My son Matthew flew out from Montana to participate in hunting a bull moose in northern Maine. In preparation, I had to beef up my landscape trailer with a manual winch to allow us to pull the bull into the trailer. I was grateful for my experience running a metal fabrication shop as it taught me many skills.
In addition to the trailer, we would need a moose call. In the past I had purchased a commercial moose call, however despite my best efforts, it sounded like a dying moose in my hands. So I elected to make an old fashion Maine Moose Call from the bark of a birch tree.
After selecting the tree and carving out the bark I fashioned it into the call, which in effect is a megaphone to broadcast the moose call deeper into the woods. I elected to use camo duct tape in place of using leather traps to sew it together.
The day came and after 12 hours of travel, Matthew arrived in Portland. Sunday morning we got an early start and drove the 5 1/2 hours to Oxbow Lodge, Oxbow, Maine. www.Oxbowlodge.com I can't say enough about Chad and Jodi and their staff, the accommodations and food were outstanding.
When we arrived, our hunting buddies, Jim and Bob, were already there and anxious to get into the woods to do some scouting. We chose scout south of the lodge as this doesn't take you into the North Maine Woods. The North Maine Woods is a organization of private land owners and they don't allow any ATV's or Tractors to extract the moose, so one must call one close to a traveled logging road or pack it out. Our journey south didn't look promising so the next morning at 4 am we headed through gate 6 onto the Pinkham road. We pulled up just before legal shooting, which is one half hour before daylight. I began calling and Matt was slowing walking up the road. He didn't get 50 yds from the truck when I noticed him waving me on. When I got to him he said he had jumped at least two moose out of their beds. I continued calling. At 6am, five minutes into legal hunting, two cows crossed the logging road silhouetted by the sky. Then the bull started across, I tried calling to get him to stop, but he didn't until he hit the tree line. Matt thought he had turned and was facing him head on but in fact, he was still broadside with his head turned. Matt dropped the cross hairs of the scope on his Knight 50 caliber black powder and fired, the bullet went right under the moose's head, a clean miss. We waited until daylight to check for blood and fanned out in the area. I heard some crunching while I was calling and thought it might be Matt circling back, I was surprised to see yet another bull moose coming to my call, he stopped 30 feet from me!! Then I looked to my right and saw but another bull 40 yards away!! Where was Matt? I finally added MOOOOOOSE to my call and that got Matt's attention, however by the time he arrived on the scene, the bulls had departed. Within the first 45 minutes of legal hunting I had called in 5 moose, wow, what a morning. We traveled and called all day but didn't see another moose until the evening. Our hunting buddies had one walk by their truck as they were playing blue grass music and playing cribbage!!!
The next morning all of us were feeling ill, the Norovirus had been going through camp and we later found out we had a full blown case of it. We traveled back to our first encounter the day before and our plan was to walk that road and call for moose. As Matt and I approached the end of the logging road, both of us were deathly ill, Matt dropped off into the brush, I continued on to the landing at the end still calling but very ill. Matt came out of the brush, just as I was vomiting, oh what a morning!!! He motioned to me to look into the far corner of the landing, I continued my calling and over a ridge came a bull moose. Matt chose to harvest him and lowered his 50 Cal and fired. The moose turned as if to go back into the woods and Matt gave me the go ahead to back him up so I fired my 30.06 with a shot to the neck. The moose still stood there so I fired again at his spine and he dropped. I had a tree between me and his vitals so I had to choose my shot locations accordingly. I had called the moose to within 90 feet of where we could drive the truck, an easy extraction.
After getting back to the lodge, the four of us spent the next 16 hours in bed suffering with all the symptoms of the Norovirus. All in all, what a great hunt with many memories that will be embellished through the years.
Since we ended our hunt early in the week, it left us time to fly fish on of the most difficult ponds in the area. It was a great week, one that Matt and I will cherish for a life time.
If you have a moose tag, give me a call, I would love the opportunity to call one in for you. If you didn't get one, apply for one next year!!!