Contributors to this thread:
Pulled one out in Alaska!
My second attempt at an Alaskan Moose was an epic adventure, I’ll try to tell the tale the best I can. I’m still in Anchorage attempting to fly home so we might have an interruption.
“Epic”? Sounds good to me! Congrats and safe travels!
We (Eric Vaillancourt) and I flew into camp from Healy Alaska on Sept 11 2018, a trip that was almost called off due to the outfitter, Coke Wallace getting thrown from a horse and breaking his pelvic in 2 places.
I've seen the photo of the bull....this is going to be good.....
Since we couldn’t hunt we unpacked, organized and shot our weapons, my trusty Elite was on the money. We met our guides, wranglers and cook; got the schedule worked out and came up with a plan! Eric would be Sheep hunting and if time allowed Moose, I was after Moose only!
hopefully you kept out of the river
Bring on the story, this is the best thing about bowsite.
Weather was a bit too nice for Moose that first day out but we managed to spot a few, nothing legal. I was actually reminded of a whitetail rut, younger Bulls were chasing while the old boys reserved their energy for the real thing. We also had a no-moon phase, I figured there wouldnt be Much night activity.
Next morning rain moved in, little did we know that was the last time we’d see the sun for the next 12 days. Made the Sheep hunting a bit hard but definitely was “Moosey” weather. We saw 14 Moose (3 Bulls 11 cows) that day, nothing legal.
We were moving in different directions each day from camp, hitting different areas known to hold Moose, we’d see Moose, Sheep and Bears but no legal Bulls. Food was great and we had an amazing group of guys in camp, no one was seeing a shooter but the mood was optimistic and the blueberries were at the peak of ripeness!
Day 4 we catch 2 Bulls sparring, one is “Brow-tine” legal but he’s immature and maybe 42”, he’s also out in the wide open with little to no pin light left. No stalk possible but truthfully I’m not disappointed. Returning to camp we have intell a legal Bull was spotted and so close to camp we didn’t have to use horses! I understand how useful they (horses are but I’d rather walk.
Day 5 we find a Bull but he’s 48”-52” and 3x3, our unit is 50” or 4 brows on one side, we watch him all day but just can’t take the risk. We see 14 Moose in total, nothing larger than the boarder-line Bull!
Day 6 we have intell from Eric, they’ve seen a shooter, we ride out optimistically hoping to catch him, he’s with 4 cows in an area Bow-friendly! We find the cows but not the Bull. Late in the evening I call a very small Bull so close it makes the Horses uncomfortable. The rut is beginn8mg!
Day 7&8 we spend in a valley watching a very killable Bull again 48-52” just not quit there! Time is beginn8ng to pass, it’s getting colder and wetter daily. Horses are sore and need a day off, day 9 we head out before first light and hike thru the swampy tundra, right in my element. We hit some of the spots we have been hunting, deciding to go in aggressively and call, thinking a change in tactics are due. It doesn’t work and pressure is building, I’m beginning to realize I may only have one stalk attempt if I’m lucky.
Back at camp that night Eric says they spotted the shooter again in the same area, he has a Moose tag in his pocket and in fact was in rifle range but knows I need this Moose for my slam, also 2 days left in Sheep season. He decides to pass and let me try, friends like this don’t grow on trees!! I don’t sleep well that night I’m over-thinking the situation, it’s not going to be easy but very do-able, if we can find him. Morning has us up a slippery rockslide glassing across the river trying to locate the shooter.
I can see that picture of your other bull in the river. Keep it coming brother I love your moose hunt threads!
We find the Bull with at least 3 cows and one very immature Bull, we make a plan to get above him going way downwind and on the next ridge-line to stay out of sight and out of Alders! This is the route we choose and the Bull is close to the next drainage to the right on the second bench where the hill intersects it.
We are pleasantly surprised finding a Moose trail that’s as good as the horse trails up the drainage instead of having to hit the ridge and the rock scree, we make it across and up in 45 min, of coarse I’m soaking wet (sweat) and change base layers at the peak. We get above where we last saw the Bull but can’t see him, here comes the sleet. Layer up and rain gear on. We don’t want to move down until the Bull is located, unbeknownst to us back at base they can see the process and the Bull, they wonder why we’re not moving in on him!
Ray my guide is antsy and wants to locate the Bull, he’s headed downwind to see if he can get a better angle, I’m sure the Bull is below us tucked in out of sight so I stay put. As Ray moves my final words are if I locate him I’m going to kill him and not wait on you! 5 min after a Ray leaves I here a grunt, peak over and see another small Bull moving in on a cow ( I’m pretty sure she’s hot) and my target Bull raises off his bed to met the challenger, I instantly go into hunt mode!
