After making a few reference calls, I called Mark at BSC and told him I'd take the hunt. The hunt would take place near Cherryville, BC with Sugar Valley Outfitters. (Scott Mackenzie) Since Scott also has a Northern BC hunt area he was busy with, my guide for this hunt would be his brother Sean.
The camp is a very nice cabin on the banks of a stream on Scott's property. I was the only hunter in camp, so I had the place to myself. The setting was breathtaking.
This is the spot the picture the bear would've been had I had all my faculties about me during the encounter. Unfortunatley, my camera remained in my pocket through the whole encounter.
With that said, everyone up there calls them Shiras and Super Slam considers them Shiras. I doubt the moose know about the US/Canada border that seperates the two species in this area. :)
For the evening hunt, Sean decided to focus on an "out of the way" high country meadow they have had some previous success in.
We parked along a high mountain road and made the 1/2 mile walk straight down a steep hill to the meadow below. Sean joked that we'd have no competition here as nobody is crazy enough to pack a moose out of this meadow. We made it through some crazy, thick deadfall to the meadow. It looked like an ideal spot for our 21st calling sequence of the trip. At the request of the outfitter, I will not be putting up a ton of scenery pictures. They need to protect their areas and I don't blame them.
Here was my position in a low dug out along the tree line watching across the meadow.
Not wanting to distract from Kota's great adventure, please continue. I am craving more moose action!
All of a sudden, he appeared almost 200 yards across the meadow. The bull stopped to look around the meadow to see if he could locate the lovesick cow. He almost seemed confused there was no cow in the meadow. From the second he stepped out of the bush and into the meadow, I instantly knew he was a shooter. The bull was swinging his head from side to side and grunting like crazy. Sean gave a couple more grunts and the bull was on a beeline directly at me. I tried to make my 6'2 - 235 lb. frame small by hiding behind my riser, but the bull seemed to be burning a hole right through me as he walked towards me.
In addition, I wasn't sure how I was even going to get my bow drawn on this beast.
And nice bow! Glad to see you made an upgrade since this spring. :)
I picked a spot "in the pocket" just behind his massive front shoulder and told myself "stay away from that shoulder bone".
The arrow was on its way in what seemed like slow motion. I saw the fletching disappear right in the pocket behind his shoulder. As the bull turned and ran off, I could see the arrow dangling from just ahead of his off hip. The arrow had passed almost lengthwise through the bull. I turned and gave the "thumbs up" to Sean, and he immediately let out a call. I turned back around to see the bull stumble and go down. He didn't go 50 yards and died in the middle of the meadow. Sean jumped on me and after a few high fives we walked out to have a look at the bull. He was even bigger than we thought. I could tell by Sean's reaction, this was a great bull for the area. Nice long points, great paddles and almost 50 inches wide.
I looked at my watch and it was 5:20 pm. We had a ton of work ahead of us but took the time for a few pictures before "digging in". I kept looking up the mountain wondering how in the world we were going to get a moose up to the road from the meadow. On the upside, it was a fairly short trip. (about a 1/2 mile) On the downside, most of it was straight uphill, through nasty deadfall. We decided we needed to cape and quarter the bull and make one trip out this evening as this meadow was frequented by grizzly bears and wolves and we didn't want to be packing meat in the dark. We would return in the morning for the rest. We stashed the head, cape and my bow in some deadfall quite a ways from the carcass. We drug the 4 quarters as far away from the carcass as we could and hauled out the backstraps, neck meat and rest of our gear in our daypacks. Hopefully if Mr. Grizz discovered the kill, he'd be content with the carcass until morning.
We spent the next day cutting up moose. The amount of meat yielded from an adult bull moose never ceases to amaze me. Here's a shot of just the front shoulders and neck meat alone!
Though our hunt was tough as far as moose sightings go, Sugar Valley Outfitters has a great area and runs an incredible hunt. If you are looking for an archery Shiras hunt these guys should be at the top of the list. Their success rate remains at or near 100% on these archery rut moose hunts. Sean Mackenzie worked his tail off to get me an opportunity at a moose. He is easily one of the most accomodating guides I've ever had the pleasure to hunt with in camp and in the field. The calling sequence that led to taking this moose is definately one of my most memorable hunting situations to date. I mean I get pretty excited when I call in a coyote, but a 1000 lb. moose is a whole different program!
