Advice for Someone Behind the 8 Ball

Rampaige

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
88
I was very fortunate to have drawn a moose tag after only 3 years of applying. It came as such a shock that prior to Saturday night I have never once considered how to hunt moose. I will be traveling from Connecticut to Maine (about a 10 hour drive to the zone I drew) for the first October week, 10/10-10/15. My first thought was to hire a guide. After all, semi-guided elk hunts seem to be relatively affordable, and for a rare tag like ME Moose, it would be worth it; then I saw the price tag of upwards of $7,000. This is simply not in the cards for me, no matter how hard to draw. Additionally, most of these guided hunts either have elaborate lodges with big meals included, or several cabins with different hunting parties all in the same spot. Neither of these options sound even remotely appealing to me. I have a handful of questions and hopefully enough time to get on track to have a successful hunt. I hope there are some around that have been on some ME hunts that can assist me.

  • Do places offer semi-guided hunts, similar to drop camp hunts? I'd prefer a DIY hunt but I think it may be foolish of me to think I can go up and have a bull down in only 6 days of ever seeing this area.
  • Where can I find resources for how to hunt moose? There seems to be extremely little information on hunting tactics, or beginner tips. All I can find is "Don't shoot a moose in water." From that I assume I'd want to hunt somewhat near water.
  • Do larger mature bulls have different behavior than younger bulls? I imagine older bulls are more cautious and keen than younger bulls, but like whitetails, will the older bulls be in more "prime" locations based on bedding, etc?
  • Is packing out a moose, like you would an elk, an unrealistic feat?
  • What do I look for when e-scouting moose? Can you e-scout moose? It looks like the zone I'm hunting is LOADED with logging cuts and is a maze of skidder tracks and logging roads.
  • How do you break down an area of similar terrain/vegetation/topography and try to hone in on where the moose will want to be? In short, how would I find a moose, and/or and area to call one.
  • Would you hunt ME moose differently than Western moose? I'm guessing you can't really glass as well for ME moose due to how thick it is here and the zone being pretty flat.
Thanks in advance. I've been completely focused on planning a backcountry elk hunt in CO this fall and I never once considered switching gears to give the moose thing a look here in the East. It is daunting, yet incredibly exciting to shift gears and prepare for this hunt.
 

dutch_henry

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
138
Location
New Hampshire
Lucky you!

I assume you've already checked out these FAQs and harvest reports to get the lay of the land?

Also, have you tried contacting registered Maine Guides in your unit to ask about packages? Some might be interested in fee-based hunt planning or a bare-bones service, which sounds like it might be more to your liking. As for packing them out, I've helped pack out quartered moose in the past, in AK. It's all a function of the work you're willing to put in. The hide and head are heavy. That can make things interesting if your moose dropped in tight spruce forest, boggy ground, etc. I know some who come back with pulleys, ropes, come-along, tarp to help with both butchering and even hauling.

It seems like in Maine, many people winch them out of the woods after field dressing--could be regional difference vs other places, could be that older tagging and registration requirements required it? (I'm not 100% sure) Regardless, the current law does allow for quartering/processing:

New Law 2021: Prior to registration, bear, deer, and moose may be dismembered for ease of transportation, all edible meat, the head and evidence of sex must be presented for registration. The viscera, hide, lower legs and rib cage, including the ribs, spine and pelvis, are not required to be presented for registration but must be disposed of where they are not visible to a person traveling on a public or private way. https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-t...ules/tagging-transportation-registration.html
 

RS_Non-Res

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
176
Besides the DIY stuff, I encourage you to keep looking for a guide for this OIL type hunt. You could find a high-quality local guide, crash in one of those 1970's hotels, skute the backroads and backcountry for your trophy, and eat diner food. Should cost much less than $7k.
 

birdhunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
313
Location
hudson valley ny
You should be able to find a semi guided type hunt or guide assisted hunt for alot less than 7k.Also as in the previous post most moose in Maine are winched out.Good luck.
 

khunter

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Colorado
You gotta go do a scouting trip or two is my best suggestion. Why put all your stress and strain of having a good hunt for a OIL tag into a single 6-day window. Among other things more days enjoying the planning and scouting makes the whole of it more memorable and fun.

I sit here 9 hours from my moose hunt unit and am scouting this weekend in a 4-day round trip. Just gotta embrace it and get after it,
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
2,170
Good advice so far. Figure the money situation out and do what you need to do to make it happen. Or be good with doing it DIY with the real chance of eating the OIL tag.

Had a friend draw last year after about 39 years of trying. He’s a frugal SOB so he refused to part ways with a penny for any help. Let’s just say the only moose he saw was on the tag while going into the pot for tag soup.
 
Top