By Joseph Robertia
Hunters who take to the woods in pursuit of moose harbor some sort of hope for success — whether it’s a modest desire to fill a freezer with meat or daydreams of a record-setting specimen. The moose Bob Condon, of Soldotna, bagged last month exceeded even his wildest wildlife daydreams.
Weighing more than 1,500 pounds with an antler spread of more than 73 inches, beams measuring roughly 10 inches in circumference at the base, and palms large enough to hammock a grown man, Condon’s bull was nothing short of a behemoth. In fact, it may end up being the second largest ever taken down.
“I knew he was a real shooter, but I didn’t know the true caliber of animal he was until I got up on him. I’ve hunted and guided nearly all my life and never gotten one over 950 (pounds), so getting one weighing 1,500 was a real treat, and it’ll be in the all-time books for sure,” Condon said.
The moose is surely awe-inspiring, though Condon himself is worthy of some amazement, as well.
At 73, an age when many might retire from the difficulty and discomfort of a hunt, Condon keeps doing what he
loves doing, even in spite of health setbacks. He’s had five bypass surgeries in the last few years and just had a heart attack in March.
“My doctors told me not to hunt, so this was a real blessing,” he said.
While pursuing moose, Condon has also been at the receiving end of bull’s antlers. Two years ago after he dropped a bull with a 56-inch antler spread, he made a mistake of setting his rifle down a little too far away when he went in to ensure the beast was dead. It was not.
“It was a stupid mistake, and I paid for it,” he said. “He picked me up by the antlers and flung me around three or four times, gored me, tore my boots.”