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Fort Rich DM424 Archery Moose Hunt Summary 2014

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  • Fort Rich DM424 Archery Moose Hunt Summary 2014

    Sharing my experience for those that get to go next year.....

    Hunted 20 days between Sep 5 and Nov 14. All areas were closed due to military training for a 17 day period in October. Range control told me they close everything when they do live fire training. I hunted areas 411, 412, 413, 418, 425, 426, 428, 429, and 430. I spent an equal amount of time in the areas east and west of the highway. In 20 days, I had a disappointing total of 5 encounters with moose. 2 of those were bulls (both in the 40" + category). So, about one moose sighting of any kind for every 4 days in the field.

    One of the bulls came in to brush raking calls, but hung up at 50 yards inside heavy cover. All I saw were his antlers. The other bull was a chance encounter shortly after I got out of my car. He was aware of me as soon as I stepped in the woods at about 80 yards. He took off like a whitetail and didn't slow down for about half a mile (even though I did not follow). I tried to end around him to intercept, and found his tracks, but he was still running well past my intercept course. Even the cows I saw were very skittish.

    Did hit and run calling as well as persistent calling from a single location. Called mid Sep through mid Oct, and only ever had the one response. Spent 3 days "road-hunting" the gravel and dirt roads in 425/428 on a mountain bike. Never saw a moose hunting that method. Hunted high up at tree-line as well as in the forest and fields. Saw decent sign, but never any real concentration of moose. Had a friend take me up in his plane and spent 1 hour orbiting areas 425, 426, 428, 429, 430...and did not spot a single moose.

    Only encountered other hunters 3 times, so did not feel the hunting pressure was too high. Found a wolf den in 411 with over 15 birthing holes. That plus huge amounts of wolf tracks in all areas makes me think the wolves are hitting them harder than the hunters.

    At the end of the hunt, I still have not figured out a good strategy for this area. Certainly a very convenient hunt, and the forests are a great setting for archery, but there just don't seem to be many moose around.

  • #2
    I had a JBER muzzleloader tag in 2013-14 and had similar results. Very skittish animals that turn and run the second they see you. If you are driving by and slow down to a stop, they are on the move. I think the bear and wolf populations may very well be doing more to control the size of the herd than the bow and muzzleloader hunters.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info may have to double think my draw areas as I was planning on that tag but we will see


      • #4
        Sorry you did not connect. You spent the time, but unfortunately did not have the luck. I wish you better luck next year!


        • #5
          Man it sounds like you hunted hard. My experience with this hunt was exactly the opposite. I hunted a total of less than an hour and killed a 60" bull and could have killed another about 36". I can't wait to put in for this hunt again as for me it was great. When I had my bull down and was cleaning him out I was hearing bulls grunting until I took the last pack out.


          • #6
            Good info here. I have applied for this hunt 4 years now and still not drawn. I guess the 99% odds against are still getting me lol. Didn't realize that this hunt was that tough. Sounds like all the hunts close to Fairbanks. Moose run fast and afraid. Moving target practice is key.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mammoth Hunter View Post
              Didn't realize that this hunt was that tough.
              Guess you didn't read the post right before yours. Lets face it guys, hunting has a lot of luck guy goes right and one left. One guy sees the animals, one guy doesn't. You can hunt and hunt and hunt, but if the luck of the draw has you going left when the animals were to the right........well...???
              Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!


              • #8
                sorry to hear you didn't harvest, keep on trying and thanks for your insight on what you did!


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