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Any Thoughts Based on Experience?

I recently returned from a Moose Hunt and am seeking any insight other hunters might have on my situation. I had a good open standing broadside shot at about 90-100 yards. Using a 308 with 180 grain. Regrettably, I did not recover the Moose...but the following are the details I am scratching my head over with some unanswered questions.

Within 10 yards I found the trail, it was a heavy blood trail and bright red. Based on the steady and consistent amount of blood found I "very" slowly tracked it about 50 yards and jumped the animal (not seeing it) but hearing it crash out of some heavy under-cover. I sat down and waited 45 minutes before starting out again "very slowly" tracking once again.

At a snails pace I tracked for the next 2 hours and the blood flow stayed heavy 90% of my walk, periodically every couple hundred of yards I would find a pool of blood maybe 12 inches in diameter (possibly coughed up?). Near the end of my hike I found where the moose had laid down again and the entire area the body outline made in the leaves was saturated in blood (not simply a pool of blood where the animal was hit).

From this location it went about 75 yards still easy to follow it's blood trail and into the lake (and unfortunately never seen again) and this after putting a boat into the lake and scouting the entire shoreline and scoping for a floater over the next couple days.

My question is can anyone provide insight into where the animal could have been hit (I aimed for the lung area, with no excuses of missing these vitals) for it to bleed this badly and consistently yet still not drop?? Also, if lung shot (although I didn't see the typical light pink foamy blood a lung shot would usually dictate) would the Moose drown itself in water and actually sink as a result of inhaling water?? Could this be why I couldn't pick up a trail again...and also watch watched for ravens on all shores of lake to indicate the dead animal but no birds either??

Appreciate any feedback!

groovy mike's picture
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That sux! probably not a lung hit

My best guess is that your hit the shoulder. Bleeding was from damaged muscle and bone. You definitely did not double lung the moose or it would have died in its bed. The moose could have drowned, or it could have exited the lake. Your description of the blood trail reminds me of deer I have recovered with a leg shot out from under them. You did not mention any signs of a dragged leg so unless he carried it, I don't know.

The only thing I did not read that you had tried which I might have suggested is walking the shoreline both at the water's edge and 5-10 yards from it looking for a blood trail exiting the lake.

Sorry for your loss. That sux.

possum's picture
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Location: SK Canada
Joined: 03/31/2009
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Lost Moose

In my years of hunting moose I have learned if it doesn't drop where its shot leave it be for an hour and let him stiffen up. I had 2 buddies shoot a moose that I had called in, and I told them to wait till I got back with the quad and trailer before going to look. Long story short they had the same outcome as you did, they didn't wait and jumped him up 30 yards from where he was shot and trailed him until they lost him at the lake.
Moose will head to water because they feel safe from predators in the lake. I can't be sure where you hit it but I can almost guarantee he is on the bottom of the lake.
Moose will bed soon after being hit , unlike an elk. But once you jump him up again he is a marathon runner

I shot one twice looking straight at me with a 270 and 130gr bullets. When I went over to where he was I found 2 specks of blood about the size of a match head. I left him for 3 hours and when I went back I found him within 100 yds and he was facing back to where he had come from watching his trail, but had expired there.

You can see one of my moose in the Western Canada forum it was a draw tag. Where I live I can buy Moose tags OTC every year

groovy mike's picture
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where OTC?

Possum - I appreciate your input. I will be hunting a cow witha draw tag next week. If she doesn't go down - I'll wait!

Where can you get OTC moose tags? I know you can in Alaska - eastern Canada is a draw system. But I don't know anything about western Canada.

possum's picture
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Location: SK Canada
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OTC Moose

groovy mike wrote:
Possum - I appreciate your input. I will be hunting a cow witha draw tag next week. If she doesn't go down - I'll wait!

Where can you get OTC moose tags? I know you can in Alaska - eastern Canada is a draw system. But I don't know anything about western Canada.

As a Saskatchewan Resident I have the option of buying an OTC tag every year if I choose to do so.(Bulls Only)
We also have the Draw System for SASK RESIDENTS ONLY.(Either Sex)

For Non Residents of Canada, you can purchase a tag every year also but You Must Use the Services Of A Registered Guide (Bulls Only)

possum's picture
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Location: SK Canada
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YOU CAN DO IT

Keep shooting until it's down or out of sight whichever comes first. Then make the decision to advance or wait.
I know you guys are experienced but sometimes adrenalin takes over and when you look back on the events ::: YOU THINK Geez that was a dumb move.
I learned a lot over the near 40 years of shooting moose

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Last year I got a email from

Last year I got a email from the outfitter that I used on my bear hunt in BC about a hunter that he took into the same area for a moose.  After 5 days of not seeing a thing they happened upon one standing broadside at 150 yards.  The hunter closed the distance to 100 yards and took his first shot.  The moose was still standing in the same spot calmly eatting, the hunter took a second shot.  The moose was still standing in the same spot so the guide went down to where the hunter was standing, they both were wondering if somehow the rifle or scope was off, so the hunter took the third shot.  The moose was still standing and a couple of minutes later while they were watching the moose he just fell over.  From what the guide told me you could of covered all 3 shots with a silver dollar and this was from a .300 win mag. 

Sometimes you just never know.  That moose just didn't know that he was dead but I guess that he wanted that last mouthfull of grass before he died.

groovy mike's picture
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Thanks guys

Thanks guys!

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Thanks for the input

Appreciate all your comments

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