An avid outdoorsmen, I’ve had my share of great hunts and memorable fishing expeditions. Yet I always looked forward to an opportunity to hunt giant moose in the vast wilderness of Alaska.
I finally got my chance back in September. My wife and I took a trip Alaska, an unspoiled part of our great country that is breathtaking in its natural beauty and incredible vastness. The hunt itself was a powerful experience, but not just for the reasons you might imagine; certainly not the ones I did.
I expected many of the challenges — the cold, exhaustion, and the dangers of being so far from civilization — but I definitely did not expect the stark contrast between the wilderness and civilization to cause me to see my business in a whole new way.
The Hunt Begins
Joining me on the hunt was Kent Kaiser, an avid outdoorsman, internationally successful tour guide, and author of the compelling new autobiography, HARD WAY BACK: One Man’s True Story of Rejoicing through Adversity. Born in Niles, Michigan, Kent grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and knows the lay of the land as much or more than anyone.
The hunt was on when Kent and I climbed a large, bare hill and spotted a giant moose in the distance. We identified its location using our binoculars, and headed toward him by way of our camp, where we picked up additional equipment.
We crossed streams, navigated through briars, and hit tundra on our trek towards the moose. Tundra is a deceptively difficult terrain to move through. You have to maneuver among small bushes that are dense enough to stand on but have a tendency to roll over. That leaves you stepping between the bushes while watching out for holes and crevasses that can lead to ankle injuries. It’s strenuous and exhausting, but at this point we had plenty of adrenaline to keep us moving.
As we trudged along the tundra, we finally spotted the moose next to an outcropping of spruce trees. I went to a low position, and my partner went high and sounded a moose call, drawing the animal in to where it was only a couple hundred yards away. Moose are a majestic animal, and it’s impossible to take in the size of them until you see one up close.
The rest is history, and we were left to pull all 1,700 pounds of meat back with us to avoid heavy fines by the state patrols. That was a challenge, but we shouldered it, strong in our belief that no meat should go to waste.
So what did I learn out in the wilderness that surprised me? What you might suspect was true. The experience was a confidence builder and motivator to jump into challenges and opportunities back home. After that hike through the cold tundra with a moose on my back, I was reminded how important it is to keep a healthy mind and body.
I discovered more than those things on the trip, however. I also came to realize deep down why I am so passionate about the aerial platforms business. It’s not just the powerful machines and happy customers — though those are key. It’s providing solutions that dramatically reduce physical labor, make operations safer, and fundamentally enable our country to grow.
Out in the wilderness, everything is work and technology is limited. Only when you strip away everything that we take for granted do you truly appreciate what we have. I am proud and honored to serve my customers by helping them carry out their jobs as efficiently and safely as possible.
If you like, enjoy this great video from the hunt!