2005 Maine Moose Hunts

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During moose season 2005 It did not appear that an actual hunter would be hiring my guide service. So I took the opportunity to call in several bulls over the course of the 2005 season just for fun, and to practice my video skills. On Thursday of the second week of the season I was at a local garage getting the ball joints on my truck replaced. While there I spoke with Donat Busque who owns a local restaurant and motel. He mentioned he had some hunters staying at the hotel that were finding moose hunting a bit more challenging than they thought it would be. I gave him my number and said to have them call me if they did not fill there tag that day which was Thursday.

That evening my phone rang. It was Alex Cunningham of Bristol, ME. He was the lucky holder of a bull tag for zone 10 and his daughter Elizabeth Seccareccio of Damariscotta was the sub permittee. It had taken Alex 26 years to finally draw a tag, and he had not seen any decent bulls, let alone any bull he could even shoot at. Fortunately for Alex I spend nearly 3 months of each year, in and around zone 10 hunting and baiting bears. I knew where there were several bulls we could try for. We agreed upon a price and a time to get started the next day.

I met Alex, Elizabeth and Pete, a friend of Alex's, at the hotel at 6 am. Pete was along to help, but Alex and Elizabeth would be hunting the bull. We had just started into the area I wanted to try and a moose was spotted heading into the woods. It was decided to try briefly to call it back out of the woods. We tried for several minutes to get a response, when I decided to try and get ahead of the bull and call in a different location. We headed into the woods on foot and tried another location. After 20 minutes of nothing, I decided we would move again.

This time after we got set up and got into our calling sequence I heard a branch break and the unmistakable sound of a bull grunting. I whispered to Alex and Elizabeth to wait for a clear shot. Well the bull appeared and gave us a glimpse as it stepped behind some evergreens. Then it disappeared entirely. I snuck over grunting and acting like a competitor, to see what happened to the bull. From its tracks it just cruised right by our set up. We moved and tried to cut it off again, but this moose had other plans.

We returned to my truck and drove a few miles to a spot I had called several bulls in over the past week or 2. We parked the truck and headed off on foot. It was now about 9:30 am. We would set up and call in a likely spot for about 20 minutes, if I got no response we would move a few hundred yards and try again. We continued this process several times, when I could tell Alex was losing hope of filling his tag. I told him to keep his chin up, we would find a bull for him, just hang in there. At approximately 1:45 pm I got Alex and Elizabeth set up in a good spot over looking a skidder trail where I hoped the bull would present a shot. As I walked back to sit down and begin calling I heard a branch break about 60 yards away. It was a bull. Apparently it thought I was a bull moose and it began to thrash some saplings. I imitated the sound back to him, and he came closer. It did not present a clear shot where it currently was, so I called softly like a cow moose and he headed off towards the sound. When it stepped into the clearing by Alex and Elizabeth the action began. Lead was flying, then the moose was gone and everything was silent.

I told Alex to reload and run and see if the moose was still visible. When he got to where the moose disappeared there was a spot of blood. We sat down and regrouped for about 15 minutes, then trailed the moose. The bull had only run 30 yards, where it had quickly died with 1 well placed shot through the lungs. It was decided that I would go get my 6x6 to retrieve the moose from where it lay. When I returned the moose was photographed and then taken out to the road, where we loaded it on Pete's trailer. The moose had a spread of just under 50", and was a nice mature bull moose. Alex, Elizabeth and Pete were very happy, as was Faye Cunningham, Alex's wife who had met me at the hotel for a ride in to see the bull.

Hunting moose in Maine is an exciting opportunity. We have a very good population of moose, and with some expert calling as well as knowledge about the territory, a moose hunt can be very successful. Alex will be reliving his moose hunt for many years, as he looks at its beautiful mount. Congratulations Alex and Elizabeth on your Maine moose.

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