By Harry Morse, Correspondent
Hunting North America's smallest subspecies of moose remains an intriguing quest. Since I last wrote about Shiras moose for The Hunting Report in 2007
, some premier hunting units in Idaho have cut permits by 40 percent, while the northern panhandle of Idaho along the Canadian border has added permits. Some of Wyoming's finest areas have seen a decline in moose and an increase in wolves. Meanwhile, Shiras trophies from Alberta and British Columbia have taken center stage.
Shiras moose range from lower British Columbia and parts of Alberta through Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and into Colorado. You can hunt Shiras in high mountain valleys early in the season, lowland marshes and riverways during the rut and on snowy mountains in November. Hunts can be as easy as cruising mountain roads on a four-wheeler in BC or Idaho's Caribou National Forest or as challenging as stalking a wall hanger of a bull at 9,000 feet in Wyoming's Hoback Mountains after a five-mile horseback ride in.
Finding an opportunity for a good Shiras bull can be as simple as calling a reputable outfitter in Alberta or BC and booking a hunt. But hunters venturing into Canada for a Shiras trophy need be aware that, while SCI recognizes moose from a lower swath of BC and Alberta as Shiras, B&C considers them Canadian moose and scores them in a different category.
Your other option for a Shiras hunt is to play the Western-states permit game, applying for draw tags or bidding on a Governor's tag in multiple states. A patchwork of state regulations, bonus points and preference points makes drawing a tag as challenging as finding a moose.....