2015 Idaho Moose

smarandr

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East Idaho
My dad and I both have moose tags this year, and Saturday we went up for the day to do some scouting/light hunting. A couple of weeks ago I got some good advice about moose hunting. "Spend less time glassing and more time talking to other hunters." I was skeptical of this at first, but I was amazed how forthcoming everyone was when they found out we had moose tags and weren't competing for elk.

Found this yearling bull with two inch antlers while pushing some willows in a creek bed. I think my Dad's more interested in meat than horns because he told me if the antlers were four inches longer he'd have shot it. :eek:
QLDKTKUTfmhEbjvGmJQZu5Oghanry0VwOMikSdV6ywNj0Q6FDU1Ur8zoJ_fcybZAFmn0dSsHJUs9y4BIXUHP4_LjOP8elYVGavM5CfP_aJ4l_5Wrc7zhL5fLC7WRPUFKnOQpuxg7cUNQKyuqvQX_f5mAmrDR7Fyh6XAtt1d8WxHryF30R5GuN-jX5bAkkEmOszZxDQrOiAiRoa6Zj_jbrEIMZqqFl_Y8Bn0cpUVxT9y7F2wMSPahZaHcHPrmcAeoEEe44TBRgggVAm_xHE6jJSLKuV6Rk5DIaj4EFj7319g3g22PA5oYOljWRANE0JBjE9u2mhBy0FWLt07NgO3btWug-2irJn60mzTTrxkdGpkzfAhXC0KVNwYBk5U7h_6bfvQ9cmMeH_xsHpNcx7G_orJq-81_yt7n55_1xlcnLBZXLRlK4h09ohtMW9iZjBQm1isy9Y4LbAod9O8ZszgC0Ma2pZ4YZ7bq8pSbHUwrGKyVyfglqFd-gIHsC-QzV1GazllvrUzhATkgh4t_Gj-sLuI=w959-h539-no


Then I literally stumbled into this pair about 25 yards away while dusting myself off after falling over some deadfall. A local doc was stomped by a protective cow moose a week ago in my town, so I was a little nervous having surprised the pair. Turns out after staring me down for about 15 minutes she decided I wasn't a threat and they moved on.
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Finally, after following up on a tip, we got into an area with a couple of decent sized bulls. A couple camping nearby showed us some pictures they'd taken earlier in the day and my Dad and I were anxious to see them in person. Unfortunately we weren't able to lay eyes on them, but the sign indicated that they'd been in there for a while--as had a few more eye witness reports. Since we were only up for the day and daylight had run out on us we'll have to try again next time.

We're in no hurry as the season goes until Thanksgiving, but for a half day's worth of scouting we're pretty excited about the possibilities.
 

smarandr

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Sorry, they were there before. Don't know what went wrong with the embed link. Here they are as an attachment (much smaller).
 

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smarandr

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Was back up for the day on Saturday and had an even better day. We saw well over a hundred antelope and dozens of deer including a really nice 4 pointer (sorry no pics), and even a few moose.

The bull is one of the best I've ever seen in this incredibly dry unit. Regrettably he was on private property, and even if I knew who the owner was there was no cell coverage to ask permission. So figuring out who owns the property will be one of my projects this week before we go up for a real 5 day hunt next Wednesday.
 

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smarandr

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My Dad and I left town Wednesday night with the idea we'd hunt through Sunday afternoon. We walked and drove a lot of miles looking for moose Thursday and Friday and saw lots of them (18 sightings of 14 different moose), but not one legal bull on public land during that time.

Friday night my Dad and I were trying to figure out what we were doing wrong--we'd seen all these moose and had yet to find a shooter. We came to the conclusion that if we were seeing as many as we were we probably weren't doing anything wrong and if we kept at it we'd find one.

Saturday morning came and we finally did. There was a bull and a cow together that I spotted and after determining it wasn't one that I was interested in I showed my Dad, and he was very interested in taking it. It was a pretty easy stalk since lovesick moose have little else on their mind and Dad put it down with two shots from his .270.

