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Access Adventure 2012
Archery/Rifle Trophy Moose Hunt
Hunting with Michael Terry

I hunted with Michael Terry for the 2012 Archery Moose rut season, and wound up carrying the hunt over into the beginning of rifle season - here is a brief overview of my hunt.  

I arrived into Edmonton late on the evening of Monday, September 24th. Michael met me outside of the baggage claim area and we headed to Tofield, where our lodging was set. Michael was prepared with sandwiches and water for the ride from the airport. The routine remained fairly constant throughout the hunt, sit and call morning and night, attempt to spot and stalk during the day, if temperatures ran too high, head back to town for a hot meal, get cleaned up and get clothes laundered for later hunts.  

The Bow Hunt

Tuesday Sept 25th:

• The morning hunt was uneventful, cool temperatures, but no moose activity. Our first hunt was conducted out of tree stands in an area that was an easy hike in from the truck. We moved from the AM spot to set out stand for the evening, still hunting in roughly a mile and half, we got the stand placed and the continued to still hunt into the wind, spotting a calf browsing in the bush. Michael utilized his paddle and got a response from a bull, but he would not come in. On our way back to the stand we encountered a crazy sounding cow call, but no moose materialized. Once in position, Michael started called, I had the opportunity to watch a Bald eagle grab a duck off the pond in front of me, scattering the rest of the flock. No moose seen in the evening hunt though.  

Wednesday Sept 26th

• We hunted the same stand as the previous evening in hopes that the calling attracted a bull to no avail. Moving further back through the bush we saw good moose sign, and then came upon a fresh scrape. Michael did some calling at the end of a meadow, but we saw no movement- as we slowly moved down the edge of the meadow the first bull spotted of the hunt appeared, but saw us first and moved across the meadow at roughly 100yds out- an easy shot with a rifle as it stopped at the far side of the meadow. We hunted back in the area the rest of the day and on our way out when we were within 150yds of the truck we split a Cow and Bull in the dark- very exciting as they were both calling and did not want us in between them.

 Thursday Sept 27th

• The AM hunt was back in close to the scrape- we had a light frost, and although the calling produced the best responses yet- no moose came within eyesight, we could hear crashing through the brush but it was out of sight. The PM hunt was in a different location, along a narrow trail with thick brush on either side. There was good response to the calling and it seemed like a bull was moving in for a look, but he never materialized.

 Friday Sept 28th

• We went further in from the spot the night before for the AM hunt- as we entered in the dark we heard some crashing in the brush, but did not get a look at the moose. The calling did not produce a reply this morning. Our still hunt on this day was a long one, and very hot. We saw lots of good sign. We wound up back at the AM calling spot, here there were lots of owls and beavers and just before dusk Michael was able to provoke a cow into a series of long crazy calls in response to his calling. We moved from there to the hunt spot the previous night and glassing across the meadow we were able to see the cow that had answered and the bull she was keeping under control by calling at 350 yards. With her was a calf.

 Saturday Sept 29th

• We hunted a new spot in the AM, set up on top of a knoll with thick hazelnut bushes behind and a nice opening that we hoped to get a moose to enter. Michael began calling, standing about 10 yards behind me, and in short order I was able to hear a moose come crashing through the hazelnut bushes. He stepped into an opening with a downed tree across the kill zone at 22 yards forcing me to be patient. Turning the corner around the tree he headed directly toward me, with Michael directly behind me he could do nothing to turn the Bull for a shot opportunity so we had to hold tight and see what he would do. Having a bull that close with nothing but brush between you and him really gets your heart beating. The Bull sensed something was wrong when he didn’t see the cow and started to look around, giving me the opportunity to draw, as the moose turned around the peep sight elastic came off my string, spooking the bull. I was able to get a shot off, but missed the opening and hit brush for a clean miss. Frustrating, but that is why it is hunting. We looking to be certain it was a clean miss, then Michael called and we located another bull, not far- but through some of the very thick brush. We attempted a still hunt toward him, but it was like walking on potato chips while pushing through. I did find a very nice antler drop, from a moose that would probably have been 50” + as we hunted. In the Afternoon we came in from a different direction, but went back to within ¼ mile of the morning spot, in hopes that one of the bulls was still in the area. Michael generated good responses to the calling but no moose came in until after dark when we were leaving we did not see the bull but could hear him follow us out for over ¾ of a mile.

