Moose hunting with a red dot sight – when milliseconds make a difference
Moose hunting is perhaps the type of hunting that entices the most hunters to leave behind the comforts of home for a week – or even two. But although there’s a time limit to the moose hunting season, I live with it most of the year. The period before and after the moose hunting season is a very big part of life when you keep elkhounds at home on the farm and need to train them (both physical and mentally), recharge, and also keep up with your own off-season training and target practice.
Important parameters for success
When all the puzzle pieces finally fall into place, your dog is holding the moose at bay, and it’s time to sneak up on your prey, there are many parameters to take into account and much to consider. In that moment, the absolutely crucial factor, first and foremost, is the wind. If you need to make a circumventing movement, always choose the safest variant. It is better to spend time getting as perfect a position as possible in the wind than to take a chance on rushing your shot. For this reason, check the wind carefully and often as you creep up on the moose, because just like your thoughts in these situations, it too can really start spinning where the terrain varies.
Simply put, sneaking up on a moose while a dog is holding it at bay is no easy task. These animals favor dense and tricky spots, so it is important to have patience – and lightning-fast reflexes when a chance presents itself. It’s actually exceedingly common to stand 30 meters (or even closer) from a lone bull, or for that matter a cow with her calf, without even spotting your prey. In these situations, having a red dot sight mounted to your rifle can be the difference between grabbing a chance or missing it, between success or failure.
I’ve been using the Aimpoint Micro H-2 on my Blaser R8 for three years now. I’m one of those hunters who chooses the lowest possible rifle weight when stalking with a dog, this time one with a light butt, barrel and small silencer.
A classic rifle scope can weigh up to 600-700 grams, while the Micro H-2 only weighs just over 100 grams. In other words, it is significantly lighter while also making your rifle easier to handle in rough terrain.
The Aimpoint red dot sight shines
When a dog is holding it at bay, a moose will usually try to retreat into a densely forested area, and it is precisely in this kind of tricky terrain that the Aimpoint sight really shines. Whether you are hunting moose or wild boar, your senses must be razor-sharp. When the chance at a shot arises, it can make all the difference to be able to simply raise your gun, keeping both eyes open, and instinctively take aim and fire. In such moments, seconds, or sometimes even milliseconds, are absolutely crucial.
In my opinion, when you are hunting with a dog and need to keep track of its position in relation to the moose (or, for that matter, to keep track of the cow or calf, if they are involved), a traditional sight is a distraction. The time it takes for your eye to adapt may be enough to miss your chance at a shot or lose sight of your dog.
It’s all in the details – using an Aimpoint sight is often the difference between success and frustration.