Moose judging help

marley

Very Active Member
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2,099
I am a complete rookie when it comes to moose. Can anyone tell me the average ear to ear length, average eye to eye length, average ear length for a Shiras moose. I can find this info online but it’s for an Alaskan moose which I’m betting wouldn’t be accurate. I’m not going to be too hung up on score but I do want to look for something 45”+ wide. Here in CO I can hunt all three seasons until I get one and hunting with a rifle I’d be able to use the MOA of my scope to judge width but I won’t be able to do that with a muzzy or bow.
 

dgwoody

Active Member
Messages
264
My advice would be to find a bull that gets your juices going and put him down. I took a bull in Utah in 2016. The bull I passed up on opening morning was the same bull I ended up shooting almost a month later and was a lot bigger on the ground than he looked on the hoof. The way moose are scored doesn't make a whole lot of sense when compared to an elk or muley. I have the same philosophy with antelope though, so take it for what its worth.
 

SS!

Very Active Member
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2,476
Sound advice given above. I’ve been on a lot of moose hunts and spread is the last thing I look at. Width of palm and nice brows are ideal, then I look at the how the antler leaves the base. Older bulls get the little kink in it. After that I check out number of points and finally spread. I just do 8” between the eyes and use that to bracket out to get spread. Always within a couple inches.
 

t_boneking

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jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,444
I agree with SS that width may not be as important as some of the other measurements.

If you want to make B&C you likely have 0 chance if your bull doesn't have forked brows on both sides. Palm length provides the highest % of the score. Without forked brows on both side the palm length is only measured to the main beam rather than all the way out between the forks of the brows. The Wyo bull I harvested with bow had 13" on each side added to his score (26" total) because both sides forked way out on the brows. I actually passed up a lot more impressive bulls but mine made B&C and others didn't have forked brows. Colo is blessed with outrageous palm length and forked brows on older age class bulls in some of the better units.

I really wanted to make B&C so having forked brows was important. That is actually the first thing I looked for while shiras scouting/hunting. Next I looked at palm length and then number of pts on each side. Generally speaking the bulls that came close to B&C had at least 8 pts on each side with forked brows on both sides.

The very last thing I looked at is width. If you think about it there isn't much difference in score if a bull is 2 or 3" wider or narrower. Mass around the bass really doesn't have much impact on score either. Obviously everything added up may make or break a score but if you want to make B&C there are hardly any shiras in the B&C books that made it without forked brows on both sides.

With that said, there are super impressive bulls that have spike brows. You may want to decide before your hunt if you are willing to pass on those bulls! If you are lucky enough to live close and scout bulls prior to the season you may know what bull potential there is in your unit. Some areas with dark timber the bulls may not come out much until the weather cools down....which makes it super tough! It's hard to pass up a whopper bull when he's grunting and carrying on 25 foot steps from you! Have a great time..I'm envious of your tag and opportunity!
 

marley

Very Active Member
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2,099
Awesome info thanks guys. You’ve given me a lot to think about and look for that I didn’t know about.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,175
I thought you had a sheep tag Marley!
Are you sayin you also have a Moose tag as well?
If that's the case, you have to be the luckiest guy I know of when it comes to drawing awesome tags.
I hunted Shiras Moose in Wyoming many years ago and I think you've been given some very solid advice.
I could have shot a wide bull the first day of my hunt, but I passed him because his palms were shallow. I ended up with a narrower wide palmed bull with spike brows, but he was impressive to me and I sill smile when I look at him on the wall.
You will know when you see the one you want.
Best of luck on all your hunts.
 

marley

Very Active Member
Messages
2,099
Yes I also drew a CO moose tag in addition to the CO sheep tag. I don’t understand how that’s possible but I’ll take it! The two hunts overlap which is going to spread me thin in the scouting so I hope I can get it done on both.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,175
Yes I also drew a CO moose tag in addition to the CO sheep tag. I don’t understand how that’s possible but I’ll take it! The two hunts overlap which is going to spread me thin in the scouting so I hope I can get it done on both.
I once drew two great deer tags in two different states in the same year and overlapping seasons. I ended up not spending enough time in either unit and eventually came home with a couple of dinks.
Oh and I also had a brand new baby son at home and some serious domestic discontent! It was not the result I had envisioned.
I'm sure you won't have that problem, but hopefully you can really enjoy both hunts. Your record indicates you will make it happen.
Congrats on your incredible luck and best of luck!
 

elkohalic

Member
Messages
45
Congrats on the draw! I've been brushing up on judging moose as well since I drew in Idaho. A wiser man than I said to look at how the antlers leave their head. If they swoop down then start into the palms you are looking at a mature bull. If they come straight out into the palms then it is a younger bull not in his prime.
 

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