Double Bagger

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In early September my brother and I decided the 2013 moose season would be spent hunting the same drainage as last year, we had seen other nice bulls in there and wanted to give it another shot.  Figured the moose sign and activity would be a little better without that horrific south wind like in 2012.
We headed out early under the cold cover of darkness on September 14th and by first light were well down the trail making it into our old camp by 9:00am.  Jared is literally shaking in his extra tuffs and doesn’t even want to set up camp or make a late breakfast, so damn it off we went headed for our lookout a half mile away in a light drizzle and stiff northwest wind.

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Our camp is yonder in that big timber.

We called and called and racked the antler without hearing or seeing a thing.  After sitting 2 and a half hours it was time for a hike to get the blood pumping and go explore through the forest.  We passed close to where I shot my moose last year but headed down the ridge towards its point instead where we broke out into another burn with a decent view over a flat.  Jared had his binos up glassing and mine were almost to my eyes when just a few feet behind me a loud huff/bark sent my binos to the ground and my .450 to my shoulder!  I knew it was bear, it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard that throaty bark.  Before I knew it I had spun around and Jared and I were side by side guns up!  I said “get ready, it’s gonna be close” as we were only standing in a 10×10 clearing with heavy brush all around.  I envisioned a bear charging out of the willows knowing I would be lucky to get more than 1 shot off at this distance.  I yelled “hey, ya, get outa here!”  Several twigs and sticks broke as it departed away and to our right.  Suddenly we heard a bull grunt directly to our right and less than 50 yards off!  Jared and I looked at each other a little puzzled, I told him we’ll work on that moose in a minute but right now we better be sure this bear isn’t playing tricks.  Less than 5 minutes passed and I gave out a couple grunts, the bull responded immediately with grunts and horn racking, another 2 minutes passed and he was under 30 yards.  The new growth brush in this burn was 6 to 10 feet tall and we still couldn’t see more than a brief glimpse of antler coming at us.  Jared took my .450 Bushmaster with a 1x Trijicon Tri-power scope intended for both eyes open shooting letting you utilize your peripheral vision in close quarters situations.  He was real close now and approaching a 12 yard window, he pushed through a birch and stepped in head first all crazy eyed and grunting horns tilted way over to the right!  I said “shoot em, shoot em now!”  Throw the broadside heart shot out the window, it’s time to get it on!  He touched off the .450 drilling em just below the left eye, he reared back like a horse spinning right and as he did I sent one from the .300 through the boiler maker.  He took 2 steps and fell over!
We went from being bear meat to having moose meat in a 10 minute span, needless to say we were pretty jacked, couldn’t believe what just happened!

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Jared’s bull. 3 and 3 on the brow, 51″ spread!
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A slightly handsome fella with a beautiful rack!
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Last bit of meat packed down.
The meat from Jared's moose alone.
The meat from Jared’s moose alone.

We took care of the bloody business and got the meat packed a quarter mile to where we could come back and get it with wheelers.  After retrieving wheelers we made our way into camp with the company of a bright rising moon!

Now here’s the double in ‘Double Bagger’.  2 days later at 6:30am we were on track for my moose making the half mile hike to the ridge in a heavy frost.

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Foggy, frosty morning.

The morning before we had worked on a nice bull in the flat but he was pretty unresponsive to a challenge or a good time with a cow!  I was hoping he’d be around and he was, same place but unfortunately the same attitude.  The cow calling session did however get a different bull coming down through the heavy timber so we waited to see if he would show himself.  About 15 minutes later he showed up at the tree line and we were standing in the middle of a tussak field with absolutely no cover.  He was gazing us over pretty good at a 125 yards so Jared held up that shed we carry for making noise and giving visual effect for a situation just like this.  The bull saw the flash of antler and started a death march for Jared, I was standing 15 yards to his right.  As he came across I could tell he was young, not much for antler but a great looking meat bull.  At 40 yards I slowly shouldered the .450, 35 yards I said “hey, hey boy.”  No response, still staring Jared down walking right at him.  Now at 30 yards Jared says “hey man shoot em!”  I could sense the urgency in his voice so I said again, “hey, hey boy that’s close enough.”  His ears perked up and turned a perfect broadside to me, end of story boys!
It was a great hunt, I have an awesome hunting partner and we both got great moose this year!

Louis with a little meat bull!
Louis with a little meat bull!
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2 and 1 on the brow, 31″.
Another successful adventure!
Another successful adventure!

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