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  #1  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:21 PM
elkhunter1234 elkhunter1234 is offline
 
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Default Moose in 542/541

Ok guys... I hate to be THAT guy but here it goes. Iím in need of some advise on bull moose in Nov in these two zones. Due to fires in 539 last year we had to change our plans and plan our yearly moose march north. My son and myself have a bull tag in each of these zones for the late season. Now here lays or next problem, having spent the last 7 weeks sitting beside my brother in ICU while he recovers from a very long stay with heart surgery I have not had any time to get up there and do any kind of scouting and the boss is now telling me itís time to get back to work Iím not sure if we will haul a camp up or just hotel it out of Red Earth Creek, but Iím thinking of looking at the area between Red Earth and Trout Lake along hi-way 686. Not looking for anyoneís honey holes but just a general idea of if we are looking at a decent area or should we be looking elsewhere? Feel free to PM me if you would sooner. I know and have hunted the south part of the province for over 40 years and can also help anyone out that need advise down here.

Jim...
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2019, 05:00 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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I live next to those zones and I don't bother drawing tags there. I have killed moose in both of those zones, so it is possible, but I would definitely not drive any great distance to hunt either of these zones. So which zone are you actually hunting?

In both zones, if I decided to bother drawing a tag there I would wait until I have some good tracking snow, then cover lots of ground looking for tracks. You will generally end up extremely depressed about how far you need to go just to find a set of moose tracks. If you find some tracks follow them quickly, chances are they will be cow tracks (find where the animal took a whizz), if you find a bull track slow down and follow them carefully. It will likely be the only chance you get.

This method has worked better for me when hunting zones with poor populations than anything else.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:34 PM
elkhunter1234 elkhunter1234 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
I live next to those zones and I don't bother drawing tags there. I have killed moose in both of those zones, so it is possible, but I would definitely not drive any great distance to hunt either of these zones. So which zone are you actually hunting?

In both zones, if I decided to bother drawing a tag there I would wait until I have some good tracking snow, then cover lots of ground looking for tracks. You will generally end up extremely depressed about how far you need to go just to find a set of moose tracks. If you find some tracks follow them quickly, chances are they will be cow tracks (find where the animal took a whizz), if you find a bull track slow down and follow them carefully. It will likely be the only chance you get.

This method has worked better for me when hunting zones with poor populations than anything else.
Thanks for the info.. these are undersubscribed tags we picked up, mine in 542 and my sons in 541. If nothing else we will go spend a week up there and learn some new country.

Jim..
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:45 PM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
 
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542 was our go to area in the 80ís, 90ís and early 2000ís. We hunted the northern boundary south of the Wabasca and east of Hwy 88. But it wasnít much of a road in the early days. There are pockets of moose and the odd caribou in this area. Most of our hunted consisted of floating on the Wab down to the loon or floating the loon up to the wab.

BW
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2019, 07:02 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter1234 View Post
Thanks for the info.. these are undersubscribed tags we picked up, mine in 542 and my sons in 541. If nothing else we will go spend a week up there and learn some new country.

Jim..
I have had decent luck in 542 off of the 88, the Wab highway is pretty much a write off IMO. Look on a topo and google earth to try to find high ground, both of these areas are predominantly muskeg and swamp, so high ground is often a commodity for game animals, especially in late season. In both zones high ground will be pretty subtle, a hill that can create a moose pocket will quite often be too small to show up on a topo, so looking at the forest growth on Google earth can often lead one to high ground better than a topo. As was made clear before, cover as much ground as possible and don't look for moose, look for tracks.

