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Local Business Owner Bags Big Game in Alaska

Watkins posing with a caribou she caught on one of her numerous hunting adventures

Local business woman Tina Watkins recently arrived back in Columbus after a week long hunting adventure in Alaska in which she bagged the elusive bull moose.
Watkins was in Kotzebue, Alaska, just north of the Arctic Circle when she and her brother Tony Owens killed the nearly 1,000 pound animal.
Watkins’ grandmother is “full blooded Eskimo” and she says nearly everyone in Kotzebue is family, adding “we’re all cousins.” Watkins goes up to Alaska every year to visit her brother and on each trip they go hunting for big game. She insists it’s “not for trophy because they need the meat. They have to fill up their freezers.”
The business owner is known for her namesake gas station Tina Watkins 45 and is amazed at the prices of goods in Kotzebue. She claims a bag of chips is 10 dollars as well as a gallon of milk. A gallon of gas can cost well over five dollars. She says they use not only moose meat but caribou meat. On her recent visit, they made a caribou roast and “it was so good!”
The moose meat can be used the same way that local hunters use deer meat. The bull moose is a young moose that doesn’t yet have big horns and is considered “prime meat.” “It doesn’t have a wild taste at all. It’s really good!”
Watkins and her brother Tony killed the moose with a .300 ultra mag on Sunday evening just as it was getting dark. The creature came up out of the water and was idling on the bank when Owens fired the shot. According to Watkins you can shot a moose right above the ear and “he’ll drop like a rock” However, her brother’s scope wasn’t focused and he fired blindly. The moose ran off and the pair had to track the animal through the woods. Once they found the beast, Watkins says they had to hurry because nightfall was fast approaching. “This is not the place you want to be when it gets dark because you can’t see a bear. If you want to see a bear, you kill a moose.”
With the help of her brother’s wife, the three cut up the animal and had to carry the meat out of the woods. “We had to tie it on big sticks and cart it out. We cut off the shoulders and the hind quarters and each of those weigh about 200 pounds.”
Watkins was supposed to fly out of Alaska on Monday morning but since they hadn’t seen a moose on any of their hunting trips earlier in the week, decided to go out one last time. The gamble paid off and they saw a moose just as they were getting ready to call it a night. However, the animal took so long to gut and skin that Watkins missed her returning flight back to Mississippi. She says it was worth it though, exclaiming “I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to get a moose!”

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