We had an interesting moose hunt early this week. I flew my daughter out to hunt with me and we landed on a sandbar adjacent to the low foothills of a mountain. We had to hunt in a forest of spruce, small willow and other brush. It was very noisy to walk in and visibility was limited to a very short distance. We set up on the uphill end of a 2-3 acre area which was pretty much covered with small willow brush and a few very small spruce and one area of alder brush. It gave us a fairly good view based on the area in which we were hunting, and there was a lot of fresh sign. We did some calling, usually by scraping a spruce tree on the upper edge of the opening and rarely a series of bull grunts. We sat there for about 9 hours one day and almost 11 the next. The spot we were using for viewing required that we stand in order to view most of the area. We took turns standing and sitting (dozing, reading) and about 2:30 PM my daughter had me stand as she had heard something moving. We were partially shielded by a spruce about two feet in diameter with no branches below about eight feet and almost no other cover around us. Suddenly I saw the willow brush moving and then a cow moose head appeared about 25 yards away. Then I could hear some VERY soft bull grunts coming from her at every step; I again looked at her closely to see if I had erred and it was a bull, but no, it was a big cow. She was angling uphill toward us and was apparently going to pass about 10 feet above us just inside some taller willow; the wind was blowing gently uphill from us and from her direction. She got about 15 feet away and suddenly shoved her nose down on the ground and stood there for quite a period of time (later my daughter told me that she had taken a pee at that spot and actually covered it up with a dirt clod). Next she changed her direction to angle uphill more and encountered the spot where we had each separately taken a walk uphill to stretch and warm up; our last walk had been about two hours prior. She didnít like that and then turned back to angle slightly below us and kept walking with no more grunting. I had been standing directly behind the tree from her when she was fifteen feet away and my daughter was right behind me. We didnít dare move as any motion would make too much noise and we were hoping that a bull might be right behind her. She kept coming and stopped with her nose six feet from me and at that point I was almost totally beside the tree with no cover between the cow and me, my daughter was beside me. She was angling about 10 degrees downhill from us when she stopped with her head facing straight ahead in her direction of travel. The breeze was still from her general direction toward us. She stood in that position for a couple of minutes, obviously sensing or smelling something, but never once looked in my direction; I figured that in two more steps that she would either step on my daughterís camera or GPS which lay on the ground right in front of me. Finally after never noticing me, she turned and walked off quickly in the direction from which she had arrived.
Several things were of interest to me; she was giving a very soft bull grunt with each step, she didnít like the human pee at all, and as usual, my camouflage (ASAT) was VERY hard for an animal to detect.