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Luck of the Draw

March 2020
Story by Mike Lutt
State: Colorado
Species: Moose - Shiras

In 1994, I was fortunate enough to travel to the MacMillan River in the Yukon for my first moose hunt. This was my first major out-of-state hunt. After an amazing trip, a great experience, and a great moose for my wall, my archery goals began to change. One of my goals was to harvest one of each of the three moose species with my bow. In the fall of 2003, I harvested a large Shiras bull with my bow, and I completed my moose slam in northern British Columbia in the fall of 2011.

In the past, Colorado has been very good to me. In 2011, I drew my bighorn sheep tag in unit S32 and contacted Mark Turner to be my guide. We hit it off great. We stayed in touch, and he told me about the Shiras moose trophy potential in the units he guided in Colorado. I had about 7 moose points and would have a slight chance for $10 to draw a moose tag. When I checked to see if my 25 elk points had secured me an elk tag, I noticed that I was unsuccessful on elk but had drawn one of the top Shiras moose units in the state. My first call was to my buddy, Mark Turner. He had already booked two of the four hunters who had drawn the unit 28 moose tag and said if I wanted to join them he would help me out.

One of Mark’s guides, Brandon, and his hunter harvested a fine bull on opening day and now Brandon was available to help scout for us. Mark and I had covered several drainages and willow-covered alpine basins in the past few days, only seeing an occasional small bull and half a dozen cows. We continued to look for a certain bull with no luck.

On the fourth afternoon of the hunt, Brandon said he had watched two bulls go down a drainage and disappear into the dark timber that morning. They had been above timberline early in the morning and had been feeding in a high basin that he had seen the bulls in earlier in the summer.

About two hours before dark, I was above timberline in a glassing location with Mark. As luck would have it, we located the bulls heading to the basin to feed for the evening about 20 minutes before dark. I was able to get myself within range of the two bulls before legal shooting time was up. I waited patiently for the larger bull to present a good, clear 30-yard shot. The shot was good, and after congratulations and photos, the caping and meat processing began.

I would like to thank the guys at Turner Outfitting for their help and friendship, my wife for her support, and Huntin’ Fool for the information over the many years that I have been a member. You can’t hunt great units if you don’t apply!

Colorado Moose Hunting