Maine Bowhunter Drops Bull Moose From Point-Blank Range

by Taylor Cunningham
No release required

After spending days on an unsuccessful moose hunt, one Maine bowhunter managed to find and drop a bull from point-blank just hours before he was due to don a suit and tie for a friend’s wedding.

Hunter Nick Ellis and his father Edwin had embarked on a search in Aroostook County’s Wildlife Management District 6 with only several days to spare before the nuptials. And by day three, the duo had no luck—and only one wandering prospect.

“I put 500 miles, 40 hours, and whatever gas it takes to go out in the woods the past three days, and I saw one bull Monday evening before dark,” he told Bangor News Daily.

With time running out, Nick was frantic to land a bull. so he called his friend Jesse Cote, a registered Maine guide for help. Luckily, Jesse had a free schedule. So he happily joined the adventure.

“He said, ‘I’ll pick you up at 5 o’clock in the morning. I’ll have you a moose in half an hour and I’ll put him in your lap,’” Nick continued.

The guide has a strong reputation in his field. Since 2011, he’s logged 134 successful client hints. And he strengthened that reputation by delivering on his promise to Nick.

Nick, Edwin, and Jesse changed course and headed to a spot in Mapleton early the next morning. Jesse put Edwin and Nick in charge of spotting while he handled the calling.

It didn’t take long for a bull to return the call. So Jesse told the Ellises to hide in a bush and wait for it to come closer.

The Bowhunter Dropped the Bull in Exactly One Half Hour

Before the guys walked into the woods that morning, Jesse had covered them in a gel made from bull urine to hide their scent. So the moose had no pause while searching for the source of the call.

“This one here came in so fast, there was no stopping him at that point,” Jesse said. “Their eyesight sucks, so if you don’t move and if you smell like a moose and sound like a moose, they pretty much think you’re a moose.”

In a video, the bowhunter captured the giant animal bearing down on them while Nick kneeled in some brush. And though he had only just switched from a compound bow to a crossbow, he shot the bull in the right shoulder on the first shot with no scope.

“That, I’ll tell you right now, man, puts a whole new meaning to putting a moose in your lap,” Ellis said

The excitement caused some delay, but Nick quickly realized that he had a mortally wounded, angry bull within feet of him and his father. So he snapped back into action to finish the job before the animal barreled down on one of them.

At 6;45 am, a half hour after the group had gotten out of the truck, they had finished their hunt, just as Jesse Cotes had promised. The bull dressed out at 632 pounds and carried an antler spread of 40 inches. Nick was able to make it to his friend’s rehearsal dinner with time to spare and a solid story to share.