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Thread: Confidence buildling moose calling stories

  1. #1
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    Default Confidence buildling moose calling stories

    A friend and I are doing a drop camp moose hunt in SW Alaska this September. Weather permitting, we'll be in camp on 9/13 and able to shoot on 9/14.

    I have read many threads about the importance of sitting tight, calling, and waiting for the moose to come to you as opposed to stomping all over the area and stinking it up.

    Would love to hear some stories from those of you that have done it (we haven't) to help build our confidence in the plan, and prevent our inevitable wanderlust from dragging us over the horizon too early.

    This is really a dream trip. I've wanted to do it for about 30 years.

    Thanks to all that have posted before. We've learned a lot from the experiences you have shared.

  2. #2
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    We've never called a bull in. But we have been successful sitting up high, glassing, glassing, spotting and then stalking. Many moose this way also.

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    Imitating a cow moose call is not to difficult and with a bit of practice anyone can do it, a bull grunt is a little harder. The hard part is to determine which one to use when. The only time I use a bull grunt is when a bull wont come in the last little bit and present a shot (a lot of times they will be just inside the timber etc.) or if they are heading away from you. Bull grunt can also be successful to lure a bull away from the cows if the cow call wont but try moving at least 10 yds from the spot you were cow calling.. When I use the bull grunt I will also rake the trees with a big stick or paddle etc. between calls.
    When cow calling do it at least a couple times a minute. I never usually sit in 1 spot for more than about 10 minutes and then will go to another likely looking location.
    If you here a bull responding to your cow call his grunt will usually be quite repetitive until he stops to listen and locate you, at this point let out another cow call.
    These are just a few tips and Im sure you will get others as well as different techniques from other members…good luck.

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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    If you have not watched this dvd set well worth it. I bought the 6 hour one years ago

    http://www.gouthrosmoosemadness.com/
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    No need to have a confidence issue, calling moose is the easiest part of moose hunting. YouTube is your friend........And if you are that concerned about how your voice call sounds, you can always switch to raking brush-anyone can do that! My call has changed a lot over the years, I have a video from years back of me calling moose (I thought it sounded great at the time) and it sounds horrible to me now, but a moose came to it! You need to worry more about frequency and time of day more than the actual sound.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Don't give up on your spot, they can here you and are weird about when they want to come in, just sit tight and don't over call
    Last light is usually the best time In my experience

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    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/36q8sHC6Kg4

    Watch this guy's videos, I posted the link for just one above, search for his others. He is pretty spot on, and this will give you a good base line.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

  8. #8
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    This video shows us calling a bull in from over a mile away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlrKSTzgbg
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    And one thing to note is that moose can be very slow to react to calling, taking a day or more for those unseen bulls to show up due to repeated calling in one area.
    Once you find a likely area, call sparingly and don't give up. Especially at last light, in hopes they'll move in overnight.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Best piece of equipment I personally can recomend is get yourself a white plastic 5 gal buck lid. When you are ready for a call session look for a big spruce tree and hunker down and get comfy. Let things settle down to a silence for 5-10 min and then take your bucket lid and do a long scrap down the spruce tree finished with a decent smack. Sit very quietly for a few seconds and give a couple of grunts. Now the hard part, do NOTHING but listen for 10-15 minutes. Start up again with breaking a few big branches, another scrap and a few more grunts. Wait another 10-15 and repeat, each time getting a little more agressive. When you hear a response, grunt right back, check your wind and plan which way he's coming in. Moose almost always will head straight in untill they are close, then they will try to circle and try to wind you. If you happen to get sight of him means he can see you and thats when you play a little hide and seak. Get behind some thick stuff and lift the white bucket lid as high as you can and "flash" him thru the thick stuff while banging the lid and also answer each of his grunts immediately after he grunts. If he's a big boy then you should have no problem gettting him to come to you for a shot. If he's a smaller bull then be carefull not to over do it with the calling. If he feels threatened after sizing you up he will either never come out for a shot or he will bail and run. As far as cow calls, I only do them right before dark and right before light. I have called in many moose over the years, one of my favorite things to do. Really gets the blood pumping. Last year I had 3 bulls come in at the same time from different directions before the wife settled on this one...


    Good luck on your hunt!

