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Thread: Where are the Delta moose?? Found them

  1. #1
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Wink Where are the Delta moose?? Found them

    My wife and I went to Delta about three weeks ago to fill her cow moose tag. We glassed for a couple hours all around Donnely Dome with no success. Not a single moose anywhere to be found. We decided that getting away from the roads with the snowmobiles was the answer. No luck with moose on the snowmobile either after a few hours of riding. We did see a lot of ptarmigan though. We went home empty handed. At this point I made the assumption that every moose for miles had been shot or scared away and decided that the tag would go unfilled. End of day count was about 40 ptarmigan, a billion ravens, and 30 moose gut piles.

    Earlier last week my wife said that she would like to go back to Delta to try her luck at some ptarmigan. With the large amounts of ptarmigan we had seen on the last trip, I could not refuse. Uncle Sam was nice enough to give me Veterans Day off so we decided that Veterans Day would be our ptarmigan hunt. As I loaded the truck last night I decide that we should bring the wifes' .270 just in case we saw a legal moose. We arrived at Delta at 0930 after sending the little people off to school. We entered the Donnely Dome trail with the pick-up and we went no further than a mile and saw a cow moose by herself. Not so, as we cut the distance by walking to the cow I noticed another moose in the brush. A bull was with the cow. We cut the distance to 100 yards and the cow is legal, as no calf is with her and the bull is about 30 inches. My wife decides that I should run the 400 yards back to the truck and grab the camera, so I can record her moose finale. Back with the camera we notice that both moose are looking away from us in the brush. Out pops another cow moose with no calf. These three moose are now looking in the same direction away from us. Another cow moose in the open with no calf at 800 yards distance. As we scan some more we see another cow moose and this cow has a calf.
    Where are these moose coming from? Last week we never even cut a fresh track.
    We decide that the first cow moose we saw without a calf is the target. By now the moose have figured the deal out and started getting out of dodge fast. The wife did not want to make a running shot and we watched the near moose disappear. As we stratagize a way to get ahead of the moose. It appears that all of the moose disappeared in front of us. No biggie, we are ptarmigan hunting anyway.

    We load in the truck and drive another half mile further down the road and we spot another bull, cow and a calf. We press to our sure ptarmigan spot. Not a ptarmigan in sight. We beat some brush where ptarmigan were a couple weeks ago and not one ptarmigan.

    Bummed, we drive to another spot. Not a single ptarmigan for miles my friend.
    We do see one more bull moose though.

    We decide that grouse is our new target species and we are going to head for lower ground. Driving out of Donnely I spot another bull. This is the biggest one and I decide to admire him for a bit. While admiring I notice movement out of the corner of my eye. Another moose. Too far to tell if it is a bull or cow, but I can not see antlers at the current 1/2 mile. We decide to cut the distance to check the moose out. As we get to 300 yards, one moose turns into three moose. Two bulls and a cow. My wife felt comfortable shooting at just over 200 yards and let her Winchester model 70 in .270 roar at about 250 yards. The cow went 5 steps and fell over dead. Two quick shots from the wife's .270 in the boiler room was the ticket.

    Right at last light we had the meat loaded and a burger from the Buffalo diner was spot on after a day of hunting. End of day count 15 moose, 0 ptarmigan, 1 sharptail, 1 beautiful quick red fox, and some good eats for the freezer.

    For the folks with tags still in their pockets: Good luck, the moose are there.

    My question is what are the animals eating in Delta? It is just amazing that an animal the size of a ptarmigan can transform into a moose.

    I am taking the boy caribou hunting in a couple weeks...umm I mean ptarmigan hunting.
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  2. #2
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    Default Congrats

    Wish I could get the wife out hunting. Been flying for 4 years and she just agreed to go flying with me if it was a romantic getaway. King Salmon this time of the year is romantic. But really, Congrats.

    Terry

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Right on! We had some great success up in Delta last month, and it is great to see another lady out in the field. Congratulations!

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    Default Outstanding!

    It never ceases to amaze me how the moose can just disappear whenever they want to. Congrats to your gal; a fine job at a moose!
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  5. #5

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    Congrats. Whats incredible is that there are still so many moose out there with all the moose that have been harvested already. Shows you just how many moose there are in the Delta area.

  6. #6
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    Default Lots O moose

    Alaska cub you are right about a-lot of moose being in the area. I would say I covered about 2 square miles yesterday. The moose may all migrate to the Donnely area for the winter though. For the small area I covered, I can honestly say "I saw the most moose in one area ever."

