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Thread: I want moose stories

  1. #1
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    Default I want moose stories

    I am going moose hunting this fall in Alaska.
    In preparation, I have read Mike's book, Chris' book, Larry's book and watched a lot of videos.
    I need more!!!
    I would like some stories of success and failure, what worked on your hunt, what will you never do again?
    Did calling work for you.
    How many hunters is too many?
    Boots, raingear, sleeping pads, camp stoves, etc.
    bug spray-nets?

    I just would like a lot of input from many sources so I can make my own BEST decisions.

    Thanks in advance.
    Nick

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    Nick, one thing that might help as far as advice goes is to tell everyone the basic type of country you'll be hunting & if it's float hunt, backpack, atv, etc.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Good point Vance,

    I am using a service I found on this site-guess who?
    I am floating a river near Aniak. I have Wayne's call and both videos.
    I will be hunting from the 8th til the 20th.
    I am really just looking for things that others liked or would change about their hunts.
    I intend to do alot of hunting/calling and a little floating.
    I would also like amusing stories and such.
    I just want to be absolutely SICK of moose information by the time I get there.
    Nick

  4. #4

    Default Forum Info - Search

    Hey Nik,

    Glad you're so excited about your hunt, I know how that feels!

    In addition to the great books that you read, do some searches on the archives of this forum - great threads on float hunting, meat care, game bags, calling moose, and hunt food.

    A couple of other tips:

    - Get yourself a bug jacket, they're invaluable for keeping the bugs off when you're sitting, glassing, calling, camping, field dressing, etc etc. Get one big enough to fit over your jacket if needed.

    - If you have a scoped rifle, and if the rifle has a variable powered scope, leave the scope on the lowest power setting when you're floating, in camp, calling, etc. You can always dial the power up if needed - but if you round a corner on your float and see a big bull at 20 yards, a lot easier to get the sights on him if the scope's on low power!

    - If you have room in terms of weight, using a cot as opposed to a sleeping pad will help keep condensation off your sleeping bag. I've done both due to weight limits, much prefer a cot when I can spare one in the load.

    Oh yea - takes lots of pics, and share the hunt with us next winter! Be safe and have a blast.

    Michael

  5. #5

    Default my 2 cents worth

    This forum is a great place to learn. Learn from others mistakes. If I was doing a float hunt this year the one piece of equipment I would not leave without is a Come-a-Long and about 300' of rope.

    Read the thread about butchering nightmares and you will understand my reasoning.

    AK

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Another book- or two

    Hello Nick,

    You might give Dennis Confer's "Hunt Alaska Now" a read. I have heard mixed thoughts on whether it is currently available but it shows up on this site AT THIS LINK. He has some different ideas from mine, but you will learn some things you can use in the field, for sure.

    Another book I really like (out of print though) is "Look To The Wilderness" bu W. Douglas Burden. It's essentially hunting stories from several areas he hunted. There is a section detailing his Alaska adventures, which includes an account of a moose hunt on the Kenai Peninsula. I think it all happened around the 1930's or so. Anyway it's a great read that you will reach for many times. I found it online AT THIS LINK for the outrageous price of $7.95 in hardback. Check it out.

    Another I like is Vic VanBallenberghe's "In The Company of Moose", which details his experiences with a moose herd in Denali National Park, for several years. Vic is a retired biologist. Amazon has it AT THIS LINK for around $22.

    Finally, you might pick up a copy of Chuck Keim's "Game Trails With a Master Guide", the story of Hal Waugh, Alaska's first Master Guide. Lots of moose stories in there, and just general Alaska hunting stuff. You'll really like it. Amazon has it too, AT THIS LINK, for $7.45 used. It's out of print, unfortunately.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Default

    For videos I'd recomend "Love Thunder & Bull 1&2", & the "Guthro's Moose Maddness" series. Guthro's moves slow & isn't entertaining but has a lot of useful info. I's around $100. but it's 4 DVDs. I got mine used. No I won't sell it :-) Need to watch it about 10 more times to catch it all.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  8. #8
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default video

    I would second the moose madness video. Its long and he's not very exciting but provides a lot of great info and explains things that you won't find else where.

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    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Default reasearch

    Best advice going to an unknown area is to hit up local biologists, and fish and game records looking for drainages specific areas where people have been successful in the past. Then concentrate your hunting time in these areas, look for the last few years though as habitat, preditor density,and fires can shift moose around. My buddy and I were sucessful for fifteen years in a row in an area about a square mile ,then a fire four years ago in a area close by moved animals out of our area.

