The Chronicle Journal, Thunder Bay Regional Paper
Gouthro’s Moose Madness DVDs
Every year about this time I rummage through old VHS tapes looking for hunting videos. It’s a pre-hunt tradition.
These past few weeks however, I’ve been playing a new set of very modern DVDs on the family entertainment unit and getting what could be described as a master’s degree in moose hunting.
The four-DVD set is called the Gouthro’s Moose Madness Series on Moose Hunting & Calling, and was produced by Thunder Bay resident and expert moose hunter Alex Gouthro. The DVD Series could best be described as a labour of love.
“When I left the Ministry of Education I wanted to try my hand at making a video”, says Gouthro, a retired educator who marketed a moose calling tape set in 1993. “I’ve always had a love for moose and thought if I could show people the information on video it would be so much better. I bought myself a good camera, an editing suite, and began the journey”.
As it turned out, Gouthro’s journey took him across North America’s moose country and spanned six years. Moose were filmed in British Columbia, Alaska, Cape Breton, New Brunswick and Northwestern Ontario. Gouthro first wrote the script for the Moose Madness Series and needed to get certain moose behaviours and sequences on film to make it all work together.
A simple concept on paper, but moose don’t always follow the rules, and Gouthro’s decision not to do any filming in parks but only in hunting areas made his job that much more difficult.
“I spent days in the bush with a tent, pack and camera, following moose around as they went through the various phases of the rut”, he says.
In order to get the very best footage he could, Gouthro enlisted help from a number of his friends, several of whom show up in the DVD Series. On some of his hunting shoots as many as four video cameras would be running at once.
Gouthro says that spending quality time with rutting moose was always interesting. “There was a time we had to run from a bull, “ he says with a chuckle. I had to hide under a spruce tree until he was out of the area. Bulls in the rut can be unpredictable.”
Thankfully, the hard work and close scrapes paid off for Gouthro. The Moose Madness Series is an impressive and entertaining piece of work. The first three DVDs in the set are each about 100 minutes long, and provide five hours of action-packed instructional video on moose hunting, identification, habitat, and calling. The DVDs are broken down into chapters, with each one building on the knowledge learned in previous sections.
You get to see many live moose throughout the DVD set, whether it be cows introducing their calves to water, or bulls grunting and beating up bushes while coming into the call. There are roughly 150 different moose shown in the first DVD alone. All three DVDs are filled with expert instruction for bow and gun hunters, as well as about 30 very useful hunting tips.
The fourth DVD that comes with the Moose Madness Series is a very enjoyable bonus. You get to meet the key players in the making of the Series, watch a couple of dramatic (and successful) hunts, learn some different field dressing techniques, and get a look at some of the gun and bow hunting equipment that Gouthro and his friends use. Good stuff.
Gouthro’s Moose Madness is the most thorough and professional looking DVD series I’ve yet seen on the subject. If you have been looking for a way to quench the pre-moose hunt fever, look no further.
The Gouthro’s Moose Madness Series is now available at D&R Sporting Goods in Thunder Bay, and Gouthro’s web site where he can be contacted is www.gouthrosmoosemadness.com
Thunder Bay freelance writer Gord Ellis’s is a well-known Ontario sportsman and writer whose column appears Saturdays in the Chronicle-Journal.