  7. #7
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default donnelly

    When I used to fly down there in the winter, it was not uncommon for me to spot 30-40 moose from the air just flying by. I'm sure it would have been a lot more if we had really been looking for them.

  8. #8
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    Last year while sitting near the top of a high hill I spotted many Moose below me near a heavily used trail. I sat and watched them for a while. When a snow machine came along they would either run into the heaviest brush and hide of just lie down. The ones that laid down just laid there keeping progress of the snowmachines by hearing. After the snowmachines passed they would stand and resume browsing. Just think of all the people that drove within 40 yards of a hiding Moose and went home saying there is no Moose along the trail.

  9. #9

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    Nice, teller congrats!!!

  10. #10
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    Way to go! Nice way to spend the day huh!
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  11. #11
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default

    Great job Rod,

    Terry is having one heck of a year. Congrats to you both.

    Steve

  12. #12
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    Wink Moose Hunt

    Great job Terri. Glad you got another chance to get back out. Looks like you filled the freezer this year. Caribou/Moose Congratulations!! Wish I could of been there to help ya carry her out. Steak sounds good. This girl is no stranger to the outdoors. We spent 5 days in the Brooks Range w/ grizzlies and scored 3 Bou. And she is a great packer out of meat. Hows that go?? Bring home the moose/bou fry it up in the pan LOLO LOve dad PS That Rod does make a great guide to have in our family!

  13. #13
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Guide huh

    Alaska has been good to our family and friends this year. The freezers are full. I did have to take the meat from that ole 59 1/2 incher and give the rest to the shooter. I now have some tender cow meat to eat. I am happy to be called your guide Dad. It is my pleasure and privilege to share hunting and the outdoors with my Dad, family, and friends.

    A heavy pack makes me happy!!!

    So Dad, are we going bear hunting in the spring?

  14. #14
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    Great job! Glad you got your moose. I have had an eventful fall with this cow season also. First I have been chatting with some folks that are dead against this cow season. Seems they just won't believe Fish and Game that the populations are as high as they really are. They seem to be scared that the moose population will be wiped out by shooting cows. I talked with our biologist last week and it looks like it will end up about half the tags getting filled, not bad. I also talked with the pilot that flies F&G counting moose and they see so many moose out there when they do their counts it is unbelievable. I got my own cow first and then have helped get 3 more this winter. I am actually getting tired of cutting up moose. That's a first. It has been a blast and some of the best moose meat I have ever had. All of them have been fat and in really good shape. I am glad to see the local advisory board took F&G serious and opened this before we have a real problem with over population as we right now have some of the highest densities ever. Hope evryone had a great time with this hunt and don't forget to let F&G now you apreciate their work and taking the high road in the face of some bad critisism from some locals. I think they will be surprised when the herd stays healthy and actually provides allot more meat for us "cow killers".

  15. #15
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maynard-sct View Post
    I am glad to see the local advisory board took F&G serious and opened this before we have a real problem with over population as we right now have some of the highest densities ever.
    That sounds about right to me. Between my family, close friend, and I, we took three trips up to the Delta area.

    Trip #1 - Harvested moose within 1 hour of arriving. Saw a total of 15-20 moose within a 2 mile radius of truck.

    Trip #2 - Moose #1 harvested 1/2 mile from truck within 15 minutes. Moose #2 harvested 400 yards from moose #1 ten minutes later. Spotted 8 moose within 1/2 mile of truck.

    Trip #3 - Moose harvested within 1/2 mile of truck within 15 minutes.


    On trip #1 it had snowed 12 hours earlier and it looked like a horsetrack after the Kentucky Derby. I have never seen so many moose tracks in such a small area. The moose density out there was truly incredible. This cow hunt was much needed, and we've been ecstatic to fill our freezers with this great meat. Thank you F&G and BoG!

  16. #16

    Default Brian's Right!!!

    I one had one tag to fill but on that trip up there could have shot a couple moose within the first half hour. However driving 700 miles round trip we wanted to make it last a little so we got in the middle of a herd of 10 to 12 moose and pick out our cow after about 2 and half hours.

    Then when returning the jaw bone to Delta "jaw drop" (only in Alaska as my girlfriend say) we saw 5 moose cross the road on the way up and 3 on the way back to Wasilla. All within the DM 797 hunting corridor. Its like a barnyard in there for sure.

    Like Brian stated earlier as well its a great hunt to introduce those new to hunting. Lots of game & easy access.

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