Catch-and-release moose trip a success

Later this week, I’ll tell you more about a trip some pals and I enjoyed late last week.

Consider this a tease.

And for now, let’s just say that the Third Almost Annual Catch-and-Release Moose Hunt (Birds Not Necessarily Included) was a huge success.

Friend Chris Lander came up with the idea a few years back, after he and I (along with his brothers and BDN sports scribe Pete Warner) made a decision.

Pete Warner of Bangor shows off two ruffed grouse taken during the Third Almost Annual Catch-and-Release Moose Hunt (Birds Not Necessarily Included) over the weekend. BDN Photo by John Holyoke

We’d been on two real Maine moose hunts. We’d had a blast. And Chris thought that we shouldn’t let a small detail (the lack of a moose hunting permit) get in the way of our moose hunting fun.

We missed the camaraderie. We missed the trip. We missed telling stories in camp. We missed the food.

And most importantly, we missed talking to moose.

Chris pointed out that plenty of people go to Africa and embark on photo safaris, and suggested that we might be able to have some fun on our own Maine woods photo-and-video trip.

The fact that it was also the first week of bird season was another attractive factor.

So we packed up our shotguns and cameras and binoculars and enough food to comfortably feed six pigs and two cows for a week and headed into the woods for three days.

It took awhile, but a moose did show up to take part in our three day hunt/photo safari.

Two years ago, some of the guys repeated the trip. And this year, with camp owner Earle Hannigan — Chris’s father-in-law — along for the adventure, we drove to Earle’s Brassua Lake camp for a few days of recreation.

At certain times of the day, typically early and late, we stopped to try to call in a moose or two. At other times of the day (everything between early and later, except when we stopped to eat) we chased birds.

The birds were abundant. The moose finally showed up.

Later this week, I’ll share a more complete tale with you, and show you the video we shot. For now, I’ll leave it at this: All of us are already eager for next year’s Fourth Almost Annual Catch-and-Release Moose Hunt (Birds Not Necessarily Included).

Of course, of one of us lucks out and gets a moose permit in 2014, that plan may have to be tweaked a bit.



John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.