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Thread: Splash down. Alone again, naturally.

  1. #1
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default Splash down. Alone again, naturally.

    I won't use the brain shot on moving targets. I just wish they always stopped where they were when I pulled the trigger.

    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

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    Dang!!!.....................Lucky your a strong man!!

    We were Moose Hunting a while and a fellow asked why we would pass up huge Bulls, just because they were 1/2 mile from the river or next to a lake

    I'm sure your munching 'em now, looking at that picture and laughing.....
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  3. #3
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    I'm trucking along and see a cow. She is the 15th cow that I have seen, so no big. After looking around, I see where I can work up to a ridge ahead of me. The ridge runs a half mile or so around to where I might get a better look see.

    The whole world is wet. It had rained hard all night. As I started up the ridge, I couldn't find a place to step that didn't have dry leaves or sticks. No way to be quiet. Water everywhere but on this little ridge. Go figure.
    Change of plans. I started grunting as I walked. I'd stop every now and then and really tear it up. From where I was, I could no longer see the cow, or much of anything. The backside of the ridge was open tundra bog. Easy and quiet. I hustled around the ridge and dropped back to the swamp. I just sat there for a few and checked it out.

    The cow had moved around the wettest part of the swamp and was now closer to me. I gave 3 low grunts. She radared in on me, ears swiveling. Another cow with a calf in tow wandered out of the alders. OK, liking it so far. 20 minutes later I gat a bit more aggressive and barked out a single grunt, louder. I snapped some branches and waited. The first thing I noticed were the trees behind the cow swaying. I grunted 2 more times and the trees responded. This time I heard horn scraping on the trees.

    In an instant, I become the predator. Body low and fast to the edge of the brush, keeping out of site of the 2 cows. I found the deadest bush around and snapped a few branches. Instant grunt from the trees. Boy, this is what we live for. I have no idea of what is in the trees, but after a week of mulligans and cows quietly staring at me, this was a rush. Now, when I grunt, he immediately responds in kind. Then he doesn't stop grunting. Continuous, very quiet non-stop yhert, yhert yert. I decided he was ready for the challenge and I gave him 3 loud yeonks. (how do you spell the sounds a moose can make?)

    He took the bait and charged down his ridge and hit a creek I didn't know was there. He went completely under water, popped up and swam to this island. After he shook the water off, like a big dog, he started posturing.

    I took this bad picture of him, as he was a pretty sight for sore eyes. His submarine act sure had my attention as I wondered just how deep is this swamp?

    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  4. #4
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm laughing now alright.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  5. #5
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    A bit less zoom and you can see the ridge he came off of. The deep creek wraps from left to right behind and on both sides of him.

    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  6. #6

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    There are those moose hunters who have dropped one in the water...and there are those moose hunters who eventually will...
    14 Days to Alaska
    Also available on Kindle and Nook

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    Member fengib's Avatar
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    Nice job and congrats! I had this same problem this year too. Luckily mine was just a little guy.133.jpgHe expired in waist deep water but I was able to float him to where this picture was taken. It was a cold day with only hip boots. A bull in the water is better than no bull.. Congrats!

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    There's a reason we call them swamp donkeys...
    Tony

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Sheep hunting is waaaaaayyyyyyy easier
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  10. #10

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    Wow, amazing! Dumb question, but is it really hard to butcher them in the water? I would think it would be a little easier since they are more buoyant, but I know nothing.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I haven't had to deal with one in a swamp in a very long time and hope it stays that way! Doing that solo had to be a bit of a challenge...

  12. #12

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    More proof that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words

  13. #13
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default As Paul Harvey would say.....

    When the hunt started life was easy. The sun was shining, the agates were bright and life seemed easy with the GF along.



    Wasn't putting any meat in the freezer though. 60 was really warm and easy to justify a day hunting on the beach. Plus I found an old wooden Standard Oil crate that made a sweet kindling box. I did finally get them out to look at some swamps.

    One swamp drained into a nice little lake. "Swampy" needed a bath since I wouldn't let him be carried. I was starting to have trouble keeping them focused.



    Back into the swamp 2 cows and a calf came to the grunting I was doing. It was fun showing how they react to the grunts. We kicked up a grouse about every 4th corner while we walked back to the road. On about the 4th, Swampy finally caught on I wanted him to flush them. (If I walk up on them, they fly out into the woods. If a dog does the flush, they usually fly straight up and stay in range)

    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  14. #14
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default My secret weapon

    The next couple of days were more of the same. Cows and calves. I packed them on a plane.
    The next morning I was on the 4 wheeler early heading high. I was at the alder line, sitting on a swamp with plenty of sign around. The cold wind cut thru me, only made better by the spitting rain. Thinking this cold has to get something moving, I stuck it out. Then the largest lynx I ever saw crossed the "trail" I was sitting by. Instantly forgot the cold. I swear he was as big as a lab. Come December he will be looking a lot better then he did that day. But no moose talking. After about 3 hours I bagged it. 2 more hunts up high didn't produce even a cow sighting. They were around, but with the full moon, days were quiet.
    The view from the cabin that night.

