Moose Calls: "Here Moose, Come Here."

Tony Trietch

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In all seriousness, I am going through a crash course in learning moose calls and calling. I have spent pretty much all of my free time on YouTube since I found out I drew the tag. I have lots of questions.

How many of you that hunt moose use a tube or birch wrap for calling?
Would an elk bugle tube work?
Are there any similarities to calling elk? as in; Location, aggression, set up, cow vs bull sounds.
How about the moose scapula for raking?
Do the bulls and cows move to a "rutting area" once the rut begins or does it happen where ever the cows are?
I have so many questions...

Maybe there is a kick ass book out there you can recommend?

Thanks!
 

Reload

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Tony, I got an excellent tip from the gents in Alaska to pick up the book Ecology and Management of the North American Moose by Franzmann and Schwartz. Excellent read, a ton of info, and gives a guy a better overall understanding on what makes moose tick. You can find it used on Amazon. Another book called Moose by Valerius Geist is also a winner. I always felt that the more one learns about his prey makes the predator that much more deadly! Larry Bartlett has a book called Float Draggin Alaska thats a good one as well. Wayne Kubat has a DVD about vocalizations and behavior of moose that is priceless. Good luck in your pursuits!
 
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Tony Trietch

Tony Trietch

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Sold out for the Ecology and management, the other is in my cart. Thanks


Tony, I got an excellent tip from the gents in Alaska to pick up the book Ecology and Management of the North American Moose by Franzmann and Schwartz. Excellent read, a ton of info, and gives a guy a better overall understanding on what makes moose tick. You can find it used on Amazon. Another book called Moose by Valerius Geist is also a winner. I always felt that the more one learns about his prey makes the predator that much more deadly! Larry Bartlett has a book called Float Draggin Alaska thats a good one as well. Wayne Kubat has a DVD about vocalizations and behavior of moose that is priceless. Good luck in your pursuits!
 

go4thegusto

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We had great luck raking and thrashing brush and waving with a canoe paddle. Have caller slip on a black top and mask. Sucked in the bull I killed last year with my longbow as well as a few others that were too small or no shot.
 

EAT

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I picked up, Moose Hunting; calling decoying and stalking by Dave Kelso and Peter Fiduccia. in my opinion he was much more fond of calling than any other method. I found it on Amazon.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

VernAK

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I've been successful in calling dozens of moose.....some from two miles away into bow range.

Don't over-think this process as it's quite simple.

Usually, bulls respond better after September 10th in this area. Use a loud cow call vocalization with a megaphone [Bull Magnet works well].
As a bull gets closer, I get more into bull grunts and scraping/shaking the spruce I'm hiding behind. Wave the bull Magnet like antlers.

The bulls are growing a new winter coat so they often won't respond if the weather is warm. I've had several wait for hours until the sun went behind the mountain before they came to the call in the cooling evening.

They also don't care to climb much of a grade to get to the call.....
 

Kevin Dill

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Count me in Vern's camp for thoughts on calling. Calling moose (and doing it well) isn't about learning the nuances of various vocalizations and being a world-class caller. I think it's about understanding how moose respond to other moose....how they move about and interact...and what you can do to get one coming your way. Once a bull is convinced he's going to THAT call...he's often going to walk right in if you just let him.

Black and white: Cow bawls. Bull grunts. Antler raking.

Shades of gray: Volume. Frequency. Combinations. Visuals. Location. Timing.

That sums it up for me. No big secrets. Nobody is carrying a secret moose-calling weapon. You can do all these sounds/calls with your hands, mouth and whatever you have available. There's nothing you can buy that will truly make a huge difference in my opinion. The best way to learn the art is to listen to both actual moose and hunters calling to them. Videos and dvd can be a great aid to learning.

Tubes, decoys and other accoutrements are (just my opinion) vastly overrated and not needed. My best megaphone is an empty hard plastic motor oil bottle with the bottom cut out. I've used the same one for 8 years. It weighs a couple ounces and has great volume for calling. It also sounds realistic when raked down a spruce limb or trunk. I've called plenty of moose in with just my hands and voice. Visuals might help some but I personally don't want a bull staring me down or walking head on into close range. I've been there and it's hairy...really dangerous when a bull gets under ten yards and is looking at you. I sometimes carry a piece of something light colored which I can flash as an antler at a distant bull.

