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Monday marked the first day of the 2007 moose season. I was up and on the road before 5:00. Headed to go out calling with my buddy Ivan, his son and his father. The latter decided to stay home feeling 4 was too many. One calling, one on video ops, and two along for the fun of it. Yea I agree, too many, not that it mattered in the end anyway.
It was warm and windy, two conditions that make calling fruitless. The wind being the worse factor here. The swirling winds making it hard to be heard and to hear. Not to mention the swirling scent trails all around you. Cover scents only go so far. We always work the wind, but it was against us this time.
We used an old atv trail to get us up into the margins between US1 and Rte 11. These swamps and cutovers are home to vast amounts of game. The moose being the beneficiary of the logging here. Lots of browse and alders to nibble. Most of the twitches forming a network of mazes only a moose can navigate. Up a ridge and through a swamp, and around a hill or two. The rutting thrashes and torn up trees attesting to the fact that the bulls are at it again. The level of damage am indication of the size of the bull who did it. Wallow pits reaking of moose urine, and musk.
Our trip was less than successful due to the wind issues. But we got out and bumped two good bulls. Their tracks and the tree shredding we saw stating they were both large and powerful. But no video from this adventure.
If you want a moose you need to get a permit. Once you have selected a geographical are to hunt and get drawn in the moose lottery to hunt there. The fun really begins. You can cruise the roads to find a dumb one, and to make it easier to load. Or you can hook up the trailer, and bring your wheeler. Then head back into the deep dark forest to locate a real trophy moose. Something in the 48″ to 50″ spread is fairly common.
Look up the twitches and in the cuts for bulls servicing cows or cows waiting for bulls. Try calling them as we have done. Thus increasing your odds of seeing something shootable. Find a wallow pit and climb a tree nearby. Pouring out some cow urine in it prior to the climb. He will scent check it from downwind and will come into it if he smells the cow. Now try using a cow moose call to sound like she’s waiting there. He will move in..smell her and then appear to see her. Be ready, if he smells you, he’s gone.
In days gone by moose hunting was a driveby. Meaning all the hunters went out and heater hunted until the moose was found near a road or field. But the moose are becoming more road shy. MDIFW has gotten what the desired. Moose are far more skittish of us than they ever used to be. Not that we have seen any real decrease in the number of accidents. But moose are getting smarter and harder to hunt. We now hunt them like we do for deer. The big boys are harder to fool.
Oh there will always be those who settle for the easy kills. Like the guys up in Bridgewater that got their little bull on the “old tracks” just south of town. (Who kindly through the guts off the trail where they shot him. Leaving behind the heart and liver?) He may have gone 650 lbs. Or the fella in Littleton that shot that 450 lb. spiker bull in the field.( Leaving the gutpile in the field to feed the crows.)
I can see taking the easy ones. They are most likely the foolish ones that cross roads at night and in the fog. Killing motorists every year. But if you truly desire to get the moose of a lifetime. (Under the permit system it may take you that just to get drawn once.) You need to hunt them like you would a deer. Use scent control, treestands, and calls. Gone are the days of easy moose hunting like we use to know. To succeed now you need to get real and hunt them. Or you are just waisting your time and your gas.