Nice work, Congrats!
Best Wishes, Jeff
Ha!! Boring? I knew this was going to be good! Congratulations! Great warrior bull!
"Sean has a good friend he calls when he needs a hand packing."
I don't think it'll do any good to call casual friends to pack a moose up a mountain through deadfall.
I helped a great 64 year old trad couple this year who each had Shiras cow tags. When scouting this summer, I explained to them that they wanted to A) shoot them near a road or ATV trail, and B) NOT shoot them in a swamp or pond.
Thankfully they obliged on both requirements! When the first one hit the ground and they walked up to it, they understood the reason for my guidance....
How big were your coolers and how many did it take to put the whole animal in them?
I have two large coolers but I have been thinking about getting a third one.
IME, it takes 2 150 quart coolers to hold a shiras (bone in, or mostly in - can't close the lid without "adjusting" the leg bones). We have gotten between 300-350 lb. of cut/wrapped from ours.
Good luck, Robb
To answer the question of if grouse thump in the fall, yes they do when they hit ground after a charge of #8's catches up with them.
Im glad everything turned out alright with the Grizzly. I cant imagine how I would have felt finding out after that fact that he had been stalking us. From that point on I would have been looking behind me every few yards and not concentrated on the hunt at hand. You got nerves of steel! Way to get it done.
I don't think he'll score real well and I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with calling him a Shiras whether a DNA test says so or not. So for now, I will probably forego the scoring and the test. If I change my mind when he shows up at my house, I will post the results here.
Gear recap coming...
I think our wives are starting to catch on to our verbiage! Ha! Cant fool them for long!
Stalked by a grizzly for 3 miles AND shooting a 50" moose at 30 yards with nothing separating you but swamp grass......adrenal overload!!!...all in 5 days!
For what it is worth....my vote would be to have him both scored and DNA tested!
Congrats again and bring on the gear review!
Mark...My wife gave up trying keep track of my adventures long ago. Now, she just asks "when" and "where" and for how long.
Like I told Charlie, when the moose "comes home", I will get him scored and take it from there.
I shot a Hoyt Nitrum Turbo on this hunt. 29@62 lbs casting a 467 grain Easton FMJ Carbon Injexion 289 fps. The arrow was footed with a VPA CTR Punch Line footing for strength, tipped with a vented 100 grain VPA 3 blade broadhead. I'm still not sold on the Turbo as the draw is AGGRESSIVE even on the 60 lber. and I don't really enjoy shooting the bow. It may go down the road but for this hunt the combination provided great speed and KE. After some initial concerns the revamped arrow (see Carbon INjexion thread) arrow did it's job. Not sold on the Skinny Carbon D6 combo at this time either. However, after passing through a moose almost lengthwise, the arrow and broadhead spin and look like new. Jury is still out on this whole set up.
I took two packs on this trip. A Sitka Flash 20 daypack and a Mystery Ranch Marshall load hauler. I'm a big fan of Sitka daypacks. They are light, fairly comfortable, very functional and will get your first load out with no problem. The MR Marshall is a workhorse that will haul a volkswagon if you need to. MR packs are bombproof but a little on the heavy side. They will never replace my beloved Kifaru Mountain Warrior but it did the job on this hunt.
My boots on this hunt were a bit "overkill". I wore Lowa Hunter Extremes. They were a bit warm for these warm weather conditions, but worked great in the wetlands, bog, deadfall and climbing through clear cuts. Lowa continues to be my boot of choice as most models fit like they were designed for my foot. As a sidenote, prior to flying out a picked up a pair of Under Armour "Fat Tires" to use as a casual hiking boot and they are by far the most comfortable set of footwear to ever grace my feet. Check them out the next time you get a chance. I couldn't not buy them once I tried them on.
My clothing for this hunt was the Sitka Gear EV2 whitetail line of clothing. I LIVED in the Fanatic Lite Hoodie on this hunt. In fact, I hardly took it off. What a great versatile piece of clothing. For pants I wore the STratus pants on two cooler mornings, the Equinox pants on a warmer morning and for the pack out, and the Downpour pants on the rainy, wet foggy day we encountered. Though I was impressed with all three pairs of pants, the Downpour set really impressed me the most. Fairly quiet for rain gear, fairly breathable and they kept me dry and comfortable all day. Though not the most packable rain gear around, this set is quiet and keeps you dry.
