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Thread: 2010 horseback moose hunt success

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    Default 2010 horseback moose hunt success

    Went back into the the area we did some scouting in this summer to see who was around. We hunted the same area last fall, successfully pulling out two 40" ish bulls with enough brow tines to qualify, and seen a fairly large bull in a small bowl that seemed to be pretty isolated. He had 4 cows with him and was pretty happy to stay in that bowl and could not be coaxed out. We opted to not work that hard, as the access was tough and we were already 1 up by that point on moose. We decided to hunt the same area again this year to see if that bull made it through the year, and possibly moved into an area that was a little easier to deal with him in. We packed back into the area last Tuesday, and after setting up camp, highlines, electric fencing....and all the other stuff associated with horses and camping, went out to see if we could do a little evening calling to try and set up something for the next morning. We watched several cows feeding along a hillside in the same bowl as we had seen the large bull in last year. So, we did some scraping and grunting, not getting too aggressive, and called in one of the cows to about 25 yards. We quieted down and let her leave our area, then pulled out quietly for the night. Got up at some rediculously early hour the next morning to do the morning chores, which consisted of feeding/watering the horses, getting the coffee going, breakfast.....then headed off to our little hunting spot. Again, did some calling and called in a little 30" ish inch bull, with one brow tine on each side. We played with him for a while, before he decided he was bored with the whole thing. That was pretty much the activity for the morning, moved the horses to water, then did the mid day power nap. Got up for the evening and again, seen the cows wander out of some aspens and begin feeding. Slowly, we watched a big black body begin emerging from the aspens, and out he steps. We figured he was over 50", but had at least 5 brow tines on one side. We did some calling, to try and call him a little lower on the hillside, but he didn't give us much mind, and was pretty happy to stay in his bowl with his 4 cows. I figured this was the same bull we watched last fall, and he pretty much acted the same. Started day 3 with the same routine, then set up for calling in a area about 400 yards from the previous days calling. We called for about 3 hours without any type of action. So, getting later in the morning, we stood up and were blabbing about this and that, when my wife says....."hey, I think I seen something move over there in the corner of my eye, and the tree is still shaking"....so we go over to the spot she "seen" something move, and a nice fresh set up moose tracks hauling the other direction tells us we got busted. So, we begin following the moose tracks to see if we can get a look, and I look up into the bowl, and here's the big guy looking down at us from about 800 yards. His 4 cows again out feeding near the aspens. So, we stopped and watched him for a while, eventually he and his cows wandered back into the aspens and I assumed, bedded. So, we go up in the area and see if we can find him. As luck would have it, we bumped him out of his bed at about 40 yards, never getting a good shot at him before he disappeared into the aspens. I firgured that was it, we got busted and he probably blew out of the little bowl. We went back down into our calling position and met up with our friend, who had a cow tag for the area. He tells me 3 of the cows ran out of the bowl and into the next valley, but a blonde cow and the bull never came out. So, we decided to stay in the area all day, and maybe pick off one of the cows trying to come back to the bull. Around 4 pm, I looked up in the aspens, and see a cow coming out to feed. She was at about 300 yards and my friend was getting ready to shoot when the blonde cow walks out. So, knowing she was with the bull after we bumped him earlier that day, we decide to wait and see what happens. After about 10 minutes of watching 3 cows feeding and milling around, out he steps. We ranged him at about 340 yards and set up for a shot. My first shot completely missed, but he stood there not knowing what the sound was, and I was able to redeem myself with a nice, although a little high, lung shot. He ended up taking 4 more hits to his lung/shoulder before he made a dash into the aspens. We made our way up to the area we last seen him and ran into the blonde cow, so my buddy fills his cow tag. We looked into the aspens and found the bull down about 40 yards from the cow. So, at 5 pm, we have two moose down, and a whole lot of work ahead of us. Very late night, but we got the cow quartered and hung, and the bull opened up and cooling. Got up a little later the next morning and after the "chores" went up to finish up and bring the bull back to camp. We came up onto the cow gut pile/carcass and found it had been found by a brown bear who had been buried the gut pile overnight. So, we did some loud talking and made our way to the bull. The bear had pushed it over, but that was about it. So, we highlined the horses, and began quartering the bull. After about two and a half hours of work, we were ready to load him on the horses and head back to camp. Got the meat hung and spent the rest of the day hanging around camp, relaxing and getting ready for the pack out the next day. All in all a great hunt, great weather, and sucess in filling multiple family freezers for the year. Horses are a pretty unique and fun way to hunt, but its by no means an easy way to hunt. They require a lot of care and feeding, babysitting and add much effort to the hunt. To me, its part of the hunt, but I dont think most guys realize just how much work hunting with horses really is. Let alone, the effort required the other 355 days of the year.

    IMG_0309.jpgIMG_0321.jpg

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Very nice bull congrats.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thats a great looking bull! Good job sticking with him and redeeming yourself after the miss. I have to admit hunting with horses looks like they way to go at times but I fully realize how much work is involved as well as the cost and have a lot of respect for you and your horses!

  5. #5
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    What a wonderful hunt. May have to get up with you. The wife is a horse lady and may want them after we make the move. Congradulations of a nice animal.

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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Sounds like you all had a great hunt and a nice Bull to boot .
    Would love to do a horse back hunt one day .
    Congrats on your hunt.

    RR
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    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Yea the horses are stealing some of the thunder from what looks like a great moose hunt, it all looks fun to me. Way to go!!

  8. #8
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Great hunt report, that looks like some fun (?) the horses all loaded up part. Good you mention the rest of the year work of horses cause otherwise they make it look a lot easier.....

    Beautiful animals tho, and that Moose.... Wow nice job

    Thanks for the write-up and pics, Excellent
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Congrats on a great hunt! Thx for sharing the story and pic's.
    I much prefer the 4 wheeled horses, had 3 not so good experiences with horses and that was enough for me!
    Nice Bull for sure!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member aktomboy's Avatar
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    Congrats on your bull and I agree about how much work horses are. I love hunting with my "piggies" and so often I am told how "easy" hunting with them is by people who have never a day of any year have taken care of a horse. Congrats again

  11. #11
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    Yeah, "in theory" horseback hunts are easy. In practice, morning and evening chores way before sunup and usually after sunup makes for some short sleep nights. But still, love doing it this way, different pace than the motorized hunts, and keeps me learning what I dont really know about being a horseman. One benefit that is very beneficial, is the fact that while calling, they are eating (trees, grass, pretty much anything within reach), thumping the ground....and a lot of other real moosey noises, which really helps bring in moose. That, and they are very good at detecting incoming moose long before us humans are. If I could just train them to point or hunt up the bulls now........

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