I hunted about 9 miles off the Steese Hwy in GMU 25C this year. Spent a lot of summer weekends on banzai scouting runs and found an area that had a bunch of moose sign but little human sign. On several trips I saw a few cows with calves, and a few without calves, so I figured either there were bears or wolves in the area or there were cows ripe for the rut.
The rest of my hunting party (Dad, brother, and a friend of the family) drove up from Wisconsin arriving the 6th. We got camp all set-up that night and hit the woods the next morning.
We spent eight days hunting hard from just before sun-up to twilight every night.
Picture one doesn't really do this area justice, but it's overlooking a stream intersection. There's one immediately below and another on the opposite side about 280yds away. The hill slopes upward on the left and the pine trees cover about 20 acres total. Moose sign all over the place. I sat in a glorious blueberry pasture and ate my fill for lunch every day I hunted it. Interestingly enough, we saw absolutely zero bear sign. No tracks, no scat, no diggings, nada!
Picture two is a closed valley with another stream running along the bottom. Willow trees of all shapes and sizes, thick and thin, and another pine forest for shade, shelter and cover. Another blueberry patch, but no berries left in this one. We could glass over 1000 yds in two different directions. Moose had traveled the same trails for so long they were trampled down into the sponge-tundra. Tracks all over the place, and quite a few beds in the bottoms too. No bear sign here either though, which strikes me as kinda weird.
Unfortunately, we also saw no shootable moose. Between four hunters we saw five cows, a gorgeous coyote (I regret now letting him go) three rabbits and four ptarmigan. Not a very good showing for more than 340hrs of field time. I don't understand what we did wrong, as there was sign all over the place and we hunted hard all morning, noon and night. Guess it just wasn't our year
Maybe I'll be that guy who sees the 70" bull on the side of the highway, dropping him with a shot taken just off the shoulder of the road so I can roll him into the open bed of the truck and drive directly to the processor. After hiking three miles every morning up these hills on the stupid sponge-moss, and slipping/falling/walking by braille three miles back every night, I gotta get something more than sore muscles and an appreciation for nature's beauty