Moose tactics

outdoorsman_3

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Hey guys I am new to moose hunting but my dad and I just booked our first self guided moose hunt out of bethel, sept 15-25. From my understanding we are going to be flown in on a float plane so it is going to be a lake hunt. I originally had in mind of going with a ridge top hunt but was talked out of it due to all the work to carry a moose back up to the ridge. My original plan was to call, sit and glass. However now I am afraid that the ground is not going to have any elevation to it, making my original strategy ineffective. We will have access to a raft. How would you go about learning the area and hunting it for moose? I know when I get there I will want to walk around checking everything out
But after reading, it sounds like this may be a bad idea due to contaminating the area with scent. How would you recommend hunting on a hunt like this?

Also are there common patterns for moose? For example a deer may be feeding on a white oak tree and these are often best to hunt at night? Any favorite plants that moose like to eat? Where do they like to bed?

Lots of questions but I am a moose rookie!
 

4merguide

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It's always "nice" to have some elevation to glass from but many of the moose I've called in and killed I've never seen from a distance. Sometimes I'm in very thick stuff. If you don't have that good of an area to glass, don't let it stop you from calling and waiting. Patience is key.....
 

hoose35

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Lots of moose are killed from lake based hunts. Find a clearing with a good view of a wide area and call. If they are there and you do your part, they will come.
 

anchorrivercrowds

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bring a LOT of books. After 7 days of looking at the same lake, you may WISH you were packing a moose up to a ridge..lol It may be well worth a few extra bucks to fly in at moose 30 and do a little looking around. It will really help your resolve to see one or two, and know they are there. It will help with the patience thing.

As the season goes on, human scent becomes a bit less of an issue as the bulls get deeper in the rut... but walking all over typically does not help your cause..

stay strong..
 

highestview

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Moose tactics

From what I can observe, hunters from the south freak out and obsesses about scent in ridiculous overbearing ways. Don't worry much about scent, especially if your glassing. Scent may or my not matter only on the final stalk, IMO. Unless you're chasing sheep or griz, the animals are pretty forgiving as far as scent goes. Don't hold back on a hunt because you're worried about the way your scent might travel or affect it


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AKChester

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Patience!
Watch some videos and listen to how to call in moose. Good calling is key for early season hunts. Not so much later in the season. Later in the season is better for luck. Don't walk around much, just call and be patient. Start calling softly and work your way louder; you never know what's around when you start. Scour Google Earth, Bing, USGS, Apple Maps, GINA for imagery for clearings and willowy areas. More time in moose country is better; moose aren't in a hurry to get shot. Moose usually are seen at dawn and dusk. Like someone else said, bring a good book. Enjoy being out in nature; don't ruin it by making it a suffer fest. Bring a good lantern, because if you're lucky, you'll probably be butchering all night. Good luck.
 

hoose35

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From what I can observe, hunters from the south freak out and obsesses about scent in ridiculous overbearing ways. Don't worry much about scent, especially if your glassing. Scent may or my not matter only on the final stalk, IMO. Unless you're chasing sheep or griz, the animals are pretty forgiving as far as scent goes. Don't hold back on a hunt because you're worried about the way your scent might travel or affect it


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I disagree about scent. I think keeping downwind from moose is pretty important. If they sniff you out, they will be gone before you ever see them
 

Michael Strahan

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There are lots of moose hunters on this site, and lots of good advice. I've done some guiding for moose, and as the owner of this site, I have put a page together that addresses many of your concerns; I think it will be a great help to you. HERE IS THE LINK to our main moose page; you will also see a number of resources at the end of the page, that will provide additional instruction and assistance. Please drop me a Private Message and I would be happy to provide additional assistance if you like.

Best regards,

-Mike
 

outdoorsman_3

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Hey Michael that link is outstanding. I am thinking that a good idea may be to glass from the raft around the lake if there is not any elevation. What do you all think about this idea?
 

Michael Strahan

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Hey Michael that link is outstanding. I am thinking that a good idea may be to glass from the raft around the lake if there is not any elevation. What do you all think about this idea?

Thats the ticket, friend. It's almost the only way you can glass in those circumstances. If there's any open tundra outside the belt of willows that surrounds the lake, you can sometimes punch through the vegetation and glass from outside, but you'll only be glassing one side of the lake. Some of those lakes out there have a hill nearby, and of course you can glass from there as well.

The he main thing out there is to avoid the temptation to walk all over the area, spreading your scent around. Moose don't always care about human scent, but there's no sense giving yourself away if you don't have to.

