2006 Maine Moose Hunts

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Week 1

The first week of the 2006 moose season arrived in late September with a father and son team being the fortunate recipients of a highly prized Maine Bull Moose permit. Joey and Fran Perreault from New Hampshire along with their friend Carl Perkins arrived on Sunday for their moose hunt. We ate some great Maine seafood and then went to the range to be sure the rifles were on. We then returned to the lodge to talk about what to expect the next day, and we went to bed with thoughts of large bulls.

Monday morning found us waking very early, grabbing our lunches, some coffees and muffins and driving to where we would try to call a bull moose. Our first set up had us calling for around 30 minutes with no bulls responding. We then quietly walked deeper into the woods to try a different location. We called again for 20-30 minutes with no bulls answering. We continued to another location 2-300 yards further into the woods. Again there were no bulls answering. On the fourth set up we had a cow answer. I called back. She called back. This went on for some time when I heard a bull answer and suddenly a spike bull was in sight. This was not quite what we had in mind as for a bull to shoot, but it was nice to see. Well the cow that was calling back wasn't a cow at all, but another hunter with a cow tag on the road we were near. We introduced ourselves and drove to a different area to let this fellow hunt the road he was on. The rest of the day was uneventful, but we did find an area that looked like we should try it in the morning. We headed back to camp for some of Nancy's cooking and some rest.

Tuesday found us again waking early and heading out to the area we had identified on Monday. We worked our way 600 yards or so into a cut, by breaking it into 3 calling sequences as we slowly progressed. We had no responses, but at the third area there was a lot of bull sign, so we headed into the woods to see if we might find him. We set up and began to call. After about 15 minutes our efforts were rewarded with a nice bull coming in. Unfortunately the wind wasn't with us, and he bolted before it could be determined if it was the bull Joey was looking for. We headed back to the truck to drive to some other areas. We spent the rest of the day calling and scouting, with no other moose responding. I opted to return and try for the bull once again in the morning. We headed back to the lodge for more of Nancy's cooking and some sleep.

Wednesday found us waking and heading out to try for the large bull again. On our 2nd set up we had a cow answer me several times. I am certain the bull was with her, but I could not entice him to leave her. We gave up on him and hunted some other areas. Right after shooting hours we spotted a large bull and a cow in the road. He must have been watching his clock. We headed back to the lodge to try a different area in the morning.

Thursday found us heading to an area where two bulls had been spotted by some bear hunters the day before. The bulls were not there this morning however. We tried a few different locations that had a lot of moose sign, but could not get a response to our calling efforts. We headed back to the truck where I called a friend of mine and fellow guide that suggested a different location. I agreed to meet Larry Ferguson near his moose honey hole later that afternoon. When Larry arrived he took Joey and Fran with him in one direction and Carl and I headed off in another direction to call and look for moose sign. Carl and I met Larry back at the truck at 2pm where he told me he had some agitated cows answering him, and he had left Fran and Joey posted up watching a clearing. We headed down to them, and Joey anxiously encouraged me to get my call set up. I placed the call where I hoped I could get a bull to show himself and started to cow call. The cows in the area were quite worked up and it wasn't long when I could tell a bull was coming towards us. From my location I could only hear the bull, but Carl being along to video the hunt excitedly viewed the bull for several minutes waiting for either Joey or Fran to shoot it. Suddenly Joey fired and the bull dropped in its tracks. Joey had killed a nice bull. The best part was it fell where I could get close to it with my truck to pull it into the open. Joey and Carl field dressed the bull. We loaded it in the back of the truck and headed to the butcher shop and finally back home for more good food, some story telling and a good nights sleep. Congratulations to Joey, Fran and Carl on their Maine moose.

Week 2

The second week of the 2006 moose season found us hosting two permit holders for zone 10. We had Guy and Lynn Paradis who had flow from Guam to hunt moose. They were joined in camp by Vinny and Brenda Donnelly here from Virginia. Guy and Lynn would be guided by me, and Vinny was going to hunt with Larry Ferguson. After eating a great lobster dinner we had moose orientation, then headed to the range to check the firearms' sights. Everything looked good. I took Larry to an area I felt held good prospects for he and Vinny the next morning, and then headed back to the lodge for some rest.

