Today was the first day of the moose hunting season in Sweden! So of course, we got up at 3:45 am to go moose hunting.
Now, I was warned that this would be extremely boring. It consists of hours upon hours of sitting around waiting for a moose. But it is the experience that counts, right? So I thought I’d be late to work today (Monday) and try sitting around for a few hours looking out for moose.
4:30 am is when the hunting season officially starts. So we start out at that time to head to our spot for the next few hours.
We drive around the back of Johan’s land, park the car, and start our long walk up to the tower. Not after 10 minutes of walking do we come across a full grown male elk standing in an open field!
It is still dark out and we can just see the silhouette of the moose. He is facing us, which is one of the worse positions for the shot (aim for the lungs). I hold my breath, so afraid if I move it will scare the moose away.
Johan aims. And waits. Later I found out he was waiting to see if the moose would turn around – it didn’t. Finally, he takes his first shot. BOOM!
A bird a few meters in front of the moose flies away. The moose does not move. Did he even hit it? Johan aims for his second shot. BOOM! Suddenly a dust cloud rises from the moose as if it was an old rug getting a beating. The moose turns, and runs! The chase is on!
Or is it? The moose collapses a few feet away from where he originally stood. Johan aims ones more time to get a final shot. BOOM! Now lets go get that moose!
Johan saw a moose behind the one he shot at, which was running away. But that is ok, that one can get away today, for today we have our moose!
I must say the land where the moose fell was NOT easy to get too. In the excitement I managed to fall flat on my face and step in a pool of water. All ok, we found the moose! It looked dead when we got there – it flinched once, but that was it. I thanked Mr. Moose for sacrificing himself in order to feed us for the winter – the moose meat Johan’s family shares and eats all year long.
Later Johan’s father and sister came – 5am, the sun is now coming up. Now it is time for the show off shots!
So, this supposedly extremely boring activity that takes hours upon hours ended up taking only 30 minutes. This year, Johan kindly reminds me.
Now for the gross part – not for the light of heart! So please do not read further if you don’t want to see the inside of the moose…
Ok, first thing is to is bleed the moose out. Just make a small incision and let the blood go!
Then it is time to move the moose to flatter ground.
Next, we need to gut the moose. As fun as it looks! Luckily Johan and his dad did this part.
All of the guts are scraps… except for the heart, that is delicious smoked!
Once it is gutted it is time to skin and hang it! So off to Drangsmark to do this. When we got there, another hunting team had a moose hanging. So we started working on ours, waiting for them to finish.
Skinning the moose was a lot of work but not as gross as I thought it would be!
Once complete, Johan was very happy with his moose! The finish product ended weighing a whopping 235 kilos!
Johan and I take the head to the trailer (he will save the antlers). It is surprisingly heavy!
So everything is ready. We leave the moose in the green bag for one day (the bag is to make sure flies don’t lay any eggs in the meat. Once it is cool, it will be moved to a fridge where it will hang for 7 to 10 days before the meat will be cut in pieces and frozen so we can eat it all year round!
Yummy! I have to say it was a fabulous first hunting experience. And not boring at all!!