    I decided to concentrate my efforts lower, where I was seeing game. The second to the last day of the season was when I came across the cow that lead to the bull.

    So we are challenging each other and he is standing in tall grass thrashing a scrub willow. I am, oh, my hat. I wear a beige hat that blends in with the dry grass seeds. It is also a pretty good match for a horn. I would flash that slowly side to side so he could see it return his posturing. That would cause another round of tree trashing. From both of us. And all the time he is grunting really low, but continuous. It's now almost dark and he won't come out of the swamp. Hung up at the edge of the island and not getting brave. I knew why when I heard a loud grunt over from the direction the cows had headed. He threw his head up, a different animal, and headed that way at a brisk walk.

    It was now or never and dark thirty. I had a 50-50 chance of getting a rig to him but I could use a boat if I have to and the season ends tomorrow and the freezer is low and he has 3 brow tines and he sure looks nice and BOOOM! A smarter man might have considered that he'd be there in the morning. I think if he would have stayed put, darkness would have decided my best move was to slip out of there. But he took off & I was hunting.

    Live life and love it
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  15. #15
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Good write up. It's as if I was at your side. truly a good one until I saw the picture.

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    So, how did you get him out of there. Obviously no way to winch him out of there, where would you winch him to even if you could build an anchor system and had a good chainsaw type winch. Did you leave the hide on or just suffer with swamp juice?

  17. #17
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Bullbuster,

    Great story and pics! Congrats.

    Not sure how you dealt with that bull, but as I've gotten many moose that died in the water, my advice to hunters when this happens is to cut the head off at the atlas joint, which allows you to then float the moose into shallower water (sans antlers that hang up) to where you can get skin and butcher and get one side off, flip it over to work on the other side. It's a real PITA by yourself but can be done.

    With the smaller bulls like the one fengib showed (congrats btw on an archery bull!) you don't have to cut the head off to get it to shallower water.

    And yeah, a bull in the water is better than no bull at all, even though at the time it may not seem like it <grin>.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default El fin, almost

    He stumbled at the shot. Every step got wobblier. But he was still stepping and just as I was about to hit him again his upper body tilted and he leaned to the left. 5 short steps later he walked right off the island tipping over immediately, splashing down for good. I hung on to the poplar sapling I was using as a rest for a few minutes. I hate it when they get up. He didn't.

    From my left, out of sight came a LOUD challenge grunt/roar. I couldn't see that end of the swamp from where I was, but he sounded huge. It just made me smile more, cause this is who we wish we could be all the time and the moose I was looking at was a mighty fine one.
    OK, he was down for the count and I headed out towards him. It was deeper than my knee highs, but I thought I could find a route. Breaking a dead sapling for a probe brought an unexpected gaawwk from the direction of the last grunt. The noises that I have heard come out of a moose's mouth told me something was up. I figured the other bull was gathering his girls. It's too dark to see much so I start probing my way out into the flooded swamp.

    Just as I hit the tops of my boots yet again, the cow and calf come out of the trees in a hurry. She is MAD at me. Making the weirdest noise, like a her lips were flapping and ended it with a grunting cough. She is aggressive and I don't feel so much like the deadly predator anymore. I had my gun, but had plenty on my plate already. I splashed with my sapling and she came closer, slapping the water with her front hoof as she kicked towards me. Oh man, now what? Behind me it was DEEP and COLD and DARK. I shrunk as small as I could, speaking low and calm to her and keeping the gun on that side of me. After a few minutes she stomped off to the right, still slobbering and grunting. But she is not leaving, she is going to the bull. And the calf is following. Interesting. I've had bulls come to dead moose a few times, but the cows usually put a quick show on and leave.

    I now noticed that at some point I had filled my boots. I also noticed a chance to get back to dry ground, leaving her to her mission. I decided he was going to sit in that swamp until morning. It's been a heck of an evening and I needed to re-rig for the next phase of this hunt. And eat, breakfast seemed so long ago...

    (I've got stuff to do outside before it gets any darker, I'll try to get back and finish this, sorry for dragging it out) }:>
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  19. #19
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Sounds like your getting your moneys worth from this hunt - action, elation, fear, sweat, yep you did good!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  20. #20
    Member Antleridge's Avatar
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    C'mon, man - we're waiting!

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