Sunday, October 12, 2008

2nd Weeks Hunt!

The second week of moose hunting was a great week of hunting. We had a variety of weather as you would expect, but most importantly we had a little calm, calling weather. James was on Loree lake with some new hunters and it was also his first time on Loree in quite some time. The fire has since taken most of the west end of the lake and is just staring to grow back. Excellent moose habitat! I expected James to do well there. And he did!

But.... the funniest story of the week first. James was calling away on a undisclosed part of the lake and laying in the brush to eliminate any body movement so you can hear better. As he was laying there, he heard some rustling in the brush behind his head. As he turned his head around to have a look, There stood a WOLVERINE!!! Less than 3 feet away and getting closer! With lightening speed he stood up in fright and yelled "Holy Sh#T"! The wolverine did not like the sound of that and took off in the opposite direction:) Both participant's hearts were pounding I'm sure.

Later in the hunt, they saw some moose up on the hill in the burn one afternoon and could not get close to them, but James is smart and when he knows there is a moose in the area, he will out smart him! The next day he set up a ways away from where they saw the Bull and Cows. The cows answered first which is quite normal and then came the Bull. He was coming with wild abandon too! Right to the spot where he James was standing! Ron (the Hunter) had an easy shot, 20 yards, a nice respectable 36-40 inch Bull. James had a camera set up and I will put up the video when I get my hands on it.

They kept hunting the rest of the week and one evening James thinks he found the KING! He grunted and walked in figure 8's in the bush but would not come to the lake. James tried to go to him but the burned out area was absolutely un-walkable, maybe the Bull did not want to go through it either! They went back the next morning but they were very far off and eventually were gone. James said he had never heard such a low, mean grunt in all is years of Moose Hunting. Trust me, he knows where he lives:)

Anyone, let alone a wolverine would be crazy to mess with either one of these Tough Bushmen!!!
Nice Beards Eh!!!
We've hunted together since we were 18 years old. So many good times.

I was looking after some old friends/customers the second week, Mike and Dick. The first moose I ever called in was for Mike. When I was 19, 15 years ago... This was his third hunt with us and he is 3 for 3! Dick, his Buddy, has been with us 6 times and has harvested 4 moose on those hunts. This year we were only able to take one moose. And we worked hard to get him. I had a bull answer on the first day of the hunt and kept hearing him every other day after that. I knew eventually I would wear him down. Numerous times he would answer but just not willing to come and play:) I would have gone after him but he was across a small lake over a huge hill that was already a long haul from the lake.

During the second last day of the hunt we went back again, it was a bit windy but I was calling anyways. As you get late in the hunt, it's human nature to start to doubt yourself and loose confidence, but I know better. My thoughts went back to the hunt when Dick and I got a Monster Bull during the last hour of the hunt on the seventh day, I told myself to be patient and it will happen..... At the same time, I was watching an eagle fly in circles, maybe a quarter mile away. Then he screeched loudly. I knew something was up:) I continued calling and then I heard it, one grunt. Usually I tell myself I need to hear that more than once and just started to lay down and when I called him back. Then I heard it 2 more times! And he was close!!! I just started to head over the hill to get Mike because I had him watching another spot I called in earlier almost half a mile away, and looked across the valley and here he was a Bull Moose, coming right at me. The next few minutes were quite a blur as I was totally sprinting through the burn headed to get Mike and then back to the Moose. He saw me coming and didn't know what to think when I showed up covered in sweat, rushing him to dress down so we could move faster.

We moved as quickly and quietly as we could moving back to where I had spotted the Bull. There was just one problem, the wind, it was so not in our favour. Blowing right at him through the valley and really thick brush. I estimate we were back in position within 20 minutes of the last time I saw him. I called quietly trying to coax him into answering us so we could figure our next move. He was gone! I thought for sure he had smelled us. Then after awhile I heard some brush breaking from what I figured was over the next ridge, even further from the lake! With the wind it was hard to tell where it came from. I asked myself, "Do I want to do this?" meaning go really, really far from the lake. I had a bone to pick with this guy and away we went, through the impossible brush after him Mike right with me.

As we were about to get into the low part of the valley, I turned around to look at Mike and glanced up at the big rock we were just standing on. At that exact moment the Bull walked up onto the high rock and stood there with nothing in the back ground but sky. It was so cool! I said to Mike, "There he is, up on the hill" Mike wasted no time in taking his first shot, Freehand and after walking through some thick brush. Whack. It hit. "Shoot him again I yelled" The bull just spun around and stood again. Whack! Another solid hit! The bull had been in the 10 foot tall brush right below us and didn't make a sound. When he heard us leaving, he thought that the cow was leaving so out he came, and stood right where we were.

We worked our way back over to where he was standing when we shot and found has track. I told Mike to go up onto a rock to get a little higher in case he was still standing. Once he got up there he could see him about 50 yards away standing in the brush. Again I heard the 264 Win. Mag ring out. I could tell from the sound that he was done.

After a long hour wait, we walked in to see if he was done and he was. A long haul but definately worth it. I was in the zone. We cut a nice trail and had him out of there by dark. The video of the whole affair is to follow.

Mike was eating an apple when I showed up in a bit of a rush!!!

The happy Hunter!

The Pack Mule!

Smilin' cause there was a beer waiting for me:)

I've seen bad Blackflies before but this day topped any of those others by a mile. They were unbearable. Look at the ones biting my eyes!!!

Home just at dark. Good times to follow.

Mike's turn to wear the famed Moose hat

Supper time, a little blood seemed to have found it's way through, mixed with a little sweat I'm sure!

I was almost attacked too by an animal during that week. I was walking amongst some big Poplars one morning and heard loud running footsteps coming right at me. I could see a big brown figure out of the corner of my eye coming straight at me, fast! I instinctively turned in a fighting stance to face what ever it was and growled loudly. As it came at me I was still not quite sure what it was but when it went by me within 5 feet, I saw it was a 80-90 pound beaver. I guess I was between him and the lake so he felt pretty vulnerable. He tripped on a stick and skidded right on his face. Getting up again and heading for the lake, tripping 2 more times. My heart was in my throat for sure. Funny afterwards!

I am looking forward to next years hunt already!!!

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