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GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR GPS MAP Guided Moose And Black Bear Hunts

Author Topic: Hirshey's Moose 2014  (Read 52366 times)

Offline hirshey

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Hirshey's Moose 2014
« on: October 04, 2014, 10:39:21 AM »
Alright... so I'll try to do this amazing hunt justice and share a few photos of my adventure... I am still in shock, so my writing may be slightly less eloquent than usual.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2014, 10:41:52 AM »
 :tup:
Bring it...
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

My posts, opinions and statements do not represent those of this forum

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 10:42:31 AM »
So as many of you may know, I make a living as a wildland firefighter out of Central Oregon for the summers, but was raised in Central Washington. My father has been putting in for a moose tag for me before I even truly probably understood what a moose was... and after roughly 20 years of applications, I received the coveted "selected" status for the East Okanogan/Kettle Any Moose tag. This is an area I have some knowledge of, because for the few years I spent out of fire, I worked as a research forester for the Pacific Northwest Research Station and spent many a night in the Prospector Inn in Republic. I had seen a few moose over the course of my time there, and although it wasn't a tag any of my mentors had experience with, I was excited.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline gaddy

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 10:42:31 AM »
patiently waiting, you always share great stories.

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 10:43:25 AM »
 :hunter: Go getum! :tup:
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Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2014, 10:46:47 AM »
Fire season started off slowly; we normally head to New Mexico and Arizona in May and don't return until the monsoons push us north back into Utah, Idaho, and Oregon... but this season was unseasonably wet and we waited, poised and ready, in Oregon. Once fire season arrived, the work was steady. I was unable to break away from my helicopter rappel crew to do any scouting; I was gone the entire month of August and 14 days in September. Moose hunting, and the opener, were coming on quickly. 
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 10:53:08 AM »
Fire season ended abruptly for me, with a September 30th performance evaluation, exit interview on the season, and a 6.5 hour drive to Chelan with all my belongings packed tightly into my Subaru Forester. I drove into my home town at midnight with heavy eyelids. Sleeping didn't come easy, even though I was tired. I unpacked my vehicle the next morning and threw in the essentials for moose... my "kill" bag, map, muzzleloader, .270 (and accompanying ammunition), sleeping bag, clothing, water, coffee, homemade fruit rolls (thanks mom!), locally grown apples, and chocolate milk. All a girl needs, really.  :chuckle:

I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 10:54:53 AM »
Been waiting for this thread....
Keep it coming!
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

My posts, opinions and statements do not represent those of this forum

Offline 3nails

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 10:58:00 AM »
 Tagging along. This should be good!
"The word of God is like a lion. You don't have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself."
Charles Spurgeon

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 11:02:08 AM »
So at this point I was moose-bound, with the main notion of scouting some of the areas I had inventoried in 2011. My parents and I also drew the Clockum muzzleloader antlerless tag that started today, so they were counting on me taping my trigger finger to my palm and just "window shopping". I called one of the members on this site that had contacted me about some local knowledge, and he was out muzzleloader hunting so his wife kindly invited me to call back in the evening to chat with him. I made it to the unit and the area I had wanted to revisit, trying to clear the fog from my memory and recall which road system and particular area I had seen moose those three years prior... I drove around reacquainting myself with the area until dusk, making friends with two deer hunters from the Tri-Cities and Anacortes, and readily listening to their suggestions for "moosey" areas in the vicinity before heading back to town and cell coverage to call the Hunt-Wa member previously discussed. He asked where I was concentrating, and I told him. With enthusiasm and local knowledge, he pointed me to a road system roughly 2 miles from my nightly scounting endeavors. I thanked him heartily, and sandwich in hand, headed back out to the area and slept in my car under the half moon and brisk skies, dreaming of tomorrow's possibilities.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline Emptyhanded

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 11:06:17 AM »
Tag
Hunting... It's a spiritual erection every time. - Ted Nugent

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 11:07:54 AM »
My alarm quietly hummed Alison Krauss's "The Lucky One" just before daybreak, but it wasn't needed... I was up and ready. As daylight broke I was giddy to find the road I was traveling to be familiar... this is where I had worked and seen those moose in previous years... the small silver tag nailed to the bottom of the tree alongside the road known as the "reference tree" at the Research Station confirmed it. I pulled into a narrow road I had never traveled before, grimacing as the brush announced my presence as it whined down the side of my vehicle. I stopped and decided to take my muzzleloader and camera for a walk, and no sooner than I had made the decision was I rewarded with the view I had wanted the most; those dark, tall bodies working the far edge of a small swamp.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 11:10:00 AM »
As I got closer and worked myself into a small opening in the brush, my heart pounded at my chest wall; those paddles! The color! A bull!

