Contributors to this thread:
I've got a moose tag
Just found out I drew a tag to hunt Shiras Moose in Idaho. I was hoping to get a little help from you fellow bowsiters. My question is how do you judge a moose. What kind of things do you look for, (width,points,paddles) Any help you could give me would be very much appreciated. Photos would be great too.
What unit/s is your tag for?
I have drawn out in unit 75.
Congrats on the tag. I had the same question last year. Lots of video and data on the internet on moose in Canada and Alaska, not so much on Shiras.
I picked up a copy of the latest 2 yr (2007-2008) Recording Period at the P&Y convention last year in Denver and tried to figure out what it would take to make book (125).
Very few make it unless they are at least 36" wide. 40" is a safer bet. The paddles need to be at least 8-9" wide, with a fair number (at least 7 or so) scoreable points per antler. A huge factor is to make sure he has at least a double brow tine on each antler. Like any species, symmetry is important.
One other thing. Some bull's antlers grow almost straight out from the skull. Others grow at more of an upwards angle. Obviously, whichever is the case will contribute to how wide the spread.
This is a pic of my bull. For reference, he is 37 1/2" wide. One palm is 8 1/2" and the other is 9 1/4". He has 7 scoreable points per side and has double brow tines per side. He scored 125 2/8 net, so you don't want to go ANY smaller and make the book. Good luck. They are a kick in the pants to hunt. And they are HUGE!
Look for one like this guy.
Here's one I was lucky enough to take in 2008 in WY.
Rob, That is a great looking trophy. Would you mind giving us a couple more pictures at different angles. I'm hoping to draw a tag next year, if Wy. don't change their draw system.
Jason, Very nice bull. Congratulations! Have you had him scored? If so, what did he measure?
Dave my bull scored 137 2/8.
Thanks for all of the replies. One more question. How do you determine the width of a moose? Do you try and go off of the ears like you would a mule deer? Thanks once again.
Thanks Dave. I'll post a couple field pics. Even if this new proposed Alternative System ever gets some legs, it will take a couple years to implement it I would think.
twofingers...I'm sure it's possible to judge the width by going off the ears, but the ears were the last thing I was looking at!
You want at least forks up front to help the length of palm measurement, 40+ inches of width, 9 or more points per side, and double digit width of palm. The eyes of a Shiras Moose are about 10" apart. The ears are hard to go by as they are often in different positions. Here is a good bull.
That has to be the widest bull on CO record . . .
Thanks guys for the info. I feel like I am in panic mode and my hunt starts in three months. Its going to be a long summer. Scott that is a awsome bull. Hopefully I could find one like that.
Scott- Can you post some of the numbers on those 2 bulls? I am trying brush up on my scoring for my Wyoming tag.
On the first bull I see 7 points on his right and 9 on the left. Palm length ??? maybe 30 - 34???? Palm width 10-12 Overall width 38-40? Overall 135-145?
That 2nd bull is insane!!! Is that a raffle tag? Has to be 180+ I have geard don't shoot bulls with long points but I think I would make an exception in this case.
Congrats twofingers. After only five years of apps. I drew one also. area 65. I've never danced a jig in front of my computer before. Good luck
Scott, I agree with you somewhat, that is a good bull. If he were mine, he would be a great bull. Congratulations! Have you had him measured and if so, what did he score?
My Colorado Shiras from 2009 - rifle
165 5/8 gross 164 1/8 net
You want at least 2 brows tines - you need this measurement for good paddle length
Lotsa points - [deep top valleys mean a young bull] Points add for each antler
Look at LOTS of moose pics and start thinking about the ones you would shoot and the ones you would pass on.
Sandbrew and Twofingers,
Check out the thread entitled Colorado Moose Pics last posted on Jan. 10 for judging tips.
The archery bull pictured above was taken by Dan Teets in 2008. Barry Smith scored it at about 142 and it is 45 0/8 wide and a 7x10 if I remember correctly. Palm with was just under 10" and the lengths were 26". We try to take bulls with palm width over 10" and palm length approaching the upper 30's if we can but it is hard to turn down a nice bull like Dan's with a bow in a good stalkable position.
