Not many hunters can claim one of the biggest moose they've ever seen — and possibly one of the world's biggest — walked up to them during breakfast, but that's what recently happened to one German visitor to the Northwest Territories.
Berlin hunter Jan Boenicke shot a Yukon-Alaska bull moose one morning in October, during a hunting trip to the eastern slope of the Mackenzie Mountains.
The large moose had emerged through the willows after Boenicke's professional guide, Jim Rae of South Nahanni Outfitters, made several moose calls while the group was preparing morning coffee and breakfast.
"I let out the biggest 'yahoo' I've ever let out in my life. I just couldn't believe what I was staring at, to be quite honest with you," said Jim Rae, of South Nahanni Outfitters, who was Boenicke's guide on the October trip.
"The size of those antlers ... I don't even know how that animal carries those things."
While the moose was hunted in October, Boenicke had to wait 60 days for the moose trophy to dry before it could be officially measured by the Boone and Crockett Club, in order to determine if it is one of the largest Yukon-Alaska moose on record.
"We got together and had a look at this unbelievable huge moose," said Shane Buchanan, the Yukon's official measurer for Boone and Crockett, which maintains records of native North American large game trophies.
"It was a really exciting moment to have that opportunity to see and score something that large."
Rae said the antlers alone weighed about 40 kilograms and were just under two metres in length, from tip to tip.
If the measurements are accepted by Boone and Crocket, Boenicke's moose trophy could be in a four-way tie for the 19th-largest Yukon-Alaska moose in the world. It would also be the N.W.T.'s third moose in the club's top 20.
Boenicke told CBC News he plans to make his fourth hunting trip to the Mackenzie Mountains later this year.