Garmin Xero Bow Sight
Bucket List Bull
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
writer 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
hunt'n addict 26-Sep-14
t-roy 26-Sep-14
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t-roy 27-Sep-14
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t-roy 27-Sep-14
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JW 27-Sep-14
t-roy 27-Sep-14
tribute4811 27-Sep-14
Bou'bound 27-Sep-14
Aubs8 27-Sep-14
XMan 27-Sep-14
carcus 27-Sep-14
Beav 27-Sep-14
Stekewood 27-Sep-14
nockup 27-Sep-14
sticksender 27-Sep-14
dgb 27-Sep-14
BOWNBIRDHNTR 27-Sep-14
mixed bag 27-Sep-14
hunt'n addict 27-Sep-14
Hawkeye 27-Sep-14
Mike Ukrainetz 27-Sep-14
t-roy 27-Sep-14
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petemc 27-Sep-14
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Fields 27-Sep-14
MDW 27-Sep-14
John Haeberle 27-Sep-14
drycreek 27-Sep-14
Trial153 28-Sep-14
Eddie Bauer 28-Sep-14
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Stayfit 28-Sep-14
Charlie Rehor 28-Sep-14
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weekender21 29-Sep-14
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Mark Watkins 29-Sep-14
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Deacon Dave 29-Sep-14
mnbowhunter 30-Sep-14
t-roy 30-Sep-14
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orionsbrother 01-Oct-14
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TODDY 01-Oct-14
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jdee 02-Oct-14
t-roy 03-Oct-14
t-roy 03-Oct-14
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Inshart 03-Oct-14
t-roy 03-Oct-14
Kdog 06-Oct-14
Zim1 29-Nov-14
TREESTANDWOLF 29-Nov-14
Medicinemann 29-Nov-14
deerslayer 29-Nov-14
Cornfed 77 30-Nov-14
Shug 30-Nov-14
t-roy 30-Nov-14
Rayzor 30-Nov-14
blindgood 01-Dec-14
HunterTroy 14-Jul-15
loesshillsarcher 14-Jul-15
OFFHNTN 14-Jul-15
From: t-roy
26-Sep-14
What's the difference between a fairy tale & a hunting story?

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14
A fairy tale starts out "Once upon a Time" & a hunting story starts out "No Chit this really happened!"

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
This story is a little long winded, so I will apologize in advance but I think you will enjoy it, so here goes.

Ever since I was a young boy, I have always dreamed of killing a big moose. My Dad took us hunting a lot, but I think the burning passion that I have for hunting was ignited by the stories that I had read in the magazines like Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream & others in the late 60s & into the 70s. Growing up, my favorite author was Russell Annabel & some of my favorite stories were about moose hunting.

Like most midwest kids that showed an interest in hunting & trapping, I started out on small game & eventually graduated to turkeys & deer. As I got older & took up bowhunting exclusively, elk, antelope & mule deer were added to the list. Eventually, as my financial situation improved, I was finally able to pursue my lifelong goal of moose hunting, & since I have bow hunted exclusively (except varmints) since 1984, it had to be with a bow.

My first foray into moose hunting was done in Ontario.... I didn't SEE a moose! The second trip was to Quebec & I was actually able to call in a decent bull to within 40 yards, however, all that I could see was his head & the top of his back, but I was hooked! It was incredible to listen to that bull crashing through the brush, grunting with each step as he came to the call!

N.W. BC was my next destination to try & check off the top animal on my bucket list. I have read on here & other places about guys bringing along a rifle on their bow hunts "just in case".

About halfway into my BC hunt I had the opportunity to take a HUGE bull legally with the guide's rifle, but could not bring myself to do it. That bull was easily 65''+ & he was at 122 yards (ranged). My guide told me that bull was the biggest bull that he had ever seen in his area & he had been guiding there for over 15 years. Another somewhat well known bowhunter actually killed a bull in this same concession that tied the existing world record. (Canada subspecies). I still have no regrets about not using the rifle on that bull, but I do have nightmares about it occasionally!

I ended up killing a small bull on that trip, calling him in. That trip was a horseback trip & it was an amazing experience, but my bucket list goal still had not been achieved. Here's a pic of that bull. Sorry about the poor pic.

From: writer
26-Sep-14
Love these dream-come-true stories.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. After years, then months, then weeks of planning, packing & shooting, the day finally had arrived. After flying into Fairbanks & a night in the motel I met up with Stan Parkerson of Denali Hunts, as well as Bruce, my guide for the trip. It was also nice to meet up with a couple of fellow Bowsiters as well. Anna & Marvin Whitehead from Kansas (MDW) were hunting with Stan as well. Anna had won the Grizzly/Moose hunt that Stan had donated to this past P&Y Convention.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Here's a pic of the group from left to right: Marvin, myself, Anna & Stan.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
My guide, Bruce.

