A hunt two years in the making, Melissa booked a moose hunt with Yukon Big Game Outfitters on the recommendation of legendary bowhunter, Tom Miranda. Having successfully hunted moose twice before in Newfoundland, and once unsuccessfully in the Yukon, Melissa says she was ready to get back to the Yukon for another try. The Yukon is a wildlife mecca with huge numbers of moose wandering the expansive wilderness, more moose than humans, and they didn’t disappoint on her hunt. After the extensive travel required to make it deep into the wilderness, Melissa says they hit the ground searching for bulls. By calling and raking the brush with boat paddles, Melissa talks about how they were able to bring 6-8 bulls a day within close range. When surrounded by that many mature bulls, the ability to field judge the animal in front of you and decide whether to shoot or pass is crucial. Melissa says that she relied heavily upon the expertise of her guide, a 38-year Yukon guiding veteran. She knew that she wanted to take as big of a trophy as possible, so she told her guide that she was willing to hold out for a nice bull and wanted to use his judgement to identify true giants. While they saw a lot of bulls and got really close to them, when they finally saw the one particular bull, a big one, it changed everything, she says. The bull was 150 yards out, but because she wanted a closer shot, Melissa says she waited it out giving the bull the time to come in closer. When the bull walked the other direction instead, she explains how they were able to save the situation by calling him back and getting him inside 25 yards for the perfect shot. The result was a bull of a lifetime with a 65.5 inch spread and over 18-inch wide paddles. Hunting with a Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS .300 Win Mag and 180 grain big game ammunition, Melissa says her setup was more than capable and performed well. Although one shot would have done the job, Melissa says that she fired a follow-up shot to ensure a quick, clean, ethical kill and also to prevent the bull from running further from the shore and making it more difficult to pack out. She also discusses shot placement and the ideal aimpoints on such large animals.
With a massive bull on the ground, Melissa discusses the hard work of packing it all out. Referencing the photos you can find on social media (Facebook, Instagram) the size of the moose dwarfed her. However, undeterred by the size and weight, she says that she wanted to help pack the behemoth out. Melissa talks about the pack she used to help her accomplish the job and the physical challenge of hauling out the quarters, but especially the rack. Of all of the adventures and hunts that Melissa has been on over the years, she says that this Yukon moose hunt was truly one of the top 2-3 hunts of her life.
After successfully hunting moose in both the Yukon and Newfoundland, Melissa says it’s hard to compare the experiences. By hunting different species in different locations, you really get to know an area and animals that call it home. The moose in the Yukon compared to the moose in Newfoundland are different. While Newfoundland moose are smaller, Melissa notes that a bull she took there was one of the biggest her guide and outfitter had taken in decades. Because the bull was so big for that area it was unique and a true trophy.
Be sure to listen in as Melissa Bachman, host of “Winchester Deadly Passion” seen on Sportsman Channel, Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET, talks about her Yukon moose hunt and the incredible bull she came away with. Be sure to catch previous seasons and episodes of “Winchester Deadly Passion” with MyOutdoorTV where you can stream your favorite hunting shows anytime 24/7/365.
No bull, get outdoors!