A successful moose hunt

One thing about the fall season, for me, is it’s always far too busy and goes by way too fast!
Between all the bass tournaments and great fall fishing for other species like walleye, pike, and crappie, and getting ready for my deer-hunting season, you only can do so much.
One thing that I’ve been missing out on, which I’m going to have to make time for one of these years, is the archery moose season we have here in Northwestern Ontario.
A bunch of my friends take a week in late September or early October every year, before the regular gun season opens for moose, and go hunting with archery gear.
The moose rut occurs during this timeframe, so it’s a good time to hunt because moose will respond to calling. And they just are on their feet a little bit more, in general, increasing your odds at making contact with one of these magnificent animals.
This season has been particularly eventful for a few of my friends. Two of my good fishing buddies, Troy Norman and Jay Samsal, along with their party of hunters, were fortunate to harvest two nice bull moose in an area north of Dryden back in September.
Then on the morning of Sept. 30, two of my regular fishing and hunting partners, Chris Savage and Dennis Chevalier, along with the rest of their party, called in a really nice bull and put a tag on it.
Chevalier and Savage, along with a few of their buddies, have been making a trip north of the Red Lake area for many years to take part in the archery moose hunt.
“We were getting up a 4 a.m. every day and were getting into the woods around 5:40, to give the areas we were hunting time to settle before we would start calling at daybreak, which was around 6:40,” explained Chevalier.
After hunting for a few days without much action, likely due to the warm weather they were experiencing, this group woke up on Sept. 30 to slightly cooler temperatures.
A plan was made the night before to hunt around a small lake the next morning. There were six experienced hunters in the group that set up in strategic locations around the lake.
With Chevalier making cow calls along the lake shoreline, as well as making some noise in the water to imitate a moose, they quickly had a bull responding to their calls.
After coming and going a couple of times to return to a real cow moose, a nice bull finally moved in on the area where all the guys were set up. As Chevalier continued to call, he also worked a cow decoy and walked around in the water—creating an ultra-realistic scenario for this bull moose.
“As the moose got closer, it would walk 10 yards, then stop and look at me, grunting the whole time,” said Chevalier. “Eventually he had to walk right past Lee Blyth and Jeff Poperechny, and they made great shots.
“The whole event lasted for nearly two hours, so it was quite an experience for all of us, from hearing the moose come in to the time we were all able to high-five each other.
“I have hunted my whole life and have had a lot of great experiences, but this one is at the top of the list for me,” Chevalier added.
These guys always pack a bull and cow call for this hunt, along with a cow decoy (the easy-to-carry, cut-out type), and a moose scapula for mimicking bull noises by racking it on trees (because it sounds just like a real antler, only weighs a lot less).
If you want to have success during the early archery season, you need to plan a week-long hunt, said Chevalier.
“The weather conditions are a huge factor because if it’s too warm or windy, it can hurt your hunt,” he noted. “Usually over the course of a week, you’ll get some good weather that will get the moose moving around a lot better.”
Start planning your 2014 hunt now—and don’t forget to apply for adult tags next spring.