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  • Results 1 to 18 of 18

    Thread: 2019 Moose

    1. Back To Top    #1
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      2019 Moose

      Sorry in advance, this is not a ND hunting story. However, it involves a couple of kids from ND and everyone loves a good adventure hunt story (I hope). If not, I guess you don’t have to read. I’ll try keep it brief and stick to the main details.

      Most of my hunting plans for 2019 had blown up. An injury to my hunting partner for a Musk Ox hunt in February caused me to eat my tag, the hot weather in May flooded a river making it impossible to get my bear bait out, a job change in July forced me into picking one hunt for the fall, and buying a new house in August really blew things up for a winter hunt in November on Kodiak. My wife and I are kinda sick of eating caribou and mtn goat and haven’t had a moose in a couple of years. We had to decide between a planned sheep hunt and moose; so we canceled sheep hunting this year and prioritized putting a moose in the freezer.

      I called up a good friend and former hunting partner and worked out an air taxi with him into the field for mid-September. We flew in on Sept. 14th(Saturday) and landed on a decent sized oxbow surrounded by swamp and willows. We set up camp late that afternoon and went exploring an open tundra swamp that evening. Once we arrived at the opening, there was a cow with 1.5 year old twins. The cow was looking back into the willows and we figured it was only a matter of time until a bull came out. Within 5 minutes a nice approx. 55 inch bull with some awesome eye guards on his drivers side walked into the opening and gave us a show for several minutes. We were 10 minutes into exploring our hunting area and already were within shooting distance of a shooter bull; so we decided to head back to camp and stop spreading our scent everywhere before we could hunt the next morning.

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      My preferred moose hunting technique is calling from camp and finding a nearby vantage point. This cuts down on spreading scent everywhere. The vicinity of our camp was mostly willow brush with a few open areas (20x40 yds) separated by willows. With the lack of shooting lanes, we decided not to call from camp and only hunt the open swamp areas. So as we laid in our tent that night and we heard a bull start grunting behind camp, it took all I had to not get out of the tent and start calling back to him.

      We headed back to the open swamp we had seen the large bull at first light on the 15th; our first day of hunting. After 10 minutes of glassing, I starting beating brush with a canoe paddle. Swinging it like a baseball bat against the willows for 5-10 minutes and then ending with about 10-15 grunts. Within a couple hours of continuing this sequence about every half hour, we had seen a handful of cows, and eventually heard a bull start thrashing and grunting in the tress about 250 yards across the opening. It took about 5 minutes for him to come into the open and start the pissed off charge right towards us to kick our ass.

      Before the hunt, I decided that this being my partner’s first moose hunt that he would have first right of refusal and I came in with the attitude of getting him a monster and I would shoot this first bull over 50 inches he didn’t want in order to put meat in the freezer.

      This bull came into the open at about 250 yards. He put on a show for us slowly moving in on us and we were able to watch him for over 10 minutes; me through the spotting scope and my partner through his rifle scope. It was a decent bull and we judged him perfectly right at 50 inches. I could tell my partner was having a hard time deciding to shoot so I basically said it’s OK to pass him and he finally stepped down. I got my rifle out of the case and shot the bull at about 50 yards. He ended up measuring out right at 51” with a beautiful white hide. He was exactly what I came for and since we have a 64” bull already in the house, my wife was very happy I didn’t shoot a larger bull! We took our time and had him cut up, hanging, and covered by the water by 6 pm (about a half mile swamp pack).
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      After a long day, the plan for the evening was to relax in the tent for the evening and have a couple whiskeys. After about 30 minutes of rest in the tent, a bull started to grunt right behind camp. So we hopped out and I couldn’t resist, I started to work him using the same call sequence. After maybe 45 minutes of working him, the loud grunts suddenly turned distant. It was our assumption that he had moved off so we went back to camp and fired up the jetboil for supper. It turns out that he just stopped responding and we were hearing another bull in the distance; he popped out about 20 yards from the tent as we were sitting on our asses. He spooked off and we had thought we blew it. Well, he circled back all pissed off and within 10 minutes he was standing exactly where I had been calling. I was able to get a good judge on him through the willows while my partner snuck up to the opening. I was able to judge him around 60 inches and my partner shot him at maybe 40 yards – the bull died 75 yards behind camp.
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      The bull was shot at about 9:45 pm and we hurried up to snap a bunch of pictures before the light completely faded. He measured out right at 60 inches and had some really awesome scars on his forehead. I knew hunting would be good in this area, but I never pictured we would be done on the first day. It was time to party so we packed a case PBR back to the carcass and jammed out to tunes while we broke the bull completely down – working until about 1:30 am. It was absolute bliss and a great time with two good friends who haven’t had much time to hang out for several years.

