Close stalk on moose

Irina and I had lots of fun the other day when Ice and Irtysh decided to track down a couple of moose after a failed barking on capercallie that flew off.
I don't know how far they went total, but the accual barking started 1,5 km from us. We realized this moose was staying, so we made a fire and relaxed for a while before staring the approach.

The last 500 meter I was filming, and as you can see, Irina (IVI) got really close. I was suprised to see the flash of the camera did not scare them.



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Comments

  • Excellent dog work and photography. Must have been a very exciting outing.
  • Well done!
  • edited April 2015
    ...and a week later we did it again. This time with a young girl that will buy a puppy from Ice and Aza. First time she ever was able to get this close while dogs are working.
    I think this is just as much fun as shooting.



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  • Amazing photos when you are that close to wild moose you feel so much lighter on your feet
    Looks like you had a good time I wish that we where aloud to hunt big game with dogs in newfoundland
  • That's amazing, good photos! Great dog work!
  • My Laika female, Inga, didn't get that close to moose until she was well over 6 months old. But as a younger pup she was a moose radar in the field. Obviously, in many Western hemisphere places like Alaska, baying large game with dogs is not legal(if you actually shoot the game). But one can track and follow a moose at a distance.

    She was able to hear a moose in the willow thickets about two hundred yards away, a bull with at least one or two cows. Being young, she was nervous about getting close and always maintained a 50 yard distance, but I always knew where that moose was and when it was traveling, by watching her radar antenna of a head. We followed that moose for about 2-3 miles in the tussocks of the Tundra(real hard country to travel on foot). Eventually I broke off the pursuit after it started getting dark, and I had about 4-5 miles to travel in the dark.

    By the following winter a few months later, she figured out that I want moose, and quickly learned to discern old hot track from cold. I woke up one winter morning last winter at about 5 am to hear her barking. She was holding at bay a large cow moose with two large calves. She worked those moose for two hours(I was too tired to go retrieve her till later). She had gotten loose before first light when they were passing by, about a quarter mile away. It was irresistible to her and she knew how to keep them in place.

    I have a theory that a good moose dog is one that irritates a moose by annoying them with a sharp harassing bark, rather than corralling them with threatening maneuvers. I have seen how moose react in various scenarios. Sometimes they are bold and even belligerent to people and dogs. Other times the same moose will run in terror before the same people or dogs.

    Yet again, other times they simply will ignore an intruder and continue feeding if they found a good feed patch. You can sometimes get very close to a moose, but it is ill advised, unless one has a good tree to run around(moose can not turn and run around a tree as fast as a human, but they can easily outrun you in a straight line). I knew a fellow that encountered a moose by surprise and for some unknown reason the moose decided to pursue him. He ran around a tree for about an hour or two trying to stay out of reach of the angry moose until it tired and left the scene. He was convinced the tree is the only reason he is alive today.

    What makes the difference? I think it is the nature of the dog's bark. Most people have met a dog that has a really annoying bark that grates on your nerves. The kind some people want to use as a football. Then there are those dogs that make you scared when they vocalize. A moose will chase and kill certain dogs if it can, but the same moose will run away from another dog.

    The Laika seems seems to have a very sharp bark that is rather high pitched and insistent. It demands attention and is hard to ignore. It can make you forget other details in your surroundings as it draws your attention(either annoyed attention or interested). I think that is what a good moose dog is supposed to do, get the moose to pay attention and loose awareness of other things(like a hunter approaching on the sly).

    It's just a theory, but perhaps those who have actually hunted moose in the old country can offer their insight.
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