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I've shot just one moose with 12 ga slug- I think it was a 2 3/4 inch Rem. Foster, but I'm not sure. I was working for F&G that summer, away from home, up on the Yukon. Nearby was a half-mile wide, mile long oxbow, in which I'd pre-season scouted 2 big bulls and a yearling, along with several cows with calves.

My weapon of necessity was a Win 1200, with single front bead, and I didn't think those 7 1/2s were going to work all that well on moose. The Ruby store had two 5 packs of slugs, which I bought, and used one to sight-check the gun on a 4 inch diameter washed out spruce with root wad, which I set upright on the sandbar. Nailed it with every shot from 25 to 150 yards, but with about 4' of height differential. I was ready to hunt!

Opening morning i killed the spike (he was running) with a broadside shot at about 35 yards. Wing shooting! The slug (a bit high!) perfectly centered the big artery just under the spine, leaving artery wall on both sides of the hole. Full penetration, no expansion. He made it about 100 yards before falling over, all bled out.

It was over a week before I could get him (butchered and packaged on site), down to Galena, in perfect outdoor aging weather. Wien Air (now defunct), had a hunting season back-haul special to Anchorage for $25. Frozen overnight in their big walk-in cooler in Galena. They even transshipped it with no extra charge to Kenai, where my wife picked it up and put in the small freezer i had told her to buy a week before season opened.

That might be the best moose I've ever eaten, and not just meat-wise. smile

The point being a 12 ga slug is perfectly adequate for moose within it's range capability.

There is more to this story, like how we rolled a grizzly swimming the Yukon with the boat ( Not F&G boat, not F&G time, any of the above) wake on the way to Galena, but that's already been posted a couple times. He wasn't a happy bear...... smile

Last edited by las; 05/25/22.

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las,

Great story!

But did you really find 4' (four feet) of POI height differential out to 150 yards? Suspect you meant 4" (four inches).


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Go get ‘em Mule Deer

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That's as I remember it, John. But it's been 40 years, so who knows? I wouldn't put money on it - and - a single front bead for sights. May not have been the same aiming point even! One knot hole looks a lot like another.... smile

I've some extra slugs around that I likely won't ever use, and the same gun. Might have to check that out at the range sometime under more controlled conditions.


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Actually, it could have four feet--or something in that area. Hard to tell sometimes with slugs--especially with a front bead sight and a choked barrel!


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John,
That was just the family "experience" from way, way back. Packed in the station wagon, went to Canada north of Flin Flon to a decent guided camp, with wall tents. I was just seven or so, and was let out of camp only to hump chunks of wet moose meat out of a facking mudhole where Dad shot the darn thing, big cold front coming in and we finished getting it all under cover about an hour after the first cold blast, which was vicious. This was before synthetic anything. Thank God the meat was still kind of warm. Thank God also the camp had a nice butchering tent including gas-powered COLD water.

The long long ride back to Minot after the blizzard was rather quiet and the station wagon never smelled quite right afterwards. Beautiful hide, tho, and lots of yummy stew.
But it's kind of moderated my desire for moose, I vowed right then if I ever shot at one, it would be uphill or nothing.


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Dave,

My first moose was a big Alaskan bull, taken very early in September when the rut had just started. My guide and I had just returned from the morning hunt, and he decided to take a midday nap. I decided to catch a silver salmon for dinner, as the run was on in the small river we were camped alongside. It didn't take much time, and after whacking the salmon on the head with a rock, I had just arrived in camp when I heard a loud splashing coming from upstream. So did my guide, who had just awakened and poked his head out of his tent.

Within seconds a large antler appeared around the river-side brush, followed by a big moose and another big antler. I dropped my salmon and fly rod and grabbed my .338 Winchester, which was lying on my daypack near the guide's jet-boat, then sat down and ran a round into the chamber.

The guide said, "He only has two brow tines." Three were required for an Alaskan bull moose to be legal--or an outside spread of at least 50 inches.

I said, "To hell with the brown tines. Is he fifty?"

The guide's eyes widened. "Oh, hell yes!" He paused for a second, then said, "But DON'T shoot him in the water!"

In the meantime the bull heard us, leaving the river and climbing the steep bank alongside the gravel shoreline. He paused near the top, angling toward me, next to the thick alders and willows paralleling the bank. I put a 230-grain Fail Safe just inside his left shoulder, whereupon he reared up on his hind legs like a bucking horse, then fell over backward down the bank to the gravel shore. I ran another round into the chamber, just as he stumbled into the shallow edge of the river--and the guide repeated, "DON'T shot him in the water!"

So I didn't--and watched the bull start across the river, which soon reached above his knees. He then stopped and subsided into the current, with only the tip of one antler poking above the surface.

After some discussion, I took the bowline of the guide's boat and walked up the edge of the river in my hip-boots, while the guide started the motor and slowly guided the boat upstream. My hip-boots were just tall enough for me to put a loop around the antler a foot or so below the surface of the river, and after it was tightened the guide towed the bull 100 yards downstream to a shallower riffle, where it caught firmly. Together we managed to drag the bull toward the shore on the opposite side of the river from the camp, where a meat-rack was already set up.

We started taking the bull apart from the top down, and after each chunk of meat was removed, we pulled he bull a little more toward shore. Within an hour the camp's meat-packer, an 18-year-old just out of high school, showed up with a hind-quarter from the caribou I'd taken the day before, and he started helping. But it took about five hours, as I recall, to get all the moose-meat onto the rack--while standing in a cloud of mosquitoes.

During the butchering we found the Fail Safe, perfectly expanded, lying against the front of the bull's pelvis on the opposite side from where it had entered the chest.

