'Tis the season

'Tis the season to be hunting up here in Alaska. Duck, Moose, Bear: you name it.

Forget the fancy white noise machines, the buzz of a bullet casing cleaner working its magic out in the garage seems to lull a toddler to sleep like nothing else. These days, it seems to come to life the second my husband walks through the door from work, sending toddler girl in search of her blankie and a story.

'Tis also the time of year that I beat tracks for my native land, leaving my hubby to revert to his wild man ways. T minus 7 days until his friend arrives from Atlanta and their moose hunt begins. They're pretty much ready: rifles are cleaned and sighted; outdoor stores have been thoroughly shopped and all their gear is ready to be packed into bags; maps are studied and marked and the truck is tuned up and ready to hit the road. My man must be feeling the same as a kid about to visit Disney for the first time.

Moose hunting season has been open for a few weeks now. You can tell because there seem to be a lot of single moms around town at week end. I do have some women friends who love a good moose hunt and they happily march off to the bush with their men every weekend. Me, I join the ranks of the single moms. We drink wine together and swap stories of our husbands' bush adventures.

Here on the Kenai Peninsula, the regulations for moose hunting have changed. Hunters are only allowed a bull of a certain, rather large, size. I notice that when my guy friends get together, the conversation inevitably steers to tales of monster moose sightings outside of town. I have yet to hear of someone actually landing a moose this year but the season is still young.

This year, the hubby got a call from a friend in Fairbanks who said that he wasn't hunting his "spot" and that my man was free to take it.  (One of these days, I'm going to find out how Alaska men mark their "spot.") Anyway, Hubs was invited to hunt his friend's spot and that is exactly what he plans to do.  He's the got the "spot" marked up on a map and has an elaborate plan devised for just how and when he's going to land his monster moose.

I wonder if part of the deal is that he has to burn the map he's marked outlining another man's spot when the season closes? I'll have to ask. I could probably write a book about moose hunting etiquette in Alaska.

It is fun watching my man take so much enjoyment out of something like this. Especially when it lands me a moose to eat this winter.  I wish him luck! In the meantime, I'll be enjoying time with friends and family on both coasts. This is the last time toddler flies for free so we're making the most of it.