Late Season Moose Hunting in the Mountains

by Travis

Bull moose standing in the willows

Bull moose standing in the willows

Last fall my friends and I were lucky enough to draw an LEH tag for a shared moose hunt in Region 3 for November. A local guy had told me to go high to find them, as they would likely be as far away from pressure as possible.

I climbed up an avalanche path after our morning stakeout of a cut block, and after about 10 minutes of climbing I heard a very faint grunt far above me. A little further, and I started to find fresh moose droppings. I tried to climb quietly, stopping to listen every few steps. Hearing the grunt a couple more times, I kept climbing. I tried to move as quietly as I could, but I was pushing through thick willows and buck brush, so not super sneaky.

I came up over as small bench and caught the smell of poop, and there were piles of moose droppings everywhere. There were several beds, trails all through the willows, and the willows were all chewed off. There were fresh bark scrapes on the aspen as well. Unfortunately, no moose.

Trails led off every direction into 10 foot tall thick willow brush above and to the right, and 40 metres or so to the left into conifer forest. I also found a watering hole nearby well churned up with tracks, and a 10 point antler shed that looked like it was from the previous season.

It seems like the moose in this valley were hanging out a couple hundred meters above the road, feeding on willows in avalanche paths.

What should I have done after finding the fresh sign?
How would you go after a moose in this situation?

I find lots of information about hunting moose in the rest of the continent, but very little about moose in the mountains.

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