For the 2015 Moose Hunting Season I was pretty restricted on the amount of time I could hunt as I had classes Tuesday through Thursday and I couldn’t afford to miss them. So began my search for moose on my long weekend hunts.
My hunting partner usually spends September 1st through the 20th at our hunting location in unit 13 till he harvests a moose or runs out of time. I, however cannot miss that many classes. I had planned to go up after classes on Thursday September 10th and hunt hard till the night of Monday the 14th.. As I was packing the last of my things on the 9th I received a phone call from my hunting partner that evening that he had just shot a moose, but to come on up anyways the next day as he had seen another huge legal bull.
Arriving the next day around 3p.m. gave me the chance to hunt that evening, with only one cow being spotted. Waking up early the following day, we went to our spotting hill where the big bull had been spotted before, but after 4 hours of sitting it appeared as the landscape was lifeless. We poked around here and there, calling a few places that had worked in the past, but frustratingly the moose just didn’t want to cooperate. Talking with one other group who had been hunting in the area for the past couple of days, they too reported not seeing anything while they had been there, but hunter to hunter talk within the field can only be trusted so far.
The following day we figured we would head towards the kill site from my buddy’s moose a few days prior to see if anything had disturbed it and to give calling a try from the same location as that apparently had been successful before. Headed down the trail that morning, about ¼ mile from the killsite stood two moose, so I turned off the ranger and clamored atop it to see if either moose were a spike-fork. Lucky for them they weren’t, but as I stood watching them for a second I heard the unmistakable sound of antlers locking up. The noise was coming from behind the two cows, then I heard the brush moving behind me. It felt like I was being surrounded by moose! The moose coming from behind me was a 3x3, just barely above a spike-fork. He walked over to the cows who brushed him off. I got off the ranger and began stalking into where I had heard the clashing of antlers. Getting flashes of antler here and there. Twenty minutes later revealed a total of six sub-legal bulls. Two 3x3’s, two in the 30 inch range, and two more around the dreaded 45 inch mark. I could not for the life of me get any of them to grow more than three brow tines either.
Leaving that group be, we hunted the rest of the day. I was beginning to get very frustrated as I figured how many bulls could really be in this area we were hunting, figuring I had just seen the majority of them and my buddy shooting one of the last legal bulls. Nevertheless onward we pressed. That night we could not hunt due to a downpour, but heard some people coming down the trail with a rack draped over their machine. Now I was really down, seeing another legal bull come out. I told my hunting partner I was willing to give it one last attempt in the morning then I was ready to pack up and head home.
Waking up the morning of the 13th everything had frozen that night and we were greeted by blue skies and sunshine, a perfect crisp morning for hunting. Arriving at the knob where my buddy had shot his moose, we waited a few minutes before starting to call. The first cow call was immediately answered right back from another cow, seemingly 100 yards away or less, but it was the deep bull grunt that got us both excited. This bull didn’t sound like the others from the previous day as his grunts sounded way deeper. I knew this had to be the one. Back and forth calling we went, as he began to circle us destroying spruce trees as he went. After a while he just went quiet, as I began to think the cow had just pulled him away and walked off with him, without ever giving us a look at him. My buddy told me I had to go in after him. Walking down the trail stealthily was impossible as the recently frozen ground crunched loudly with every step. Grunting the entire way I scoured the spaces between the spruce trees with my eyes. After about 100 yards down the trail I could see his rack poking above the brush, he was bedded down as I did a few more bull calls. He was a mere 30 yards away as he stood quartering towards me, I raising my rifle thinking,” dang it he is one of the sub-legals’ from the day before” as his rack looked iffy to me. Counting brow tines I counted 1, 2, 3 dang it nope; other side 1, 2, 3, 4 BINGO. I pulled the trigger as the bull bolted, teetering over a mere 50 feet from where he started.
Walking up to him we discovered he was 54 inches with 4 and 5 brow tines and a nice dark color to his antlers from scrapping. We drug him a few feet with the 6x6 to begin working on him and had him back at the truck in a few hours. Two bulls four days apart, both shot within 100 yards of each other. Unit 13 produces moose once again. As with many hunts before, it was at the last effort, the last resort, before you give up that produces.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1457943339.919886.jpg