The excitement of the hunt

Submitted by Art Bennett: MNO Captain of the Hunt, Region 4

The excitement of the hunt
Brothers Art (left) and Rick Bennett celebrate with their
latest catch.

MNO Region 4 Captain of the Hunt Art Bennett provides the following first-hand account of a real moose hunt.

I had gone to the same spot where I harvested a young bull, a male moose, last year and even sat on the same stump. Upon my arrival, I gave one long cow call and sat down and waited. About ten minutes later, I heard a branch crack behind me and a rustling sound that I thought was pretty far away. Thinking that I had a bit more time, I slowly turned around and there was this big bull only about thirty feet from me standing with his head down watching me.

I immediately placed my rifle to my shoulder and took aim. As he turned sideways, I squeezed the trigger but nothing happened. Although it seemed like an eternity had passed, it had probably only been a matter of seconds before I realized what had gone wrong.

I had been so startled to see the bull so close to me, that I had not put my safety lever all the way to the off position. By the time I realized my mistake, the moose had turned yet again and all I could see was his behind disappearing into the balsam and spruce. I did not want to just wound him, so I decided not to fire.

I could tell that the moose was heading for the beaver pond so I took off running and leapt over the dead falls like an Olympic hurdler. I thought I might be able to get a clear shot at him once he had made his way through the pond.

By the time I arrived, I could hear lots of splashing from the pond and I noticed that he was now with a smaller bull. I took a good look at them through my scope but did not relish the thought of wading in a cold stinking beaver pond, so I decided to let them go. I knew that even if I had fired, I probably would have missed as I was still huffing and puffing from my Olympic sprint!

The next morning I went back to the same spot as I knew that quite often a bull will stick around if he thinks there is a cow, a female bull, in heat nearby. My intuition was right as I could hear him crashing around some trees. I tried to sneak up on him but he got wind of me and walked out to where my brother, Rick, was waiting. Rick took him with one clean shot right behind the ear. A quick clean kill meant that no meat was wasted and that our freezers are full! I have realized that it doesn't matter how many animals one has harvested or how old you get, you still get excited!

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