The alarm rang at 3:00am and off to the airport I was to start a long day of travel with several layovers and plane changes. The island of New Foundland was my destination in Canada, Woodland Caribou and Eastern Canadian Moose where the target. After more delays and getting put through the ringer with Air Canada more times than I care to remember I finally arrived on the island 22 hours later, with Gordon Pelly waiting for me in the Gander airport we quickly gathered my bags and began the 2 hour drive to camp near Bishop Falls. Exhausted and excited all at the same time I quickly collapsed into bed for a short night, the alarm sounded a bit before sunrise and we headed out into the rocky, boggy and sparsely forested country. It was like no other place I had ever hunted I felt like I was walking on a giant sponge the whole time with water anywhere from ankle to knee deep at every step on what appeared to be dry ground. As we got into position to glass a large bog the sun began to come up and immediately we spotted a large bull pushing 8 cows across the bog below. It didn’t take more than a minute for Gordon to say that’s your bull let’s go! Less than 5 minutes into the hunt the first day I made quick work at 200 yards of the 309 5/8ths Woodland Caribou, I now had a full 8.5 days left to hunt for moose. Gordon was very optimistic we would get a good bull moose with having taken the caribou so quickly. With the caribou back at camp and a much needed nap we decided to head out for moose the first evening also. We called for about an hour and spotted several cows and calf’s but never saw the bull we were looking for. Day 2 came and went with more of the same lots of cows and calf’s and a few bulls calling back to us in the brush but they were reluctant to show themselves. Day 3 came and after another cow calf interaction in the morning we headed to a new area for the evening hunt. We rode the 4x4’s about an hour and reached a high look out where we decided to spend the evening glassing and calling. It wasn’t until the very end with about 45 minutes of legal hunting left that we finally heard a deep large bull grunt back to us, the only problem was he was over two miles away Gordon figured. Luckily for us he wanted what we were selling that bull covered the first mile and a half in less than 20 minutes, we could now see and hear his massive antlers raking and beating up the brush. A few more calls by Gordon and my 42 inch wide 261 6/8ths Eastern Canadian Moose stepped out at 20 yards and one shot from my 300 WSM and down he went at my feet. It was truly amazing to be done on day 3 of a 9 day hunt and to watch that moose come to us from two miles away and then to get my shot at 20 yards was truly amazing, and something I will never forget. To be that close to a rut crazed moose is an experience of a lifetime. I highly recommend Gordon Pelly of Mount Peyton Outfitters if you are looking for a great Woodland Caribou or Eastern Canadian Moose combo in New Foundland Canada.
By Brian Smith