|The young bull died 15 yards from the end of my 35 Whelen muzzle|
It all began in September, and it was a slow start. My hunting partners (a friend and my son) and I spent many days trying to score on an elk. For the most part it was uneventful with lots of miles walked, lot's of calls set up, and many more hours watching the edge of a hay meadow that has generally produced year after year. In short, there were hardly any elk around. The few bulls that called were more interested in moving their harems away at the first hint of another bull in the area. Neither cow calls nor bull calls produced more than a few replies which quickly faded into the distance. The wet fall made it impossible to chase calling bulls because we kept running into swamps and huge beaver ponds. The elk season ended and I can sadly say that I contributed zero to elk depletion.
Mid October found us back in the woods, but this time hunting moose. We set up a call about a mile from where we had been lucky in last season. I generally do the calling and my son and friend set up down wind. We sneaked in and were set up at first light. I gave a soft cow moan and almost immediately a bull answered on my upwind side. For the next 10 minutes I could hear the occasional twig snap, but I could tell that this fellow was not coming in hard. He came to within about 100 yards but stayed in very heavy cover. No amount of coaxing calls would pull him out. After an hour I gave up on him and we moved on.