USA: 2 Members First Caribou Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports USA & Canada' started by huntinlabs, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    I'm not going to post the story or any pictures yet because I dont want to steal the thunder of @lil 2 sleepy or @dailordasailor but I will say all hunters were successful they got some nice bulls and one hell of a story with it. My wife shot a young bull and I shot a cow. We had a great time and I feel like I made 2 new friends that I hope to share future hunting trips with.
     

  2. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    Actual report:



    Picked them up from the airport saturday morning at around 1 am and got back to my house and everyone settled in for a quick 5 hour sleep before waking up and getting coffee going. They packed their hunting packs met my wife and kids and we discussed how I hoped the hunt would go. Then loaded up in the truck for the 2 hour drive. The way up was pretty uneventful with one caribou being spotted. We pulled off the road they made sure they were on and we continued the drive.



    We finally got camp set up and started the scouting day. We drove up the mountains I normally hunt and there were people everywhere! I'm talking camps on top of camps. It was raining so we headed back to camp for a snack and to discuss what to do.



    While at camp I was talking about going to my back up spot when @lil 2 sleepy spotted a nice herd about a mile or 2 away accros the road. After looking at them through the spotting scope the clouds set in on them we figured we were the only ones to see them so we decided to make a move on them when the rain ended and see if we could actually find them. After the rain we loaded up in the side by side and took off. we got to the top of the mountain and heard there were a bunch of caribou in the area so the plan was made to wake up at 3am and come back. We were all so tired that night no one even ate a proper dinner lol



    Hunting day:


    3am alarm goes off we fire up the jet boil and get some instant coffee in us. Discuss how to get to the top of the mountain since someone said there was an easier way and we decided to try that. (Wrong decision) we take off and try to go the easy way. After about 4 hours of fighting almost knee deep muskeg going straight up we finally hit a spot where we decided it was no longer safe to continue and turned around to head up the other trail. On the way down I broke a sensor on my side by side so it would know only do 10mph. We finally make it up the trail and ran into a herd of cows. I ask them if they mind if I shot one and they agreed. My shots were way off but I finally got the job done (my scope mounts worked loose on my gun at some point). @dailordasailor seen a bull he might be interested in so we were discussing it when a small bull came over the top. My wife shot that one and then we were off chasing the bull of interest. After looking him over he wasnt what he wanted so we went back to take care of the dead ones.



    Once we got the caribou gutted and loaded we continued on to the very top where we wanted to be. The plan was to get there and sit down for lunch and relax a little bit and start the wait for more herds to come through. As soon as we started heating up our mountain houses I looked accross a saddle and seen a small herd with 2 big bulls in it. We decided they needed a better look and the race down the mountain was on to try to head them off.



    I'll stop there because I don't want to ruin another report
     
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  3. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    :A Popcorn:
     
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  6. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Enjoying the photos. Looking forward to more.
     

  7. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Great photos and stories of a grand trip. Next installment?
     

  8. lil 2 sleepy

    lil 2 sleepy AH Senior Member

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    Logan has a done a better job of laying out the pre-game than I could have. That means I just get to talk about the fun/after party.

    I have been blessed to have been pretty successful with my harvests, but the actual animal on one of these excursion type hunts is actually far behind the experience. If I can live my outdoor life with the experiences of my bucket list even more than the animal, I’ll be more than happy.

    As Logan stated, we spotted the bou off at 5-600 yards and realized we had to make a move. We were cooking a breakfast, and it resulted in us leaving the mountain house on the mountain. Sliding down the rock face, made me think that I'm older than I used to be, and the face planting might not be a best case. The actually shooting scene happened so fast, it wasn't even a thought. We got to a rock ledge and began setting up. I tossed Logan the rangefinder and they were already 350 and closing. I cranked 2 MOA on the scope. Logan said 273 and I shot the one on the left. Down he went. Shot was a little high but a quick finish ended mine. Dale and I were a little crossed up on the animals, as they switched places and we were both on the same animal. It ended up working out great, and he closed the deal on the other 3-4 secs later. Funs over...time to work.

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    I never had to clean and pack them out on my back before. That put into perspective how much I am not in shape. The muskeg you walk on in the tundra is 10 times worse than the rocky surfaces. It just drains the life out of you in 15 steps. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future endeavors.




    Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with caping animals, vacuum packing the meat so we could fly it home, and some site seeing. I’ve never had to actually cape any animals 100%. Ive always taken big animals to a taxidermist or had someone else handle it. I was happy to give it a go on my on, but Dale volunteered his as the guinea pig. He wasn’t sure if he wanted a Euro, or a full shoulder. Honestly it couldn’t have gone any better. I’m glad I did it, so now it is always in the arsenal
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    If you are in North Pole Alaska at Santa’s House, you have to go in and see what he is saying about your kids. We thought about leaving a few reindeer hooves in the parking lot, but figured it would give us a bad wrap with the big man.

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    We also went into an ole dive bar that was named after a couple people on this site. Old lady with more stories than teeth, I probably contracted a venereal disease just by standing in the parking lot, and $5/beer, but ehh they have a funny sign and website. I was scared to try it out, but if someone wants to try, PM me and I’ll send it over. Also, I’d post pics of the road sign, but I’m not sure of this site’s position on crude humor exactly.


    All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We got to see Alaska, got to take a very nice animal, but most importantly were able to make lifelong friends in the process.

