Moose hunting is one of the premier outdoor sports, with thousands of hunters a year taking to the forests to hunt down these animals that can be as big or bigger than horses. It is also one of the most challenging outdoor sports, because moose habitat is extremely diverse; they do not stick to certain areas where one is guaranteed to find them. They will often be down in the wetlands in the summers, swimming in lakes and rivers and feeding in swamps. They will also travel to high ground, moving about through sparse and thick forest alike, climbing hilly regions and lumbering down into the valleys. Therefore, a certain amount of knowledge has to go into moose hunting in order to have a chance a getting one at all. Some general tips and tricks are needed for the hunt to be a success.
Selecting the right gun with the right caliber and weight of the bullet is a must. There are a number of guns that are considered usable, and they all have heavy enough shots to kill a moose without leading to its suffering–this is a concern, because the size of the animal means that it can take more injury before dying; therefore, shots need to be dead on in the kill zone and need to come from a strong enough gun to take the moose down cleanly. A .30/06 Springfield or a .308 Winchester will do the job quite well with their heavy bullets, as will a .300 Winchester Magnum or a .300 Weatherby Magnum. The gun should be sighted in so that it hits at two hundred yards, since long shots are very common in moose hunting as the animal is visible for quite a distance. A sighting at two hundred yards will give the weapon a clean shot anywhere between zero and three hundred yards; after that, taking a shot is not advised, as the trajectory on the bullet will fall at a considerable rate.
Because of the variety of habitats where moose are prone to travel, hunters should always dress to accommodate a number of climates. Warm outer clothing is suggested, with the hunter orange on the outside being a must. Under that, it is best to dress in layers. This way, the hunt will not be negatively impacted by a hunter either sweating to death in the lowlands or freezing in the mountains. Any sort of movement becomes possible, so that the hunter can follow and track the moose to wherever they feel they have the best chance of taking the animal.
If one enjoys stand hunting, which is the art of hiding oneself so completely that one will not be detected and then waiting for the moose to arrive, it can be done at most times and in most weather conditions. One will want to scout the area first and be sure to find good cover. Keeping things with a heavy scent away from the stand is advised, as one will not be moving and will not want to give away one’s position. If one enjoys what is known as still hunting, which is the stalking of a moose by walking quietly through the forest, one is best to set out after a heavy rain. This will mean that the forest will be muddy, so the hunter should dress appropriately with boots and spare socks, but it will also mean that the underbrush–in particular, the leaves–will be wet and silent.
Another trick, though one wants to have mastered before putting into use, is calling during mating season. If one can master the mating call, one will have a good chance of getting a bull moose into range. However, this comes with a word of caution. If one does not have the call down, the moose may recognize it as something foreign and move away from the hunter instead of moving closer.
Moose hunting is very exciting, and one can end up with trophies of which everyone will be envious. Employing a few tricks may help the hunter get the moose they’ve always wanted, whether they are hunting down in the wetlands or up in the mountains. Certainly, it will make for a memorable experience.