200 lbs. of "Twisted steel & sex appeal!" His words, not mine!

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
A couple pics of the flight in.

26-Sep-14
I guess I will be up late tonight as long as you keep it coming T-Roy! Looking forward to it.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
After landing & getting camp set up, I got unpacked, shot a few arrows & got things ready for the next day's hunt.

Here's a few pics of camp.

The front entrance & foyer.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The master bedroom

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
the dining room/kitchen

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The next morning dawned clear & cold as we motored up the river several miles & began our float back downstream, calling every 1/2 mile or so at some very promising looking spots.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
A view of the river the first morning.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The river itself actually reminded me a lot of the Des Moines River that flows by my house back home in Iowa. The mud/silt banks & the gravel bars are very similar. Not all all what I expected. The trees, however, were quite different. Willows, Alders & Pines replaced the Soft Maples, Oaks, Walnuts & other hardwoods of home. One constant to both areas were the Cottonwoods.

As we neared camp in the evening, we spotted this cow that seemed to be doing preflight inspections on Bruce's plane. The first day ended pretty uneventfully, with no responses to our calling & no sightings, save for the cow.

Struts.....check!

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Rudders....check!

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The next morning, before leaving camp, I decided to shoot a few practice arrows. I noticed that my arrows were grouping a few inches to the right at 40 yards. I thought that was a little odd so I started checking my bow & sights for anything out of the ordinary & I found that a small sliver on the bottom limb of my bow had separated a little from the rest of the limb!

I immediately stopped shooting my bow & contemplated as to what to do. Being limited on the amount of weight that I could bring in, I had not brought a backup bow plus being left handed reduced my options as well. I decided that the best thing that I could do would be to tape the limb up with electrical tape to keep the sliver from catching on any brush & hope & pray for the best. The bow seemed to be shooting fine other than grouping to the right a few inches at 40yds. I would just not shoot it until I needed to, & hold a little to the left.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
We did not have any luck on Day 2 other than having this small bull cross the river right in front of us at last light. It would be interesting see what this bull grows into in a few years if he survives.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Another pic

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
On Day 3 we again had no success & decided to go back to camp & cut some firewood. While splitting a particularly knotty log, a football sized piece came flying off & struck me in the knee. I thought "what else can happen?" I limped around for a few minutes & fortunately I only bruised my knee & my ego a little bit!

The rest of Day 3 & Day 4 were much the same with no sightings or responses. The full moon & warm temps were not helping things.

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14
On the morning of Day 5, we watched a very nice bull & a cow cross the river upstream from us & disappear into the timber. We slowly motored past them a couple hundred yards & tied off on the bank to go in & make a play for the bull. Sneaking through the tangle of Alders, we tried to find an opening to set up on, but the thick timber was making it very difficult. We finally found a small clearing about 20yds. across & set up there. Bruce began by raking the brush with his oil can call. (He prefers conventional over synthetic). He then threw in a couple of grunts & almost immediately got a response!

The bull grunted back & began thrashing the brush. As Bruce continued raking, the bull began heading our way, raking trees & grunting as he came. He got to within 25yds before I could see any part of him. Even then, it was only flashes of movement through the brush.

As the bull was about to clear the final willow, I drew my bow, & to my relief, it held together with no problems! The bull stopped 2 steps short of clearing the willows. After what seemed like an eternity, he turned to my left and began circling around the other way. As he was about to break into the clearing, I thought to myself "This is finally going to happen!"

From: t-roy
26-Sep-14
Paddlehorn!

The small bull stepped into the clearing & stood there, looking at me. As I let my bow back down, he lingered a few seconds longer & slowly walked back into the brush. We continued calling but got no other responses. At least we had a little action!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
We had no luck on Days 6 & 7, but Bruce kept assuring me that "they are going to turn on any day now!"

Floating down the river at first light on Day 8, we stopped to call at an old burn that had begun to grow back. Sneaking into the burn about 200yds, we stood quietly & listened for a few minutes like we had done at every other stand.

"Unkwa" (not sure if that is the proper spelling) A bull was farther back in the burn grunting repeatedly! As we stood there, we heard a cow bawl a couple of times as well as the bull's repeated grunts.

GAME ON!

We made our way closer to their location as quietly as we could, found a decent spot to set up & began calling, with Bruce about 50yds behind me. The bull responded quickly to our calls & I could tell that he was coming as Bruce moved even farther behind me.

Dozing headlong through the willows, the bull pushed his way into a partial clearing followed by the cow. It was then that I got my first look at him & he was definitely a shooter, maybe 60''. Thrashing the willows, he pushed his way out farther into the burn until he has about 50-60yds away, however, there was always too much brush in the way for a shot. The bull then circled to my right, with the cow in tow,raking the brush as he went. He was putting on quite a show! Finally, he just stopped & stood there looking in Bruce's direction. Bruce tried to piss the bull off as much as he could, but the bull was not buying any of it. He stood there for another 5 minutes or so, and simply turned & walked away.

