Your moose hunting success will depend on making the right choices before your moose hunt. We can help you find moose hunting success.
We work with wide variety of moose hunting guides and outfitters in all of the major moose hunting areas. Shiras moose hunts, unguided drop camps, trophy Alaska-Yukon bulls, Newfoundland moose hunting from a lodge, etc. Some of them are great trophy quality, limited entry tags, and some are OTC. Whatever suits you, we can help you find it. So if you’re looking for a great hunt, you’ll love working with us.
We would love to help you have a successful moose hunt. Our consultants will work tirelessly for you to ensure you have your best chance at that bull moose you dream of. If that sounds good, get in touch with us for more information.
We’re here to help you book the perfect trip, and our advice doesn’t cost you a thing.
Field Judging Moose
Most hunters are only concerned with antler spread, however, for the official Boone and Crockett Club or Safari Club International score, you also factor in the length or height of each palm, the width of each palm, the points on each antler and the circumference at the base of each antler.
Knowing how to field judge moose is extremely important. Especially in Alaska where there are size and point restrictions.
Things you need to look at to judge a bull in the field:
From a side view, the tips of the palms should nearly touch the hump on the bulls back, and the brow tines should reach halfway down the bridge of the nose.
There should be palmation between the front brow tines, not just two or three long spikes.
From the front, look for at least 10 inches of open space between the bulls body, and the inner edges of the palm. Another way, is to use the ears. A mature bull has ears that measure roughly 30 inches from tip to tip, with the ears themselves being 9 to 10 inches long each. If the bull has an extra earl length of antler spread on either side, his is close to 50 inches wide. The widest spread measurement is only counted once and it is not the most important when it comes to its score. In terms of overall contribution to the animal’s final score, it is palm length and width that really pile up the scoring points.
You can also use the ears to estimate the width of each palm. Palms should be at least as wide as the ears are long.
*Be warned, body size can vary greatly, so be cautious, especially in areas that have a width minimum.
How to Choose Where to Hunt Moose
We can help you get the right information to find a moose hunt that would satisfy your expectations, physical condition and budget.
Moose hunting is something that even the most well traveled high budget hunters only do a few times in their lifetime. It’s important that you have the proper information to find the hunt that would satisfy your trophy quality expectations, physical condition level and budget. There is a lot of grey area in the moose hunting sub-species classifications, so we’ll attempt to break it down based on regions.
Shiras moose are found in the Rocky mountains of the western US is the smallest of all the subspecies. It’s also one of the most difficult tags to draw. Some states like Utah have moose tags you can buy but you’ll pay a pretty penny for them. Those hunts often will require very good physical condition and the hunts will run around $13,000 with guaranteed tags. British Columbia has some very good OTC Shiras moose hunts as well. Average bulls on a good hunt will run about 30-40 inches wide, but a fifty inch bull is a possibility in most areas.
Moose in Maine are considered Eastern Canada Moose and can be a very tough draw as well, even though this state has the highest population in the lower 48 states. The hunts are around $4,500 if you draw a tag, or you can buy Governor’s Tags for around $12-$15,000 at auction. Shooter bulls there are 38-50 inches.
Eastern Canada Moose
The Eastern Canada Moose (Alces alces Americana) is slightly smaller than the Western Canada Moose, with significantly smaller antlers, and a darker, blackish-brown coloration and reduced saddle area. The eastern moose’s range spans a broad swath of northeastern North America which are in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador (native to Labrador, introduced to Gander Bay, NF in 1878 and to Howley, NF in 1904), Nova Scotia, Quebec, Eastern Ontario, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and northern New York.
Everything east of Saskatchewan, as a general rule, will have smaller bulls from 20-40 inches, but the prices can be from $4,000-$7,000. Buyer beware on these hunts, as it has been our experience that many of these hunts can be a train wreck and you really have to know who you will be hunting with before you book. Be very careful of cheap hunts in this area. WITH MOOSE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!
The Western Canada moose is the second largest North American subspecies of moose, second to the Alaskan moose. The Western moose inhabits British Columbia, eastern Yukon, Northwest Territories, southwestern Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, western Ontario, the upper peninsula of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and northeastern North Dakota.
