When you are thinking about Moose hunting, just remember one thing forever. It’s always a good idea to change your location after you’ve finished an extended calling sequence so that you are glassing the area from a spot upwind of where you were calling. If there’s a bull in the area, you can be sure he will have heard you and will remember the exact spot your calling came from. When he eventually comes in to investigate it’s likely he’ll first circle downwind of where he heard your calls. Switching spots let you stay undetected if this happens.
Be Patient When Calling in Moose
Moose are curious creatures, but they can take their time satisfying that curiosity. Even during the peak of the rut, it can take days for a moose that’s heard you are calling to decide to investigate. Be patient. There will be rare occasions when a nearby bull that’s crazed with lust comes crashing into your setup right away, but most calling won’t pay off until many hours later.
Walk Like a Moose
Moose have sensitive ears and a keen sense of smell. It is very unlikely you’ll be able to approach one on foot without it hearing you, even if you’re working into the wind. Fortunately, you do not have to be completely silent. Instead, try to sound like a moose. First, make sure you’re wearing no clothing that makes unnatural rustling sounds when brushed against branches or grass. Second, make sure any metal items you’re carrying in your pockets, on your gun sling, or clipped to your jacket or pants are tightly secured so that they don’t clink or clank while you’re walking. Last, do not try to sneak. Predators sneak, tensing up their bodies in order to perform deliberate movements designed to minimize motion and reduce the sounds of their steps. Moose know what sneaking sounds like, and most humans are not capable of sneak quietly enough to fool one. You’ll have more luck if you step as quietly as possible while still maintaining a loose, natural stride. Any sounds you make will likely be mistaken for the sounds of another moose, elk, or deer moving at a relaxed pace through the brush.
How to Recognize a Pissed-Off Moose
When a moose is irritated by your presence, it will use its body language to warn you that it’s upset, pulling its ears back and flaring the long hair along its neck and hump, much the way a dog will when looking for a fight. It may even growl at you and lick its lips. When you see this, back away quickly and try to get a large obstruction between you and the animal.
Russell Annabel on Alaska Moose Hunting
Sheep hunting is great sport, bear hunting is packed with adventure and thrills, and there is a definite kick in risking your neck climbing the windy crags of the goat country—but for downright fun, I’ll take a moose hunt any old time. Like grouse shooting, it’s a sport that goes with bright leaves tingling down through the branches of old trees, with quiet noonday watches on sun-drenched hillsides, with cautious sallies through the shadowy green-gold enchantment of deep forest aisles, and with campward horseback rides in the purple, star-shot dusk of mountain evenings. It is a sport for the man who appreciates the wilderness at its best, who has an eye for color and beauty—and yet it also has its taut, pulse-quickening moments.
When to (and When Not to) Use a Big Scope
Oversize, 50mm objective lenses will always collect more light than standard-size rifle scopes, giving you a distinct advantage in low-light conditions—brighter, sharper images of the animals you’re aiming at. This does not mean, however, that you should always carry such a scope on your rifle. Oversize lenses are great choices if you’re hunting from a stand or spotting and stalking in a country where you expect to take long shots at unsuspecting moose. But if you plan to do much still-hunting, they can be a liability. There are two reasons for this. The first is that oversize scopes require higher mounts than standard scopes, which means it’s more difficult to acquire a proper sight picture when you need to make a quick shot. The second is that oversized scopes are heavy! You’ll be much happier if you mount standard-sized optics on the gun you use for still-hunting.
Moose Hunting in a Big Wind
Upland bird hunters hate days of the howling winds. Duck hunters love them. Moose hunters should love them. Working your way into position for a shot at moose is much easier in a big wind if you plan your hunt to approach from downwind. First, the moose isn’t going to catch your scent. Secondly, they can’t hear much with the wind howling.
Moose by Canoe
Moose love water, and so do many moose hunters. This is because there are few ways to access unpressured moose habitat more quietly and with less effort than by paddling into it. And there are few ways of packing out moose meat more efficiently than by carrying its quarters in a canoe. Scan banks and shorelines for moose standing hidden in the brush, and pay close attention when paddling up or floating down rivers that connect ponds and small lakes—moose travel along these streams because they often flow through flat terrain that’s easier for them to traverse.
Call like a Cow Using Only Your Voice
Cow calls are high-pitched groans that can be best described as a high, moaning “eerrrrrrrr” sound. These calls can be relatively short in duration or can last for up to two minutes. You can imitate the sound using your voice alone. To do so, pinch your nose (a nasal sound does a better job of imitating a cow), cup your hands over your mouth, and start your “err” sound at a lower pitch, gradually raising pitch in the middle of the call, holding the “r,” and wavering your tone a bit before lowering the pitch as you taper off into silence.
Stop a Startled Bull with a Cow Call
If you spook a bull, try making a long, loud cow call as he runs away. There’s a good chance he’ll stop to figure out where the sound is coming from, giving you an opportunity to make a quick shot.