Guides Need To Hunt Too!
By Cody Carr
ID, Shiras Moose
As a young man, I started applying for the big three – moose, sheep, and goat. Over the last 10 years, my wife and I have been extremely lucky and both drew out on our Montana goats and Montana Shiras moose. We even got to harvest our sheep in Alaska. My wife and I have been extremely blessed with drawing great tags as we try to apply for our bucket list hunts every year.
On my Montana moose hunt, I was lucky enough to harvest a giant bull, but at the same time, I felt cheated as I harvested my moose in the first 10 minutes of the hunt. I truly enjoy the aesthetic value of each hunt and can’t wait to make memories with friends and family. I knew right away when I drew my Idaho moose license exactly who I would take on the trip, none other than Adam Johnson, the owner of Crooked Arrow Outfitters. Adam guides for my outfitting business in Montana and also guides his own Idaho hunts. The plan was set and in place that after our archery season we would set up camp and start looking for a nice bull.
Since Adam knew this area like the back of his hand, I knew it was just a matter of time before we would turn something up. We chased ghost stories of big Shiras bulls for the next day and a half by pounding the mountain with our boots and glass with little results. Even though we were not seeing much, I was thoroughly enjoying myself as I was able to spend time with one of my absolute best friends in an area that could only be described as some of God’s best work. Everywhere we glassed it looked as if we were looking at a postcard. This remote part of Idaho commands respect and preparedness before you embark on your journey. It’s not very often that two friends who are both outfitters find a break in their schedules to spend time hunting their own animals. What ended up being the last night of our hunt started out by glassing a remote meadow that stretched out for miles. This spot screamed big moose, and we decided to put on our packs and call up the meadow while hiking to the end of it by nightfall.
As we were putting on our packs, I was teasing Adam about his cow moose call and he was teasing me about mine. Adam threw out a loud cow moose call in retaliation to my teasing. Not long after, I heard the faintest sound of a bull moose in the distance, which sounded like a bullfrog on the far side of a pond. We looked at each other in disbelief. There was no way this was happening this close to the pickup and so quickly after we were making fun of each other’s moose calling abilities. With every call, the bull came nearer until we could hear the sounds of the willows parting ways and the breathing of a rutting bull looking for love in all the wrong places. As we sized up the bull, deciding if he made the requirements of such a tag, I knew then and there that this was the bull for me as he had everything I wanted in a bull moose. His B&C score would not make the minimum requirements for entry as he had single fronts and rounded points that were not scoreable. However, what he did have was one of the most impressive things an animal can possess for me. He was a warrior with scars, and his demeanor started the feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins that most hunters tend to lose after a lifetime of hunting. As hunters, we all crave that feeling of excitement that we sometimes lose in our later years. We either embark on trips that are more extreme than the ones before to keep the feeling alive or we guide others to live vicariously through their first hunts. Watching others experience an epic hunt allows us to leave a legacy that past mentors have left for us.
With the bull within bow range, I let the safety off the trigger and sent the bullet that would bring my Idaho moose hunt to completion. His location could not be better, my heart was pounding, and one of my best friends was by my side! Although inches of antlers seem to matter most to people, I could not be happier. Life is about experiences shared with loved ones and friends. You cannot get yesterday back, and what you do today you cannot relive tomorrow. You only get one shot at this thing we call life. Get out there and make some memories! As I write this story, I just found out I drew an elk tag in Wyoming and Utah for next season.
I cannot thank Huntin’ Fool enough for relighting the fire in me. Our passion for the outdoors connects each and every one of us. Remember that we are all fighting for the same cause and need to stay connected to preserve this way of life for generations to come. Please contact Huntin’ Fool if you are looking for an Idaho bear or moose hunt with Adam. He runs a great operation.