2002 Maine Moose Hunts

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Moose hunt 2002 was very exciting. It began in mid-June after the drawing for Maine permits was held. Don Rismiller, who hunted with me in 2000, had his brother-in-law Richard Howe drawn for a permit in zone 4. As luck would have it Don's cousin David Armstrong and his son John Armstrong were also drawn for zone 4. We all gathered in my home a few days later, where I told them, "You shoot and we'll get it out, wherever it is."
Zone 4 is quite remote, with few places to stay. I was able to secure lodging at Loon Lodge and convince my wife, Nancy, to come along on the hunt to cook for us. My friend Ken Reed was able to be there to guide one of the groups on the hunt. Ken has been calling moose for many years, but this week tested his abilities tremendously.

I had scouted the hunting area north to south and east to west prior to heading up there. I had a plan in place, but was willing to change if conditions dictated that. We arrived at Loon Lodge on Sunday and settled in. Nancy prepared a great meal for us all, and everyone was pumped up. Monday morning arrived with a heavy wind. Not great calling conditions. Ken was able to get a decent bull to show itself on his first set up with John and Dave, but that was it for excitement on that day.

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday with one difference, no one saw any moose that day. I did however, look my map over and decide to take a walk with Don and Richard to a swale area. Boy was it thick. Once we got down through the thick stuff, we found a good amount of fresh moose sign. Back at camp that evening, we decided to head back in there at first light.

On the way in I saw a bull in my head lights on the road into the area we wanted to hunt. We pulled over and decided we would try for him as shooting time was approaching. Ken did a great job calling, but the bull was not coming out for us, so we headed into the thick stuff to try a different area. Ken took David and John in one direction and Don, Richard and I stayed in an area with a good amount of fresh scrape activity. While looking in my binoculars, I spied a tremendous bull, and decided to try to close the distance and try calling him. That bull did not come in, but Don and Richard heard a response from the thick stuff while I was calling. As all this was happening, John had snuck in on a cow and bull together and had put the bull down. The area where the bull was required us getting my big canoe from the lodge and quartering it to get it out. Ken and I headed off to get my canoe, some other tools, and some food for the guys. We returned a few hours later and dropped lunch off to Don and Richard who had seen a moose, but were not sure if it was a bull or a cow as it did not show itself entirely. When we got to David and John we unloaded the tools necessary for butchering the moose, when we spied a nice bull in the binoculars, I decided to go get Don and Richard and try for the bull while Ken butchered the moose.

As I motored up the lake with the guys to try for the bull I spied what looked to me to be a large bull. Don insisted it was a rock until it raised its head. Then there was no mistaking it for a trophy bull. Don wanted to take the moose with a muzzle loader, which required us to get pretty close. When the moose would look away I paddled, when it looked at us I stopped. Finally we were within 100 yards and I said now was the time. The gun roared, the moose moved forward and collapsed in the water. Now we had two bull's to get out and not enough time to do it.

We ended up camping out for the night and heading out at first light with our moose. It was quite an adventure, and we were able to do just what we promised. "If you shoot it, we'll get it out." Isn't that right Dave? Don's bull is being scored and may make Boone and Crocket as well as being a potential record muzzle loader moose.

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