Authentic Mountain Man Experience?

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I spent the last couple of days hunting with my .54 cal flintlock GPR. Mountain man Warren Angus Ferris spent a lot of time in this valley and wrote of it in his journals. I think of his writing often when I hunt this area.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 018.JPG


I haven't taken anything yet this season. Usually I see quite a few deer in this area. Unfortunately this dead deer in the river is the only deer I've seen in the last two days.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 045.JPG


In the heavy river bottom cover I've walked right up on four moose in the last two days. This cow had no idea I was around. I put in every year but I have yet to draw a moose tag.

Flintlock GPR Hunting 054.JPG


Just like when Ferris was here there are still a lot of beaver in this valley.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 051.JPG


Now for what I feel was an authentic mountain man experience. This big cow moose had a calf with her which just exited into the cover to the left. It looks farther in the pics but she's about 35 yards away.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 096.JPG


She started to follow her calf into the cover.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 098.JPG


Then she stopped.
Flintlock GPR Hunting 099.JPG


She turned around and took a few steps toward me. Then she started licking her lips which can be a sign a moose is about to charge. That definitely got my attention. I started backing away and didn't turn my back on her until I put some cover between us. While she didn't charge, the possibility of having to defend yourself against a 1,000+ pound animal with nothing but a flintlock rifle in your hands definitely feels like an authentic mountain man experience. :thumb:
Flintlock GPR Hunting 103.JPG
 
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I'm thinking a mountain man of the time period would have shot the calf for food and the cow would have run off when the shot was fired. I have 0 experience with moose, however, and they may act differently from other animals.
 
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I'm thinking a mountain man of the time period would have shot the calf for food and the cow would have run off when the shot was fired. I have 0 experience with moose, however, and they may act differently from other animals.

I'm thinking a mountain man in that time period would have shot the first moose I came across, that didn't have a calf.

If they were in need of meat they wouldn't pass up an opportunity. If they didn't need meat there would be no need to shoot either animal. Even if that was the goal, the calf disappeared into the cover before there would have been an opportunity for a shot.

If the cow was this defensive of a calf that was already out of harms way think how she'll react to her calf being injured. I would not count of the sound of the shot scaring her off. I've been there when a bull moose was shot with a high power rifle. The bull didn't react to the bullet passing through his vitals or the sound of the shot.

I've been very close to many moose (both bulls and cows) and never had an issue. I give them a lot of respect since they can be unpredictable, especially a cow with a calf.
 
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I'm thinking a mountain man in that time period would have shot the first moose I came across, that didn't have a calf.

If they were in need of meat they wouldn't pass up an opportunity. If they didn't need meat there would be no need to shoot either animal. Even if that was the goal, the calf disappeared into the cover before there would have been an opportunity for a shot.

If the cow was this defensive of a calf that was already out of harms way think how she'll react to her calf being injured. I would not count of the sound of the shot scaring her off. I've been there when a bull moose was shot with a high power rifle. The bull didn't react to the bullet passing through his vitals or the sound of the shot.

I've been very close to many moose (both bulls and cows) and never had an issue. I give them a lot of respect since they can be unpredictable, especially a cow with a calf.
Of course, you give them respect, they're huge. I was thinking more of what I could be carry as a single person. Unless I was starving, I won't kill the biggest critter in the woods, couldn't carry it. I said I have no experience with moose and have no idea how defensive they are but have seen them stand down a bear in videos for their youngins', very impressive.
 

Brokennock

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Unfortunately, in the period, they wouldn't have cared if they wasted over half an animal in order to get a much needed meal. Cow or calf, they would have killed whichever one they had the 1st good opportunity to kill.
Historical 1st person tales abound with people on the frontiers of colonial and early America killing game and eating what they could, only to leave the rest.

Should their actions be judged by our standards of today?
 
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Of course, you give them respect, they're huge. I was thinking more of what I could be carry as a single person. Unless I was starving, I won't kill the biggest critter in the woods, couldn't carry it. I said I have no experience with moose and have no idea how defensive they are but have seen them stand down a bear in videos for their youngins', very impressive.

Unfortunately, in the period, they wouldn't have cared if they wasted over half an animal in order to get a much needed meal. Cow or calf, they would have killed whichever one they had the 1st good opportunity to kill.
Historical 1st person tales abound with people on the frontiers of colonial and early America killing game and eating what they could, only to leave the rest.

Should their actions be judged by our standards of today?



I was going to say the same thing as @Brokennock. Most mountain men weren't too concerned with conservation when it came to wildlife. It wasn't uncommon to kill an animal just for a meal. I do remember in one journal (Russell I believe) a comment on what a waste it was to kill a bison (IIRC) just for one meal. At around 6 months old that calf moose should be getting close to 350-400 pounds. You're not going to throw it over your shoulder and go. ;)
 
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Unfortunately, in the period, they wouldn't have cared if they wasted over half an animal in order to get a much needed meal. Cow or calf, they would have killed whichever one they had the 1st good opportunity to kill.
Historical 1st person tales abound with people on the frontiers of colonial and early America killing game and eating what they could, only to leave the rest.

