River drop camp tactics

AspenTimber

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Doing a diy drop camp along a river in western AK with a partner. (Will have a canoe for some extra mobility) Wanted to get some advice on what has worked for others as far as daily calling sequences, locations (at and away from camp), and durations. Don’t want to over explore but also would like to take advantage of some of the local sloughs and vantage points along meadows nearby.

example: call from camp in morning and evening for (x) amount of time each day the first few days and set up at a nearby satellite location every so often based on sign and wind ...then if no action the first few days.,.venture out to another slough for morning evening calls?

Understand that every situation is different but want to find a balance that maximizes odds for both of us without over traveling/paddling and spreading scent.

hopefully you guys have had success in similar set ups!

thanks in advance
 

twincedar

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I understand your question as hunting DIY last year by ourselves, two moose calling newbies, we wondered the same. We watched countless videos, scoured forums, asked everyone we bumped into that had mosoe hunted before. We were told to call from camp, cow call sparingly, but rake & thrash as much as we wanted, they would come to us. We did see cows around our lake, but basically nothing for 8 days.

Then finally, next to the last day of season, we had bulls, not legal size, start arriving in camp, and were not fearful of our scent, our fire, camp smells. As they would eventually lose interest, we could easily get them to come back toward us, downwind, we some cow calls and display of our cow decoy.

Any way to your point, we would call from camp early and late, check back in at lunch time, then visit other areas during the mid mornings and afternoons, and try call sequences, glass edges. It was on the last day doing so, about 3/4 mile from camp, that we set up and called in our legal bull that we harvested. We had called in that same spot the previous couple days, so not sure if our earlier calling had pulled him in the area, or if it was just luck that we bumped into him when we did.
 
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AspenTimber

AspenTimber

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Awesome congrats...seems like you had likely primed that satellite location with your previous calling sequences. Taking time to glass the edges is another great tidbit. We are intending to take a treestand for a higher vantage point for that purpose.
 

twincedar

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Awesome congrats...seems like you had likely primed that satellite location with your previous calling sequences. Taking time to glass the edges is another great tidbit. We are intending to take a treestand for a higher vantage point for that purpose.
We brought a couple tree saddle and screw in step setups to reduce weight vs. a tripod or tree stand. That said, we never used it. We could see in most areas we could access. We did bring a packraft that we used multiple times a day to explore up some creeks that fed our lake system, but really never felt the need to climb. We regretted we could have brought beer instead of two climbing set ups.
 
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Larry Bartlett

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Establish a camp overlooking an area with fresh tracks or obvious moosey habitat. Conceal the outline of your camp behind willows. Break sticks, limbs, shore debris, etc. Loudly smack trees with big dry wood. Keep vocal moose calls to a minimum for the first couple of days before calling sequences (after 12 sept). Dont give up. Dont assume you'll hear a bull before it shows up. Stay ready even when you're takin a dump.

It's a waiting game, but from stationary camps it's best not to overcall with grunts and cow moans. Breaking sticks and timber and chopping wood is ideal vocal coms for bull moose.

That's a bare bones generic strategy, but highly effective. Hunt overlooking an area you'll want to put down a moose, and you'll usually come close to that goal.
 

Voyageur

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I really appreciate your input about not over doing the vocals near a stationary camp @Larry Bartlett . That is a tidbit of info I had not heard before. I look forward to putting it into practice in September.
 

Larry Bartlett

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50" plus bulls didn't become mature by being overly curious in their youth, so its hard to trip them up in their own habitat. But, they can't seem to resist the reflexive urge to size up an intruder/competitor for very long. By not using vocal tactics and only big dry sticks against trees, mature bulls won't be able to intuit your projected maturity by the tone and inflection of your calls. Absent this information, curiosity will bring them within range even if they are stealthy and ninja-like in their approach. I've had bulls show just the side tips of its antlers by standing directly behind trees and brush to conceal its body, while listening still for an extremely long time (15-30 minutes seemingly motionless). Very smart critters. After 17 september, you can pretty much call the moose by name, butt naked in the open and get a nice bull to respond and approach. So my advice is more reliable before the 15th of the month....LOL
 

Panhandler80

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Good read.

Everything Larry shared is right inline with my UNDERSTANDING but not experience, because I have yet to try.

However, a while back I posted in a few places about the season in 17B. It’s likely sept 5 through 15. A lot of folks said full on rut and great time to call. I was surprised to hear that. Was excited to hear it, but surprised.

