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Old 11-13-2012, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 384
Extreme Hunting Update 11-13-2012

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A few months ago I made mention that I was going to northern Ontario for my first moose hunt. I asked a friend to join me. My hunting buddy, 25 years my junior, supplied the physical abilities of handling the heavy work while I took care of the planning, details and most importantly, culinary expertise. All in all it worked out very well. Those who have had the experience of sharing camp with the wrong person knows what I mean. We thoroughly enjoyed each others company and hunting together.

Unfortunately, the hunting gods decided that this was not the year for me to shoot the moose of a lifetime. In fact, they decided that I would sit on the sidelines for the season, I never saw a bull.

On day five, my partner returned to camp about noon more excited than a kid at Christmas. Still gasping for air he manged to get out: "I just shot a monster, I need help to find him. This was a semi guided hunt so we got the guide and his son and jumped in the boats and made our way to the mouth of the river where he shot him.

Eight inches of fresh snow showed a heavy blood trail from the river's edge into the bush. The blood trail was heavy and consistent. They tracked the bull for three hours before stopping to make sure they could get back to camp before dark. The following day they covered almost 5 miles of blood trail before losing the track when the animal disappeared into a massive swamp.

All in all I can't remember a hunting partner as depressed over losing an animal as my friend. He kept repeating, "I wasted the opportunity of a lifetime." The night before, a guide across the lake had informed us of a giant bull he'd seen the night before with a rack well into the 60's. His client only had a cow tag and couldn't shoot it. After listening to my partner's recital of the event, this was the same bull and the obvious became clear. His first shot at almost 200 yards straight on must have hit the brisket; his second shot, behind the shoulder with the animal quartering towards him must have hit too far back and missed the lungs. He was shooting a 300 Weatherby with Barnes bear claw bullets. More than enough medicine for moose.

The day before we left for the trip, I'd asked him for the third time to take an hour and make certain his rifle was on and he was comfortable shooting out to 300 yards. He compromised by taking one shot at fifty yards. After hitting the black, he was "good to go."

Two hundred yards is not considered extreme hunting. I can be though if the hunter has not done his job at the range. There is no substitute for practice and accuracy. The unfortunate loss for my friend reminded me of my post a few months earlier about extreme hunting. Hunters have a responsibility to shoot proficiently and kill humanely. The difference between a comfortable clean kill and extreme attempts differs for every hunter. Inside, I think we all know the limits of our ability. We can work to improve our skills or, live within are abilities. The shows only let the enthusiast see the incredible 700 yard kills. The inside story of lost opportunities, wounded and lost animals are unfortunately first hand experiences no one wants to talk about.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:01 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 21,855
Sorry to hear of the lost animal.

You're quite correct in folks needing to target practice and at ranges they anticipate may be encountered. If your ability isn't there, don't try the shot.

How many times at the gunrange do we have prospective hunters haul out their rifles for the first time since last season, shoot three times at a pie plate at 50 yds and determine it's ready to go if all shots at least hit the plate.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:19 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Idaho
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That's unfortunate, onelongshot. Has your friend shot the rifle after his return? If so, was it off, or no? Could very well have been some 'bull fever' too, I guess.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:26 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 384
Originally Posted by Shawn Crea View Post
That's unfortunate, onelongshot. Has your friend shot the rifle after his return? If so, was it off, or no? Could very well have been some 'bull fever' too, I guess.
I forgot to mention, the rifle he used is mine. When we got back I did shoot it. At 100 yards its .5 inch below dead center. That would mean a 5 inch drop at 200. Just enough to take the shot out of the kill zone. I also think the distance may have been a bit more than he estimated. A moose cow is approximately 6-7 feet at the shoulder, a bull as much as 8. When your hunting history is limited to whitetails, as his was, a large bull's distance can be deceiving.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE PA
Posts: 304
I have never hunted moose so I was wondering what your opinion is about your friend taking a straight on shot. My buddies who have seen them up close and personal said that they are quite large and even larger than you might imagine them to be.

Even with a 300 magnum I would imagine that the kill zone is not very large from the front. We all have been in situations where the shot is not what we would want but is perhaps good enough. I was wondering what you would have done in that situation. I am pretty patient (sometimes) and I think if it is facing me it is either going to come closer or it has to turn to go away from me, giving me a chance for a broadside shot. Looking at a monster well not sure how clear headed anyone could think and maybe it was a great choice but not performed well. What would you have done?
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:07 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 384
The moose was moving directly towards him. The excitement of the moment got the better of him. I would have waited until he eventually provided a profile shot. If he kept coming straight on, I would wait until he was within 50 yards (their eyesight is poor) and my first shot would have been high in the chest-neck for a spine shot. If he's quartering towards me the bullet is going just in front of the forward leg, not behind it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE PA
Posts: 304
I agree that when you see something that is beyond what you hope for, you can never tell how you might react. It is easy to stay calm and wait for that perfect moment when it is on something that if any shot disappears you are sure that you will get the next one. When you are thinking that you will never see something like this again in your lifetime, I guess you never know how you might react. Has me thinking that if I went on a hunt where a real trophy was a possibility it would be a good idea to think of different scenarios and what I should do so that if something similar should occur I would stand a chance of reacting in a way that I would want.
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