I wore the Fanatic Lite Jacket and STratus Jacket while glassing a couple cool mornings. Both appear to be well though out, great bowhunting jackets, however, there was not much need for a jacket on this hunt.
For baselayers, I wore the new Sitka Pyrolene odor free pieces and like on my sheep hunt they performed as advertised. I'm a big fan of pyrolene and find myself wearing less and less merino wool.
I can't end this thread without mentioning the horrific news I received while on this hunt. I was shocked to hear the passing of friend and my brown bear guide Roy Roth. I spent 8 days with Roy chasing Brown Bears on the Alaska Range and we remained in touch. Roy was a true predator with a bow and arrow, and one of the best guides I've had the pleasure of hunting with. Roy lived every day like it was his last and went all out at everything he did. A horrible reminder that what we do does have danger, life is precious and we never know what tomorrow will bring. RIP Roy Roth.
Thanks for all the great comments guys. If you haven't done so already, go to Roy Roth's "Go Fund Me" page and make a small donation to the family. Thanks again...
A broken point will not result in a deduction or be offset by the other side as in most antlered deer. I think it will make 125 and quite possible 135 which is the Canadian Moose Minimim.
Having the DNA tested would be a great learning experience for us as to procedures and results. C
Super adventure and for the equipment review. One thing I enjoy about you is you are straight forward and tell it like it is. I think this will go do as one of your most fun hunts and really treasure the way the hunt played out and the results.
Thanks for sharing and taking us along.
Another great testimony of the quality that BSC provides to bowhunters complete with a "cherry on top - discounted."
I too was guided by Roy Roth for browns (2015) and was saddened by his death when I heard about it yesterday. However he packed more into his 20 or so years of Alaska bowhunting adventures than most would in several lifetimes, Blacktail Bob excluded.
Thanks for sharing the hunt with us.
So glad to hear the downed moose survived the night as I bet you had your fingers crossed until you arrived at the site.
My best, Paul
So, as far as P&Y is concerned for now, this is a Canadian Moose whether I get it tested or not. Super Slam considers it a Shiras without testing and B&C would allow it to be tested to determine whether it is a Shiras or Canadian. Crazy...
I'm going to consider it a Shiras Moose and call it "good"...
Super slam, here you come!!!
Just a little clarification on DNA testing. P&Y and B&C use the same testing procedures and lab. Currently there is no DNA test to differentiate between Shiras moose and other moose. I'm being told the research is being done and there may be a Shiras moose DNA test in the near future. P&Y and B&C are on the same page with this.... So Cory, don't throw those antlers away yet. Congrats, Ed F
The moose (Alces alces) is largest member of the deer family. Four subspecies of moose are recognized in North America (perhaps incorrectly so) including Shira’s moose (A. a. shirasi), Eastern moose (A. a. americana), Northwestern moose (A. a. andersoni), and Alaskan moose (A. a. gigas) (Bubenik 2007)
Following are excerpts from the Journal of Mammalogy, 84(2):718-728, 2003
…….Geist (1998) argued, however, that morphological variation in North American moose is clinal and is not a basis for subspecific recognition. Moreover, Cronin (1992) found no variation within North American moose for restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the mitochondrial genome and no support for subspecies. …...
……..Taxonomic implications.-The concept of subspecies is subjective and controversial. Mayr (1970) defined the term subspecies as a group of phenotypically similar populations inhabiting a geographic subdivision of the range of a species. Avise and Ball (1990) adopted a more restrictive definition that requires phylogenetic distinction among subspecies, specifically monophyly. They also emphasized that phylogenetic differences should consist of multiple, independent genetic traits. Moreover, Cronin (1993) argued that designation of subspecies should rely on analysis of multiple criteria rather than merely on analysis of genetic data. ……..
…….Our data indicate a pattern of genetic structure among regional moose populations caused by lack of gene flow and are consistent with some degree of isolation of populations in the past ……..
