A Conversation with Owls

They’re back! “Hoo-hu-hoo. Hooo hooo,” say the owls, from the tips of the highest spruce trees. We rushed out, never having heard them so close. Usually we hear their conversations as a distant echo but that night a couple were right in the yard, as if to say, “we’re back”.

We hear owls all winter. They call to each other through the long hours of darkness, always the same refrain, back and forth across the valley. But in the summer they leave us. Perhaps the 24 hour daylight drives them off. But where? Graveyard vaults? The dark side of the moon?
Neil joined in. “Hoo-hu-hoo. Hooo hooo,” he said. They paused. We peered up at them with our headlamps and they blinked back with electric eyes. One answered, shocked, the other exclaimed in agreement. Then they opened their massive wings and soared across the yard, spread wide and white as sails.

As they passed, the sky seemed to open above us and daylight shine in. They settled far off in the woods, to discuss the strange turn of events …

Moose Encounters

We’ve had a few moose encounters recently, the most significant being the one I shot. The Tr’ondëk Hwich’ën people believe that if you think about an animal, you draw it to you. I thought about nothing else as we hunted and later, processed the kill and so we’ve had lots of moose visitors. I am now thinking hard about fine wine and vast sums of money. I imagine the theory is only for animals but you never know. 
(Update- a kind friend gave me a bottle of wine yesterday. It works!)

We started hunting early. I’ve learned a lot about moose from people here and from reading blogs. The rut is around the last two weeks of September. Bulls don’t come down from the mountains til it gets cold. Best time to hunt them is just before dark or just after sunrise as they move around at night, or round midday when they tend to get up for a stretch.

From the moose themselves I’ve learnt this, shoot them when they’re there cos they don’t always play by the rules. I'm sure we heard a cow calling in …