A new world record for Alaska-Yukon moose has been recorded by the Boone and Crockett Club, one of the official record-keeping organizations for big game in North America. On September 25, Heinz Naef of Dawson City, Canada bagged a moose that has been scored at 263-1/8 net at the meeting of the Stewart and Yukon rivers that can be only described as enormous. Even after a lifetime of hunting moose, Naef said that the animal gave him a shock that day.
“He was a big boy and I could see him maybe 60 yards away in the bush. He was trying to weave his enormous antlers through bush,” the hunter recalled in an interview with the CBC.
Naef dispatched the animal at 35 yards with an old rifle chambered in .303 and netted about 1,250 pounds of moose meat. It was the meat that Naef was after, and he paid little attention to the animal’s massive antlers. The moose was dressed and headed to his freezer while its headgear were lopped off with a chainsaw. It was not until later that Naef thought about submitting the antlers for a record.
As a subsistence hunter, Naef summarizes the local attitude neatly when he says, “we’re not trophy hunters out here, we’re meat hunters.”
That does not mean that he is not proud of his achievement. Naef was present when Boone and Crockett measurer Clint Walker and his team judged the rack. Walker wrote about the measuring process below:
I approached the hunter, Heinz Naef, and in a quiet tone that could still be heard by everyone in the nearly silent room I said, “Well Heinz, no matter what the measurements are, you have yourself a really great trophy right there” as I pointed to the rack on the table. He humbly hung his head a little, clasped his giant hands together and replied, “Thank you, I know, I know…”
I looked at him for a couple seconds and followed with, “Unfortunately……..(- insert long pause here- and at which point the room let out a collective groan), you are going to have to get it measured by the panel because I have it officially measured at an inch and a half…….. (- insert another pause here-) ……… larger than the current world record!”
The room then erupted deafeningly with cheers of congratulations for the hunter while pictures and backslaps were certainly aplenty following that moment.
The previous record was harvested by John Crouse near Alaska’s Fortymile River in 1994. That moose scored 261-5/8.
However, the path to a world record for this moose is not complete yet. Naef will have to bring the antlers for a panel scoring in Reno, Nevada for verification, although at this point many can agree that it is only a formality. As for what happened to the rest of moose, Naef tells CBC that the harvest should last him until next fall, at the very least.
“It is the best meat you can get in the world,” Naef said.
Image courtesy Boone and Crockett Club