Should their actions be judged by our standards of today?
Just finished reading "The Oregon Trail", by Francis Parkman. He gives multiple examples of his traveling group (1846) shooting numbers of bison at a time, taking the parts they wanted and leaving the rest. It was also a "sport" for members of his traveling group to shoot the bulls just for the heck of it (the bulls weren't considered fit to eat). The tribes he spent time with felt the same way and would pass up bulls for cows (meat and for their tipi's).

 
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I once disturbed a Bull moose I had spotted him & the Cow & tried to get round them by the river edge but Brer Moose came crashing through the thin trees and stopped to study me as I looked up his nose & felt his breach .Thus confronted I was not a little taken aback it was October. But my Rifle I had made from an old Martini Henry barrel into a style known as' military match' .I had loaded 15 grains & a naked 45 ball wadded with slightly oily rag for the Spruce Grouse & Francolin fool hen's I sought .. I was aware I wasn't best armed but I had read an account in' BC Outdoors Magazine' how talking to Bears shakes their confidence so I tried this plan on Brer Moose With hastily thought up Nonsense about how I eat Moose for Tiffin & once won a gold medal at Bisley ( Which was true )if not the tiffin part and my fears ebbed as his confidence Waned . & he took off . For which I was greatly relieved as ide likley never be writing this today some nye 50 years later . All the Moose & Bears I encountered never got to be a problem, I didn't fear them I was the visitor to their back yard ,Sure I kept big fires but to demonize them to justfie hunting them I deem unkind & unfair . I did shoot a bear with this same rifle but though I did need meat I often regretted it .
Rudyards take on this matter
 
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I once disturbed a Bull moose I had spotted him & the Cow & tried to get round them by the river edge but Brer Moose came crashing through the thin trees and stopped to study me as I looked up his nose & felt his breach .Thus confronted I was not a little taken aback it was October. But my Rifle I had made from an old Martini Henry barrel into a style known as' military match' .I had loaded 15 grains & a naked 45 ball wadded with slightly oily rag for the Spruce Grouse & Francolin fool hen's I sought .. I was aware I wasn't best armed but I had read an account in' BC Outdoors Magazine' how talking to Bears shakes their confidence so I tried this plan on Brer Moose With hastily thought up Nonsense about how I eat Moose for Tiffin & once won a gold medal at Bisley ( Which was true )if not the tiffin part and my fears ebbed as his confidence Waned . & he took off . For which I was greatly relieved as ide likley never be writing this today some nye 50 years later . All the Moose & Bears I encountered never got to be a problem, I didn't fear them I was the visitor to their back yard ,Sure I kept big fires but to demonize them to justfie hunting them I deem unkind & unfair . I did shoot a bear with this same rifle but though I did need meat I often regretted it .
Rudyards take on this matter



I agree with that on bulls. I've been around a couple bulls doing that stiff legged walk with glazed over eyes and a rut crazed look. I think talking to them can change their focus and get them out of that state of mind. I wouldn't count on it working every time but I've had it work. I definitely wouldn't count on it with a cow protecting her calf.
 
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there are 60 seconds in a minute. thus a moose can and will change his mind on just what he is going to do in that looooong one minute 60 times.
have lived with moose for 30 years now. i have my head on a swivel whenever i venture forth into his kingdom.
i have total respect for bears. i admire Elk, love deer, and fear moose.
 
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Lol. I fear no animal in our northern boreal forest, of which I could only estimate that I’ve spent about 2 years worth of my entire life in a tent in their environment. Could well be double that in fact. No need to fear, but respect is healthy.
Walk
 
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there are 60 seconds in a minute. thus a moose can and will change his mind on just what he is going to do in that looooong one minute 60 times.
have lived with moose for 30 years now. i have my head on a swivel whenever i venture forth into his kingdom.
i have total respect for bears. i admire Elk, love deer, and fear moose.


You can influence and change a bulls behavior. You can do things to get a bull wound up and encourage his rutting mindset. I've grunted at bulls that were docile, not displaying rut behavior at all and got them to totally change their demeanor. You can also do things that can change their focus as I stated above.

I've seen both changes happen almost instantly, not requiring 60 seconds. Neither was coincidental, with the moose changing his mind every second. With nearly double your time hanging out around moose I have a fair amount of experience with them. As I stated above, I have a healthy respect for them.
 
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In an earlier post I remembered my only dangerous confrontation was with a drunk. Not true! As a twelve-year-old, I tried to take a photo of a baby moose. Momma was unhappy and chased me a few yards. Pure relief when my mom yelled to tell me the momma moose stopped. Yellowstone in 1944. 🦨
 
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