Hunting has always been a significant part of people’s survival. Back in Stone Age, catching big animals could provide a substantial amount of food for a family. Being able to hunt down a large animal, such as a moose, was not only beneficial but also rewarding. They are humongous, and robust, not to mention delicious.
But harvesting a moose is a challenging job; for some hunters, it is still a mystery and a tremendous task to bag one. It requires patience, a permit, a keen eye and shooting skills.
If you are ready to master the art of hunting a moose, keep reading to find the best tips on getting that trophy on your wall.
Why Is Moose Meat So Popular?
Moose hunting is strictly regulated, but plenty of people make use of illegal hunting grounds. (Plus, a certain percentage of these animals die from being hit by cars due to insufficiently fenced roads.) What’s so interesting about moose hunting, is that it’s not just about the trophy but also about the nutritional value of the meat and its taste.
Moose meat tastes like beef but also has a wild flavor to it similar to deer. If we look only at the nutritional quality of the flesh, it is rich in protein and low in fat which is highly recommended for those with heart disease. Considering around $2000 that is invested in equipment, training, hunting and storing, it is no wonder that one kilogram of this meat can cost up to $1000.
How to Hunt a Moose?
Get familiar with the area
Most hunters do not have a clear understanding of what lies beyond the road system surrounding their hunting areas. It is amazing how many hunters are hoping for the perfect shot ignoring the probable outcome where any sensible moose would have returned to safety. Often, hunters fail to see many hidden clues in their trucks or motorcycles.
There are plenty of ways to explore the hunting area using maps, Google Earth, or even a conversation with the closest residents and hunters most familiar with the ground. Another way is to set up cameras to monitor moose movement for a few days and explore the area prior to the actual hunt, so you know what conditions to expect.
Prepare your gear
It is crucial to have good gear when hunting moose. Clothing should be warm and comfortable. A camouflaged fleece and wool outfit in layers might be the best choice since moose hunting clothing should be quiet. Due to the weather, waterproof boots are a must, along with a standard orange vest, some water and snacks for yourself.
Another preparation should involve post-hunting. Moose are big animals, and hunting them down is not the only tricky part of this adventure. Every hunter needs to bring another set of gear that will help transport, cut and store the catch. In order to do this, many hunters talk to local butcher shops and facilities that provide refrigerator storage, so the meat doesn’t go to waste.
Create a strategy
Moose hunting takes place during a limited period of time around the following dates, depending on the province and the areas where you hunt. The usual time is from August or mid-September to mid-December, the first two hours after sunrise and the last two hours before sunset. Why choose these times? This is the best time for hunters to practice calling for moose. The wind is calm, and the temperature is cooler at these times, so hunters can use a variety of tricks to arouse the animal.
It is imperative to use the wind to your advantage to avoid driving away your prey with other scents. Moose do not have a strong sense of sight, but their sense of hearing and smell are excellent, so make note of the wind’s direction to avoid alerting them to your presence. One of the best tactics is to use the Infernal Triangle, which provides a specific wood positioning and uses the wind to avoid being detected by the moose.
Do your research
Make sure you always set a good example by your own conduct and remember that you have responsibilities to yourself and other hunters. To embody the role of a responsible moose hunter, you need to be aware of regulations, zone boundaries, private land restrictions, and equipment. To avoid waste, you must understand how to handle the animal once it has been taken.
In the moose hunting zone, most of the land is privately owned. Timber and paper companies own large tracts of land that have traditionally permitted hunting on their roads and grounds. Hunters must respect the rights of private landowners while walking on these and other lands. Respect locked gates and do not tamper with them; stay away from restricted areas, travel closed roads, or block gates.
There aren’t many firearm restrictions during the moose season, which allows hunters to choose from a wide range of calibers. A hunter should aim to kill the animal as quickly and humanely as possible, which requires the right firearm and the ability to hit the vital areas of the animal. To ensure a clean kill, moose hunters most often use 308 Winchester ammo which is most common for the big animal hunt and has high muzzle energy.
Rifles should be adequately sighted and in good working condition. You must practice as often as possible with any firearm you use because you might have only one shot and miss it if your weapon malfunctions.
Choose your team
When hunting moose, teamwork is essential. Even the slightest mistake can ruin weeks of work. Hunting isn’t cheap, so you must make sure that you do everything in your power to make it worthwhile. It is vital to have a team composed of a few reliable members. Hunting can push you to unpleasant limits, so the physical ability and good shooting are qualities you are looking for in a team. Dividing prep work, safety measures, and post-work is all part of this adventure, so choose wisely.
What Hunting Mistakes to Avoid?
Moose hunters know the importance of the first and last hours of legal light. Sleeping in may cause you to miss out on a great opportunity. During these crucial times of the day, conditions are often calm and cool, and the acoustics are exceptional. This is the best time to hunt a moose.
A common mistake that hunters make is too much vocalization. If you moan once and you hear a response, the best thing to do is lay low and estimate how far he is and if he is approaching. If you keep moaning and grunting, the prey may think another moose is attending to his potential breeding partner.
Ignoring the signs
We all know that during the breeding season, moose leave a lot of trails that help communicate with other animals in the area. They frequently urinate and roll in the pit to leave a scent and attract potential partners. If you ignore these signs, you stay ignorant of moose motions and whereabouts.
Too much movement
If you want to attract a moose, you need to behave like one. Despite their big appearance, they are reticent and steady. Causing too much movement signifies that other animals may be present in the area, and that can scare them. One must make as little noise as possible, as moose have excellent hearing, and you can be surprised how they might approach themselves.
Hunting moose can be frustrating because of how much ground they cover and how fast they can move in and out of your hunting area. Keeping a positive mental attitude in the field is vital so that you remain focused on your hunt. Firearms aren’t the only weapon you need; patience is also essential. The process is long, but if done correctly, you will be greatly rewarded.