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Moose Hunting at Ross Lake Camps

Ross Lake Camps
Moose Season 2009

The Majestic Maine Moose and a Call to the Wild
By Andrea L. Foley
Oct 23, 2009



Sitting in a blind in a remote section of the woods at first light to see the steam coming in steady streams from a giant bulls nostrils; Standing on a hardwood ridge watching the sun set while listening to the haunting bellow of a cow moose calling to her prospective mates; The unmistakable sound of huge antlers crashing together and echoing off of surrounding trees as the battle for dominance and the right to breed rages on; The anticipation and pounding heart you feel as you steadily call to a grunting bull that you hear coming right towards you as you speak his language, calling him closer; And finally the intense pride as the report of a rifle speeds towards its quarry and the brief moment that animal, guide, and hunter hearts all beat together as one.

These are the sounds, sights, and feelings that call us outfitters, guides, and hunters to our woods in search of our Majestic Maine Moose year after year after year. It is something unrivaled in all of nature as this animal is the king of all North American Big Game Species. I can understand how it may be confusing to the non-hunting members of our community to hear us hunters speak in such reverence of an animal and at the same time hope and wish for the opportunity to kill one. I myself grew up in southern Ohio and was never involved in the sport of hunting until I married my husband and became interested after seeing his love for it. It can only be described as a special bond between us and nature; a way to reach back to our ancestry and the way things used to be in a simpler world before technology. The woods are where we are at peace in the hectic times our world revolves around, and an incredible connection is made between hunter and animal that brings the two together as one. It can not be fully understood until experienced.

I received the call to the wild, and now my husband, Donald Lavoie also a Registered Maine Guide, and I own and operate Ross Lake Camps, and have done so for the past 8 years. It is a beautiful setting deep in the heart of the North Maine Woods most remote wilderness, and it is surrounded by abundant populations of Black Bear, Ruffed Grouse, and our States most treasured animal, the above mentioned Majestic Moose. Our 2009 season has just ended and a remarkable moose season it was with 15 hunters taking home 15 bulls with them, and 10 of those 15 having antler spreads in excess of 52 inches. We have several brief stories from our season that go hand in hand with the subject of this article that we would like to share.

Let's start with Juli Kimball of Garland, ME who married into an entire family of hunters and fishermen and only seriously took up the sport of hunting herself a few years ago. She was drawn for a September season tag this year, and was determined to have a great moose hunting experience. Throughout her tireless preseason scouting she gained extensive knowledge of natural habitats, food sources, mating rituals, and preferred covers where she was likely to find a moose. In that time she was privileged to see some of the most amazing moose and the behavior they display during their mating season. She video taped and photographed a pair of giant bulls that she got to watch fight for more than 3 hours. She had received her call to the wild and on Tuesday of her hunting week she made connection with a 57 3/4" antler spread bull with 20 points that dressed out at 1002 pounds on official state scales. These "Granders" are something truly remarkable, and only a very privileged few hunters per year get to lay claim to something so special.

Jeff Korn, guide Bill, and the largest antlered bull taken this season at Ross Lake Camps
Juli and her "Grander"

Next we have Barbara Brooks of Dover-Foxcroft, ME who, not unlike myself, was not introduced to the hunting sports until later in life. Barbara was drawn for an October season tag and was very excited to test her new found skills, as she had only taken a couple of Turkeys prior to this hunt. She showed what she could do and impressed us all when she took a beautiful bull with a 55 1/2" antler spread with 18 points and a dressed weight of 747 pounds.

Barbara with her guide and subpermittee
Barbara, Guide Dana, and subpermittee Fred

Amy Douglass and her husband Bruce made the trip out to our wilderness from Scarborough, ME. Now Amy is a competitive trap shooter, but she had never received her call to the wild to hunt until winning an October Bull permit in zone 1. She didn't let that stop her though as she did some spectacular shooting when she dropped a beautiful trophy moose with antlers measuring 56 1/2" in spread with 13 points, and the bull dressed out at 812 pounds.

