The Alaska/Yukon moose is the largest species of the deer family in North America. If the sheer size of their antlers doesn’t impress you, their immense body size will. They are a bucket-list animal for most hunters and live in remote wilderness locations that are hard to access. The remote nature of where these animals live is part of the adventure of hunting them.
I have a moose hunting addiction and have hunted the Alaska/Yukon moose on seven separate occasions. Flying to a remote lake, and living out of small pup tent for a week, is often the only way to make a do-it-yourself hunt feasible. I can still recall one of the hunts into the Yukon when we were drifting down a stretch of productive-looking shoreline on a lake in an inflatable boat. Calling like a lovesick cow, I had become complacent in what I was doing and was startled when the guttural sounds of a mad bull echoed across our bow. The bull sounded like a freight train coming through the trees and erupted out on the shoreline less than 50 yards from where we sat in our not so formidable boat. I shot the bull with a rifle, and the whole hunt was over in a matter of seconds, leaving nothing but work.
My most memorable Alaska/Yukon moose hunting trip was with a muzzleloader. I called a large-antler bull all the way from the top of a mountain down to the lake shore and shot it with a .50 caliber Traditions muzzleloader. Looking back on all my hunts, I am remorseful that I never took a crossbow with me. I am now planning another adventure into the far north but am faced with what most people would call a “first-world problem.”
Do I take my TenPoint reverse draw crossbow or the new Phantom with reversed cam technology? Both have advantages and are compact and light enough to fly in on small planes, but more importantly, have more than sufficient energy to harvest a monstrous bull moose cleanly.
The Carbon Phantom RCX sends arrows off the rail at 385 fps and features a 16-inch power stroke. The bow limbs are under 14-inches wide when cocked, weighs 6.9 pounds and is 35.5-inches in length, making it appealing when weight and space are important.
TenPoint’s first reverse-draw crossbow, the Carbon Nitro RDX, measures just 10 inches between axles when drawn. The 165-pound limbs produce speeds of up to 385 fps, while the 3.5-pound trigger feels like that of a fine rifle. Keeping the overall weight at a manageable 7.8 pounds is the 20-inch carbon fiber-wrapped barrel and polymer stock.
Practicing on some life-sized 3-D targets, I’m trying to weigh the benefits of the reverse draw over reverse cam bows. At this point, it looks like I’ll be taking both and am still unsure of which one I’ll use in the field. Indecision can be hard on a person, but getting a 60-inch bull with a crossbow would let me know the analysis was worth the time and headaches.