Here's one very simple calling tip for bulls: Break a dead branch. The only thing snapping off wood and breaking branches in moose country are moose. That snapping/breaking sound is sharp and it carries very well across open ground. Any bull feeling rutty is basically hard-wired to investigate that noise. A little grunting and soft cow bawling makes it sound like a chase is happening. I can verify that moose DO chase and act just like other deer at times...I've witnessed bulls running around like bird dogs while cows sneak and evade, bawling like alley cats periodically.
 
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Tony Trietch

Tony Trietch

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Awesome Kevin and Vern! Thanks for the advice. I have started practicing my calls, the dogs think I am nuts.
 

Ray

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When there are no moose in your area there will be no response to your calling.

On a more serious note, your brush raking needs to be as violent and random as possible. Even though bulls have responded to ax thunks chopping up fire wood, they are more likely to respond to breaking branches and thrashing than a nice even thunking noise.
 

KClark

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Sounds like some good advice in this thread. I'm no expert but my Alaskan brother seems to have figured it out pretty well. I had a MT bull tag and in 24 days never chambered a round. :( My brother sent me a video to watch in preparation for an Alaskan hunt and I practiced profusely. When it was all said and done I wound up calling in a bull from the porch of his cabin with no more than a hot cup of coffee, the bull posed for the shot under the meat pole. One round in the upper neck, bang flop. I wish I had a better story but 650lbs of meat made up for the easy kill.
 

907to406

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I'm by no means a professional but for my Montana moose hunt last year I just used a small road cone/sports cone and cut the bottom stand off with a razor and rattle canned it black. It worked great! Its cheap, durable and packable. I ended up calling in about 12 different moose in 9 days and the bull I ended up shooting came from 800+ yards away in about 20 minutes to a combination of the cone and cupped hand calling.

I watched a handful of youtube videos and was way over thinking it. Really all it comes down to is covering your nostrils to get a nasally sound and moaning/groaning (the air should be coming from deep in your chest just like bugling for elk) into the call or even just your hands. The first time I tried it in the field I thought "no way this is going to work" and wondered if I was even doing it right, then about 10 minutes later a cow popped out and over the span of the next 2 hours a few smaller bulls and another cow.
 

cnelk

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Last year in AK, we did mostly raking and bull grunts, cow calling sparingly, all day long
By the end of the second day, we were covered up in moose.

Moose scapulas make a great realistic antler vs tree noise.
 

Daniel_M

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My 2yo baby girl is a caller in the making, her tactic is exactly that...here moosey moosey.

I'm no expert, but I've been successful in bringing moose in. Don't over think it, and be flexible. Vocal calls are typically more effective come mid September. Raking and thrashing seems to always do the trick. My favorite is a 1gallon radiator fluid jug with the bottom cut out. Works great for beating brush/alders and scraping. Colder the weather the better, you'll know when it comes. A good cold snap always seems to get them moving and responsive.

The great thing is there is a lot of room for error with calling and it is still effective.
 

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Tony Trietch

Tony Trietch

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If a plastic jug and rubber/plastic cone work, I assume a plastic bugle tube will work fine?

I'm by no means a professional but for my Montana moose hunt last year I just used a small road cone/sports cone and cut the bottom stand off with a razor and rattle canned it black. It worked great! Its cheap, durable and packable. I ended up calling in about 12 different moose in 9 days and the bull I ended up shooting came from 800+ yards away in about 20 minutes to a combination of the cone and cupped hand calling.

I watched a handful of youtube videos and was way over thinking it. Really all it comes down to is covering your nostrils to get a nasally sound and moaning/groaning (the air should be coming from deep in your chest just like bugling for elk) into the call or even just your hands. The first time I tried it in the field I thought "no way this is going to work" and wondered if I was even doing it right, then about 10 minutes later a cow popped out and over the span of the next 2 hours a few smaller bulls and another cow.

My 2yo baby girl is a caller in the making, her tactic is exactly that...here moosey moosey.

I'm no expert, but I've been successful in bringing moose in. Don't over think it, and be flexible. Vocal calls are typically more effective come mid September. Raking and thrashing seems to always do the trick. My favorite is a 1gallon radiator fluid jug with the bottom cut out. Works great for beating brush/alders and scraping. Colder the weather the better, you'll know when it comes. A good cold snap always seems to get them moving and responsive.

The great thing is there is a lot of room for error with calling and it is still effective.
 

Kevin Dill

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If a plastic jug and rubber/plastic cone work, I assume a plastic bugle tube will work fine?

Trying to understand...are you referring to an elk bugle tube?

