After several months of scouting in WMU I1, the hunt was finally here! Warm temperatures and windy conditions and an abundance of food sources made this years hunt a hard one, at least in this unit. The moose seemed to be away from the cuts, at least the cuts we were hunting, there were a few taken in cuts but for the most part the moose had other ideas on where to get their fill. The rut was long past due by at least a week or 2 which made calling seem useless. It was a matter of finding moose outside their typical feeding areas. As the week went on we felt we were getting closer and closer to the moose, finding fresher and fresher sign as we went along. on Friday we decided to go into this small piece of woods with lots of 7-8 year old beech growth, this area was wide open and perfect for a shot if we saw what we were looking for. Once into this piece we immediately started seeing fresh sign, tracks that were just hours old, lots of rutting sign from the previous couple weeks and lots of snipped beech browse. We decided to leave the area but not after making a mock scrape, kinda like deer do but much bigger in size and unloaded a bomb inside the scrape. We went back to this spot several hours later around 3:30 pm to take a sit and watch what might come through, before we got to our sit location we noticed movement down by the river about 60-70 yards away, we noticed it was a cow and her calf and then a young bull, the rest is history! Seeing 4 moose total during the hunt.
Swamp Donkey Adventures want to thank my clients this year for having faith in me and sticking with me even when it did not seem like it was going to happen. John Wieloch Sr and John Wieloch Jr were 2 of the nicest people I have ever met and truly had a passion for the hunt and the animals we were after.
I do wish however John Sr. could have joined us in the field, instead he was sidelined with a bad knee, this kept him from getting into the woods with us but he did keep an eye on our vehicles for us and made friends and conversation with many people who passed by and stopped to talk to him.
Took us 6.5 hours to remove the moose from the woods, once we did, we were immediately off to the store for ice where we were joined by another couple who needed to check in their moose as well, so they followed us to New Hampton where the moose was checked in, a tooth was removed for aging purposes and it was weighed and recorded into the books by NH Fish and Game. The moose was estimated to be 3.5 years old weighing 730 lbs, then the CO mentioned because the weight exceeded that of classification for a 3.5 year old that the data from the tooth might come back in Feb. saying he was 4.5 years old. Either way, a very nice moose and a great hunt. See photos below!