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Thread: How to measure success?!

  1. #1
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Cool How to measure success?!

    Had a truly memorable hunt this past week. My partner talked me into the Eklutna Lake moose hunt, taking his canoe...game on. We arrived to find there were 2 foot white caps on the lake, and a strong headwind...no go. The next morning the skies cooperated and the lake was flat. The good news was that we only saw one other canoe, farther up the lake then we were going. Tons of ATVs riding the opposite side of the lake.

    Once we landed on shore again we spent about 30 minutes trying to find the "best" spot for our camp. We ended up carving out a spot on down on the beach (rocks) were we could be well protected. A really sweet campsite overall. Across the lake we glassed multiple bands of sheep as well as a black bear sow with two cubs. Our last day there was a lot of termination dust gathering on the ridge tops.

    It had been at least 15 years since my partner had been to this area, and things had changed with time and weather, but still a great spot. He wanted to head uphill to an area and set up a blind where we could call. I was following him and we were literally 25 yards from where he wanted to "set up" when he suddenly stopped and dropped. I followed suit. He had seen a lying down moose in "his spot", but it got up and moved. He was thinking it was a cow as he didn't see its head. Bruce went to the left and set up behind a stump. I went right and slightly up on a knoll, with three very small spruce starts as my best cover.

    In front of us at 20 yards was a very thick alder patch where you couldn't see two feet into. Directly in front of Bruce was an open channel in the alders about 3 yards wide and going straight uphill about 50-60 yards. I could only see the bottom opening, about two yard up it. To my right was a large, less dense area, that gave me a view of a larger area, but no clear shooting lanes. I no sooner sat down then we both heard a couple of obvious bull grunts. Game on!

    The moose Bruce had seen was now quite a ways away, but the male grunts were unmistakable. I started a series of cow calls, short and quick, then a little longer. We could tell (by sounds) that he stopped and turned back our way. Over the next 20-30 minutes I was able to let this boy know that his chance at love was waiting for him if he came back. He would stop and rake trees, grunt, and snort. I knew he was getting close, but couldn't see him. Bruce saw him when he got to the top of the open lane, but was literally head on to him, no shot. When he was within 20 yards of the opening, I saw a small tree being raked down as he was on a mission. Then I saw antlers. Next a head, then his whole body as he came to the opening in the channel.

    Once in the opening, about 28 yards from me, he stopped and started to rake a tree again. He was still head on to Bruce, but broadside to me. I tried to draw back, but I was in an awkward sitting position and had no way to shoot, so I let down and rolled forward. Busted, so I froze. He had no idea what I was , so I did a little grunt again, and he started slowly walking to me, waving his head from side to side, slobbering and snorting. It appeared to me that he was broadside to Bruce at 15 yards, then he walked forward to about 8 yards in front of him. It seemed like we were in that position for 30 minutes, but it was probably less than one. He had three tines on one side, two on the other, I wished I had my GoPro. A perfect bull! Mostly quartering to me, so a hard shot, and so I kept up the grunts. He closed to less than 20 yards from me and I keep waiting for Bruce to shoot, not realizing that he mainly had only a butt shot as the stump he was behind didn't give him a good angle. I can't take it any longer, so I draw back, waiting to get a good side shot, thinking we might both shoot at the same time...one or two more steps is all I need...and Bruce decided he had to aim around the other side of his stump. In moving, his carbon arrow smacked the truck, made a big twang, and the bull bolted away. I again called, stopped he dead at 50 yards, broadside to Bruce (I can't see him) and again Bruce was unable to get a shot off.

    It was so cool to do! I had a lot of fun bringing him down. I knew that if I did the calling then I probably would not have a shot, but that's okay with me. Such are the breaks. The next morning we went back to the area, heard two bull grunts from a little ways off, but never saw him again. A few days later, there were getting to be other hunters and we had to leave.

    I think this was a very successful hunt, just would have been a little better with blood on my arrow :-) I guess on the bright side, my back is happy that I didn't have to pack a moose off the side of a mountain LOL
    "...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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    Those times are just as memorable as taking one. Sounds like a hell of a time!

  3. #3
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    I think there is little more exciting in this world than calling a moose to bow range, I've done it a few times and connected once, but that one could have easily been the same dealio as you had. Great story, and I would agree, a great success. A good partner on a challenging, offroad hunt makes I all the better.

  4. #4
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    Every time I go hunting I get what I'm after. Once in awhile I even shoot something.

  5. #5
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Too cool Roger, best time of year to be in the woods.
    Awesome experience, the for sharing.
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  6. #6
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Calling bulls in during the rut is my favorite time of the year. Contest on your success. What you and your buddy enjoyed together will last longer than the meat in the freezer for sure


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  7. #7
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    It sounds to me like you had a very successful time! Some of my fondest memories are with my boys out in the field and just looking at animals. I've just sat and watched flocks of ducks come into the decoys without pulling the trigger. These times are just amazing and would, at times, be spoiled by bringing an animal down. I am reminded of how small and insignificant I am during these times... One of my favorite memories is watching the swan migration out of a layout boat on the Great Salt Lake, thousands of big white birds flying around not even noticing or caring that I was there. Thanks for the story!

  8. #8
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    Good on both of you for waiting for the right shot. I have taken 18 moose with a bow. Passed up a pile of them in the process. If the shot isn't right, don't take it. There will be a better shot later on. Good memories of the one that got away are far better than remembering one you wounded, but did not harvest.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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