I see a bull what do I do now?

by Carl
(Hayward)

The Results of a Canoe Hunt

The Results of a Canoe Hunt

The Results of a Canoe Hunt
Paddling back home

It has happened more than once. Canoeing or motor boating you see a bull moose on the shore.

My question is how would the experts put a tag on this bull?

Tactics, strategies? Actual experiences.

I never had any luck.
What should I do?


I've only taken one bull while hunting from a boat but I know lots of guys do it.

I know a guide who hunts a large lake up north and they just patrol the shoreline with their clients in boats until a suitable bull is located then they just idle up to it (within range), disable the engine (shut it off), wait for the motion of the boat to settle down then shoot said bull.

Sounds easy enough, right?

In my case, we spotted the bull on the far shore of the lake, about a kilometer away. He was with twelve cow moose, so I was a little worried about all those eyes watching us approach.

We quietly loaded our gear into the twelve foot aluminum boat and pushed off from shore. I paddled a ways to get clear of the rocks and weeds then lowered our outboard into the water. My little Yamaha started up right away and after letting it warm up a few minutes (it was only +2 Celsius) we slowly motored our way across the lake.

As we traveled I discussed the approach with my son and we whispered as to keep our voices lower than the sounds of the idling outboard. It was decided my son would shoot. He got setup by resting his rifle on his backpack on the bow.

His rifle was not loaded at this point as the laws here do not allow a loaded weapon while the boat is under power. He waited anxiously as we slowly approached the heard that were feeding in the shallows of the lake.

Once we determined we were close enough and the bull was standing broadside, I instructed my son as to what to do:
  • Have cartridges in his hand ready to load
  • I would shut off the motor then he should quickly load his rifle
  • Take careful aim waiting for the boat to settle down (no wind or waves to deal with)
  • Take his shot and quickly reload in case a follow up shot is required
  • Once we are sure the bull is down, unload the rifle and we would make our final approach

Anyways, I needed not to worry because the whole herd just ignored our approach from water (in the boat). We motored to within a hundred yards and took our shot. That's when all hell broke loose. Twelve moose running every which way to get out of there as fast as they could. Our bull dropped on the spot!

Comments for I see a bull what do I do now?

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To shoot or not to shoot?
by: Mark ~ The Mooseman

I guess it really is going to depend on your current situation, the landscape, is the rut on, would the bull be responsive to calling, could you spot and stalk him, is he on the move - can you intercept, etc.?

I know that some buddies of mine ran their boat to within 30 yards of a bull two years ago, but they shot it with a rifle.

I think as a whole, moose do not expect danger to approach them from the water, that's why a boat can approach so close.

If you can get your boat to within 30 yards or so, that is a doable shot with a bow. You might even get closer.

The problem or worry that we as hunters may have is not knowing if the bull will spook and then if it does, that leaves us second guessing ourselves as to our approach method. Were we wrong? Should we have done it differently?
The moose is gone, and we think, "oh, it's my fault". Where the moose may have headed for the hills no matter what we did.

Bow and arrow
by: Carl

I did not qualify that I was bow hunting and given this minor detail what would be the best tactic to put a tag on this animal so we could feed our family?

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