Mike
 

sockeye1

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Great advice here so far from a bunch of experienced moose hunters. Moose may have the best nose in the woods- their nasal cavities are enormous. Although they aren't as skittish during your hunt dates, they will try and circle you to get down wind if they are coming in to your call. Scent matters- don't get too hung up on it, but its best to hunt/call with the wind in your favor as much as possible. Don't overcall. As stated already, patience is key. I've called in one spot for hours, gone back to camp, then headed back to the same spot the next day to find it completely torn up by a bull looking for love. There are lots of great 'how to' videos on calling- watch them. If you can, stage your shooter (you or your dad) in front of the caller- especially if you know a bull is coming in. Many pre-rut bulls will hang up 100-200 yards from a call if they can't see the animal/antlers. If you meet them in the middle by staging one of you in front of the other you increase your chances of success. Have a solid 'what if' plan for field dressing. Moose sometimes fall in holes, water, etc. A mature bull is 1300-1600lbs of dead meat. They are difficult to move without having a winch, rope ratchet, come-a-long, etc. If they die in a good spot this isn't an issue, but they don't always do that.

This guy was killed on September 16th. We grunted and raked for about 30 minutes and waited another 15. Without getting a response we followed up with a cow call, that got a response and he was headed right for us. We set up an intercept point and he walked (head swaying, eyes rolling, snot swinging) to 20 yards before it was lights out. Good luck in your planning- its my favorite part!!
 

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highestview

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I disagree about scent. I think keeping downwind from moose is pretty important. If they sniff you out, they will be gone before you ever see them

I have just had too many experiences with them where I'm sure they smell me but don't care or don't react that much. I find that noise and the speed that you approach them at makes the biggest difference. They certainly aren't like elk or Dall sheep as far as their willingness to spook. They are darn good at hiding though. Spend your time glassing from spots where you can see very well into moose turf.
 

Gary

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And you can forget the idea of hunting a food source (re: white oaks). But, the preferred browse for moose is willow shoots and cows/calves will be eating - bulls will be looking for cows. Bulls are pretty much interested in one thing during the rut; hint: it ain't food. Learn to make both cow calls & bull grunts. Raking brush is pretty much self explanatory and is similar to rattling for whitetails. If you should hear a cow calling, try to keep her in sight. Use an empty container (filled with water) to simulate a moose peeing into the lake (during/after calling). Ask the outfitter if there will be fish in the lake - a lot of Alaskan lakes are fishless - and if so what kind. Choose fishing gear accordingly (just in case you don't have enough reading material).
 

4merguide

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I find it interesting that some of you guys are actually reading books while you are hunting. When I'm out there I want every advantage that my senses can provide, especially my eyes! IMO you just can't ever let your guard down. I can't tell you how many times, even in the middle of the day, that I've just barely caught site of game as they stand up and lay back down, or move between one bush or another, and then never see them again. I would have missed out seeing them all together had my eyes been buried in a book. No, when I'm out there hunting, that's what I'm doing even if I'm sitting in one place for hours. And if you ask me, you can't ever glass too much.

I save the books for inside the tent when the weather's too bad.....
 

Gary

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I find it interesting that some of you guys are actually reading books while you are hunting. When I'm out there I want every advantage that my senses can provide, especially my eyes! IMO you just can't ever let your guard down. I can't tell you how many times, even in the middle of the day, that I've just barely caught site of game as they stand up and lay back down, or move between one bush or another, and then never see them again. I would have missed out seeing them all together had my eyes been buried in a book. No, when I'm out there hunting, that's what I'm doing even if I'm sitting in one place for hours. And if you ask me, you can't ever glass too much.

I save the books for inside the tent when the weather's too bad.....

Don't read more into a post than what is there (same as the regs book :) ). Reading is for night time or when confined to the tent during the day.
 

sockeye1

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I have just had too many experiences with them where I'm sure they smell me but don't care or don't react that much. I find that noise and the speed that you approach them at makes the biggest difference. They certainly aren't like elk or Dall sheep as far as their willingness to spook. They are darn good at hiding though. Spend your time glassing from spots where you can see very well into moose turf.

Bears may have the best sniffers- good point. I've found early season moose to be the toughest animal I've tried to sneak on with a bow if the wind isn't clearly in my favor- they've let me get to that comfortable distance for a rifle, 100-200 yards, but anything inside of 50 has been really tough. Later in the season, pre-rut and rut, they're clearly much less spooky. Great points made by all.
 

4merguide

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