What an incredible encounter that had been! Although disappointed in not getting a shot, I finally had a front row seat to to view something that I had only dreamed about or watched on videos!

As we walked back to the boat, Bruce asked me what I was grinning about. I looked back at him & quoted one of his signature lines that he used often during the trip....."I'm just livin the dream baby!"

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
We finished Day 8 without any more action & as Day 9, the final full day of hunting dawned, I started out full of optimism that maybe they were starting to "turn on" as Bruce had put it.

We floated downriver part of the day with nothing to show for it, so we decided to motor upstream past camp a couple of miles to hit some of the better looking spots for the evening hunt.

Late in the day, we got a bull to respond but he would not come in. We floated down to the the next spot known as "The Mudhole".

There were several stands that had nicknames that we hunted during the week's hunt.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
"The Barbershop Pole"

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
"The Choir Pit"

Doesn't this place just scream 'moose"?

This spot used to be called "#17" but I changed it to the Choir Pit because when you walk into the clearing, you expect to hear angels singing!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
"Cow Creek"

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
"Clear Creek"

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Anyway, back to the "Mudhole"

Bruce started his routine & a few minutes into it, a bull responded & it sounded like he was coming! He thrashed the trees & grunted, getting closer & closer. Then, for some reason, the bull just quit. Nothing Bruce tried would get a response. Bruce thought that it sounded like the bull was across the river from us when he stopped grunting. We snuck through the willows to the edge of the river & there he stood, on the sandbar across the river from us, looking in our direction.

He was a nice bull, probably 53'' with 4 points on his left brow, & I would have been very happy to take him, but he would have none of it. He finally turned & trotted across the river upstream from us & ran into the trees. It is amazing how much noise they make going through the trees. We were not sure why he wouldn't come any farther, but perhaps it was the boat in the water.

We headed back to camp in the fading light, knowing we didn't have much more time to make it happen.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The final morning had arrived & I have to admit that I was running a little low on optimism by this time, but Bruce said "Today's the day!" Stan would not be in to pick me up until 3 PM so we had most of the morning to make it happen.

We first floated down to the "Burn" where we had the great encounter with the bull on Day 8. Slipping quietly into the burn, we heard a bull grunting from the same place as before! We moved quickly to set up on the bull & got a few grunts back but that was it. Being the last day, we decided to try & get very aggressive with him by going directly towards him after he quit responding, but he had slipped out the back of the burn without us ever getting a glimpse of him.

This is a view of the river as we floated towards "The Burn"

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
We motored our way back up the river to some of the better looking spots to give them one last try. The first three were busts. Now we were down to only two spots left before we had to head back to camp to pack up & leave.

"The Mudhole" was the next stand & as we silently slipped our way through the willows, I reluctantly resolved myself to the fact that it probably wasn't going to happen this year. We took our positions & Bruce began with some raking. He paused a few moments & began raking again.

Crack!

Bruce looked at me with a little bit of a puzzled look. It almost sounded like a rifle shot. A few seconds later, we both heard it.

Unkwa....Unkwa

The calls came from downriver, but on the same side as where we were located. Bruce responded with more raking & threw in a couple of grunts. The bull began working over some trees as well as grunting occasionally. I slipped over to the edge of the oxbow where I had a totally unobstructed view should the bull come our way.

And here he came! At first, I could not see him, but I was having no problems keeping track of his progress. He would grunt every other step & continued his assault on the trees.

I Finally got my first look at him as he was coming through the Pines. What a sight! Taking slow, methodical steps, he finally made his way to the edge of the oxbow & stopped about 60yds away, surveying the situation.

He stopped in between the 2 biggest pines in the middle of the pic.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Bruce renewed his attack on a willow bush & threw in a few more grunts as well. That did it! The bull slowly started across the clearing, his eyes rolled back in his head, swaying from side to side, grunting with each step! He was angling slightly away from me which put him almost perfectly broadside to my position. I ranged him at 50yds & by the time I drew my bow, I figured that he should be at 40yds. I put the 40yd pin on him & released.

This is the oxbow that he walked across. You can barely see his tracks in the mud.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
The arrow hit a bit low but still looked good. He took off across the oxbow & up onto the slight rise that Bruce & I were on, almost running Bruce over in the process! He continued across the rise about 20 yds & over into another old oxbow full of grass that was over 6' tall in much of it. He went about 70 yds out into the grass & stopped.

