We left camp in the dark around 5:45AM, the wind had died down and it was cold, it felt perfect. After a quarter mile we pressed out of the big timber onto the edge of the swamp with burnt hills on the far side. Jared racked the moose shed on a small dead spruce then I let out a few grunts… A bull responded very faintly towards the point of the closest burnt hill side so, we pressed on in that direction.
The sun was about to break over the horizon as that bulls calls were getting louder and louder when suddenly to our right another bull racked his antlers in some brush, sounded close to! Forget the other one he was probably another half mile out. As we neared the edge of the burn a few minutes later we saw 2 20’ burnt pecker poles banging back and forth, that’s where he is, another 100 yards into the burn!
The visibility was limited to say the least, the willows were thick and 8 to 15’ tall, never could see clearly for more than 15 yards. I held the shed over my head and began walking and grunting while Jared made himself mentally right for the 30 minute dance off that was about to take place! We could see the bulls antlers coming towards us at about 25 yards, my heart beat could be heard through my open mouth! At 15 yards he stopped and put on a mean stare, I slowly rocked the antler back and forth and hoped he would take a few steps left and give us a shot. No such luck, he snorted at me really loud freakin made me jump like a little chicken then turned around and walked directly away from us. What to do other than pour on the heat! We followed right on his heels grunting and crashing over the burnt forest remains. 2 more times he stopped to face us, a little left, a little right, 20 to 25 yards the whole time and still no shot. We were now a half mile into the burn and growing a little tired of his passive attitude so I offered a little incentive! Yep, cows baby! I turned away from him and quietly let out a cow call and…. He stopped dead in his tracks thinking there was a cow somewhere behind me! One more short cow call had him turned around and slowly moving to our left so we did the same finding a clear shooting window of 15 to 20 yards. He stopped just the other side of a big willow cluster and all we could see was his faint outline, another face off. I held the shed up high, he could see it and tipped his rack deep to one side. Jared whispered to me, “I got this”, and before I could say watch them willows his 300 cracked and that bull dropped out of site! BOOM dude and he’s down for the count! I pulled out the range finder and hit the tree he was next to at 28 yards! What a relief, the most intense 30 minutes of close quarters moose hunting we’ve ever had!
The Master Blaster Jared with his third big bull! Thank you God for this animal and all the awesome meat!
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