It was a cool but foggy morning in late September during the archery season, when the three of us decided to set up on a river system near Ignace, Ontario. I was hunting with partners Claudio Sarangelo (Bolton, Ontario) and Tony Fiasche (Markham, Ontario), and we were hunting out of Raleigh Lake Resort, Ignace.
Tony had filled our Bull tag 2 days prior, but we still had a cow tag to work with. We split up that morning and put one hunter close to the river and a second one on the shore of a lake.
I had carried on along the shore of the lake 200-300 yards away from my partners, and there was not much to see but fog. I found myself at a peninsula and decided to tuck myself into some small pine trees along the beach. Shortly there after I started to use my Gouthro’s Moose Madness techniques to start the calling process. I made a cow call first and kept quite for 15or 20 minutes but did not hear any type of response. I then walked 20Yards to my left and called again in the same manner. Again no response, but this time I thought back to the Moose Madness videos and remembered the advice about pretending to be a moose walking in water. I stomped around in the water and then slid back to my hiding spot. I continued this for at least an hour, and when the fog lifted I called again, going through the series of cow calls learned from the Moose Madness videos. Much to my chagrin the fog rolled back in and again I was blinded. I continued the splashing in the water and calling at intervals.
About approximately 8am the fog again lifted enough for me to be able to scan the shoreline with binoculars, and I decided to funnel all my calling efforts in the direction of a small bay to my left, which was full of vegetation.
I finally heard some splashing in the water in that direction! I looked up and at 150 yards in light fog stood a beautiful bull moose looking right in my direction. Knowing full well I could not shoot this bull I decided to practice what I learned in the videos.
Working with the calling techniques learned, within a 20-25 minute timeline I had this bull as close as 8 yards. At one point, when the bull was putting his head down, swaying his antlers from side to side, I thought to myself, “I must be really crazy”! I admit I was very nervous so I stopped making any sound, and the bull kept staring in my direction for what seemed a lifetime.
The bull finally decided to give up on me and turned and walked away. Once I could move, I turned my body away from him and belted out a short cow call in the opposite direction. He immediately turned around and came right back, presenting himself broadside to me at 18yds. Without a tag I could do nothing about it. I took a picture and watched him finally run away.
Thanks to the Gouthro’s Moose Madness calling techniques, and Marc Cloutier of Raliegh Lake Resort, I was able to experience this once in a lifetime moment, truly a lifetime memory. It was also an experience that has given me the confidence to be able to know when and what to do when facing bulls in future hunting situations.
Thanks Alex, for sharing your knowledge.
Sincerely, Albert Bacci
EPILOGUE: TONY’S STORY….
In preparing for our annual moose hunt in 2012, and after reading books, and watching TV shows and videos, we all agreed that our favourite was the Gouthro’s ”Moose Madness” DVD Series. What was to follow turned out to be my most “Memorable Hunt” in 25+ years of moose hunting! It was Saturday, September 22.
Claudio was my partner that morning and we had walked about two km before splitting up — with me walking for another 200 yards or so along an old cut-over while applying some cow-in-heat scent along my trail as I went. I selected a calling spot that had a lake to my right and a creek behind me feeding into the lake. Remembering what Alex had to say in his videos I started cow calling with sets about 15 minutes apart, moving about between calls simulating a moose moving in the bush. After an hour with no response to the cow calls, I switched to grunting like a Bull looking to challenge another bull. I broke branches and raked trees like I learned in the videos.
Just as I was about to give up and go back to meet Claudio I made one last cow call toward where Claudio had set up. He radioed me to ask if I had heard the bull grunting for the last 20 minutes or so. I listened carefully and picked up the bull’s grunts. I then told Claudio to stay low and get ready cause this big boy was coming in fast. I dropped my backpack and readied my crossbow as the grunting was getting louder and closer towards me.
A flash of movement about 80-90 yards away verified that it was a bull moose coming right in my direction. I tried to stay calm – but when you have an animal of that size coming in fast – it does make your blood pressure rise. I went to my knees to wait to see where he would come out of the bush now hiding him from view. Suddenly he was there – only 50 yards from me and coming in fast. He had only one thing on his mind – to look for that cow — which in this case was me. Looking down at my crossbow I was thinking, “Am I crazy to be here?”
With his head down and drooling like a love-struck puppy, this big boy walked to about 12-15yds from me and gave me the broad side shot of a life time — My arrow made a perfect double-lung shot. He bolted straight towards the lake, but I remembered to make a Quick Call as taught in the Moose Madness Series. This stopped the bull and he started to stagger before trying to again trot away, crashing through the bush over deadfall trees and other bush. That’s when Claudio called on the radio to ask me if I’d heard all that crashing in the woods – and I was able to tell him that I had had shot the bull. We contacted the others by radio telling them what just happened. They got there as fast as they could, and we found the Bull down just 85 yards away. He measured out at 48”.
Alex. Thanks for your teaching lessons; as mentioned, it was the hunt of a lifetime – Calling in your own moose is a blast!