I typically do not spend any daylight hours in a vehicle or on a quad when hunting, but for this type of hunt you are typically going to have to cover way more ground in a day than is possible on foot to be successful. Infact, I have often headed out way before legal shooting light, just to run roads and look for tracks.
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Last edited by Bushleague; 09-21-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2019, 07:08 AM
moose maniac moose maniac is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter1234 View Post
Ok guys... I hate to be THAT guy but here it goes. Iím in need of some advise on bull moose in Nov in these two zones. Due to fires in 539 last year we had to change our plans and plan our yearly moose march north. My son and myself have a bull tag in each of these zones for the late season. Now here lays or next problem, having spent the last 7 weeks sitting beside my brother in ICU while he recovers from a very long stay with heart surgery I have not had any time to get up there and do any kind of scouting and the boss is now telling me itís time to get back to work Iím not sure if we will haul a camp up or just hotel it out of Red Earth Creek, but Iím thinking of looking at the area between Red Earth and Trout Lake along hi-way 686. Not looking for anyoneís honey holes but just a general idea of if we are looking at a decent area or should we be looking elsewhere? Feel free to PM me if you would sooner. I know and have hunted the south part of the province for over 40 years and can also help anyone out that need advise down here.

Jim...
I live in Red Earth and have travelled the peerless road for 30 years I have seen very few moose, better off going north of Red Earth on hwy 88 and that is a long shot as well
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2019, 07:49 AM
chad66 chad66 is offline
 
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I think you might have your best luck in 541 rather than 542. About 50-60 km north of red earth on 88 is a road that goes off to the east. We use to call it the Ammaco road long ago. Go down and cross the wabasca I would look around there for tracks. I believe it's a private road and you might need permission. Some years there is lots of snow in November that can make things interesting if you are quadding. I was looking around that area yesterday but on opposite side of the highway. Much wetter in the bush than it has been for years which is nice to see. Even some moose tracks out there too. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2019, 07:58 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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Default moose

Guys, a technique that has served me well for 60 years of moose hunting even in new WMU I have never hunted. First look for moose pasture it is not muskeg, second look for moose sign/tracks/beds etc, lastly track the moose to his bed, when he stands up chut em.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2019, 07:25 AM
moose maniac moose maniac is offline
 
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Originally Posted by chad66 View Post
I think you might have your best luck in 541 rather than 542. About 50-60 km north of red earth on 88 is a road that goes off to the east. We use to call it the Ammaco road long ago. Go down and cross the wabasca I would look around there for tracks. I believe it's a private road and you might need permission. Some years there is lots of snow in November that can make things interesting if you are quadding. I was looking around that area yesterday but on opposite side of the highway. Much wetter in the bush than it has been for years which is nice to see. Even some moose tracks out there too. Good luck.
North senex road my trapline is there I havenít seen a moose in two years and I spend a pile of time in there, there is the odd one around but donít get your hopes up to high, a quad wonít get you very far in there especially this year. Lots of chickens and bears
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2019, 05:20 PM
Xiph0id Xiph0id is offline
 
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First time I was up in 542 was for a friends under subscribed moose tag.

Barely any moose sign.

How ever the 88/754 intersection and northeast to Wabasca has a ton of deer.

Go for the moose, stay for the deer!
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2019, 05:46 PM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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As for 542, just drove from 88 to Wab on 742 last week.

You do know that most of this area burned in May? You do know that where it was muskeg a lot of that burned right down because it was tamarack? You do know that the high ground that has burned has been salvaged logs for MILE AND MILES?

Yes, it is a barren pasture and the salvage loggers have built roads and trails and have easily taken out 15 miles of Spruce and Poplar along 742 and they are not stopping. No idea how far north they went, but it will be massive to the north as long as there is harvestable timber.

Interesting thing is how fast the saplings came up in the burn over areas, but you could not hide a deer in there and there are a lot of places you can glass over 1 mile radius.

Even before the burn, there was not a lot of moose in 542. Had a tag, and drove early November in fresh snow from the night before, straight north to the Nipisi pipeline (East - west to Wabasca) and beyond. Skeg was froze good and I could run the quad anywhere.

120 km and no moose tracks.

Last time I was there and I won't return.

Drewski
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2019, 06:34 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Drewski Canuck View Post
As for 542, just drove from 88 to Wab on 742 last week.

You do know that most of this area burned in May? You do know that where it was muskeg a lot of that burned right down because it was tamarack? You do know that the high ground that has burned has been salvaged logs for MILE AND MILES?

Yes, it is a barren pasture and the salvage loggers have built roads and trails and have easily taken out 15 miles of Spruce and Poplar along 742 and they are not stopping. No idea how far north they went, but it will be massive to the north as long as there is harvestable timber.