    Tikka .300wsm
    Vortex Viper PST 6x24x50
    Barnes 165 Grain TTSX

    Im sorry for not coming through sooner. The catching up at work and my son’s travel ball has made for longer days.

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  9. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    A whirlwind of a hunt! But it sounds like a grand time! You guys did well and with Logan having the knowledge of where to “punt” to next, it worked out well!

    I’ve been to Alaska 5 trips of which the first was a 10,000 mile driving experience. Each was unique and all were grand experiences! I can only hope everyone here has the same opportunities I have had!

    Thanks guys for sharing another unique experience!
     

  10. dailordasailor

    dailordasailor AH Veteran

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    Well now I look like the A Hole. I’ll put something together at work tomorrow.

    I’ll throw up the restaurant sign as well for any interested
     
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  11. lil 2 sleepy

    lil 2 sleepy AH Senior Member

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  12. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Dale why are you always bringing up the rear?
     

  13. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

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    Great report! I’ve been dreaming of doing a caribou hunt for a few years.

    I especially like the kids getting to be involved.

    Thanks for posting.
     

  14. dailordasailor

    dailordasailor AH Veteran

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    My trip started a day sooner then the rest of the guys in an odd way. I flew from Myrtle to Dallas for an interview on that thursday. Got back to Myrtle beach at 9pm and had to rapidly pack my bags for alaska and make sure didnt leave anything on my list. Left the house friday morning at 7am to meet Ethan (sleepy) in Charleston so could combine the rifles into one case. Turns out my wife worried for no reason and Ethan was indeed not a murderer and the next 15 hours were spent in airports/on planes.


    Cut to the shooting-


    As Ethan and Logan said, we made a mad sprint to intercept the caribou we saw on the opposite hill side. I left perfectly good Mountain-house eggs cooking as we took off. We dropped down some serious shale slides on our way down in a sprint/shuffle down the hill. With gun in one hand I did my best to keep balance and gun shielded incase couldnt keep footing, luckily the three of us made it to a decent shooting spot undamaged.


    I lost the coin toss at camp for first shot so it was up to Ethan to pick which bou he wanted. We were both prone at about 300yds with them walking kind of towards us and to the right. I had told Logan from the beginning I can’t shoot for crap with a countdown and had decided I would take what shot was available once the dust settled from Ethans bou. Ethan called for the front animal so I settled on the second in line. We were going to be shooting for 300yds. I hear a gunshot and then see the bou in my scope drop. It became a short cluster fudge after that. I pick my head up and see the other big caribou is trotting closer. I cant remember if Logan yelled or the bou just stopped to check things out but I shot for 300 and apparently went over him. Luckily he didn’t move but 20 yards forward. Logan yells out “173 yds” I shoot and the caribou falls hard. We officially had two great caribou on the ground and everyones excited. Unfortunately in the excitement of seeing them from the hill top none of us grabbed our packs and my pack had my tag in it. I headed back up the hill too grab our three bags and the kids to come check out the animals. Turns out, that hill is WAAAAY worst going up. I stupidly try to run up it just long enough to be humbled by the muskeg. When finally make it to the top I see Logan’s wife(Kodi) and Kids headed down the hill on the four wheeler. I grab the three bags and try to strap them to each other and head back down the hill. By the time I get to the bottom, the four wheeler had made it and was picture time with Ethans bou. They are even more stunning in person! After photos we head over to see mine and finally get chance put hands on what turned out to be a real fat caribou with a great set of antlers. I then see that my first shot must have went over his back (100 yds closer then I thought) and the second shot was still little higher then planned (wanted high shoulder) but definetly did the job. After photos it was time for “guttin and gillin”.

    It became obvious Caribou are substantially larger then whitetail when the cutting started. Cant thank Ethan and Logan enough for the great help on cutting mine up. Logan took two trips up with the four-wheeler so we were lucky enough to only be stuck with my hide and antlers. We had cut the hide extra long which didn’t help the weight while trying to climb what seemed to be a never ending hill. Upon finally getting to the top my knees were happy to drop the pack.

    We shoe horned 4 caribou into the side x side and slowly crept back to camp.


    As Ethan said, we had an amazing trip of tourism after the hunt was over as well. Had opportunity to “meet” an Alaskan State trooper, see an Alaskan court house, go to a old biker bar in hills, meet the real Santa, do typical nick nack shopping, eat some great food, and just had a great time.

    After two days of seeing the area we were off to the airport at 11pm. We were VERY pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone at Fairbanks airport was and we ended up checking 5 bags between the two of us for free…


    Overall the trip was FAR better than expected and can’t thank our host enough for the hospitality. They cooked multiple meals, showed us the town, and treated us like family. I look forward to hunting with everyone again at some point, hopefully sooner than later.

    In conclusion, I got the job in Dallas. Have a great caribou in the freezer, saw the beautiful state of Alaska and made great friends that I know I will see again. Cant ask for much more.


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  15. dailordasailor

    dailordasailor AH Veteran

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    IMG_5437.jpg Originally owned by "Skinny". Bar with a gift shop full of puns
     

  16. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Really enjoyed your hunts!

    Thanks for sharing your memories.
     

  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great generosity and what a collaboration!
    Well done.

    Congratulations everyone.
     

  18. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Really glad to hear you guys had such a good trip. There isn't much better then sharing a camp with like minded people, making new friends and memories to last a lifetime. Congrats!
     

  19. David AK 53

    David AK 53 New Member

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    One of Alaska’s finer establishments!
     
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