Hoping for an Idaho triple

6speed

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
1,209
Location
Idaho
I knew this year would be different back in March when I decided to put in for a once in a lifetime tag. My wife has been putting in for bull moose. I didn't really want to chance her drawing a bull moose and me drawing a sheep or goat tag because I knew we wouldn't have time to do both hunts justice so cow moose was an obvious choice. I knew it was long odds but I figured it was worth a try. Then in April while setting up for our RMEF banquet one of the guys said the OIL results were out. I was excited and disappointed all at the same time when I discovered I had drawn but she had not.

My original plan was to go after elk and deer with my bow but after drawing the moose tag I rearranged my schedule to dedicate more time to moose hunt. The hot weather and a minor injury pretty much took me out of bow season all together. I went in to my moose hunt with moose elk and deer tags in my pocket. Day 1 was spent figuring out where all the people were. Day 2 was spent getting away from the people. My wife and I hiked just over 11 miles. We succeeded ingetting away from the people but didn't see any moose in a canyon normally full of them. Day 3 hunting moose I filled my deer tag with a buck that made it so easy to put him in the freezer I couldn't pass him up.

It seemed like getting the deer tag out of the way made it easier to ignore deer and my next trip up the mountain provided a few moose sightings. I was trying for a young moose or a dry cow. Everything I saw was either a bull or a cow with a young calf and they were all right off the roads. I had several opportunities at cows with cute miniature versions of themselves but I knew I would come across what I was after sooner or later. On the 5th day hunting I was watching a cow calf about 30 yards above the road. My wife and kids were with me and they enjoyed listening to the little chirps the calf made. I looked down below the road and saw a moose looking up at me from less than 40 yards through the trees. I grabbed my binoculars and was surprised to see it had stubby little 3 inch antlers. Then I started second guessing myself, I was pretty sure I could take a bull with antlers under 6 inches but not sure enough. I drove 3 minutes up the hill, downloaded the regs, confirmed it was a legal bull under 6 inches and drove the 3 minutes back. The cow with the calf had hardly moved but the little bull had found a way to disappear in what was pretty much wide open country! I hiked up and down the drainage with no luck. I went around to the opposite side where I could see the entire hill side. I was able to watch the cow and calf move around until the light faded but the little bull never showed back up.

Day 6. I was solo for the day and decided to go back up and watch for the little bull. I'd spent the night kicking myself for second guessing what I knew about antler restrictions. I had read the regs cover to cover half a dozen times and I shouldn't have given it a second thought. I had just turned the corner into the draw a ridge over from where I saw the little bull. I had watched a cow and calf in the bottom of this draw the day before so I wasn't surprised to see moose on the open hill side above the road. I was surprised to see 3 of them.

I paralleled them for a ways but couldn't get a good shot before they crossed over an old road above me. I stayed about 100 yards behind and below them until I was about 10 yards above the old road. As I followed the old cow with a calf would walk up the hill and every time the young moose would get close the cow would rear up and chase the young moose a few yards away. I had a big rock for a rest and a 120 yard shot at what looked like a young cow standing slightly quartered away. The 180 grain Acubond hit exactly where I wanted it to. The moose humped up took 2 small hops and was upside down before I could get another shot off. My shot had obliterated the heart and part of the lungs. When I got up to it I realized it was the same small bull I had seen the night before. I was able too drag him down hill and because of the steepness of the hill I was able to load him whole into the truck by myself. The chiropractor will love this story. It wasn't the back country adventure I had planned on day 2 but it was pretty cool. I had him in the truck by 11:30. He was skinned and hanging in a cooler a few hours later. I took some of the trimmings from the tenderloins and made tartare. This may be the best tasting meat I've ever eaten.

Now I just have my muzzleloader elk tag to fill. With any luck I'll go three for three this weekend. I'll post some pics when I get back next week.
 
Last edited:

brymoore

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
1,567
Location
Idaho
Good luck. I had an Idaho Triple last year - bighorn sheep, whitetail and elk.
 

smarandr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
1,168
Location
East Idaho
Well done. I can attest that those young moose are very tasty.

Were the antlers still in velvet? I ran into one of those tiny bulls on my hunt too and the stubs were still covered in velvet.
 

6speed

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
1,209
Location
Idaho
Finally got a chance to get back on here. He was still in velvet and he is possibly the best tasting animal I have ever eaten! I didn't make it on the triple but it was a lot of fun. I'll try to get some pics up.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
94,502
Messages
1,408,242
Members
29,644
Latest member
HobWash
Top