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Just got back from my solo hunt into Alaska's wilderness where I took this bull. The 800 gr arrow cut through a rib and penetrated the top of the heart. The moose went down quickly and the skinning, cutting and packing of meat began. Mike
Nice Bull. Good job Mike. Thanks for sharing.
Congrats thanks for sharing
Congrats mike!! Great looking bull.
Great photos, put some more up!
Very nicely done and all by your lonesome'.what was the equipment you used? Very few could do all that solo, they ought to start a solo slam for big game.
I got him just before dark and had to skin and cut with a flashlight. Once I got all the meat (on the quarters for this unit), I put a tarp around to block sun, and a tarp over to block rain. I also used the little portable electric fence. I saw 3 black bears and a bunch of grizzly scat and tracks, but no grizzly sighting. I returned with all the meat. I used a Stalker recurve at 66#, and a Tuff Head BH mounted to a titanium adaptor on a 32 inch 2219 aluminum shaft.
As some of you know, I wrote a book about my many solo adventures in my book called "One with the Wilderness" (Passions of a Solo Bowhunter). So this is not my first solo moose, but certainly is my easiest pack job. Less than a half mile from strip. I had knee surgery in June, and it wasn't really so well on that last trip back to camp with the antlers. Ha!
I'm glad I did not take him in some of the other distant, thick bottom lands I had been in earlier during the hunt. Ha!
I don't get jealous very often. TODAY....I am. Good for you.
Looking back at camp (3 miles away), I decided it would be good to start to head downward so I wouldn’t be in the thick brush after dark. So I started hunting my side-hill back. With a little over an hour of day light left, I spotted a good bull about a half mile past my tent on the same side-hill. I dropped down and hurried to get a better look. It was the same bull I passed up 2 miles up valley from camp earlier. Since I passed him up already, my excitement dropped. BUT, he had another bull with him. At 150 yards, I could see he was much wider, so I got low and moved closer. I crawled on hands and knees, bear crawled, and belly-crawled the last 70 yards, staying below their line of sight, and using the dwarf birch as cover.
They were both above me, but I had a good wind as the cool 40 degree evening down thermals worked to my advantage. Glassing through the brush, I could see the lower bull had good swoop to his beams leaving head, and flared palms with long side tines. He did not have many brow points, only 2 on left and 3 on right, but his rack sure looked to be over 60 inches wide.
The bulls were preoccupied and raking brush, which allowed me to get among them. The upper bull kept looking in my direction, but he never knew I was there. I finally slid my pack off and crept up behind a spruce sapling. The wait was on. The sun was setting. I could get no closer.
Finally the upper bull moved down to the same plane as the wide one. Then the wide bull viewed the encroached personal space as a threat, and turned toward him. But once the first bull backed off, it turned around and headed up toward me. I glanced ahead and looked for a shooting lane, then back at the upper bull. His head was down feeding. Now all my attention went to the wide bull, as I rose to my feet. He came up the trail a little more, with me standing behind the spruce at 30 yards. I thought about shooting, and then about the clear lane. I waited.
With his head down moving forward, he turned to look over his shoulder at his buddy. This gave me a rare chance to turn my feet and take a perfect stance. I thought to shoot low in the chest. He took his step and stretched the front leg forward. The 66# Schleyer model Stalker recurve, made for me by South Cox, came all the way back and the long shaft was on its way. I saw my white fletching hit tight behind the shoulder as I heard a crack.
My fear of hitting a leg bone was only momentary, as the great bull lunged forward, ran thirty yards, and died in 20 seconds.
Mike, A huge congrats on your adventure...solo to boot! Feel free to share any more details/pics/stories!
That's one of my "bucket list" hunts.
Very nice and love the photos! Congratulations!
WOW!!! Congratulations, I'm definitely going to try to find a copy of your book. That type of hunt id high on my "to do" list.
Wow what a great bull. Congrats!!
I have the utmost respect for you guys that do it the hard way. Kudos to you for a hunt well done !
Awesome hunt...thanks for the recap.
