October 2017 Ferryland Moose Hunting: (42 Photos)


42.   Moose hunting Season for Area 36 - Southern Shore opened on October 7th 2017 and was set to be a very busy couple months because within our crew there were a lot of licenses to fill. Harry, Andrew, Pietro, Dad, myself and even the St. John's Rod and Gun Club all had either sex tags.



41.   On September 30th French, Matthew and I loaded up French's Argo and headed to Ferryland to scout out some new areas as moose hunting was set to open the following weekend.



40.   This country was new to our crew, previously we hunted closer to town in Tors Cove & Mobil area.



39.   Moose sign was incredible with fresh tracks and scrapings all over the countryside.



38.   Of course the best sign you can find on a Scouting trip is to lay eyes on actual Moose! This cow and young bull were a long way away and had no idea they were being watched and were definitely in a mating way. These photos were taken with my cell phone camera through my Leupold 10x42 binoculars.






36.   Moose were plentiful and so were berries. There were handfuls of blue berries and partridge berries everywhere!












32.   In the early morning hours of opening day, Saturday October 7th, our crew consisting of Harry, Matthew, Andrew, French, George Andrews and I met at Tim Horton's and headed back down the shore to Ferryland. French had his Argo in tow while I loaded up project Foreman for the 1st day's hunt.



31.   Harry, George and Matthew set up on the pole line where we saw two animals the previous weekend, while Andrew, French and I headed further in the road to another meadow where we previously found a lot of fresh sign.



30.   The weather opening day was absolutely beautiful, sunny, calm, although maybe a little warm for some hunters.



29.   Not spying any animals we headed back to the pole line mid morning and found a great view point on top of a knob about 5-10 minute walk from the gravel road.



28.   After lunch we all separated for awhile, French and Andrew scouted trails in the Argo while I hopped on project Foreman and did the same getting a better lay of the land, finding trails, and learning how they connected in the country.






26.   For the afternoon/evening hunt French and I headed to a bog at the top of a very rocky meadow, Andrew & George took up a position on the pole line near the gravel road, while Harry and Matthew went further in the pole line to the knob we all met at mid morning.



25.   Just after sunset a pair of animals walked out onto the pole line about 400 yards from Harry, he made a successful clean shot of a nice young bull and we had one of our licenses filled!






23.   Of course the hunt is the fun part, then the work begins. Under flashlight we cleaned up & halved the animal and quickly had it loaded in the back of French's Argo for the ride back to our trucks.



22.   The Argo and enclosed trailer combination is by far the most convenient and effective way to retrieve big game!



21.   We hung the moose in Harry's Garage and had it skinned, cleaned and quartered in short order.






19.   The boys made couple more trips to Ferryland Sunday evening and Monday morning, I had other commitments but joined French and Andrew Thursday morning. We loaded up the Argo and headed back to Ferryland and set up on the same knob where Harry made his successful shot from.  Again the weather was nearly perfect, sunny, perfectly calm, and a little cooler than the previous weekend.



18.   About 10 minutes after sunrise a beautiful young bull made his appearance on a small bog about 300 yards away. Andrew made two successful shots, we waited about 10 minutes, and I found the animal expired a few yards away behind a clump of trees.









15.   Mark and I got to work and had the animal cleaned up in no time. I used my Outdoor Edge Swingblade knife which is the most handy tool for cleaning up big game. It features a nicely shaped standard blade that swings over to an attached gut hook blade especially made to open the animal without fear of piercing anything inside.



14.   Again French's Argo made short work of transporting the animal, three hunters, and all of our gear in one quick trip back to the truck!



13.   With two animals down I had already began sorting out a meat hanging solution in my own garage. When I finished the inside of my garage a few years ago I totally forgot to include a way to hang game from the roof trusses. Using 3 -  4"x4" posts I created a system that is quick to set up and easy to store away when not in use.



12.   The actual weight of the game is supported by the posts installed perfectly plumb. I tagged a couple screws through the top support into the ceiling  and installed barrel bolts that drop down into holes bored into the concrete floor. These prevent the posts from being accidently knocked/kicked out of plumb and collapsing. A length of uni-strut runs though the 3 support posts to hang the game via stainless steel meat hooks.



11.   The following day (Friday) Dad, French and I headed back down the shore for another hunt. This time we headed the opposite direction on the pole line over a large hill to a great vantage point overlooking a meadow nearby and a huge bog in the background. We had a great day in the woods and Dad had a shot at a beautiful big trophy bull but unfortunately didn't connect the 300 yard plus shot.



10.   The next day (Saturday) forecasted for more beautiful fall weather. Sunny skies, zero wind, and typical cool October temperatures enticed French and I to load up the Argo and head back to Ferryland. We headed to the same location as the previous day where dad shot at the beautiful big bull hoping that he or some of his cows were still in the area. As dawn broke I walked down the trail and out into the meadow to get a better vantage point of the bottom hidden from French's vantage point. About 10 minutes later I get a call From French that there was at least one animal in the trees less than 50' away from him. French successfully drove the woods and the two animals came out onto the meadow (right in the lower left of the pic above).



9.    Standing perfectly still they trotted straight to me, I connected a successful shot to the larger of the two cows filling my tags for the season!  Its too bad Dad couldn't make Saturday's hunt because we easily could have had both animals, but that's where the luck of hunting comes into play.



8.   Since there was only two of us on this hunt we had to get creative when it came time to clean up our game. The Argo once again exceeded our expectations providing lots of tie-points to hold the animal open sp we could complete our work with precision and ease.



7.   Lifting our game up into the Argo posed a challenge at first, but we manoeuvred the machine backing it into a hollow which made the lifting height much lower and we loaded both halves with relative ease.



6.   Back at my Garage the game hanging station worked out very well. Bassan, French and I had the animal hung, skinned and quartered in short order.









3.   Once the skin was removed I washed the meat down twice with cold water, vinegar & coarse salt. This removes dried blood, a lot of the hair, and prevents bacteria from forming and destroying the meat. Also any flesh damaged from the bullet was cut out set aside. Over the coarse of 2-3 nights hanging I would go out into the garage to pick & remove hairs from the meat so that by the time we processed & bagged it would be perfectly clean.



2.   Bassan and I cut up and de-boned all the quarters categorizing the meat into three categories: good roasts, fry meat/roasts and stuff to be ground. As there are 4 people in our hunting pool we divided all of the bagged meat evenly.



1.  With three Moose down we still had three to go and are set for our annual November trip to Trepassey to fill the rest of our tags. Stay tuned for Moose Hunting 2017 Part 2!


Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith