Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Other Big Game => Topic started by: h3x0ctb1n on September 27, 2020, 12:47:19 PM

Title: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on September 27, 2020, 12:47:19 PM
Hi all - first time poster here, but not a new hunter. A bit about me:

I've been hunting almost as long as I can remember, starting with cottontails with a .410 in Missouri winter. All my folks hail from rural Missouri, but I've been in WA since toddler days, courtesy of the Air Force and my dad getting stationed at (then) McChord. He kept the hunting tradition alive in his boys, and it's only gotten stronger with time for me, as I started a family of my own. Time and proximity has always been the hard part, but with my kids getting a bit older now and hopefully joining me soon, I expect my adventures outside to only become more frequent.

I'm probably a bit late to the party here, but just wanted to post that my brother and I drew the 2 available cow moose tags for the Douglas 108 unit as a group this year, after some absurd number of points spent. I'm by no means a moose expert (or an expert on anything, for that matter), but if I can be of assistance to those that drew the bull moose permits, let's connect! I've been scouting on a couple of weekends, and I've caught a few small bulls in trail cams, but no cows. Also, if anyone has any tips for moose in this unit, I won't turn away the advice!

Also, I can't get a straight answer out of Hancock - do they allow motorized access through Harrier Creek Rd, Pick Rd, and the like? I'm not seeing any gates whatsoever on Hancock land, and despite the current closure, have seen pickups (and even a wall tent) on their parcels. Maybe it's a don't ask, don't tell situation?

Anyway, thanks all, glad to be here (should have signed up years ago) and looking forward to sharing in stories and being of assistance.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: bearpaw on September 27, 2020, 12:54:18 PM
Hancock allows hunting and access normally, but currently their lands have been closed due to fire danger, but that may be lifted soon since it recently rained. You will need to check if the closure has been lifted, you risk getting ticketed if they don't open it.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on September 27, 2020, 01:04:04 PM
Thanks bearpaw!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: highcountry_hunter on September 27, 2020, 02:35:13 PM
Forest circus and DNR both returned to stage 1 restrictions on Saturday so Id assume Hancock also did
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Bango skank on September 27, 2020, 04:05:41 PM
Some hancock land is gated with signs stating no motorized travel.  Much of it is not.  If its not gated and posted non motorized, you are good to drive in.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on September 27, 2020, 04:52:02 PM
Thanks Bango, Highcountry.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on September 27, 2020, 05:04:44 PM
Looks like the FS rescinded this ban they set up on 9/11: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd802635.pdf

Clicking on the order on this page shows they rescinded it on 9/23: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/colville/alerts-notices

Of course, DNR is still banning campfires.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on October 12, 2020, 02:28:01 PM
So far, no luck. I don't know if it was the heat, wolves, pressure or what, but our moose sightings were few and far between; I saw more bears than moose! I did see a fork-horned bull in the NF, and my dad and brother found a few other bulls, but fresh sign was hard to come by. I did connect with one of the early season bull hunters (shoutout to Cory and his brothers), who had called in some bulls at the beginning of the season, but no shooters; they called in more wolves than bulls. I'm not giving up though - heading back in mid-November when the leaves are hopefully gone and snow is on the ground.

Definitely want to thank Jerome and sagemd on the forum for sending me pointers - very appreciative of you guys taking the time. And also Jesse, if he's here on the forum, for taking the time to write paragraphs of information on a piece of cardboard and dropping it off at my camp. We live in an awesome tribe - I hope I can repay the kindness and pay it forward!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: ibuyre on October 12, 2020, 07:30:58 PM
I don't know much. But in my few days of hunting and looking for them. I only ever saw them in about the first 2 hrs of daylight. After that they seemed to go into thick stuff, that's when I jumped a couple that I never saw, and where less than 20' away, but so thick I couldn't see them. First light and last light are the ticket. I would be more for first light, because of the amount of work you are soon to have ;). I wish you luck, and hope you guys connect. The ones I saw where eating in side hill clear cuts at first light.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on October 12, 2020, 09:49:54 PM
After that they seemed to go into thick stuff, that's when I jumped a couple that I never saw, and where less than 20' away, but so thick I couldn't see them.

Yup, I did this a few times too, heavy crashes I thought were moose at least, could have been a surprised bear that quieted down quick. And the amount of snort-wheezes from whitetails were by far the most numerous thing I encountered. Crazy to run into whitetail bucks at 5K feet...

