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Thread: Beginning moose hunter...

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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Default Beginning moose hunter...

    So me and my husband are considering doing a moose hunt this fall. We have been learning together how to hunt, and I took my first big game animal (a caribou) at the end of April this year with the help of some more experienced friends. We brought the animal out on sleds then, so carrying weight on my back wasn't an issue. However, if we go moose hunting in the fall, there will be no snow to help us. I was wondering if anyone could give some advice to some first time moose hunters? We applied for some of the new antlerless moose hunts around Fbks on the road system - we have a pretty limited budget, me being a college student and all. Also, what kind of weight should you plan on packing in/out? I was blessed with the bad fortune of being very small.....like 108 pounds small... But on the bright side, my husband is 6'4" so I figure between us we make two average sized people Thanks, any advice will be appreciated!

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    Buy Love Thunder and Bulls videos. As far as packing out, if the terrain allows, get a kids plastic sled and haul the quarters on that. We used one this last fall and it worked great. A cow quarter can be up to 150 pounds. If legal, consider boning out the meat. Get a good pack and make sure it fits you. I, and a lot of people, use external frame packs with a big bag. You can also just lash the quarters to the frame. But make sure it fits right, regardless of the pack you use. I also find that walking/hiking sticks help. Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default One more thing...

    You'll be making a few trips for all the meat if it's just you and your husband. Consider that when you see a moose a 1/2 mile or whatever it is away. It takes A LOT of time to pack one out on foot. Not to mention the time to dress one out. Bring a headlamp!

  4. #4

    Default Budget Moose Hunting

    Congrats on your caribou! Figure the moose will seem like 3-4 caribou, they're a load of good meat!

    Since you're on a budget - if you don't already have sturdy packframes, you may want to watch eBay, craigslist and this forum (swap & sell) for a used packframe or two, tent, or whatever you might need for your hunt. Good equipment doesn't wear out easily, and there's no need to buy new stuff if you can find quality used gear and save some coin.

    Not sure if you'll be hunting off the road system, an ATV, or hiking in...if you're hiking in, remember that a moose can require 6-8 packs of about 100 pounds apiece depending on size, and if you pack the quarters out on the bone, your hubby might be hoofing up to 150 pounds per quarter! If you're 108 I wouldn't recommend trying to pack out a full quarter unless you've hiked with heavy packs a fair amount.

    IF you get lucky and get an antlerless permit, many people are lucky enough to get one close to their vehicle or ATV, so packing would be less of an issue in that case! Either way, good luck and enjoy the journey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Buy Love Thunder and Bulls videos. As far as packing out, if the terrain allows, get a kids plastic sled and haul the quarters on that. We used one this last fall and it worked great. A cow quarter can be up to 150 pounds. If legal, consider boning out the meat. Get a good pack and make sure it fits you. I, and a lot of people, use external frame packs with a big bag. You can also just lash the quarters to the frame. But make sure it fits right, regardless of the pack you use. I also find that walking/hiking sticks help. Good luck!

    150 pounds....come on now I've weighed them from some pretty big bulls and have only seen one over 120 and most from the 40 to 50 inch bulls I've messed with have been between 80 and 100.

    Anyhoo, Plan on most quarters running 80 to 120 when they are skinned and the hoof and shank cut off.

    The plastic sled is the best way to go if the terrain permits. Put a more sturdy rope on it than it comes with and put a pull handle (strung through the rope )made of plastic pvc about 3/4 inch and a foot long to help avoid rope pinch and to give you an easier way to pull it with both hands. Bringing a can of pledge also helps (those little kids on the snowhill are pretty smart) Also, it's actually easier to go over vegetation than to drag across good ol mossy tundra. Short blueberry bushes act like ball bearings and reduce drag...I know it sounds funny but it helps. Also, if there are no holes in your sled, shallow puddles pull much easier as well and any wet vegetation is better than dry. The great thing about the sleds is that you can stop and take a break without all that weight on your shoulders...which actually makes it a break. When I've packed on my back I just trudged on because it was just as painful to stand there with it on as it was to keep walking...it just took longer if I took a break.

