True adventures consist of a main storyline and a bunch of little things that make it memorable. For instance I will always remember my bison hunt back in 2006. Not only did I take one of the great beasts with a bow but peppered throughout the trip were small tidbits of things that built upon the whole feel of the hunt. Dad and I stopped at every Bass Pro and Cabela’s store on the way to North Dakota. Whoever decided on where to build these two stores did a fantastic job as they were spaced perfectly for rest stops rather than pulling off the side of an interstate to one of the many run by the different states. We also visited the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, ND, walked the grounds of one of General Custer’s battles, and hiked and climbed to the top of an old Indian burial ground. Again, the little things enhanced the experience.
David Tomlin drew a moose permit for the second time for a hunt in New Brunswick, Canada. In 2008, David was successful in downing a monster 14 point bull moose with a 51 inch spread and weighing over 1000 pounds. It was a great hunt and trip, but David wanted to spice things up even more for this second hunt. David decided to bring along his son Eli who is eight years old.
The first thing that stuck in Eli’s mind was the passage from the United States to Canada and back again. You can imagine a kid’s awe of the processes that are going on while traveling from one country to another.
As far as the area where the hunt would take place, New Brunswick specialized in agriculture production. While they harvest many different crops, potatoes do particularly well there. Eli noticed the extensive amounts of labor and machinery used during the harvesting of the potatoes.
David also took Eli on a side trip to Hartland, New Brunswick. There, spanning the St. John River is the Hartland Bridge. Constructed between 1898 and 1901, the Hartland Bridge is the world’s longest covered bridge. Running nearly 1300 feet across the river the first person to cross the bridge was a Dr. Estey who was responding to an emergency on the other side.
Another of the small things was the generator powered cabin that David and Eli stayed in. David noted that in today’s world there are often deadlines, time tables, and places to go. There, the only thing that dictated time spent were the two to them. During the evening they would sit on the porch and play cards. Father and son.
Of course, the highlight and main goal of the trip was the moose hunt. New Brunswick only has a three day season. Dale Clark, the guide for the trip, is an expert ‘moose-talker’. Using a horn made out of birch that resembles an extremely large funnel, one could understand where the term ‘bull horn’ comes from. Dale worked the call and the three of them spotted seven moose the first morning in just an hour and a half of calling. Afterwards, they hiked to a couple of beaver ponds and up a hill where they saw a big bodied bull. Eli and David crouched down and moved in closer. Estimating the distance at 300 yards, David waited for the moose to turn broadside before squeezing the trigger on the Savage 7mm mag. The shot was true and the bull dropped. The rack was smaller than one they saw in the morning but the body was much bigger. And Eli witnessed and was part of a great adventure of things both small and large.