Moose Hunt with NORMA - a memorable hunt in Sweden
Sweden, a top-tier destination on many hunters' and travelers' bucket lists. How lucky was I to be able to join the wonderful Team NORMA in Sweden on the hunt for moose.
Moose Hunt preparations and arrival in Sweden
Sometime in August, I was pleasantly surprised to be notified by the NORMA Team that I was one of the two extremely fortunate hunters that won the online contest to join the hunt. How excited I was! The following weeks, throughout my days, I spent any free time I had researching Sweden, moose, and everything in between. I immersed myself more into NORMA, and the more I found out, the more I looked forward to getting on a plane and just getting there already.
Halfway through September; counting down the days and the luggage is already packed, only a few days more to go, and I will be in Sweden.
NORMA Factory Tour and Insights
Fast forward a few days later, my flight has arrived in Oslo. The following morning, I was picked up by the unmistakable car with the big letters; NORMA MOOSE HUNT 2023. I was driven directly to the ammunition factory in Åmotfors. There I was introduced to the NORMA ambassadors, who I joined for a factory tour. I was given some amazing insights into how NORMA manages to refine the raw materials like brass, copper, lead... into the precision NORMA ammunition I was familiar with.
As I have only been hunting for 3 years, I already have learned quite a bit about calibers and rifles. Still, to actually learn how the individual components of the ammo are created, assembled, and eventually how they perform, was a very valuable insight for me, which has led to a greater understanding of some of the most essential materials I work with as a hunter. The day ended with the closing of the circle, from creation to the utilization of the bullet at the shooting range. It was my first time on a shooting range where the target moved. And definitely the first time where my target was shaped like a moose.
Moose Hunt with NORMA Day 1
After an amazing breakfast and further introductions to everyone involved, we got in the cars and drove to the hunting grounds, where the magic would happen! Katherine (the other winner) and I walked to our stands together where at some point she stopped at her stand, and I walked on to the next one.
Right there, not even 10 minutes after actually stepping foot in the beautiful Scandinavian forest, I got blessed by the sight of a big capercaillie who flew right above me. Could have been a movie scene. When arriving at the stand I spent a few minutes preparing everything, so I would be completely ready for anything that passed. But let me tell you; I was in fact not ready when it did.
Not even 20 minutes after sitting down, behind me in the bushes, I heard what I thought to be a small animal like a fox passing behind me at around 50m. I could not see it, but I was surely not expecting a 300+ kilo animal to be that quiet, so the idea of a moose left my thoughts. However; as it turns out, it really was a moose, appearing less than a minute later on my left. A six-point bull came out at around 120 meters and stopped directly between Katherine’s stand and me. Perfectly broadside. I debated whether to shoot or not, and knowing that the shot would be risky towards Kathrine and unethical from such a distance with driven hunt sights, I chose not to. No regret felt. Just gratitude for seeing this giant, yet majestic deer species for the first time in my life.
There I sat on my stand, starstruck for the next fifteen minutes, thinking about what I had just witnessed. Only for my thoughts to be interrupted by the barks of an approaching dog. I thought to myself; all right the Bull is back, and I started waiting for the antlers to appear from behind the hill. The antlers never did appear, but a cow, followed by her calf and the dog, did. As the three of them stopped at around 50 meters in front of me, I attempted to take a shot at the calf. However, it appeared to be glued to the mother's side, and yet again an ethical shot was not presented. As the dog pushed on, the moose did as well, approaching within 10 meters in front of me and scaring the hell out of me as I feared the protective instincts of the mother would kick in. Luckily, as she finally saw me, the cow calmly went to the sides and went in the direction of my neighboring hunter.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about what I had been lucky enough to witness in those beautiful moments at the stand.
Moose Hunt with NORMA Day 2 and Reflections
On day two, I earned myself the nickname “Moose magnet” as within the first 20 minutes of the drive, I looked up as I was sitting by on stand to be greeted by the eyes of yet another beautiful moose, this time a young cow. But as there were no tags for cows, I could take my time to enjoy the moment to the fullest. No camera, no gun aimed. Just me and her in the Scandinavian forest. Having been lucky enough to witness not one or two, but four moose, and a capercaillie, really sparked an interest and admiration for the north, towhere I will definitely return in the future.
The hunt itself was undoubtedly an extremely fortunate and amazing experience. But without any doubt, it’s the company and the people I was surrounded with that I will remember the most from this trip. Every single moment of the trip, I was surrounded by kindness and hospitality shown by the exceptionally remarkable people. The NORMA Ambassadors and the NORMA Team; Extremely knowledgeable people, each an expert in their field chosen to represent NORMA as the embodiment of the principles and values contained within the unique character of the NORMA brand.
Being surrounded by these people really made the experience once-in-a-lifetime for me. All I can do is thank everyone involved for the opportunity that was given to me by this amazing team and treasure the memories made. But besides a place in my memories, NORMA has really found a place in my heart.
Returning to Scandinavia is inevitable for me, given the experiences NORMA has gifted me and the interest it has sparked. However, it will have to wait a bit. My upcoming trips will be to France in February for roe deer hunting, and later on, I will discover the elusive Chinese water deer and muntjac in England. A lot of uncertainties are involved in these trips. The only thing that's for sure is which bullets I will be bringing!
/Yannick Geens. Find out more about Yannick by visiting his Instagram here
Are you new to moose hunting too? Have a look at these tips before you head out on your first moose hunt!