We went moose hunting this weekend. Moose is my #2 son. Moose is 18. Moose is big. Moose is bigger than me. It was Early Muzzleloader Season in Kentucky this past weekend. We all came down: Moose, Angus, SuperCore. Even KYHillChick came along just to watch.
I will begin my story of Moose’s forker by explaining what happened to me. It’s a short bit and it has relevance. I started out at Campground. Moose was at Virginia, the next ridge over. The sun came up and I saw for a brief instant The Big One. You know, THAT one. He was big and red and had this wide rack with this one wild sticker that came out in the middle and. . .
. . . Before I could get the binos down and my Hawken up, he was gone. I never had even a hope of a shot. He was walking down my fence line and about a half hour later I heard a shot coming from the neighbor’s property in the direction he had gone. All I know is that he was the biggest deer I had ever seen. From there, my weekend was largely over. I had a couple of doe come by that would have been easy picks, but I was still reeling.
That is not to say it was not without its amusements. Twice I had flocks of turkeys out in the field. One flock was pretty sedate until they spied me. The second was a bigger flock. This one was nuts. They ran around the field pecking at each other and there was always one either flying up into the trees or flying back down trying to avoid the mess.
As you may remember last weekend my #3 son, the buck came from this same field. He was chasing doe at the time. Some of those doe were back out in the field– a mother and two young ones. Mom was acting very skittish. She was not anywhere that she could have picked up my scent, but she was out there stamping and pawing in no particular direction and causing all sorts of havoc. She was in with the turkeys. That might have had something to do with it. They were all over by the spot where Angus had shot the buck. That might have been another reason.
Finally another flock showed up and was pecking at acorns and such just at the edge of the woods down by my stand. They caught me spying on them with the binos and took off running. That was just too much for the lead doe. She had to come down and check me out. Shortly thereafter, she took to snorting and the doe and her entourage went off into the woods towards Virginia.
Moose had been having a nervous morning with the squirrels of Virginia. One went as far as crawling up his tree and coming up between his legs. That pretty much unnerved him. He has a Mossberg 500 that he likes for just about everything. I bought him a turkey barrel for it. I also found him one of the Muzzleloader barrels. It doesn’t make for a particularly elegant firearm, but it does send a cast Lee R.E.A.L slug downrange with fair accuracy. Yes, that’s right! It’s a pump-action muzzleloader. Actually, the action just gives you access to the primer pocket. It shoots magnum shot shell primers. We call it the Moosegun.
Moose was so deviled by the little rodents that he did not hear several doe come by until it was nearly too late. He was holding off. He wanted to see what showed up. Shortly after 10 a lone doe showed up. She looked about right and so he shot. The bullet went Lord-knows-where. Moose had not had time to put a good fouling shot through the bore. That seems to be its only real weakness– it prefers a dirty barrel.
Now comes the interesting part. Rather than running off, the doe just stands there, looking at him. The smoke clears, the woods settle back down, and there they are, just staring at each other. Moose is still expecting the doe to fall over at this point. The doe? Heaven knows what was going on in her head. Moose quickly figured out that the shot had gone wild, and he was glad it did, because he saw two little ones come up from the rear. He has a long history with that sort of thing:
So now he has three deer watching him intently– deer and squirrels. He did
the most logical thing: he reloaded. Oh, sure, it took a good long while, but
it seemed nobody was intent on going anywhere. Moose just made the most of the
About the time he was finishing up with reloading, and trying to get his Dad off his back, Moose was treated to a nice fat forker , who came up and joined the party of onlookers. Moose got the gun re-primed and touched another one off. This one took off the top of the forker’s heart before leaving the scene. The doe and her party decided this was enough excitement for one day and left Virginia on afterburner.
Before long I received a call. “Moose to Shaman. I’ve got a buck down.”
KYHillChick came out with the truck, took me over to Virginia and then left with the dogs to walk home. It takes a little doing to get the truck back to Moose’s stand. We had all of about 20 yards to haul the buck, schlep him into the back and haul him out. Soon, he was out at the new Meatpole. He went 148 lb. live weight.
There is a lot more to the story. The weekend was just beginning. However, I will end this installment here. Suffice it to say that Moose went back out on Sunday with the riot barrel mounted on the Mossberg. He spent the morning cleaning out the squirrels with low brass #6. I was back out at Midway, watching an empty field, and the metal roof of the blind got showered a couple of times. Moose is thorough when he gets motivated.
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