I’m fortunate enough to draw my first moose tag for South Central Montana. I am excited about the adventure and to experience something new. Any tips of the dos and don’ts will be greatly appreciated. Do I start scouting now or is there a migration
Cheers! A lot of work put in for that bull and well earned! Gorgeous looking county out there
Congratulations! I find bow hunting moose to be the most heartbreaking hunt that I do. The highest highs and lowest lows. When I spend a month finding a moose, interacting with him for a week with calls, sneak up to 20 yards only to have him melt into the impenetrable brush never to be seen again: I start asking myself too deep of questions about myself and reality. I think about becoming a farmer, I start doing the math on whether selling all my hunting gear would buy some fencing and a couple bottle calves. Then I take 9 months to recover emotionally and do it all again.Not sure if any of you have felt this way about getting essentially once in a life time tag, but the internal pressure to succeed can take away some of the fun. I don’t want to fail-but I want meaningful experience with a great bull. If I see a bull that will be good enough on the last day then I will take him on any day of the hunt. As I get closer to opening day, I will have one month to get it done. One month that last the rest of my life. Just some random thoughts as I listen to baseball on a warm summer evening. Hope you all have a great fall and a great Hunting season.
I can relate!Congratulations! I find bow hunting moose to be the most heartbreaking hunt that I do. The highest highs and lowest lows. When I spend a month finding a moose, interacting with him for a week with calls, sneak up to 20 yards only to have him melt into the impenetrable brush never to be seen again: I start asking myself too deep of questions about myself and reality. I think about becoming a farmer, I start doing the math on whether selling all my hunting gear would buy some fencing and a couple bottle calves. Then I take 9 months to recover emotionally and do it all again.
Here’s the photo of the downed moose before I got mineDay 4: Sunday. Final day, and where in the heck do we start? I felt discouraged that it simply wouldn’t happen. I got the pot brewing coffee, frenchy (fellow hunt talker) awakens and says: it’s a bad day to be moose! That attitude lifted the spirits. I ate a good luck banana, I informed Frenchy we have one spot left to check. This spot had plenty of moose evidence but no actual sighting. With 4-wheelers loaded. A third 45-minute trip back to my stopping grounds. A 4-wheeler ride through the trees provided some much need excitement. The excitement I had being on the four-wheeler, feeling the cold air, showing Frenchy all my scouting spots was difficult to contain. I was having so much fun and laughing as we took on some new trails. We even found a grouse to take aim at. We wouldn’t be going back empty handed, at least not today. We reached my destination to dismount the 4-wheelers and go up. My onX map showed my previous tracks. I told Frenchy we are going up where I came out at and head north. South had a ton of old evidence but nothing fresh. We reached an elevation where moose like to hang out at (so I have been told), surrounded by birch and aspen trees. After walking a few more yards, a strong odor got our attention. I wasn’t sure if it was a bear or not, but it stunk. We reached the top end of the birch patch and began going through some evergreens. We quickly noticed about 12 rubs from what had to be a good size moose. The fear that it was bear quickly evaporated to excitement that we are near a moose. After taking a few more steps, Frenchy leans down to pick up something. He examines it, then chucked at me. I thought that was rude of him, but I noticed it was a piece of fat. My feelings reverted back to bear being present and we are near a kill sight. It turns out that other hunters beat us as there was a quartered up moose. Nothing left but the hide, back bone, and tons of maggots. We decided to take pictures of the sawed off limbs to play a practical joke on our buddies.
Well done!I felt we should head back to the 4-wheelers, as I only heard of one bull on this hill side and here he rests. Frenchy was not convinced and lead me through 75 yards or so through the woods. I angled off towards a downward slope while he maintained the high ground. A slow first couple of steps, frenchy alerted me that he is staring at a cow moose. I scurried up and saw the cow and quickly noticed her calf. Alas, we see moose. The cow was standing her ground and kept close attention as we quietly chatted and took some snap shots. We decided to go up and around her to continue onward. Frenchy stayed closed to her and soon noticed a third moose. frenchy could only see the back half of this moose and not the front due to a tree blocking the view. However, this moose did provide one key feature that the cow didn’t have. After being summoned, frenchy signaled bull with his hands. I unslung my Sig Sauer cross, and came to the same conclusion. We had already discussed that any legal bull moose, no matter the size, I would take it. I’m not going to eat this tag. The bull took a few more steps and revealed his horns! He’s legal. I lined up my rifle and at 50 yards, I pulled the trigger. The sound of the rifle spooked the cow/calf and the my soon vacated the area. The bull, clearly had a fatal wound, took a few more steps and laid down. I moved around a tree to get a better view. While I was taking three or four steps around a tree, the bull started to standup. A decision was made to put another round in him, and even with this second round, he stood upbut stood up. Incredible. He stumbled 3 or 4 steps and went down for good! I gave Frenchy a fist bump and thanked him for finding my moose. We waited 10 minutes before confirming that I filled my moose tag!