……………...If rapid evolutionary change derives from dispersal and colonization of new range (Geist 1987b; Hewitt 1996), then the differentiation necessary for subspecies may occur before attainment of reciprocal monophyly for a genetic marker. Although further investigations incorporating nuclear loci, particularly in contact zones, may be necessary to achieve a final conclusion, there is evidence of restriction in gene flow among regional populations of moose in the past, which is consistent with the distribution of 4 subspecies of moose in North America. ……………..
side note. A major reasons Moose populations decline in a specific area taking from another of Giest publications: Geist (1971) recognized two types of moose habitat, permanent and transient. Permanent habitats are those that persist through time and do not succeed to other vegetative communities (Peek 2007). Examples of permanent habitat include riparian and high elevation shrub communities. Annual flooding, avalanches, or timberline conditions help maintain those more permanent moose habitat types. Transient habitat is more common and is usually associated with forest fires and timber harvesting which remove coniferous trees and revert the habitat to 3 early seral stages dominated by shrubs and young deciduous tress. Throughout much of its range in North America, the moose is associated with short-lived subclimax plant communities that follow in the wake of forest fires (Geist 1971). Habitat improvement projects which favor early seral stages and increased shrub growth can be very beneficial to moose.
Back to species ID:
taken from website Mooseman.de.
Stefan Sattler creator of one of the world's most comprehensive Web sites on moose: Mooseman.de.
Moose Species and Population ……..All moose on Earth belong to one species (Alces alces linneaus). (For the scientific classification of the moose in general see the Species link at the bottom of this page.) Looking further at differentiation into sub-species, a point of controversy comes up: below you find the standard classification into a variety of subspecies, as science has defined it.
But newer sources question this classification, the argument being that observed differences in moose can be explained by differences in their environment. On this reasoning there are only two subspecies…… The European/ West Siberian Moose (Alces alces alces) The East Siberian / North American Moose (Alces alces americanus) Only two real sub-species ?
the normal scientific classification of moose is following the habitat and the discoverers. Adopting that point of view, there are four sub-species of Alces Alces in Eurasia and four more in North-America. The differentiation taken by the different discoverers, who named the sub-species, was based on different colours, sizes, antlers. Usually different sub-species are distinguished in their genes, which then justifies an own sub-species.
For the moose the genetic variation is quite little between the sub-species. All modern moose descend from the region of Yakutia / Manchuria in eastern Asia. Differences in genes seem to be more depending on isolation by distance, but not the existence of distinct eastern and western sub-species. Hence, another perception would be more clear from biological point of view: Only two real sub-species The European/ West Siberian Moose (Alces alces alces) The East Siberian / North American Moose (Alces alces americanus
Body size: The body size is mainly dependant on the environment: If the food supply is generous, the animals get bigger. Looking at geographical regions, it can be observed, that moose in the area of the 65th parallel with much and high-quality moose browse reach 550-630 kg, while at the 40th parallel with food not being that perfectly suited moose only reach weights of around 250-350kg. An example: The Alaskan moose is huge, as in that region the flora has long periods of growth from spring to autumn with very long summer-days and cool nights. This leads to above-average photosynthesis and very good nutrient concentration.
Classification/taxonomy Moose are part of the Cervidae family, which includes cervids, caribou, deer, moose and wapiti. The taxonomy of moose, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), is: Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Bilateria Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Infraphylum: Gnathostomata Superclass: Tetrapoda Class: Mammalia Subclass: Theria Infraclass: Eutheria Order: Artiodactyla Family: Cervidae Subfamily: Capreolinae Genus & species: Alces alces, Alces americanus (American moose) Subspecies: Alces alces alces (European elk), Alces alces caucasicus (Caucasian moose — extinct), Alces americanus americanus, Alces americanus cameloides While ITIS and some researchers list the American moose as a distinct species, there is still some debate about whether it is a true species (Alces americanus) or subspecies (Alces alces cameloides), according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
the plural of “moose” is “moose” it is not “meese” nor is it “mooses!”
I got to hunt shiras moose yesterday and we had an awesome day, seeing 10 moose and we got a good bull. Fun times!
Man, am I getting smart these days.
I got to hunt shiras moose yesterday and we had an awesome day, seeing 10 moose and we got a good bull. Fun times!