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Thread: Having a fire during moose or caribou hunting?

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    Default Having a fire during moose or caribou hunting?

    I will be going moose hunting in September. My hunting buddies and I have always debated on weather to have a fire or not? I usually try to limit having a fire only at night and try not have one in the morning (but sometimes it nice to get warm in the morning). We have taken some moose and caribou with a camp fire going, so it seems like it dosnt really bother them. I just want to get everyone's opinion on when it is appropriate to have a fire going?

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    Member BIGAKSTUFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colem8806 View Post
    I will be going moose hunting in September. My hunting buddies and I have always debated on weather to have a fire or not? I usually try to limit having a fire only at night and try not have one in the morning (but sometimes it nice to get warm in the morning). We have taken some moose and caribou with a camp fire going, so it seems like it dosnt really bother them. I just want to get everyone's opinion on when it is appropriate to have a fire going?
    We always have fires, and bulls are taken every year. I've seen a bull come up to a fire at night when we were calling in the dark at camp messing around. With the amount of fires Alaska has had putting the smell of smoke in the air, I would say you are juuuuuust fine.
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    Moose around here are used to Fires & smoke.

    It will also help conceal your scent.

    They DONT like Shooting around camp, Load voices or yelling from someone that has too much joy juice at camp !!

    We had a couple Knuckle heads come up that thought it would be neat to make all kinds of racket like they do at their Deer camp in California.

    They wont be back to hunt with me. LOL

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    We had gone cold camp for years and years based on the thought it would push animals away. Last fall I took my 5 year old with me on my Nelchina herd hunt. We had two bulls and three cows (moose) less than 500 yards from camp all evening. Camp fire was running a nice glow with enough smog to keep the bugs down. They couldn't have cared less that we had a fire. Had a bull caribou run past as well, day before season opened, he didn't seem to mind. Tagged out the next morning with a bull we spotted from camp.

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    It definitely won't make a difference with caribou. Moose rely on scent moreso than caribou, but it's hard to argue with the testimonials above.

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    Moose and caribou are used to the smell of smoke in the Interior- almost every summer we have thick smoke and haze..

    Besides, a camp without a fire is like a birthday without cake or St. Paddy's Day without beer.... too horrible to contemplate <shudder>.

    As mentioned- human commotion (talking loud, shooting, and engines) is a bigger detriment than smoke. I actually think smoke masks your scent, but neither animal seems to mind human scent very much either.
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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Never had an issue with woodsmoke. I think the human scent associated with it is more likely to spook animals.
    Last year on our Ivishak caribou hunt about 30 caribou came within 50 yds (downwind) of our camp. I am sure they heard our chatter and turned around..but they were curious enough to approach us that close before doin so.. It was the middle of a nasty snow storm and we opted to stay in camp and stay dry around a pretty large fire. Human scent that is associated with it might be another factor all together.
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    Default moose couldn't care less

    we have large fires each evening. 2 of the last 3 years we have shot moose literally right from camp. im guessing it is the splitting maul chopping wood that draws them in, or maybe the calling competitions we do sitting around said fire.... either way, 2 of the last 3 years moose have been shot in the morning within a couple hundred yards of camp, and a still smoldering fire...
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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    Taiga hit the nail on the head. This topic has been discussed over and over and over. But in a nutshell, moose aren't afraid of smoke/fire. If anything it's a natural smell that helps cover up your BO. Breaking sticks and limbs to start the fire during the rut and pre-rut can make curious bulls come in to investigate. Everyone says caribou aren't skittish of campfire smoke and I tend to agree based on observations, but one time when I was guiding a group of hunters out in Illiamna I saw a group of about 50 caribou run away from campfire smoke. It was kind of comical, because three of my clients all had there caribou and so we watched this group run away from the smoke. Then they caught a swirl of wind from the other direction and they changed directions and went the other way. They did this a few times and finally they committed to a specific direction and stayed the course. But other than that one episode, I've never witnessed moose or caribou shy away from campfire smoke.

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Moose like fires. Makes them feel comfortable after a long day, or first thing in the morning while having their coffee, they plan there day . I've had very good success moose hunting with fires. I think it does has something to do with splitting wood etc that brings them in though.

    good luck.
    Tony

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    It's not the moose you have to watch out for!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ81dcD1N8s

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    Years ago I shot a 50" bull right from camp and had a nice blazing fire going. He was more concerned about the "other bull" that was calling from camp.

    Fire is a natural thing to animals and I don't believe it bother them at all, well except for maybe sheep and possibly goats.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Amazing how this same question pops up EVERY YEAR. Consult history folks. Also, use the search feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Taiga hit the nail on the head. This topic has been discussed over and over and over.

    Oh......you mean kinda like.....what boots to get, what caliber to use, what handgun for bears, what binos to get, what pack to get, what food to eat, what tent to get, what clothes to wear, what....????

    Guess there's nothin' much else to talk about...
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Oh......you mean kinda like.....what boots to get, what caliber to use, what handgun for bears, what binos to get, what pack to get, what food to eat, what tent to get, what clothes to wear, what....????

    Guess there's nothin' much else to talk about...
    I still haven't seen a question about what toilet paper (color, texture, etc.) to use. Probably shouldn't suggest it either...
    I think it all comes down to how much expendable money folks have these days. In times past, people threw together whatever the had on hand: a 1903 or Krag, maybe a 99, a sleeping bag or bed roll, an old army tent, some can goods, an old mackinaw coat, strapped on their Trapper Nelson, and off they went.
    Now folks have to to be their own Abercrombie and Fitch with all the best stuff. I understand it: guys like stuff. But still, success is mostly about planning, luck and time on site. I have seen moose and seen moose taken in the most unusual places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I still haven't seen a question about what toilet paper (color, texture, etc.) to use. Probably shouldn't suggest it either...
    Oh, I have a suggestion for that actually. It's called John Wayne toilet paper. It's rough, and tough, and it don't take no %&Y! from anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Oh, I have a suggestion for that actually. It's called John Wayne toilet paper. It's rough, and tough, and it don't take no %&Y! from anyone.
    I was joking..... what... you guys don't use moss?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Oh......you mean kinda like.....what boots to get, what caliber to use, what handgun for bears, what binos to get, what pack to get, what food to eat, what tent to get, what clothes to wear, what....????

    Guess there's nothin' much else to talk about...
    ... and don't forget..."what's the best camo pattern?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    ... and don't forget..."what's the best camo pattern?"
    Ha...!!! Yes, I was just scratching the surface. You can pretty much bet that most things that have been brought up around here now, have been brought up before at least a dozen times.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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