Many of these hunts are associated with agriculture, and have a decent amount of resident pressure on the bulls, limiting trophy quality to 20-40 inch bull averages in some areas. There are pockets that produce better bulls but for the most part this is just a moose hunt. What we do like about these farm country hunts, like our Peace River moose hunt in Alberta is you will see many bulls during your hunt. It’s a great spot and stalk hunt and can be conducive to archery as many times you can ambush bulls coming out of the fields. Hunts here range from $5,500-$7,000.
British Columbia, in our opinion, is the place to hunt large bulls with a good bang for the buck. The key to moose hunting in British Columbia is getting remote by horse, or float plane. The further back you go the better the bulls will be. Bulls in BC, especially northern BC can push over that magical 50 inch mark. A 50 inch bull in the Prince George are is definitely a shooter, and north of Smithers a guy can actually get into 60 inch bulls. Hunts for bulls in BC that average 40-50 will cost between $7000-$10,000, and further north with 50-60+ inch bulls a guy will pay $10-$14,000, and likely have a extra fee for a float plane.
Alaska is also all about going remote for giant bulls, and even then you may be competing with resident hunters in some areas. Good Alaska moose hunts will run from $14,00, up to (and sometimes over) $25,000 for 55-65 inch bulls, with some pushing up to 70 inches. Alaska’s high costs are all about plane flights. It’s very expensive to get you remote, but even more, it’s expensive to get your moose back out.
Outdoors International Co-owner calling moose on his unguided moose hunt.
How to Call Moose
So you’re going on a moose hunt and you want to learn how to call moose… well, luckily calling a moose is fairly easy.
The only equipment you need is something to amplify your voice, usually a cone of some sort, and some moose hunters only use their cupped hands. A traditional moose call is made out of birch bark. There are two main moose calls, the cow moose call and the bull moose call.
Before you book an unguided moose hunt, here’s some food for thought: Moose hunting can be very expensive, but I believe a fully guided hunt should be seriously considered, not only will your trophy quality (probably) go up, but so will success. An unguided hunt is less money, and we have a good one. However, it’s physically difficult and success rates are lower. I know it’s tempting, but not many hunters are prepared for this hunt. Be realistic about your abilities and let us help you book the right hunt for you.
Suggested Gear List for an Unguided Hunt in Alaska
This gear list was put together by Outdoors International Hunting Consultant, Kyle Hanson who has been on our DIY moose hunt twice. Based on what he learned on his first hunt, he has revised his list to what you see below. You can see the notes from his first hunt at the bottom of this article.
License & Tags (Non-Res Hunting License, Harvest tickets for bear & moose, Locking tags for Moose Bear & Wolf, everything signed) Alaska Regulation booklet: Hard copy Copy of Contracts: Both Agent and any from Outfitter/Transporter (Inside ziplock) Transfer of possession forms: From Outfitter (inside ziplock) Write in the rain journaland Pen
Total weight: 1.5 lb.
Hunter Body Weight: ___________
Overall Total Weight: 204.73 lb. + [Body weight]
*Weights will vary, but should get you close. Be sure to do your homework so that you are properly prepared for you hunt. If you have questions about this unguided moose hunt gear list, be sure to contact us or your outfitter.
Kyles gear notes on the 2016 Unguided Moose hunt gear list he used:
Kyle’s Dad with his bull. Kyle said: “He was in fact the biggest bull we had seen and I wanted to make him mine.”
Clothing: Everything I used from my unguided moose hunt gear list performed well and kept us warm and dry. My father used almost the identical setup without any issues either. If I had to do it over again I would go with First Lite rain gear as it would have matched my kit better for layering. By the end of the trip I tore a couple eyelets out of my wading boots from hiking in them. Maybe go with a better boot. If given the chance I would have also liked to bring a slip on rubber boot for around camp. I highly recommend the Sea to Summit lightweight bug net.