  10. #10

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    I always try to hunt moose as late as possible to take advantage of the upcoming rut. Use a Bull Magnet for both calling and scraping. Know the regulations well in the unit you plan to hunt. NEVER shoot one in the water. Video's are great but nothing beats the real thing, practice your calling during your spare time. Be careful when calling and know your surroundings, the big furries can sneak up on you very easily. Moose hunting is one of my passions and even though I don't shoot one every year I still have a great time pursuing them. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Moose

    [quote=the nikster;218136]I am going moose hunting this fall in Alaska.
    In preparation, I have read Mike's book, Chris' book, Larry's book and watched a lot of videos.
    I need more!!!
    I would like some stories of success and failure, what worked on your hunt, what will you never do again?
    Did calling work for you.
    How many hunters is too many?
    Boots, raingear, sleeping pads, camp stoves, etc.
    bug spray-nets?

    I just would like a lot of input from many sources so I can make my own BEST decisions.

    Thanks in advance.

    I will be hunting the same general area as you this year. Actually a 100 miles or so to the west. It looks like one giant marsh. I remeber the last time I hunted in that kind of terrain you couldn't rely on spotting or moving to the moose. You had to be patient, do lots of calling, and actually move around very little. I remember killing myself trudging around looking for moose in the mud, and muck. Then I noticed everytime we saw a moose it was while we were doing nothing usually sitting in camp eating dinner. They would come in more to the sound of us chopping wood then they would with calling but of course my calling back then wasn't the best. Alot of sitting, and calling. any kind of elevation would be a plus also as it gives you a way to spot in the direction your calling. Even a tree will work.Good Luck

  12. #12
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Story

    Since you want "moose stories" Here is one: Hunting with my dad in 1988 trying to get my great uncle from out of state on his first moose. We did a bunch of calling, and spotting. Later we see a huge bull literally running in our direction about a mile away. We get set up in the 6ft tall willows, and do some more calling. He is right on us in no time. My uncle takes his shot, and the moose drops. Right behind is a near identical looking moose standing in the exact same position. My dad shoots that moose. My uncle thinks his moose got back up, and that my dad shot his so he starts looking upset. While my dad is explaining that there 2 different moose to my confused uncle the 2nd moose (my dads) gets back up, and takes off running. My uncle raises his gun, and my dad yells "hey thats my moose!" as he charges through the brush chasing it. My uncle is just scratching his head trying to figure out what is going on(he was like 70 yrs old). My dad shoots his moose on the run finally, and drops it. It takes a third shot behind the ear to kill it though. Then my great uncle walks up, and say's " why did you shoot my moose?" We had to walk him over to the moose he shot, and show him my dad's before he finally understood there were two moose. Anyway 2 60 inch bulls in the same spot 1/2 mile from camp. These two bulls looked like identical twins! Never seen that before or since but it was a memorable experience.

  13. #13
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    Default Calling tips

    If you are calling on the eighth, (Sept. I presume) it's not guarunteed that the moose will respond but you will be very close to the point that bullwinkle forgets his own name and starts responding to anything wood or bonelike that bangs together so don't give up. Also, call like a fiend (I use antlers, scapulas, wood...whatever goes bang) if you aren't seeing anything (keep the faith) but as soon as you see a moose, shut up for a bit until you can ascertain whether he's not on to you or not. He came from a ways off and knows dang well where the noise came from so don't remind him too soon or he'll get suspicious and may lock up and stare at you for forever and a day. Moose aren't that smart, but they aren't that dumb either. I've called in several moose in the last few years and all of them got within rifle range but when I shut up and stayed patient, they got realllly close. If I kept bangin once I saw them they often locked up a little farther than I'd like to shoot.

    I've pursued and called lots of species (elk, whitetail, turkey, predators) and absolutely love calling things in, but moose have got to be the most consistent yet rewarding thing I've chased. It's one serious rush whether you pull the trigger or not.

    I have had less success grunting than I have had scraping and banging antlers together but maybe my technique or voice tone sucks...all I know is that once he shows up, that bull is looking for a rival so if he locks up...I usually flash my moose scapulas at them and that often seals the deal. Last year mine busted me at a quarter mile while I walking across the middle of a huuuuge meadow in a driving rain with my head down but I flashed those shoulder blades at him and ran for a little cover and a rest (a lonely spruce) I figured I was made but he was hot enough to get within 100 yards on a fast walk until I had time to set up, get a rest, quiet my shaking limbs and squeeze off a few good ones to plant him far from the land of bad things.

