I filled my cow tag this morning with my encore 209x50 with williams peep sight and 250gr barnes MZ sabot. I have shot a couple of whitetails with the encore back in michigan and decided since I had drawn an "easy" cow tag in DM410 that I would use it to fill my tag.
I have shot a few moose with a rifle but generally from pretty long distance, 200-300 yards in open terrain. I was looking forward to the challenge of haveing to get up close with this hunt. I figured it would be afairly easy one day type hunt due to the numer of moose I generally see in jim creek and being pretty familiar with the area. Well I was wrong, 3 long trips out there with lots of miles on the wheeler and almost as many on foot and still handn't seen a moose. It just wasn't coming together for me. It started out the same with this morning, Got my wheeler stuck right off the bat and got good ane muddy getting it out. Wasted a bunch of premium early hunting time in the process. Still hand't seen a moose by 9:30am and happened apon a couple of guys with a broke down wheeler. Luckily it was an easy fix and they headed on thier way but happened to mention that they had seen a cow near one of the river crossings out there that moring around first light. With nothing better to do and figuring the day was a bust I headed over to see if I could find its tracks and maybe walk it down.
I easily found its tracks, big splayed out deep tracks in the soft ground. Grabbed the encore and starting tracking. It was the first time I have tried to hunt this way up here having tracked whitetails quite a bit in michigan, where I'm from. It was pretty easy to follow this moose tracks and by the progessively fresher poop I knew I was gaining on it. A little after 11am spotted the back of the cows head above some brush about 50 yards in front of me, I didn't have a shot and was moving in for a better angle when I knocked over a dead tree. Subtle, I know! She was up and gone in a flash, a loud crashing brush flash.
I was pretty discusted with myself, and just knew I had blown my chance with this cow. I was probalby 3/4 of a mile away from my wheeler at this point so I just headed to the nearest trail as it was closer and started walking back to my wheeler. About half way there I look over and here is this darn cow standing in the open staring at me. I had to move around a small tree to get a good shot and by the "i'm getting out of here" look on the cows face took the quartering to shot. About 70 yards away the bullet broke the near shoulder and exited the ribs on the far side. 15 yards of pigeon waddle later it was all over.
I started called a buddy to come out and help and started cutting. True to form he showed up right as I was taking the last quarter off. He has excellent timing. Loaded it up and headed out. Nothing special but probably one of the most fun hunts I have had. I think the 2 hours I spent following the moose is what really made it so fun. It was a lot more involved than just randomly bumping into one while riding, or even spotting one and stalking to within rifle range.