Here’s one reader’s story of a memorable moose hunt they swear is true.
Some people may think moose are an easy target with their awkward appearance, bulbous nose, over-sized ears, spindly legs, and humongous hooves.
But try spending some time attempting to corner that guy in his own habitat, and any hunter will figure out that the moose functions much more efficiently than his appearance may let on.
Don’t lose track of that moose for a moment, or he’s gone forever. His sense of smell and hearing are insane…barely trip over a random twig, and he’ll be long gone. His “awkward” legs are as graceful as a jaguar, and could beat any obstacle course at an unbeatable pace, buoyed around deterrents that no hunter will be able to manage.
But don’t tell that to Bruce Bullock and his hunting buddies! In the fight of the century, two bulls locked horns in a Pay-Per-View-worthy battle, and Bruce told us all about it.
Our camp moose hunt in 2014 started like most years, except this year was a little different. We were all upbeat; we had two tags, a bull and cow. All day Sunday, everyone was anticipating a good hunt for our last kill. We were all sitting around, playing cards, having a few pops, like most hunts, waiting anxiously for Monday morning.
On Monday, we go for a chase, and I happened to shoot a big cow. One down, one to go. That night, we planned our chase for Tuesday. Sandy, Steve, and Chad push to our favorite run from West Mile. Quirt and myself head to the far west corner and push east. We line our men in between. We push the bush and do not move a moose. Sandy calls runoff.
On his way back out, Sandy and Steve come across fresh tracks. Sandy radios out that he is going to follow them. Last guy a moose wants is Sandy McKenzie on its trail. He will follow it back to its mother.
By this time, everyone is back in camp. Suddenly one guy runs into the camp, saying he heard shots where Sandy was walking through. We all came outside, and we hear two more shots. We receive a scrambled radio message about a calf.
When they were walking back through the chase, Steve and Sandy walked back into a cow 100 meters down a large hill. They stopped and watched her for 20 minutes, hoping to see a calf. When none appeared, they wanted to see how close they could get to her without running away.
As Steve and Sandy drew closer, the cow started to get excited. Then a calf stood up behind a stump and walked toward the cow. Sandy and Steve opened up to shoot the calf and got him. They looked at each other, gave high fives, and headed toward the calf.
Momma moose had other plans. As they got within 50 yards, she charged. Not anything new to seasoned hunters. Sandy and Steve turned and started running back up the hill, moose in hot pursuit. They got behind a blow down, and she came at them.
They both started back down the cow, Mrs. Cow in chase. Sandy got into some rough ground, and the cow knocked him down. As he was on the ground, the cow tried to stomp him.
Sandy yelled at Steve to shoot her! Not wanting to get into a mess with the ministry, Steve fired two quick shots just above her head. She stopped stomping at Sandy and gave Steve chase. Both boys ran down another hill and waded through three feet of water in a pond. The cow stopped at the edge of the water and balled at them.
By this time, we all left the camp and headed up the road and found Sandy and Steve soaking wet in a bed of shock. The camp decided to regroup to give the cow an hour. Then we would go back in and retrieve the calf. We decided to send five guys in to get the calf. I would follow on my ATV to have it out.
In the meantime, two conservation officers arrived on the scene at the pond. Officer Clark got out and asked what was going on. We told them what happened and they laughed at us, but they decided to wait around till we brought the calf out.
As I’m taking my ATV into the bush, I came to a small ditch and there was no place to cross. I shut the machine off to look for a crossing, and all I could hear was the guys hollering like crazy.
I radioed them, and they said the cow charged again. They were lucky there was a fallen cherry tree close by. The moose was snorting, snarling, and stomping, running viciously at them. One by one, they all got up in a tree. The cow was ramming the butt of the tree, scaring them out of their wits.
I radioed out to the road to send in the officers, and they refused to come in. Being slightly annoyed with the officers, I walked back out to the road. I told them if they didn’t help us out, I will have to shoot the moose to get my boys out of the tree. They told me if I shoot the cow, I will be charged. I told them they better come out to help or it’s going to happen.
Officer Clark and his partner came in to lend a hand. Luckily, the moose had backed off 100 feet as we arrived. As the boys were coming down out of the tree, the cow charged again. Both officers reached for their revolvers, but did not pull the triggers. The cow stopped 50 feet away, and Officer Clark told Steve Parson, who had his rifle, to fire a shot over her head. He did, and she backed off a bit.
As we were leaving the bush without the calf, the cow would keep charging. We kept firing shots over her head, and she kept backing off.
This happened at least 10 times over a distance of a quarter of a mile. When we got to the road, the officers told us to leave the calf there, and no charges would be made. I said to them, “I have a big dog at home I call Bear.” He said, “Go get her and see what happens.”
We went back in with the dog and the moose took off. We never saw her again, but we got our calf.
This episode started at 10 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m. We were lucky we got our moose after this crazy battle with no one hurt. This was an experience to last a lifetime.
The next morning when we got up to go hunting, there were moose tracks all over the parking lot – the cow came in the middle of the night to get her calf. We got so lucky no one was outside when she was hunting for her babe.
Oh yeah, we sure got our bull on that Thursday morning, thanks to Sandy McKenzie and Big Steve. It’s a hunt we will never forget. We would like to thank Officer Clark and his partner for their cooperation.
Thanks so much for sharing that with us an our readers, Bruce!