Hunt location: Alaska Range
Cartridge: .270 Winchester
More than 20 years’ experience hunting at his family’s Alaska Range moose camp helped David Lorring anticipate how a group of moose would move, putting him in a position to shoot this bull, which has the largest antler spread in this year’s 60-inch club.
David Lorring lives in Kenai, but he grew up in Fairbanks. Like his father Dave Lorring, he’s a pilot, which facilitates access to the family fly-in camp.
When Lorring arrived at camp on Sept. 8 he expected it was going to be a hard hunt this year. It had been a warm fall and the leaves on the trees and shrubs were obscuring the views more than usual for the second week of the hunting season.
The hunt did start slowly.
“Everything we saw disappeared really fast,” he said.
On Sept. 10, Lorring spotted this bull. It was about 2 miles away, but its antlers were clearly visible.
“It was massive, two plywood boards,” he said.
But like the other moose he’d seen this fall, he quickly lost sight of it. He suspects it bedded down.
Three hours passed before Lorring saw it again. Lorring climbed a tree stand and saw the big moose, now accompanied by a 40-inch bull and three cows.
Lorring crept to within about 600 feet of the group of moose. Here’s where he used his knowledge of local topography to anticipate the movement of the moose. He headed down a hill to catch the moose as they made their way down a ravine.
“I know the way that the terrain funnels,” he said. “Every moose we’ve seen pop up in that area usually takes that route.”
The moose came in his direction as he’d hoped, but the smaller ones around the bull were in the way. As they got closer, he worried they’d catch his scent.
“I thought I was busted because the wind starting blowing up the ravine,” he said.
But after about 30 minutes of watching, Lorring saw the bull step enough away from the other moose to take a shot. His first shot hit the heart and lungs, but the moose walked away, traveling about 15 yards. Lorring didn’t want to take any chances with it.
“Due to it being a big moose, I took another shot,” he said.
Hit a second time, the big bull went down.
In this photo Lorring poses with his daughter Rylie Lorring, who went to moose camp for the first time this year.