Mathews Inc.
Killing Moose in the Evening
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
treewolf197 23-Aug-22
Pete In Fairbanks 23-Aug-22
treewolf197 23-Aug-22
azelkhntr 23-Aug-22
Corax_latrans 23-Aug-22
DonVathome 23-Aug-22
Beendare 23-Aug-22
Straight Shooter 23-Aug-22
Pete In Fairbanks 24-Aug-22
Pete In Fairbanks 24-Aug-22
BTM 24-Aug-22
treewolf197 24-Aug-22
Ziek 24-Aug-22
TRnCO 24-Aug-22
Tracker 24-Aug-22
Rocky D 24-Aug-22
JohnMC 24-Aug-22
Rocky D 24-Aug-22
cnelk 24-Aug-22
Ziek 24-Aug-22
Inshart 24-Aug-22
Basil 24-Aug-22
Basil 24-Aug-22
Rickm 24-Aug-22
treewolf197 25-Aug-22
LBshooter 25-Aug-22
Rocky D 25-Aug-22
Pete In Fairbanks 13-Sep-22
Live2Hunt 13-Sep-22
fdp 18-Sep-22
From: treewolf197
23-Aug-22
Hey Everyone! Headed out for a DIY moose hunt on the AK Peninsula here in a couple weeks. We will be hunting in an area that has a very high density of Brown Bears. My question is, for those that have done this - What do you do if you kill a moose in the evening, do you wait to the next day to butcher it or do you start and work through the night? I think the bear in my head is way worse than the real situation, but nevertheless we want to limit our chances of dealing with one, especially in the dark. I appreciate any advice and insight!

23-Aug-22
Even if you do not completely skin and break it down, you absolutely should open it up, gut it and skin it to the point where it can cool overnight. Otherwise you will lose some meat. Be especially diligent to skin out the neck.

Even if a bear gets on it, it won't swipe much of your meat in one night! Leave some items of clothing with human scent on them at the kill site. Pull guts away from the meat; bears often go to the gut pile first. Push a stick with a hankerchief or trash bag affixed to the top, right into the middle of the gut pile. If that pole is down the next morning, use a lot of care when approaching!

Pete

From: treewolf197
23-Aug-22
Thank you for the advice Pete, really appreciate it! What would you do in this situation, would you just work on it through the night?

From: azelkhntr
23-Aug-22
I assume you're not going on this venture alone. Quarter it up, take all the meat including ribs and neck. It won't be an all-night endeavor, but it will be happy work. AK G&F take a very dim view of wastage and they will be asking hard questions when you don't show up and account for all the meat. Just claiming a bear got it won't fly. But they will fly out to investigate the kill site and gather evidence. 2 guys to work the carcass and 1 man to stand guard with a big bore rifle is my recommendation day or night. Best of luck!

23-Aug-22
Flagging the gut pile sounds like a good idea pretty much wherever you are…. We even have them here in the burbs, so… Not the Big Nasties, mind you, but I would rather not wander into a sow & cubs and have her get all proprietary on me…

Is it practical to set up some kind of a perimeter line around or at least down-wind of the kill site? I suppose in a perfect world an electric fence would be optimal, but I think I would take a can of rocks on a string over being naked out there.

Seems like forewarned….

I also wonder about some lights directed away from where you’re working so that you could pick up some eye-shine…. Rather than blinding yourself to everything in your surroundings, it might make sense to keep at least one set of eyeballs peeled and with the maximum amount of night vision still functioning.

It’ll be interesting to see what Kevin D has to add to Pete’s list….

From: DonVathome
23-Aug-22
I would shoot a moose in the evening on a solo trip. I spent 2 days packing my moose alone and it was a little nerve racking approaching it 10 times alone. Hopefully they drop someplace you can see from a distance. Carry a big gun and be ready. Ask your transporter for advice. I have heard some SCARY stories about brownies there. Really scary. My mind could be changed if the transporter gives you bad news.

From: Beendare
23-Aug-22
I would never leave it overnight….there will be a bear on it in the morning…..cut it up and get it out.

23-Aug-22
Great advice Pete, just wondering why you told me to keep snickers bars in my pockets while breaking down my moose? ??

24-Aug-22
Treewolf,

If I have the tools with me AND adequate light AND knew I had the ability to safely get back to camp in the dark, I'd probably complete the skinning/breaking down process. The older I get, the less likely I am to work (and hike...) in low-light conditions. In daylight, I can have a moose ready to pack out in 2-3 hours (by myself.) In the dark, it might take twice as long. And there is the safety aspect of using sharp instruments in bad light!

Straight Shooter: You know I basically think of you as 2-legged bear bait...!

Pete

24-Aug-22
An after thought.... There is quite a difference in the amount of work and the time it takes to accomplish it, between an average sized bull and a really big one!

Also, your first moose takes a lot longer to prepare for packing, than does your 100th!

