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A Moose Hunt with Two Tales

My mom left me at my cousin’s house and went hunting with her sister and brother-in-law, Kathy and Don. My mom and my aunt are tribal members, so hunting is loosely regulated, but Don isn't a member, and shouldn't have gone with them. It was very late before the adults came home again. Large snowflakes were swirling from the dark sky. My mom wasn’t with Don and Kathy. They dropped her off at the hospital before they left the moose at White’s Meats to be butchered.

This is how my mom tells the story:

"Kathy shot a moose and wounded it. I tracked it for miles, and it kept snowing and getting colder and colder. The snow was hip deep in places. It was getting dark when I heard a shot from up ahead. The moose looped back around and Kathy shot it from camp, killing it with the second shot. Kathy’s that kind of lucky shit, she shot the moose from the comfort of the fire and a cup of coffee. The moose walked right up to her. I am glad that it fell close to the road. Even quartered, the somabitch was heavy. The moose was so big that when we cut its head off, I could run my fist down its windpipe. It was a cow, and I heard stories that it had been attacking fishermen in the area. I had to go to the hospital afterwards because I froze my lungs when I was tracking it."

I remember staying with my dad while my mom was in the hospital for two weeks. I had the flu and didn’t leave the couch much. One of my mom’s friends brought me a Hot Wheels “Fall Guy” truck and a coloring book. I drove my truck all over my mom’s bedspread, when I went to visit her in the hospital.

Recently, the epoch hunt came up in conversation with my Aunt Kathy. “Well, at least I’m the hero of the story, but that’s not the way it happened.”

She told the story this way:

“Don saw the moose and stopped the truck. He fired at it over the top of the cab. I was afraid because Eloise climbed halfway out the window of the passenger side as he was firing, and people get shot that way. Then Eloise and I followed the moose’s blood trail up the hill. I thought for sure Eloise would out walk me up the hill. She’s a hard worker, and I’m a smoker with a desk job, but she was puffing just as much as I was. We walked a quarter of a mile when we heard shots up ahead. Don had driven up the road and shot the moose from the road.”

So, I asked my mom about her story, and she said:

“When I told my parents what happened, they threw a fit about Kathy and me going hunting with Don. It’s illegal for cowboys and Indians to go hunting together, so I quit telling the story with Don in it.”

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