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Thread: Moose Hunt - Season Preference

  1. #1
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    Default Moose Hunt - Season Preference

    If you were going to hunt an area that hadn't been hunted in awhile (for moose), would you opt for an 'early' season hunt or a 'mid' season hunt or a 'late' season hunt. Keep in mind that several groups of hunters will be hunting the same area (early season is August 20th to August 30th) and the area has ridges/hills so glassing is possible.

    I'm looking at 'early' season but I know there are pro's and con's to all three times.

    Some early season 'PROS' -

    1) Moose haven't been hunted in several years so some big bulls are present and haven't been pressured in the past.
    2) You'd be the first group hunting the area ... the mid season and late season hunters would come in after you hunted the area.
    3) Weather is maybe a 'tad' warmer.

    Some early season 'CONS' -

    1) Moose are not very vocal just yet as they are not quite pre-rut.
    2) Trees are thick and lots of foilage yet.
    3) Bugs/mosquitos will probably be thick.

    What would be your preference and why?

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    I've hunted moose every year since 1992. Well not every year as I had to take 2004 off for birth of child #3. Anyway, its been my experience that later is always better. Later means no bugs, later means they are grouping up, later means you can call with great success, later means colder weather and I love hunting moose in the colder weather.
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    You make several good points, what I have found in the last few years is because of the internet, areas that had few or no traffic now look like a freeway and that include the rivers. So if youíre hunting an area that is next to a river or trail you need to be there at least three days before the season starts or pray for lots of rain.

    Depending on your skill as a moose hunter, type of hunting and location and you hunt hard it wonít matter when you go as long as there moose. That said it will also depend on the attitude of the other hunting camps if they keep running around and making noise, go when there not there and hope they did not drive everything away.

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    No question, late season for me (winter seasons even better if possible). The cooler temps, fewer or no bugs, and being able to call the moose in make all the difference. Those people before you can hunt all they want, but if they can't find the moose because the moose aren't readily answering to calling or moving around as much, it won't do them any good. Hunting just doesn't seem right in 60+ degrees.

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    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    I too agree with later-they are calling more and less foliage on the trees makes a huge difference while glassing.
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Late season. Bulls get incredibly dumb. They'll come out and stand on the road in some areas just before dark night after night.
    Colder, meat handling is easier and the risk of it going bad goes down.
    Few bugs.
    Alot of guys just get burnt out from not getting anything for the first month or so and don't hunt. Or they've killed their bull.

    Moose hunting is meant to be done in 30-40 degree weather on a brisk morning. Not some mosquito infested 65 degree swamp.
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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    One of my main loves is calling moose, there is something about having a 60" bull grunting and thrashing the brush and calling him into range then he steps broad side for the shot.
    It is also awsome to hear a reply through the brush of a grunt or horns on a bush to get the blood going.
    LATE SEASON FOR ME FOR SURE!!! Only five and a half more months

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    In Aug the bulls will be stationary, camped in their own little area, traveling none or very little. When the velvet comes off about Sept 1+-, they begin to travel and roam around. In later Sept they get more careless and travel more and more......
    Later is better than earlier, unless you have some targets already spotted early....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0321Tony View Post
    One of my main loves is calling moose, there is something about having a 60" bull grunting and thrashing the brush and calling him into range then he steps broad side for the shot.
    It is also awsome to hear a reply through the brush of a grunt or horns on a bush to get the blood going.
    LATE SEASON FOR ME FOR SURE!!! Only five and a half more months
    What he said!!!!

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    if i had to pick.....it would be late season...depending on where you are of course....ive hunted moose opening week in august and done fine, but the bugs do suck and you just dont feel like hunting in hot weather...plus it limits the movement of the animals too therefore cutting your hunting time....i like hunting late (after sep. 1st) because they are on the move, its colder, the fall scenery is awesome, and few bugs.......late season for sure...



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  11. #11

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    Oh, another reason for late season is that you don't have to be up at 5:00am to hit the trails before light. Late season, you can just about sleep in, make a nice breakfast, and then wander out with time to spare before daylight (well, maybe not quite that much, but a heck of a lot better than early season). You also get to get back to camp for a nice dinner at a reasonable time.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    I prefer late season, but usually find myself out in early season as well. If I get one early then no need to worry about late season. If I dont I have late season to hunt.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I like the later season although I admit I generally hunt both. I don't get too excited about killing anything when its 70F and bugs are flying.

    I like to think of my early season work as "scouting" with the potential to punch a tag. I start looking to shoot in earnest in Sept.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Late season Ed, the later the better. I like hunting them when they get the big eye.



    Here is some late season action from last year.


    Good Luck

    Steve
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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Of course, everyone agrees, later is better, more fun, easier, more enjoyable, etc.


    But then again, how is access to the hunt location? Need higher August water to get there?

    How about hunting pressure, think most people will not hunt it in August for all the reasons listed above?

    Lots of pros and cons, but it would take alot for me to pick an early moose hunt over a late hunt, all things considered...

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Count me as one guy who would strongly consider the early season for the situation you described above. In an area that hasn't been hunted in years, I'd be awfully tempted to be there opening day to have first pick, especially in an area that is good for spot-and-stalk hunting. There are plenty of areas where you can see moose perfectly well prior to leaves falling and velvet rubbing. Yes, late season makes for better hunting...for the moose that are still alive. On a regular basis I would go late, but for that special area that hasn't seen hunters in years, I would be going early.

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    Brian, I'm glad you feel my pain. I'd personally prefer the 'late' season in a regular hunt. I just felt like chances of bagging a trophy are better when there's more 'fish in the barrel'. I guess it comes down to just making a choice and hunting hard whether its early or late season

    - Steve, when was the picture taken? Looks like maybe mid-Sept? What a moose!

  18. #18
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Ed, that was 19th of Sept.

    Steve
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    I donít understand why it would make a difference if the area is not hunted as to when you would hunt it early or late. For me it would depend on the age of the moose and its location. For instance I know of an area where their several small lakes where cows and young bulls live in the summer. You need to hunt the area before the cows leave looking for bulls. Another area is a large lake in the alpine, (no fly zone) bulls are seen in early September and they disappear for two or three weeks and reappeared in late September. Did they come back or are they different bulls? Another area several (5-10) young bulls get together to size each other up and play fight by September 13 there gone, if they return Iíve never seen them. No one hunts any of these areas to my knowledge except me that was a long time ago thing could have changed. What Iím trying to say, is bulls that are not hunted move around, trying to find them can be interesting at times.

  20. #20
    Member Mel Roe's Avatar
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    How late? I drew a muzzleloader tag that runs from 9/16 until 2/28. I have always hunted in late September but would mid winter be as good or better?
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