October 14 - December 31, 2020 Moose Hunting Part 4 (71 Photos)
The morning following my successful Thanksgiving (plus a day) moose hunt, French and I headed back down the Southern Shore on October 14th to have another crack at filling the last set of tags for the season.
French walked over to the long skinny bog while I made my way towards the large open area next to the bog. I was walking down the trail in pre-dawn twilight and spooked 2 animals where I really wasn't expecting to see any. They darted into the woods and I worked to drive them out to Mark but they Continental Airlined their way back into thick woods where there was no openings or access (just like the trio on opening day).
We had a great morning in the woods as the weather was cool and clear, but alas no luck. We came back to the trailer early in the afternoon to cook up a quick scoff and to pick up Matthew who got off work a little early to join in on the evening hunt.
We parked the machines on a cutover and headed into a long skinny marsh for French to set up and get our electronic caller going.
French has a Not for Profit license so we are permitted to carry two big game rifles as it's a partner license following the same regulations that apply to standard big game party licenses in NL. Unfortunately we were skunked once again so we headed back to town after dark to regroup.
The following weekend, October 17th French, Stroh, Matthew and I headed down the shore under cover of darkness for another day in the woods.
Skies were overcast and a little foggy which made for a wet day in the woods. The boys covered ground up on the hill while I went solo shotgun in hand scouting a new area in search of sign and possibly a grouse or two.
I walked all the way around the gully and followed a bike path into this beautiful, quiet, secluded pond which I figure would be a prime spot for hammock camping!
Early that afternoon we met back on the pole line lookout and lit a fire to dry out our wet clothes and have a boil-up.
Stroh and Matthew took care of lunch duty today and cooked up a deadly scoff consisting of Stroh's awesome homemade chilli and a variety of Matthew's latest sausage creations.
It was yet another meal fit for a king!
After lunch French and Matthew headed across country and set up on the cold/wet long skinny bog for the evening hunt.
As Stroh and I were mostly on labour duty if the boys were successful, we stayed back and cheated the dampness & cold by keeping the fire going until dark.
My Gearline organizer is still working great and really comes in handy for letting my cooking gear air dry after washing up at home.
The following afternoon Mark and I took a run back down the shore but were yet again unsuccessful seeing any animals.
On October 24th French, Matthew and I made another pilgrimage in search of Moose, we are still seeing animals on our game cameras but have to date been unlucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Project Argo continues to run well and has quite a few hours logged this year on this longer than normal (for us) moose hunting season.
We stopped next to a different pond for our cook-up today. It was chilly so I set about getting a small fire going while Matthew fried up Bacon, Onion then added tins of beans as well as more of his excellent moose sausages.
Although it was yet another unsuccessful trip, its was still an outstanding day in the woods with good friends and an awesome lunch.
On November 4th Mark headed down the shore solo early in the morning as both Matthew and I had prior commitments and would head down after lunch. Since my Argo would be locked inside French's trailer, I loaded up project Foreman for today's adventure.
When I got down the shore French was way back in the county near the eagles nest so I took my time riding, walking and scouting a number of areas for fresh sign and checking our game cameras.
We met Matthew back at the trucks and headed back into the lookout for the evening setup. Getting late in the season now, Matthew and I drove the woods on foot to try and pop something out for French, but alas there was nothing in the area.
On November 8th I was in Trepassey for the last day of Partridge hunting with the Bassan's but Mark, Matthew and Stroh headed in the country for another kick at the cat.
The boys fried up a wicked scoff of bacon, beans and sausages on Marks new MSR White Gas stove.
Although unsuccessful the boys had a great day in the woods, and had an awesome chat well into the evening with a couple of local fellas at one of the nearby cabins.
On November 21st we were back at it again, today I got to try out my new gun rack on project Argo. Its an old school stout setup made completely of metal and coated in thick rubber.
Bassan joined Matthew and I on today's adventure as he is good 'ol hand at November moose hunting and was a great lead hand for driving the woods.
I took on lunch duty today and cooked up a scoff of my marinated moose and French onion rice, last seen by the crew on opening day I got to try out my new propane camp stove which is more convenient & stable for cooking with larger pots for a larger crowd than my compact MSR & GSI backpacking stoves.
I like to use my mini 5lb propane tank as it doesn't freeze up like the 1lb bottles so the stove runs better, plus it's refillable. One of the great benefits of going in the woods with an Argo is the ability to carry more and larger equipment with ease!
Most of us took turns driving the woods today with Bassan taking the lead. We also covered some new to us ground in the same general area to become familiar with and get used to hunting a wider area to increase our chances of late season success.
With an unsuccessful hunt Saturday, French, Matthew and I headed back down the shore the following morning for another chance.
Matthew and I covered a lot of ground driving the woods but were once again unsuccessful in driving out an animal to Mark. We seen some fresh sign from the previous 24 hours but nothing relevant to a successful hunt today!
Om Monday the 23rd French I repeated our efforts.
Once again we had an excellent feed this time trying out for our first time, freeze dried meals ready to eat which were actually pretty tasty and easy! Plan B in case the MRE's didn't turn out well was a pan full of fresh fish white puddings!
Throughout December Mark made a few more trips down the shore as I my time was taken up with other projects including a few weekends helping dad in his shed in Bay Roberts. My last kick at the cat for the season was on December 28th when French, Stroh and I took advantage of a gorgeous day and the Christmas break to go up in the woods.
This time we took the bikes to change up the hunt a little, French and Stroh headed down early while I loaded up and arrived lunchtime to cook up a scoff.
Today I fried up Bacon, onions, beans and some fresh fish white puddings.
It was great to see French get his 2014 Yamaha Grizzly dirty for the first time in years, and Stroh's Kodiak is still running strong.
After lunch French wanted to head back in the road, I stayed back closer to our traditional areas and covered a lot of ground tracking fresh sign.
Unfortunately French did not fill the last set of tags, which sometimes happens. A lot of time was put into the hunt and a lot of great days spent in the woods, but a lot of it still comes down to a good solid hunting plan, techniques and luck of being in the right place at the right time. Matthew made a few memes throughout this story to help make French feel better!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith