“Could This Be You?”

Stories from an Alaskan Pioneer

Originally Published in 1966


When the hunting season is in full swing, stories about the great nimrods and their mighty deeds are reported by newspapers and daily gossip.

Have you an airplane, or the mazuma to pay for a trip? Chances are 99 to one you have a moose in the freezer for the winter. How different from the time when only ham and bacon were sold over the counter! [editor’s note: I believe Heinie was referring to when he lived in Holland before moving to Alaska]

For example, Roy Cornelius, father of Mrs. Ralph Moore, used to get his moose by traveling with horse and sled, loaded with hay, beans, and bacon, from the homestead in Palmer via Wasilla through forest and swamp to Willow Creek. In about two or three weeks, he usually stopped by our cabin for a cup of coffee, on his way home with his sled loaded with his well-deserved moose.

Once, late at night, someone knocked on the window-pane, and a voice said, “Heinie, there’s half a moose hanging on a tree about nine miles west toward Big Lake. The trail is well blazed.”

Next day, the whole Snider tribe packed out a couple hundred pounds of moose meat.

Late one winter, one of our Valley friends had passed away and a grave was dug and covered with a carpet resembling grass.

Upon their arrival the next day, the mourners were surprised to see that the grave was already occupied—a large moose had fallen into the grave! A wrecker was called, and the Monarch of the Woods went on his happy way.

Many folks like to hunt, I, however, believe that the best way is by camera. Every season we read about the accidental shooting of fellow hunters. I would like to suggest that the state issue to every hunter pointers to prevent the killing of the human species.



Could this be you?

“A hunter popped a ptarmigan on a hill;

It made a great-to-do and then lay still.

It seems that later on his bag he spied …

It was the guide.

One shot a squirrel in a nearby wood—

A pretty shot, off-hand, from where he stood.

It wore, they said, a shooting hat of brown

And lived in town.

And one dispatched a rabbit for his haul

That later proved to measure six feet tall;

And lest you think I’m handing you a myth,

Its name was Smith

Brother Nimrod slew the champion fox …

He glimpsed it lurking in among the rocks.

One shot—it never spoke or moved,

The inquest proved.

A cautious man espied a gleam of brown—

Was it a moose? Or Jones, a friend from town?

But while he pondered by the river’s brim,

Jones potted him.”








Story by Gerrit Heinie Snider

From his book “Centennial – 100 Stories of Alaska”

Originally Published in 1966


Published with permission from the family of Gerrit Heinie Snider.




Categories: History

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