Successful moose hunt

Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,953
342
I just got back from a successful moose hunt. I lucked into a nice spike bull on opening evening.

The weeks of rain left the trail conditions in very poor shape. It took us several hours to get out to where we were hunting. A lot of getting stuck and winching out of mud holes. We finally got to the spot we have been making camp the last few years. It has several good trails in a few directions that opens up several valleys for us to hunt. We barely got camp set before dark.

Opening day broke raining and foggy. We glasses for a couple hours and saw nothing but raindrops. There were no moose down low and the higher hillsides were covered in cloud.
After a while we gave up and went back to camp for a mid morning nap. One of the best parts about moose hunting is those mid day naps listening to rain beat down on the tent. Puts you right to sleep.

Early afternoon the skies cleared up and we went out glassing. We started seeing moose right off the bat. It seemed like we were surrounded by cows. We counted 8 within a half mile of camp.

We worked our way around the mountain when I spotted a bull and cow. It was clear even thru the binos that he wasn’t even close to 50” but I got out the spotting scope to check brow tines. We were hunting in a spike/fork, 50” or 4 brow tine area.

A quick look thru the spotting scope showed this bull to be a roughly 36” with only 2 brow tines on each side. I was about to abandon this group when I saw something behind him in the brush. I just got a quick glimpse but it sure looked like a spike bull. I watched for several more minutes and caught another glimpse. I was 80% sure it was a spike.

I wanted to watch for a while and get a better idea of what these moose were up to and verify that was a legal bull before making a plan but my buddies were impatient and decided to go charging in to get a closer look.

Their plan was to hike to a nearby hill and see if they could look down on the moose from a couple hundred yards away. As they got near to the top of the little hill 4 moose squirted out the back of the brush. The sub legal bull, 2 cows, and a spike bull. I got a very good look that time.

The moose were heading behind the main hillside thru a saddle. I jumped in my SXS and headed around to see if I could cut them off. I got around to the other side in time to see them about 800 yards away at the other end of the saddle headed for this narrow draw.

I did the fat man dash to intercept. I got as far as I could as they were about to drop down the draw. I shot it about 300 yards as it dropped down into the draw. At the shot it folded up and rolled down to the bottom of the hill.

It was late and dark by the time we got it it up and back to camp.

Day two started a series of events that went for bad to worse. One guys wife I reached us that she was heading to the hospital and he needed to get back. We broke camp and headed back to the trailhead. On the rough trail back we had more problems. My overloaded machine spun out, the tailgate opened dumping everything out and I had to reload the wheeler and winch the last couple hundred feet up the hill. Then my buddy split his head open when we hit a big bump and he hit his head at the roof. Then another guy slid down a bank and popped both tires off the bead on his machine.

We ended up leaving them there and taking their wheels to the trailhead to get the guys to the hospital and had to go back for the other machine with the tires fixed the next morning.

It’s never a dull time when moose hunting. Now we have enough time to take care of the meat and try to sneak in a bear hunt before I have to go back to work.
 

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Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,953
342
Some more pictures
 

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wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,495
603
Congregations. Sounds like quite an adventure. Hope everyone is well. What caliber and load did you use? Dan.
 

D21ALASKA

Beginner
Oct 29, 2013
202
103
Nice job Bear. At work myself at the moment and counting the days till I get out of here and head out to camp on the 15th. Hopefully the rain lets up by then...
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,447
2,208
Yup, that's moose hunting. Congratulations on tagging a young bull. Nothing better than a young bull early in the season, and you did it. Great account of how the hunt often goes.
 

Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,953
342
Yup, that's moose hunting. Congratulations on tagging a young bull. Nothing better than a young bull early in the season, and you did it. Great account of how the hunt often goes.
I’ll take a spike/fork every time. Excellent meat, and easier to handle. Don’t get me wrong I’d happily shoot a big bull, but I just can’t let all that meat walk away when I see a legal bull.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,979
525
Adventures in the bush that we have all encountered at one time or another.
For those that haven't, they haven't spent enough time hunting in the backcountry... yet...but not to worry, it eventually happens to us all sooner or later! LOL
While it is never fun at the time, we all look back and laugh afterwards and recall the misadventures that add to the memories.
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,971
360
Thebear- hope things worked out OK for your buddy. Sounds like you had a little more "adventure" in your hunt than you'd like. Glad you got your moose. When it aint raining, and your not up to your knees in mud and bog, that sure is some pretty country.... CL
 

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,332
376
Congratulations on a successful and eventful hunt. Thanks for the great write-up and beautiful photos. Dan
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,901
1,563
Congratulations on the success of taking a moose. A lot of good meat to feed a good group of people out of an animal like that. I'm glad on the rest of it that all hunts don't go that way..........but out in nature some things you work around the best you can. Fantastic looking country. Beautiful.

I hope your hunting partner's wife is okay, as well as everybody else's bumps and bruises all healed up.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,859
586
Congratulations on your hunt, its a beautiful scenery out there, all those autumn colors are nice. Yup, we do have our bad times from time to time on our hunts. Good to see you back home safely. Hope your hunting partner's wife is doing well.
Just noticed that I spend too much time in the Reloading section, lol. I just noticed a lot of stories here that I missed. Time to catch up a bit with some coffee.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
908
927
Quite the excursion you went on. Nice looking countryside. Congrats on getting your moose , on the bright side you didn’t leave empty handed.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,109
1,764
Quite the adventure. Congratulations on your bull.
Glad everyone made it out in 1 piece, sorta.
Well done.

JD338
 

Joec7651

Handloader
Apr 7, 2019
583
307
Congratulations on a successful, adventurous hunt. Adventurous seems and understatement. It truly makes me happy to see others excel in their endeavors. You have both my well wishes and envy. Perhaps one day I’ll have the privilege of such a hunt. I was planning an elk excursion, but unfortunate events forced those preparations to a halt. Again, congratulations on a full freezer, and grand memories.
 

Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,953
342
Got all the meat fully processed. I ended up with 147 pounds of jalapeño cheese moose dogs, 138 pounds of burger, 38 quarts of canned moose, 16 quarts of bone/moose broth, 32 pounds of tender loin and back strap steaks, and 6 gallon ziplocks of dried meat scrap dog treats.

Pretty good haul from one little spike moose.
 

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