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After many, many years I drew a Colorado bull moose tag this year. The season is Oct 1-9 (rifle) and should be during the rut and am planning on bringing my bow too.
I have been pouring over maps of my area and almost have them memorized this past week. I am going to do a drive thru the area tomorrow to start my scouting & revive my memory of the land.
I have some waypoints from the DOW website of previously harvested moose in the area, but they are pretty much scattered from "hell to breakfast", with not much concentration. After some research, it seems that the Shiras rut is a bit different than the northern moose.
Will the moose not be around water as much as earlier in the year? Are open meadows with a stream and willows better than thick willowed beaver pond areas? Maybe some timbered cut areas? Shall I find cow moose and concentrate my efforts in those areas?
Experienced moose hunters please help!
Thanks in advance!
I would expect the bulls to be rutting pretty good the first week in Oct. Look for cows and that is likely where you will find the bulls. I'd do some cow calling in the areas you are seeing cows and/or fresh sign. If the bulls haven't "holed" up with hot cows yet they will likely be moving around a lot trying to find one. I would definitely stay mobile to up your chances of running into a good bull.
I know it sounds kindof wild but try to think like a cow or bull moose? What would cows be feeding on that time of year? If it is hot, which side of the hill will they be staying cool on? Are there any corridors bulls may funnel through? Will bulls likely be able to hear bull grunts or cow bellows from long distance?
Got drive thru the area some on Saturday, came across snow drifts that prevented me getting into some spots.
I found a cow & calf and its only May! And I saw a bull about 4 miles out on lowland that has already some nice fronts and paddles growing.
It can depend on the unit. Where did you draw?
GMU 16 - SW of Walden
cnelk, thats a cow and a yearling in your picture. Here in WA when I have called Moose for buddies who have drawn, we concentrated quite a bit around traditional Moose area's as the cows will still be there. The bulls will be moving a lot looking for hot cows. 2 years ago, we found a hot cow and let her do the calling, and just glassed the ridges. Ended up spotting two bulls moving one her. Neither big enough to kill, but it worked.
It was very apparent that there was a cow moose and a yearling when I took the pic. They were less than 100yds away!
There are a ton of "swamp donkeys" in North Park. They sometimes get in the way when we are archery elk hunting. But they arent in the rut early September. They are just standing around looking stupid.
Like JIMS said, in your season, the bulls will be on the move so look for cows. If you find a giant bull during the summer, you might consider swapping your October tag for an archery or muzzle tag so you can get him before he starts moving a lot during the rut. Sen me a PM and I can talk to you about how to get that done. I have found that you can usually find the bull again before the rut starts.
If you stick with October, try to find some elevated glassing points overlooking likely areas with willows and cows. Calling works but not quite as good as it does on the other moose species.