Have had to extract one other defunct moose from water, but it was a young cow Eileen got about three miles from our house, on the edge of one of the waterfowl nesting ponds at the upper end of Canyon Ferry Lake. You can't use a rifle in the Wildlife Management Area surrounding that part of the reservoir, so she was using my Remington 870 12-gauge with a rifled-slug barrel.

We'd found where moose were moving across one of the dikes to the pond, but hadn't found the right moose yet. That morning we did, standing on top of the dike about 50 yards away, and Eileen shot it. The moose, of course, ran into the brush alongside the dike, and died about 75 yards in there, where the water was about shin-deep on us. We took it apart, and after semi-floating the quarters to the dike, used a game cart to trundle them several hundred yards to the locked gate where we'd parked the pickup.

Luckily, our three other moose, all bulls, have died on dry land.


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John,

I vote for the Blackhawk in 45 Colt. Put your 305 gr FN in the right place and.....well.....

Alan


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Late to the party (as usual) but congrats on your draw. My cousin's in-laws up in Maine have been drawing one to multiple tags every year since they 've been hunted, so there's always meat to go around. Glad you get to nail one close to home. Should be a dandy write-up in RLN.



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Alan,

Nice bull! Will see what happens...

Good hunting,
John


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Originally Posted by shootinurse
Late to the party (as usual) but congrats on your draw. My cousin's in-laws up in Maine have been drawing one to multiple tags every year since they 've been hunted, so there's always meat to go around. Glad you get to nail one close to home. Should be a dandy write-up in RLN.

Thanks!

I had a hunting buddy from Maine, who owned a logging company up near the northern border. Haven't heard from him for a while, but he told me about getting a huge bull there, and had photos to to prove it. This was in the 1980s, and apparently anybody who drew a Maine moose tag could designate a hunting partner who could go along and also shoot. Quite often the partner was a logger, who had a skidder--which is why my buddy was designated the partner--and got to shoot the bull. (The guy who got the tag was mostly interested in the meat.)

Is the that still operative?


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It was as of five or six years ago. Haven't been up in a while. Next time I talk to Stu, I'll ask him. I know he said that tow truck drivers made a lot of extra money hauling moose out for people.



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Originally Posted by Dave_Skinner
Just make sure it's on dry ground and not in a hole when you shoot it.

That doesn't always plan out..... smile

I shot a running 15 mo old bull on dry ground. Unfortunately he was headed to cross the swampy neck between two little lakes and died in about a foot of water, 15 feet from dry ground. I pulled him to shore for dressing. A few days later I was cussing my sore back that I got on the job when I thought, " Gee, maybe that moose last weekend has something to do with this?" smile

I shot a caribou through the brisket/heart at about 375 yards one time. He ran about 100 yards, away, in one direction, then turned and ran about the same, 140 degrees slightly downhill back toward me until he found the perfect 3' deep, just caribou-sized water/muck hole to die in. I had help that time tho.


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Well? Season has been open for over a week now...grin

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Didn't even go moose hunting until three days ago, due to extreme heat and smoke.

Went out early that morning to the same area where Eileen killed a cow when she drew a tag some years ago. Didn't see any moose sign, and when they're in there its pretty abundant.

Same thing when I "scouted" a nearby area late this afternoon, by taking Lena the Labrador bird-hunting. Didn't expect to see any moose--and didn't want to kill one late in the afternoon anyway, due to the abundant coyotes in the area and the 70-degrees temps. This was also prime moose habitat, where we've seen a number over the years--but never saw any sign.

While I was doing that, Eileen was home doing some socializing (including writer-gack info sharing)) with a good friend, the wife of the local game department wildlife biologist. She said he thinks the moose population is down compared to the past few years, probably partly due to several being road-killed a couple years ago--and a bad winter.

But its a long season, the hunting unit is a big one, and there are a bunch of other areas where we've encountered moose over the years. Just have to keep hunting!


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Best of luck, John!
Look forward to good news in the fullness of time.
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Might vary due to locale. I saw 7 moose today but then again I don’t have a tag.

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Oh, it definitely varies due to locale--and the year and local conditions, and whether you have a tag.

Once went fishing for a day on one of my favorite small trout streams, about 100 miles south of here. Saw 7 moose that day, on a relatively warm day in early September. (Put in for that area for several years afterward, and or course never drew a tag. Last time I hunted the area--for birds in mid-September, saw two big bulls.)

When Eileen drew her cow moose tag for the same area several years we saw moose every day, sometimes several--until finding the right one.

I have lousy luck at drawing tags, anywhere. Eileen does not, and as I mentioned earlier she drew a Montana bull moose tag the very first time she applied. Oh, and despite not seeing a moose during our pre-season scouting, she killed exactly the bull she wanted shortly before sunrise on opening day.

The one thing I have been lucky about is choosing a profession where I can hunt a LOT--which in the long run tends to even up hunting luck.


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Sounds like you have a good long season to hunt em. I heard somewhere you had a big birthday if you're gonna hunt moose at your age you've earned it. My one and only moose I was in my 20's and 3\4 of mile from a road. My dad was in his early 50's said "son what's wrong with you". Harvested with his 3030 he said "that gun's to small for moose hunting". I loved rifle back then and said "I could shoot an elephant with this".

I remember removing the guts, I took her left hind hind leg proped it behind an alder. Made the first incision the leg came off the alder and hit me in back of head. I said "well this isn't a deer" It was a really big day, fun all over after "bang".

My Lord was I that unintelligent?

After living through that experience and now being just a few years your junior. Sounds like you have an adventure coming up.

Best of luck to you sir.

Good luck and shoot straight y'all

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The Golden Ticket! Good luck on your next outing, John. Speaking of draw luck, I have 20+ points for Washington’s draw and got skunked again this year. Maybe next year.

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