He was beautiful, and broadside at less than 70 yards trying to push a calf off of a cow. It was decision time: was this my moose, or not?



« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:42:28 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline Elkaholic daWg

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 11:12:28 AM »
Congrats on the "selected" hirshey . Now go get em! :tup: Kinda sounding like you did!
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Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2014, 11:13:49 AM »
I knew he was big... I knew he was a very respectable bull for Washington, but something inside of me said "shoot it with your camera, not your gun..." and I had to obey. I shouldered my Thompson Center Black Diamond and uncapped my camera, and proceeded to take photos of this magnificent critter for over 30 minutes as a raked the brush, grunted, and played King of the swamp. A smaller bull (I presume) stayed in the willows on the periphery wondering how he could get at that cow. Finally, the clicking of the camera caught the attention of the small calf, and all three animals walked back into the depths of the swamp and out of sight as the bull pleaded, grunting into the crisp morning air. 
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2014, 11:14:51 AM »


« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:42:58 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:27:21 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2014, 11:15:53 AM »
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:27:59 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2014, 11:16:28 AM »
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:30:02 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline Skillet

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2014, 11:21:31 AM »
Great.  Anything I thought I might be getting done this afternoon just got shot to hell. Gonna pour me a nice single malt and settle in for story time.
Keep it coming Hirshey :tup:
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Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 11:24:01 AM »
At this point, as my local Hunt-WA member says, my trigger finger was aching... did I do the right thing? Should I have taken this beautiful animal? Did I really just find such a masher on my first morning out? I was in disbelief. If I had had someone I cared about there to share that moment with me, I think the outcome would have been different. I would have taken aim at him with my sights rather than my lens... but 20 years of putting in for 20 minutes of morning air? I just couldn't do it. Realizing I might be the biggest fool ever and having shot nerves, I wandered back into cell service to share the excitement and a few photos to see just how stupid I really was. The decision was pretty much unanimous: WHAT HAD I BEEN THINKING??

My parents were still busily packing for elk camp, and I couldn't bring myself to say the words: I need you!

Luckily, another lifeline presented itself... after sending the photos to my friend Jeff from Seattle, there was an immediate response... "How is a guy supposed to work with that excitement? Say the word and I'm there!" We chatted briefly on the phone before it was decided: he was going to take the rest of the week off work and make the 7 hour drive to come enjoy this experience with me.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline superdown

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2014, 11:24:12 AM »
tag

Offline go4steelhd

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2014, 11:28:36 AM »
Tagging!!!
Congrats on a great permit

Offline gr8whthunter

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2014, 11:32:24 AM »
tag
Completely not The Chosen One of the YKWTSASFFRO...

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Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Moose 2014
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2014, 11:38:53 AM »
I spent the remainder of the day half-heartedly exploring new roads and country, but my mind was still in the back side of that swamp with those animals. I snuck in later in the day; I just couldn't stay away. I was giddy to hear a few grunts and the raking of paddles as my king of the swamp lorded over his land. I left and met up with Jeff, excitedly sharing stories of the day and catching up after 6 months of busy field seasons for us both: he in the marine world and me in fire. Who knew fire and water could get along so swimmingly?  :chuckle:

We headed back up into the woods to my previous night's camp and slept (I use the term loosely for me!) another night in the back of my car, just waiting for the daylight to break.

We were up and at it at the perfect time; the car was defrosted on this nippy 30 degree morning and all that was left to do was hop in when the unmistakable hum of a diesel engine broke through the morning air, and a silver truck came over the horizon. Unable to possibly get in front of him, I stepped out and flagged the gentleman down. "If I might be so rude to ask, what are you hunting?" I pried. "I'm not going to lie, I'm road hunting for mule deer" was the response. Feeling a small sense of relief, I asked him, "Great! I'm hunting moose and there's one down the next left I'd like to get after.. may I please have that road?" He smiled and kindly responded it was all mine. Sweet relief!

We got to the 2-track road and prepared for an exciting morning. Slowly sneaking around the corner, my heart leaps when I hear a giant "SNAP", but immediately falls when I hear the muffled sound of a truck, and see the headlights crest the ridge... the gentleman was unfamiliar with the area and didn't know it was a loop road.. he had driven 3/4 of my swamp already! I stepped aside to let him by, but he was already terribly embarrassed and reversed out the entire mile-long loop. I looked at Jeff as we sat and listened to the roar of the engine as it slowly faded into the distance.

What now?
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

 

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