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Trying to swing a shed hunting trip up to Northwest Ontario this spring. Looking for any tips on what to look for in winter moose habitat. Sounds like they have may have wintering areas similar to deer. The owner of the camp we fish out of seems to find a few, but their idea of shed hunting is riding wheelers down old trails. I'm used to big woods deer shed hunting so not afraid of walking. Any tips or techniques greatly appreciated.
All of my moose sheds have just been dumb luck I guess. I usually find 5 or 6 a year flying around. Most of the ones I have found have been in open areas but that is only because I am 500’ up and traveling over 100mph.
If I was in the walking mood I would walk around the edges of bogs but be prepared to walk a ton. Moose density is probably a lot less than white tails where you are from.
I would concentrate on willow thickets since that is a primary winter food source.
Moose sheds have all been random for me. Never specifically gone after them. I've found em when trying to find whitetail sheds down on the river bottoms and I've found em up high looking for elk sheds. Too few and far between to target them in my neck of the woods. They sure are fun to pick though. Good luck.
A common moose density is 1 moose per square mile...shed hunting will certainly be challenging.
Some guys around here (Colorado) have already been finding some nice sheds, but they are in the backcountry on snowmobile trips- it's fairly easy to follow fresh tracks in deep snow. odds are fairly low. The edge of timber like most shed hunting is more probable than out in the woods or brush.
"A common moose density is 1 moose per square mile...shed hunting will certainly be challenging."
Twice as likely to find a shed as the bull!
I was going to say what Korey said. Low density makes moose "shed hunting" really more like walking and hoping to find one. I'd much rather be fishing than sweating through willow brush knowing I've got a 1 in a million chance to find a shed. But if you go, have fun :)
Would much rather find them still attached. With a tag in my pocket. Broadside at 20 yards:)
That's how they shed hunt in Maine too. Ride a 4 wheeler down trails and roads as soon as the snow will let you.
Fight to the death.
Fight to the death.
Here’s a couple of nice bulls, you only need a helicopter to retrieve the racks.
Cliffhanger, is that hide or some sort of material around those racks?
Wow, that is an awesome find, cliffhanger! Looks like what’s left of the hide after the wolves cleaned it up.
Im hoping he doesnt respond. Only for the irony...
C'mon, you could have just thrown that 200# load on your daypack and lugged it back to camp.
Willow thickets are the key to winter moose habitat and survival in AK. Not sure what the preferred seasonal habitat is in Ontario. But this little tip might help you to be assured that are on winter range, and not where they commonly hang out in summer.
In summer, moose eat a lot of leaves and their droppings are very similar in consistency to the proverbial "cow patties" of domestic cattle.
But in winter, they feed primarily on twigs and brush. The winter droppings are more pelletized and rather than being loose, they are the consistency of sawdust. (Which of course is exactly what they are...)
So look for areas where the moose droppings are "pellets" or "nuggets" and not so much the patties. That will ensure that you are at least shed hunting in areas where sheds are more likely to be.
Man, I'd find a way to get them out, cut them off the skulls and strap to my backpack. I have carried heavier loads than that, in Ak no less, and for 5 miles, twice in one day. 2 Caribou...boned and packed out.
How long does a moose shed last? We hunted Ontario for deer in about 2010 and the outfitter found a big moose shed. It looked like it was only a couple years old, but the palm was pretty rotted out. It's still in the wife's flower garden and looks about the same just a little greener.
Not sure where in Northwestern Ontario you are heading. Look for 4-8 year old clear cuts or burns where there is good browse. Reason for running trails is covering more ground. That is when I have found the most. And moose use the trails as well. Occasionally stumble on one while hunting walking off trail. May want to look into regulations, a couple years ago I gave one to someone from the States and if I remember right, at that point you could only take one shed antler, but there may be a way around that.
Concentrate your efforts to old burns and high ridges is whats worked for me. The regrowth in the old burn areas provides great winter feed and I find on ridge tops there is less snow as they are more wind swept. less snow makes them feel safer when it comes to predators. "wolves". or thats my theory anyway. lots of walking but it seems once you find a wintering area you will find several sheds. In my experience its also really common to find match sets. They don't like being lop sided. In my picture the front set is a match set as is the back set the back set were dropped off a bull in 2015, I killed him in 2016 and found the 2015 sheds in 2017. the front set is a bull I passed in 2016 and found his sheds in 2017. the middle left one is a bull I have not seen but would like to meet him. ITs a 2016 shed picked up in 2017 and the old one on the middle right is real old. actually drove past it for 2 years in the boat stopped once thinking it was a shed but figured it was just a stick well finally curiosity got the better of me and ill be damned it was a shed.
Very nice Tyler. Great looking bull that you killed.
Is that a bullet hole in that last pair of sheds?
We killed one like that. We think most likely a hole was poked through with willow branches...
I think the hole was from fighting. hard to say the sheds had been there 2 years. but no other hunters in that area at all fly in remote camp. doubt its from a bullet.
"Im hoping he doesnt respond. Only for the irony..."
stick n string ^ this is pure gold! You get my vote for post of the year...