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Thread: Pre-rut Moose hunting Tactics

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    Default Pre-rut Moose hunting Tactics

    I am heading out in about a week for a moose archery hunt. This will be my first pre-rut moose hunt and I am just looking for tactics people have used before to close the last few yards of a stalk (in the event the animal is aware of your presence). Books and videos that I have read/watched have mentioned that you can wave a boat oar or a white trash bag to keep moose from running if you are spotted while trying to move in close enough for a shot with your bow. How well does this work? I have been told that bull grunts will keep them in place. Does this work? A combination of the two? Are there other tactics that work better? I have archery hunted elk and whitetail before but this will be my first for moose. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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    Using a boat oar or a white trash bag will work on some moose some times. I would not use a trash bag that close to a moose because it will make sounds you do not want the animal to hear. A bull grunt could keep a bull from moving. If you decide to use a grunt sound do not make a aggressive sound, you do not want to sound threatening this time of year. If it a small bull you may not want to sound like a bull because any bull might scare the animal away. If I had to sound like a moose I would sound like a cow moose.

    A moose has a 1000 times better hearing that a person and it almost impossible to not make any sounds, any sound need to be natural or moosee. This may sound odd but how good is your hearing, if you have very good hearing it will help to tell you what the moose is doing.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Use the abundant ground level brush and leaves for concealment to get closer, try not to let the moose see you. That is your best bet, IMO and one of the only saving graces of hunting this early.

    If you have no choice but to let a moose see you, it can work to carry a shoulderblade from a moose or caribou with you. Hold it to your head and act like a little paddle bull heading at a skewed angle sortof towards the target. I have had that tactic work for moving right thru a group of cows to get to a bull on the other side before when there was no other option. I have no idea why it worked, btw!!!


    I have tried bull grunts and cow calls in late summer/early fall just for kicks and it seems to spook them off more than anything, YMMV.

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    If you want to freeze a bull, do nothing. they don't see well, especially at 5 or 6 am, and often give you many seconds for a shot before deciding you're dangerous.

    I like to approach to where they bedded down the night before, often get within 15-30 yards of them and wait for them to get up and move out.

    It helps to pattern them and know where they are bedding, of course, and wait till they wake up on the wrong side of the bed...

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    One time years ago early in the season, I called a bull in. BUT it was too early really for them to be sparring or rutting. The bull came in hard but then locked up probably no more than 75 yards away. Problem was, it was so thick I couldn't see a thing.

    Early in the season the bulls are just starting to want to see "who's" around. They don't want to mate, they don't want to spar, they just know that they have a feelin' that they need to start wondering about prospective competition in the area. So, even though this bull came in hard to the call, grunting all the way, he stopped short and instead of grunting, he started this very unique, nasally, almost "clucking" sound. I believe it was his way of saying "ok......I'm here but now it's your turn".

    I was very new to calling at that time and really didn't know what to do. He was so close I believed if I would have continued the grunting (with my mouth) he would have figured me out and spooked. So instead I did nothing thinking he was going to come all the way in. But after awhile of him doing his "clucking" thing, and me doing nothing.....he just left.

    Years later, and now with lots of experience under my belt, I now believe I know what I should have done. As I said I believe the bull wanted me to make my move. So I think what I should have done, was as SLOWLY as I could, walk towards him, very gently tapping a shoulder blade on the branches, as if just to duplicate a bull coming through thick vegetation and hitting his horns a time or two as he moved. I feel this may have kept the bull curious and allowed me to get a bit closer and possibly see him before he saw me.

    I also know that some are firm believers in tying a string to a scapula and dragging it behind them as they walk through the woods. It doesn't necessarily duplicate raking, but can also cause a bull to hold up and want to see who's in their neck of the woods. The dragging the scapula behind will also help to break up the natural foot falls of a two footed creature.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    are you hunting alone or with a parner. if the moose is on to you try all of the above you have nothing to lose. If you decide to try calling do not be agressive..remember at the opening of archery season most moose are still in velvet so they're mostly just curious. If you have a partner have him or her(if moose is on to you) distract the moose with a few soft grunts and the scapula on the head while you sneak into position. If a shot is not possible dont spook him too bad and maybe you'll get another chance at him...

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    every time I have tried to call moose in August, it has met with a spooked moose. I don't have the depth of experience, but my calling early has been less and less. I let it rip at the end of september though.

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    My experiences.

    Early season the bulls are on the move to rut grounds. Looking for what other bulls are in the area and lone cows.

    Cow calls don't work too well. Bull grunts spook them off, there not lookin for a challenge- there's no point to spar unless there's cows to be won.

    Take note of early season activity- times of day they are active and bed, pattern of movement.

    Timber at night, open during the day to bed?

    I love a good frosty night. Always seems to peak the activity level. Bulls get pretty active around the second week of September. I've been charged pretty hard by bulls looking to dominate.

    You can do some serious damage with a Prestone jug, just cut the bottom out. It carries a much more natural sound compared to the market bull horn. The scraping just sounds better.

    Early- either cover ground and observe, or find a good spot and sit on it.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Archery moose is a crap shoot. I don't even bother anymore. You pretty much need to get up before sunrise, drive to a moosie looking spot and glass. The guys that I know that are most successful during archery moose season are guys that drive through moose country every day and have the bulls located before the season starts. Right Roger
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i can say i have schooled a lot of new moose hunters.. and the most difficult part any of them have, Regardless of hunting experiance in the lower 48... is seeing them... moose do not behave like elk or deer, do not travle to bed and feed spots like they do... and dont pattern like deer or elk.

    the biggest mythconspetions is that the bull comes to cows... when the bulls show up first and cows come to look for him. Alaska moose research center in the KP has a ton of moose information they are willing to share if a person is willing to learn it.

    pre rut.. expect earlllllly morning and LATTTTTE evening. with maybe a midday snack on his part.. they wont be up or out a too awful lot.

    but still learning to spot a bull who dont want to be seen.. is a trick all in its own. and by far the hardest hurdel to over come. to many eveingins i have sat and shown people... in farely open country.. 20-30-40... and they never seen them till they walked again..Moose have the ability. to turn into trees and vicea versa.. and they will do it RIGHT in front of you
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Dougie I've got a forker in the yard right now.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1344407147.101627.jpg
    This guy is asking to be eaten...

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    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1344407147.101627.jpg
    This guy is asking to be eaten...
    Send him my way... I'm in a legal area at my house!

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    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    I think mine has a bigger rack than yours!

    And I like to harvest them when they're a few years beyond diapers if I can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    I think mine has a bigger rack than yours!

    And I like to harvest them when they're a few years beyond diapers if I can.
    But if he was bed down in your yard Friday morning, would you pass?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post

    Thats got" Honey, Hold my cup of coffee while I launch this muzzy 125 Gr into the boiler room" just off the back deck" written all over it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    But if he was bed down in your yard Friday morning, would you pass?
    Not a chance!

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    Yep my neighborhood seems a haven for moose this time of year. I'll see 3-5 different bulls but they all seem to come up missing around the 10th.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    andweav, seen him last night after a night of glassing. There were 2 other moose with him...

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