Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"First Time Hunter"
Written by Larry Mower

First Time Hunter
My wife Cathy had never hunted, or even accompanied me on a hunt. In fact, she had never even shot a gun. But, she always told me that if she could draw a tag, she would go. Well, after applying for elk for 6 years, and moose for 3, she finally drew a tag, but it wasn't the one I expected. Her first hunt would be for the once-in-a-lifetime moose in Utah.
I love to scout for wildlife, but there's just one problem, I'm confined to a wheelchair and any scouting would have to be done from the road.

I was confident we could find a bull because of the number of moose in the area. I didn't care if she took a monster. I just wanted her to have a good experience while harvesting a mature bull. While scouting for Cathy's moose hunt on a Friday morning two weeks before the hunt opened, Cathy and I came around a bend in the road and there stood two tremendous bulls. Though both were trophy animals, they were completely different. The first was incredibly huge, with a 46 to 48 inch spread and a 10x9 point configuration. His palms were good and his front shovels were better than average with 4 points on one and 3 on the other. The other bull was really unique, though not as wide, only about 38 inches. He had incredible palms both in length and width. His best features were his shovels. His right shovel had 4 long points and his left had 5 points that were spread out to about 17 inches. Cathy got out of the truck and took video of the bulls for about five minutes until they moved into the trees. They were still in full velvet and we could not tell how many total points the smaller bull had, but Cathy was sure she would harvest him if we could find him when the season started.
Everyone we showed the video too said we should take the wide bull, but Cathy would not give in, she was very impressed with those awesome shovels of the smaller bull. All in all, we looked at 19 different bulls that weekend and over 30 bulls in 11 days of preseason scouting.

Over the next two weeks, I saw the big bull twice, but could not find the smaller one. The big one had rubbed off most of his velvet in the last week and looked very impressive. The morning before the hunt began, my neighbor, Dusty, and I went scouting one last time. We returned to the area where we had last seen the wide bull, and to our amazement, both big bulls were back together again. We watched them for a while and then Dusty took some awesome pictures of the wide bull from less than fifteen yards, and then we returned home to tell Cathy the exciting news.

The next morning started early. Because of my disability, I knew we would need help. So, I recruited my brother Dave and his friends, Gary, Ryan, Chad, Rex, Alan and Clint, who would be filming the hunt.
Because of the area the bulls were in, I would have to watch the hunt from across the canyon. So, Rex, Gary and I went one direction while the rest went around to the other side. Dave would be assisting Cathy while the others helped with the spotting. As soon as we got in position, Rex spotted both bulls in the same spot they were the day before. Cathy played cat and mouse with the bulls for about 45 minutes before she finally got a broadside shot. She hit him in the shoulder with the 30-06 loaded with a180 grain bullet. He dropped instantly and after a finishing shot, this once-in-a-lifetime hunt came to an end. We took pictures and with the help of great friends, we had the moose quartered and loaded in the truck in two and a half hours. We were home by noon on opening day!

Her bull has 12 points on each side, is a little over 38 inches wide, and scores around 165 B&C points. This should put it in Utah's top ten all time! Not bad for a first time hunter.

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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