Hunting Giant Alaska Bull Moose

August 20, 2019

It’s was a cold night last night, we
had quite a bit of snow on the ground you can see the mountains, looking nice and crisp this morning. All round. It snowed last night when we went to bed. We had a late
night, last night we had an incredible day yesterday. We saw some things that
most people will never ever see in their lives. We saw a big bull moose bedded
with a cow and grizzly bear came in and busted them up and they run off. Then we
saw another grizzly up on the top and we decided to have a run at her and I
ended up shooting my first grizzly bear and probably my last. But, beautiful bear
lovely silver tip grizzly, so happy you wouldn’t believe. Awesome day hopefully
today we’re gonna have a run on a big bull moose we’ve seen down in the bottom
that would be absolutely cool and we’ll see what today brings, catch
you later. So, it’s day eight of the hunt and it’s another beautiful day in Alaska. We had a big day yesterday, Wildy got his grizzly
bear, which is fantastic. But, it was a mixed day really lots of
action, we saw a big group of moose down the hillside across from the strip. Wildy’s
grizzly came and scared them away walked up, we disappeared out of sight
and we’re making a plan to get on the big ball. But, as it happens the bear gave
us too good an opportunity to miss and we made our way up and we took him. So, great
day all around late back into camp really good long night sleep and then up
again this morning now I’ve got a bear down big thing to do is trying to get
one of these moose. Now I’ve been down to the bottom the strip had a glass out,
we’ve seen a few of them still mooching around down the bottom there in the
willows but nothing is showing itself just yet in terms of the bigger bulls.
Now ideally we’d like to get to we’ve seen two decent-sized moose, shootable
moose down there, one about 60 inches more a bit smaller that’s got three
Browns on one side so we can still take him and now for me we’re looking for the
big boy Wildy would be be happy to take his first moose in Alaska. If we can get those two down that really would put us ahead of the
curve and also give us a big gut pile to shoot the last grizzly bear off. But,
there’s a few mooching around as I’ve said not seeing the big boy yet I’m
gonna go grab a coffee see how we’re doing and then go glass a little bit
later on a lot of action a lot of stalking and we’re starting to get the
merge of the grounds here only the wind can stay on side make things a little
bit easy for us but every day it changes and it can change from the minutes the
next so far so good looking forward to another good day in the field. After the success of yesterday’s endeavours we feel reenergized and brimming with confidence
although the weather is changeable it’s doing little to dampen our spirits as we
scour the valley below for signs of our moose Bull. We catch a glimpse of the big bull we’ve been tracking moving amongst the undergrowth. However, he
disappears into the thick stuff over a ridge and out of sight. As usual the wind
is not playing ball and is once again blowing down the valley towards the
Moose. But, where one door closes another opens for the first time the area to the west of camp is clear and we have another
opportunity to explore an entirely area. Whilst the view here is new the
topography is very familiar. Rolling ridges thick vegetation and yet more river crossings. So, the bull that we were looking for, the Moose down at the bottom and has made his way down the valley and up over the ridge at the top. So, he
decided to come have a look at fresh bit of ground you see camp back there in the
distance. We’ve made our way up and around this Ridge, check out this bowl on my right-hand side there’s plenty of berries up there
sheltered ideal country for decent sized grizzly bear unfortunately nothing up
there at the moment now the wind is playing to it we’re gonna head over this
Ridge look it’s more country down on the far side so even though in the first
opportunity looking for doesn’t quite go your way big country out here and it’s
plenty to be seen so you never know what’s over the other side of the next
hill. The elevated vantage point offers yet
another perspective on the ground we’ve been scouring for the past eight days. We spot a young bull tucked up in a patch of willows and Mark does his best to call
him in, but to no avail. He wasn’t bothered by the call was he? The prime rut is some way off and the
bulls are not yet showing any sign of responding to calls. After several hours
of glassing, getting rained on and eaten alive by flies my eyes and backside have
had enough and my patience is wearing thin. I’m tired, stiff and we’ve done all we can do today we take stock of the day
and formulate a plan for tomorrow. My pack is heavy and my bones are weary as we start a long journey back to camp. it’s at times like this I lean heavily
on my fellow hunters to pull me through luckily for me
they’re always there when I need them. Morning, it’s day 8 of the hunt day 9 of
the trip and we’ve been glass in first thing this morning, we’ve had breakfast
so it’s a bit later than normal but one spotted the big bull that Ian is after. So,
we spent yesterday glass in we thought we’d lost him out the back of the valley
but we found him again and he hadn’t really moved from where we saw him
earlier in the day so that was a bonus and we’re just gearing up now and we’re
going to get after him so an exciting day ahead can’t wait
hopefully next time we’ll be eating moose meat tonight, catch you later. Now perfectly attuned to this environment, Wildy’s eagle eyes have spotted our big bull and the air is once again charged with anticipation. At last the elements are with us and our bull has finally given us the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. He’s bedded down on the edge of an alder thicket, but we have clear line of sight. We eagerly plan our approach picking what we believe to be the path
of least resistance that gives us the best possible chance of a shot. That bull is still in here somewhere. As usual the path of least resistance
still offers plenty of it we must clear a trail through the willow
and alders clearly marking it ready for our return. It’s tough going but working as a team
we make good progress. We can feel that we’re getting closer
and eventually catch sight of our bull. We drop packs and prepare for the stork
in taking only my shooting sticks and rifle this is the most critical part of
the hunt. The bull has spent the entire week surrounded by cows, calves and
younger bulls plenty of eyes ears and nostrils to detect our approach. We must
move slowly and deliberately paying close attention to the swirling wind and
close cover we’re dangerous predators may also be lurking. Miraculously our bull is oblivious to our presence and no other moose appears to have been alerted. We have the advantage by load and prepare my rifle there will be no
mistakes this time. The bull now senses danger and the giant
beast lurches to its feet, I quickly move into position and set up the Sauer 404
on my trusty Vanguard be 62 sticks while Mark calls to encourage the bull turn. He finally offers a quartering shot a
305 yards the 225 grain Hornady superformance SST once again delivers
the perfect terminal performance and a humane dispatch this magnificent animal.
It’s been amazing watching him from afar for the past eight days as our eighth
day of hunting. We saw him on first night we came, of course we can’t hunt that and he’s disappeared in and out of these older bushes and willow pretty
much all week. Now we’ve seen away without hunting or grizzly you did you
thought we lost him yesterday we entered the hunting up further of the
valley at the back of camp and then Wildy with his amazingly keen eyesight
managed to spot him moose hunter extraordinaire over here he’s pretty big
in the body we’ve got plenty of work the rain is
coming around as you can see the weather in Alaska wait half an hour and it will
change still got plenty work to do it’s about 3:30 in the afternoon hoping to
get him all skinned out and packed out ready to your take back to camp. This is where the real work starts. We divide ourselves into work parties and set about our tasks. Mark and Wildy take care of skinning and butchering the bull. Tony and I cut a trail and begin packing out the meat to a ridge closer to camp. All of the meat must be harvested from
the animal and taken back to civilization for processing the trophy
being the final piece to leave the field. The rain pours down once more but the
harvest has lifted our spirits the ridge beyond is the final slope back
up to camp. It looks so close, but it’s still an hour
from here. With three alder choke canyons in between. My only focus now is to keep
moving the meat to here, we can think of home later. the last load is by far the heaviest but
one I am glad to bear.

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