Contributors to this thread:
I will be hunting bull moose in Alaska this fall. What are my best options for calls and cd's (or downloads) to use for practice? Weight and size are critical. What are your thoughts on the "moose magnet" call?
I cut the bottom out of a Gatorade bottle and wrapped it in black duct tape . Seem to work fine for calling and scraping on stuff .
We used a plastic motor oil can on a stick, with the bottom cut out, similar to Buskill’s. Worked very well for scraping brush. We called in several bulls with it. Synthetic can works better than conventional;-)
Alex Gouthro has some very good instructional videos on moose vocalizations.
Search the moose site for Tao's threads, especially the last one.
Gouthros Moose Madness is worth every penny.
Use your voice to call. It's not hard. I made a birch bark call. I'm sure any kind of funnel would work just fine.
I still swear by my shake and pour pancake mix. Get the plastic bottle with the handle and big mouth on it.
First morning make the pancakes, eat the pancakes, clean the bottle out, cut the bottom out and then you have a "megaphone", tree scraper and something you can put to your ear for listening.
So you in a sense you can have your pancake and eat it too.
WOW! You are going! That's great, I hope you have a wonderful hunt.
My elk bugle tube sounded wonderful I thought and is definitely the "Sitka or Kuiu" level option as compared to oil bottle and pancake mix ;) If you're hunting near water and have a paddle handy, I thought it's tough to beat a paddle for raking. Also doubles as an antler decoy if you hold it above your head.
You know how guys talk about 30 years ago how you just needed to whistle in the mountains and the bull elk would respond? That's about the equivalent of how it is with moose and sounds. While I am sure ultra-realism never hurts especially if there was ultra-pressured moose somewhere they still seem to come into the sound of guys cutting wood half the time.
APauls, yep. Have called a couple in breaking branches for firewood.
Good tips, I am taking notes!
I cup my hands and use my voice...it's pretty simple! If you want add more volume there are probably a bunch of different tubes you can use. A bull grunt is a bull grunt....and a cow bellow is a cow bellow. There aren't many different variations that I'm aware of? A cow call can be heard by a moose from super long range..especially if the wind isn't blowing. Bull grunts can't be heard from near as far away. I spend a lot more time cow calling than grunting. A cow call sounds more like a siren than anything!
There are likely gobs of calling videos on youtube that are just as good as any CD video....it's not complicated! You may want your wife and kids to leave....and close all the windows so your neighbors don't wonder what the heck is going on!
A bull moose's nose and hearing are pretty incredible. You can imagine how well a bull can hear with a giant megaphone funneling sound from his antlers to ears. Definitely keep wind direction in account when calling.
I'd also suggest grabbing a large stick and whacking/rubbing trees. I've found one of the best things to seal the deal if a bull holds up is to rub a tree's branches with a stick. It usually gets their adrenaline going....and here they come!
If you can put of bit nasally Brooklyn accent into your cow calling, the boys like it better.
I've heard plenty of real cows bawling and...in many cases...I'm reminded of a plain old tomcat prowling the RR tracks and looking for trouble.
I can’t believe the experts who’ve never done it aren’t chiming in with lots of advice for you Don. They must be on summer sabbatical. Good luck this fall. I hope you get a nice one.
Interesting points of view...some good ....some are different......but how many truly understand what they are doing?
^^^Very very few people ever hunt moose the number of times to get very familiar with the calling. From what I've seen on bowsite here for many years Tao, you know more about them than 99.9% of guys. You also take it more seriously than 99.9% of guys and undoubtedly would have a higher success rate than almost anyone else put in the same situation. Of that I don't doubt anything.
Put simply though, the beauty of moose hunting is that compared to other species they are easier to be successful on in the rut than most. I firmly believe that. Especially if you find unpressured animals, which, for the majority of fly in moose country is the case. In my limited moose hunting experience we had 2 different bulls chase down our boat with motor running in a single morning. I don't care how rutted a mulie, whitetail, elk, bear etc etc gets, none of them would ever do that. They simply wouldn't. I have heard guys say moose can be ultra smart, but they just aren't as smart as the animals most people are used to pursuing. I honestly don't believe it is even debatable. When we really consider "smart" to be a collection of learned and intrinsic instincts. So all that being said, you can be very successful without having to truly understand what you are doing, and that is the beauty of moose hunting. You won't be as successful as someone who really understands, but can still be very successful if you understand body language. I have also had many other moose experiences outside of hunting and even called in moose bulls playing with them elk hunting. In the same country as pressured elk, the elk react one way while the moose are pretty dumb. In the exact same country.
Much different than elk hunters that can speak the language and bat 80% vs guys just entering the learning curve batting 5%, just throwing random numbers out a very experienced moose hunter could prob bat in the neighbourhood of 80-90% and a newbie could still go 60%. There is absolutely no scientific relevance to these numbers but just kind of to get an idea. You don't need to be an expert caller to be a very successful moose hunter.
All one man's opinion.
One thing I will say for calling moose, and especially if you are a bowhunter, is they nearly always try to get the wind. They know where the calling came from and they will try to circle to the downwind side. If you have a caller and a shooter. Set up accordingly.
Amen to Shiras' comment above. When hunting alone, killing a called-in bull can be frustratingly difficult. Sometimes they circle. Sometimes they just hang out and watch the area or sniff the wind as it changes angles or directions. I much prefer calling from a location where they can't or won't easily get downwind of me.
My all-time favorite calling device is a Phillips 66 X/C Aviation Oil (plastic) bottle. Laugh, but it has the right stiffness to the plastic when the bottom is cut out. It works as a megaphone and is outstanding as a brush raker. Weighs 2+ ounces and is FREE in the trash barrel at most airplane hangars.
Great APauls, now I feel like a real loser for every time a mental midget moose has outwitted me :(
Rod I'd bet a 50 pack of timbits you've outsmarted more of them than they have you ;)
I have been using a moose magnet in alaska for years. love it, worth every penny. one thing I have learned is that most people call too loudly. start calls fairly soft and slowly increase volume through your series of calls. use the magnet as an amplifier for your hearing. put small end to your ear and listen. it will allow you to hear the moose coming at a much farther distance. another thing is if I am alone and a moose is coming I direct the call a little to one side of me. seems to help avoid more head on approaches by the bulls. also, once a bull is coming be patient with your calling and take a break and listen to him rather than continuing your calling. they know where you are and more calling can be counterproductive. listening will allow you more time to nock an arrow and prepare for the shot.
The reason a cow moose bawls is because she is being harrassed by a bull and not ready to mate ! If you have ever heard a cow that is in heat and ready to breed she is almost non stop in her whinning almost sounds like a cat ! I think Alex also has one of the most comprehensive instruction dvd sets out there for moose. As far as them being easy you haven't hunted them enough lol Most can call in a sub bull but getting the big guy in is an art like getting the dominant herd bull elk !!!
Interesting prospective...all good...I have been accused of calling too loud and too offen.... But you need to understand when to call loud and when to call quietly...