Pete

From: BTM
24-Aug-22
I carry a small radio (with built-in flashlight) that I place on meat before I leave. If possible, set it on a talk radio station.

From: treewolf197
24-Aug-22
Pete - Thank you for adding that detail, probably more important to think about than bears is handling knives in low light. Appreciate it!

BTM - Yeah we have thought about taking a blue tooth speaker and leaving one persons phone behind blaring some god awful rock music. We were debating whether that would work or just make the bears curious.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-22
I've only killed one AK moose. We left a large part overnight without incident. In fact, it was several days before a bear found the gut pile. The outfitter was checking on it daily. There's a big difference between a bow killed moose and one killed with a rifle as far as how quickly bears show up.

From: TRnCO
24-Aug-22
only one of my moose was killed at last light. We gutted it, put a stick in the rib cage to allow air as best we could then put the smelliest T-shirt we had on his rack and we pee'd around the carcass. Nothing touched it. Both of mine were in AK. Someone above hasn't moved a moose in his life time. Saying it won't take all night. Guess it depends how far you move it, but it sure as heck can take most of a day, and that's with day light. Moving one in the dark wouldn't be any fun.

24-Aug-22
I’ve only done 4 AK Bulls myself and would not want to pack it in the dark.

From: Tracker
24-Aug-22
Im all in with Pete's advice. I have only dealt with two moose but it is way more work than any Elk I killed.

From: Rocky D
24-Aug-22
“ There's a big difference between a bow killed moose and one killed with a rifle as far as how quickly bears show up.”

Really?

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-22
I wish I was the expert on just one topic that azelkhntr is on all. ;)

From: Rocky D
24-Aug-22
Yeah, I just sat back and let Pete drive on this one.

From: cnelk
24-Aug-22

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I killed my AK moose in the evening. We skinned the hide back both sides, opened it up, propped open the chest cavity, removed to guts rolled them several feet away. We hung some clothes around and left just after it was dark.

Didn’t lose any meat, but I can tell you when you walk up to the dead animal the next morning, you are definitely sensory overload and with ‘one in the pipe’.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-22
Rocky D, It's all about the "dinner bell" of a rifle shot. Any bear that hears it comes looking for dinner. With a bow, they have to stumble on it. On my hunt, the other hunters they were guiding killed with a rifle. Bears and/or wolves were on the leavings by the next day. Their experience was that was normal. It wasn't for my bow kill.

From: Inshart
24-Aug-22
Hmmmmmm, azelk or Pete for advise in griz country ------ I guess I would stake my life on what Pete has to say.

From: Basil
24-Aug-22
I killed my one and only Minnesota moose in the evening. Was a crisp beautiful full moon night. Was near midnight by the time we got it back to camp. Very enjoyable but then I didn’t have to worry about grizzlies

From: Basil
24-Aug-22
I killed my one and only Minnesota moose in the evening. Was a crisp beautiful full moon night. Was near midnight by the time we got it back to camp. Very enjoyable but then I didn’t have to worry about grizzlies

From: Rickm
24-Aug-22
Kill em when you can. Better in the morning. If its in the afternoon move the meat away and be prepared when you go back. Or take Straightshooter with you for bear bait. Dj might go along for the ride. Miss ya Pete!

Good luck and have fun.

From: treewolf197
25-Aug-22
Thank you all for the input and comedy! I think for this first go round we are going to steer clear of killing one in the evening unless it's a 70" monster. Just makes more sense to get a feeling for the area and what we are doing - While I would like to go out like Brad Pitt in the Legends of the Fall, I would like to put a few more years on until that happens!

From: LBshooter
25-Aug-22
I saw a episode of the last Alaskans and the old guy Heimo killed a moose towards dark. He gutted and then lit a huge fire, said bears tend to shy away from smoke. Don't know if that's true but it sounded good. He was on a river bed too, stone so the fire was fairly safe.

From: Rocky D
25-Aug-22
“ Rocky D, It's all about the "dinner bell" of a rifle shot. Any bear that hears it comes looking for dinner. “

I’ve heard of that problem on Kodiak with deer but never experienced it when hunting moose but I haven’t hunted moose since 1996.

13-Sep-22
Ignoring my own advice, I found out last night just exactly how long it takes to skin, gut and quarter a moose in the dark, armed only with headlamps! My #2 son arrowed a fat cow at 9 pm (just at dark) last night here near Fairbanks.

I called son #1 to come help, but the bottom line is that it took us just under 3 hours to accomplish the task!

Pete

From: Live2Hunt
13-Sep-22
I know 2 guys that were on Kodiak hunting the Elk out there. They shot 2 Elk, and the bears got them before they could get them out. One was quartered and hung, the other was gone as they were going to it to cut up. That was Kodiak and a rifle hunt, but?

From: fdp
18-Sep-22

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