Yukon Triple Crown

By Chad Birrenkott
Yukon, Guided, Public Land

Chad Birrenkott - Yukon Triple CrownDecember/January 2014 EHJ (Issue 140) - I awoke to the hustle of gathering horses getting lined out for our ride to spike camp. It was September in the Canadian Yukon and the moose rut was kicking in. With two guides, one wrangler, seventeen horses and my good friend Otis, we made spike camp in a little over three hours. Along the way, Otis’s saddle came undone and he went for a spill. Luckily, he was unscathed, only losing his glasses. When we arrived at camp, I joking asked him if he wanted to buy some horses when we got home.

"Only for target practice.”

We saw five bulls, three cows and nine caribou that afternoon. The next morning, we awoke to guide Terry yelling about the moose being close. That got me out of my sleeping bag in a hurry!

We watched two bulls and two cows before we decided to go after the bull Terry wanted. We tied up the horses and put the sneak on. We closed the distance to less than a hundred yards when we spotted a cow that stopped us dead in our tracks. As we stared down the cow, we could hear the bull grunting. The cow soon lost interest in us, and as she did Terry stood up and told me to shoot.

I could see the bull’s head was laid back, smelling the cow. It was a 68-yard chip shot. As soon as his vitals were exposed I dropped the hammer and downed a big 60-inch Yukon moose! We spent the next few hours quartering, caping and deboning.

That same evening, Terry spotted another bull right from camp. We watched the bull while sitting by the campfire, swapping hunting stories from years past.

Terry woke us up early with bacon, eggs and cowboy coffee cooking on the fire. While we were slow to get moving on another unseasonably warm fall morning, Otis’ guide Karla went up high to look for moose. It didn’t take her long and she came running back down the ridge hollering that a grizzly was on my moose.

We all went up to have a look just as the bear ran off with a rack of ribs. That was supposed to be dinner! Later that morning we headed back to the kill site to gather up the meat. With guns loaded we were on the moose carcass when we heard the grizzly growl and crash in the willows. We worked up a small hill behind us to get a better view down on him. The bear was 60 yards away just staring at us and occasionally lifting his head to catch our scent.

Chad Birrenkott - Yukon Triple Crown

For a full account of Chad's adventure, go to page 26 in the December/January 2014 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.