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    patience and perseverance. calling does work at the right time/place. the last one I called circled around 180 degrees to try and pick up scent, but in the end he got too curious and got dropped . the mistake newbies make is not giving it enough time, and standing up too suddenly when you're ready to move. get up sloooowww, and look everywhere. I have had bulls standing 40 feet away in the rainy(noisy) weather and stood up fast and scared them off.
    good luck to everybody this season.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Be patient and don't over call. Sometimes a bull will hear you well over a mile away and it takes quite some time for him to get to you. When the bull gets in close drop the grunts and just rake.

    If a bull hangs up and doesn't want to come in any closer he may not want to leave his cows, and there could be a smaller bull nearby. Check the wind and VERY slowly move in towards his direction, mix up raking as you go to mask your footfalls......if he is with cows he will not tolerate letting another bull come in too close. Be ready as he may come charging in.


    Called in to 22 yds. using only bull grunts and raking with a moose scapula. Never seem to need cow calls.....not that I haven't thrown them into the mix now and then.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I've done a fair bit of moose hunting and a lot of calling, all of it bad. A lot of hunting but not much killing.

    Did some cow calling from camp one evening, then went about prepping chow. While my dad and I were eating, a cow and calf wandered to within 20 yards of camp. They strolled along eating browse until they settled into heavy cover. The next morning, before ever doing any calling, I spotted a small bull working his way up the valley to where I had called from the night before. Dropped him about 150 yards from camp.

    EDIT: Thought I'd add another vote for raking and/or breaking brush. A friend was on a float hunt with his out-of-state dad, and as they made camp the first night they were breaking some branches to clear the camp site. A few minutes they heard a bull grunt. Friend basically repeated bull's grunts back to him to call him further in. His dad got the shot 100 yds from camp and within 15 minutes of setting foot on the shore.

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    Hi, Here are the tricks I use to call in moose. Not rocket science but if you put it all together you should have good success.

    I am assuming that the area you are going in isn't somewhere you have scouted before. If you have and know a spot you have seen cows in the fall go there first and be patient. Moose calling is my biggest rush there is and my favorite thing to do and the reason I moved to Alaska in 97.

    A couple things to know about calling in bulls in I feel that are important and rules I go by. Some say I am crazy and I say it works so to each their own.

    #1 The cows pick the spot they mate in so if you know where there is cows you will find bulls at some point.
    #2 There is different cow calls.Typically before the 20th when you hear a cow with the short moans it is because a bull is bothering her and she isn't ready. Many people think that the cow is calling for the bull. This is simply not true in my book.
    #3 The reason the bulls come to the cow call is to see what bull is harassing them and if he has a chance at running off a bull and gathering a harem.
    #4 People that call BS on this can look it up in biological books and videos. If you spend enough time with the moose you will witness cows getting mad at bulls and moaning and trying to get away. There is a Canadian lady biologist who has a great video on this . Moose do talk though and are quite vocal so you just never know what you will hear.
    #5 You don't have to sound perfect but with lots of practice and hearing moose live in the woods you will get better. I have been with many guys that think they sound stupid so they don't call much. Who cares how you sound. Keep calling.
    #6 Once a big bull has his harem it is really tough to pull him away from them unless you get inside his comfort zone of space. So if you spot a big bull with cows way off he more than likely isn't coming so you need to close the distance to get in his space.
    #7 If near water the pee trick is mighty deadly. Fill your bull magnet with water and hold it about 4ft over the water and slowly let the water trickle out into the water like a cow taking a pee. This is just like horses where a mare almost always pees before a stallion breeds with her.
    #8 Watch Love thunder and bull videos as well for great calling tips. The links posted above are great too. You can never learn too many tricks.
    #9 After watching Love Thunder And Bull buy the bull magnet. I have gone through about 10 now and always take a couple with me on hunts. I have broken my share of them and have ground them down pretty good scraping trees.
    #10 The rut is dictated by daylight not weather. Cool weather does make them more active but it is the shrinking daylight hitting the eye that changes their body chemistry putting them in rut. So if it is warm out early morning and late evening right before dark is when I have had my most success.

