CO Moose Adventure

Another early morning after too little sleep. I was up before my 4:00 am alarm clock. I definitely underestimated how challenging it would be to jump straight into a hunt while dealing with an 8 hour time zone shift to my sleeping clock. I also underestimated how taxing the drive time would be to the first location on my list. We timed it this morning and was a solid two hours to get where we wanted to be at first light. We ended up being about 20 minutes late, but still pretty good considering the commute.

I started the morning off by heading up the mossiest drainage adjacent to the road that then connected via a saddle to an extremely moosie area. There was moose sign everywhere! So many more tracks and moose poop compared to what I saw yesterday. I was convinced I would see a moose around every corner!

It’s amazing how many things look like a moose when you are truly looking for a moose. There was one point that I stopped dead in my tracks because I was CONVINCED there was the body of a moose that was in between two standing trees. Yeah, turns out it was just a fallen tree that was jet black and the perfect thickness and height off the ground to seem like the body of a moose.

As I started walking within the treeline down the next drainage, I finally saw my first moose! Here is the best I could do while free handing my binos and phone without an attachment device.

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I know it’s not the best photo quality, but it is proof that I can actually stumble across a moose in the wild! Unfortunately, it was a cow with nary a bull in sight. I watched her for 30 minutes while also carefully moving around to see if I could uncover a bull with different angles. In hindsight, I probably should have let out some cow calls to see if a bull appeared from the trees, but I was compelled to see what was around the corner…turns out there was absolutely nothing around the corner, nor for the remainder of the day.

I am excited to have seen a real life moose, but bummed there wasn’t a bull in the mix. We are switching things up tomorrow and heading to a different area that is a 25 minute commute instead of a 120 minute commute. I’m excited to sleep in to 4:40 (if my body will get with the program)!
 
Best of luck! I spent a few weeks in the Netherlands, a couple of years ago visiting my brother who was living there. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, great place!
 
Can you call, they come right in to calls this time of the year.
Best of luck, looking forward to this as well !!
 
So I finally got a good night’s sleep last night and feel half human again. After conferring with a local with recent sightings, I had the perfect plan for the morning. For the first time in three days, I timed the morning logistics perfectly and was in prime position at first light. Check out this moose habitat!

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The only problem was there were zero moose. I called and raked, and raked and called, but there was not a single moose within miles of me. I had high hopes heading into this location and it was a bummer to get skunked.

I decided to head to another place nearby that I e-scouted. My friends and I went camping (I.e. partied hard) back at this site and it has a beautiful looking creek bottom with a ton of willows. My dad and I drove half way in before I walked the rest of the way on foot to keep the noise down. Well at the very end of the road were two trucks and a camp 100 yards from my beautiful creek bottom seen below:

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Man was this moose heaven! I was there later in the morning than was ideal but I still tried calling and raking. No dice. It was a long steep walk back up to the truck. This concluded the morning hunt.

I had a plan for the evening set in my mind when my old man said “I want to take you to a place I used to go hunting 20 years ago.”. Well you can’t so no to that request, especially when your dad is 76 and we likely will never be back in this area again together.

It was a bit of a drive and the sketchiest road yet. The type of road where it can only fit one vehicle at a time, has almost no pull outs, and has at least a 200 foot drop straight down into a ravine off one side. I asked my dad what he was getting us into and he said “I don’t remember the road being this bad”. He says that about every road we drive down! Thankfully, we did not encounter any other vehicles on the road. There was a kid on a dirt bike and he asked us if we were hunting, we said yes and he immediately offered to turn around so he wouldn’t jeopardize our hunt. That kid‘s parents are raising him right.

This special area was really amazing for scenery pics and elk hunting, but not the best habitat for moose hunting. Oh well, it was a great memory to drive up that road with my dad and hear him telling stories of past hunts. The pictures turned out pretty well too.

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Day three down with still just the one cow sighting yesterday. I have another great plan set for the morning hunt. Hopefully one of these “great plans“ pans out eventually!
 
Is there any place you can get high* and glass? The bulls should start moving pretty good anytime now.

*I know you are in Colorado but I am talking high in elevation. 😀
 
Is there any place you can get high* and glass? The bulls should start moving pretty good anytime now.