Moving down staying out of sight I get within 100 yards of my Bull, I drop my pack and shed rain gear trying to be quiet as possible, I make another 20 yards as the Skies open up and my pack begins to roll down towards me. I’m able to spot the pack but mu Bull is now facing me. The other Bull grunts and my target Bull begins to move towards him, now is my chance, I move in and range an opening he is about to hit. I barely make out the reading through the rain soaked lense, 67 yards. Draw rise and grunt the Bull to a stop, I release the arrow as the bow falls away, everything seems great! A few yards before impact and unseen willow is hit, the arrow is deflected low and right skimming the Bulls belly and hitting right rear leg. Shit!!!!!!
The Bull flinches and takes a couple quick steps towards his challenger, but slows and begins to shake his head, attempting to intimidate his rival! This give me time to get my shit together and dive through some alders between us. I come out on the other side with an arrow on the rest and release on string, full instinct mode. The Bull steps into an opening and I really don’t have time to range, 100 yards is my estimate but shooting downhill, 90 yards pin. I grunt again the Bull locks up, I take aim and release. Thwack! Right where I held, only about 6 inches of arrow sticking out, tight behind shoulder! I drop out of sight and wait, Ray sneaks down in about 30 min to find me, he saw the shot from the top, he agrees with my assessment of where the Bull was hit. We wait another hour before tracking as the hot Bull and another cow are still below us, when they move out we will track.
We saw a total of 7 Moose in the area and accounted for 6 leaving, we slowly move down to the area my Bull disappeared into. Rain had washed any blood that may have existed away and the many Moose moving through the area had several fresh trails. We are basically “Easter-Egging” this Bull, 5 min into this track I come around a small patch of Alders and this is what I see!
2 years and 22 days in the field, my dreams are fulfilled!
Great bull, way to stick with it on the follow up shot.
What a great adventure and well told story. Congrats on a great trophy !!
18 hours expired by the time we left camp until we returned, took us until dark to break the Bull down. We took the safe but long way back to horses but then couldn’t find them for an hour. Darkest ride I’ve ever been on, the horses saved us! Packed to Bull our the next day.
Amazing . You are a stone cold killer. Love it! Hunt
Man, that’s a nice one. Congrats.
Great to hear the story....congrats again, Tim!
Great bull Tim, congratulations and thanks for sharing your story.
Outstanding bull bpm congrats!
Atta boy brother! Congrats!
Awesome hunt! Awesome results! Way to go BPM!
What an awesome story Tim! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on a great bull! What a shot!
Great ! You could use those paddles for a satellite dish !
A slammer bull and epic hunt. Congrats Tim!
Great hunt buddy, congrats
Sweet Bull Tim. Congrats !
so did your first arrow connect well ?
heck of a hunt, gorgeous bull
Heck ya Tim! Awesome bull man. Thanks for sharing.
Very nice, congratulations.
Good deal.....what "Slam" did you fill?
Wow what a bull!!! Congrats Tim! That must have been so cool getting to stalk in on him when those two bulls were busy with each other. Awesome, and thanks for sharing!!
Can you say "Booner"? How are you getting the meat home?
Congrats on a great bull, Tim!
I would moose hunt every year if I could!
Sweet bull! Congrats again!
Now the pressure is off for next year...
Hey Tim. Glad to see you take off the boxing gloves and then pick up the bow. Good knockout for sure. Nicely done in the 9 round. my best, Paul
What a bull! Congrats and thanks for a great write up!
Awesome Bull! Congrats Tim! Great story!
Wow! Congratulations!!!! Giganormous!
That just might make P&Y by an inch or two!
Grats Tim. Hell of a bull.
Oh my. Oh my. Wow. Congrats Tim.
Fantastic! Great bull! Congrats Tim!
Good luck, Robb
GREAT!!!!!! Congrats man!
Tim! Great story! Moose were my achilles...SO sweet when the plan finally comes together! Great job with the follow up arrow.
Thanks for sharing!
I am also interested in hearing how you got your meat back to La. post hunt. Hunting related cargo has become a challenge as of late....
Wow, nice job on the bull! Congrats!
Tim, Congrats on the bull and adventure but I'll add a big "thank you" for knowing how to pace your story. A long series of posts with a couple of sentences is MUCH more enjoyable for the reader than a few voluminous posts with a hero pic at the end. Kudos
Congrats thanks for sharing.
That's awesome Tim. What's left for your slam?
Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on an amazing bull and what a wonderful adventure. Serious accomplishment
Hell yes! Congratulations, Tim!
Congrats Tim- incredible bull and story.
Congrats again my man! Well done!
Awesome! Congrats on a great bull Tim! Loved the story!
