Photo courtesy of The Missoulian
Marylee Moreland came to the sport of bowhunting late in life. She didn’t pick up a bow until she was 68. Since then she’s been hard at work arrowing everything she can: a Canadian black bear, a whitetail, and in October, at the age of 73, a heavy-racked moose in Montana.
Moreland had applied for the tag for three years, with steep odds each time: In 2014, her hunting area in south-central Montana had 700 applicants vying for four bull tags.
Moreland made the fateful shot Oct. 26 after 13 days of hunting. She and her husband, Gary Temple, started out sitting in tree stands, with Temple attempting to call in a shooter. After a few weeks of hunting Mondays and Thursdays to avoid other hunters, the couple decided to hit the ground and stalk within range of a bull.
They spotted one at 75 yards but couldn’t get closer. It moved off and they figured the hunt was over, but Temple had left his video camera back at the tree stand. On the way to retrieve it, Moreland spotted the bull again at 100 yards.
The two began making their way closer, with Temple hanging back to call the bull past Marylee and her bow. She ranged the moose at 55 yards and moved closer. When she took the shot she told The Missoulian she had no sense of adrenaline or anxiety — it was all business for the confident archer.
The bull green-scored an impressive 319 1/8 inches by the Safari Club International scoring system; it scored 128 6/8 Pope and Young. She is the only woman to have ever shot a record moose in Montana.
What makes her story even more impressive than her age or her bull is her draw weight: Moreland killed the moose with a single arrow shot from a 40-pound compound bow.
The couple has decided to have the moose taxidermied into a full-body mount for their home.