    Bring a tarp to lay your recently cut quarters and etc off and make it big enough to lay it over the bagged meat so it doesn't get soaked while you are cutting away.

    Headlamps are essential and a coleman lantern does a nice job of flooding the area as well but leaves lots of shadows alone.

    Have fun....and although it's much bigger than other deers....you will be making the same cuts and snapping the same joints etc.

    Good luck.

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    Up to.....! Ok, better to be prepared for a heavy one and I was talkig rear quarter. I've never weighed one in the bush, lack of scales I guess. At least you agreed on the sled.

    I would also recommend the meat care video Fish and Game has.

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    I never weighed on in the bush either....I weighed it after putting it in the bag, then in the sled, then in the boat, then in the truck bed to alleviate my dinky trailer then out of the truck to hang in the shed while I slept like the dead. I know they felt like 200 pounds but we put a few on the scale over the years and most are under 100 pounds...they just feel like more. Not a peeing contest here but let's not scare folks with the fabled monster quarter that takes two people to lift.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    For reference, my wife and I packed a 45" bull out a couple years ago. 3/4 mile off the trail. Took the two of us 5 trips for boned out meat and antlers and about 8-9 hrs to do the job. I'm fairly experienced at taking moose apart though, so figure more time for the butchering if you are inexperienced. It was also in the middle of a swamp and then uphill back to the jeep, so the loads weren't as heavy as they could have been. Maybe 80 lbs for me and 50-60 lbs for her per/trip. Cows are usually smaller so that helps

    Anyway, it's a reference point for you.

    Yk

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    150 pounds....come on now I've weighed them from some pretty big bulls and have only seen one over 120 and most from the 40 to 50 inch bulls I've messed with have been between 80 and 100.
    After packing for a couple hours I'd swear some were about 500 lbs. It is amazing how big and heavy those things are.
    If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aknater View Post
    Bring a headlamp!
    And bug dope...

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    And don,t shoot one in the water!

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    I'd recommend against deboning the meat, I personally don't think the reduction in weight is worth the increased potential for spoilage and the difficulty in hanging the meat to let it age properly.

    A tip for packing out meat:

    My buddy and I shot two nice caribou about 4 miles from camp. Instead of loading up and walking four miles straight, we would walk one mile, stop, unload the packs, and go back for another load. What this means is that you get to make an empty return trip every mile instead of every four miles. Load by load, you move the entire animal back to camp. You get more frequent breaks which helps tremendously. Mentally, it is much easier too, it is a lot harder to leave camp knowing you have 4 miles to go empty (which isnt much of a break on tundra anyway), and then 4 back under a load. If you are already out there, there's no campfire or sleeping mat to entice for "just a little" rest that turns into a 3 hour nap, from which you awake with every bone hurting and zero desire to return for the rest of the meat (which of course you would still do because you are an ethical and law abiding hunter). But, you get my point. We got it all but one load each, which was only a mile away, by the time it got dark. So easy to get up early, go that one mile and get the last load.

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    Everything mentioned so far has been good advice.

    A couple good packs either internal frame or external will work for packing a moose out. Good binoculars and maybe a spotting scope if you will be hunting high ground. Bring large enough game bags to fit moose quarters in and make sure they are high quality ones. Don't forget the camera at home.

    When packing out it is better to go too light and make another trip than to pack too much weight and kill yourself.

    Good luck on the drawing permits and on your hunt! Welcome to hunting.

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    An ax or a hatchet is always a good thing to have too.

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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Wow thanks for all the help! It is truly appreciated. Just bought the Love, Thunder, and Bulls dvd, has a lot of great information in it! Thanks again everyone, will let you guys know if we get anything!

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