The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 6 - 10/7/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Moose may score high enough to be included in Pope and Young.
by Jennifer Binning
It was September 30th, the last day to hunt for a moose, when he saw him. An enormous 45-inch wide rack attached to a large and amorous bull moose. The moose was busy sweet-talking a cow in the woods near Elk Ridge Lodge in the Upper Green River Valley, so he did not pay the stealthy hunter on the sneak much attention. The hunter, Darin Binning of Pinedale had never taken an animal with a bow, and he misjudged his distance by about 10 yards. The moose never twitched as Darin watched his arrow silently pierce the air under the animal's deep chest.
As the bull moved out a bit farther, Darin overcorrected and aimed too high, with his next shot getting the bull's attention when the arrow shaved the top of his shoulder hump, sending fur flying and the bull running for cover.
Darin recalls the bull ran down into the willow bottom, where he resumed his conversation with a lovelorn cow, making him easy to find visually. But a willow branch got in the way of a third arrow. The moose went into hiding, while Darin pondered what had possessed him to try and shoot this critter with a bow in the first place.
Even with a skinned back and three attempts on his life, the bull moose was still in love, which proved to be his undoing. After an hour and a half of sneaking around, Darin finally found himself in front of the moose, who was following the object of his affection through the willow bottom. Darin could not believe his luck when the bull appeared 10 or 15 yards away, giving him a perfect broadside target. This time Darin did not miss. The arrow struck the bull with such force it passed through both lungs; the animal took a few more steps and fell over. Just about as clean a kill as you can get.
As Darin dressed out his quarry, he remembered when he first saw this bull earlier in the summer; his horns still covered in velvet. Darin was fly fishing on the Green River, enjoying some time to himself, when he was startled by a movement behind him. It was a bull moose who took a look at him and started to walk away, when he suddenly whirled around and charged. Darin was looking for an escape route when the moose stopped short. "He blew a bunch of snot and bellered at me" before he gave up and walked away.
Darin knew he was a good sized moose even while he was still in his velvet, and he was "ecstatic" when he finally dropped him in the willows. The horns and cape are down at Ralph Faler's Horn House, waiting to be tanned and mounted. Ralph told Darin off the top of his head he would guess the moose would easily score in Pope and Young, the archery record book, and may possibly even make Bone and Crockett. He will know for sure after the horns have dried the requisite 60 days before a final measurement can be made.
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