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Bull-In the Rut

Understanding the Moose Rut

Once you understand the moose rut, you will have a much better chance of finding moose. During the moose-rutting season moose are found in different areas than other parts of the seasons.

What Season Is the Rut?

Typically the peak of the rutting season for moose is the first two weeks of October. This is only an average though. The further north in the hemisphere you travel the earlier in the season the rut happens and the opposite is true for going south.

There are of course always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part early October will be the peak. Some have hunted in early September and been able to call bull moose in using and estrous cow moose calls in an area that I know the peak rut is October. There will always be some cow moose that will start ovulating early and of course a bull moose that hears the yearning calls of a cow moose in estrous will investigate, and may even vocalize his approach.

Where do the Moose Go During the Rut?

We have been asked many times where do the moose go during the rut? Hunters have been out pre-rut scouting and located the moose. Once the season has arrived they return to where they found the moose and cannot find any! Why?

moose-hunting-009c

Before the bull moose go into rut, they are usually found in the higher elevation areas. They will seek out cooler and thicker areas of the forest, higher in elevation trying to escape insects and predators.

Cow moose and their calves on the other hand will stay in the lowlands near water. The cows seek out water for two main reasons… food and safety. Calves are vulnerable, especially to wolves and bears. A cow with calf will use the water as an escape when threatened by predators. Sure the insects will be more bother but the safety of water will outweigh this.

When the moose rut begins and likely for a few weeks before the beginning of the cow moose estrous the bulls will move down out of the higher elevations to seek out the cows. The bulls will stay in the lower and wetter areas within proximity of the cows with hope of getting the breeding done. As the rut winds down the bull moose will once again move back to the higher elevations.

This migration makes for a sometimes elusive hunt.  Scan the area and look for all sign and be prepared for one exhilarating experience!

Join us next time for what to do when you spot your moose!!

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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in hunting, moose, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bull-In the Rut

Understanding the Moose Rut

Once you understand the moose rut, you will have a much better chance of finding moose. During the moose-rutting season moose are found in different areas than other parts of the seasons.

What Season Is the Rut?

Typically the peak of the rutting season for moose is the first two weeks of October. This is only an average though. The further north in the hemisphere you travel the earlier in the season the rut happens and the opposite is true for going south.

There are of course always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part early October will be the peak. Some have hunted in early September and been able to call bull moose in using and estrous cow moose calls in an area that I know the peak rut is October. There will always be some cow moose that will start ovulating early and of course a bull moose that hears the yearning calls of a cow moose in estrous will investigate, and may even vocalize his approach.

Where do the Moose Go During the Rut?

We have been asked many times where do the moose go during the rut? Hunters have been out pre-rut scouting and located the moose. Once the season has arrived they return to where they found the moose and cannot find any! Why?

moose-hunting-009c

Before the bull moose go into rut, they are usually found in the higher elevation areas. They will seek out cooler and thicker areas of the forest, higher in elevation trying to escape insects and predators.

Cow moose and their calves on the other hand will stay in the lowlands near water. The cows seek out water for two main reasons… food and safety. Calves are vulnerable, especially to wolves and bears. A cow with calf will use the water as an escape when threatened by predators. Sure the insects will be more bother but the safety of water will outweigh this.

When the moose rut begins and likely for a few weeks before the beginning of the cow moose estrous the bulls will move down out of the higher elevations to seek out the cows. The bulls will stay in the lower and wetter areas within proximity of the cows with hope of getting the breeding done. As the rut winds down the bull moose will once again move back to the higher elevations.

This migration makes for a sometimes elusive hunt.  Scan the area and look for all sign and be prepared for one exhilarating experience!

Join us next time for what to do when you spot your moose!!

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TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in hunting, moose, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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In A Rut: Late Season Moose Tactics

We don’t often hear about hunting moose in the late season. An undeniable romance focuses on calling and attracting bulls during the peak of the rut; but what about when all that hormone-driven activity subsides? Where do the moose go and what do they do? More to the point, how do we hunt them in the late season?

For much of the year, bulls are reclusive by nature. They do their own thing, eating, sleeping, and moving on their own. As the rut approaches and peaks, physical antler-on-antler confrontations take place but as breeding winds down, their short-lived aggression fades back to a more docile demeanor. But as the rut concludes and moose are forced into winter survival patterns, bulls become more social, often opting to hang out in bachelor groups. At this time their focus turns to maintaining the necessities in life; eating, sleeping, and conserving energy. For the late season moose hunter who understands these dynamics, hunting can be straightforward. For those better acquainted with rutting bulls, the late season can be both uneventful and frustrating.

