20 September 2010

Montana Moose Hunt

-- Reader Alert: dead animal photos ahead --

As regular readers know, EcoRover drew a bull moose (Alces alces; the creature so nice, they named it twice) permit for an area near my home in Butte/Walkerville, Montana. Friend Dave Carter & I did lots of "scouting"--a pretty word for an excuse to hike our beloved hills. I decided to hunt here:


Turned out to be a good choice. Hunting along low ridges where I could look down into the willow bottoms, I spotted a small bull up a small side valley early in the morning. I thought I was at the end of the valley but heard two Raven People quork up the valley a bit further, just past a small timbered ridge that dips into the bottom. Ravens don't just talk a lot--they usually have something to say & I listen. A few minutes later, and single shot through the lungs (no loss of meat) from my little Sako .308 Winchester (with 150 grain all-copper Barnes bullet):

For some minutes I was in awe. Speechless. Then grateful, promising "I will honor your spirit and use your flesh well:"

I field dress and prepare an elk for hauling in just an hour or so. Bull Moose took three hours to dress, quarter, drag the quarters away from the butchering site, prop them up for cooling, and cover with branches to keep Raven off. Longer because I could not roll it over to ease the chore! Luckily, Bear stayed away for the night (hanging my shirt and hat near the meat might have helped) and next morning found me with five friends hiking in a mile or so from the nearest road. Job 1 was to hang the rear quarters for deboning and skinning (Ben Carter with Chukah-TheDog; photo by C Danielson):

Here's Little Brother AJ deboning a hind quarter (photo by C Danielson):

And EcoRover deboning a front quarters (yes, that's a Moose Drool t-shirt from the brewery in Missoula; photo by C Danielson):

Meanwhile the teams of Dave Carter & Ben Carter (shown here with MollyTheDog) and Chris Danielson & Don Stierle spelled each other hauling the head back to the truck (photo by C Danielson):

And here's Ben again, this time on his second trip to the p.up with a 60 pound load of meat. Oh, what a feeling to set that pack down! (photo by C Danielson):

AJ & I were the last to stagger out. The day's total, well over 300 pounds of boneless meat. Thank you to all the good friends who helped me. Let's hoist a pint together & declare, "Thank you, Bull Moose. We will honor your spirit and use your flesh well."

17 comments:

Pete said...

Beautiful animal, and it looks like you had great weather to boot. And, Rover, you must be one popular (or generous, or both) dude if you can convince 5 presumably rational men to help with the hauling! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

From the guy who was giving you crap for saying you may not try to shoot one earlier - CONGRATULATIONS - hope it is delicious

troutbirder said...

What a lot of work. I enjoyed your account of the hunt and the carry. I've never eaten moose and wonder how its compares to elk. My own big game experience was limited to bow hunting whitetails.

Should Fish More said...

Nice, the moose looks well-fed. Should be delicious!

Max said...

I can't believe it is already moose season in Montana! Funny to run across an old acquaintance on your blog. I knew Ben during my old Boy Scouting days.

Terry Scoville said...

Congratulations! What a nice recount of your hunt and I especially appreciate the spirit in which you hunt. Honor and respect for your quarry. Well done and what a great bunch of friends to help out.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow---Congrats, ER.... That is one big mull moose. I was wondering how in the world you all would get that guy outta there.... Big job, huh????

I'm sure many of you will enjoy that meat!!!!

Congrats again.
Betsy

Judy said...

That is a lot of boneless meat! I am sure the scavengers will share out the entrails and bones! And I am glad you took him out with one clean shot, so he didn't suffer!

mdmnm said...

Meat for the year! Congrats & thanks for a nice account of the hunt with good photos.

Matt said...

Nice work on getting a moose! I am sure that you will use the flesh well.

Ann said...

How long will the meat last? I didn't know you are allowed to hunt a moose. My bro and bro in law would definitely love to go with you.

Your photos are tastefully done.

My brother in law sent me his slaughtered suckling pigs. I wasn't sure if I should post them.

Kong said...

congrats prof
i wish i can join the hunt...:P

~ Sheepheads said...

Many good bits in this story ER.

Hunters can appreciate the Ravens, makes one feel almost like he was there. Good job on the scouting too. Lucky on the bears staying away. There are many this year as you probably are aware. Nice T-Shirt too. Lastly, the information on the copper Barnes is good to know as well. I have a few of those still untested as of yet in the field. Enjoy your lean protein!

Marian Love Phillips said...

My congrats to you EcoRover - Enjoy your harvest! :)

Spiderdama said...

Looks like great trip and hunt!
And your pictures is great!:-)
Wish you a happy weekend!

Janie said...

Moose Creek was well named, it seems. You brought home a winter's supply of meat with one hunt. Looks like a lot of work deboning and carrying it out. Luckily, you had a lot of good friends to help.

canadian said...

Looks like great