    Also, I like to call moose like some guys do turkeys, i cut and run. I call...wait 15...call again...wait 15...call again...wait a half hour...then pack up...go a half mile or so if the terrain allows...then repeat and make a loop out from and back to camp...that way I'm never too far from a decent extraction route. I like to end and start the day on the best habitat available, but once they get moving in mid Sept. there is no real telling when or where they will be. I shot my first at high noon and called him from probably more than a half mile away across a raging stream in pouring rain and highwinds....they can hear you.

    Also, when you are calling get a decent view of the area wiht a little elevation. BUT! keep your self in a touch of cover and never profile yourself. I've had a couple bust me at a couple hundred yards cuz I was looking the other way and being sloppy and no amount of calling could change their minds once they got nervous. Like other animals and responding to calls, they don't always come crashing in. I have heard them banging trees and grunting on their way in at a half mile on a quiet night and I've had em slip in on silent fuzzy slippers (or something like that) and bust me too.

    Is it Sept yet....?

  14. #14
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    Default 5 is too many

    You asked how many hunters is too many, 4 is a good number of friends, more then that and things get stupid. I think in my camp there are about 10 of us now and I long for the days when it was just the original 4. so make a pact early on and stick to it, no-one gets to bring relatives or friends regardless of what they can bring to camp. out of our original 4, there is the big dumb guy, doesn't even have an ATV, but he can lift heavy crap, and is fairly skilled in the woods so we let him stay. then there is the outsider, guy from Penn, who's been here 10 + years, he is Mr. Cabelas so he has all the cool gadgets, he has bad karma so never gets a moose but oh well, he's got nice tents. Our other friend lives in the remote area we hunt so we have a steady stream from him about conditions prior to going. And me, I'm just lucky so I get to stay.

  15. #15
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    Default moose in the wind

    Time was short, so even with the wind blowing at 20mph or more, I headed into an area where we had seen a huge bull. This bull had 2 pieces of plywood for palms, and he stretched to upper 60" or lower 70" in width. He was a monster, with more points on his head than hats in my closet.
    I found a meadow with beds all over it. On the edges were numerous places the bulls had rubbed and torn up brush. I got on the downwind side of it all and kneeled under a birch that had fallen at a 45 degree angle, knocked an arrow and started to call.
    After a while I got that feeling. You know, the one where you are being watched. Slowly I turned my head, and 12 yards away, directly downwind, was a 45" bull watching me. He only had 2 brow tines and was not legal. The standoff continued. I sure felt insignificant knelt down like that and looking up at that bull hovering over me.
    Finally the bull turned to run. I cow called, and at 20 yards he spun back around and came back to 15 yards. Nope, he had not grown an inch, and still was not legal, and now I had him thinking amorous thoughts. What a dummy. I shut up.
    He finally wandered off (thank goodness) to do whatever satelite bulls do and left me in awe that I was that close to such a beautiful animal.

    Suggestions,
    Be patient. It is amazing how slow and quiet something that big can be. They can stand still for hours just yards away and you won't even know it. They have great noses, and use them. Give yourself every advantage you can with the wind. If a bull is with a bunch of cows, it is tough to get them to come out to fight and leave those cows alone. Try waiting until he gets tied up with another bull and then work your way in quietly until you are in a good position that you either see him, or he has to respond to your calling to protect his harem. Cows get cranky when they are pestered by little bulls. Their calling is distinctive. Use that to your advantage too. Sometimes the herd bull will come quickly to try and run the small bulls off and gather that cow into his harem. And never forget, for every foot you walk away from your boat/camp, it is a foot you will carry a lot of weight back. A big bull will have a neck that may weigh in excess of 100lbs. I have carred hind quarters in excess of 170lbs.
    Good luck and have fun.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies so far.
    I have picked up a couple more books and another video-my son says I am a lunatic and the neighbors called to see what all the racket was!

    I like to hear the stories, I like to envision that I am you, in your place having your experience, what would I have done, etc.

    I picked up some waders and shoes last night, and smartwool socks, and a filter to go with my bottle and my packwater.

    I am thinking about a composite stock for my rifle, 7mm rem mag. hmmmm.

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