Moose Hunt from long Ago ( First bowkill )
by Evan Fox
Excuse my writing skills but here goes.
My first Bull with a bow.
I do have to thank the drive to hunt to make me buy my first good bow.
Back around 1980 in zone 9 in Quebec they opened moose hunting for the first time for archery only.
Saturday morning of opening season found myself and my hunting buddy Mickey up early to try and get a bull with our bows. We knew where they were after deer hunting because at that time we had a very good population of moose.
We loaded our gear up and head to a spot that we had chosen and were surprised right off the bat by a huge bull courting a cow. We tried stalking in to him but with him standing on the edge of a open field but I couldn't get close enough for a shot. Now this was the first mistake because he was a lot closer then I realized later on. Probably was 30 yards but he looked way off in that field, By reading of all the stories in Bowhunter Magazine always mentioned a clean and ethical kill which I still hold to this day.
Sunday morning broke with a heavy frost and we headed back to a day I will always remember.
We headed into where we had seen the big bull the day before to try our luck again, I called once and thought I heard a response from way down in a swamp on the other end of the area we were at.
I turned to my left and there was a bull coming in 48 inch rack on this one. I can tell you now that my knees were shaking like there was a earthquake as he closed the distance from 60 to 20 yards and it seemed like it took for ever.
When he finally stopped he was at 20 yards quartering away perfect shot by all the magazines I read that gave me the sickness I still have. One problem was that he had stopped behind a big old maple that had a huge fork at vital height. I settled my pin on his 3rd rib and the xx75 Autumn orange 2018 was on its way. I thought I had a great shot and waited a few minutes shaking like there was no tomorrow realizing now just how big these darn moose were. A million thoughts were rushing through my mind at this point, was it a good hit, did I mess up.... you all know that feeling.
After 15 minutes I whistled to get Mickey's attention and he came up to me saying "what is going on?", "we haven't been here 15 minutes!" I then told him my story and then the excitement killed us both waiting the 1/2 hour before tracking him.
I showed Mickey where I shot him at and we didn't find blood right off the bat. That sickness started settling in my stomach as pictures of a wounded bull kept tearing me apart. 10 yards later we found a little blood that was a pink slimy color. I remember asking Mickey so many times, "That is lung blood isn't it?" I knew it was but that scared feeling of losing him was stuck in my gut and wouldn't leave.
We soon found more blood and quite a bit but the sun had come out strong and the blood was getting hard to find as the frost melted. That sickening feeling kept haunting me to no end and by this time Mickey was getting nervous as well.
We trailed him out through the long Grass till he entered back into the hardwoods where he came from and lost the blood trail. Now I was really sick! We took a break trying to figure out where he was heading to, to try and cut him off and finish the mess I had just made.
While standing there the frost was melting and dripping off the trees. I remember cussing the frost and the sun with that sick feeling I had. I happened to turn my head to my left and what we were hearing was the blood dripping off a maple tree where he had stopped and coughed is all I can think of because it was about 8 feet up in that small maple. Gosh he can't be far is all we could think while we both were staring at a big old boulder that was laying on the edge of the field. We figured we would give him a little longer to lay down in case he was wounded. Then while talking and getting excited all over again we spotted one of his beams sticking out from behind that big boulder.
Boy you talk about being on cloud 9.... my first bow kill was a bull moose. Then we realized that, Dang this thing is Huge! Then I realized my knives were still in my deer hunting pack back home. Mickey did Didn't have his either. Oh man what are we going to do now!!!???
Well I sent Mickey to go get my dad so he could help us clean and get this thing out of there. Now the fun was over, least to me anyways. I stayed with my bull while Mickey went to get my dad which was about 15 minutes away and to get some help. It wasn't long after he left that two bulls showed up and began to have a pushing match 70 yards from me, What a sight that was!! No camera either! One of those bulls was the big boy we had seen the day before. Oh man talk about a rush seeing that one going on.
(We found out later that the big bull was poached and had a 54 inch rack. The guy shot him with a rifle)
While Mickey went for dad, he stopped by a friends farm on the way and he met us there with a tractor with a front-end loader and a team of horses. Boy I felt like a millionaire as we loaded the bull full on the wagon and hauled him to Gary's barn and used his hoists to skin him out etc.
Then we had realized the time frame for all this to happen was an hour and a half from when we left the house till we had him hanging in the barn. I have never had another hunt like this one, close but not quite.
I have been addicted to bowhunting ever since!!