Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Alaskan Caribou - Santa Approved!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,045

    Default Alaskan Caribou - Santa Approved!!

    Earlier this year I went to Argentina and crossed a pretty big bucket list item off the list. It was a ton of fun, and got my blood pumping for something else to hunt this year. I was debating burning elk or mule deer points, DIY mule deer or elk OTC, or something different.
    I was trying to make a quick decision and decided to answer a hunt invite post on a different website. The guy on the site had posted some pretty good caribou Kills over the years. I really didn’t know that it would go anywhere to start with, but we started discussing the possibility of trying to hunt together. We discussed all the particulars of the hunt, the flights, licenses, camping, but most importantly we got to become friends.

    On the hunt, my new friend Logan and his family would be there, as well as another new friend from SC named Dale. Dale and I got together and planned our flights into Fairbanks. It seems like every time I want to go on a hunt, flights have to be half way around the world. This time things actually went really smoothly, but long flights still suck no matter how you shake it.

    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.

    We landed in Fairbanks at 1230 on Saturday morning. Logan picked us up at the airport and after a few minutes we were off to grab a couple of hours of sleep. Up at 6am and ready to get things together to roll out. Loaded the truck and trailer and started the 2 hour ride out Into the tundra.

    IMG_1788.jpg

    We set up camp along an active mining road. These cats are still pulling gold out of these areas and are pretty damn serious about it. You can pretty much drive around to hunt wherever you want around the claims, but I think if you had a shovel you might end up as a “casualty”.

    The season opens on Sunday in this area, and since it is drive-in, you have a good bit of other folks on the area. Scouting for a spot really has more to do with getting away from the crowds than the animals. Caribou move at a 10-12mph pace all day long and don’t have much of a pattern. They eat on the move and boy can they move.


    With all that said, the first spot we checked out had more people than caribou. Last year most of the good bulls were taken in this area, so the word got around and everyone had the same idea. It was pretty obvious very quickly that we had to find a different spot. We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get off of the beaten path and back to an area where there were less folks.

    We found a small trail that lead back to a pretty open area. The elevation change going into this area was pretty interesting on a side by side. I am used to riding in the mud and through the trees, not up Nir sheer walls of rock. We found a location that we thought looked pretty good and didn’t have a ton of people. In fact the only person that I talked to up there actually went to the Citadel and graduated with a guy that used to work for us. It’s a small world even that far away from home.

    IMG_1813.jpg


    IMG_1822.jpg

    We got to talking for a while, and as part of the conversation he told us of an “easy” way into the area. We did a little research and it looked to be a definite upgrade, the problem was that we only checked the first half out. That would end up biting us in the butt at 5am.

    Despite being extremely tired, sleeping at camp was not particularly easy. In Alaska this time of year, its daylight until 11pm and daylight again at 3am. Also, while not really a problem, it got into the 30s at “night”. Anyway, we were up at 4 and off to our spot. We made the call to go the “easy” route. Sometimes in life the ole saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is exactly right. We fumbled the route and ended up cutting up the hill way too soon and ended trying to scale a 30% grade for 2 hours without success. We made the call to backtrack an hour and go the way we knew.

    Image-1.jpg

    As soon as we crested the first set of hills on our known route, we started to see caribou, and people. We decided to start glassing before we reached the top because, well its hunting, not riding. Logan and Kodi both have shot caribou in the past, and they were mainly looking to get some caribou meat in the freezer. Within the first 20 mins we had done just that, and their two caribou were on the ground. Both caribou proved these animals can suck up some serious lead.

    After dressing out the first two Caribou, we made the call to get up to the highest peak in the area and start to glass again. We ran into my citadel buddy who had just shot a really nice caribou. He had spent the whole night on the hill under a tarp at his 4 wheeler. He had really earned his first, as it was in the low 30s with wind an one hella rain storm. We talked for a few minutes and he told us that everyone he had seen go over the next ridge had come back. As we were cooking breakfast and discussing this, a herd of about 30 animals appeared in a gap on the hill we were watching. In the group were two pretty good bulls, both we could see from 5-600 yards off. They played the game, and moved down into the draw below us and gave us the angle on them.

