I made it back from our moose hunt. Everyone was successful in bagging a nice bull. And I got to put the M40A1-3 stock throu through some seriously tough testing.
We ended up hunting a long way from anywhere, a 12 hour drive from dads house in Homer AK. We picked a spot on the map, grabbed the GPS and hopped in our 8 wheel drive Argoís.
12 hours of no trail in no mans land and a day later were had our permanent camp set up about 60 miles from the Canadian border. The next morning was opening day and we had 7 big bulls already spotted. The only problem was they were a couple miles below us in the swaps. During the rut the bulls usually move around a bunch and wander around in the high country quite a bit. All of our hunting took place glassing by the wall tent on the ridge until a good bull was spotted. Then we traveled down to the swamps and put the stalk on. Two out of the three stalks were successful. I lucked out and the bull I had my eyes on 2 days prior traveled up on the ridge and I was able to take him close to camp.
At 300 yards it seemed that I might as well have been shooting a pellet gun, cause the 300win mag didnít hardly make him flinch, but it worked. The bull was quartering towards me so I shot at the front edge of his shoulder. The first shot was a low in the bottom of the lungs and from his actions it seemed that I had missed. The next shot was higher and more into the shoulder and he walked about 10 feet, stopped and let me put another in him. He walked into the brush and didnít come out so a couple of us went after him. He stood up and dad put 2 in him from his 6.5 06 (offhand at 300 yards) and he was down for good. He is only 57Ē outside spread, but is extremely heavy horned with a bunch of 12Ē points and huge cupped palms.
Dads stalk was the one that wasnít successful, but while we were on the way back we spotted good bull across an opening and closed in as close as we could and it ended up being 420 yards. In between shooting my moose and 5 days later something had happened to his rifle and he missed it 5 times. I dialed in my scope and told him to put the first mill dot where he wanted the bullet. The bull hit the ground like he was hit with a wrecking ball. Thatís what I wanted to see from my 300. When we got about 30 feet from him he looked stone deadÖBoy were we wrong!! He picked up his head and looking at us at eye level pinned hi ears back raised the hair on his neck and started shaking hi head violently as he started standing up on his front legs pissed off beyond belief. Dadís scope was still on high power, so he was useless and the bull was shaking his head back and forth so fast I didnít think I could hit him, but I did and thankfully it put him back on the ground. Then dad put another on him. It sure got exciting for a moment and I believe the only thing that saved us from that bull was a single tree about 4Ē in diameter stuck on one of his antlers. Boy did we ever feel small. The first bullet from 400yds hit him perfect through the back edge of the shoulder and into the middle of the lungs. My exciting shot was from about 20 feet in the side of the neck. The bullet went about 4í through the moose and I found it between the shoulder blades under the skin. It went through the spine and mushroomed nicely sill weighing 140gr (200gr accubond)
The other 2 moose went down easy and uneventful like most moose do. Usually it doesnít matter what you shoot them with. Dad has taken a bunch of moose with his 25-06, .338 and .375 and had never had a problem before. One time he hit one in the hoof while it was running. It hit the ground and let him walk up and shoot it.
He shoots 140gr? Barns triple shocks in his 6.5-06. We found both of his bullets in my moose on the far side right under the skin. The mushroomed perfectly and will be my bullet of choice for larger than deer game.
The airport took great care with my SKB bow/rifle case. They tried shoving the muzzle end of my barrel through the metal bands on the side of the case, but it held it in and resulted in About a 3Ēdent. Fortunately I was unable to watch them load it onto the plane this time, but last year I about cried as I seen it fly through the air end over end!. This year I didnít take my bow, so I packed the case full of cloths and made it 45 lbs hoping they couldnít throw it. It traveled in a flimsy plastic case for 40+ hours on the suspension less Argo through some rough terrain and still held zero. The stock worked excellent when I found myself in a not so natural prone position and dad commented that it felt very stable when he rested across a tree limb for his standing 400yd shot. All of my hunting rifles will hopefully wear a M40A1-3 stock and everyone that has shot it wants one !!
Total travel time:
11hr in an airplane.
24hr in a motor home
46 hr in the Argo (had to make 2 trips out)
The bullet I was shooting was a 200gr Accubond @2850fps. Im not sure how they perform at a distance, but I was impressed that it didnít come apart while going through 4' of muscle, the spine and stopped under the skin from only 20 feet. I have a feeling they may not expand much on a deer. Im going to try them on a mule deer and find out.....hopefully.
Here are a couple pictures of our moose. They arenít great because I took them off of a video and touched them up a bit. I forgot my real pictures in AK, so they should be here in a couple of days. My antlers will be here in a year or two whenever my family drives down to visit.
I cant wait to see what the rest of the hunting season will bring!!!
My moose: 57"
Dads Moose: 57"