I snuck over to Bruce's position & I could see the bull standing in the tall grass, quartering away, most of his body obscured by the grass. We watched him for a moment, waiting for him to go down. After about a minute, I decided that since he was still standing & I already had 1 arrow in him, I would shoot again. After ranging him at 70yds, I put the corresponding pin where I thought it needed to be & released. The arrow hit a little high but hit him in the near lung.

The bull took off again, running another 150 yds or so before stopping again in the tall grass tussocks. We watched as he stood for a few moments more before bedding down. His antler tops were barely visible above the grass, & we could see his rack turning occasionally. After a few more moments, with the bull still alive, we decided to sneak along the backside of the rise we were on & see if I could slip in & finish him off.

After running along the backside of the berm, I got to where I thought the bull was, slipped up onto the rise & worked my way to the edge of the old oxbow. Some willow bushes were blocking the view into the grass, so I had to slip down into it to try & get a visual on him. I must have made a little bit of noise going through the grass because the bull stood up only 15yds from me. It was then that I could hear his labored breathing. The grass was too high for a shot, so I backed up a couple of steps to gain a little elevation. It helped, however, the bull was facing me & I still could not see his shoulder. Finally, he turned broadside so I picked a spot & released... I hit him squarely in the shoulder! He kicked his hind leg but did not bolt. I knocked another arrow, held a little farther back, shot again & hit both lungs.

The bull took off back up onto the rise, almost running Bruce over again! Seeing Bruce, the bull veered to the left & ran by me at 15yds. I had knocked yet another arrow, So I shot again, hitting him through both lungs, again.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
I know I will probably get a lecture from somebody about all of those shots & maybe deservedly so, however, I would much rather have a dead moose with 5 holes in him than no moose with 1 hole in him. Also, when I gutted the bull, all 5 shots were in the ribcage ahead of the diaphragm. The first arrow that hit low actually hit both lungs but the right lung was only nicked. It was a complete passthrough. The second arrow hit high in the the left lung only. The third hit the shoulder but actually penetrated into the left lung. The fourth & fifth arrows hit both lungs & both were passthroughs. All shots entered on his left side.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The bull ran along the edge of the oxbow towards an old beaver pond. Bruce & I watched as he slowed to a stopped & began the sideways shuffle! One to the left, two to the right. The only problem was that he was taking more steps to the right than he did to the left! He finally went down but continued thrashing & by the time he finished, this is where he ended up! The entire time that we watched him run towards the pond, Bruce kept crying "not in the water!"

There could not have been two more opposite looks on each of our faces; mine of exhilaration & Bruce's of horror!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
After a few backslaps & handshakes (I don't do fist bumps or hugs except with my wife. She insists on fist bumps for some reason!) we walked down to take a look at the object of what I had dreamed of for 40 + years.

I looked at Bruce & asked him if he was still "Livin the dream"? He said "yeah, but today it's going to be a nightmare''!

We notched my tag, took a bunch of pics, then tried to figure out how we were going to get this beast out of the water. We finally just dragged him up as high as we could get him & removed the hind quarter, shoulder, loin, neck meat & as much other meat as we could get off of his left side. We then gutted him, got the tenderloin, & cut the hide covering the ribs & hind qtr. off to lighten him up as much as possible.

Here are a few pics

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
You can see the oxbow as well as the berm or rise in this photo. The tall grass oxbow is on the other side of the rise.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
After getting his left side done & gutting him, we floated him down the pond about 20' to a little better spot to try & get him up on dry ground. We got him facing headfirst towards the shore, then we would push his palms as far forward as we could, push them down into the mud, then we got behind his palms & pushed forward, using his rack like a fulcrum to kind of lever him out of the water. Inching ahead 6'' at a time, we finally got the rest of his body up on dry ground. A come along sure would have been nice! By the time we had accomplished all of this, it was close to 2:30PM & Stan was supposed to arrive around 3. We decided that we had better take the shoulder & the hind quarter back to the boat & head back to camp.

Shouldering our packs & struggling to our feet,we headed towards the river. Fortunately, the 500yd pack back to the boat was relatively clear of any obstacles except for the final 100yds where we had to deal with the tall grass tussock humps & some willows near the river. Compared to some of the stuff that we were in during the hunt, it could have been much worse!

Here's where we finally got him up on dry ground.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
We carefully made our way down the the river bank to the boat with our packs, loaded them & headed back to camp. Arriving back at camp, I hurriedly packed my gear, took a quick bath, & grabbed a bite to eat while we waited for Stan's arrival. I was a little disappointed in the fact that I was not going to get to share in the entire experience of packing my bull out, including carrying out the antlers, but I understood Stan's tight schedule as well.

Headed for camp.

From: JW
27-Sep-14
Great job t-roy! Awesome pics and write up! I'm sure recap this hunt in Africa in less than a year! Great looking bull!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
Thanks JW. Congrats on your goat! Yeah, it's coming up pretty quickly.

