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A Moose's Fatal Attraction...to a 3D Target

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September 10, 2013
A Moose's Fatal Attraction...to a 3D Target - 8

For a lot of 48’ers, September means football, return to school, and maybe dove season.

But for Alaskans, September means moose season.

The past couple of years, I have waited until the final, rut-crazed few days of the month to hunt bulls during archery season, and although I arrowed a nice bull last year, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do any calling before I got him. This year, my moose season is over before I even made it into the field.

I wouldn’t exactly call it hunting, but my experience ended up making for a funny story.

Moose season around Fairbanks opens up Sept. 1, and the area around town is bow-only for the entire season. On Labor Day, my wife and I were at my dad’s house for a barbecue. While we were inside eating—I was tucked into a burger from last year’s moose—I heard someone say a moose was in the yard. By the time they’d gotten the words out that it was a bull, I was running to the garage.

I didn’t have my bow along, so I quickly strung up the Bear’s Paw recurve I had bought as a gift for my dad. I dug around and found a couple of arrows with broadheads and made my way outside. I wouldn’t call myself sneaky—I was wearing jeans, a white tee shirt, and unlaced boots—but I started quartering my way towards the bull.

I saw that he was neck rubbing our 3D elk target at the edge of the lawn. My dad had seen the bull before season and even noticed that the antlerless target had been knocked over some mornings. It was clear now that the young bull was lovestruck by this foam mannequin.

I eased my way within 20 yards, softly grunting at the bull, and things nearly got even more exciting. He turned, dropped his head, and started coming towards me, apparently taking offense at my intrusion on his romantic intentions.

I backed off a bit, then making sure not to make eye contact, started working my way closer again. Having been out of town, then sheep hunting for two weeks, I hadn’t shot a bow in a month, and hadn’t shot this bow since last winter. I wanted to get as close as possible, even though the kill zone was nearly as big as a car door.

I managed to get to about 10 yards from the bull that was still trying to get a reaction from his inanimate “lady” friend, and put an arrow all the way through him, right behind the shoulder. He ran about 30 yards and went down just inside the wood line.

I was slightly bummed that my success meant I wouldn’t get to actually hunt, but I’m not one to give up a freebie freezer full of meat. It turned out to be the most convenient cleaning job I’ve ever done, and he was a perfect eating-size bull and in good shape. I will still be able to get out later this month, but I’ll be doing the boat driving and calling bulls for friends and family. Maybe I’ll take that 3D elk target along as a decoy.

Comments (8)

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from LovesOutdoors wrote 30 weeks 1 day ago

Hey Tyler, next year's moose season don't forget to pack the 3D cow elk target.

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from tylerfreel85 wrote 30 weeks 4 days ago

Normally moose around town aren't especially spooky, but it's not too common for a bull to let a person get that close....he just really didn't want to leave that cow elk!

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from huntfishtrap wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

Congrats on the moose Tyler, as far as I'm concerned, shooting something the size of a moose that close to your freezer is using your head!
One curiosity question though; is it normal for moose to be that unafraid of a non-camouflaged human, or was it that the rut was making him goofy?

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from tylerfreel85 wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

Yes it is darn good! It's definitely nice being able to knock that much food down with one arrow! especially not having to spend a bunch of gas money to get him, he'll save a lot of cash for us this winter!

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from charlie elk wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

I understand completely Tyler and have always been a little bit jealous of the Alaskan subsistence lifestyle.
For most in the lower game meat is a treat not a year round food source. And darn, moose is good meat, enjoy.
later,
charlie

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from MWK_MN wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

Makes sense what you did. You hunt a lot and now you can focus on helping family and friends get their moose. Some years when I shoot my buck early I feel a little less pressure in the woods and enjoy putting friends and family in areas where the big boys might be hanging out.

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from tylerfreel85 wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

This one was definitely more about an easy freezer full of meat than fun, after a 14 day sheep hunt, I definitely wasn't gonna pass him up because it not enough work, as meat is the main goal for me with moose. Even though I take more enjoyment in hunting hard and calling them in, with no guarantee of another chance, I'll take the 450lbs of meat! :)

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from charlie elk wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

Well things are different in Alaska...
Down here many of us rural folk get deer, bear, wolves, the occasional cougar and assorted small game wandering into and through the yard. Some do yard hunt while others resist in order to make more work out of it and extend their season.
As long as it's fun in the eyes of the beholder.
later,
charlie

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from charlie elk wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

I understand completely Tyler and have always been a little bit jealous of the Alaskan subsistence lifestyle.
For most in the lower game meat is a treat not a year round food source. And darn, moose is good meat, enjoy.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

Well things are different in Alaska...
Down here many of us rural folk get deer, bear, wolves, the occasional cougar and assorted small game wandering into and through the yard. Some do yard hunt while others resist in order to make more work out of it and extend their season.
As long as it's fun in the eyes of the beholder.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

This one was definitely more about an easy freezer full of meat than fun, after a 14 day sheep hunt, I definitely wasn't gonna pass him up because it not enough work, as meat is the main goal for me with moose. Even though I take more enjoyment in hunting hard and calling them in, with no guarantee of another chance, I'll take the 450lbs of meat! :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

Makes sense what you did. You hunt a lot and now you can focus on helping family and friends get their moose. Some years when I shoot my buck early I feel a little less pressure in the woods and enjoy putting friends and family in areas where the big boys might be hanging out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

Yes it is darn good! It's definitely nice being able to knock that much food down with one arrow! especially not having to spend a bunch of gas money to get him, he'll save a lot of cash for us this winter!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 31 weeks 2 days ago

Congrats on the moose Tyler, as far as I'm concerned, shooting something the size of a moose that close to your freezer is using your head!
One curiosity question though; is it normal for moose to be that unafraid of a non-camouflaged human, or was it that the rut was making him goofy?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 30 weeks 4 days ago

Normally moose around town aren't especially spooky, but it's not too common for a bull to let a person get that close....he just really didn't want to leave that cow elk!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 30 weeks 1 day ago

Hey Tyler, next year's moose season don't forget to pack the 3D cow elk target.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)