Zone 4, Season 2 Moose Hunt in Cape Breton. Been applying for years with no success. My father has been there for the last two years as a companion hunter, and has been going to the draw in Hawkesbury for the last two years hoping to bring us luck. So what happened this year? He goes to the draw, presses the button, and picks his own name. What's the chances of that? Anyway, enough said, with him having his name drawn, that sets me into the Companion A hunter position. Yes sir.
With plans made, and my second week of vacation booked in October (another week previously booked for a NFLD moose hunt, up and coming on the 19th), we were ready to hit the mountain to hunt the same area as years previously. With the ol' man, and another companion hunter headed up a couple of weeks early to do scouting, we were sure we would know where to find the moose come the 7th, of October. During the two weeks before the season, the ol' man would call with a report every couple of days of what was seen. Responce to always to be, lots of sign, but no moose.
So on the 6th of October, the brother-in-law and myself headed up as he was one of the other companion hunters. While heading to the camp area, we pushed a moose up the road for a good 200-300 yards, a good sign! I had been up there for less then a day and had already seen one moose. Had the ol' man beat as he had been there for two weeks, and hadn't seen one on hoof. Arrived at the camp and settled in and had lunch, decided to go for a little scouting mission to see where to start in the morning. Went out for a little drive, and once again, ran into another moose. This time it was a large bull, however the moose never presented himself forward facing to see how nice the rack really was. Headed back to the camp area to have supper and to report the sighting to the 4 other hunters in camp. Everybody talked on where the best place was to start in the morning and it was a concenses that there was good sign, right behind the camp.
Everyone hit the hay early (8:30pm) in anticipation of the early morning. 4:30am came slower then could imagine as all of us were anxious to get into the woods. A good breakfast was had by all, and then everyone suited up and hit the woods. Monday was a beautiful morning in the woods, it was cool, and clear. A perfect morning to run into a few moose. I walked through a trail, down to an old choppin, sat for awhile, crossed a brook, and then stumbled upon a bog. However, no moose. Found some beautiful country, and some excellent spots for moose. Traveled back to camp for dinner and everyone reported on their morning. A few were calling and had answers, but nothing showed. After dinner, everyone decided where to go and off we went. This time, the ol'man and I decided to tag team the bog I found earlier in the day. He would do the calling and watch one side, and I would watch the other. The wind picked up, and sun went under making it a cloudy and noisy afternoon, with no success. Headed back to camp and cooked up supper (seems like all we did was eat), and then figured out where everyone was going in the morning. It was decided that everyone was going futher back to the road across the brook to see if we could stir up a moose.
4:30 once again came, and everyone was up and at it. Day was calling for rain, however the morning was windy, and warm. Headed out to the area discussed the night before, and everyone found their sitting positions with one person doing the calling. Morning was windy and around 10:30am the rain hit, and hit hard. Headed back to camp at around 11:30 to get dryed out. After having nobody see or hear anything in the morning, it was discussed and decided to head further down the main road in to a spot that had been previously hunted a few years ago. Arrived at the spot and then everyone set up in different locations to cover the best area. Rain cleared mid afternoon, and the sun came out making with a perfect afternoon. But still, no moose spoted or heard. Everyone headed back to camp trying to figure out where to find a moose. Lots of sign was being seen, however, no moose. With everyone wanting to go back their orgional spots Monday morning, I decided to take a walk back the logging road, and then cut back down toward the ol' man to see if I could push anything through.
The morning came, and once again, Breakfast was the start. Morning was cold (about 4 degrees with frost) and not a hint of wind. Finally the wind had broke. Everyone headed out at daylight to sit in their spots, and I started down the road. Walking 100 yards, stopping, and then listening numerous times. Squirrels were in abundace, and they were around everytime you stopped, chattering in your ear as to warn everything else in the woods that you were RIGHT there. Continued down the road, and then out of the silent woods came a *CRACK* to my left hand side. Sounded like a 8 inch dead fall toppling down, and quickly grabbed my attention. Stood still for a minute and again, *CRACK*, from the left hand side. Something was comming and wasn't being careful or taking it's time, as dead falls could be heard dropping one after another. By this time I was shaking, and chest was pounding (if anyone says this doesn't happen to them, they shouldn't be hunting). Trying to get a grip, I couldn't stop. Looked to the ditch along the old woods road, and then found a good spot to lay and get supported. 5 minutes went by, and finally, this bull stepped out at 100 yards, stood broadsite, and did the "slow" head turn towards me "as seen on TV". Nervous, I picked my shot behind the fore shoulder (lung area) and fired. The bull turned away, took two steps, and then stopped and looked back. I was sure of my first shot, however I wanted to see this big fella on the ground. He was now almost fully facing away from me looking back. Got on one knee and took aim for the back, and squeezed. This time the .270 flattened him to the ground.
Radio'd the rest of the crew and within' minutes thy were there to help in the work. Bull was larger then first thought, weighing approx. 900lbs, and having 15 points, and a 42 inch spread. Definately a hunt to remember with the whole crew! Now to get ready for the trip to NFLD on the 19th to do it all again.
Just to note: First shot was a direct hit. Caught the heart and the lungs, second shot broke the back. Guess the extra time at the range getting dialed in helped.