A Great season !

A Great season !

29 NOV 2013

 

Well here it is the day after Thanksgiving and I am finally sitting down and writing my hunting blogs for the past 3 months. I moved up to the lodge just prior to Bear season in late August and have been there almost the entire time till now. I've come to 2 conclusions. One, I like my lodge bed better than my bed at home and 2, the (percolated) coffee I make at the lodge is much better.

We had 2 very successful Moose hunts at the Wilderness Lodge this year. A Sept. zone 19 Bull hunt. ( which I guided ) and an Oct, zone 28 Bull hunt ( Guided by one of my Guides: Dennis Perry ). I cannot guide Moose in Oct as I am too busy guiding Grouse and Woodcock hunters. Birds I have always found are much easier to get out of the woods :-) but not as much of an adrenaline rush.

This update is about the Sept hunt...

3 great guys came on this hunt, 2 shooters and a camera man. Yes, the hunt was caught on video although I have not received the finished copy yet. I will post it when I get it.

There was certainly no shortage of Moose sign in all the places we hunted and we saw 2 of the biggest bull tracks I've ever seen. We also saw a couple small bulls and a couple cow's with calves. Problem was, they were not in the heat of the rut yet at least early in the week and so we had no response to my calling. Until Friday morning that is....

On Friday morning, we hit the road before daylight & headed to where we planned on setting up for the AM calling. When we were about half way there (Still 10 minutes before legal shooting) up ahead of us in the dark we all began to make out the shape of a huge Moose in the road. As I brought the truck to a quick stop we could all make out antlers! I shut the truck off and we watched as he walked off the left side of road into the woods. 10 minutes...an eternity!

We all quietly got out of the truck and listened. Seconds later we heard a cow balling and the bull grunting loudly not 75 yards or so from us. It sounded to me as if the cow was telling the big bull to get the heck away from her but they could have been mating. A look at the watch...7 minutes to go until we could load ! Minutes seemed like hours. I wanted to call but knew I couldn't  yet because I did not want him to step back into the road until we could shoot. Then, there was silence.

When we 1st saw the bull, we had just passed a tee in the road that went to our left. I was suddenly worried the bull was moving and that he might cross that road so I left the boys where they were and walked the 30 yards back so I could see down both roads. 3 minutes to go....

I had only been there 2 minutes or so when Steve, the camera man  and youngest of the group ( best ears ) waved me to come back to them cause he could hear the bull still up by them. I hustled back as quiet as possible and got everyone off to the side of the road and set up behind some limited cover. The 10 minutes were up....

"Load up" I told the shooters and once they were ready I started cow calling. A couple minutes went by with no response. I kept  calling and suddenly we got a grunt from the bull. He hadn't' moved from when we heard him with the cow. A few more minutes of calling but no more responses. I kept on calling and then Steve ( Young ears ) looked at me and his eyes were wide as could be. I knew he could hear something that I couldn't. He put his arms up to his head and I realized he was telling me he could hear antlers moving through the young trees.

I upped the frequency of the cow calls and then loud and clear not 20 yards from the road came a loud grunt! "Be ready be ready" I said as now I could hear the antlers coming too plus the sound of snapping branches as he was marching right towards the road. The grunts from the bull were constant now and so were my cow calls. You could cut the tension with a knife. Then suddenly, 30 yards down the dirt road and on the opposite side from us, the huge Bull stepped into the open, broad side. BOOM- BOOM. both shooters fired almost simultaneously and the bull dropped. The tip of his nose landed in the road!

Wow, what a rush. A lot of hollering and celebrating, high fives and hugs. It was by far one of the most exciting Moose hunts I have been on.

The big Bull weighed in at 902 lbs fully field dressed and had a nice 40" spread rack. We hooked onto him with the ATV and drove him right up onto the tailer.

Congrats to the successful hunters...

Here is the video: http://youtu.be/qheLXfaUiJY   ( warning, a few excited bad words )

Watch for the update on our second hunt...