This was a special hunt to , kind of a memorial hunt, because the dates I picked to be up there would include the 10 year anniversary of my friend Bart Schleyer's passing during a solo hunt for moose in the Yukon, on Sept 14, 2004.
You just lived my dream without a doubt! Amazing scenery and even better bull. Congratulations on a great hunt and LOVE your book "One with the Wilderness"...one of my all time favorite reads!
Hard to believe I'm wearing hip boots. This are Cabela's Tundra boots, with uppers rolled down and tucked neatly under the boot flap on my Sitka Stratus pants. Very light and ready to go up when I needed them for river and swamp crossings.
Congrats Mike on a special hunt. I assume the camera was rolling capturing the beauty. By the way I still reread your book.
I had two video cameras, including a GoPro, but once I moved in on them too close, I got pinned down by the upper bull, and could not get my cameras set. I have video of the bull I passed up, but have not had time to look at it yet. Tough being a camera man/hunter. Ha!
Nicely done. Your book, you mentioned earlier, should be on everyone's reading list.
Amazing! Congratulations on a great trip, a great memorial to a friend as well as a great trophy!
Mike, great job congratulations! I was going to mention, nice job on some of the photos being taken on your own.
WOW! Very very impressive
AWESOME!!! Congrats on a great bull and story.
Awesome! I can only imagine the rush and feeling of accomplishment you got from doing a hunt like this solo. Simply amazing. Congrats!
Yes, I'm still smiling after this hunt. My family gets worried about me going on these solo hunts in wild places nearly every year, but they appreciate me more when I get back home. Ha! It seems they clear out a small spot in their freezers while I'm gone as well.
Mike, Congratulations on a great animal and hunt. Thanks for sharing. "Remember that you are never really alone." "One With the Wilderness" is on a display table in our den. Dave
That was incredible! Congrats on doing such a hunt, in such a place, on such an animal.
Just packing a moose solo would be daunting to say the least. Great job.
I really liked they idea of those boots, in real wet areas I could see them being much more useful than rain pants and wet boots. Unfortunately when I checked out Cabelas site they said no longer available. Maybe someone else makes similar tundra boots?
Mike, congratulations and thanks for sharing. Your book is one of my favorites. I reread it during my solo elk hunt last year. I know it helped in harvesting my first bull!!
Wow! That is awesome! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing!
Congrats on a great bull! Thanks for sharing!
Super adventure, a beautiful bull and awesome photography. Thanks for sharing with us.
Mike, so how did those tundra boots wear? I've looked at them and read the reviews. Any hot spots etc. Can you hike in them all day.
Hope to do a trip like this in the not too distant future.
Amazing!I couldn't imagine trying to tackle all that work by myself.Congratulations on a great bull
That's awesome Herdbull. But man.... if there is one hunt I wouldn't do solo it's moose up there because of the jam I could possibly get myself into packing meat.
How wide is that bull anyway?
Wow!!!! I really enjoyed the recap. Thanks for sharing.
Nice one Mike. You may have been solo but I doubt you were ever alone. Great tribute to your friend. Thanks for sharing.
Congrats. I'll have to read your book.
I can't say I am surprised. If you have not read Mike's book, you should! Congrats.
Congrats! I will also be getting a copy of your book.
Congratulations... thanks for sharing!!!
Nice, where can I find your book?
here is a link to Mike's book at Brothersofthebow.com
That's incredible - congratulations!! Beauty of a bull, and solo too!
(I especially like the story, which you got up in ONE day, not a two week mini-series!).
Way to get it done Mike. I've been wanting to get your book, and one day I will get it read.
Thanks for posting that link Gaur.
The Tundra boots worked great for me. Not bad side-hilling, and held up to water good. Your feet still get moist because they are hip boots, not so breathable. I am not sure why some people can't find them, although I did hear from others that there were issues with quality control. I covered mine with Stealth wrap from Stealth outdoors to quiet them down. Still very light for hippers.
Funny how we sometimes live the same dream. Compare this photo from 2002 to the second photo above. Same tent, same majestic Alaska. Different bow & bull. Ha!