Pack: Worked out awesome! That being said I believe any Kifaru pack combined with a grab-it would work just fine. Next go around I will probably bring the new cargo panel for ease of loading. It’s tough loading those giant moose parts into a tube style bag. Also, a guy can get by just fine with a more affordable frame style pack such as a Cabelas guide frame model. I saw a little bit of everything up there, the guys that had the hardest time packing were either smaller guys or they just didn’t prepare for it… nothing to do with the pack.
Shelter: Those tents are tough and affordable; my only complaint is that they can be a little tight for a longer hunt. More annoying than anything. I would bring my own shelter next time. If you are bringing your own I wouldn’t recommend a floorless tent as most of these areas don’t have the solid ground for it. Also don’t bring too large of a tent because the flat spots that you can find usually are not much bigger than the 4 man Cabelas tent we were provided.
Sleep System: I went with more of a lightweight backpacking setup than I really needed to. My father used a much larger Big Agnes 0 degree square camp bag with the big thick air paid that slides into it. You are on cots for ten plus days; make the best of it since you won’t be carrying camp with you!
Optics: I feel that a decent 10×40 or 8×40 is adequate. I didn’t bring a spotter but at times it would have been nice. Personal preference. I will be bringing a spotting scope next time.
Cook System: no issues
Food: We had the outfitter supply the food. It was just fine however some of the stuff was a little more elaborate than what I wanted to take the time to prepare. I would bring my own food next time consisting of things that are fast to prepare combined with some fresh items purchased in bethel. Starbucks instant coffee packs are awesome!
Water purification and storage: The Nalgene bottles were our go to. I kept a bladder in the tent next to my cot just to have handy for later at night. The outfitter supplied 5 gal collapsible water containers that were awesome to have on hand. The pump “clogged” right away. Come to find out I just needed to lube the seal. I’m not that versed in water purification, especially when it’s out of a stagnant lake so lesson learned there. We ended up just using the aquamira for the 5 gallon containers and then steripened what we poured into our water bottles just to be safe. Everything we cooked with got boiled so that works great also. Definitely recommend multiple purification sources as it just gives a guy more flexibility. I may go with a bigger bladder next time for camp water, maybe 6-10L MSR.
Fire starting kit: Definitely bring something as a fuel source such as wet fire or trioxane tablets. We waited until we killed both our bulls to have a campfire.
Kill Kit: Basically an overkill version of the one on Rokslide. The interchangeable blade knives are awesome. My theory on using the havalon and the outdoor edge was that I would use the larger thicker bladed outdoor edge for the main butchering and the havalon for the detail work and fine caping. Never broke a blade with either and they both performed exactly as I thought although I thought for sure I was going to break the folding outdoor edge while making the cut up the back of the hide.
Hygiene Kit: Definitely bring this!
Photography/Videography: My smartphone was my go to; I honestly never even got the gopro out of the tent because it was much more convenient just to reach in my pocket. That being said don’t forget external chargers, they are awesome. Dad’s solar charger only worked for brief periods on 2-3 days. Very over casted.
Comms: Would not go back without my Delorme! It was awesome!
Land Navigation: A decent GPS and a compass are important. Lots of these areas are flat and everything looks the same when you start getting away from camp. Especially in the alders, would be easy to get lost. Learn to use some kind of coordinates whether it is latitude/longitude or UTM grid coordinates simply because if something were to happen, being able to communicate precise location is necessary. Also good to set waypoints when you find good calling spots.
Weapons: I saw different setups from 7mm rem mag up to 338 lapua; the 300 win mag seemed to be the more common as well as the Barnes bullets. I’m very satisfied with my choice and wouldn’t hesitate to use it again. I also wouldn’t buy a new gun over it if you have something in that range. According to an article I read that surveyed 1500 moose hunters from Canada the most popular calibers were 270 win, 30-06, 308, 7mm rem, and 300 win mag. Side arms; matter of preference. I left it in the tent as something to make some noise with if something decided to get at us in the middle of the night. Thankfully that was a non-issue. The glock was fun for ptarmigan hunting after we shot our bulls.
Misc.: I used the crap out of all the stuff on that list. Kind of wish that I had brought the “Moose Magnet” calling funnel as I ended up making a makeshift funnel by the end that worked well. With the funnel it not only projects volume but gives you more of a raspy sound.