Time for everybody to be arm chair quarterbacks.
I had an interesting scenario this season calling a nice big bull moose. I would like to know what I could have done better.
First of all, we shot a nice bull on a lake about a mile from camp after calling for less than an hour right at dark. We did the quick (relative term) butcher job and hung it up on a meat pole right there and went back the next day to make carries back to the boats. We made one trip and were joking around at our second about seeing another moose and then one popped up about 800 yards away and started talking to us. No calling was done this day, but we were not quiet at the kill sight. We did not have a rifle, but did have a pistol. I left one person there with the pistol and booked it out to the river where the other people in our party were just coming back in order to bring the next shooter in for a kill. Half way out I realized that the person I left behind would probably try and shoot the thing with the little snub .44 if left to his own devices. I booked it back and told him not to shoot, then went back to the river, and brought the other person it. The moose stopped coming in about the time I came back to tell the .44 person not to shoot and we did not hear a peep after that for a few hours of trying. Next day we had the moose out and were getting fire wood up the river and making a racket (about a 1/2 mile from the kill sight). We called at the place were we saw the moose that day too, no go. The next day, we went to where we cut all the wood. Sat down for 10 minutes to listen then made one bull grunt. A moose was 20 yards behind us bedded down behind very thick cover. He made some grunts then stopped and walked off. The weather was VERY bad that day, and we needed to do some repairs so we went back to camp and made a racket taking apart a 351W. That evening while sipping Basil Haden and pondering the two moose we has scared up, a moose called from right behind us. We made our way down the beach 50 yards then made bull calls and thrashed some brush. Immediately the bull hung up and it got dark 20 min later. The next day we saw very big tracks walking down the beach and assumed the bull headed away from camp. We called all day in different spots down river to see if he was still hanging out. We then called from a spot closer to camp for about 2 hours before dark and a bull started coming in. The curious thing here was that it sounded like he was a 1/2 mile off in front of us, then all of a sudden he was 500 yards behind us. We were hearing on echo and I am sure the moose was hearing ours since we were not calling behind us. When he got closer, he heard the calls we were making more directly and hung up. Then we went home.
I have a few assumptions. This was probably one bull, and he was the big one we saw on the first day. Therefore, a little smarter than some of the littler bulls. He did not like my calls, bull or cow since every time I made one he went away. However, he came to calls when they were echos. He did not care a hoot about the noises of camp, in fact it seemed like all the noises attracted him.
So, what to do with a weary bull that still is showing some interest but stays just out of sight? A much more experienced hunter may have come up with a plan that worked instead of having the moose chase us around (notice we did not chase it) only to be disappointed by my calls.
Let the "advice" begin.