    I start out with some soft scraping and brush thrashing and listen for a while. If I don't hear anything after about 15 minutes I hit it again a little louder. and repeat the process. I will start mixing in cow calls as well. I save the bull grunt usually for my 2nd hour. The reason I do this is I feel like scraping and thrashing doesn't give up the size of bull I am as quick as a grunt will.

    I always try to be near the thick cover when calling and not out in the wide open. Bulls love to circle into the wind when close to get a scent. They will know exactly where you are calling from. If you call from an area for a while and leave. When you come back to check the spot pick somewhere about 50 yards away. I have walked back in on an area and found a bull right where I was calling from more than once. I hunt by boat usually and hike in about 1/4 mile from the water to set up and call. I typically pick 3 spots I feel are good areas to call from and then rotate my mornings and evenings between those spots and keep all 3 active. I make sure I am a couple miles apart typically as well so I know each spot isn't clashing with the other spot.

    If I am not able to move around like that I stick it out in my spot for 3 days usually. My theory is they lay and listen until they want to move or get agitated and decide to come in to the call finally all hot and bothered.

    As time goes on I get really aggressive on my brush thrashing and scraping. Some people say they think I go to hard at it when their with me but I haven't been skunked yet so I keep it up.

    If possible I call over water as it echoes and carries a long ways. I also like to be at the bottom of a ravine or draw so the call carries up those areas across the water.

    Change up your calls. Different grunts, cow calls etc and you may see one of those calls will trigger the bull to move. I am a firm believer in switching up my calls.

    Watch for bears also, we have shot a lot of bears coming to our cow calls over the years. Some closer than we like.

    I like to take a small Axe with me and when it is calm and still in the air I love to chop at dead logs that make a thud.This sound carries a long stinking way. Also if I am in a brushy area I walk heal to toe and soft grunt while slowly walking in.

    You have the pre rut which is when the bulls are pretty responsive to calls with almost the knee jerk reaction of who is harassing the cow and they go to check out about anything. Then you have the full on rut when the bull is with his cows.

    The time you are landing they should be on the hunt and roaming a bunch. For some reason the 17th has been my magic day where we have called in a bull on that date on every hunt I have been on down the Yukon River and in a multitude of spots.

    Just my 2 cents on how I moose hunt. Last year we had one bull that came to the call on the second evening or that is when we heard him. As we walked in we heard a cow calling and him grunting. He wouldn't show himself but made it known he was there. Then there was silence for an hour or so and the big guy came in from about 3/4 of a mile away right at dark on a warm night and we barely got him to shooting range by dark.

    Lastly give the bull some credit. Yes they aren't the brightest critter in the rut but if you treat them like they are you will be a lot more successful in my opinion.

    Good Luck

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    375ultramag. That was a great post. Thanks for taking the effort to write it up.


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    Some great advice on here, particularly 375's advice above. I agree with those who say to go for it. Watch the videos, practice calling and then go do it.

    I've called in a whole bunch of bulls over the years. It really is not rocket science, but is sure is fun. Sometimes too much fun, especially if you shoot one!!

    Having a bull in close quarters when its too dark to shoot can be a little unnerving. And twice now, I've been up in a tree with a sublegal bull standing under my tree all horned up. You want to climb down, but you dont want to spook them and they can stand there for what seems like forever!!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    What I find amazing is when the cows come in to the calls, how so unafraid they are. I've had a couple cows come to within 10-15' before, stand there and watch me call, and just hang out for awhile feeding. Had this happen numerous times over the years.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Or when they show up after you shoot the bull and won't leave. Kind of nerve wracking.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    What I find amazing is when the cows come in to the calls, how so unafraid they are. I've had a couple cows come to within 10-15' before, stand there and watch me call, and just hang out for awhile feeding. Had this happen numerous times over the years.....

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    Good info. I have never had a bear respond to a cow call before but good to point out anything can happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sh View Post
    Good info. I have never had a bear respond to a cow call before but good to point out anything can happen.
    Wolves and bears are always looking for an easy meal. A distracted cow or bull with mating can be just the ticket. Always be alert when calling. 375 has great advice. I always admire the "guard cows", those old cows have saved more bulls from being shot than bad calling has. If those cows come out before the bull and sense something not right they'll let him know not to come out. Ive seen a couple bulls now so involved with rutting activity they have no idea what is going on besides how their guard cows are acting.

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