Interesting thing is how fast the saplings came up in the burn over areas, but you could not hide a deer in there and there are a lot of places you can glass over 1 mile radius.

Even before the burn, there was not a lot of moose in 542. Had a tag, and drove early November in fresh snow from the night before, straight north to the Nipisi pipeline (East - west to Wabasca) and beyond. Skeg was froze good and I could run the quad anywhere.

120 km and no moose tracks.

Last time I was there and I won't return.

Drewski
Thank you, that about sums up the situation, however on a year this wet the skeg often doesn't really freeze up well. Last time I drew a tag in 542 was on a year much like this, there were pockets of standing water for most of November, mostly I just fought with the quad.

The other thing to realise, is that a good deal of that clearcutting that you saw on the Wab highway happened before the burn. We have 4 mills in Mitsue, all of them are producing 3-4x what they were 10 years ago. Burn or no burn, in another 10 years I'm pretty sure you will have hardly any mature forest, right from Red Earth to Whitecourt.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2019, 01:02 PM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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Bush league,

The log piles all where charred logs. Not saying that Mitsue does not grind through alot of wood, but this burn area had charred stumps all over the place.

Most modern harvest programs are small tracts of trees with lots of connection to other stands.

You only see cut blocks stretching in excess of a mile in any direction, and probably alot further, when there is a salvage log program after a fire.

Forestry LOVES post fire salvage log. No stumpage, take it ALL down, no de limbing, etc.

Now the interesting thing about the Muskeg fires. Up in the High Level fire, the peat was so dry that it was burning and really was hard to fight as it was underground.

In some places, 4 feet of dried peat burned out completely changing the topography of the land as it was now mineral soil and ash, which is sterile for plants. That means it will be a long time before trees can re establish.

These peat fires removed the plant mass that stored the water on the ground at High Level, so now the water will run where before it was trapped.

I did not hear if the Skeg in 542 had dried out that thoroughly as it did in High Level, but it will change the area for decades around high Level, and I bet around 542.

It can take thousands of years for a muskeg to build to be 4 feet of peat moss.

Drewski
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2019, 05:08 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewski Canuck View Post
Bush league,

The log piles all where charred logs. Not saying that Mitsue does not grind through alot of wood, but this burn area had charred stumps all over the place.

Most modern harvest programs are small tracts of trees with lots of connection to other stands.

You only see cut blocks stretching in excess of a mile in any direction, and probably alot further, when there is a salvage log program after a fire.

Forestry LOVES post fire salvage log. No stumpage, take it ALL down, no de limbing, etc.

Now the interesting thing about the Muskeg fires. Up in the High Level fire, the peat was so dry that it was burning and really was hard to fight as it was underground.

In some places, 4 feet of dried peat burned out completely changing the topography of the land as it was now mineral soil and ash, which is sterile for plants. That means it will be a long time before trees can re establish.

These peat fires removed the plant mass that stored the water on the ground at High Level, so now the water will run where before it was trapped.

I did not hear if the Skeg in 542 had dried out that thoroughly as it did in High Level, but it will change the area for decades around high Level, and I bet around 542.

It can take thousands of years for a muskeg to build to be 4 feet of peat moss.

Drewski
With all due respect, this is no longer true. The logging industry claims that it is "simulating a forest fire" with these bigger cutblocks, SRD is onboard with reducing edge habitat due to it "hurting song bird populations". There may be other reasons, but that is the one that I was quoted when I asked why SRD is letting the mills make cutblocks that one can not even see across, and not just for salvage.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:49 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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With all due respect, this is no longer true. The logging industry claims that it is "simulating a forest fire" with these bigger cutblocks, SRD is onboard with reducing edge habitat due to it "hurting song bird populations". There may be other reasons, but that is the one that I was quoted when I asked why SRD is letting the mills make cutblocks that one can not even see across, and not just for salvage.
Sorry, just to clarify, the non-salvage cutblock size has grown considerably in the last few years. The timber industry claims that this simulates the more natural condition which is created with by forest fires, checkerboarding and continuity are considered to have been "a flawed theory". SRD claims that the prevailance of "edge species" has hurt populations of non edge species, and the examples quoted to me were all songbirds. The flip side of the coin is that the timber industry is supposed to leave larger tracts of uncut timber. This might have worked if implemented at a point where large tracts of uncut timber still existed in abundance up here, but at this point they are few and far between in many areas unless one is counting cutblocks grown over with various states of immature forest as "uncut timber".

