If only you could open up the moose menu in the first week of September and place your order, then head to the sticks and pick it up! I’d like 2 at 57” and a spike/fork on the side! It’s just not quite that easy but some years it comes close.
Take 2011 for example when Bill, Jacob, and myself were hauling wheelers down river for ourselves and another hunting party. Once the wheeler relay was over Bill and I decided to ride in a ways with the other hunters, we tagged along for 6 or 7 miles glassing and listening for bulls then turned around just before dark, the other 2 continued on. Navigating the river with no light isn’t easy so we cruised at a quick pace, suddenly Bill hit the brakes and I skidded to a stop behind him as he jumped off and shouldered his rifle! I looked left and in the poor light I thought he was about to shoot a cow moose! It was staring right at us at 35 yards, I put up binos and still couldn’t tell if it was a cow or a little bull. In this area it has to have either a spike or a fork on one side if it’s less than 50” which it certainly was. Bill asked excitedly, “Is it a spike?” I said, “Yea it’s a bull but I can’t tell what he’s got.” The moose was motionless and the suspense was almost louder than the 2 idling four wheelers. I stared hard through the binos waiting for the bull to turn his head so I could tell Bill to shoot or not. Finally he did and I could see that he was a double fork, “Double fork Bill shoot em!” The rifle cracked and was instantly followed by the smacking sound of the bullet hitting him and……
Man did that sucker take off running or what, he disappeared and we stood listening as he crashed through the old burn off to our right. By this time it’s dark so we dig out headlamps and flashlights, gotta track em down. I got on a heavy blood trail and gained 50 yards pretty quick but the blood was getting less and less to the point where I’d find a drip as small as a blueberry. We tracked for another 35minutes and had gone the last 40 or 50 yards with no blood when I got tripped up on darn stick and WO MAN I fell down face to face with that little bull! It wasn’t a stick I tripped on it was the bulls leg, scared the heck outta me, jeez! Tracked on the trail so tight I tripped over em. Good thing he didn’t have any kick left he would have popped me for sure! Bill thought it was hilarious and was laughin away at me, it was pretty funny though!
We butchered the moose through the cool night and into the morning, by the time we got back to the truck we were more than ready for a good rest. We shook bloody hands and headed for our homes to rest before the ‘real’ hunt started.
So there’s a couple points here, one you’ve got to trust your spotter 100%. As soon as I said double fork the bullet came out of the barrel, Bill didn’t even hesitate because he trusted my judgement. And on the other hand, if you’re the spotter and cant quite tell if it’s legal or not, err on the side of caution and let em go.
Secondly, we weren’t exactly hunting, we were more so on an evening ride just goofin and lookin around but what made us successful after getting the moose was that we had all the gear/tools necessary to butcher it and haul it out. Anybody can carry a gun but a real outdoorsman will have everything to get the job done. Always bring your gear on even the little outings, you never know what might happen!
Now you’ve had your side of spike/fork, next story will be the 57” meal deal!
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