A wilderness moose hunt is the definition of adventure. Planning a hunt with Keg Country Outfitters meant traveling way into the back county. Quads and Argos pushed, pulled, and ground their way through miles of boreal forest and muskeg to get to camp. My Can-Am Outlander got the most extensive workout of its life and got me to camp, where my wall tent was waiting.
Camp overlooked a beautiful river valley, and we quickly unpacked gear, set up cots, and rolled out our sleeping bags. We were ready to start our moose hunt. Planning for a wilderness hunt and having the right gear takes careful thought and consideration. Here are six essentials for success.
Tenzing Pace Pack—lunch, clothes, and all the extras
Space and weight were considerations with all items for the moose hunt. With 500 cubic inches of storage space, I had rain gear, food, water, ammunition, knives, and other essential gear everywhere I went. The Tenzing Pace Pack, weighing under two pounds, was ideal. The low-profile design, specialized pockets, and water reservoir compartment made it perfect for strapping to the rack of my quad or throwing on my back to walk down to the river to call moose.
The pack took a beating when we were winching ATVs and traveling through tangles of alders, but it still looks like new after the trip. A channeled ventilation back pad and molded shoulder straps with adjustable chest strap provided comfort and mobility. The Hypalon-reinforced stress points add extra durability. We put this pack through the paces, and it proved to cover all the requirements for a hunter on the go. The storage volume adds up fast with the main compartment 20″ x 12″ x 6.5″, face compartment 16″ x 11″ x 2″, stash pocket 5.5″ x 8.5″ x 2″, and two mesh side pockets at 7″ x 7″ x 2″each. Furthermore, it comes in Mossy Oak.
Irish Setter MudTrek Boots
Moose live in wet country. Keeping your feet warm, dry, and comfortable is a challenging task. Walking in muskeg can be like wading in quicksand and skirting the edges of wetlands and rivers means leather is not an option.
Irish Setter MudTrek rubber boots were the perfect choice for footwear. They are lightweight and come with a snug, athletic fit or a traditional, roomier full fit. TempSens technology within the boot prevents overheating and reacts so moisture is hyper-wicked away from the foot. The boots are treated with ScentBan, an antimicrobial that eliminates odors. A 3D fleece lining provides warmth and facilitates airflow through the lining. The footbed and midsole keep your feet comfortable all day. A favorite feature is the heel kick which makes for quick and easy boot removal.
Aggressive soles mean good traction and stability in different terrain, and self-cleaning lugs help remove mud and dirt with every step. The neoprene/rubber upper makes them waterproof and durable. MudTrek 17″ Boots Unisex Sizes (whole sizes 4-15 for Men, Women, and Young Adults).
ALPS OutdoorZ Crusader X Duffle
Packing for a wilderness hunt takes careful consideration. Using ATVs to reach camp took five hours of grinding through forest trails, muskeg, and challenging terrain. Without the proper storage, gear will be wet and muddy. ALPS OutdoorZ Crusader X waterproof duffle bags are the perfect solution. My clothing and gear were protected with waterproof material, welded seams, and a roll-top closure with a protective lid. The compression straps stabilize the load while minimizing space. Adjustable and removable backpack straps make carrying the Crusader X hands-free and comfortable. Everyone in camp took note of the bags, as they stood out as the perfect duffle to protect and securely store gear. Available in two sizes: Standard and Large.
Wildlife Research Center Moose Scent and Soap
It is hard not to notice the size of a moose’s nose. It is more than good looks and plays a crucial role in completing the circle of life and avoiding danger. Wildlife Research Center Golden Moose Scent can be the winning formula to draw a shy bull from cover. It is formulated to stimulate and attract a rutting bull. The bull was thrashing the alders with its antlers just before a shot opportunity opened, as he was trying to impress the cow in estrous, with scent wafting on the breeze. With the gold cap, you know it meets the gold standard. A 4 oz bottle will keep you attracting moose for a week of hunting and is a game-changer during the rut. Magnum Key Wicks was ideal for soaking up the scent and floating it downwind.
No moose hunt would be complete without selecting Scent Killer Gold Spray, Wipes, Body Wash & Shampoo, and Antiperspirant & Deodorant. The products work like a system that should be used together to eliminate human odor. The Body Wash & Shampoo were ideal for a dip in the river after getting the moose back to camp.
X-Bolt Pro Long Range Burnt Bronze
Moose are giant creatures, so take enough gun. The Browning X-Bolt Long Range Burnt Bronze in .300 Win Mag has proven to be a freezer filler. The X-Bolt is free-floated by bedding the front and rear of the action for stability and to help maintain barrel-to-stock spacing for consistent accuracy. A three-lever Feather Trigger provides a clean, crisp pull with no take-up or creep and minimal overtravel. X-Lock scope mounts are solid and intuitive. The recoil pad and optional muzzle brake reduce felt recoil. The bolt unlock button works in conjunction with the top-tang safety to provide added safety. A short 60° bolt lift allows you to work the bolt quickly without the scope getting in the way. A detachable rotary magazine feeds cartridges directly in line with the bolt. With a CeraKote bronze finish, the rifle is durable for backcountry adventure.
Koola Buck Game Bags and Spray
There are products on the market to help hunters maintain superior quality meat, even in challenging circumstances. Early season backcountry hunts can make it challenging to store meat at the proper temperatures. Koola Buck Anti-Microbial Game Spray and Game Bags lower the growth of surface bacteria on your carcass and boneless meat and prevent the hair from slipping on your trophy cape.
Antimicrobial Game Bags protect meat by reducing bacteria eight times more than standard game bags. The game bags are packable, lightweight, and very durable. The cotton/poly blend, stretch-fitting quarter bags are permeated in a blend of flavorless acids and bacterial inhibitors to protect the harvest from spoilage without changing the meat’s natural flavor.