I'm done for the night but i'm going to try & finish tomorrow.

It gets even better!

Like the infomercial says "but wait, there's more"!

From: tribute4811
27-Sep-14
Congrats. What a story. Great job..

From: Bou'bound
27-Sep-14
what a story what a bull what an adventure.

nothing better than last minute success.

no surprises, though, that it happened with stan's outfit. he is best in class.

From: Aubs8
27-Sep-14
Great job! Congratulations!

From: XMan
27-Sep-14
troy,

Congratulations man, that is one heck of a bull! Awesome story as well, look forward to reading the end of your hunt. Thanks for sharing.

XMan

From: carcus
27-Sep-14
Awesome story, awesome moose!

From: Beav
27-Sep-14
Can't wait for the rest! This has been awesome, congratulations!

From: Stekewood
27-Sep-14
Great story and phenomenal bull. Congratulations!

From: nockup
27-Sep-14
What was your bow poundage, arrow wt., and broadhead type?

From: sticksender
27-Sep-14
Beautiful bull & congratulations on your success. Those pitchfork fronts are fantastic.

No doubt it was gratifying to have milked every last day out of this hunt, and then ultimately score on a true whopper right at the wire.

I also give you props for stubbornly sticking to your archery goals in this and your previous attempts. You set a goal, wouldn't compromise, and your payoff finally came. Hard-earned and well-deserved.

From: dgb
27-Sep-14
Very cool! Well done!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
27-Sep-14
I was fortunate enough to get a first hand recap of the hunt from Troy as he gave me a call from his hotel in Fairbanks. Trust me, there is more to come on this great adventure!

Congrats again Troy! It's almost as fun reading the story as it was listening to it!

Jeff

From: mixed bag
27-Sep-14
You just lived my dream for me.A moose has always been #1 on my list.Been the hardest thing ever finding a partner for the trip.Your story was awesome and I could feel the ups and downs of the trip threw it.It had to be totally unreal to finally have it come together in the last hour after all those past trips.Congrats to you and for fulfilling your dream!!

27-Sep-14
Great story. I am looking forward to reading the rest.

From: Hawkeye
27-Sep-14
Well deserved Troy! So happy for you man...cant wait for the rest :)

27-Sep-14
Yes! Great story and really fantastic pictures. The scenery ones are very well composed, I don't think that happened accidentally. Feels almost like being there for the hunt. I too would love to kill a big bull moose! Jealous for sure!!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

nockup: Here you go:

Mathews Switchback XT set at 70lbs.

Carbon Express Maxima Red 350s

Wasp Boss 3blade 100grain b-head

My total arrow weight was right at 400grains.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
It was almost 6PM before Stan & his client for the next hunt arrived. As is often the case, Stan had run into some unforeseen issues that delayed his arrival into camp. We discussed the situation for a bit as to wether to fly back to Fairbanks that evening or not. It was decided that if I could contact my wife on the Sat. phone & she could get my flight changed from the my 1:30AM departure to a later time, we would stay in camp & fly out the next morning.

Mission accomplished.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Bruce & I hopped back into the boat & headed back upstream to finished what we had started. Working on dry ground made things go much smoother & we finished the quartering & caping a lot more quickly than while whittling away on him in the water. After a few more trips to the boat, all we lacked was was packing out the cape, the ribs & the antlers. Bruce took the cape & 1 set of ribs & I took the rack & the other set of ribs. I was exhausted by the time we got back to the boat with the final load.

After taking a few final pics & getting everything loaded, we pointed the heavily laden boat towards camp in the twilight. I couldn't help but crack a huge grin as I reflected on what had transpired over the last 12hrs or so.

As we pulled into camp, I turned to Bruce & quipped "I'm still livin the dream baby"!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: petemc
27-Sep-14
What a fantastic hunt. That's the way to do it - on the last day. I have shot two elk and a moose on the last day and one of them in the last 5 minutes of the hunt. Get all the satisfaction from hunting the whole time and still get to go home with your trophy. Huge Congratulations.

Pete

From: John Scifres
27-Sep-14
Hell of a thread. This is the perfect way to post a hunt. Thank you for the effort and congrats on a dream bull. Moose with bow is my dream hunt.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
It would have made for an even better story if, after going back for the last load, we had to fight off a grizzly that had taken over the cache, using only my trusty Buck knife......me being out of arrows and all;>) But the next twist in the story is not too bad in itself, at least to me.

We had to wait for the morning's fog to burn off & Bruce & his client had long since left on their hunt by the time Stan & I finally got airborne for my flight back to Fairbanks, then home. Before taking off, I called my wife on the Sat. phone & told her that I would contact her as soon as I got into town in about 3hrs.