It was a pretty easy pack out too. Only half a mile from the road and all down hill. The spread was 32" which is actually a little better than average for the unit (maybe that's why it's so easy to draw).

Now that it's all done we have a super happy 65 year old moose hunter, a lot of meat in the freezer, and one tag left to fill.
 

smarandr

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East Idaho
Hmm, seem be having troubles again getting the pictures to show. I'll have to try again later.
 

smarandr

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It's a Trophy To Me

When my dad shot his moose three weeks ago we had encountered 16 different moose over seven days of hunting lots of country. I think we'd picked the unit over pretty good and now I had readjusted my expectations a bit, but also had a pretty good feel as to where we'd likely find a bull on this one day trip.

We got up to the end of the road in the bottom of a secluded canyon just before legal shooting light. My plan was to continue hiking up the canyon in hopes of finding a bull where we'd seen a few cows three weeks earlier. As I got out of the truck and was cinching up my pack I looked up towards the top of the canyon and could see something black moving through the timber. I knew it had to be a moose, but as low as the light was and as thick as the trees were I couldn't see it well enough to determine whether or not it was a shooter.

Slowly it got lighter and I could tell it was a bull. However, the glimpses I would get of it as it moved through the timber still weren't good enough for me to determine whether or not I would shoot it. Finally it came into a clearing big enough that I could see it was good enough for me.

Up until then it had been generally moving both down hill and back down the canyon from the direction from which we came, so I worked my way down the canyon and up on the other side a ways hoping it would emerge in a clearing affording me a nice level 150 yard shot across the canyon.

As luck would have it, it did emerge in that clearing. Unfortunately it was at an angle that was straight on. I racked in a load into my .308 and it that's when it heard me. I had it lined up in my scope for what felt like five minutes trying to talk myself into taking the head on shot--but I just couldn't do it. Finally it started moving again, straight downhill back into the timber.

Frantically I started watching all over the other side hoping to catch another glimpse of it to determine it's new direction of travel. After what seemed like hours I saw it's hind end moving roughly at the same elevation where I saw it last, but this time it was moving back up the canyon. This was bad news because a few hundred yards up the timber got so thick that if it got there I'd never see it again.

I hustled back up to a spot where I hoped to see it again, which coincidentally was where my Dad was watching for it. I quickly relayed what had just happened, and he offered to go up and across to try and head it off and turn it back around. I figured that was as good a plan as any so off he went.

Minutes passed and I never saw the bull again. Desperate, I cow called in hopes of luring him back, then back to waiting and watching. More minutes passed and nothing was happening. I was kicking myself for not taking the shot I had figuring that was my opportunity and that I had blown it. Just as I was about to give up and start up the canyon after my Dad into the dark timber I saw the bull. It was like he had materialized out of thin air in a clearing straight across the canyon 275 yards away. It was staring straight at me and standing directly broadside, so without hesitation I dropped to my butt, put the rifle on my knee and touched off a shot. It was a good hit. The bull took about three steps forward and then collapsed rolling down the canyon and out of sight.

I gave it a minute or two before I started working my way toward the bottom and back up the other side to try and find it. As I got to the bottom I looked up and could see the bull bedded beneath a tree. It seemed like an odd position to die in so I whistled and it turned its head ever so slightly. My guess is it would have died within seconds, but I still put one more into him, and that was it.

From the time I first spotted it to when I fired the last shot was just under an hour, and the whole ordeal had left me exhausted. With trembling legs I hiked up to claim my bull and felt an extreme sense of relief and accomplishment. It was no 45 incher that I'd been dreaming about since I drew the tag, but I'd come to realize in this unit that was probably an unrealistic expectation. I couldn't be more proud of his 30" rack as it represents a lot of hard work and a lot of quality time spent with Dad. Besides,this gives me a great reason to go to Alaska some day to try and get what Boone and Crockett would call a trophy.
 

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6speed

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Great write up got me all excited. This is going to be a long week.
 
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