I personally seldom use any type megaphone when calling. I cup my hands and pinch my nostrils (using both index fingers) when cow calling. I also just cup my hands when grunting. I just have never seen a major benefit from using a megaphone or tube during 80%+ of my calling. I like to start with subtle sounds and low tones in case a bull is somewhere near....1/4 mile or so...and they can hear a soft grunt or cow bawl easily at that distance. I pull out the oil bottle mostly to rake brush and occasionally grunt through it.

I could see an elk tube being a decent grunt/call amplifier but not effective for raking or other sounds. To each their own, but I wouldn't be willing to carry it for the very limited use I would give it. I do like the Bull Magnet that Vern uses but I have to keep gear weight to an absolute minimum for Cub flights...so I stay with my little 2 ounce oil bottle.
 

EAT

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Kevin, why don't you think a bugle tube would be good for raking? Too thick of material to mimic the sound? Asking because I had considered using the same thing if I drew.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 
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Tony Trietch

Tony Trietch

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Yes, a plastic elk bugle tube. I would think it will make a similar sound to a plastic jug? It sounds like their hearing is better than I was giving them credit for as well...

Trying to understand...are you referring to an elk bugle tube?

I personally seldom use any type megaphone when calling. I cup my hands and pinch my nostrils (using both index fingers) when cow calling. I also just cup my hands when grunting. I just have never seen a major benefit from using a megaphone or tube during 80%+ of my calling. I like to start with subtle sounds and low tones in case a bull is somewhere near....1/4 mile or so...and they can hear a soft grunt or cow bawl easily at that distance. I pull out the oil bottle mostly to rake brush and occasionally grunt through it.

I could see an elk tube being a decent grunt/call amplifier but not effective for raking or other sounds. To each their own, but I wouldn't be willing to carry it for the very limited use I would give it. I do like the Bull Magnet that Vern uses but I have to keep gear weight to an absolute minimum for Cub flights...so I stay with my little 2 ounce oil bottle.
 

Kevin Dill

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Kevin, why don't you think a bugle tube would be good for raking? Too thick of material to mimic the sound? Asking because I had considered using the same thing if I drew.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

Considering the objective (when raking) is to mimic the loud, hollow echo of moose antlers (palms or paddles) striking branches brush and rasping up and down a tree....I'm somehow not seeing how an elk bugle tube does that very well while projecting the sound outward in the same way a larger megaphone or other call does it. When moose get aggressive and rake hard, it's like no other sound you'll ever hear. Elk, deer or other antlered game don't have the big wide paddles which make the unique sound and resonate it so well. I'm not trying to dissuade anyone with my thoughts. I just wouldn't recommend using something until I absolutely knew it was right. The reason I use what I do is because it is physically light, very loud and carries in/on my pack using no space to mention. It doesn't hurt that it's free too.

Anyway...there are plenty of ways to call a moose and lots of things will work. I suspect an elk tube could be used, but I would want to test it and hear the sounds before counting on it.
 

Beendare

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Good thread. My experience on only 2 moose hunts reinforces the comments above.

I had a funny one. I was in northern BC on a guided moose hunt and there were 2 other Trad guys in camp.....my first real experience with the worst side of trad. I shot my moose [compound] and the other 2 guys were whining to my guide that their guide sucked...and on and on.

The whole trip these guys were saying they needed 20 or under. I was irritated by these guys by their "Training wheel" comments but put up with them. My guide was even getting pissed. We spotted a bull from the boat....cruised into shore above the bull and the guide and one trad guy snuck in to 30 yds broadside for about 5 minutes. The trad guy refused to shoot. Oh man the guide was ticked...he was trying to explain to the guy, "Its not whitetail"...the kill one is about 4x....."If you will shoot a whitetail at 20....a bull mose at 30 is a layup"...he never took the shot.

Next hunter; We called another monster bull from about 1/2 mile away....slob of a bull, huge paddles. He must have weighed 1200#. Well the guide and I were back from the hunter appx 30 yds calling and filming...... we called that bull to 12 yds from the hunter. The bull stood there... stood there.... looking for the cow. I was zoomed in on the bull waiting for the shot.......tick tock...nothing. The bull started to do that looking from side to side....so you knew he was getting nervous ready to leave. I zoomed out to get the hunter in the frame....he just stood there?????

The bull finally leaves and now the guide lost it with these guys, "WTF you doing, you said you could just step out and shoot?" and he grabbed the video camera from me to review the footage. I didn't notice when I filmed but in the video you could clearly see the bull in the same frame along with the bowhunter and the guy was shaking like a leaf....."I couldn't draw my bow he finally admitted" All that $$ for the hunt....a head scratcher.

If you are shooting a weapon that requires close shots.........you probably should think about the consequences ......
 
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