Guest Post - Lauren Calbi's 2014 Maine Moose Hunt
"I was blessed enough to be chosen through Maine IFW lottery system for my moose permit, a bull in zone 3. Zone 3 stretches from Fort Kent, Maine, east towards Caswell and as far south as Caribou. Route 11 or the “scenic highway” closed zone 3 off from Ashland area north. My bull permit was for the 3rd week in September, which is the 1st of a few selected weeks through November. My alternate sub wasone of my good college friends Brian, who is also a forester with me at the same private landowner in Northern Maine.
By Wednesday we had hunted hard, walking miles a day through old harvests and battling above average temperatures for September in Northern Maine. When we had questioned if we could actually get a moose we were pleasantly surprised with the turn of events a few minutes ahead of us.
We had made it to a lake we had scouted for about 6 weeks or so. There were plenty of mature bulls in the area and we were in the hopes of seeing one for the taking. I used a Remington 700 7mm-08 that the head forester of our company allowed me to borrow graciously.
I saw some sign and pointed this out to Brian whose eyes lit up with excitement. We walked about 1200 feet from the road and hit a beaver dam. As we waded through the muck and dirty water to work the edge, we heard something move. Frozen in our tracks we turned to see what we had prayed for. A large bull about 100 yards away began to thrash his antlers in some alder bushes. I pulled up my rifle to try to get a good look at him. When I focused I could see antlers attached to a large body. Brian looked at me to see if we had a shot. I couldn’t focus him in to get a clean shot and wasn’t comfortable with myself at 100 yards even after many hours of practicing. That’s when we decided to wait it out. Without making a sound we stood there for 2 hours with our guns perfectly positioned in case we had a shot. The bull checked corners and behind trees to see what we were. My mouth dry, I tried to keep my cool and not blow it. Eyes huge, Brian silently mouthed to me “he’s big”! My left arm began to numb and time was ticking. We decided to try some bull calls to spark an interest and get things moving. We got exactly whatwe were looking for and then some.
Brian called three times and a bull in the distance responded. We were elated and shocked. Once we heard the first bull we saw stand up, my heart started beating fast. We thrashed our guns around and Brian responded to the other bull’s call. There was no difference in pitch or tone when Brian responded, I could tell he had practiced.
The bull in the distance was aggressive. Thrashing and grunting every couple of minutes made it feel unreal. I knew at that point we were about to watch something rare and exciting unfold in front of us. I directed Brian and myself back toward some tall grass to hide ourselves and got ready. I could feel my heart pound and my breath get shallow. I couldn’t figure out if I was scared or excited, probably a bit of both. I got down to position myself on my knee and looked at Brian who was just as excited. He whispered in my ear “I wish we had a camera!” I wanted to watch them fight and have my pick of the two. Brian kindly reminded me that I needed to take a shot on the first bull we saw; we may never have that chance again.
The first bull we saw walked towards us and I knew it was show time. Everything I had practiced, the many hours spent, all boiled down to this moment. He walked towards us and I shot him at 10 yards broadside. He ran and I picked up again, firing a running shot. He crossed a beaver damn about 400 yards further into the tree line.
After 6 hours, 2 fours wheelers and 1500 feet of rope we were on our way home! We weighed him the next morning at Quigley’s in Fort Kent. He weighed a whooping 944lbs and a spread of 51”. A hunt of a life time ended up successful and more than I could imagine. I’ll be eating moose meat for a while and that is quite fine by me!!"
Stay tuned for more adventures coming soon! Some Big Northern Maine Whitetails coming soon as well!