Larry's Short Stories

Once in a Lifetime Moose

My friend, and co-worker, Matt Fleming is on the right.  This is the 'once in a lifetime' moose he gave to me -- and yes, he is still smiling.  Notice the drop tine on the left antler.  There is also one on the right.
My friend, and co-worker, Matt Fleming is on the right. This is the 'once in a lifetime' moose he gave to me -- and yes, he is still smiling. Notice the drop tine on the left antler. There is also one on the right.

Matt and I were on a ten day moose hunt and asked the guides to keep us together the first few days; they were fine with this and just wanted to know who would shoot first. As Matt is a few years younger and had not shot an Alaska/Yukon moose, I immediately said "Matt will be the first shooter."

The second day we spotted a big moose – a mile away; he bedded down near a cow, but the wind was bad so we decided to wait. Next morning he had only moved a couple hundred yards and the wind was better, so away we went. But, before we began the stalk, Matt said "Larry, this is a very special moose and I want you to shoot him." I looked at Matt, thought for a few seconds, and then responded "a gentleman would never turn down such a gift, thank you!" The horses took us down the mountain, across the creek and up the other side, where we tied up 500 yards downhill from the bull.

When we first saw him, he was standing at 325 yards. Cole, Matt's guide, asked if I could hit him at that distance. "Not off-hand," I replied; so he looked around and found a dead stick for support. I didn’t really want to shoot from that distance and suggested we get closer; when the bull stepped behind some brush we moved up – now 264 yards – better. But he didn’t offer a good shot and stepped over a ridge, so we moved up again.

This gives a perspective of just how massive moose antlers can be.  Width is 64"
This gives a perspective of just how massive moose antlers can be. Width is 64"

The last few seconds were pretty exciting; Sam, my guide, was a step in front as he looked over the ridge; "there he is -- 60 yards." I laid down my stick and stepped up to shoot off-hand. What I saw was a moose running left to right, 150 yards out – not what I expected. Retrieving the stick, the moose was now out of sight (it was the cow), but now the bull was running the same direction, and much closer. Sam gave a couple of cow calls; the bull stopped and I put a 180 grain Nosler Partition through his lungs -- at 125 yards. He ran again and Matt got an off-hand shot into his ribs before he stopped. My second shot put him down. That's my once in a lifetime moose story – a gift from my friend Matt; and he went home without a moose.

We called this a 'Bush Monopod.'  Any type of support improves your accuracy over off-hand shooting.
We called this a 'Bush Monopod.' Any type of support improves your accuracy over off-hand shooting.
Larry's Short Stories