The big 57" muzzle bull taken by Armand LaBrucherie was in the 170's. You can read more about this bull and a 180 class and another 170 class bull we took last year in the other thread.
Good luck John. Give me a call sometime if you have more judging questions after looking at the other thread. What WY unit did you draw?
Here's a couple of my 2005 WY bull. 40" wide with a rack that went up and back,good palms and 17 points.He scored 144 7/8 with only a single browtine on one side-would have scored quite a bit more if he had two.
Generally they use the width of the head and then start judging with with that. Say the average head width is 15" you would have 15 for the head and then visualize that width on each side of that gives you 15x3=45".
I would say 15" is too much for CO bulls but I will get to measure a few this fall so will have to see.
If you do use 15" for the head, you might be a little off when trying to figure width! My bull is no monster, but he is a mature bull. He's 8" between the ears and the widest part of his head is a little over 10". As others have posted, width is only one part of the equation. So many other factors contribute to overall score. My buddy killed a 40" bull a few years back and he'd be lucky to make 90" gross.
15 is way to wide for head width. I measured quite a few bulls and had guys I know measure their mounted bulls, and the concensus was about 9" from eye to eye. All other judging factors posted here are good to go with. Overall width can make up for paddle width, but it is awful hard to make up for paddle length, and for that you just about have to have split brow tines. Here is a pic of my Washington shiras from 09, he scores mid 150's. If you look at 9" between the eyes and then judge he has twice that on each side of his eyes, you'll come up with 18"+18" pmus the 9" between the eyes. And he measures right at 45" wide.
Congrats on the tag! That's a tough unit to draw. Look forward to seeing the results.
Thanks for the help everyone. Good information keep it comeing.
Good luck on the hunt! This Wyoming moose was 39 1/8" wide,8 points per side & scored 146 5/8 P&Y! At 20 yards I wasn't worried about score,ear size,head size but just that I LIKED him alot & try to shoot straight! David
Guy's, the 15" was just an arbitrary number for demonstration purpose only. That is just the way I new they did it up in Alaska for the 50" min. area's. I can't remember the width they used.
If you use 30" ear tip to ear tip on a shiras you will be within a couple inches on most shiras at least here in MT.
I just measured my Shiras. 24" ear tip to ear tip in relaxed position (on mount).
Great moose pictures and information. My little brother called to tell me he drew a tag in Idaho. last year he drew Utah and shot a small bull hoping for a big one this time around. habujohn
Turk- Cant sat how well it works on a mount. How wide was your bull. Cant see much for the ears ad angle but Id guess him in the 45-46" range or bigger with the flaring tines.
Ive been on 4 shiras hunts here in MT and the 30" on a mature bull has put us within a couple inches each time.
At last scoring he was 47-1/8. I would say that going off that picture you were very close! I know it helps if you can get different looks at a live animal with a good view at the ears.
(I noticed your turkey pictures, have you taken a slam?)
When I was looking at your moose I wanted to say he was pushing 48 since it looked like he had almost an ear in width past his ears on each side. But couldnt really tell with the slight angle. Nice moose where you get him.
Ya Ive got a couple of slams with my shotgun and need an eastern for my archery slam. I really love chasin the thunder chickens.
So how much bigger is a shiras than say a big bull elk?? I understand they are quite a bit smaller than a AK/Youkon, but wondering how much more work a moose out here is over an elk.
Poundage wise I would say not much maybe 100-200#s but they are built alot differently than an elk. The shoulders are massive. The vertebrae at the top of the shoulders are extremely deep, which means big ol' backstraps, that's not to say the hinds are small because they aren't. If you dive in willy nilly you will be done before you even start, but if you have a system down they aren't any worse than a big bull elk. I would sure use the gutless method unless I had a winch, tractor or 10 guys handy :)
Another thing is I would cut them big floppy damn feet of first before I even start breaking them down, they are a pain in the arse!!!!
I did the gutless method on my bull moose and it was slick. I agree, only 100-200lbs more on a bull moose than a bull elk.
Still took 5 hrs and I was less than 1/2 mile from the truck.
A couple hundred lbs is a BIG difference if your packin it out on your back. It becomes more of a difference in direct porportion to the distance you are from the truck too.