A Hunting Story

A hunting story told me by Ches, a native Newfoundlander:

I’ve been hunting since I was a boy but didn’t start moose hunting until I was twelve.  I’ve got a lot of moose, lot of moose.  It’s easy to get cocky about it.  Once Doug and I were hunting moose.  He shot one, it was about a hundred yards off, and it dropped flat on the bog.  Didn’t move a twitch.  Usually legs kick some after they go down but this one was all done as soon as it was hit.  We walked up to it and I thought I’d take a picture of it where it lay there.  Doug was going to put another slug in it, close range, before starting to gut it.  He took the safety off and at the sound of that “click” the moose came off the bog like a duck.  It leapt straight off the ground and spun sideways.  One of its horn points nearly caught the buttons on Doug’s shirt.  We couldn’t do nothing but watch it run off, we was so shocked.  We looked where it had gone down expecting to see a pool of blood.  The ground there was covered with that white moss so any blood would have showed up but there wasn’t a single spot we could find.

We tracked that moose for five hours and never saw it again, had to quit when the light was gone.  Never saw any sign of blood.  The only thing we could think had happened was that it’d been hit on the horn and the impact went to it’s head, knocking it out for that short while.  Then, later, we was talking to some fellas that said sometimes a young bull will drop to the ground and play dead to avoid getting in a fight during rutting season.  Maybe our moose thought it’d been attacked by a bigger moose when it had only just caught a bullet on the antlers.  So, we don’t know what happened; that the moose got away.  But it taught us a lesson about walking up to downed prey.  It that moose had turned just a little bit more when it came off the bog it would have trampled us both.  A full-grown moose will weigh out over one thousand pounds.
We felt foolish enough about that day but didn’t feel so bad later when we heard about another hunter who wanted his picture took next to his freshly shot moose.  He put his rifle across the antlers and squatted down to pose beside the animal when the moose got up and run away with the guy’s gun stuck in its rack!