Stan had a couple of drop camp hunters camped about 25 miles downriver from us & although they had a Sat. phone, Stan had not heard from them in a few days. He decided that we would fly over their camp to check on them from the air. We dropped down low over the camp & after seeing no meat hanging or anything else out of the ordinary, Stan commented that he would stop in & check on them tomorrow.

As we began to gain altitude, Stan asked me if my headset sounded odd. "It all sounded fine to me" I said as we continued to climb, "but I do smell a little smoke or exhaust". We continued on for another minute or so as Stan checked his instruments. Everything was reading normal, but the fumes were beginning to get stronger. Banking hard to the left, Stan muttered something about "better safe than sorry" & headed back towards the drop camp hunter's camp. He put the plane down on the river smoothly, taxied to the bank in front of their camp & secured the plane to shore. When we pulled the cowling off, this is what we found!

From: HuntnBigGame
27-Sep-14
Wow, Great story and congratulations. I can tell you and your guide really hit it off, And his hard effort of sticking it out to the last minute really shows a lot about there outfit. Hopefully he will get to read this, I'm sure he would be proud reliving the hunt again through your words. I actually didn't scan down to see the pic's first, Read everything word for word and I knew with the amount of follow up shots there was going to be a Slammer Moose pic coming soon. Funny I had the same response from my guide as mine moose ran out and sank to the top of his rack. Great hunt again. Thanks for sharing

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The exhaust manifold had cracked in 2! When it fell lower in the engine compartment, it pulled a couple of heater hoses loose & the exhaust fumes were blowing directly in through the vents.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
HuntnBigGame: You are exactly Right about Bruce!

I had an absolute BLAST with him. He is avid bowhunter & trapper as well. His top 2 passions are sheep hunting & lynx trapping. We talked shop all week about trapping & there just might be a lynx trapping adventure in the near future for me!

He made the trip even more enjoyable, always brimming with optimism along with just a hint of snarkyness to spice things up a little.

Not sure about those stretchy pants, though!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Stan had left his Sat. phone at one of his camps for his guide to use so we were without one. About the time we figured out what was wrong with the plane, the drop camp hunters came motoring downriver back to camp. They informed us that their phone had not worked from day 1 at camp! They had used it in Fairbanks & it had worked fine, but it would not work in the bush for some reason. As we stood on the riverbank, we began weighing our options, which were few. The guys said that another outfitter had flown a group of hunters in a couple of days ago & that they were camped down the river a few miles. Maybe they had a phone we could use.

Here's a pic of the drop hunters.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
There is a gold mine that was about 15 miles from where I was hunting & almost every day we would see a DC6 transport plane flying in fuel & supplies to them. Stan is a part-time pilot for that company. I think the Good Lord was watching over us that day as in the distance we could hear the unmistakeable drone of the DC6 headed towards the mine.

Stan quickly ran back to his plane & got on the radio to contact the pilot. Fortunately, they heard him & banked our way. Stan had them try to contact a good friend of his in Fairbanks & relay what he was going to need to repair the plane. About 10 minutes later, they came back on the radio & informed Stan that they had gotten ahold of Joe & that he would get what we needed & head our way ASAP. As Stan thanked them for all of their help, they decided to give us one parting shot and gave us a flyover about treetop high!

I wish that I could figure out how to attach the video. It was awesome!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
After getting the exhaust manifold taken off the engine, we had little to do but wait for the NAPA truck to show up, so we kicked back up against a log & got a chance to get to know each other a little better. With his extremely tight schedule, Stan doesn't get to visit with his clients as much as he would like to. We had a great conversation while waiting for Joe's arrival.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
It was almost 6PM by the time Joe arrived with the needed parts. The DC6 pilot forgot to tell him our location, so Joe assumed that we were at the original camp, not 25 mile downriver! He said that he had been flying for a half hour looking for us. They worked feverishly at getting the manifold replaced & everything hooked back up & ready to go. I helped where I could, which isn't saying much. They kept glancing at their watches to see if we would still have time to make it back to Fairbanks before dark.

NAPA truck

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Joe to the rescue!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Working on the plane

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14
After putting the cowling back on, Stan told me to hop in with Joe in case he had any issues with his plane. That way Joe could still get me back to Fairbanks & Stan could land at one of his camps & have access to a Sat. phone if necessary. Joe & I took off & soon Stan was airborne as well. About 2hrs into the flight, Joe was checking his fuel gauges & informed me that we were going to be a little tight, but we should be fine on fuel. The extra 30 minutes he had spent looking for us had burned quite a bit of fuel. Shortly after, Stan radioed that he was probably going to be a little short on fuel & that he was going to have to land on one of the lakes where they have fuel stashed, & pick up another 10 gallons or so just to be safe.

