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Thread: Fairbanks Moose - DM788 - Finally!!

  1. #1

    Default Fairbanks Moose - DM788 - Finally!!

    Well, it finally happened. After three trips to Fairbanks from Anchorage and somewhere over 3000 miles on the car, I managed to locate some moose.

    The first trip, nothing other than a couple small paddle bulls (DM788 is an archery permit for antlerLESS moose).

    The second trip, I actually saw a couple moose that would be legal, just not in a good place (don't think they would take too kindly to me killing a moose right outside the UAF dorms).

    This last trip, Thursday through Monday, I finally started seeing a good number of moose. No bulls (sorry guys who are waiting for the bull season to open up), but lots of cows and calves. Probably saw 20 animals over the 5 days with only a few of those possibly being repeats. What really surprised me was how skiddish they were. 150yds was about as close as I could get before they would take off.

    The one I ended up taking made for an interesting stalk. I was just looking for an access to another area when I looked over and saw her standing at the end of a clearing. There were a few longitudinal ridges (she was between 2 of them) that were probably 15 to 20 feet high and tree and brush covered. I had to get from the car to where I was behind one of the ridges. Of course, when I was totally out in the open, the cell phone I forgot to put on silent beeped. I couldn't get to it since it was under a few layers, so I just crouched down and hoped the moose didn't turn around to figure out what it was.

    Once I got behind the ridge, I proceeded a slow walk to the end. When I got there, I started to look around and it turned out the moose was looking around from the other side (~60 yds, but no possible shot with brush in the way even if I was capable). We stood there looking at each other for a minute or two and she finally decided to turn and walk the other direction. She didn't appear spooked, just not interested in dealing with me. I decided to back off and go back around the other end of the ridge, maybe heading her off on the other side of the 2nd ridge she was going around the last I saw her. As I made it across the clearing she was originally in and to the edge of the brush at the ridge, I stopped and looked up. She was standing there in the brush about 50 yds away staring at me ("ahhhh crap.....game over I thought'). I froze and decided to let her make the next move. After a few minutes, she decided to go across the ridge in front of me (totally blocked by thick brush that you could just see through). Every 20 feet or so she would stop and look at me again. I was still in the same spot, not willing to move. She passed by me, then for some reason did a 180 and started back the other way. Right as she got to where I was, she turned to face me (~30 yds or so away) and stared at me. She then went another 15 or 20 yds to the side and stopped and looked again. This time, she stayed there for about 20 minutes, not even twiching. My hand (I had taken my glove off earlier to have an easier time shooting) was almost totally numb by now and everything was shaking after trying to hold that position for too long. It really looked like she wanted to come down right where I was but she wasn't sure what I was all about. After the 20 minutes, she must have figured I wasn't a threat and appeared to really relax. She lowered her head a bit and the ears settled down. She then proceeded to walk right out of the brush about 20 yds from me where I had a clean shot. After the shot, she went about 40 yds and layed down.

    I was convinced that the stalk was over when she caught me somewhat in the open, but I guess I was able to outwait her. This one really felt good as I felt I earned it more than others I have had in the past. I really had to put a lot of time and effort in to get this one. Now the fun begins...

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Congratulations

    Super! Glad to hear that someone finally connected. Hope you can share a picture or two with us.

    Congratulations!

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  3. #3

    Default Here is that picture...I hope it works

    I will be the first to admit it wasn't my best shot. The moose was quartering away from me, so it was still good for some vitals, but I would much rather have had the shot a bit more to the right. My body position was facing way left and I couldn't afford to move my feet with her so close, so I just twisted my body around to make the shot. I think the tension in my legs and body might have resulted in pulling the shot a bit left, but at the close range, it wasn't enough to be a big problem. The good part was there was amost zero damaged meat.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Any

    ANy animal that size that goes only 40 yards, must have been hit somewhere vital.....obviously.

    Great job!

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  5. #5
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default

    Congrats on the moose. I hunted the FMA for only 3 days in September and saw nothing. Glad to hear someone connected. Your shot doesn't look too bad (the arrow is still in the side), and obviously hit some vitals if she only went 40 yards.

    Having never shot a moose with a bow, I am wondering - do you ever get pass throughs with the arrows? Seems like a lot of animal to go through.

    Congrats again.

  6. #6

    Default Pass throughs are pretty common

    As long as you don't hit much or any bone, a pass through is fairly common, especially with today's technology. The bow I am shooting is rated (haven't tested it myself) at about 315 feet per second. After taking this one, I was wondering why my shot wasn't a pass through. When I checked my quiver, I realized what the reason probably was. That is the arrow that I have used a few more times to double check that my broadheads were still shooting the same as my target points. It likely wasn't quite as sharp as a new set of blades would be. I think I will try to make sure to have all fresh blades on my hunting arrows in the future just to ensure the best possible result.

