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First time’s a charm

First time applicant fills moose tag, also has elk tag

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Rebecca Harvey and Mike Hammer, Makoti, use binoculars to try and spot moose during the first afternoon of the season Oct. 9. Harvey drew a moose tag in her first attempt at the once-in-a-lifetime lottery. The photograph was taken near Hiddenwood Lake.

MAKOTI – The luck of the draw suits Rebecca Harvey just fine.

The Makoti resident drew both a North Dakota moose and an elk tag this year. It was the first time she had ever applied for the once-in-a-lifetime licenses so sought after by thousands of state residents.

“When my boyfriend was filling out his application he asked me if I wanted to be on the same application,” said Harvey. “I said no, I’d go on my own. When I found out I was successful on both moose and elk, well, I won’t tell you what he said.”

The odds of drawing either tag are quite long. This year there were 23,626 applicants for 460 available moose licenses and 20,684 applicants for 344 elk licenses, making drawing for either tag a less than 2% chance of being successful.

“Now I’m the driver, gutter, loader and packer,” laughed Mike Hammer, Harvey’s boyfriend, a few minutes before the noon start to the first day of the moose season. “We know people that haven’t got drawn in 40 years. I was in Idaho for eight years and put in every year and never got drawn. I’ve been here since 2014 and never been drawn.”

Rebecca Harvey, Makoti, with the cow moose she harvested late in the day Oct. 15. The fortunate lady also has a North Dakota deer and elk tag

A short time later Harvey and Hammer were using binoculars atop a high vantage point in the hopes of locating a cow moose. Harvey’s tag was for Unit M11, bordered by U.S. Highway 83 in the east with the city of New Town located in the approximate center of the sizeable unit.

“I am excited,” said Harvey. “We have three weeks to find my moose and then I’ve got until the end of December to get my elk.”

Harvey didn’t get a chance at a moose opening weekend but did the following Thursday. She filled her tag south of Wabek about 45 minutes before sundown.

“We had to wait for the moose to come out of posted land,” recalled Harvey.

Eventually the moose stepped onto land on which Harvey had permission to hunt. Her aim was on target.

“I was just shaking,” said Harvey. “Then I thought Merry Christmas to my kids. They are getting moose meat for Christmas!”

There’s no doubt freezer space will be at a premium at the Harvey household. In addition to the huge moose, which weighed an estimated 1,350 pounds, Harvey has a deer hunt scheduled in Arizona. Then she’ll return home for the North Dakota deer season which will be followed by her North Dakota elk hunt.

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