Hunting Memories

Shortest Moose Hunt in History
By Bob Mancuso

Bob Mancuso (left) and Scott Brennan pose with Brennan's Idaho moose.
My buddy Scott Brennan drew an Idaho controlled moose hunt for the fall of 2002. In 2001 I helped a hunter harvest a good moose from the same area, so I had a good idea where to begin the search for a big bull.

Scott and I are both in the military, so it was tough for both of us to get away any earlier than mid-October. On our way to set up camp we made a quick stop to check out an area where I had seen moose the year before. We climbed a hill that offered a panoramic view of the valley and quickly found a bull about a mile and a half away. Through the spotting scope his width and eye guards looked good, but the driver's side palm looked weak. We decided to get a closer look at this guy so we flew off the hill and hopped in Scott’s Land Cruiser in order to access a road that would bring us directly above the bull.

On the way to the road, I spotted a moose across the canyon and had Scott pull over. Through the Lieca binoes I saw a two-year-old bull standing broadside and another bull lying to his left. I broke out the spotting scope and saw a real nice set of antlers on the prone bull. The only trouble was he was facing away from us so all he presented was a rear view. After a quick discussion, we decided to forego the first bull in order to get a better look of the new guy.

We gathered up the essentials for the daypacks, loaded the rifle just in case, and ran down the hill and up the other side. We circled downwind and came up below the bulls, with a lone pine tree blocking our approach route. By the time we got to the tree, the sun was sinking and both bulls were up feeding. At 100 meters it was easy to see the bigger moose was a good Shiras bull. I told Scott to "SHOOT THAT MOOSE!" The sagebrush was waist high and the only stable shot Scott had was from the kneeling position. He took his time and squeezed off a shot with his .308, hitting the bull in the X ring. The bull staggered and dropped, then after a while put his head down. We were amazed when he got back up and looked our way. Scott fired again and put him down for good. His little buddy stood there through all of this and refused to budge. Only after we revealed ourselves did the younger bull take off, and not in any great hurry.

After a brief celebration, we got to work and boned out Scott’s trophy in the dark and put the meat in game bags to cool overnight. We crossed the canyon, found the Cruiser, and drove out to set up camp. After a couple hours sleep, we crossed the canyon again, this time with empty backpacks. Every time I eat a moose steak I will remember packing those steaks off the hill!

Scott’s bull is 42" wide with good palms and nice eye guards. He is having a European mount done and the steaks are fantastic! Total hunt time was 2.5 hours. Certainly the shortest moose hunt in history.

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