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Hunting moose with NASCAR's Clint Bowyer and wolves show up

Some quotable person at some point in time said the following, "do as I say, not as I do." At least I think they said something like that. It doesn't really matter who said it, but it does matter that you learn a lesson from my own lackadaisical nature.

I was recently on an Alberta moose hunt deep in the bush of the central part of the province. Of course I acquired the proper licensing, but while I was purchasing my license I was too excited and jabbering with my camp mate, none other than NASCAR's Clint Bowyer (www.clintbowyer.com), to make the most of my hunt. Our moose hunt was going to be short and sweet, three days at best with full focus on moose. Our outfitter figured that with such a huge goal of tagging moose that other incidentals like coyotes or wolf licensing wasn't needed. I nodded in agreement and continued to listen to Clint's stories of behind the scenes in NASCAR. At times I had tears rolling down my face because of his humorous energy.

The next morning Clint headed in one direction and I another. I didn't see any moose in the morning so at midday our guide put me on a stand to watch hundreds of yards of road in case a rutting moose meandered by. Not long after my watch started I spied a white object more than 500 yards down the logging road. My binocular (www.nikonhunting.com) confirmed it as a big Alberta coyote. The coyote moused its way toward me for nearly 10 minutes and then suddenly took a detour. I remembered the jog in the road and realized that if the coyote continued it would show up directly in front of me. It did. In fact, it walked to within 8.4 yards of me as I hid in the shadow of the aspens. Of course I didn't have a license so the coyote was safe for the moment.

Two days later Clint and I again split up. He headed to a lake several hundred yards away and I sat watch on a closer one, both hoping Bullwinkle was going to show. As I sat there I heard the strangest sound. Was it the bark of an alarmed moose? Was it someone's dog? Then it hit me like a NASCAR pileup. It was a wolf. My predator hunting instinct took over and when one of the wolves howled I ripped a howl right back.

Holy cow did I wake the neighbors! The angry wolf howled back once, twice and then a third time. In between it barked challenges and from the auditory clues I could tell it was getting closer. I added in a couple of more jabs and then waited with tense anxiousness hoping I'd get a peek at an Alberta wolf. Unfortunately it never did poke its head out of the bush. Later I learned Clint's guide actually saw the pair, a black and gray that were trotting down the nearby lake shore. Clint was two steps behind and only heard the same howling conversation I did.

I would have loved to have seen the wolves, but having them respond to my howls only a few hundred yards away was a memorable experience. Having the right license in my pocket would have made the trip a real success on the predator front and it's a mistake I won't make again. Do as I say, not as I do.

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