  7. #7
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default

    315 fps? Wow, that is fast. I tested mine years ago, and I think it was about 230 with the setup I have. It's a pretty old bow, and I am definitely looking to move to a quieter, faster setup someday.

    Congrats again. She's a beauty. Did you have her processed here in town?

  8. #8
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    Default Way to go Jason!

    Nice one Jason! Funny, you have your UAF ski hat on. Your comment on the moose near the dorms reminds me of the time we killed a grouse off the back deck up at the Student apartments by throwing a can of Bud Light at it. Does Bud Light count as Archery or a Primitive Weapons?

    See you on the trails,

    Chris

  9. #9

    Default I do the processing myself, mostly...

    I do most of the processing myself. The only part I have others do is the specialty things like hotdogs, sausage, pepper sticks, etc... All of the steaks, roasts, ribs, hamburger is done at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    315 fps? Wow, that is fast. I tested mine years ago, and I think it was about 230 with the setup I have. It's a pretty old bow, and I am definitely looking to move to a quieter, faster setup someday.

    Congrats again. She's a beauty. Did you have her processed here in town?

  10. #10

    Default Thanks

    I was wondering if anyone might notice the hat. I have heard of a couple moose being taken on campus, but really didn't want to deal with the publicity issues. It's amazing how Fairbanks has changed in just the 6 years since I was up there. Johannsen and Steese area is crazy now, and still getting bigger. Home Depot wasn't even there the last time I had been up.

    Throwing a can of bud light would probably be pretty effective, especially in Fairbanks where it would probably be solid (frozen) by the time it hit anything. I guess if it's not, you are just flavoring the meat right from the start.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheepshape365 View Post
    Nice one Jason! Funny, you have your UAF ski hat on. Your comment on the moose near the dorms reminds me of the time we killed a grouse off the back deck up at the Student apartments by throwing a can of Bud Light at it. Does Bud Light count as Archery or a Primitive Weapons?

    See you on the trails,

    Chris

  11. #11
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    Congrats on your kill! From the picture, looks like you got a big cow.

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    Default Congrats as well

    Nice one!
    I have been out just about every weekend and I think they are pretty skittish. I have had two great shots on two young bulls. The one cow I was within range of heard my bow creak and bolted out of range before I got to full draw! I fixed that but the situation has not repeated itself yet. I am not giving up yet.

  13. #13
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Nice moose.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  14. #14

    Default Keep on it, they are moving more now

    Keep your eyes open. I was actually mentally taking a break from hunting when I saw this one (just looking for an access point to another area). The moose really seem to be moving around a lot more, probably now that the bulls have stopped grouping them up.

    The more I hunted, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to truely stalk them. I had to spot them, then make the best guess I could as to where they were heading and see if there was a way to get ahead of them. This one worked because I happened to end up right in the spot she wanted to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by chsr17 View Post
    Nice one!
    I have been out just about every weekend and I think they are pretty skittish. I have had two great shots on two young bulls. The one cow I was within range of heard my bow creak and bolted out of range before I got to full draw! I fixed that but the situation has not repeated itself yet. I am not giving up yet.

  15. #15
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default talking

    "The more I hunted, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to truely stalk them. I had to spot them, then make the best guess I could as to where they were heading and see if there was a way to get ahead of them. This one worked because I happened to end up right in the spot she wanted to go."

    This may seem weird, but moose are very vocal animals. Try "talking" to them next time you try a stalk. I've gotten very close to a lot of moose this way, even very stressed moose in the dead of winter. Use a real quiet tending grunt as you walk- a short "Oo-wah" sound or a "nghah". I had a big cow with a yearling calf in Anchorage walk right up to me when I did this- ears perked and curious the whole time, never laid back and hackled up. Point McKenzie during the spike fork hunt, this allowed me to walk up to a cow/calf combo in really thick brush after I busted them out of it- I gave a loud grunt first, to stop them, then tending grunts as I slowly walked toward them. It works best when you have a little cover around you, so they can't see you clearly, but you know what their ears look like- they can hear you move, and know you're there. If you sound somewhat like another moose, often they'll quit looking at you and go back to browsing. If you look at their ears though, one is usually tweaked back in your direction keeping track of you. I've pretty much given up on being quiet enough to sneak up on a moose (or most other game). Rather, I try to sound like them and that really puts them at ease.

  16. #16
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default by the way...

    Great moose! Looks like the perfect quartering away shot, too. Right into the middle of the lungs, punctured diaphragm too. Very tough to get a pass through with that shot, as the broadhead is going into the front of the brisket and sternum- very heavy bone and few gaps.

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