Do things vary a little region to region?
 
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AspenTimber

AspenTimber

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Thanks Larry,! what’s your take on also selecting a few other spots with good sign within a mile walk or paddle to focus additional calling efforts. And do you prefer to begin vocal calls in a particular order and duration during the rut ?.. have watched/purchased countless videos, including the love thunder& bull series and your own meat care dvd ..but always nice to hear everyone’s personal experiences since Alaska terrain varies and there seems to be tactics that work best for every location and camp set up
 

Larry Bartlett

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Remember this is stationary-camp advice, not float hunting strategy: I'm a minimalist and a Keep It Simple hunter. New moose hunters overthink almost everything their first round and only 50% of those are successful. In my experience, ONLY call from the location that brings the bull ONTO the 6 square yards of earth you want him to fall. If you have three key spots, you should have a caller/hunter at each location at all times. That's the sole reason I invest in one spot that I includes confidence and dry ground, which is also the primary location i'll invest most of my time (camp). Any other spots where you've broadcasted soundwaves is the location to within 12" that bull will come to investigate. ONE location. Patience. Prepareness.

When floating or drifting through moose country, I'll cow call and bull grunt constantly...but this is to make a bull rise if and when i drift into his range. You can't over call in this scenario.

But from a stationary camp you can easily overcall. after 12 or 13 september i'll start grunting maybe 3 times every 20 minutes during the first three hours of daylight and the last 2 hours of sunlight. Quiet except breaking sticks every 30 minutes throughout the day. Prior to 12 september i rely on wood to wood communication. After 15th cow calls become more effective. No more than the first and last hour of daylight to just tease a bull.

when none of that works, you're just huntin and learnin.
 

Larry Bartlett

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If you ask 10 experienced moose hunters you'd find all of them have slightly different variances of "what works." The one thing all of them will agree on is that moose will come to calls very keenly and precisely, on their timeline not yours. The how-to-call and when-to-call varies. Keep it simple and recall all ten "samples" of intel you've gotten to practice in the field. If it works it sticks.
 

Wapiti1

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Last fall, we called from camp a few times a day, not a lot, maybe 4-5 times. We wandered up stream and down about 1/2 mile and called from spots where we thought the sound would carry farthest. We also stuck to the bank to minimize scent.

As Larry states, be ready all the time. My bull came in on day two, and we were having lunch. We heard him coming in, but I could see him appearing out of nowhere just as easy. A pair of smaller bulls did that the following day.

Jeremy
 

E Butler

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100 % what Larry said my buddy and used Larry in 2019 and both tagged out on bulls. We called in my buddies bull by breaking timber setting up a spot for lunch on our float. We did a little hike down a dried up creek and when we returned to eat lunch my buddy went to take a dump. Right in the middle of it ,the moose started raking the brush behind him. He didn’t know what was coming through the brush to eat him . LOL He managed to get back to the raft and I grabbed a branch and raked the brush to hold him long enough for the shot.
 

alexanderg23

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Remember this is stationary-camp advice, not float hunting strategy: I'm a minimalist and a Keep It Simple hunter. New moose hunters overthink almost everything their first round and only 50% of those are successful. In my experience, ONLY call from the location that brings the bull ONTO the 6 square yards of earth you want him to fall. If you have three key spots, you should have a caller/hunter at each location at all times. That's the sole reason I invest in one spot that I includes confidence and dry ground, which is also the primary location i'll invest most of my time (camp). Any other spots where you've broadcasted soundwaves is the location to within 12" that bull will come to investigate. ONE location. Patience. Prepareness.

When floating or drifting through moose country, I'll cow call and bull grunt constantly...but this is to make a bull rise if and when i drift into his range. You can't over call in this scenario.

But from a stationary camp you can easily overcall. after 12 or 13 september i'll start grunting maybe 3 times every 20 minutes during the first three hours of daylight and the last 2 hours of sunlight. Quiet except breaking sticks every 30 minutes throughout the day. Prior to 12 september i rely on wood to wood communication. After 15th cow calls become more effective. No more than the first and last hour of daylight to just tease a bull.

when none of that works, you're just huntin and learnin.


Thanks Larry. We’re headed out the 16th for 5 days. Hope to do basically what you’re saying. Not much elevation where we’re going, plan to bring a hang-on to get more visibility and basically do what you’re talking about. Will report back!
 
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