 


Seldom do you see bulls hanging out with cows in the late season.
More often than not, bulls will begin bunching up in small bachelor groups.

Use Vocalizations
While there was no need to communicate with the bulls, you will experience several more encounters during late season hunt when calling is used effectively. Bottom line – don’t be shy about calling, even in the late season. After the rut, formerly reclusive bulls will often group up as the weather turns cold and winter conditions set in. While seeing individual bulls is normal throughout the warm summer months and most of the fall, their social demeanor changes once breeding activity is finished. Vocalizations are common, even in November and December, as moose communicate with one another.

For late season moose hunters, this presents an outstanding opportunity. On several occasions I’ve been told experimenting with cow calls while hunting late season bulls they respond favorably.

Focus on Food

Just as it is a priority for other ungulates, food is always a priority, but during the late season, it’s at the top of the list. This usually means shifting to habitat areas offering the best food sources. While moose have a home range, they will shift within that range throughout the year based on their needs, i.e. to breed, or to find thermal cover and nutrient-rich foods.

During the warm-weather months when wetlands offer a smorgasbord of marsh plants, food is plentiful. At this time food is abundant and life is good. When sub-zero temperatures freeze these wetlands and snowfall covers an assortment of grasses, moose turn to the most accessible food, and that means bark, willows, and poplar saplings. With this in mind, willow flats surrounding frozen marshlands can be an ideal place to look for moose in the late season.

Consider the Cover
Cold, wind, and snow; these are often the conditions of late season. Just like you and I, they don’t like inclement weather. In defense, late season moose may take refuge in hills, valleys, or on leeward facing slopes. They’ll seek cover near food. This can mean different things in different types of habitat. In many areas thermal cover such as old-growth mixed forest is a first choice. In the absence of coniferous trees, alternative cover like thick willow clumps will be a top choice. Rarely will a moose hang around in open areas when the temperature and conditions are inhospitable.

Use the Snow
Found in every Canadian province except Prince Edward Island, moose are also thriving in many northern states like Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire – all places that get snow, and sometimes lots of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting in the foothills, mountains, rolling aspen parkland, or boreal forest, more often than not the common denominator with hunting late season moose is colder weather and eventually snow. And with snow comes the added bonus of tracking. Locate a fresh track and, particularly in soft snow, you’ve got an exceptional chance of walking a bull down. If you find a fresh track, get on it, and slowly follow keeping a keen eye looking ahead. Chances are within a short distance you’ll catch up with him.


Rut sign like this rub confirm that moose live in the area.

Follow these tips and that daunting late season hunt will be a breeze!!  Don’t put down your weapon as soon as the snow flies…embrace it as another opportunity

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In a Rut: Call ahead

We all know that moose season in Ontario is just about to get fully underway and in anticipation of this event, I have located a fantastic article on the importance of the call.

The call is an often misunderstood and misused hunting necessity that can be the determining factor between success and an empty freezer.  Take some time to check out the article below, originally posted by The North American Sportsman page.  Also check out the other various informative articles they provide 🙂

The Rut & The Art Of Calling

During the first part of September, the rutting season begins. The rut generally starts about the time leaves turn color and may last from a month to six weeks. Both sexes become extremely active, travelling far more than at any other time of year. The bull shakes off his easy going ways and starts to roam outside his home territory. Instead of being a lethargic, detached creature, he is suddenly deranged by the urge to reproduce.

Prior to the rut the velvet is rubbed from their antlers, turning them into gleaming weapons. Once the rut has begun, this animal becomes stately and arrogant — with a very short temper. Anything, including hunters, that gets in his way is fair game.

A sexually active bull will travel far and wide in search of cows. Where normally he would quietly retire, he now becomes a beast with a mission; crashing through timber grunting challenges to all. He may fight, but it will invariably be with a bull of similar stature. A young bull often hangs around a more mature bull who has already collected a cow. He’ll keep his distance and will run off if seriously challenged. The transformation that takes place during the rut is a big help to hunters — it keeps bull’s on the move and lowers their usual guard.

evenly matched bulls, eye-to-eyeBull moose are content to stay with one cow at a time. Unlike breeding elk, which collect a harem, bull moose locate a receptive cow, stay with her a few days then move on. Bulls will service as many willing cows as they can find. By the end of the rut he is spent, thin, and bedraggled. He has fed very little in the last 4 to 6 weeks and now must start to diligently feed. Fat must be put on for the winter ahead.

