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Mayer fills once in a lifetime moose license

Mouse River Journal of Towner, North Dakota

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For many North Dakota residents, hunting isn't just a sport, it's a way of life. And one area man knows this theory all too well.

Jeff Mayer, of rural Upham, has been an avid hunter and outdoors-man most of his life. He has participated in many hunting excursions amd adventures, in both our bountiful North Dakota wildlife area as well as in other parts of the US and Canada.

Most recently, Mayer was fortu-nat e to draw the once-in-a-lifetime North Dakota moose hunting license. With less than 90 bull moose tags issued in North Dakota eac h year, Mayer was quite excited to be drawn. So when ND moose season opened on October 2nd, Mayer was ready to hunt. Within just a few hours of season opener, Mayer had brought down a 45-1/2 inch bull moose that weighed in at about 1200 lbs. This successful hunt took place in Mayer's hometown area, about eight or nine miles west of Glenburn.

I had been applying for a moo se tag for about 25 years." stated Mayer. "This particular moose was shot with a .338 Weatherby Win. Mag. I had hunted for about three hours when two bulls presented themselves. I took the biggest one on the edge of a waterhole. It only went about 30 yards and of course, had to expire in a slough with atbout ten inches of water. The thrill of the hunt is definitely elevated when you know you're privileged enough to get the once-in-a-lifetime tag. Even though it isn't the largest bull I've taken down, it was the most gratifying."

Although the moose Mayer got this year was quite a large hunt for North Dakota, it's not much of a comparison to the 60 1/2 inch bull moose that Mayer got in 2002, in the Cumberland Delta area of Saskatchewan, Canada. "It was about 25 miles in the bush from the closest road, accessed by a small motor boat." Mayer says. "At about 10am on the first day, our guide called him 'the bull moose' in and he stepped out of the brush at about 30 yds. It was very exciting having something that big get that close! We could hear the sound of his paddles brushing the tree branches as he got closer. The anticipation of seeing him caused a great deal of excitement," Mayer continues. "When he came out, he was: slowly rocking his head from side to side, as they most commonly do when they're called in. I was using a 30-06 Winchester that day. The pull of the trigger was definitely the easiest part of that day." Mayer states with a smile.

In June of 2004, Mayer traveled to Central Saskatchewan, Canada, where he spent some time in a tree stand hunting Black bear. During this hunting excursion, Mayer got a mature bear that squared out at nine feet. From the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, he measured eight feet. "The largest scale the guide had at the time only went up to 550 lbs," says Mayer. "The bear bottomed out the scale with part of his hind quarters still on the ground!"

Each fall for the last 15 years, just prior, to the North Dakota deer season in early November, Mayer travels to Pagosa Springs,

Colorado, to spend a week hunting for elk. This year, however, the hunting in Pagosa Springs was not as satisfying as it has been in some past years. Due to unseasonably warm temperatures in southern Colorado, the elk were hiding down low and not up high in the mountains where Mayer and his hunting posse have been lucky in the past.

"We may not have had the hunting success that normally accompanies hunts like this," says Mayer, "but my gratification on this trip was to have my family along, many of which had never experienced the mountains and all were awe struck by the scenery. I most enjoyed watching them truly enjoy the outdoors. I may not have gotten the big one this time, but I can say I received memories that will make me smile for the rest of my life."

Local residents that accompanied Mayer on this year's trip to Colorado were his wife, Barb, Jason and Mandy Hall of Newburg, Bob Andel of rural Upham, and Casey Andel and his wife Jamie of Towner. "It was an all-around great experience," states Casey Andel. "We learned first hand about hunting in different regions and landscapes, and some of the safety measures that are required in the mountains. All in all, though, the scenery was definitely a high light for this trip."

For Mayer and his wife Barb, hunting isn't just about the "big kill" however. They stock their freezer with the meat Jeffs hunts bring in, and enjoy cooking with the various types of game. Anyone who has shared a meal at the Mayer's will tell you what a treat it can be to experience some of these different tastes!

"The thrill of the hunt is definitely elevated when you know you're privileged enough to get the once-in-a-lifetime tag."

- Jeff Mayer on hunting for moose

Copyright 2009 Mouse River Journal, Towner, North Dakota. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: October 28, 2009

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