The Bull Moose season closed here without my family scoring. We had already taken a couple bou so I wasn't bothered by our lack of success. But the Domestic Partner also had a cow moose tag. As well, my good friend's wife also had one. Sept. 15-30 is the cow season for the lucky few who have a tag. The first weekend we tried my fav close to town spot, but no luck. Good weather prevailed and an aerial recon found several barren cows in an accessible spot. I had never used this trail in the fall, but my buddy had. So we planned a Sunday hunt. The g/f and her tag stayed home...........but the buddies wife and her tag came with.
Most roads in this area are "Government" built and maintained but most trails are just hammered out by continued use. We started our hunt heading out the "new" built in 2006 road to a mine.........thank you Frank! Here's the buddy and tag holder:
The new road turns into the old road and then turns in to a trail. This particular trail is also used by the local National Guard to access a practice area. We had hardly got a mile down the trail...........and we could see the cows spotted the day before. They were still some mile and a half away...........but the hunt was looking good.
As we head further down the trail I know we are going to get into a marshy/muddy area. I was a little worried............needlessly! The guard, in years past, had laid down plastic grates in the marshy areas. Here's a look at the trail with grates:
Hopefully you can see the grates in the water on the trail. We had started down the "old road" about 9:30am. Less than an hour later we had scooted thru the tough parts of the trail and were less than a mile from our cows. Here's the partner and wife in the river we had to cross (shallow) to get to the moose. The pic was actually taken on the way back, but our kill location is directly behind them at the base of the hills:
Crossing the river was easy, but we had to wander a bit to find some firm ground to get wheelers to moose. Once a safe route was found, the wheelers were parked..............it's not like you can drive a wheeler to a moose around here and shoot it...........and a walking sneak was put on our quarry. All the maneuvering of the wheelers had been done in plain sight of the moose...........but we must have bored them as they had all laid down once we were ready to walk. One of the cows was in sight during the beginning of the walk/stalk but was behind willows as we got closer. Rounds were chambered in our rifles at the appropriate distance. It was a beautiful day with nary a breeze. I was wearing breatheable waders...........and I think the cow heard us approaching. At around 100 yds we looked up............and the cow is up and staring at us. Rifles were brought up and the tag holder fired the first shot. With the cow still standing but now facing the opposite direction..........I put one in her and she was down. Here she is:
And here is the pard attending to butcher duties:
After the shots the rest of the cows got up. But they weren't to worried I guess as they stood around and watched from 50 to 100 yds away. There were a total of 6 in the area. Here's a couple that hung around and later got serious about leaving"
2 ATVs were driven to the kill site and meat hauled back to where the 3rd waited. One wheeler had lost it's rear wheel drive just as we reached the river, before the stalk, but it held it's own going back and carried 2 quarters. Here is the partners coming back on the trail:
The ride back was good, cept for a flat tire that forced us to re-distribute the load. I had my truck parked where the new road ended so we only had to get that far and put the flat tire wheeler in the truck.
Was a great trip and great to try new country (for me). Might be a good spot for next years hunt also.
Had a long spell of indian summer after the hunt and got 2 weeks of good meat hanging temps. Should be some high quality steaks and roasts and I even used a homemade smoker to smoke dry meat and some brined roasts.
Still got a cow Ox tag to use Jan 1 or later. Should get the kid to fill that one.
Sorry for the small pics. Photobucket is not cooperating today!!