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Thread: Caribou extraction

  1. #1
    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Caribou extraction

    We camped about 500 meters down the top of the highest mountain two days prior. Saw a few caribou running around the adjacent mountain mostly in the mid-afternoon and early morning. On opening day, we got up at 0300 and meet another group at 0400. Six of us total. Rode up in a truck to the top and got out to climb down the side through a saddle to the other mountain. About a 1.25 mile trip in the dark and through some rocky areas. I was carrying about 25lbs of gear because I didnít want to be cold sitting over there. Got to my spot (another saddle) and heard a couple of shots across on the other side. It was two of the guys going to their spots. They bagged two right away. Within 5-10 min a bull is running through the saddle. I am still getting settled but see him and grab my shooting stick. It sees me and was angleing towards me but starts to run away at an angle. I get the scope on him and hope he slows down and he does a little so I shoot. Itís a hit however high and back. Close to the spine and blows a hole out of his back. It slows him down but he keeps walking toward the side of the saddle. I shoot again but it appears to miss. I shoot again and it drops him but doesnít kill him. Another high shot at spine. He tries to get up with front legs but canít and keeps throwing his head around banging his antlers on the rocks. It was a 135 yard shot. I get up and walk down to finish him. I shoot him in the juggler with the .44 mag and it gives the killing shot. It is about 0545 and still not all daylight. I get plenty of pictures and then gut him and saw as far as I can into the antlers with my saw. Will need another saw to finish it due to the angle. Got his legs propped open with my shooting stick. I mark the area with orange and walk back to the drop-off point another 1.25 miles and since the truck is gone I walk back to camp 500 meters down. Get to camp and get the 4 wheeler ready. I ride down the side of the hill and through the mud swamp mess left by atvs on the trail. Then ride back up the side of the mountain all the way to the saddle I was hunting. Pretty much a straight up ride. Scary at times and about 2 miles. Mostly in 4 wheel drive low gear. I only wore a t-shirt thinking that I will be hot doing all this work. I make it to the caribou and finish cutting the antlers off with my saw and then cut the head off and cut the body in half. It starts to hail and continues getting worse. Getting pretty wet and cold in my t-shirt. Gotta respect Alaska. I drag the caribou halfs about 10 yards to the atv and then throw up the bodies on each rack. Very heavy, probably around 120lbs each. I can barely do it and knew that I would only get about 1-2 tries before my energy is spent lifting that. I strap them down with the gear and antlers. It is cold since Iím wet. I drive across the saddle rocky area and proceed to go down. This is tiring and a little scary but must keep it straight as possible because angleing gets a nice side lift that I donít want. I almost roll twice going around curves and rocky muddy areas in the trail. I make it down and into the low ground and proceed to go back up toward camp. The ATV stalls on a bad rise in the trail with rocks and mud. The worst area of the whole trail. Canít get it to start so I walk in to get help. Another 300 meter walk up to the camp. Friends bring me back down and I figure out what happened. The ATV is good again (engine kill switch was hit). Iím glad that is all it was but I had to suffer a hump for it. Make it back to camp and start the skinning / quartering process. First time on a caribou so it takes a while. Finally get done and it is about 10:30 at night. Got all the meat in game bags and will head out in the morning to get to my moose hunting area. Drop the meat at the processor enroute. Incredibly tired and sore but what an adventure and definitely the most exhausting extraction of game that I have ever had. Did it all myself with the exception of the ride back to the atv. Very rewarding experience of course it takes a few days to enjoy it fully.
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  3. #3
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    Looks like fun, and the meat is fat

    Good job!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Nice bull OneBeer

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    Quote Originally Posted by L_Sheets View Post
    Nice bull OneBeer
    That hunt was good brother and I like the native name.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Very nice - glad you were able to keep the "wheels" pointed down!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Very nice - glad you were able to keep the "wheels" pointed down!
    Yes me to, wheels pointed down and antlers jabbing me in the back. a lot of lessons learned. good times!

  8. #8
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Looks like you hit that one pretty far back - perhaps a low light, running shot was not the wisest choice.

  9. #9
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Here we go...

    Congrats on the bou. Whatcha shootin?

  10. #10
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    Shooting a 300 Remington, 200 grain (might see a bear). Light was good in the scope no problem however stationary would have been preferred. Either shoot or let the guys below in the valley kill him. Either way it was his day to feed someone. I'm glad it was me.

  11. #11
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Here we go...
    Couldn't help myself. Had a rough morning.

  12. #12
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    Couldn't help myself. Had a rough morning.
    Not at all directed at you.

    That was more of a 'buckle up"' reference for myself...

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