That one was a three mile pack job. Still remember it from seeing this photo. wow. Memories.
I tied it up wrong on the last load and my thin rope cut the webbing on shelf and my front quarter is sitting low. Ha! I have used this frame for 30 years.
Mule Power- the antlers were just over 60 inches.
Congrats on a great moose!!!
Freakin wow...awesome. Congratulations
Mike, ya big ol stud...Great job and hunt!
Congrats on a great bull!!!
keep the pics (and stories) coming Mike! Great stuff!
Some ask about the broad head. I did you the TuffHead for the first time. It is 1 inch wide but quite long. I glued extra leather on my Great Northern quiver to extend the protection from the sharp blades. I use 2219 arrows and had a little trouble getting them to seat since the 23/64 inch ferrule extend 1/8 inch past the shaft. My shaft should fit since its 22/64 , but some of the inserts may have a bit larger. That would be the first point of contact. There may also have been a little glue on the insert if I wasn't watching. But after sanding the end of the arrow and using the new titanium adaptors sent to me by Joe Furlong, every thing went well. Since I had to pack out all quarters and ribs on the bone, I froze the ribs as is and should get them shipped to me in a couple weeks. I should be able to investigate the rib damage caused by the BH at that time.
I carried a Ruger SuperRed Hawk in .454 casul as back up. I have been on trips where I have seen over 20 grizzly bears and had them in camp. I wanted to carry bear spray as well but it was not allowed on commercial plane. I fenced in my meat cache with a bear shocker electric fence and post. I never saw any grizzlies on this trip, only black bears.
You see my tent, but I used a Big Angness sleeping pad. I could only take 70 pounds of gear for the 18 day hunt and flew in the super cub with my food in a sack on my lap. Ha!
I don't have a good photo of the moose body from this hunt, as it was getting dark very fast, I have a pasted a picture from another bull I killed so you can see the amount of work laying in front of me ... alone! Not a task to be enjoyed, but part of the remote Alaskan experience.
Since this was a tribute hunt to Bart Schleyer, I thought I would say a few things about him. He was a large predator capture expert, and live trapped grizzlies and brown bears. He also work with Hornocker Wildlife Institute and used a specialized foot snare to capture and the collar tigers in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. You can see Bart featured in the Nat. Geographic's documentary film called "Tigers in the Snow." Bart was a special guy and friends with Paul Schafer of Schafer Silver Tip Bows. They hunted together including a hunt they film on Kodiac Island where many deer were taken with bows and a huge 26 year old brown bear arrowed by Bart. Paul was there to capture it on film. I will include a few photos of Bart.
Bart used a 104# flat bow he made him self to hunt with.
Bart and Paul Schafer with Bart's brown bear on Kodiak.
Paul made the bow for him.
Thanks for the photos and story Mike, way to get it done. I appreciate the tribute to Bart also. And thanks for writing the book you mention above (One with the Wilderness), it was a great read while passing time sitting in my Antelope blind in Wyoming. Congrats on a great bull.
thanks for sharing the hunt and congrats. Love a solo hunt.
Mike, amazing job on a really nice Bull. Wonderful story and a great tribute to your friend Bart.
So many of us would have given anything to be along with You, Bart and Paul just to absorb the stories and knowledge. Guys like you 3 are an inspiration to so many of us.
Thanks for sharing.
Yes those Meare Heath flat bows were not as efficient as Bart's friend Doug Theiner's recurve style horn bows. Bart built heavy weight bows for himself. He also built many bows and gave away to Russians when he work over there with the tiger project. Bart and Paul had lives evolved around the hunt, and I am proud to know them, but many of us here have been able to find a balance between our hunting passion and that of family. This may be more impressive to me in some sense. Thanks again, Mike
Congrats, thanks for sharing. Beautiful bull.
I met Bart in 1996 while caribou hunting in Alaska. My buddy and I shared a camp with both Bart and his friend Mark from Wyoming. We left before Bart took the caribou in the above photo. He was an exceptional man and I was fortunate to get to know him.
