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Thread: Follow Up on Lost Moose

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Unhappy Follow Up on Lost Moose

    Earlier this season I had a "dream shot" on a moose (see previous thread). I will try and post my GoPro video if I can get it to load up right. Two of us spent five days trying to track him down, but finally lost him for good. After five days I had to leave for the Slope and was not able to continue looking for him. I am back and ready to pick up looking, so I called the Elemendorf Conservation team. This bull has not been seen since the day I shot him. No wounded bull has been seen on base the last two weeks. Last, a Brown Bear has gone into this spot and has not left, apparently he has found a feeding source. Elmendorf does not allow any type of gun on base, so they advised me that I had exceeding the law requirements for trying to track down my animal and that they do not recommend I return for this animal. I'm really bummed out, but fully understand. As I look back and review all that I did, I really can't think of anything different I could have done. I would take this shot 100 out of 100 times as it was a perfect quartering away shot less at 38 yards, after watching him for over 10 minutes as close as 20 yards (Adrenalin rush gone by then, breathing under complete control), I was slightly higher than him, driving my broadhead through the onside ribs (I heard bone breaking), and the arrow pointing towards the opposite shoulder, well below the spine and in front of the guts. I immediately had a second arrow in my hand when he went down, but he jumped up and ran before I could take a second shot. The video clearly shows I did not break the on side front leg. I was able to track small blood spots (one drop about every 200 feet per GPS readings) but never any large blood areas. I was unable to find a blood tracking dog available when I needed one as they were all out in the field. Sometimes thing happen that we just can't explain.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  2. #2

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    I feel for you man. I've been in your situation more times than I care to admit. All you can do is your best and leave it at that. But I'm sure you have spent many nights pondering over the event. For me it's been mostly bears. For some reason I have bad luck with bears. I've made some shots that I felt were textbook shots and tracked them for very large distances only to lose them unexplainably. Eventually it happens to everyone. Sorry I can't give you any words of encouragement other than I feel for you.

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    Member Ken R's Avatar
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    Bummer! I know it's a hard pill to swallow. I've had a couple perfect scenarios/shots with no recovery. One was with a mechanical broadhead and I am pretty sure it didn't open for some reason (sub zero mule deer hunt in ND). Shot that deer twice through the chest--one broadside pass-through and an hour later and lengthwise pass-through. Saw that big buck 5 days later chasing does and I am pretty sure he lived, unless infection got him. Haven't used mechanicals since. The other was a seemingly perfect broadside pass through, but in hindsight I think it was a bit high. I've heard it's possible if the animal is exhaling to pass between the lungs and the spine? That is my only explanation on that one. Not sure if that's what happened in your case (not even positive in my case), but maybe?

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    I hit a bull with my bow that I didn't recover several years ago. Wasn't a fatal hit either. He was definitely going to survive. But I have shot 2 during the rifle season that I had hit with my bow in the archery season. Both were hit in the neck. Looked for them every day. Ended up getting them both about 10 days later, and very near the same place I had hit them with the bow. They were almost completely healed up.

    Sounds like you put in plenty of effort trying to find your bull.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  5. #5

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    I applaud your efforts to find this animal. There is a lot of people who would have given up much sooner and just as well started hunting for another animal to take. Good ethics and morals pay dividends with karma in the long run. You'll get one next year.

  6. #6

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    Sorry for your situation, and sounds like you went above and beyond in your recover efforts. My guess...and I stress the word "guess", based on the arrow position while the bull ran off, is the shot was high in the ribs and to the spine vertebra. The shock knocked the bull down, but it didn't sever the cord so it was able to regain its feet and run off. Without predators, that shot could actually be survivable if most of the arrow breaks off and backs out. An archery shop I worked at years ago had a section of healed vertebra that had a broadhead stuck in it from a previous from shot.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskastone915 View Post
    Sorry for your situation, and sounds like you went above and beyond in your recover efforts. My guess...and I stress the word "guess", based on the arrow position while the bull ran off, is the shot was high in the ribs and to the spine vertebra. The shock knocked the bull down, but it didn't sever the cord so it was able to regain its feet and run off. Without predators, that shot could actually be survivable if most of the arrow breaks off and backs out. An archery shop I worked at years ago had a section of healed vertebra that had a broadhead stuck in it from a previous from shot.
    If you look at the You Tube video on a large screen, stop action when he is running across the road, and just as he heads up the far bank, it is clear that the arrow is mid chest. I shot him in a downward angle. No where near the spine. Fairly close to the onside shoulder blade as well. It had to have gone into the lung on the side it was hit. Very frustrating any way I look at it. I wish I could have gotten a blood dog to help track...
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    If you look at the You Tube video on a large screen, stop action when he is running across the road, and just as he heads up the far bank, it is clear that the arrow is mid chest. I shot him in a downward angle. No where near the spine. Fairly close to the onside shoulder blade as well. It had to have gone into the lung on the side it was hit. Very frustrating any way I look at it. I wish I could have gotten a blood dog to help track...
    I took my dog out on blood trails from moose we had recovered. Taught her to follow to the gut pile. She will now drag me right down a blood trail. She has got to find a couple on her own, after we found them. She loves it.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    If you look at the You Tube video on a large screen, stop action when he is running across the road, and just as he heads up the far bank, it is clear that the arrow is mid chest. I shot him in a downward angle. No where near the spine. Fairly close to the onside shoulder blade as well. It had to have gone into the lung on the side it was hit. Very frustrating any way I look at it. I wish I could have gotten a blood dog to help track...
    I think I can see the shot as it crosses the road now, before I was looking at it after it was visible at the top of the hill on the other side of the road, the angle makes it tough to tell and maybe higher up there. Through me off too because I've never seen an animal drop like that from shot other than a spine shot...I guess you just can't predict animals or bowhunting!

