LINNEUS, Maine — There are many ways to bag a moose in northern Maine, but nearly all of them involve calling the animals out of the woods.
The reasons for calling them out can differ. Although there are lots of hunters scouting for moose in anticipation of the final week of the annual hunt, some people just want to see a moose.
Such was the case for Ted Russell and his daughter Lyndsay Russell of Linneus on Oct. 9, when they successfully called several moose out of the Haynesville Woods using items nearly everyone has in their households.
There are plenty of methods hunters and others employ to draw moose out of the woods, from a variety of traditional moose calls including fiberglass, birch bark and electronic calls to plain old good luck. Two tin cans and some wet string proved just as effective for the Russells to attract the beasts.
Russell is an experienced hunter who shot a moose in 2007 after using an electronic call, but this expedition with his daughter was all about photographing wildlife.
“I enjoy hunting with a camera as much as a gun,” he said.
Ted Russell fashioned the homemade moose call from two coffee cans duct-taped together in the shape of a long cylinder. He then poked a hole in the cans, which he threaded with a string. He learned the method from a friend’s father.
“When you want to call with it, soak the string in water and gently pull down the string with your thumb and pointer finger and it imitates the sound of a cow moose in heat,” Russell said.
The coffee cans were effective in drawing out moose early that morning. First a small bull moose arrived, followed by two cows, one of which had visible frost on its back.
“We heard more grunting coming from the woods, called a couple more times, then the big one came out,” Russell said. “We were amazed. I’ve called moose out before but that was one of the biggest ones.”
Russell said he estimated the bull to be more than 1,000 pounds with close to a 60-inch spread on his antlers.
Lyndsay Russell, 20, photographed the moose with a camera purchased for her highschool photography class.
Other wildlife photos the father/daughter duo have captured in the Haynesville woods include deer, bears, turkeys, porcupines and a spruce grouse.
“We enjoy being out with nature, what Maine has to offer and quality family time,” Ted Russell said.