 Sunday Sept 30th

• We went back to the spot we hunted the first morning today- had a very quiet bull come into 40 yards and disappear behind a pile of brush- Mike and I were 15 yards apart with different vantage points, and both of us never saw him again. From hear we went to another new spot did a slow spot and stalk, Saw a nice bull appear behind us at the far edge of a meadow, moved back into position for where he should cross our trail and set up, but he did not materialize. We backed out for lunch then still hunted in, getting held up by 2 cows at close range for about 15 minutes, it is amazing how easily an animal of this size can disappear. For the evening hunt we set up at the bottom of a ridge overlooking a large meadow. Michael called and after a while a monster bull appeared at the top of the ridge- beat up trees with his antlers and grunting. He got past where we expect a bull to come down, and we were forced out into the meadow for a potential shot. He worked his way down the slope looking for the cow and held up when he hit the edge of the meadow. Ahead and front shoulder exposed, I had no shot at 25 yards. He started to walk down the edge of the meadow, Michael grunted turning him to a quartering away shot at 42 yards. I released and watched my arrow hit where it needed to be… as the moose ran we could see the arrow protruding, but something didn’t look right. Michael was able to stop the moose twice before he disappeared over the top of the ridge. Upon finding the arrow we determined that I had struck the flat of a rib bone and had not penetrated the ribcage. The arrow had 8” of solid blood on it, with rib meat on 2 of the blades and hair on the 3rd….

 Monday October 1st

• The morning hunt we went back to the general area where I had my first shot opportunity, but we not able to get anything going. The weather had turned and the wind was blowing hard with rain, it was going to be a frustrating time to try to call, but being the last day of the hunt we worked hard. Heading out for the evening hunt we went past where we encountered the Bull the night before, setting up on the end of a finger it appeared to me that calling would be futile. I had about given up hope after Michael had called for some time and expressed this to Michael; he encouraged me to hang on for a few minutes. Within 5 minutes a decent bull appeared at 75 yards, he crossed a small meadow and disappeared behind some thick brush- we were unsure of which side of us he would pass. As fate had it, he appeared at 18 yards broadside- but Michael was in front of me in the only shooting lane available so there was not shot.

 My archery hunt was a tremendous success, even though I failed to bag a moose- there were lots of responsive bulls in the area, Michael knew where they would be and how to get them close. I had 4 bulls at 40 yards or closer, 2 additional bulls within 100 yards and one at 350 yards. 7 Days- 7 different bulls- good shot opportunities on 3 including one at least one definite P&Y bull.

 

The Gun Hunt

 Thursday November 1st

• Taking advantage of the ability to extend the hunt I reappeared the morning of November 1st, opening rifle. After getting settled and making sure the gun was still sighted we did a still hunt in the late afternoon during which we saw 2 cows browsing on our way in and Michael saw 2 more moose on our way out.

 Friday November 2nd

• We started into a new area, in between 2 areas we had hunted with a bow. There had been traffic and kill somewhere in there the day before. We split off from the main trail onto a smaller trailer and worked out way 2 ½ miles back in seeing sign in the fresh snow, but no moose. At 12:30 we whispered about how much further in to hunt before turning around and a bull stood up at 140 yards, but I had no shot. I slowly quartered towards him until I had an open lane, and with one shot from my .30-06 I had my moose. We had the moose quartered and deboned with the head off by about 3:30PM that same day.

Michael’s hunting ability, knowledge of the terrain and Moose make his hunts an unforgettable experience. He is entertaining and goes out of his way to make sure your hunt is exactly what it should be. I would recommend this hunt to anyone, whether with a bow or a gun.

 Rich Mangan