Unit 20A success
We got back a little early from a hunt in unit 20A. The first part of our camp got out there mid day on Thursday and my brother and I followed them up to the camp on Friday. Friday night I hiked a ways in and found a tall spruce on th edge of a large field. I climbed up about 45 feet off the ground and cleared a few branches. About 10 minutes later, I started hearing cow moans, bull grunts and antlers clacking together. I started to think it had to be other hunters due to the amount of noise I was hearing out there, and then I see a good size bull chase off a smaller bull in some burnt birch about 400 yards away. The light started fading so I had to call it, but I had a good feeling about the area in the morning. At 6:15am the next morning, I headed out to the tree with my antlerless permit thinking, great, I know I'm going to see bulls this morning. Sure enough, the first moose to appear was a decent size bull walking right towards the tree I was in. My dad and brother were headed out to the tree about a half hour behind me, so I knew somebody with a bull permit would be out soon. The bull worked his way into about 80 yards of the tree, and had a lone cow following behind him. I figured the bull to be in the mid to upper 40" range, but definately not a 50"er. I didn't have enough light or the right angle to see if he had 3+ brow tines on one side, but I kept him around by grunting and doing some cow moans.
My dad finally showed up with his antlerless tag as well, and by that time I had determined there were only 2 tines on each side, so he wasn't a shooter. I had my dad do some scraping on the ground and that really got the bull worked up. He shredded some burnt trees and new saplings, and grunted up a storm. After a few minutes more, I went ahead and dropped the cow. The cow went down after a warning shot was fired, then 50 yards away another moose emerged from the burnt trees and the larger bull went back to the cow. The smaller moose looked like it was another cow, but it ended up being a fork antlered bull. He stuck with the larger bull for a while and worked around the field. Not too much later after the shot, my brother showed up and him and my dad went towards the bulls in the field. When they were about 150 yards away, another bull emerged into the field. This was a mid 30" bull, and he was too far to tell if he had the brow tines or not. Our focus was now on the fork antlered bull.
My dad and brother worked into about 80 yards of the bulls, and I kept glassing to make sure the fork was legal. My brother looked up at me and gave me a thumbs up, and I did the same back and a few seconds later the bull was down. The big bull stuck around, and we played with him for a while longer. The other bull worked the edge of the field towards my dad and brother, but finally decided to head back into the thick cover. The large bull hung around for another half hour or so, and we got to processing both animals. By 1:00pm we were back in camp with both moose. The terrain was fairly easy going, and with two of us working one moose and three on the other, it went fairly quick.
I decided to run the meat and some gear back Saturday afternoon since I had a feeling I was going to have to make two trips anyhow, and the weather looked like it was turning for the worse. We had the moose back at my house and got back to camp well before dark, so we cooked up a huge dinner and relaxed.
I headed back out to the tree first thing Sunday morning and saw nothing but camp robbers and ravens. I tried some calling, but with the rain coming down and the wind blowing pretty good, I headed back to camp and we decided to head home.
Pretty good hunt all in all. There are no shortage of hunters on the Tanana. Quite a few people were running the river looking for a moose on the beach, but I think those have been picked pretty clean over the last couple of years. I think the moose population is very healthy on the flats, but to have better luck, you'll probably need to get inland some more.
Both moose were very healthy, especially the young bull. Good fat content on both animals. Both moose were younger, so we are loading up the freezer with some of Alaska's finest.
Any other 20A reports?