      We spent the next day getting all the meat and horns to one pickup location near the water and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning our skulls, listening to music, and digging into the whiskey/PBR we had brought to last 10 days. At about 7 pmon the second day, bulls starting to grunt everywhere. I couldn’t help myself so I started to call. Within a half hour I had called this bull in and got him to cross the water into camp. We were able to conservatively distinguish 5 different bulls calling to us that evening and thought it could be as many as 7. We also heard two different cows start to make noise that evening. I was having the time of my life just interacting but we stopped calling about an hour before dark for our safety.
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      We eventually got out of the field on Wednesday and shipped everything back to Anchorage. We spent the remainder of the weekend drinking beer and cutting up moose in my garage. All three of my freezers are full with salmon and moose headed into the winter and momma is happy!

      I don’t really share these stories to brag – more to hopefully motivate. Alaska adventure hunting is the mistress I never knew I had until my late twenties when I finally took my first trip. I love it more than anything (besides my family). I can’t encourage people enough to do everything in your moral ability to make it happen. Cut out whatever you need to make it happen. We don’t have cable, drive 10-15 year old dependable vehicles, we have very limited internet and phone plans, and restrict eating out to no more than once a month. We mostly eat salmon and wild game to avoid buying meat and don’t even pay for trash services – I take it to the dump once every 6 weeks for $7. Those are just a few examples. I’m a state employee and as middle class as them come and will do whatever it takes to keep going on at least one fly out hunt a year. Luckily I started when I did, but I wish like hell I started 10 years earlier and not wasted my time with things like partying (although legendary!) and team sports. The moral of the story – do yourself a favor and DON’T WAIT!
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      Following along instagram photos for pictures of my hunting, fishing, and outdoor adventures.

    2. Back To Top    #2
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      Wonderful story and thanks for sharing.

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    3. Back To Top    #3
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      wow - dream hunt for me

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      If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.
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    4. Back To Top    #4
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      Congrats to both of you on a fine hunt. Thank you kindly for sharing as it brings back fond memories for me.

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      God, Family, Country, Green Bay Packers!

      Johnny 7


    5. Back To Top    #5
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      Great Story. Green with envy.

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      Extremely awesome, congrats!

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    7. Back To Top    #7
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      That is awesome...hope I can follow your advice and get out more.

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    8. Back To Top    #8
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      Awesome!

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    9. Back To Top    #9
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      I love it when a plan comes together!

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    10. Back To Top    #10
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      @wjschmaltz William- as always, very eloquent, detailed and insightful write-up. Can't wait until it's my turn to tag along with you!

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    11. Back To Top    #11
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      awesome story someday i want to do a moose hunt up there

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      Snagzilla will always be #1

    12. Back To Top    #12
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      Excellent. I enjoyed reading that!

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    13. Back To Top    #13
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      Great story, thanks for sharing

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    14. Back To Top    #14
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      For being a short story, I don't think u could have detailed it any better

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    15. Back To Top    #15
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      Great story. Beastin

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    16. Back To Top    #16
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      Awesome story! I need to get to Alaska soon. It’s kind of overwhelming thinking of planning a trip like that from ND without ever having been up there though.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Bfishn View Post
      Awesome story! I need to get to Alaska soon. It’s kind of overwhelming thinking of planning a trip like that from ND without ever having been up there though.
      Just do it man! I laugh when I think of how poorly planned my first trip was, but now I suppose I can stand on my big pile of failure and smile. Start with something with less logistics and more affordable like a Kodiak blacktail hunt and figure it out slowly! I’m happy to answer questions or help with logistics if traveling through Anchorage.

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      Quote Originally Posted by eseamands View Post
      @wjschmaltz William- as always, very eloquent, detailed and insightful write-up. Can't wait until it's my turn to tag along with you!
      I need to start harassing the boss man about getting me back on the schedule!

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      Following along instagram photos for pictures of my hunting, fishing, and outdoor adventures.

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      Cool story, me too, would like to hunt Alaska sometime, on the bucket list, but man, the cost. I would have an advantage with someone helping me out, is that I know any individual that lives up there from our town, he is a hunting nut and thats why he moved up there....for the hunting opportunities. I'll have to get in touch with him and see, I also know his dad who goes up there often to hunt and visit, so all I need to do is get hooked up with them and go...I know life is short they say, but damn, when you talk money its hard.

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      Sprint Car Racing, Hunting and Fishing are my drugs of choice.

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