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Swamp Donkey's picture
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Location: Andover, NH
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Field Judging the Antler Spread of an Eastern Canadian Bull Moose

I want to make clear that this is a field guage only for antler spread not intended to be a guide for ageing of a bull moose! This is only what I have found to be true.

 

When it comes to judging the size or spread of an Eastern Canadian Bull Moose, it can be difficult with distance variations and plant growth obstructing views! Some areas it is a necessary and critical to do so and do so accurately to make sure you are taking a legal moose. Here in NH its not so critical because a bull is considered antlered when it has one antler at least 6 in length measured from tip of antler to the base of the antler burr at the skull.
I have found that here in NH, the mature bulls(being over 5.5 years of age) have a distance between the eyes(inside corner of left eye to inside corner of right eye) of 8 to 9 inches. so I use 8 inches as my guide to be on the safe side! The bull shown below is an example, 5.5 years old in this pic and will be 7.5 years old come this October(yes he is still alive). He may be closer to the 8.5" or 9" in this pic.I estimate using the 8 inch to be safe rather then estimate large and be disappointed! Take a visual measurement of the bull you are looking at(head on) and multiply that times the rough estimate of 8 inches from the inside corner of the right eye to the furthest point of the right antler, then do the same on the left side. So if that distance is times 2 on each side of the head then you have 8 inches times 5 including the initial eye to eye measurement for a spread of 40 inches(roughly), this should be very close and if you get 3 of those distances of 8 inches on each side then it would be times 7 for a spread of 56 inches(roughly) again this should be pretty close etc... etc...

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Very nice info there

Very nice info there Swamp!

However, if I saw that bull back in the northeast while hunting for them, I wouldn't have been doing too much "judging".  The only thing I would judge is where to place the shot!!! lol

 

Swamp Donkey's picture
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Location: Andover, NH
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I hear ya!

I hear ya there, many clients want to know what the spread is, they want to show up their buddies or get into the record books. The bull in the pic I call Spot, he has a very nice white patch of hair on his right side exactly where you would shoot him if he were broadside or slightly quartering away.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Funny.  I thought that was a

Funny.  I thought that was a leaf, or a spot on the film.  So that is a white patch on the shoulder is actually there?  Pretty cool!  Nature providing a target... Wink

I hear you on the "record book".  I have never been one for that though.  However, if you are paying a few thousand for a guided hunt, you might as well go big or go home, as they say. 

Great bull!!

Swamp Donkey's picture
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Location: Andover, NH
Joined: 07/10/2011
Posts: 52
Natures target! I love it!

Natures target! I love it! Great way to put it! Thats just it, most paying clients want to make sure its a hunt to remember by shooting something big for the wall!

SDA

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