Moose - Crossbow Record

1. Ernie Rollason 210-4/8 2005

I have a great passion for the outdoors and hunting. I grew up learning to trap and hunt from my father and have now been enjoying if for 30 years in the same area. I started bow hunting about 6 years ago and my first bow that I purchased was a compound. After success shooting a bull moose with it, I knew that I was hooked on bow hunting. It gave me that extra challenge and excitement of hunting that I wanted. I wanted to continue bow hunting, but I found I did not have the time to spend practicing with my compound, so two years ago I purchased my Excalibur Vixen Crossbow. I would still be able to bow hunt and be confident with my shot.

I had been out hunting on Sept 17th for 3 days with no success. I had been to a few areas calling and had heard moose but did not get one to come in. I had to return to work and was planning to get back out hunting again on the weekend. On September 22, I was at work and had heard that it was going to be cold that night and frost so I went to my boss and asked for the afternoon off and the next day also. I knew that with the first good frost of the season I definitely wanted to be in the bush. I left work, went home and packed up all my hunting equipment, and headed out for the night.

On my way to my cabin I had noticed moose tracks in an area that I had not seen the last time I was up, so I decided that tomorrow morning I would hunt there. I liked the area I was going to as I had been there many times before and knew the surroundings well.

It was a place that always had shown sign of moose especially during the rut. I wanted to be up early and have myself in a good place to make some calls. I was taught many different techniques to hand calling when I was young and over the years I have developed my own ways and have changed my techniques depending on the situation. I prefer hunting on the ground so that I can either move towards the moose or down wind depending on the aggression of the moose. It definitely takes time and patience and a lot of nerves.

In the morning when I woke up I put on my camouflage clothing, my scent away deodorant and sprayed my clothing from head to toe with Hot Moose attractant (mare in heat urine) to mask any human scent. I made myself a coffee and headed out at around 7:30 am. I arrived at my hunting area at around 7:45 and observed my surroundings; checking for wind and listening carefully. I knew where I was going to call from but I wanted to be sure I had a plan of where I would position myself for a good shot for any direction that a moose may come in from. It is very critical when hunting from the ground to be aware of the surroundings and to be alert. I made my first cow call and just sat and listened for any response, it was cool and quiet, no wind, not even a squirrel chirping. About 15 minutes went by when I heard a crash to the south of me. I walked up a little hill to be sure I was where I could get a good shot. I could see the lake in front of me and to the left came more noise and crashing in the bush. He was coming. I now changed my call to make two soft bull calls. I broke some branches and kicked up the ground. Just after that I heard a grunt, but the grunt was to the north of me, and the crashing in the bush was coming from the south of me. Just then the grunts got louder and I realized I had two moose coming in, one on either side of me and I was in the middle. I walked back up the little hill a bit and spotted the moose coming in from the north of me. My heart nearly stopped; he was massive!

My heart was racing. The moose to the south was grunting a lot and still coming. I knelt down; he was grunting deep short grunts and was about 60 yards away from me and the other moose was getting louder but could not yet see him. I was right in the middle of these two moose calling back and forth. I thought the moose was going to walk about 20 yards in front of me because he seemed to have all his attention focused on the other moose that I could only hear but not yet see. I turned to position myself to get a good shot, the moose was now only about 20 yards away. When I turned to position myself the rocks under by boots slipped out and the moose stopped suddenly and was looking right at me. My heart pounding and I was thinking here I am wide open, nothing to get behind and I have cow scent all over my clothing. I figured the noise of the rocks was going to cost me the opportunity of a lifetime. He then walked briskly toward me and looked straight on and grunted, as if to say get out of my way. At that moment I don’t really know if I was worried or excited. I just remember this massive moose looking straight on at me and thinking that this is not the shot I was hoping for. The moose was now only 5 yards away looking directly at me and not making any movement at all. I knew I had to take a shot and make it work, or else I would become part of a tragic story. I had my Excalibur crossbow ready and I put the red dot of my Bushnell scope just where the neck and chest meet, and fired. The arrow hit him and disappeared. I knew he was hit good.

He turned back towards the way he had come from and walked about 30 yards and dropped. I watched every second of it. My heart was racing and I could not believe what had just happened. Then I jumped, remembering the other moose to the south of me. When I turned I could now see him, he was also a huge bull, not as big as the one I had just shot, but pretty close to it. I began yelling and barking at it and making as much loud noise as I could to scare it away. It was looking in my direction and then slowly turned and walked back to the bush line. (I believe that I had just saved that moose from one big ass kicking!!!) I then looked back at the moose I had just shot and I sat down replaying in my mind what had just happened.

As any hunter knows, this is when the work begins! It was a great struggle getting the moose out of the bush. I had to quarter him in order to get it out and use my quad and a trailer to get him back to camp. When I got back to my cabin with the moose the other group of hunters that were supposed to be up hunting the day before had just showed up. They were late arriving as they had broken down. We took pictures and I told them about my experience over and over again!

I knew I had a good moose, but it wasn’t until Ian Robinson put the tape to it and told me that this could be a new #1 for the Ontario crossbow category that I realized how big.

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