Camp fires at moose camp

outdoorsman_3

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The other day I was having a wonderful discussion on the phone with another forum member and he made a statement that I had not heard before. He stated that camps that with no camp fires were more successful than camps that had fires. He said that the fire alerted the moose of your presence. I always thought smoke was a natural smell and typically would not alert animals.

I am by no means a moose expert. So I ask the question. If you were in a remote area on a drop camp, unable to change locations, do you have a camp fire or not?
 

highestview

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The last 4 years I've had a woodstove in our tent and had a fire every evening and morning. I can't say I've seen it make slightest difference in the numbers or location of moose that we see


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trailblazersteve

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Makes no difference to moose. My daugher shot her big moose 30 yards from our hunting cabin at 3:00pm with our wood stove going. This year I called in 3 bulls, one my wife shot, while I was calling right from a morning, smoking camp fire. The moose could care less in my opinion..
 

Carlak2fl

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in my opinion it doesn't bother them at all. we have literally shot moose within 200 yards of camp. more than once. i think its the chopping of firewood that helps too.
 

extrema

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Had a native guy in Galena tell me to pee on the fire at bedtime, then be ready to shoot a bull in the morning. It works.
 

ramdap

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Absultly start a fire especially farther North you go. Can't Tell you how many bulls we've called into camp that had a fire. From down wind too! Last one we took just month ago on muzzle loader hunt. During the night bull even rubbed on a tree less than 150 yards from our tent down wind. Believe what you may... it's first thing we do in our camp. Talking around open camp fire different story. You'll be lucky to see a moose.
 

Amigo Will

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Without a fire you don't have a camp. I smoke my pipe while hunting and never a problem.
 

bullbuster

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We have seen a young bull come right up to the fire in camp and stare at it like he was about to charge. He finally just wandered off.

My partner flew off one morning to pickup another buddy. The tarp over the fire area slipped its mooring in the wind and was flapping in and out of the fire. As I was under the tarp trying to keep it from burning, I heard a loud grunt. I shot that bull 20 yards from the fire while I was still under the blue tarp. Right on time I heard the plane coming back. I rushed back to the fire as they had to walk right next to it from the tie-down.

A moose is going to do his thing, fire or no. }:>
 

Catch It

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I have gone round and round with my moose hunting partners with this, I say burn it, they say no. We compromised and now we do it if it's an offshore wind......whatever. I hate to tell these guys but they have shot three moose behind camp (within 100 yards) the morning after a fire, and once when there was one burning, not to mention if there is an onshore wind, we can't mask a camp full of boats, bacon, stinky men. Yet they still keep shootin em right behind camp.

I agree to keep the voices down, but calling from the campfire, passing a little somethin somethin around with the calling cone......is a great way to spend an evening, and often enough there is a bull standing behind camp the next morning.
 

BIGAKSTUFF

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Moose don't care, i've seen em come right up to a fire and grunt when it was pitch black outside, after a hunting buddy used a maul to split a few more rounds to burn.

This year, we had 2 tents with stoves going-at least one stove was making smoke at all times. Watched bulls on a bench across from camp, we're talking 400-500 yards here, do moose stuff all day long like we didn't even exist. There's no way they couldn't see us, big ol white wall tents, or smell us with those stoves and even an outside fire going for almost a week straight.

I know chainsaws and splitting wood can call em in, but I saw something else this season that confirmed a long held suspicion of mine. I wanted to take some pictures of camp with my cell phone, but it was dead. So I plugged my phone into the 12V outlet on my wheeler and started the wheeler up to let it idle. A bull was laying wide out in the open directly across from camp. About 5 minutes went by and we noticed the bull looking in our direction with ears up, it was obvious he was hearing the wheeler idling. Dang it if he didn't get up and start swaying around and thrashing brush in our direction! I think the low frequency tone of the wheeler exhaust sounds like a bull grunting like a maniac from a ways off to a moose. Was interesting to see for sure.
 

limon32

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passing a little somethin somethin around with the calling cone......is a great way to spend an evening, and often enough there is a bull standing behind camp the next morning.

At least now I know why moose hunting is so popular! That's funny stuff!


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anchorrivercrowds

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only thing I'd add to this conversation is when you apply rules to "moose" behavior it's easy to just use the generic term... moose..

and thing is you MAY see lots of moose with a fire/talking/chainsaw/what ever..

an older bull is a different critter. They didn't get older being stupid..(maybe they did, please tell me where you hunt if they do)..

not saying a fire alerts larger smarter bulls.. just saying the difference between a 40 inch youngin.. and a mature bull can be immense., not as easy to call/fool/kill..

having said that, 5 years ago, I arrived at a camp, chopped wood for an hour, made a few calls, and the largest bull I've ever seen came in the next morning.
 

Catch It

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I helped my bud cut up his 61 incher 70 yards from the firepit in my jammies two years ago (bugger woke me up with a 300 win mag.) ......when they are in the rut, they are all pretty much dumb as posts. Granted this is out in Bristol Bay, but these boys still know what a man is all about.

My sneakiest bull experiences were with a fork and a spike, I feel once they are coming to the call, it's all about the situation and that particular bull's mood. Have seen and helped cut up too many big moose that were punched at close distance that acted as if they could care less.
 

Bushwhack Jack

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Camp fires don't scare moose. If anything, I have heard the opposite. #1, curiosity brings them in to investigate, #2, it's a natural smell and it can actually help reduce human body odor, and #3, breaking sticks and wood gathering activities creates sounds that resemble bull moose racking their antlers and fighting so it can actually attract bull moose close to camp.

For caribou I think if makes little difference, but I have actually seen a small herd of caribou get scared off from a campfire once. It was kind of comical. Me and a group of hunters I was guiding were sitting around a campfire and they had all tagged out on their limit of caribou. A small herd of caribou came by and as soon as they caught a whiff of the smoke, they turned around and ran for about 50 to 100 yards and then they caught another swirl of smoke from a different direction. Then they turned and ran back the direction they came from. This kept going on for about a minute until finally I think they just decided the heck with it and proceeded in a specific direction. It was actually very funny.

As for sheep, I am unsure, but my guess is they are wary of smoke, but rarely do you have the opportunity to have a campfire while sheep hunting anyhow, unless you just killed a sheep and you are trying to cook ribs on a willow branch fire, in which case it doesn't matter, because the sheep is already dead.

For bears, I am a firm believer that bears ARE afraid of campfire smoke. I can recall numberous times on hunts when bear sightings were common, and then after a campfire the bears seem to disappear without a trace.

Anyhow that is my two cents. Do what you want, but I would not hesitate to have a campfire while moose hunting.
 

ptarmigan

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When my buddy and I started hunting moose up here 7-8 years ago he was adamant about not having a fire. After a couple of years of that foolishness I told him I was going to have one whether he liked it or not. Since we started to have fires and enjoying things a bit more we have killed or had a chance to kill a moose every year. Coincidence? Maybe so, but we never go without having a smudge at night anymore and I'm OK with that!
 
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