Libby's Lodge & Canty's client Dan Jacobs recalls hunting for moose in Maine with his son.
Initially, when my daughter was young, I used to take her hunting and then she just kind of grew away from it when she got to be a teenager. She just decided she didn't want to go hunting anymore, and that's fine. My son Nolan's kind of been my hunting buddy ever since he became old enough to hunt.
All three of the times we've gone moose hunting with Travis, I've taken my son. So the first moose hunt we went on together was, I think it was 2012. My son would've been ten. Then we went in 2000, and then we went in 2021.
The one thing I can say about Travis and the actual hunting experience is that every time we've gone with Travis, we've been successful. He's taken us on three moose hunts and we've been successful on every one. In fact, I think, I think on every one, we shot a moose the first day.
In this last hunt in particular, he's so familiar with the area that he knew exactly where to go, what time to go and where they'd be. He just makes it so easy. I mean, the nice thing about the area that Travis hunts moose in, is that it's also an area that he does a lot of his bear baiting. He is super familiar with it, and because of that, he really has a great handle on where the moose are and where the best spots are.
We probably got up at four-thirty. Travis cooked breakfast that morning, something pretty decent, like bacon and eggs. We had coffee and breakfast, and then got ready. We were in his truck an hour, forty-five minutes before sunrise.
Before we even left, Travis gave my son a little bit of a pep talk so he'd be prepared. "This is what you need to do when we see a moose and this is what I want you to do, get ready and be fast, but accurate."
A cow permit is what we had, or my son actually had the permit, so he was gonna shoot. My son had a rifle and Travis had a rifle as a backup in case we needed somebody else to shoot as well. I was the sub-permittee.
We got to the first spot where Travis thought we'd have the greatest chance of seeing a moose.
We walked into a fairly recent clear-cut area where Travis had seen moose throughout the summer and fall. As Travis and my son walked a little bit ahead of me, they saw a moose, but it, it took off pretty quickly.
I think we stayed there for just a little while. Then Travis said, "You know what? Let's go before it gets too late. Let's go to another spot that I know of that should be good." This was still quite early in the morning. We drove over to another series of clear cuts.
As we were driving by one clear-cut area very slowly, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye and asked Travis to wait a minute. When Travis stopped, he said, "Oh, there's a moose." It was out in the clear cut.
My son got out of the truck. Travis gave him pretty good direction, and my son did what Travis told him to do. Travis had handed me the spare gun in case I needed to shoot. My son shot first. Travis thought that he hit it and the moose moved a little bit. As it was moving, I made a second shot and then it went down.
Within the first hour, we had a moose. If I had taken my son by myself, maybe I wouldn't have even gotten a moose that year, but with Travis, within the first hour of the first day of the moose hunt, we had a moose.
Then, because it was out in the middle of a clear-cut, we spent the rest of the morning getting the moose out to the road and field-dressed it. It was quite a process to get the moose out because it was probably 200 yards back in the clear-cut with stumps all over the place. It fell down in a pile of brush. The hardest thing is getting the moose out of the clear cut.
We worked to get the truck as close as we could to the moose. It took probably three hours to get the moose to the road. That was kind of a challenge, but Travis was completely prepared. He had a winch and a chainsaw and tons of rope--basically everything we needed to get the moose out. Travis had to use his chainsaw to cut some things out of the way and kind of make a path It worked pretty well because of all the equipment and everything that he had with him. We were fully supplied and ready. We had to use the winch, winching it out little by little out of the clear cut.
We met with some other hunters for lunch. They were staying at another lodge, and said they weren't having any luck seeing a moose. Travis told them exactly where they should go at the end of the day to see a moose and to get a shot.
Towards the end of the day, just before dark Travis, got a call or a text from the hunters. They told Travis they shot a moose, then asked, "Can you come and help us?" So basically, Travis guided two successful moose hunts in one day. He even helped them dress the moose and all that stuff and get it on the truck. I think they're gonna become Travis' customers.
Travis took the moose with us to the butcher shop and they weighed it. I've gone to meat processors in the past that I wasn't really impressed with, but this time Travis recommended Hatches Custom Meat Cutting in Crystal. He said he's had very good luck with them.
His butcher shop is super clean, which is important to me when you're processing food. I got a quote from the butcher shop and two weeks later it was ready for me to pick up. Brady's a good guy and he did a great job cutting it. Just like Travis said he would do. Everything was packaged nicely and labeled properly. The sausage tasted awesome. That was probably the best moose I've had, and I think a big part of it was the butcher shop did such a good job.
My wife isn't a big fan of game, so it's usually me and my son that are eating moose. Anytime he comes home from college, he takes a cooler of moose meat back and feeds his friends.
The nice thing about going moose hunting with Travis is I know that he knows what he's doing. I feel completely comfortable that my son is gonna be safe and taken care of, and that means a lot to me.