My 2012 Crossbow Moose Hunt
We originally planned to leave Ottawa for our moose hunt (archery - cow tag only) on Friday Sept 14th, but family issues caused us to delay leaving ‘till 1:00 PM on the 15th.
We arrived at our campsite north of Kapuskasing at noon on the 16th and spent the rest of the day setting up camp.
We were rained out on Monday, but were able to set up blinds at one hunting spot early on Tuesday. When we went to hunt the spot, I had a Montana decoy I was planning to try, so I set it up about 30 yds from my blind.
I was having trouble threading the legs when my buddy Paul whistled at me. This was signal we agreed to if one of us heard or saw a moose. I continued having trouble with the decoy, when he whistled again. Luckily I had finally got it set up, and headed to my pop-up blind.
When Paul had arrived at his (natural) blind, he saw movement in the bush that resolved itself into a moose antler, and then a moose rubbing a tree. When he finally got me into my blind, he gave a cow call, hoping the bull would come out, and if he had a cow with him bring her along as well.
The moose stopped rubbing for a bit, and stood in the thicket looking around. He then continued some thrashing and looking in Paul’s direction. Finally, he began to approach, when he saw the decoy, and altered his path to circle it, but was heading directly toward my blind.
Meanwhile, I don’t know any of this is going on and I’m merrily sitting in my blind checking for moose. Suddenly I hear a two tone bull grunt that I think of as a “bullfrog” call, followed by a few regular bull grunts. I’m hard of hearing, and though I wear a hearing aid, its still not the greatest, so for me to hear bull grunts that clearly and loudly he had to be close. After a couple of frantic minutes I decided he moose was hidden by some spruce, directly north of me.
Looking through the small gaps between the spruce limbs, I finally picked up some black, just as he turned west and began a slow walk toward the decoy making frequent stops sometimes to rake a bit of brush. He was 10 yds from me, but his attention was fixed on the decoy. He never even swung his head in my direction.
Once he was past the thicket my blind was set-up in, he swung south again - still focussing on the decoy. Again stopping frequently and not looking around, he was about 15 yds from my blind at this time. At this point the 2 dimensional decoy was beginning to thin, probably disappearing on him. He became a little skittish, and began moving south/west away from me. When the decoy re-appeared, he stopped again (momentarily) and looked at it. He had stopped grunting by now, and I guess he was put completely off by what had happened. He left my sight heading west.
When he circled my blind, I would have had three perfect shooting opportunities at 10 yds and three more at 15. He was broadside slightly quartering away with his left leg forward, and no intervening brush. I also would have had an excellent chance at 30 yds when he stopped for the final time.
He was a young bull with a 30 - 35 inch rack and small palms - a good size though!
Those decoys really work!!
Most of the hunt was rainy, and moose movement shut down for about 10 days, it was just picking up when we left. The gun guys should be in for a good hunt.
Our camp got raided by a bear that decided to taste a couple of our gas cans, but there was no other damage. A local shot a bear near our campsite, and we think it was him, because we had no more bear problems.