Jill with her trophy Maine Moose
Amy and Guide Tom with her trophy bull

Jeff Roy from Thompson, CT and his dad Fred from Rhode Island were looking to spend some special quality time together during their October zone 4 hunt, and special it turned out to be. Now Jeff has not spent much time in his life hunting, matter of fact he never killed an animal at all before the Maine Moose hunt beckoned to him. After losing a nice bull to a loading glitch with his gun on Monday morning, he redeemed himself later that afternoon with shooting, reactions, and instincts that we sometimes don't see with our most experienced of hunters. Jeff laid down a beautiful bull with a 53 1/2" antler spread with 15 points and a dressed weight of 836 pounds. All in the presence of his father who was mobility challenged on this hunt after a recent hip replacement.

 

Jeff, Fred, and guide and camp owner Don Lavoie
Jeff, Fred, and guide and camp owner Don Lavoie

All of these stories have begun with a hunter with little or no hunting experience, but still they understood that call when they received it. All answered back with the highest amount of sportsmanship and integrity and now know the joy and connection that all of us who are deeply involved in the wilderness have with these animals. Congratulations to each of you and we have no doubt that all of you will recall fondly the first and last sight of your moose alive until your dying days.

We would also like to quickly mention and congratulate all of our other moose hunters and their great achievements during the 2009 season.

  • Mark Wood of Orland, ME 40" bull with 11 points and dressed weight of 735 pounds

  • Brian Poor of Pepperell, MA 53" bull with 17 points and dressed weight of 949 pounds

  • Kory Hertzog of Reinholds, PA 40" bull with 15 points and dressed weight of 648 pounds

  • Tom Deraspe of Carmel, ME 27" bull with 7 points and dressed weight of 462 pounds

  • Mark Conner of Taylorville, IL 45" bull with 15 points and dressed weight of 802 pounds

  • Mark also had a combo hunt for black bear and took a 170 pound sow.

  • Jay Osler of Holden, ME 57" bull with 15 points and dressed weight of 879 pounds

  • James Wentworth of Monmouth, ME 47" bull with 14 points, dressed at 879 pounds

  • Jeff Korn of Whippany, NJ 59 3/4" bull with 26 points and dressed weight of 901 pounds

  • Jeff Arel of Belvidere, VT 55 1/2" bull with 15 points and dressed weight of 862 pounds

  • Bill Heywood of Manchester, ME 52" bull with 17 points and dressed at 860 pounds

  • Dennis Tompkins of Litchfield, ME 52" bull with 17 points and dressed at 770 pounds

Many thanks to our team:

  • Master Guide Bill Orne of Washington, ME,

  • Master Guide Tom Greenlaw of Holton, ME,

  • Master Guide Dana Packard of Mapleton, ME,

  • Master Guide Bob Chasse of Millinocket, ME,

  • Master Guide Steve Coleman of Jackman, ME,

  • Registered Maine Guide Doug Durfee of Jewett City, CT,

  • Apprentice in training Dan Roeder of Bloomsburg, PA.

We know that you all are also answering your own call to the wild, but all of your hard work and dedication made all the difference in the world to our most successful season at Ross Lake Camps.

Almost a full year still to wait until the 2010 moose season, but already we are listening for the call and anticipate those special sights, sounds, and connections...Guide, Hunter, and the ever Majestic Maine Moose.

Amy and Guide Tom with her trophy bull
Jeff Korn, guide Bill, and the largest antlered bull taken this season at Ross Lake Camps

Persons interested in further information can find us on our website at www.rosslakecamps.com

Andrea L. Foley
Registered Maine Guide


Click here to visit our photo gallery and see photos of past hunting and fishing seasons at Ross Lake Camps.

 

To contact us regarding reservations please call 603-320-3208 ~ Email us at: info@rosslakecamps.com
or you may write to us: Ross Lake Camps, PO Box 140, Ashland, ME 04732


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