So many things to recount that I don’t know where to get started Owen. Getting a bit of a nudge from you may help... LOL
Great accounts of your hunts BTW. You certainly had a very productive year. Good to see you active and healthy after that major cardiac issue a few years back.
This was you in 2017...
It wasn’t by chance that you were sitting in the passenger seat. I remember you telling me that you weren’t allow to drive for a significant amount of time after your procedure. You’re proof positive that life can return to normal even after having had the worse type of heart issue. Wishing you many more years of hunting endeavors .!!
Over the years we’ve had a few hunters that were picked for zone 2 and wanted our help. We’ve always turned them down. From now on we’ll point them in your direction. Having them read the accounts of your 2022 moose hunts should dispel any hesitation on their part...LOL
At some point I’ll finish Cory’s hunt of 2020
And will consult with Christien to recount the 2021 hunt. ( I missed that hunt but 2022 more than made up for it..!!)
I’m going to start with the 2022 hunt. In a little over a year I’ll be turning 80, and I don’t want to risk croaking before I have a chance to recount the best and most successful moose hunt of my lifetime..!! If it’s the last thing that I do I’ll die happy.
We’ve all experienced hunts where everything seems to go wrong. With Fiona hammering Cape Breton the day that we were suppose to set up camp, we figured that our hunt was going to be a complete disaster. We weren’t even sure that we’d be able to drive to our sites. Luckily, Baddeck wasn’t hit that hard and one of the groups along with Joey and Brian (of our team) had gone early and stayed at a motel.
Looks like they didn’t have too much problem weathering the hurricane...LOL
As soon as the storm subsided they were able to check the roads to our camp site and relay the good news that there were no wash outs and no road blockages. The other 2 groups and the rest of the support team would leave very early Sunday morning...the day before the hunt.
By mid afternoon on Sunday, we were all there. Luckily, the weather had cleared and we had perfect weather to set up camp.
Louisbear, I remember reading one of your posts where you mentioned that, under the guise of a fishing expedition, our Summer camping is actually a scouting trip. How right you are..!! We do have a few serious anglers in our group but we usually spend just as much time in the woods as we do on the water....AND it pays off..!!
I watched this guy for over an hour on our ‘fishing trip’ at a place where we had never seen moose before.
He was standing at a spot less than 30 yards from where this one came down on the very first day of our hunt..!!
So, I guess that means that we have one more promising site to hunt. The Raspberry Bog started out much like this and we’ve been successful there 2 years in a row and taken 4 at that spot in all.
I never thought that I would see the day when our ‘Honey Hole’ (with 8 harvests) would be 3rd or 4th in priority but Don’s Bog (with 9 kills..including the last 2 years in a row) and the Raspberry Bog ( with an instant kill in the first hour this year) are proving to be our best spots. And, if we combine all the Summer sightings along with the sightings during the hunt...we had seen 6 different moose at the new spot where this young bull was shot. I guess it pays to spend some time in the woods.
A successful hunt means different things to different people. There are reasons why I believe our 2022 moose hunt was the most successful of any that we’ve had up to now. All three teams had very dissimilar expectations for what they considered to be a successful hunt. And yet, all 3 licensees ended up with exactly the hunt that they were hoping for. Those that were ready to cope with a very tough and most challenging hunt got it..and were rewarded for it. Those that wanted the least challenging hunt also got what they wanted. And every licensee ended up with the shooter of his choice and the moose of his choice. It doesn’t get any better than that..!!
And, I can’t leave out another major component of any successful hunt: TEAMWORK. Look at this photo.
We ended up being 15 hunters at the site of the 3rd kill.!! We were so many that some were actually disappointed because they didn’t get a chance to participate in the field dressing or carry.
That photo is very typical of what went on all week. It didn’t matter whose moose was being field dressed, carried out, or iced up... everybody would lend a hand. We didn’t have 3 teams...we had ONE TEAM with 3 licensees.
I mentioned before that Tent Town participants become part of a fraternity that keeps on expanding. Before moving on to the actual hunts, I’ll likely start by taking a look back at the history of these licensees and how they ended up being part of the 2022 moose hunt.
