Susan C. Anthony

Moose AntlersMurder, She Thought

September 6, 2007

Dennis' brother retired and was finally able to join us during hunting season. A young girlfriend of Susan's also came to the lake for a few days. She brought along a girlie movie, Legally Blond. It was a little too girlie for the guys, who were rolling their eyes. Dennis' brother John decided to hike to the top of the hill to call his wife. Reception is usually a bit better there.

Moose season had just opened. We hadn't yet heard a single shot. From the top of the hill, though, John saw two large bull moose right on the trail! He raced back to summon Dennis, who wasn't the least bit disappointed to miss out on the rest of the movie. They spent more than an hour glassing to be sure the moose was legal (antler spread 50" or more). As twilight fell and the moose started to move on, they bagged the largest of the two with a single shot.

It was huge, and they spent part of the night and most of the next day working hard to get the meat back to camp and hung to dry. Thankfully, they were able to transport it by machine, the moose having graciously cooperated by standing right on the trail!

I drove back to town in the car to take my young friend home and get the truck. While there, I told friends staying in our basement that we'd bagged a big moose and I was taking the truck up to bring it home to cut up and freeze.

Meanwhile, other friends arrived at the lake in a borrowed vehicle. Their truck had broken down and been towed to a small auto repair shop, where the mechanics were waiting for parts. Our friends expected it to be fixed by time they went home, but it wasn't. They had to get back to town for work, so I volunteered to drive their car back to town when it was ready, to save them a long trip.

Dennis and John dropped me at the mechanics and arrived back in Anchorage with the truck and the moose, but not me. They hung the meat in the garage in game bags, set the antlers on the floor, and left to get dinner at a restaurant.

Unexpectedly, friends arrived to spend the night at our house while the guys were gone. They lived out of town and had to catch a plane the next morning. When the folks in the basement came home from work, they noticed strange people upstairs and an unfamiliar vehicle in the drive. It was nearly dark. They opened the garage and turned on the lights to see bloody bags hanging. The woman's first thought was that WE were in the bags! In her mind, the strangers in the house had killed us, and she would be their next victim! She went berserk, screaming and tearing around the yard in a frenzy. "It's a moose!" said her roommate, pointing to the antlers. No one could calm her. At that point might, someone probably needed to call the guys in white coats.

By the time Dennis and John returned, the worst of the drama had passed. Not long afterward, our basement was vacated. The woman never spoke to us again. Was she disappointed it was a moose?

Go on to read Loons at the Lake
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony