We just got back from our second hunt in the flats. I killed a large cow last Tuesday, and we hunted the same area this weekend. My dad and his buddy went to camp on Thursday and my brother followed in Friday night. We had almost filled his cow tag on the way into camp two different times, but we wanted to see if they had already gotten a moose, so we weren't very anxious to drop one.
We got to camp about 8:30pm. Dad wasn't back yet, but about 15-20 minutes later he came back with his rifle in the ready position and looking behind him. What happened was while he was up in the large spotting tree about 100 yards from where my moose carcass was, he was watching a large bull about 1000 yards out, and after the bull went in the trees out of sight, he started hearing some thrashing and grunting about 100 yards away. For about a half hour, it was intense crashing, trees breaking, huffing and grunting, so he thought a bull was all worked up down there. Things went quiet for a few minutes, and he heard it walking towards the tree. As soon as it came into a clearing, he saw it was a very large grizzly bear. The bear got to the trail dad walked in on, stopped for a couple seconds with his nose in the air, let out a large huff and bolted into the woods heading straight for our camp about a 1/3 of a mile away. He had to walk that trail to get back to camp, so he was pretty nervous, but no sign of the bear at least.
We decided to hunt another area the next morning, and that afternoon we came back and decided to head out to that tree. We went to the area where the moose carcass was, and sure enough he took everything but a couple hooves. Later in the day we came up with a plan. They were going to hunt the river and I was going to hang around the tree and try for the grizzly if he came back. It was about 8:45pm, and nothing happening, so I climbed down the tree and headed back to camp. I was about 100 yards from camp on the trail when a hare jumped out underneath me and scared the crap out of me. I was calmed back down and just started walking when I heard a boat that was getting much closer come to a stop and turned the motor off. I figured it was the rest of the guys in our camp. About 2 seconds later I hear crashing off to my left, and I see a flash of blond. It was about 30 yards away and in a real small meadow. I readied the gun because I thought it was the bear, then all hell broke loose and it charged right in my direction. It rounded some trees about 15 yards away and I saw the rack. It was about a 40" bull moose (1X2 brows) and he was freight training right at me! I had one diamond willow about 8" in diamter that I was behind, and the trail put the moose right in my path. He was either going to the left or the right of the willow, so I hugged up on it, looking off on the left side. About 10 feet away he zigged to the right, so I leanded left, then he zagged back to the left on his next stride so I lept back to the right. He flew by breaking off part of the willow with his rack at about 2-3 feet away. He got about 15 yards away and I threw a bull grunt at him and stopped him in his tracks. I kept him close because I figured those guys were back in the camp, and hopefully the guy with the harvest tag would come out and get a shot, but I confirmed he only had 2 browtines on the one side so I messed with him a bit and watched him finally walk off into the large meadow where I shot the cow.
It was an interesting swing of emotions. Thinking I was possibly going to shoot the bear, followed by thinking the bear was charging, then the sense of relief that it was a moose, shortly followed by the realization that I'm about be trampled. All in the span of about 15-20 seconds.
The boat ended up being other hunters, so I ended up sitting back at camp for a while by myself. I was getting pretty nervous about the other guys around 10:30pm, but around 11:20pm they got back to camp on full step, lighting up the slough with the large spotlight. They had shot a cow about 2 miles up river around 8:45pm, so we all had fun stories to share that night. Jimmy cooked up one of the tenderloins from my moose wrapped in bacon and slow smoked/cooked over the fire. We were up laughing and lying till about 1:30 in the morning when we just couldn't keep our eyes open any longer. We got back Sunday afternoon, got cleaned up and processed moose till midnight last night. We'll wrap up the last of it today, then grind all the burger Tuesday night and cook up some moose ribs.