Monday found us waking early, grabbing our lunches, some muffins and coffee and headed out before the sun was to rise to get to our calling locations. Since it was dark when we parked the truck I opted to call from the road a few hundred yards from the truck for our first set up of the day. I positioned Guy and Lynn in the ditch of the road across from me and placed my caller about 50 yards down the road. Right at dawn I began cow calling, about 20 minutes into the sequence I heard a moose approach from behind the hunters. In a few minutes a small spike bull stood 15-20 feet from Lynn. It wandered back into the woods as I continued to call. In a few more minutes I heard the unmistaken sound of a large bull approaching. I continued to cow call, and bull grunt but I could not hear the bull. I poked my head out of the bushes and looked down the road, and I spotted the bull, he was right in the center of the road looking towards me, and he was not coming any closer. I estimated the range at just over 100 yards.

I got Guy's attention and told him the bull was right in the road. He looked down and began to get his shooting sticks set up. He looked at the range and thought it was too far for his iron sights. The bull turned and presented a perfect broadside and I told Guy to shoot. He did, and there was no reaction from the bull, so I said shoot it again. By this time the bull was facing us again, and I am sure the second shot was a clean miss. I ran down the road to look for blood and found what I believed to be the bull's tracks. After 5-10 minutes searching I found a small spot of blood, and went back to the truck for some flagging to mark the trail to the bull as we tracked him. On my way to the truck I spotted two small bulls coming to the call, and pointed them out to Guy and Lynn, a fifth bull was right by the truck as I gathered my flagging.

We started on the bull's trail and he was walking without any evidence of being hurt too badly, but there was pretty good blood. We started tracking about 8am, and by 11:30am after crossing a second road, and working our way slowly through a cedar swamp, we were all beginning to lose heart. Guy and I spoke briefly and decided to go just a little further, when we both spotted the bull at the same time. He had been bedded near us and had silently risen, I excitedly told Guy to shoot him, which he did, and in seconds we were standing over he and Lynn's huge trophy moose. The only problem was the moose was over 1/2 mile from the closest road, in an area off limits to ATV use. By the end of the day we had managed to get 1 quarter to the truck, but had managed to mark a pretty good trail that Guy and I became quite familiar with on Tuesday. By 1pm on Tuesday we had all 4 quarters of the moose, its loins, tenderloins and neck meat as well as its large head and horns in the truck and were on our way to the processing facility to get the moose packaged for its shipment to Guam.

While all this was going on, Larry and Vinny were hunting as well and had several moose respond to Larry's calling efforts on Monday morning, but no good shot opportunities were presented. On Tuesday Larry headed out with Vinny to try their luck again, but the moose were silent and unresponsive on Tuesday, and when Larry returned to camp Tuesday evening he looked like hell. We later learned his doctor had over prescribed heart medication, and it really made him ill, all we knew at the time was he could not continue to guide that week and I would have to take over. So on Wednesday Vinny and I headed out to see what we could do.

We hunted from first light right to the end of the day. The only action we had was my final calling set up just before dark. We both heard a large bull approach the call, and we knew in moments he would step into the clearing where Vinny could get a shot. Apparently the bull knew we were planning to shoot him and decided to disappear, as it had silently slipped away unseen. We returned to the lodge for a good meal and some sleep.

When we awoke on Thursday morning it was pouring rain, with a heavy easterly wind, not the best of hunting conditions, but when you have 1 week to hunt moose, you put on rain gear and go. That is what we did. I led Vinny deeper and deeper into some moose woods, hoping to get close enough to one that it would come to our calling in the inclement weather. Vinny was praying that we did not see a moose, since he vowed to have his drop right in a road if he was going to kill one, after watching the struggles Guy and I had with Guy and Lynn's moose. The rain broke about noon, and we spent some time driving around looking for moose. We did see two cows in separate locations, but no bulls. It got to be about 4:30pm and I figured we had time to call in two locations before the end of shooting time. About 20 minutes into our first set up, Vinny got my attention that he could see a bull and was planning on shooting. From where I sat I could not see it, but indicated that he should shoot. He did, and the moose fell right in the road. Vinny had shot a young bull that he felt would be tremendous table fare, and I am sure it is. It did not take us too long and we had the bull dressed and loaded in the back of the truck. We went back to the lodge, and packed the bull full of ice and planned on taking it to be processed first thing in the morning. So by the end of the week we had two separate hunting parties with several hundred pounds of great tasting moose to eat and share with their friends.

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