To harvest a world-class trophy moose is a feat accomplished by very few hunters. Even in locales like Ontario, Canada, where the average moose is larger than most, bagging a bull which scores over 200” Boone & Crockett (B&C) is almost unheard of. There are only a small handful of moose in history to ever reach the pivotal 200″ mark. It requires years of growth, prime habitat and perfect genetics to produce antlers worthy of the record book. Learn how Provincial Police Officer, Mike Goderre made this dream a reality one morning at the far end of a northern moose meadow. Not just any meadow, this was the hunter’s favorite meadow!
In 2001, Mike’s favorite meadow produced a cow moose, not a giant bull but a trophy to him. You see, Mr. Goderre is not your average trophy hunter; in fact, he isn’t a trophy hunter at all. The thought of sitting in his meadow, soaking in the ambiance of a northern landscape is more than enough for this guy.
On the morning of October 3rd, 2005, Mike sat perched 18-feet up a tree overlooking his favorite meadow and taking mental notes of his surroundings. To his right was a shooting lane approximately 195 yards long. To his left, a likely access point for moose to visit approximately 200 yards long. Directly in front was a vast open area stretching at least 400 yards across. He thought to himself, “Man, I hope no moose come from that way, its a long piece off.”
Mike’s meadow was essentially a dry marsh with a lot of Labrador Tea – a leafy brush found in boreal forests of North America. Besides copious low-lying brush, the meadow consisted mostly of white pine samplings sprouted out from all areas of the marsh. As mike continued examining his surroundings, something brown caught his eye at the far end of the meadow. It was still early and the first light of day can sometimes play tricks on your eyes, but he put the scope on it just in case. Disappointment set in when he realized that the brown patch was merely an ill-placed brown pine, mixed with the healthy green trees. “Geez, nature has a sick sense of humor,” he thought of the odd little tree. “That thing is going to bother me all morning,” he chuckled, as he brought the scope down.
Suddenly, something else caught his attention. “Did I just see something else? Was there another brown patch in the same area of the meadow?” Mike brought the scope to his shoulder again and like magic there it was – three antler tines poking out from the Labrador Tea. At first glance, he figured it must be a shed antler stuck in a branch from last season, but when he tried getting the ‘mystery tines’ back focus again, it was gone.
The hunter sat back on his stand for a moment, bewildered as to what he had just witnessed. “Well, I better check it out again,” he thought, hoisting the 338 Winchester to his eye for further examination. This time something white was moving through the same area of the meadow. Mike’s heart raced as he tried to piece together what he had been seeing. Straining through his scope, the reality of what he was watching took shape. The white was actually the inside palm of a giant bull moose, and with the early morning light reflecting off the antler, it created the illusion of whiteness in the distance. It was surreal and although he could not tell the size of the moose, one thing he knew for sure it was a long piece away.
With his heart racing and the 338 Winchester on his shoulder, Mike settled the crosshairs on the moose’s mid section. His training as a police officer afforded him the long range shooting confidence he required. Concentrating on his first shot, he remembered breathing technique and held as steady as possible, sending the shot on its way. The moose did not react so Mike chambered another shell. This time the hunter aimed a bit higher at the great bull and gently squeezed.
The great bull turned and glared across the marsh at Mike. It was a giant of an animal, unlike any he had ever seen in many years of hunting. It looked he had car doors attached to either side of his skull. Mike stared in shock unable to move as the beast turned and strolled back in the direction he came, disappearing through the trees. Mike doubted what he had just witnessed.
Moments later, his partner Al arrived from the other end of his hunt area, wondering if there was a moose on the ground. From his tree-stand, Mike directed his partner to where he had last seen the moose, just in case he nicked him. “I have my doubts, Al,” he explained, “This big boy didn’t seem too concerned about my shots.”
As Al walked off in the distance toward where the great bull was last seen, his silhouette got smaller and smaller. After about ten minutes of strolling around the northern woods, Al reappeared right in front of Mike.
Mike was not really prepared for what he had to say. “Well sir, looks like you go him!” Al blurted, with a strange grin on his face. Mike quickly climbed out of his tree-stand, and the two made their way across the meadow. Lying peaceful amongst the Labrador Tea like a great king was the most impressive bull moose the hunters had ever laid eyes on. It was simply huge!
The men determined that while the great bull stood glaring at Mike, he was fatally wounded and had sustained two lethal shots. It was the most exciting, bewildering and impressive moment of Mike Goderre’s hunting career. It culminated with a bull moose which later scored 220 7/8” Boone & Crockett (B&C) and worthy of the title, Ontario’s biggest moose ever!