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...