As we neared Fairbanks, it was well past sunset & Joe said that it might be a little tricky landing on the float pond where they dock their planes because there are no landing lights! I thought "the way this trip had gone, that's just par for the course"! We could see the lights from Fairbanks on the water a little bit & Joe made a smooth landing without a hitch. Stan came in about 20 minutes later & landed ok as well. We tied the planes down, loaded my gear, grabbed a quick bite at Wendy's & headed to the motel.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
During the trip, we only saw one other person on the river.

Hog River Gary lives off the grid & we would see him early every morning motoring downriver & then again late in the afternoon headed back upriver. We heard him shoot quite a few times during the trip, possibly hunting ducks & grouse. We determine that he was also beaver trapping as we witnessed several snares & a few Conibears set at the river's edge. There were a ton of beaver on the river.

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
In closing, I would have to say that I couldn't have imagined a much more exciting adventure than what this trip turned out to be. I can't thank Stan & Bruce enough for all of their help in making my bucket list goal a reality & providing me with a one of those "Crap that ain't nothun" kinds of stories to boot!

I'm already in for 2016, this time for a drop camp hunt with my best friend. Who knows, we may even come up with story to top this one!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Most of all, I want to thank my wife for all of her love, support, logistical help & for her patience. Thanks, Sunshine!

Brownie points!

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
A couple more pics from the trip

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

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t-roy's embedded Photo

From: t-roy
27-Sep-14

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t-roy's embedded Photo

From: petemc
27-Sep-14
Troy, Thanks so much for sharing your story. A bucket list hunt for sure.

From: TrapperJack
27-Sep-14
Awesome story Troy, one that needs to be in the magazines as it shows the true meaning of hunting! Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us.

From: Hawkeye
27-Sep-14
Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

From: Jack Harris
27-Sep-14
That is simply amazing! Congrats. I am gonna read all of this when I have more time.

From: Bou'bound
27-Sep-14
excellent. I told you stan was best in class............

From: Fields
27-Sep-14
Awesome is right..... Congrats..

From: MDW
27-Sep-14
Troy, we got to parts of your story whenever Stan stopped by. It's great to hear it all at once. Great Bull, congratulations!!

From what I heard, only one other bull was taken. Couple hit but not recovered and one miss.

Moose just would not play by the rules for Anna. Like you, her last day was the best. The guide got two bulls into about 150 yards, before a cow lured them both away.

Again, great story and congratulations!!

27-Sep-14
Wow. Just "Wow" ... what a trip to remember.

From: drycreek
27-Sep-14
Hawkeye X 2

From: Trial153
28-Sep-14
amazing trip!

From: Eddie Bauer
28-Sep-14
Great story! Thanks for posting. Congratulations on a fine Moose.

From: Drahthaar
28-Sep-14
What an AWESOME Adventure,with a AWESOME story. thank's for taking us along. Forrest

From: stealthycat
28-Sep-14
I'd have done exactly the same and kept putting arrows into that trophy - GREAT BULL

I'm gradually getting more and more the desire to moose hunt someday

From: Stayfit
28-Sep-14
What a great experience! Excellent write-up and pics!

28-Sep-14
Very cool! Thanks for taking the time to post! C

From: Gaur
28-Sep-14
great story and nice bull. congrats

From: Mark B
28-Sep-14
WOW!! What a great story that keeps getting better with every post. Awesome moose, every time you look at that mount it will bring a smile and laughter. This whole adventure is the ultimate bucket list fulfillment, and a story that will be retold many, many times.

Congrats again!!

From: BO-N-ARO
28-Sep-14
What a great hunt and write up! Congrats on a wonderful bull!!!

From: weekender21
29-Sep-14
Congrats!

From: elmer@laptop
29-Sep-14
Wow, what an adventure!

From: Herdbull
29-Sep-14
T-Roy , Well done. I hope you can catch your breath now. Alaska can take your breath away! Mike

From: Mark Watkins
29-Sep-14
Great bull, great write up and pics!!! Very well done!

Mark

From: BOWUNTR
29-Sep-14
That was awesome. .. congratulations. Ed F

From: Deacon Dave
29-Sep-14
Yep! You killed a big moose. Thanks for sharing. Sure beats the paper magazines.

From: mnbowhunter
30-Sep-14
Awesome story t roy and congrats on a nice bull . MMoose has been on my bucket list

From: t-roy
30-Sep-14
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

mnbowhunter, They make me stutter too!!! ;>)

I'll be headed up to the Twin Cities on Thurs. morning to pick up meat, cape & rack from Charlie with Alaska Meat Express. I called Charlie on Sept. 16th (the day I shot my bull) from camp on the Sat. phone, told him I had a moose & to save me a spot. I'm glad that I did.

I contacted him again on the 18th, right before I flew out of Fairbanks & he said " Ive got some good news, some bad news, & some good news"!

I thought "Oh no, what now"!