Thanks ibuyre, appreciate the well wishes and happy to hear you connected with your cow! Hoping the cold shorter days in November has them out a bit more and bit longer.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Caseknife on October 13, 2020, 06:51:05 AM
Moose are a lot easier to spot when the leaves are off the trees and maybe a bit of snow on the ground.  Don't have to compete with the yellow jackets and flies either.  Douglas is a good unit with a lot of the proper aged clearcuts.  Look for spots where you can glass into the cuts that have 8-12' alders/willows from a distance.  With the leaves off you will be able to spot the ubiquitous "4x8 sheet of black plywood" easily a mile away with binos.  Then it is just a matter of picking the correct road to get closer, which is sometimes harder than spotting the moose.  You'll get your cow :)
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on October 14, 2020, 11:57:26 AM
Thanks Caseknife. That's my hope!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: h3x0ctb1n on November 25, 2020, 12:28:02 PM
Got it done after 17 days of hunting, 11 in the beginning of the season, 6 in the last half of November. Thank goodness for the 8-12 inches of snow on the ground and the leaves off the trees - made all the difference in the world being able to see where the moose had been and being able to see through all the head-high willow and other brush.

I shot this cow about 70 yards, downslope, off a bench in an old burn area, near a bend in an old (gated) skid road, about a mile in (up) from any driveable road. The snow on the bench was all torn up by moose traffic, with bowls carved out where they'd bedded. Upslope was a young bull, and after my shot a slightly older bull ran off further downslope. I neared the edge of the bench, going slow and stopping often, mostly checking out the sign; when I got to the edge, I saw head and ears and shoulder. After a quick verification she wasn't a tiny bull, a quick freehand shot put her down. She flipped forward, which I thought was strange, but made sense in hindsight; my shot was high shoulder and did some damage to the spine as well, taking her legs out from under her. It was 12:30 PM at this point. I waited for 30 minutes, but wish I hadn't, because she needed a second shot to put her down. Then the work began... my dad had just left that morning to return home, so I texted him and asked him to come back for assistance, which meant 6 more hours of driving for him, plus hiking. Along the way he bought a couple of cheap plastic sleds, and finally got to me at 10 PM, after I'd skinned and mostly finished quartering the cow. We spent the next 8 hours finishing that work, bagging the meat in game bags and garbage sacks, devising a system to hang most of it in branchless pine trees (what I wouldn't have given for a big aspen), and hiking back to the truck with our gear and sleds of meat. After a 4 hour sleep, we returned for the rest. Wolves were our main concern because I had followed a steady stream of tracks upward on the old skid road, but it seemed we'd left enough scent behind because nothing had touched the remains when we returned.

Main learning: moose are huge. Second learning: cutting a fresh track and following it cross-country slow, looking all the time, I ran into moose consistently, including some massive, dandy bulls.

Best part: moose in my freezer. Second best part: all the awesome people I met on this forum and out in the woods, who helped me with tips and pointers, and I was able to pay it forward to as well.

25 points well spent.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Widgeondeke on November 25, 2020, 12:35:16 PM
Congrats!  :tup:

thanks for sharing the story
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Pathfinder101 on November 25, 2020, 12:36:41 PM
Way to get it done!  :tup:
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: nwskier on November 25, 2020, 04:16:11 PM
Congrats on an awesome hunt and making great memories.  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Caseknife on November 26, 2020, 06:56:48 AM
Congratulations on a successful hunt, wouldn't have wanted to spend 25 years trying to get the tag and then have the hunt end on the first day.  the moose are out there, but the predators have definitely made them change their habits.  Snow on the ground really helps on locating them.  Hopefully I will be able to draw in the next 10-15 years while I can still get around.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: MLBowhunting on November 26, 2020, 08:29:26 AM
Nice job!!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Falcon on November 26, 2020, 01:17:47 PM
Moose are a lot easier to spot when the leaves are off the trees and maybe a bit of snow on the ground.  Don't have to compete with the yellow jackets and flies either.  Douglas is a good unit with a lot of the proper aged clearcuts.  Look for spots where you can glass into the cuts that have 8-12' alders/willows from a distance.  With the leaves off you will be able to spot the ubiquitous "4x8 sheet of black plywood" easily a mile away with binos.  Then it is just a matter of picking the correct road to get closer, which is sometimes harder than spotting the moose.  You'll get your cow :)

Caseknife:   Hope you draw soon. Appreciate all the help you gave me.  This is one of favorite all time hunting pics :tup:
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: hunterednate on November 26, 2020, 01:31:21 PM
Way to stick with it and get it done. Sounds like an experience you'll always remember.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: csaaphill on November 26, 2020, 01:32:13 PM
Congratulations awesome looking cow moose  :tup:
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: ibuyre on November 26, 2020, 04:13:46 PM
Congratulations. Great job and way to get it done. You are going to love the meat. OMG moose is so good... :). Super glad to hear you filled your tag.
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Caseknife on November 26, 2020, 04:39:56 PM
Falcon, that was a fun hunt and glad we had a couple young studs with us that day!
Title: Re: Douglas 108 Cow Moose
Post by: Falcon on November 27, 2020, 06:43:03 PM
Falcon, that was a fun hunt and glad we had a couple young studs with us that day!

I agree.   Those boys got rr done :tup: