Hunting

Nordisk Hunting Tales: Shooting My First Moose in Norway [promoted]

There are few greater pastimes than sitting around the campfire and sharing stories. So, the Danish outdoors company, Nordisk asked local hunter, Nicolai Emil Schulin-Howaldt, to share his greatest hunting adventure. This is how it went:

In October 2016, 2 hours north of Oslo, Norway, snow had been falling overnight during a weekend of moose hunting. I was there with my family and family friends, hoping this would be the hunt where I’d shoot my first moose.

For, despite hunting with the same guys in the same area for four years, and having spied 150 moose in that time, I’d been incredibly unlucky and each one had evaded me. There’d been many close calls, on times the dog was too close, another time I’d waited and waited only to turn and see a moose just 5m away, startling us both, but this time, I was determined this would end.

But now it was the last day of the season, and there were about 15 of us up in a forest near Dokka, and one moose had already been shot by my brother the day before.

With snow on the ground and bright sunshine, the environment was crisp, but the changing of the seasons meant we couldn’t predict the moose’s movement – so these were not ideal conditions.

It was an unsuccessful morning for me, but another one of our party shot a moose, and after lunch around the bonfire we picked out new treestands from the hat. I’d got the second best stand! I looked over to my brother – he’d got the best stand and immediately tried to convince me to swap with him.

After shooting his moose the day before, he wanted to give me the opportunity to experience the same, but I just knew if we swapped, luck would cause the moose to come to my original stand anyway. Of course, I said no.

“I quickly radioed my brother to tell him two moose were on the way to him, but the second I put the radio down, I heard a branch snapping.”

We drove to our towers together, debating the whole way about swapping the stands until I stepped out the door to my tower. My ear piece was in, waiting to hear from the gamekeeper that he’d released the dogs, and within minutes – everyone could hear that one dog had found a moose.

Suddenly, I heard that moose and the dog coming closer to me. My tower was on the top of a small mountain, 200 to 300 metres high of the ground – so I had a good overview of the land, with the forest just next to me and views 300m one way and 100m in the other direction.

In an instant, I saw the moose that I’d heard, running away from my stand at full speed in the direction of my brother. It was then, I realised there were actually two moose, a cow and calf. So I quickly radioed my brother to tell him two moose were on the way to him, but the second I put the radio down, I heard a branch snapping.

 

The two moose were back again and just 30 metres away from me, this time joined by a huge bull.
By now it was 4pm and the sun was about to set. At this point, I was just so frustrated that the season was just hours from being over and I still hadn’t shot anything that I didn’t really think about it, and shot the bull who had come into view first.

The adrenaline was rushing through my body and my reflexes took over as I quickly reloaded my gun and shot him again to be safe. He dropped to the spot. I’d shot my first moose, and within the last whisker of opportunity.

The female and the calf didn’t even stop or look and just ran to the next post. I took the radio and told the other hunters that I’d shot a bull moose and it was dead. One after the other they radioed back to congratulate me.

First the host and my father come to where I was and we began to gut it there and then. Then my brother and the other hunters came and the host produced a bottle. Within it was the last shot of an 110 year old port wine – which he gave me to commemorate my first moose – a special and historic way to celebrate.hunting moose norway Nordisk

Then came the relief – no longer would I be called the ‘Moose Watcher.’ My quest to shoot a moose had been so long and so unsuccessful (I realised I’d spent 360 hours in the stand before my success) that there had been talk amongst my hunting buddies that I was only going out into the forest to protect the moose, not shoot them.

Finally the quad bike came to pick up the moose, and take it to be hung in cold storage, ready to be eaten another day. What a weekend – in the two day trip, only three moose were shot, and one of them was mine.

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