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    youch, all this talk of everyone wounding animals, you can pick up a cheap bolt action rifle for $250.

    if you need more challenge, a cheap 44 mag goes for a hundred more

    if you need more nostalgia, a muzzloader goes for a hundred less

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    youch, all this talk of everyone wounding animals, you can pick up a cheap bolt action rifle for $250.

    if you need more challenge, a cheap 44 mag goes for a hundred more

    if you need more nostalgia, a muzzloader goes for a hundred less
    Good idea. Guns never wound an animal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayz12 View Post
    Good idea. Guns never wound an animal.
    You beat me to it Jayz

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    youch, all this talk of everyone wounding animals, you can pick up a cheap bolt action rifle for $250.

    if you need more challenge, a cheap 44 mag goes for a hundred more

    if you need more nostalgia, a muzzloader goes for a hundred less
    I'm assuming this is just being sarcastic. Plenty of animals are lost after being shot with a bullet. This hunt is strictly archery, you can't even take a bear gun for protection. My arrows hit harder than my .338, period. I've never had my rifle knock down a moose like this arrow did. Sometimes things just happen that are impossible to predict/understand. Anti type people start stopping all hunting by getting parts stopped one at at time. I personally believe in all types of hunting.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    It's totally sarcastic, haha! Only on AOD, would a bunch surburban folks give a rural Indian and talkin or two.......about the bow and arrow.

    Anyhow, couple of guys here that build the traditional bows have showcased these beauts to me. When I held them, I immediately had visions of a river with a birch bark canoe. The bow is powerful. Even more powerful than my sarcasm.

    As I get older, I'm beginning to go a more traditional route: I sold all my snow machines for freight dogs. I still hunt out of a canoe. A bow made by my hands is soon to follow.........

    I respect you guys, and I respect the pain and hurt in your heart youve endured, when you loose an animal.

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    I wound one every year. Mortally wound it.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Bummer losing a critter. I had a deer last year that I couldn't find until the next morning because my arrow glanced off a rib and deflected backward through the guts. That was bad enough. A lot of bad thoughts go through your head when you have an animal out there somewhere.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I257 using Tapatalk

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    I wouldnt mind seeing this footage and see the knock down power that you state. I am thinking this arrow hit high spine and somehow missed the vitals. I commend your search efforts, i probly would have given up after a few days due to gut rot. I see no mistakes made here, just luck of the draw sometimes, im thinking your broadhead had to of hit rib at a certain angle and twing twanged upward for spine tap.

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    Every hunter hates to lose an animal. Sadly to say you certainly put in more effort than most do. Ive been guiding for 30-plus years now and have had my share of bowhunters....knock on wood the only animals Ive ever lost were wounded with a rifle. One moose and two grizzly.....that being said if you talk to outfitters they will tell you that bowhunters are much more likely to wound game than rifle hunters....I know one outfitter in WY that says a full 50% of his bowhunters wound game.....Thats to high. My advice to bowhunters after moose is to pass on ANY shot past 30-yards...and only use fixed blade heads.

  19. #19
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by injun joe View Post
    Bummer losing a critter. I had a deer last year that I couldn't find until the next morning because my arrow glanced off a rib and deflected backward through the guts. That was bad enough. A lot of bad thoughts go through your head when you have an animal out there somewhere.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I257 using Tapatalk
    The video is posted in another thread on this forum.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    The video is posted in another thread on this forum.
    Hear anything else on this Roger...Be up there in another 20 days or so...
    2010 & 11 Bowtech Destroyer 340's
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