Andrews - 2001 Moose Hunt
father and I arrived in Grande Prairie and met the men who would
be guiding us at Rick's house. On the way out to camp, one of
the guides asked us what we expected from the hunt. We told him
we expected to hunt hard and give it our best effort to get a
moose. His comment was "Great, that's what we're here for."
first day we were teamed up with Jake, an experienced hunter and
a heck of a nice guy. Jake asked if we were going after big moose
or just any moose. "Big" was our answer. Since two is
company and three's a crowd, we decided the first day I would
hunt with Jake and my father would sit in tree stands. We would
alternate each day until we had our moose. The first morning we
dropped my father off at his tree stand then Jake and I continued
on deeper into the bush on a cut line. The terrain was gently
rolling and beautiful. The aspen leaves were in full color and
looked like bright yellow saucers floating to the ground when
the wind blew. We stopped at a beaver pond and Jake positioned
me, told me where to watch, then backed off and began calling.
About ten minutes into his seductive moaning and grunting, we
heard "UGH, UGH, UGH" along with breaking branches and
sloshing water. This continued for half an hour, then all was
quiet. We circled the area and got the Bull to answer one more
time before deciding he must have cows with him.
evening we took a long ATV ride back into a very secluded area
that gave us great views of bottom-land meadows which rose up
into the golden aspen and eventually, higher up the mountain,
became pines. Jake had an area in mind where he got into a large
Bull Moose while hunting for himself the week before. It took
most of the evening to hunt our way to the spot where action was
expected. Along the way, Jake would remind me, "This is Trophy
Bulls only, this far into the bush". This was my kind of
hunt, far from the roads with nothing in sight but wilderness.
We started calling about an hour and a half before dark and almost
immediately heard, "KA WUMP" then a few seconds later,
"KA WAMP". Jake said, "I know that sound. Two Bulls
moved higher on the hill into some pines and set up. Jake would
cow call and a real cow moose would whine and moan while the two
Bull Moose thrashed brush, trees, and each other. They were only
about 50 yards away, but we could only hear them because of the
dense bush. After a while we could hear one bull move up the hill,
grunting as he went. The other stayed in front of us racking brush.
Jake crawled up to me and said, "It's going to get dark,
we have to make this happen".
started walking right to the Bull as Jake walked behind me cow
calling. After forty yards, suddenly there was a moose standing
across the ditch thirty to forty yards away, but it was only a
small bull! Then down the ditch we heard, "UGH, UGH"
and here he came, waving his head from side to side. The setting
sun gave his antlers an orange hue. He stopped and beat trees
as he came up the ditch toward us. I picked an opening knowing
he would be broadside at that point and "Yes, only 15 yards
away". The first shot was right behind his shoulder, but
he turned and ran directly at us. I kept him in the scope but
all I remember seeing was an enormous set of eyes coming at me.
When it was all over, he was laying not 15 feet in front of us
and the celebrating began. Jake was just as excited if not more
that I was. The hunt couldn't have been more exciting for the
both of us if we had dreamed it the night before.
rest of the week was spent swapping stories of the days events
with a great group of hunters from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Of
course it was hard to tell the stories because everyone was always
stuffing their mouths with Rita's excellent breakfast, lunch,
and dinner. It was the first hunting trip I have ever taken where
I returned home weighing more than I did when I left.