He told me "the good news is that I have a full trailer, the bad news is I have had to turn a bunch of guys away & the other good news is that you are not one of them"!

Charlie said that he felt really bad about turning those guys away but he says he has to take them first-come-first-served. He is talking about doing 2 trailers in the future.

From: SDHNTR(home)
30-Sep-14
Wow! What a thread. Loved it. Quite the adventure you had. Lifelong memories for sure! Congrats on a great bull.

30-Sep-14
Cool that you got to meet so many Interior Alaska outdoor "legends" on one trip! Bruce, Stan P, Joe Mattie, Hog River Gary....

Sorry I missed you!

Pete

From: wild1
30-Sep-14
Great read, great bull, and great adventure - it's on my list too!! Congratulations!!

01-Oct-14
Troy - What a great hunt and fantastic write up! Phenomenal pictures too! I want to go right now!

From: Bigpizzaman
01-Oct-14
CONGRATS! The Heartache of Bowhunting! But at only 122 yards seems like you could make that with a TBM set-up! LOL

From: Fulldraw
01-Oct-14
Great story...I hope live live out this hunt someday as well..

From: maxracx
01-Oct-14
Troy, I have been waiting to hear about your trip. Congrats on an awesome moose and an incredible experience. I can't wait to meet up with you and see and hear your story again in person. Thanks again for sharing.....Maxracx

From: TODDY
01-Oct-14
Congratulations and well documented! TODDY

From: trkyslr
02-Oct-14
Congrats on. A great trip!

02-Oct-14
Great story!

Thanx and grats!

From: arctichill
02-Oct-14
Loved it!!! It's on my bucket list also. I would be elated to have half the experience you did! I've had enough Alaskan float plane "excitement" already. Lol

From: jdee
02-Oct-14
A great adventure for sure. Congrats.

From: t-roy
03-Oct-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Picked up my meat, cape & rack on Thursday in Minneapolis. Everything went smoothly. Charlie Had a full load when he left Alaska. He was about halfway done when I met up with him.

He had to turn away a bunch of guys cause he was full. He's looking at going with 2 trucks next year.

I had no problems with Charlie. He was very good at returning my calls.

From: t-roy
03-Oct-14
Here is his phone number.

His website is alaskameatexpress.com

From: t-roy
03-Oct-14

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Oops! forgot the pic!

From: Inshart
03-Oct-14
GREAT STORY - INCREDIBLE PHOTO'S - What's the scoop on your bow?

From: t-roy
03-Oct-14
Bob, I took my bow in to the shop, called Mathews & they sent new limbs. Back up & running again!

I don't know for sure how long the limb was like that, but I don't think it was messed up till I got to Alaska. Sure glad it held together!

From: Kdog
06-Oct-14
Wow, that is quite an adventure! Congrats, that is one heck of a moose too.

Kevin

From: Zim1
29-Nov-14
Your trip had all the ingredients I love to qualify it as a true adventure. Reminded me of my 2012 New Hampshire moose hunt featuring the chainsaw winch massacre! :)

These bumps in the road definitely make it all the more memorable. Congrats on a great last minute bull.

29-Nov-14
Way to go ! Don't know how I miss d this but I'm glad it made it back to the top.

This hunt truly had a little bit of everything and is as real as it gets.

Congrats on a fine trophy.

From: Medicinemann
29-Nov-14
Outstanding adventure...great story telling.

A year or two from now (assuming that you have your bull mounted with a shoulder mount), you are going to lose track of the number of times that you stare at it, and reminsce about this adventure....and archiving on Bowsite is a great idea as well!!

From: deerslayer
29-Nov-14
That's awesome. Thank you for the story and pictures! Congrats on your accomplishment.

From: Cornfed 77
30-Nov-14
Congrats on your Bull, and thank you for sharing you experience with all of us!

What is the next bucket list animal you plan on hunting?

Good luck.

From: Shug
30-Nov-14
Great stuff...congrats

From: t-roy
30-Nov-14
Jake,

He's at the taxidermist already. Hopefully will be done by Christmas! Hope my neck doesn't get too sore from looking up at it!!

Cornfed,

Hopefully a bull for my best friend in 2016 on our drop camp hunt. 2 bulls would be even better!

Probably muskox for me in 2017 maybe.

From: Rayzor
30-Nov-14
Awesome!

From: blindgood
01-Dec-14
Awesome story!! Moose is on my bucket list too. Congrats

From: HunterTroy
14-Jul-15
Inspiring story !!!! Would love to see a pic of the mount

14-Jul-15
Great story. I missed it originally. Congrats

From: OFFHNTN
14-Jul-15
GREAT THREAD! I realized I was in BC on a goat and elk hunt when this was posted and missed it till now! CONGRATS on an awesome hunt! Thanks for sharing!

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