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Thread: Weird recovery of moose

  1. #1
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Default Weird recovery of moose

    image.jpgTuesday morning I was hunting my last morning of my long weekend off from school. I usually walk around in the woods still hinting this time of year mostly scouting and not expecting to kill anything because of how thick it still is and harder to call. I mainly try to see a bull then go back and call in the general area around the 13-20th, which has proved successful in years past. With the heavy rain I was able to walk around fairly quietly with good cover noise. I came to an area and jumped a big bull out of his bed, he heard me coming and took off. So I was happy and thought my morning walk was a success. 5 minutes later I saw a cow with twins and slowly kept moving forward. 100 more yards of sneaking around I saw a bright looking thing in the brush that looked like an antler about 80 yards off. I stopped sat down and put my rifle scope up but with all the fog/ rain I couldn't see what it was, I told my self no way is that a bull laying right in front of me! I poured a cup of coffee and was drinking when I saw the antler move! So now I cleaned off the scope and got pretty excited, it was in fact a bedded bull. I snuck up to a spot that if he stood up randomly I could shoot after determining he had 3 brow tines. I watched him for about 45 minutes thanks to a constant wind direction and watched his head move back and forth many times to make sure I was counting separate brow points and told my self that I would confirm on more time when he stood up and looked right at me. I was at about 40 yards, this being the only spot where I could have a semi clear shot when he stood up. He was looking right at me strait on and I confirmed brow tines and shot. The shot was very hard quartering towards angle and was confident that I hit him good. He ran off and I shot two more times through really thick trees for insurance he stood there for probably 60 seconds and I reloaded watching and waiting for him to drop, then he just trotted off. Now is the weird part and I have never had this happen before. I went to where I shot and couldn't find blood so I went back to where I shot and went to where he was standing after the 3 shots and couldn't find blood. I had a sick feeling in my gut. I looked within 100 yards for 2 hours and never found a single hair or speck of blood. At this point I had myself convinced I had missed a guaranteed shot, NEVER DO THIS. So I went back to get help and 3 of us looked and looked and looked for another 2 hours and never found a speck of blood. I must have flat out missed this moose, but something told me there is no way that is possible. Finally I found him 150-200 yards from where I shot dead as could be and I was so relived. I could see where he had been stumbling around before he fell and I backtracked a ways and never found on speck of blood. I couldn't believe it. I still feel guilty that I almost called it off as a clean miss, and now have proof to never lose confidence in your shot and finding down game even when it appears to be a missed shot. We rolled the moose over and still no blood and was wondering if he just had a heart attack. But I found right where I was aiming and there was the bullet hole in is left shoulder/High briskest area. 270 with 150 grain nosler bullet did the trick again but was thinking my 338 pry would have made an exit hole regardless of angle and most likely a blood trail. Moral of the story for me anyways is never stop looking, you can't miss at 40 yards haha. Has anyone ever had a bullet hole that is fully plugged shut like this? This was a first for me.
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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Congrats and job well done on sticking to the hunt. I've read of similar kills a time or two. Way too limited experience of my own, although I have helped track a bleeding deer that we lost due to rain.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Congrats on the moose! I've heard of bullet holds almost closing up from smaller calibers on bigger game. The thick skin and fat work as a good plug.

    sent from my igloo

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    thats weird, last year i had the same thing happen, a 50 yard broad side shot on a forky, with a open sight 30-30, i shot and searched for 4 hours with my dad and grandpa and never found a speck of blood or anything, I counted it as a miss, maybe I shouldn't have? I went back to the area later that year and never saw any ravens or smelled rotting flesh.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  5. #5

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    Good story and good job. I will give my 02 cents but you already know that your 270 is on the light end for big animals, it's ok for ideal broadside shots, double punch the lungs no problem. In this case you probably would have been better of to wait for a better angle or try a brain shot, not just head but brain. The real issue is a less than ideal hit due to a less than ideal angle which allowed the moose to get a good ways off. I've never seen an animal travel more than 50 yards or so shot through BOTH lungs with good bullets. A comment on the 338 I have shot moose and big bears in the shoulder/base of neck with nosler partitions and only had a disappointing 18 inches or so of penetration. Very demanding area for sure but I think some of the newer bullets designed for less expansion would have given better performance.

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Congrats and great job taking the time to make sure he's legal and recovering your game. That's how dedicated we all should be as outdoorsmen.

  7. #7
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    I know the 270 is smaller for sure and usually wait for broad side but this thing was looking at me and I thought he would bolt if I waited for him to turn and it was very thick and if he moved 5 feet there was no shot. I have never not seen a moose I have shot with that 270 go down mainly because a quick follow up shot to the neck after I'm confident I busted both Lungs.

  8. #8
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    My dad shot a moose with 230 fail safes in a 338 and that bullet penetrated through about 6 feet of moose! That is weird only 18 inches with a 338 and partition bullets

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Excellent job on the recovery!

    Mike
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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Just goes to show, stuff happens. Good job sticking with it, and congrats on the full freezer.

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    Congrats and excellent tenacity on keeping after that moose. Those head on shots are tough for blood for sure thus some of the comments above, I'm really surprised he didn't bleed from his nose at least after his lungs started to fill.

    Again, excellent effort, I cannot imagine how relieved you were when you recovered him.

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Daniel,

    I really appreciate this post. Hopefully it will hammer home the point that after any shot, it's best to assume the animal is wounded, and to try to track it down and find it. Well done on your part and congrats.

  13. #13
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Way to stick with the search and recover your downed moose, it can be tough but is needed at times. Sometimes despite shot placement, adequate calibers and quality bullets things happen and animals don't die right there.

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    I shot a brown bear through the chest while it was facing me with my .338-06 wildcat with .225 gr. Horandy Interbonds, and it didn't bleed a speck of blood for the trail. My buddy questioned whether I had hit it, but I was sure, it also was a close shot. I finally smelled it before we found it piled up in the brush 40 yards from where i shot it. When I went to roll it over the large chest wound opened and bled profusely. Why it left no trail, I can't figure. Good on you for finding your animal and not doubting the shot. Enjoy that tasty meat.

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    Member oldmil007's Avatar
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    Congrats on your moose Dan, and way to stick with it!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by extrema View Post
    A comment on the 338 I have shot moose and big bears in the shoulder/base of neck with nosler partitions and only had a disappointing 18 inches or so of penetration.
    I'd have to say that those were some pretty weak 338 shells.....possibly defective?

    Quote Originally Posted by extrema View Post
    Good story and good job. I will give my 02 cents but you already know that your 270 is on the light end for big animals
    A lot of big elk would probably say different............lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishslayer View Post
    I finally smelled it before we found it piled up in the brush 40 yards from where i shot it. When I went to roll it over the large chest wound opened and bled profusely. Why it left no trail, I can't figure.
    The fat, especially on bears, can sometimes plug even the most deadliest of wounds....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  18. #18
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielApplin View Post
    Finally I found him 150-200 yards from where I shot dead as could be and I was so relived.
    Congrats on a great bull...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I'd have to say that those were some pretty weak 338 shells.....possibly defective?



    A lot of big elk would probably say different............lol
    No doubt you have seen it all and got it all figured out........lol

  20. #20

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    Daniel,
    Good job on not giving up. You learned a valuable lesson. Good job and good eating!

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