    I left my mountain house on the mountain, and we hauled ass down the vertical rocks. As we were hurrying all I could think of was tumbling face first off these damn things and having a fun hunt end totally differently. We quickly got into place and immediately I had my bull at 300 yards. Quick turret click and boom. My buddies bull was shot at 175 and his shot was what seemed like 2 seconds after mine. Just like that by 1230 on opening day, our hunting was all done.

    IMG_1877.jpg

    IMG_1837.jpg

    IMG_1846.jpg

    IMG_1849.jpg

    IMG_1853.jpg

    IMG_1881.jpg

    The work however had just started...….

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Florence, SC
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Very nice!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    charleston
    Posts
    6,005

    Default

    Friggin Awesome- caribou are no longer the easy hunt they once were- congrats on your hunt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    North Kackalacky
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Congratulations! That's an awesome experience.
    Vegetarian: Native American for Piss Poor Hunter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Probation
    Posts
    9,217

    Default

    Damn right!
    Quote Originally Posted by BOG View Post
    Tip:
    Although it is natural for you and seems to be out of your hands, try to suppress your natural inclination towards dumbassedness and do some research of your own.I wish you luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    5,721

    Default

    A very cool hunt and a bucket list hunt for me.


    You didn’t happen to bring any of that 30 degree weather back with you by chance?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    424

    Default

    Very nice


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    169

    Default

    Awesome! That was one of my favorite experiences of living in Alaska. Saving up to go up there again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fair Play
    Posts
    1,142

    Default

    That's awesome. Great experience and story.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Summerville
    Posts
    11,599

    Default

    Heck of a trip. Congrats

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Moncks Corner
    Posts
    12,125

    Default

    :Jealous:
    Ephesians 2 : 8-9



    Charles Barkley: Nobody doesn't like meat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Spartanburg
    Posts
    4,350

    Default

    Awesome!! They are a big bag of guts.
    HRCH Will-do's Get Back Jo-Jo MH (Jo-Jo)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Salt
    Posts
    3,036

    Default

    Awesome trip? So what's next on the bucket list?
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    I'll shoot over a kids head in a blind or long gun one on a turkey in a heart beat. You want to kill stuff around me you gonna earn it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    MUN-row, NC
    Posts
    3,260

    Default

    Frickin' awesome.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pawleys Island
    Posts
    30,262

    Default

    Awesome trip, congrats on the harvest.
    Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal? I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.


    You might take out a dozen before they drag you from your home and skull fuck you to death. Marsh Chicken 6/21/2013

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clarendon County
    Posts
    6,572

    Default

    Awesome, thanks for sharing!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    'Down in the Holler', SC
    Posts
    11,309

    Default

    Great story and Congrats!
    .
    Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue
    .
    "Keep your powder dry, Boys!"
    ~ George Washington

    "If I understood everything I said I'd be a genius." ~ 'Unknown'

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Charleston
    Posts
    1,826

    Default

    enjoyed reading this
    "Check your premise." Dr. Hugh Akston

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    33,643

    Default

    that'll do!

    Congrats
    Ugh. Stupid people piss me off.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    I’ve cleaned hundreds of animals in the past, and have even quartered some in the field, but 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.

    Inkedf92060db-39eb-4640-b42b-53961edbd72b_LI.jpg

    We spent all afternoon Sunday, packing out animals and quartering them up. Broke down camp on Monday and headed into Fairbanks, with the only delay being pulled over by the State Trooper. In Alaska the State Troopers are the game wardens, so he was interested in the Caribou not traffic laws.

    IMG_1912.jpg

    Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with caping animals, vacuum packing the meat so we could fly it home, and some site seeing.

    IMG_1910.jpg

    IMG_1921.jpg

    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.

    IMG_1946.jpg


    IMG_1935.jpg

    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 int eh parking lot, and $5/beer, but ehh they have a funny sign and website. I was scared to try it, but one of you type in skinnydicks.net and tell me what you get.

    ed83c888-afa6-4dc0-a268-955f22718148.JPG

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •