Ideally a moose hunt ends with a grueling grunt home and a very full freezer.
For Garrett Heselius, 28, of Soldotna, his hunt last week off of Marathon Road outside of Kenai ended with a headache instead.
Heselius left his Ford Ranger pick-up parked about four miles out on the road that leads northward from Kenai on Sept. 7, with the plan to spend a few days in the field looking for his moose.
It's an area Heselius said he's gone to for years.
His hunt came to end on Thursday morning however, when a friend who was passing by his parked vehicle called him to say he had a problem.
"One of my buddies gave me a call at 8 o'clock to tell me my truck was up on blocks," Heselius said in an interview this week.
Both of the wheels had been removed from the driver's side of Heselius' pick up along with the left front four-wheel drive hub. On top of that, the apparent thief or thieves went for the passenger side wheels as well, but stripped the lug nuts in the process.
Nothing was removed from the cab of the truck.
"Someone just wanted some wheels and a 4 wheel drive hub I guess," Heselius said.
The loss was estimated at $750 according to an Alaska State Troopers report.
While Heselius said he's never had theft problems when leaving his vehicle at that spot in the past, three days before the incident he said an acquaintance had his vehicle broken into on Marathon.
Heselius said a friend who was hunting nearby checked his truck for him on Wednesday night though, and said at that time there was no problem.
The wheel thief apparently visited sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Needless to say, Heselius' hunt was off when he got the news on Thursday, and he still needed to get himself, his truck and the four-wheeler he was using home.
He was fortunate enough to be hunting near a few other hunters who worked at a tire shop and were able to help get him out of the jam.
In the mean time, Heselius said his truck doesn't have four-wheel drive, and he'll be doing things a little differently next time around.
"From here on out I'm going have someone drop me off and pick me up, because obviously leaving my truck doesn't turn out good," he said.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Alaska State Troopers at 262-4453 or Crimestoppers at 283-8477.
Dante Petri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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