Photo and story by Roy Sumner
Manitoba moose hunting season 2018. The coldest September I’ve seen in over 20 years in the north.
My hunters, Brian and Shelly, were a great husband and wife team from Wyoming. We were standing on the shore of the lake staring at a giant bull track in the snow. It had to be fresh, because it was snowing every hour it seemed. We only had an hour of light left, so we quickly set up and started calling. I heard a bull grunting a long way off, but we ran out of shooting light.
We knew exactly where we were starting in the morning.
The following morning came with cold temps, winds and half an inch of fresh snow. We were back in the same spot by sunrise. We called for 45 minutes with no results. We were quietly discussing where we were going next when suddenly there was a distinct and very clear single bull grunt from across the lake.
The grunt sounded like it came from a stand of dark spruce across the bay, maybe 600 yards away. Brian and Shelly started glassing and spotted the huge dark chocolate pans of a giant bull standing in the spruce. I called again and watched for his reaction but he seemed very uninterested and started feeding in the birch trees.
We quickly made our way to the boat as quietly as possible and got to the other side of the bay. We snuck in and cut the distance in half, and as we made our way up the hill I noticed fresh bull rubs all over the hillside. We were in his house.
We were now probably within 200 yards of the huge bull. We stopped at a spot on the hillside with the best visibility in the thick birch. I crossed my fingers and told Brian and Shelly to get ready.
I started raking the brush with my paddle and bull grunting. When I paused to listen, I heard exactly what I wanted to hear, the crashing and thrashing of an angry advancing bull coming to meet this intruder! Approximately 40 yards out, the bull was closing the distance and tilting his head from side to side displaying his near 60-inch rack. Brian made the shot just as the bull passed one of the only openings.
A big congratulations to Brian and Shelly on harvesting a great Manitoba moose!
A true giant of the north!