I’ll start our 2022 triple moose hunt with Felix’s team seen here:
Felix is typical of the type of licensee that we have in our pool. He first joined us in 2010 when he accompanied his brother Jimmy that had been picked. Both of them are former students of mine.
This was the team. Jimmy was our sole licensee that year. He didn’t care who was the shooter as long as he ended up with some moose meat. Companion Russel ended up being the shooter.
A few photos of that hunt...Hard to believe that this was 12 years ago...It seems like just a couple of years ago.
We didn’t have any pack boards at that time but we did have tandem carriers: heavy canvas rectangular sheets with a sleeve sewed in on both sides for the insertion of conduit pipes. This is Russel assembling one of these carriers.
They actually made very lightweight carriers that were very sturdy and easy to store and transport.
But I have to admit that our 2 legged carriers which we use now are way more versatile...as long as you have a strong back and good legs..!! LOL Every member of the support team now has one...
Previous to Felix's first hunt in 2010, I had converted my catering kitchen in the basement to a butcher room.
We were well set up to do all the butchering...
FELIX SLICING UP SOME OF HIS BROTHER'S MOOSE MEAT ...
RUSSEL WEIGHING AND SORTING OUT SOME OF THE MEAT...
Felix and Brian are life long friends so when Brian’s brother Wayne was picked in 2012, Felix had a chance to be companion again. This is him on the 2012 moose hunt angling the antlers so that Pete and Brian can disjoint the head from the neck of Wayne's moose (2012).
2023 will be the 29th year that Allain and I will be going to Hunter's Mountain.
Over the past 28 years we've helped 29 moose hunting teams.
I like to profile Felix because he's typical of the type of licensee that comes with us. Usually we get somebody that has come as companion or as part of a team once or twice and finally is lucky enough to get picked. That was the case with 2 of the 3 teams this year.
I saw your comment on your camp thread about not being able to upload pictures..?? Don't know why you would have problems posting them..??!!. I'm using both Imgur and Photobucket and had no issue posting the last photos that you see above...
Gary, All 3 moose were carried out this way...Notice the smiles...NOT HARD TO DO..!!!
Back to Felix's hunt...
Deciding what team will hunt a specific site is always something that needs to be talked about ahead of time. We’ve relied on the deck of cards a few times to decide this but not this past year. Both hunts that Felix had participated in were successful and took place at Don’s Bog. So this is where he wanted his team to be on the first day. The other two licensees were OK with this.
Wayne P (one of the other licensees) had come with us on our Summer scouting trip last year and he was sold on the Raspberry Bog after Christien had showed him the spot. This is where, in 2021, the licensee’s son Cleveland and Christien had gotten the biggest bull that we ever took at tent town.
Wayne P. Was looking forward to hunting this spot. This would leave the 3rd licensee (Stephen) with The Honey Hole. Not a bad choice...we had taken 8 moose out of that spot in the past 12 years.
As soon as the cabin tent was in place we had to assemble 4 sets of shelves, and then unload, sort out, and stack all the dry goods, canned stuff, bread, fresh fruit etc... It took a bit of time before we were done.
We normally have our turkey dinner on Sunday evening but we were pressed for time and the fastest meal that could be put together was the Chinese food. Most of that meal was cooked and frozen and only needed to be warmed up in the chafers. I got started as soon as the two triple burner stoves were ready..
We had plenty of fresh bean sprouts and one of Wayne’s team had brought plenty of Shrimp so we added Shrimp Egg Foo young to the menu. We used the left over bean sprouts and grilled ham to make egg foo young sandwiches for the hunters breakfast on Monday morning...A very hardy meal for our first breakfast..!!
Monday turned out to be a wet and cold drizzly day as all 3 teams headed out to their hunting spots at day break. Felix and Tony would be the shooters at Don’s bog with Brian being the caller. Brian had been Joey’s companion in 2021 and ended up being the shooter that brought down this bull:
This would be number 9 taken at Don’s Bog. Number 10 would be taken in 2022 but, oddly enough, not by Felix’s team that was slated to hunt there.
