As the sun was rising on a beautiful September morning, I was in my treestand letting out a lonely cow moose call. A few cows responded, but I was waiting for a bull. After an hour of cow calling, I decided to change things up and tried a few bull grunts. Almost instantly, a bull responded. A few grunts later, the bull was on his way to my position.
At 75 yards, the bull crossed the trail I walked in on and the woods became silent. He didn’t like what he smelled and it didn’t take him long to retreat to the cow he'd just left. He was still grunting back to me so I climbed down from my treestand with my bow and birch bark call and noisily walked straight toward him, grunting the whole way.
I decided it was time to take it up a notch, so I grabbed a log and started to rake the willows. This happened to be the key to my success. He instantly changed his mannerism from gentle communication grunts to aggressive, “I’m gonna kill you!” grunts. In the middle of the thick willows, I was unable to see more than five yards in any direction, so I jumped up on a log to see a bit further. Looking down a cutline I saw the bull come charging out of the bush about 150 yards away and gallop, with a full head of steam, straight toward me with his ears pinned back.
I climbed off the log and got ready, knowing that I couldn’t shoot more than five yards in the thick bush. At 20 yards, the bull came to a halt and began to demolish a poplar tree. He put the four-inch-diameter tree between his antlers, twisted his head, and snapped the tree clean off about six feet above the ground. That tree was lying on the ground and begging for mercy, and he looked in my direction as if to ask whether I still wanted a piece. I grunted a single response to him, which, loosely translated, means, “Bring it!”
With his nose to the ground, he bulldozed the willows straight towards me. Now at five yards, he decided that the last tree he destroyed wasn’t enough, so he went to town on another poplar. The leaves on the top of the tree that he was pummeling fell on my head and into the hood of my Core Hoody. I was in a danger zone.
After the ten-second battle with the tree in front of me, the bull raised his head and gave me a front row seat to the ‘Angry Moose Display.’ With bloodshot eyes rolled back in his head, he pinned his ears and angrily grunted. Drool poured from the corners of his mouth as he swayed his head and antlers side to side. With legs stiff, he began to angle past me on my left. The bull was so close that I had to look up to see his head. He closed his eyes to push through a thick willow bush, and that’s when I came to full draw.
There was no need to choose a sight pin or even look through my peep sight, because all I could see was black. I waited till he was slightly quartering away and sent my arrow to do its job at a mere three yards! My arrow punctured both lungs and sliced the top of his heart, and he lunged forward six or seven steps. Coming to a stop, he looked behind him to see what just happened and five seconds later, he fell over backward.
I stood there in disbelief at what had just happened. Weeks earlier, I had a five yard shot at a bull elk and this bull moose was even closer, proving the effectiveness of my GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment. Looking to where the bull was when I shot him, I found my arrow lying on top of some of the willows.
I phoned my wife, Lisa, and told her the great news. The shakes started to get the best of me as I told her the story. Adrenaline was flowing so strongly that I had to kneel down for a minute to regain my composure.
Walking up to the bull was a feeling of accomplishment. He had accepted my challenge to a fight, but he had come less prepared.
Lisa brought my two children, Mayah and Nathan, to see the fallen beast where it lay. After a few photos, the work began.