Both sexes are excessively vocal during this cycle in their year. The sawing wail of the cow and the deep, croaking grunt of the bull indicate the seriousness of their intentions. What the hunter attempts to do is imitate these sounds.

During the rut, moose are often hunted by artificial calling. The most common form is comparable to bugling for elk. A horn constructed of birch bark, a commercial call or even something as simple as the cupped hands are generally used to imitate the bawling call of the cow or the grunt of a bull. Even a large plastic bottle (1 gallon or more) with the top cut off and a 3 foot long shoelace placed hanging through a small hole drilled in the bottom works well. The shoelace is wetted and slowly pulled through the fingers. With practice, this call has a reasonable resemblance to a cow’s rasping call. Whatever method you choose can be effective if done right.

two different types of moose callsGood areas for calling are just inside the edges of brush or timber around lake shores and from low, timbered areas leading toward meadows and bogs. Locate a wallow if you can. This is mud dug up by the front hoofs of a rutting bull to a depth of up to half-a-foot and can be several feet in diameter. The bull urinates in it, then wallows in the reeking mess. Sit hunched down in a concealed stand and grunt or bawl with the instrument you’re using. Wait a few minutes and try again. Try for an authentic sound that would be irresistible to any bull within hearing distance.

Another form of calling is to dump a hatful of water into a lake at late evening. At a slow dribble, this noise approximates the sound of a cow urinating — a noise that a rut-crazed bull cannot resist. On a calm day this sound will carry far. With this form of calling, the inexperienced “caller” is probably as accomplished as the veteran. We bring up this method of calling to point out that even unconventional calls can bring in an interested bull.

a calling bullThroughout moose range, calling works relatively well during the rut. To learn the proper sounds of rutting moose, invest in a commercial recording. Spend the time necessary to practice and perfect this “art” form. Few moose hunters are naturally adept at calling and if not done right, you may arouse suspicion rather than eagerness in a listening bull.

The majority of moose hunters are guided. If you fall in this category, it’s likely best to leave the calling to an experienced guide. Your guide will know the time, the probable places, and the circumstances under which calling will work. Done right, there is no bigger thrill than a love-sick bull charging in to your waiting rifle.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in hunting, moose, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Bull-In the Rut

Understanding the Moose Rut

Once you understand the moose rut, you will have a much better chance of finding moose. During the moose-rutting season moose are found in different areas than other parts of the seasons.

What Season Is the Rut?

Typically the peak of the rutting season for moose is the first two weeks of October. This is only an average though. The further north in the hemisphere you travel the earlier in the season the rut happens and the opposite is true for going south.

There are of course always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part early October will be the peak. Some have hunted in early September and been able to call bull moose in using and estrous cow moose calls in an area that I know the peak rut is October. There will always be some cow moose that will start ovulating early and of course a bull moose that hears the yearning calls of a cow moose in estrous will investigate, and may even vocalize his approach.

Where do the Moose Go During the Rut?

We have been asked many times where do the moose go during the rut? Hunters have been out pre-rut scouting and located the moose. Once the season has arrived they return to where they found the moose and cannot find any! Why?

moose-hunting-009c

Before the bull moose go into rut, they are usually found in the higher elevation areas. They will seek out cooler and thicker areas of the forest, higher in elevation trying to escape insects and predators.

Cow moose and their calves on the other hand will stay in the lowlands near water. The cows seek out water for two main reasons… food and safety. Calves are vulnerable, especially to wolves and bears. A cow with calf will use the water as an escape when threatened by predators. Sure the insects will be more bother but the safety of water will outweigh this.

When the moose rut begins and likely for a few weeks before the beginning of the cow moose estrous the bulls will move down out of the higher elevations to seek out the cows. The bulls will stay in the lower and wetter areas within proximity of the cows with hope of getting the breeding done. As the rut winds down the bull moose will once again move back to the higher elevations.

This migration makes for a sometimes elusive hunt.  Scan the area and look for all sign and be prepared for one exhilarating experience!

Join us next time for what to do when you spot your moose!!

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in hunting, moose, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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