Impressions by David Carsten Pedersen.
What was it like to work with a baying dog?
Working with a baying dog is quite different than hunting with any other dog. We have probably hunted like that since the stone age, and the relation between the hunter and his dog is very strong. These days, the dogs are fitted with a GPS to track their movements and help the hunters locate the barking. Once it’s located, you start stalking until you are within range, using the sound of the barks to camouflage your steps. Once the moose gets a notion of the hunters, it will quickly run off with the dog unable to stop it again.
How did you prepare for the moose hunt?
I try to be prepared by going through three simple steps. The first one is to prepare yourself mentally. Being mentally ready is incredibly important if you want to have great trip, no matter where you go. The second way to prepare is to practice extensively with your weapon. On a hunt like this, you might only have a small window of opportunity. The third one is to get in shape physically. Remember that every step you take in the weeks prior to your hunt will make the whole trip so much more enjoyable. So start exercising now!
What special characteristics do the optics have to meet for the hunt?
With temperatures down to -20 °C, you need hunting optics that are both versatile and clear, but also durable enough to withstand the elements. Hunting in the thick forest means that your shooting range can change from 10 to 150 meters in a very short time. Having world class coating on your lenses with a wide field of view and deep clear magnification means increasing any opportunities for making the crucial shot.
The campfire was burning, we chewed dried deer meat
and drank fragrant coffee.
For what distances have you used your riflescope?
In the last hours of our hunt, we spotted the moose calf from some distance away. Moving deep into the darkness of the forrest, it was still easy to spot the moose and give it a well placed shot, using the illuminated reticle. The ability to pinpoint a target at medium range, and finishing the ordeal with a close range shot at lowest magnification, tells you a lot about the versatility and performance of the riflescope.
What was the most important moment for you on this hunting trip?
On a trip like this you experience so many things that you will never forget. But if I have to name one moment that really meant a lot to me, it would be sitting by the river after the moose was down. We had started a small log fire and Tommy had produced dried reindeer meat. Suddenly he exclaimed in his slow northern Swedish accent: “Next time you don’t need a guide my friend. I’ll let you run the dog yourself.” The compliment was not a joke, or a nicety to make a client feel good about himself. It was a simple stated fact, from a man that only says what he means. In the fading sunlight, it was hard not to feel a sting of pride and that I had passed the test as a hunter in this harsh northern land, high above the arctic circle.