Opportunities to fill your tag are never predictable in any big game hunt. That was certainly the case for Felix's moose. Often times, chance plays as much of a role in the success of a hunt as all the planning and preparation.
It was by chance that I happened to spot these two cows last Summer at a site just a mile from our campsite..
Not far from this spot on another day I was entertained for over an hour by this young bull..
With 3 teams and a full slate of companions, there’s always a few guys hanging around the base camp. I had a chance Monday morning to show some of these companions the spot where I had seen these moose. It’s just a short drive away and a short walk. It’s an easy place to get to and you never know what may show up. Plus, going there gave the non hunting companions something to do.
All of Felix’s team returned from Don’s Bog a bit after noon. They were wet and cold. After a change of clothes and a lunch, the whole team ( except Brian ) rested up in their tents.
Mid afternoon, one of the companions from another team came back from taking a walk to the new spot and announced that he had seen a cow moose feeding there. Brian was the only one from Felix’s team that was still in his hunting garb so he took off by himself. I heard the shot from inside the cabin tent. Felix was napping in his tent and didn’t hear anything. But it didn’t take long for his crew to get dressed again and head out. It wasn’t a cow...it was a young bull.
A great place to do the field dressing and a very easy carry..!! Of the 3 licensees, Felix was the one that was hoping for the least challenging hunt. Getting your moose while you're napping doesn't get much easier...LOL
Dave, I can remember telling you that a moose was just around the corner from camp as I seen it trot up the road into that new cutting. Wonder how close that opening day kill was from that spot. I did say that opening day you should have one near the camp as that cow was a natural decoy
Wayne is Eric P’s nephew and first joined us in 2019 as a companion with his uncle. He’s been putting his name in for Zone 3 ever since.
He told us at the first group meeting of the licensees what his priorities were. He had never shot a moose so he was looking forward to that opportunity. Also, shooting a bull was not a priority...he’s basically a meat hunter. Christien would be his caller and his friend Trevor seen below would be his companion.
Trevor is a very good vocalist and guitar player...he fit right in with Christien, Brian, and Joey when it came to entertaining the crew.
Wayne’s uncle Eric ( sitting above between Trevor and Brian) was also a companion but spent most of his time helping with the food preparation...We ended up with some pretty elaborate munchies...
You don’t have to look far to understand why we have such a big following...Hunting is just part of a much bigger picture...LOL
Wayne is an accomplished big and small game hunter and a very good shooter. Both him and Stephen ( the other licensee) had come on our Summer scouting trip and both became familiar with all of our hunting sites.
This is a photo of the site where Wayne would hunt. We call it the Raspberry Bog...but it’s much more than just a bog. The high ground around the bog has knolls where you can see for thousands of yards with many open areas where moose could be feeding.
I took this photo of Allain and Christien while scouting on our Summer trip. This is very close to where Wayne was standing when he shot. You can see for miles...
Monday started out as a cold, drizzly day. All three parties headed out at dawn. Felix's team to Don’s Bog, Stephen’s team to the Honey Hole, and Wayne’s team to the Raspberry Bog.
We had left game cams at all of our sites and the Raspberry Bog had the most hits. These are a couple of pics taken from the high ground around the Raspberry Bog.
But Don’s Bog wasn’t far behind...
At day break, Wayne was leading the way as the three of them approached the knoll pictured above.
Immediately, he spotted two moose feeding in the distance: a cow...offering a clean broadside target and a bull with just the head and antlers visible. He ranged the cow. She was at 300yards. He didn't hesitate. His rifle was sighted in at 100 yards. He estimated the drop to be around 12 and 14 inches so he put the cross hair directly above the backbone.
This was the result of that one shot....
The crew couldn't believe it when Wayne and his crew showed up just a short while after heading out to the woods...
It wasn't the best of conditions for field dressing and carry but we had a few young volunteers that were looking forward to some action. They couldn't wait to get there.
The rain the misery the struggles all added in with the downed moose..the field dressing the meals and victory celebration is what completes the memories of the hunts !
Dave...the presence of mind to take all the pics to complete these tales is astounding !! Well done my friend.
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