Bart's self bow was rawhide backed osage orange. The rawhide came from a tiger killed elk found during his research on Siberian tigers in Russia.
Bart's brown bear hunt in 1992 on Kodiak included (left to right) Brad Adams, Paul Schafer, and Jeff Booth. Those are some nice Sitka blacktails.
Bart with a tiger he captured and tranquilized for research. Bart was videoed dangling out of a Russian helicopter trying to shoot darts at unhappy tigers. All part of the legend, but Bart would surely be uncomfortable with such talk. There was a lot more to the man than just his exploits.
I remember seeing a lot of those photos somewhere of your friend Bart.Nice tribute to your buddy.What happened on his last solo hunt?I don't remember hearing about it but sure I did. I can't imagine being out in thst country alone.It takes a mindset that I just don't have.Ilove that country too but just feel better with a partner to bail me out of any stupid decisions I may make or vice-versa.Thats an incredible bull,and great story behind the stalk Thanks for sharing the adventure
Wow just wow! This is one cool thread, all around!
Im definately buying your book! Thanks for sharing your hunt and the memories of your friend.
This site is better than any magazine or hunting show ever put together, just amazing!
Bowonly- Thanks for your input with Bart. Yes Bart was a humble guy, but he wanted the world to know about his friend Paul Schafer, so I feel it is OK for us to tell folks about Bart. Here is the link to the article / book chapter I wrote about him. http://www.brothersofthebow.com/html/solospirits.html
Mixed Bag - Bart died at Reid Lake in the Yukon most likely on the first or second day of a 14 day moose hunt. His remains were discovered four days after the scheduled pick-up time. Officially cause un-known, but being killed by a bear is possible.
The hat Bart is wearing in the photo with tiger is from Foster's Taxidermy where Bart worked part time for many years. I an also close friends with Dan Foster and I used his freezer to freeze down all my moose meat after butchering it. While at the shop I saw Bart's favorite fleshing beam and looked into the salt house where me and Bart stop for over two hours talking about hunting brown bear. This was the last place and time I talked to Bart.
Dan Foster loaded my frozen meat and antlers into a semi for me just last week and I should have it delivered close to home on Oct 2.
One more thing about Bart, If you want to see more, get a hold of the National Geographic's documentary called "Tigers in the Snow". Bart is feature a great deal in this film for his conservation efforts in Syberia with Hornocker Wildlife Institute. Mike
The story in Mike's book about his buddy getting gored by the moose is worth the price of the book. Great read!
Incredible story Mike! I just got back from a successful moose hunt in Alaska & I could not even imagine doing this hunt solo let alone packing one out alone to boot!!!
I need to see if I can find your book. It sounds like it would be an awesome read.
Again, congrats on your hunt & thanks for sharing it with us.
One question. How well do you like the electric bear proof fence you used?
Congrats Mike. Thanks for sharing! Bart and Paul where serious bowhunters, wish we had more like them out there.
Having just packed out an elk I can not imagine packing a moose solo. I think having a partner along would be better for me. What makes you go it alone?
holy cow that's a giant moose. Congratulations!
Absolutely incredible Mike. Congrats!
I read "one with the wilderness", every fall at my cabin. My solo hunts in the UP and N Wis and South Dakota do not compare, but we share the same passion....
Thanks Mike......... stay well
Mike is too humble to relate "the rest of the story", so I will. He had a torn meniscus since Sept. 2013 ending up with arthroscopic surgery June 1, 2014. He walked out of the hospital on crutches but was back at work two days later. He had a slower recovery than expected. Then they later found a one-inch section of cartilage gone that they didn't repair. He's a candidate for cartilage replacement, but he's also hard-headed and had a moose tag. He started riding a bike in late July and ended up going to Alaska in not as good a shape as he would have liked to because he couldn't train. It all worked out but he got some swelling after packing out 580 pounds of trimmed meat alone, then standing up for seven hours straight while butchering. Some swelling... ya think? Ha. He is now doctoring a pretty hard limp but he's been icing it in preparation for deer season. This is a good indication of the dedication and tenacity some guys have that many are totally unaware of. By the way, Mike is 55 years old. BW
Congratulations Mike! Great thread and great bull. Hope to see you down in Illinois in a few weeks chasing after giant whitetails.
