Noel Wolfe of Oregon is a highly-experienced international hunter and has hunted several times with Bearcat Outfitters. Noel and his partner came up to Kamloops again this year for a Shiras moose hunt with Bearcat.
I met the boys on the afternoon of October 8 and we headed directly for moose camp. We had a bit to eat then got out for a short hunt for an hour or so before dark. Guide Mike Olde knew where a bull was hanging out fairly close to camp so he took Noel for a calling session. The bull answered immediately and came in quickly to under 50 yards. Due to the extremely thick cover, though, they could only make out a vague outline of the bull in the brush and could not get a good look at it. Darkness quickly descended and they had to leave the bull alone and hope to get him another day. Very exciting start to the hunt, though!
I guided Noel the next day which was the first full day of the hunt. Noel and I worked a big meadow complex that is one of my favourite spots. Over the course of the day we saw 11 or 12 moose total and passed on one small bull. We briefly caught a glimpse of one moose that appeared to be a good bull, but couldn’t really tell due to thick bush. We also saw several large bull rubs, which confirmed there was a good bull in the area.
On day 2 of the hunt, we decided to rest the big meadow comlex and checked out some new areas. We saw two cows, but no bulls.
Day 3 was very frosty in the morning and promised to be excellent hunting conditions. Noel and I went back to the big meadow to check things out. We snuck into the meadow at first light and immediately spotted a mature cow and a small bull. Another cow crossed the meadow behind us at a trot and made us wonder what she was up to. We took a stand in a patch of spruce that affored us an excellent vantage in both directions and started some calling. After about the second or third cow call, we could hear a bull grunting way off to our left. I kept calling and we would get an occasional response from the bull and he was definitely working his way in our direction. About 15 minutes later I looked down at the very south end of the meadow and there was a big bull looking our way! Noel got into a prone position and tried ranging him with his Zeiss binoculars/range finder, but couldn’t get a clear read due to brush just in front of him. A cow emerged from the bush right behind the bull and he was pretty interested in following her. It appeared that the bull then got a bit nervous, which made me nervous. I estimated the range at about 250 yards, and when the cow cleared I gave Noel the go-ahead for the shot. I could hear the hit and the bull lunged hard to our right into a patch of thick spruce. Noel then stood up and ranged the spot where the bull was at 369 yards! Major gaff on my part, and my heart sunk. Knowing he was hit, and also knowing the shot would be very low, we let the bull settle down for about half-hour and very carefull made our way down the meadow to where he had disappeared. I kept glassing the thick spruce and could make out bits and pices of a moose which turned out to be the cow. This was a good sign that the bull was probably close by. We could also see that the moose were in a small ‘island’ of spruce with open sedge grass all around. This was also good news. We carefully worked in closer and I eventually could make out a black shape on the ground that was trashing around a bit and I could see bits of antler. We positioned Noel for a follow-up shot off his shooting sticks and he put another one in the bull at about 20 yards. Huge relief! We moved up to the bull and could not believe the size of the rack on the bull. Certainly no ground shrinkage here.
When we cleaned the bull, we could see the first shot was very low in the chest; any lower and the chance of rcovering this bull would have been pretty low. Thankfully Noel was shooting a .300 Weatherby Mag and this flat-shooting rifle saved our bacon. Great shot on Noel’s part and congratulations to him on a great trophy. The bull is 47 inches wide and has 10 points per side.