow and steady, my anticipation was rising with every step. Then, joy and tears overwhelmed me when I finally saw the monster of a moose lying in the snow. He was a 9 x 10 with a drop-tine on one side and was the most majestic creature I’d had the privilege of hunting. Later, Aaron said it was apropos that I should take the largest moose that year since my husband had taken the smallest the previous year! 

I’m forever grateful. Not only did Covert Outfitting help me complete a hunt of a lifetime and cross an item off my bucket list, but they also provided the opportunity to make wonderful new friends. Added to that, Kiff and his team of great guides, the comfortable accommodations, and the magnificent beauty of Canada did not disappoint. I cannot wait for my next adventure with Covert Outfitting and am already booked – heading back to hunt cougar with Kiff in January. I highly recommend anyone who is looking for a quality experience and high success rates to book their next hunt with Kiff and his team. 

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