Congrats on a great bull, I can't wait to go back to AK!
Some people ask why I hunt alone. Well its not always by design, but now with many units in Alaska going to draw for non-residence, its tough to be on the same page with huntging partners or brothers. I have hunted solo in Alaska many times as well as in Rocky Mountain states. The challenge becomes spiritual for me usually sometime into the second week of solitude. This time the moose would not let me reach that plain, because they cooperated early on.
I knew this river valley well since, I hunted here 13 years ago. If memory serves me, I was in Dan Foster's living room just prior to the hunt when I got a call from someone. I thought, "Who even knows I'm up here in Alaska?" Well... it was Bart wishing me good luck. Ha! And ... even now I have a friend that calls me and prays with me before every big hunting adventure I go on. So, I don't really feel alone. BUT, I can tell you I have slowed down alot, but still give it my all. Ha! Ha! During my first moose pack-job when I was 29 years old, my hips and butt got sore from the way the pack frame seated un my skinny waist. I had to pad it with a shirt. But now I carry my own extra padding around my waist if you know what I mean. Ha!
Before this hunt I was talking to my Mother and said my knee was still a little sore, but ready or not, Alaska, here I come. I don't think that was too comforting for her.
Justin- Thanks, I look forward to seeing you guys in Illinois.
T-Roy - The fence was light and compact. If you have room, I would suggest bringing a few extra fiberglass fence post from farm supply store, but for me it worked fine. The thing is, if a bear comes and gets dinged in the nose and runs off, I would never know if it worked or not. All I can say is that I got all my meat. I would bring along some kind of little tester, just to make sure you got juice.
Thanks everyone for your interest in my book, I hope you can connect to me through its pages. Mike
Some one ask how I keep fletching dry. Well it rains so much in Alaska, but I use 4 x 5 inch fletching, so I still have a little ruddering even when wet. BUT, I still do as Bart did (see bear photo above), I wrap a few arrows in plastic bags and tape the shaft until needed. I however, spray-paint my bags with camo paint prior to hunt to take the shine off. You can see from the pic of Bart and Paul, he did not do that. Just stuffed fletchings in bags.
Also, if you use real wild turkey feathers they hold up to rain much better, and especially if the edges are burnt instead of die-cut.
Thanks for sharing your hunt.
That documentary is on youtube. I'm watching it now.
Here is a clip of the bull I passed up earlier on the day I took mine. Might be 53 inches or might be 49 1/2 inches. Could not take chance. Only 3 brow points.
Wow, what an awesome hunt...sounds like its one of many for you! Congrats!
My hat is off to you sir,incredible hunt and congrats !!!!
Mike congrads great read. That little fence tester you need is your finger!!
OK, I got you Oldgoat. After the pack out, my air mattress sprung a leave and I woke every 2 hours to laying on the flat ground while all my muscles ached. A little shock therapy might have done me some good. Ha!
Mike...great story and outstanding accomplishment. I'm proud to call you a friend. Next time we're in the same locale...I'm buying a round!
I admire how and why you hunt. I read your book often. Congratulations!
Yey Mike, I just sent my Big Agnes air mattress (4 years old) back to the company because of a small leak. I had to reflate it during the night this elk season. They are sending me a replacement.
You might try the same.
I really enjoyed your adventure. Solo hunting being spiritual.---Right on.
My best, Paul
Thanks Paul. I will do that. I checked for leaks a little before I packed, but did not submerge in water.
Kevin- Your experience this past season has many more wrinkles in it than mine. I will be all ears. Ha!
GBTG- and all others- I am pleased you can connect with my book.
Herd: I really like that you called your hunt a "solo" hunt! That is spectacular! Big bears, big moose and big whitetails! Rock on sir!