This story was originally published in September 2019.
Do you speak moose? If you’re a Mainer (or if you want to pretend that you are), knowing how to talk to a moose ought to be a required skill.
Today, I’ll tell you how you can channel your own inner moose. Watch the video (and read below). Then practice your moose calling in the office. Your coworkers will love it. Trust me.
Now then, here’s all you have to do to make a nearly passable bull grunt: First, take your index fingers and push them down on the outside of your nose, as if you’re squishing your nostrils shut. I find that gives the call a more nasal quality. Important? Hmm. Have you ever seen the snout on a moose? They’re pretty nasally critters, I figure.
Next, say this word. “Urh.” No. Really say it. “URH!” (Some folks say there ought to be an “M” sound at the beginning of the grunt, so I guess you could spell that word “MURH.” That would work, too.)
OK. You can let go of your nose now. You’re an official moose-caller. Or something like that.
Before you fill up my in-box with critiques on my moose-grunting style, let me beat you to the punch. I know there are far better moose callers out there. I’m not trying to show you how good I am at this. Instead, I’m hoping you’ll show your kids how easy it is to talk like a moose, and that you’ll let ‘em give their new skills a test run some time soon.
One quick warning: Be careful. The resulting stampede of moose responding to your calls can be dangerous.
Another warning: Although I can speak moose, I’m not particularly fluent. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what I’m saying. And when you’re talking to 1,000-pound animals, there’s a big difference between saying “Hey, buddy! Come on over here and taste these branches! They’re scrumptious!” and saying, “Hey, ugly! I’m over here putting the moves on your girlfriend! Wanna fight?”
Legendary Maine guide Dan Legere once gave me a moose-calling tip that I’ve always kept in mind when I’ve been trying to lure a bull within range of a camera or a rifle. Legere said that it’s important to understand that making a call that sounds like another bull moose can have some pretty serious ramifications.
If you make a cow call, a bull is going to think there’s a cow around, and he’ll come prancing across the clearcut with love in his heart, Legere told me. And if you make a bull call, he’s apt to come charging out of the woods looking to brawl.
And all he’ll see is you.