I work in the timber industry, and I know and deal with a large amount of forestry workers on a regular basis. And as an obsessive explorer of big timber I spend a lot of time looking at the end result. Basically, all I am seeing is the destruction of anything resembling mature forest, and all I am getting is a bunch of excuses from both sides involved. Some of the SRD people I've talked to straight up admit that attempts to implement limitations on the lumber industry's current logging practices have been shot down, apparently the mills hold more sway with those making the decisions than SRD does.
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Last edited by Bushleague; 09-26-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:40 AM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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Bush league,

Maybe around Slave there are large cut blocks that are not salvage logs, but I still see small patch logging elsewhere and recently north of Slave Lake to Utikima Lake.

There seems to be a different treatment where it is lodgepole and jack pine forest which is being cut to stop the eastern spread of mountain pine beetle for once and for all.

Canada Environment has spent a lot of money to try and stop the eastern movement of Mountain Pine Beetle, as the fear is that if Mountain Pine Beetle gets into Saskatchewan there will be no way to stop the infestations from spreading clear to Ontario which relies on a lot of pine for timber.

As it turns out last February's - 40 C killed 98 % of the Mountain Pine beetle in Alberta, so it may have been a wasted effort to go around cutting all the pine down.

But I agree that the Mills have a lot of influence since 2014 as the forest industry is the only thing keeping much of rural northern Alberta alive these days.

Drewski
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:30 AM
elkhunter1234 elkhunter1234 is offline
 
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Lots of great info here guys, thanks a bunch. Looks like itís time to knock the dust off the Argos and cover some ground.

Jim...
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  #18  
Old 09-27-2019, 08:37 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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On our trapline north of Edson the greedy companies like West Fraser are now cutting 1000+ acre cut blocks. They claim pine bettle but I have a tough time even finding any lodgepole pine with "Any" bettle infestation, especially now that Alberta had killing frost last winter. The tragedy is they cut "Baby trees" now that are less than 6" diameter and throw most of the tree on the burn piles. It would be interesting to calculate their GHG effect on the planet when they remove most of Canada's Boreal forest that absorbs most of the CO2 on the planet, similar to the Amazon rainforest.
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  #19  
Old 09-27-2019, 11:59 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewski Canuck View Post
Bush league,

Maybe around Slave there are large cut blocks that are not salvage logs, but I still see small patch logging elsewhere and recently north of Slave Lake to Utikima Lake.

There seems to be a different treatment where it is lodgepole and jack pine forest which is being cut to stop the eastern spread of mountain pine beetle for once and for all.

Canada Environment has spent a lot of money to try and stop the eastern movement of Mountain Pine Beetle, as the fear is that if Mountain Pine Beetle gets into Saskatchewan there will be no way to stop the infestations from spreading clear to Ontario which relies on a lot of pine for timber.

As it turns out last February's - 40 C killed 98 % of the Mountain Pine beetle in Alberta, so it may have been a wasted effort to go around cutting all the pine down.

But I agree that the Mills have a lot of influence since 2014 as the forest industry is the only thing keeping much of rural northern Alberta alive these days.

Drewski
Much of what they are taking around Slave is actually largely deciduous, to feed the pulp and OSB mills. Not related to the pine beetle efforts at all, but I suppose it makes a good excuse.

As I stated, they are not even bothering to pretend that the big cuts are about pine beetles at this point. The excuses given are as I stated, duplicating a "natural condition", and the reduction of edge habitat are the reasons given by all parties involved. None of the parties involved are trying to deny that logging practices have changed.

We all thank the timber industry for pulling us through this slump, but they pulled us through the 2008 slump in similar economic conditions while only producing 1/3 as much. The notion that rules need to be changed in order for them to keep the doors open is IMO BS. The rules are changed so that big corporations can show their share holders perpetual growth, which in regards to the timber industry is just plain short sighted.
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