*I know you are in Colorado but I am talking high in elevation. 😀
Depending on where you go there are a few places to glass from. What I have discovered though is that they are either there or not and the pockets are smaller so there isn’t really a good location to glass a large expanse hoping to catch moose moving.

Plus it is 76 degrees here (12 degrees above average for this time of year) and a full moon so they don’t appear to be moving except for within an hour of first and last light. Weather doesn’t cool off until Sunday.
 
Today has been a long day. I put on 11 miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain and subsequent loss. My morning plan was a good one. I was where I needed to be come first light. No moose as expected, but still plenty of other possibilities at this location. I gained some elevation and was able to glass a bit. There was nothing moving except squirrels and chipmunks. You’d think you would see at least a deer in country like this:

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As a quick side note, this place is where I went four wheeling in high school and got royally stuck with one of my best friends. Good times indeed.

I ended up on a small ridge in between two creek drainages and was absolutely amazed with all the moose poop in a small vicinity. I’m talking over 100 different piles of poop. Unfortunately for me, the sign was very old. So it turns out my plan was great, my timing was just poor. I’m convinced this location got absolutely hammered with archery elk hunters and the activity pushed off the moose I know from two different reliable sources used to be exactly where I went. While it was certainly frustrating to not see anything in prime habitat, I do love the aspen groves as they turn. This is one of my happy places:

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It was a long hike out and my dad was insistent he take my picture as I approached the trail head. For someone who struggles mightily to operate an iPhone, the picture actually turned out pretty well.

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After this taxing morning it was time for lunch and a chocolate banana milkshake at one of my favorite local spots. Man that milkshake was freaking delicious!

For the afternoon hunt I was fortunate enough to link up with a local who is an experienced hunter. He showed me some great spots like these:

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Why aren’t there any moose in places like this? Seriously, this couldn’t get much better so where are the moose? Wait a second, what’s that on the hillside? It is a moose! Even better, it is a bull moose! Unfortunately, it was a very small bull moose and as anxious as I am to put my tag on one, this was just too small at this stage of the hunt.

So day four is down and I have my first bull moose sighting, which is encouraging. While it has been a slow start to this OIL hunt, I am feeling relatively confident things will come together at some point.
 
Not much to add today. Tried out a new spot in the morning and didn’t see anything besides six deer. It was crazy how much human activity and construction traffic was going through where I was expecting to see moose. So much for that idea. That four miles of hiking and 1000 feet of elevation gain/loss was a waste of effort (at least the morning I chose to try it).

To make matters worse, for some reason after many days and multiple miles, my feet started acting up on me and I rubbed my left heal a bit raw. No blister, which is strange, just a rub mark.

In an attempt to baby my feet, I decided to hit up the same place as the prior evening. No luck this time, but I’ll end on some pictures because that makes every post better to read.

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Time to go to bed so I can get up at 3:45 tomorrow morning and link up with a couple of other people to give the final day of archery season a run for its money.
 
Archery season has come to a close. The morning hunt started off extra early and it was great to be out with friends. The hunt was a combination of driving to a lot of different places like the pictures below to see if there was anything there, and hiking through hell holes with blowdown:

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The light at the end of the blowdown tunnel was moose nirvana and it looked something like this:

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There was so much fresh moose sign in this location I was expecting a moose to pop out behind every willow bush. Here is a moose wallow less than a day old:

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Well it turns out we missed them by how ever many hours because there were no moose there when we were there. Maybe next time hell hole…

The evening hunt was much less eventful. We marked a place off the list and that is about it. It was some beautiful habitat, but they just were not in the vicinity. Here is a good action shot of me and @TheGreek courtesy of @TheKulprit:

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So after 7 miles on the final day of archery season, I’ve decided it is time to do some road hunting for tomorrow’s rifle opener.

As a closing thought for today’s post, if you are having issues with blisters definitely consider rock climbing finger tape to cover them up. My previous efforts were futile before @TheKulprit gave me this great recommendation and I wanted to share the tip with the group. The evening hunt went much smoother than the morning thanks to the tape, because it actually stayed in place while hiking.

Tomorrow is the start of a new chapter with rifle season so I am hoping my luck will change. I’ve certainly put in the effort for something to materialize here at some point. I’m ready for a break in my favor!
 

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