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June 09, 2006

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From One End of a Moose to the Other

I recently returned from a spring bear hunt in northern British Columbia. The drive from our hunting camp to Prince George was about 7 hours, so I got a chance to swap war stories with our driver, who was big-game guide and a calf roper. The conversation was pretty good. I learned that he had broken each ankle three times, which made wading unpleasant, but most interesting was his story about the client who shot a retreating bull moose in the butt with a 7mm magnum and a Barnes X-bullet.

According to the guide, the bull showed absolutely no signs of being hit, but ran like hell and vanished. At the client’s insistence, they followed the trail and found the animal dead a couple of hundred yards away.

The conclusion the guide drew was that the 7mm mag (he didn’t say which one) is a lousy cartridge and the X-bullet is a lousy bullet because “…an animal should show some sign of being hit.” When I heard that I suffered a small seizure. If the statement had come from someone who had little or no experience I wouldn’t have flinched, but this guy had hunted a lot.

I’ve seen game of all sizes absorb the most horrendous damage and not even twitch. Any time I get a bullet that will penetrate the length of a bull moose and kill him I will go out and purchase a couple of thousand. And buy the people who make that bullet a beer at the SHOT Show. And maybe build a statue of it right there in the B.C. wilderness.


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Mike Diehl

It'd take a real piece of work to shoot through the south end of a north-bound moose. And that's not meant to be a compliment.


Guides are like the population in general. There are good ones, bad ones, smart ones, dumb ones, and ignorant ones. There is nothing worse than someone who is dumb or ignorant believing they are smart. I've had one guide tell me he used a 280 Remington for elk. Nothing wrong with that. But in the next sentence, he informed me that the 30-06 was worthless as an elk rifle. In same camp, another guide liked that 7mm Rem Mag just fine, but boy, the 7mm STW shoots like a laser out to 600 yards. In both cases you could argue ballistics and the fact that 600 yard shots are just wrong on big game, but it would just fall on deaf ears.


Sure sounds like a lousy guide. How much did you pay for this sub-par guide and how did the bear hunt turn out?

Stan Harvey

"So Round - So Firm - So Fully Packed"

In answer to your inquiry as to where this phrase comes from (Rifles, F&S, June 2006) there are actually three, not two correct answers:
1. Original is a bluegrass/country/western song written by Merle Travis (1947)
2. The title was picked up by Lucky Strike Cigarettes for their slogan.
3. The third most recognizeable use of this term is from a Daffy Duck (not Bugs Bunny) cartoon titled "Book Revue" (Daffy is dressed as Danny Boy). This last is where I remember the phrase from as Daffy battles the Big Bad Wolf through pun/satires of books, slogans, ads and movies.

Stan Harvey
LSAA, Iraq
APO AE 09391

Dave Petzal

Kelly: Now you're drawing the wrong conclusions. He was a very skillful and hard-working guide, and the hunt was an excellent one, and I killed an attractive bear.
The only down side to the trip was having to listen to country music on Sirius hour after hour. Country music today is somewhere between dreadful and pathetic.

Stan Harvey: Nope, Lucky Strike had the slogan first, and Travis wrote the song second.


Mr. Petzal: The next time you find yourself in that unenviable situation, remember Sirius channel 62 touts itself as classic country. I of course don't know where your tastes lie, but Waylon Jennings beats Tim McGraw any day of the week in my world.

Dave Petzal

Sam: I didn't have much of a choice. He not only listened to that crap, but went through two packs of cigarettes a day and spoke in a wild, jabbering manner. Actually, I go way back beyond Waylon Jennings. Jimmie Wakely. Eddy Arnold. Hank Locklin. Marty Robbins. But not Bob Wills. Anyone who went "Ahhhhhhh haaaaaaaah" every bar should have been smacked across the mouth with a steel guitar.

Capt Walt

Ill have to try a few of those Bullets on Moose here in Maine.

Too bad about the Music. I like both types: Country and Western.

Capt Walt
[email protected]

Gerald Keller

I can attest to the effects of the Barnes Triple-shock bullet.I used a 280 Ackley two years ago in Newfoundland and used 140 gr.bullets.The first shot took the top of the heart off,but I could't see that from where I was and the moose was still on it's feet.The second passed through and broke the off side leg.Both slugs ended up in the trees behind the moose.The moose went down at the second shot.I would consider the same load for Elk,though I'd rather a little more bullet weight.

steve thompson

go all the way to b.c then complain about a 'couple hundred more yards' it killed him did'nt it.

mike shickele

number one, the guy that questioned a texas heart shot on a bull moose is totally correct; if you do this, you'd had better have a good reason.
number two, any animal that is moving quickly will likely not show sign of being hit; anyone who has hunted any ammount at all will know this.
number three, if a bullet travels through that much animal,neither the bullet or the cartridge can be faulted.

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