A father and son team up for a hunt they've long dreamed about, pursuing Yukon moose with longbows. It's a thrilling bucket list adventure of a lifetime.
Jason Hairston and his father Mike flew into the remote northern wilderness to try to take a Yukon moose with their longbows. Jason, who founded KUIU hunting gear, wanted to thank his father for everything Mike had done for him growing up, so he gifted his dad this hunt.
Hunting Yukon moose with a longbow had always been a bucket list item for Mike, so this was a very special opportunity to fulfill that dream.
"Because moose is so traditional, particularly for traditional bowhunters," says Mike, "it's the ideal animal. It's exciting, it's got some risk involved, it's remote areas. It's gorgeous."
The two men are guided by Bob House of Deuling Stone Outfitters, who said, "This is a team effort. We're all in it together." And indeed they are, as they boat upriver, deep into the Yukon wilderness in search of the forest monarch.
"It was always about moose," says Mike. "It's always been a dream animal for me to hunt."
This film isn't just about hunting moose. It is about fulfilling a 50-year dream, the love between father and son, and a shared experience.
Filmed against the backdrop of the Mackenzie Mountains, the film puts you right into the wilderness with the hunters as they hike the wet forests during their ten-day adventure.
When guide Glen Irvine calls in a large bull moose, Mike describes it as seeming like a "bulldozer." "He was coming at us," he recalls. "Clearly meaning to run us out of the territory."
"I was breathing heavily. I have never had an adrenaline rush like that," he recounts. "And then he stopped and was staring us in the eyes at about seventeen yards."
As the bull turned, Mike released his arrow. The giant ran several yards and stumbled into a stream, where he floundered and fell. "I was shaking!" Mike told Bob as the men smiled and congratulated one another.
"To be able to hunt with my dad is really special to me," says Jason. "To watch it all come together and see the look in his face, and to hear his heart beating, his breathing, as I'm standing next to him, and this bull's coming in... It's unbelievable."
"These Abiding Gifts" is one of several excellent moose hunting films that were released this year. "Beyond the Roar" also recalled a Yukon moose hunting adventure, and "BC Moose" tells a thoughtful story of hunting in British Columbia.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.