My brother and I decided to give one of the registration moose hunts a try on Saturday. We loaded up early in the morning and hit the trails. We were looking by 9:30am, and seeing lots of sign, but no moose. Lots of other hunters zipping around as well, so we decided to head into areas with no fresh snowmachine sign. Soon we noticed all of the moose sign was in the willows, and we could tell what was fresh from the freezing rain we got the night before. We slowly motored through and came up on our first moose. A mature cow about 300 yards out. We tried stalking in on foot, but the crunchy snow and wind at our backs screwed us. A 50"+ bull walked out of the willows behind her and after a while of trying to close the distance, we realized it just wasn't going to happen.
A half hour or so later, we come up on two guys that had just shot a moose each. One was bedded and the other standing, both mature cows. They shot the standing one, then the bedded one stood up and they knocked it down too. We congratulated them and kept on. 10 minutes later I break out into an opening, and noticed several moose headed towards the willows. We shut the machines off and worked in closer, which is when I noticed that there were about 10 moose in the herd. A couple of small bulls, a couple cows with calves and a few lone cows. We had a shot at one around 200 yards, but I scoped it with the bino's first and sure enough it had small spike antlers. With the moose disappearing in the willows, we decided to creep up closer when I noticed a cow off to the left. My brother took a shot, but later told me he thought she was a few hundred yards out and held just above her. I realized she was within 100-150 yards, and held right on her shoulder. The .243 dropper her in her tracks. A quick finishing shot was needed when we got up to her, and as we pulled up, another cow jumped up from the brush just behind her. We figured one was enough and let it move off through the willows.
I quickly took the guts out of the moose, and we gave it a try to load her whole into a medium sized otter sled. It worked great! The troopers super cub buzzed over head, and 10 minutes later two troopers showed up on snowmachines. They checked us out, and decided to have some lunch as my brother and I wrapped things up to get out of there. 4 ratchet straps holding the moose it were tightened down, and my sled held all the gear.
We got turned around a bit out there and couldn't find the line back to our trail head. We spent about an hour and found a new way back to the roads, which actually turned out to be a good thing as we found a new way in and out of the area that I like quite a bit more. The Otter Sled held up great, and we were able to skin out the moose like a bear rug back home in a warm garage. Am I able to sell this thing to somebody wanting to do a full body mount?
Sunday, my brothers family came over and we all spent 4-5 hours processing meat. Nearly everything is done except one hind quarter that we'll wrap up Monday night. It sure was a blessing to have this registration opportunity. We hadn't gotten a moose this year, so we are relieved to finally have some meat for our families. I had an awesome day with my brother. The weather was perfect, right around 30 all day and light winds. Partly cloudy with plenty of sun and we put 44 miles on the machines.