A once-in -a-lifetime chance to watch a bull fight
Members Coop has a new building
by John Grones | October 10, 2006
McGregor resident Frank Huspek didn’t have high
expectations after he received his once-in-a-lifetime moose license. If he saw
a nice small bull, he was going to shoot the first one that came along.
He didn’t, and now he has quite a story to tell.
Frank is part of a group that has been applying for a
license for nine years. The group includes Bill Dean III, Josh Henderson, Brett
Nelson, Kris Rinta, Tony Rinta, Paul Bajda, John Hausner and Jeff Swedberg.
Although some of the guys have already shot their moose,
they enjoy making the trip to help out. This year, Frank and Billy Dean were
picked, and they ended up near Isabella in zone 24. Their goal–to hunt
Minnesota’s largest animal.
Frank’s moose hunt started off slowly. “I got in my tree
stand on Saturday and sat for 12 hours,” said Frank. “I never saw a moose the
whole day. I was getting a little worried.”
Back at camp, the locals shared that when it’s windy and
rainy out, the moose don’t move. “It’s really not a good time to go hunting,”
The next morning Frank’s luck would quickly change. “I
got out to my stand at 6:30,” Frank recalled. “After calling for about a half
hour, I had a moose come in at 7:00. He came up over the ridge and brushed by
my stand. He was bull with one antler. It looked like he had been fighting. His
side was all gored.”
Frank toyed with the bull with a few more calls, but
ultimately chose to pass on the first moose he witnessed in the wild.
“Then about 8:00, I could hear another moose calling. I’d
call. He’d call. He sounded like a freight train coming through the woods. I
could hear the brush cracking. My heart was just racing.”
The moose came just enough over the ridge for Frank to
see the antlers on the bull. “I’d call. He’d answer some more, but he didn’t
come close enough. All of a sudden the antlers disappeared, and he headed to
the back side of the ridge.”
Frank figured he’d never see the moose again.
Then he popped out again about 175 yards away in the
clearing. “I started shooting. On my third shot he dropped to the ground.”
At this point, Frank reached for more bullets in his
pocket, and that’s when things got really interesting. “Out of the blue, here
comes another bull—head down, full steam ahead—and rams my bull. They sounded
like two cars in a crash. They both get up and start fighting. So now my heart
is really racing.”
“I’m kind of worried and scared, so I start loading more
bullets into the gun. I shoot three more times, and he takes a couple of steps
and falls over in the woods. The other smaller bull ran off.”
Frank wisely waited in his stand for another 30 minutes.
Once Frank came down from his adrenaline rush, he ran
down the road and hung his hat on the truck. That was the signal to the other
guys that he got a moose. “Just as I was getting to my truck, Josh [Henderson]
and Brett [Nelson] were just pulling up.”
They all headed out to check out the situation and take a
Frank isn’t sure how much the bull weighed, but the
antler spread was 44 inches. He plans to have the head mounted.
Frank’s two sons, Johnny (8) and James (4), are pretty
proud of their dad. In fact, they’re fighting over where they’re going to hang
the head in the house.
The once-in-a-lifetime moose hunt is just
that—once-in-a-lifetime, and now Frank will get back to chasing the trophy
buck. “I’m one of those guys that is still waiting for the trophy [deer] wall
mount,” he noted. “I still don’t have one that is worthy of hanging on the
wall. Hopefully, this season I will see a nice one.”
That would make 2006 quite a special year.
For now, Frank has a great hunting story to tell at deer
camp. “It’s one of those deals. I don’t know if I will ever top that,” he
concluded. “You don’t realize how big they are until you are standing right
next to one.”
Looking back at the whole hunting experience, Frank
realizes that had he shot the first bull that passed by his stand, he wouldn’t
have a story to tell.
“To be honest, if he would have had matching horns, I
would have probably shot him. Like I said, he only had half a rack, so I let
Good thing. The kids certainly wouldn’t be worried about
where to hang the mount.
This article first appeared in the October 10 issue of
the Voyageur Press.