Franklin, he is referring to his pursuit of the archery NA super slam. No "slam" was fulfilled on this hunt.
Thanks for sharing and inviting us to experience you hunt. Awesome hunt Congratulations Harold
Congratulations Tim. Looks like an awesome hunt!
Congratulations on such a fine bull! Thanks for the story.
Wow !!! Nicely done! Congrats on an awesome bull...and thanks for bringing us along. Kevin
Badass! Thanks for posting
HUGE congrats Tim!!! Wohoooooo!
Great adventure, story telling and bull!!!
Bill Pettett and I leave in the morning to BC for Canada moose:)
Epic tale... gargantuan bull! Congratulations!
How wide is that beast and I’d also like to know how you got the meat home. X
Congrats Tim! Epic to say the least. Great bull, great hunt! Thanks for takin' us along. Much appreciated.
And...... as usual..... you really, really EARNED it....... =D
Awesome bull and great story. Thanks for sharing.
what a Moose! love the story and the pics.
Congrats again Tim!!! Can’t wait to hear this story again over a few beers!! I knew you was gonna get it done!!
Good job Tim. Congratulations!
Congrats Tim! Beautiful bull my friend!
Congrats Tim on a hell of a bull, thanks for sharing!
"I understand how useful they (horses) are, but I'd rather walk.".....LMAO!! I can still picture you holding on for dear life when your steed came unglued at Redstone!! THAT is why I walked those 14 miles every day!!
That is a awesome bull! thanks for the story!
awesome bull ! way to go Mr.. did you notice the caribou antlers in the 4th picture
Congrats Tim! Very nice bull! FM
What a bunch of “Bull”. Lol. Great bull Tim!
What a beauty! Congrats!!!!
One fine bull, congratulations.
Tim earns every animal he gets. He is very optimistic and hunts hard every day. I really enjoy hunting with him and look forward to doing it again soon.
Thanks for sharing a camp with me.
Congrat's on a great bull. It was fun living your hunt vicariously. I have been following along since the polar bear. Four more to go.
Get it done in 2019.
Gata ain’t gettin dat boi up dare!
Stud Bull Tim!
GREAT bull and story!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Great story and awesome bull!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big moose come to those who pass smaller ones!!
Congrats on having the patience, endurance and optimism to tilt a slammer! Not to mention shooting skills.
Crazy good bull!!
Congrats Tim...We just missed each other in Anchorage. I got in last night. Great bull...
Thanks Guys!!!! Had to hit the ground running and get to work, leave for Utah on the 5th! Jake, yeah I remember the horses of Redstone well!!!! Eric, couldn’t have done it without you my friend! My set-up was an Elite Impulse 34 74# 29” draw, Easton Carbon Hexx Arrows fletched with 3” plastic vanes and Slick Trick Magnums 125 gr. We ate a bit of meat in camp and flew the rest out, I’ll be getting a giant care package soon although I split the bounty with my guide who was called into action late (due to outfitters injury), and was unable to hunt Moose for himself! Thanks Again!!
Oh did I mention we had the cutest cook in Alaska?
she makes excellent beer bread and was one of the best cooks ever. A talented young lady.
One evening while glassing tte valley floors for Bulls we were surprised to find 2-Bulls on the ridge, in sheep country!
Our “cook” helping to retrieve the Moose, ride bareback both ways!
At times a small fire to warm you up and dry you out was a luxury.
Stud bull. Congrats on a bull well earned. Tough to beat spending time in the last frontier!
Congrats on a great hunt and bull!
Congratulations on a monster bull, gotta love moose hunting
Tim, great story man! awesome pictures and thats a beautiful bull! Congrats sir!
Congrats on a great bull thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on a great bull!
Great bull, and great write up. thanks for showing us your hunt. How did Eric fair?
Awesome bull and sounds like a great shot from 90-100yds. Congrats.
Amazing thread, pics and a great bull!!!!
Awesome story. Congratulations!
Thanks for sharing, great read !!
Caught this late. Congrats!! Beautiful bull. Great pics and story.
I struck out. I was really hunting for sheep and could not get find a legal ram. Maybe next time.
I leave for Maine moose tomorrow.
Just awesome thanks for sharing
Wow 100 yards without a range finder,that puts that Ravin crossbow to shame.
Awesome hunt and story. You are indeed a driven killer man.
That cook puts a whole new meaning to hunting camp. :^)
Thats fantastic Moose is getting under my skin. Thanks for sharing
Love the horseback pics, Tim! Reminds me of my BC moose trip several years back. All except the size of the rack being packed out ;-)
Congrats on an awesome trip and story. Wish I had a cook like that in my hunting camps.....WOW
What was the spread on that bad boy???
Great bull Tim. Congratulations.