Last week we had the side of spike/fork, now it’s time for the 2 at 57”! A week and a half after Bill harvested the double fork my brother Jared and I took the jet ski down river to our wheelers and made the 18 mile mud trek into camp where Jacob and his dad Tim had been hunting already for a couple days. It was about 6:30pm and camp was empty when we arrived, they must be out glassing for moose I figured. As we sat there quietly basking in the evening sun we began to hear voices in the brush down below us on the flats, a few minutes later Jacob and Tim came up the hill and sat down with us and caught their breath. Come to find out not long before we got there they had been cutting firewood with a chainsaw and axe and after Jacob turned the saw off he heard a bull grunting at the bottom of the hill. They quickly rifled up and headed down into the brush, minutes later Tim had himself a healthy young bull!
The next morning Jacob was up at the crack of dawn as usual beating an antler in the brush and calling. The first time I hunted with him I though, “Damn this dude is annoying,” but I learned quick that moose are real active in the early morning and you need to take advantage of that time. I’ve shot moose at all times of the day in blazing heat but generally they are more active and responsive to calls in the mornings and evenings.
I clambered out of my tent and made the short walk over to the look out, the grass was crunchy and the dirt was frozen hard from last nights chill. Shortly after Jacob starting calling a bull with 2 cows became visible and were slowly headed our direction, the calling session continued and so did the bulls march towards us!
After almost an hour the 3 of them were within 500 yards of us, time to drop off the hill and slither through the brush, we knew by the number of brow tines that he was legal so it was just a matter of making the stalk! Most of the brush is over our heads and it took several minutes to spot the very tips of his antlers, once we had a bearing on him we stooped down just a little and could walk quickly without fear of being seen. We found a shooting window with brush right at eye level, I hit em with the range finder at 198 yards and rested on a burnt pecker pole, eased up on my tip toes and touched off the Remington 300 win mag. Both the cows jumped and nervously began to walk away and right, the bull didn’t even flinch. “Are you kidding me, did I just miss a barn door sized bull?!” Jacob grinned and said, “Yes, you did.” Instinctively I had already put another round in so I quickly lined back up on the bull, he to was now walking away and to our right, I was anxious to get the shot off before he made the tall brush but one of the cows was lined up right behind him. Wait for it, wait, alright he’s clear and bang! Oh man, I settled from the recoil and couldn’t see the bull at all, “Where did he go,” I asked Jacob. “He dropped instantly, probably got em in the spine.” We worked our way over and finished business with one last shot!
We didn’t feel like cleaning the moose on empty stomachs so we walked back to camp and fired up the grill, the 4 of us would return afterwards on wheelers.
The photo above shows my finger after getting bit by a noseeum while cleaning my moose. I didn’t even know it cause I couldn’t see um, that’s why they call them, Noseeums! They’re like the stealth fighter version of a mosquito and they flat out mess me up!
Alright, we’ll wrap it up with the fourth moose of the season, another one at 57”! That morning things started as usual, calling, glassing, and seeing moose at first light. There was one bull and a couple cows about a mile out and Jared and I felt like a morning walk, Jacob and Tim stayed on the hill. After almost an hour of walking through face high scrub brush we were getting close to the area we had seen the moose, we began to call our way in closer. Another 20 minutes went by and nothing, either they had busted us or had moved on while we were making the walk out there. No problem, we’ll just go kick around in the sticks and check out some new ground as we take the long way back to camp. We stopped whispering and sneaking and the walk was much more casual, the dry sticks cracked and popped as we pushed through the thick forest. Once we climbed the hill back at camp I turned around and I’ll be darned there was a nice bull following right behind us! What the heck, probably thought we were a bull hearing deep voices and cracking willows as we walked. Just then Jacob and Tim showed up from down the ridge and the 4 of us put a good look on that bull, he was legal with 3 brow tines on his left antler besides looking to be in the mid 50’s for spread.
My ear started twitchin, picking up some noise far off, yep, four wheelers! Crap, nobody comes out this far and they are totally gonna blow it for us. Jacob sneaks into the tree line and starts down the trail to stop them before they get any closer. 10 minutes later he shows back up with his Uncle Bill who shot the double fork last week and his cousin Justin.
Over the last 30 minutes a strong east wind came up and the bull was refusing to come any closer (about 500 yards out) and actually appeared a little nervous. A plan came together quickly and Jared, Jacob, and Justin dropped off the hill, it’s go time! Bill, Tim, and I could see the stalk take place below us! The last bit of good cover stopped the three at over 200 yards, I had the bull in the upper left corner and Justin in the lower right corner of my binos and as he raised his rifle a wild grin crept over my face and my heart beat echoed from my open mouth! This is what I live for!!
BOOOM…… Hahahaha oh he missed! What is this, amateur hunt week, first I miss then Justin. Another shot rang out and the bull dropped right where he’d been standing for the last 40 minutes!
We were all really blessed that year, everyone got plenty of meat and a couple nice trophies as well!