2021 MONTANA SHIRAS MOOSE - PRE SEASON SCOUT TRIP UPDATE

NoKidsAfter40

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
179
Hello All,

I open up with an apology for not updating sooner. Not going to make excuses as that is all they are. Been working and Hunting like a mad man.

For those who remain interested, I was fortunate enough to harvest a very nice upper 160's Shiras. The bull was almost 50'' wide. I spent the majority of the opening week of season bouncing between White Sulfur Springs looking for a Ghost and the Madison Valley area where I had a known shooter located. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it.........the known shooter was hit by a Toyota from Kentucky on the third day of my trip. Picture below! I was sick amongst others who were on him. He was basically facebook famous for weeks leading into season for hanging out near Ennis, MT. That threw me into a tailspin with only a few known other good bulls for the areas I had scouted hard and little insight on where they were. All of my up north (Cabinet Mountain) contacts and leads dried up and the bulls we seen early disappeared. Fortunately, I had a friend in Sheridan who helped me with access to some primo Madison River Drainage land near Ennis, MT that was holding some cow and calves this summer. After gaining access and doing some long distance glassing we located some Moose of which one I considered worth looking at closer. The weather was cold and freezing with sleet and snow. The wind was strong and gusty with no change in the forecast near term. After really looking at the bull and getting more pics of him from some local fisherman I decided he was my new target #1. He was an old bull with good fronts and long paddles. It turns out he was also facebook famous at some point but I never did find out by who. Me and my buddies put this bull and his cow and calf to bed in a small island on this braided river bed. Knowing where he was bedding and then trying to find him feeding in the morning for an ambush was the plan. We got into where we glassed previously and found he and his lady friend were in a farm field headed for the river bottom we saw them bed down the day before. We elected to drop into the river way down wind (1500 yards away or more). The water was moving way faster than expected and it was super cold. 🥶 The river depths were from 12" to chest deep which made it an all in play, as I knew we had to get to their bedroom first before the moose showed up and not freeze to death. We crossed into islands and walked the edge of the shores looking ahead to find moose. It started getting scary when we could smell the moose and not see them. There were deer everywhere so not spooking them and blowing the hunt was a concern. About the time we got to what I thought was 100yds from the island the Moose were bedding on the day before we spotted the Cow up on the ridge coming down quickly and assumed the Bull was trailing her and the calf. As murphy would have it, He was not trailing he was leading and was standing on the shoreline at 145 yards away. The cow kept trying to call him back up to find her calf which was stuck behind a fence. The calf was a massive pain point on our stalk as it kept the cow from just coming in with the bull and kept the bull out of range. We got pinned down due to the wind shifting and were at risk of getting winded if we tried to cut the distance. From the time we entered the river it was about an hour once we got pinned down by the bull across the river. The wind had picked up and the adrenaline was the only thing helping keep me warm. The bull kept going up the ridge to check the cow and then tried to nudge her back down the river. Finally, after an eternity of watching this go on the Cow left her calf up top and came down to bed with him. It was clear that the cow was his security as she was on high alert and very amped up. He was almost sleep walking behind her. Lots of vocals from both so very cool to experience. Once they got to the Rivers edge they got spooked by something we couldn't figure out from upstream and started to turn back. I had my bow ready and the closest they got was 81 yards. I set up and let one fly hitting the bull in the lungs. Knowing that if the bull crossed the river and got onto another private lot I had pull out my rifle and finish him with a shot to the shoulder putting him down on the road side of the river. As it worked out we were able to drive right to my Bull and work him up. The cow that was with him would not leave us alone while we were working on him and loading him up. She charged us several times before relocating her calf and running off. She was donkey kicking and almost squealing up and down the river. I had never seen that and it was quite a site. So ultimately this ended as a Gun kill and I am very happy about the bull given circumstances. I learned a bunch on Montana Moose and would be happy to share with anyone on HT that pulls or buys a tag. Just Message me and we can discuss. Overall, it was one of my most rewarding trips as I harvested a nice elk with my bow, deer with my bow, and this great moose. Pics are below and as I mentioned previously, my apologies for the tardy update. I am off to Iowa next week for deer and will share that hunt as well. Many Thanks to all who helped in Montana and on this HT forum. I would not have started or ended my search in the area I did without your help. Special thanks to Walks-a-lot and the Wood twins as well as the folks on the Kennedy Ranch. All great people and folks who contributed.
 

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NoKidsAfter40

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
179
I have no info other than it’s been posted on IG so here it is.

View attachment 197292
This pic is horrible of my bull. I have attached more pics that put him into perspective. Not sure who put it on IG but only a handful where there and had access to him on the ground so not hard to figure out.
 

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NoKidsAfter40

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
179
Congrats on the bull. Bill is a good guy!
100%......both Jamie and Bill were tremendous is getting it done! Great guys like most I ran into out there. High Integrity and worked his butt off for me in conjunction with all of my scouting to help put it together. Thanks again!
 

NoKidsAfter40

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
179
Well I think I found an even bigger silver lining with this hunt. I have made a wild morel mushroom on Shiras Moose Backstrap Wellington for today. I don’t like Turkey so this baby is it. After cooking up the tenderloin on the side I’m super excited about how good this tastes. Had to do a little steak and eggs on the side as you will see. Highly recommend Moose as one of my favorite proteins Happy Thanksgiving to all!
 

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BradA

Active member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
216
Wow that looks amazing! Making me hungry. Congratulations on your moose!
 

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