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Thread: Finally My First Bow Kill!

  1. #1
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    Default Finally My First Bow Kill!

    2 years and 3 Haul Road trips later, it finally happened. My brother Jack (16), and I (19) went on our first caribou hunt together alone. We left Palmer at 10am on Saturday August 4th and got to Happy Valley at 4am. We saw a few caribou around Toolik Lake that night but decided to drive further north because thats where I had seen the majority of them the year before. On Sunday we drove all the way up to Deadhorse just to see what was up that way and it turned out to be nothing so we went back down and set up camp near Toolik River. Over the next couple days we saw a lot of caribou and tried many tactics to try and stick one. Stalking didnt work, intercepting didnt work, and hiding in the ditch wasnt working. We saw a lot of people using the ditch tactic and talked to a lot of people who said that was a great way to get one so we were willing to give that more of a shot seeing how we were both looking for our first bow kill, and willing to shoot anything, not just big bulls. On Wednesday it all started coming together. We saw 4 MONSTER bulls pop up behind our camp and start heading towards the road. We were in shock. The bulls were huge and there were no people to be seen. We couldnt believe that we had these animals for ourselves and nobody was around to see them. I quickly had my brother drop me off in the ditch where I thought they were going to cross and set up. I took a peek over the road and saw them heading straight for me! But could this go so perfect? Of course not. A semi came barreling by right then and I still thought this might just happen still! I heard the hooves clicking and got ready! 176 yards. When the semi went by, they changed course a little bit. I watched those bulls, one being the biggest caribou I have ever seen anywhere trot away and never even see me. I was a little ticked but still was ready to keep going. We drove down towards Toolik Lake where we saw a group of 7 decent bulls and 8 cows with some calves heading towards the road about half a mile off. I thought to myself, "could this be happening again? 2 groups crossing in less than 30 minutes and I have them all to myself?" I jumped into the ditch and waited. Once again I heard the hooves clicking and watched them cross right in front of me, perfect broad side shots and had no idea I was there. 96 yards. And just like the last group, they changed course just at the last minute and went a little to far off from me. So I went back to the truck and started driving again when quickly we saw a group of 2 bulls, 2 cows with a calf each. They too were heading towards the road. This time I had my brother drive past them about 25 yards and had him drop me there. I quickly hid behind a bush and ranged 2 big rocks, 10 and 27 yards away. Time was going so slow, would this be it finally? Click, click, click, the cows and calves crossed, 10 YARDS! "Finally I'm close!", I thought. Suddenly a cow stopped and stared at me. "Im busted, nothing will go right", ran through my head and then she turned and kept walking by me. As soon as she started walking again, I peeked over on the road and saw nothing but racks coming my way! I got my release clipped and my heart was pounding! They crossed and stepped down right at the 27 yard rock and I stood up and drew back. 30 yard pin behind the shoulder, WACK!!! I smoked the bigger of the 2 bulls! Blood instantly spraying out, I didnt know what to do! I threw my hands in the air and ran up onto the road jumping and screaming with joy. My brother was 100 yards down the road yelling " DID YOU HIT HIM? DID YOU HIT HIM?" he turned and saw the bull drop 75 yards from where I shot him and knew what had just happened. We ran towards eachother screaming and jumping and hugged eachother. Someone had been watching this all unfold and drove up and said it was the most heart warming thing he had ever seen. We had a quick chuckle and then quickly grabbed the tools and knives and went to see our trophy. I was so proud of the shot when we walked up. It hit heart and lung and the Rage broad head did its job. The bull was down and out in 30 seconds from when I shot him. It was amazing how quick it all unfolded. Both me and my brother have killed caribou with rifles but my dad was with us and did the cleaning. It was time to put what we had seen him do to the test and do it ourselves for the first time. We got him all gutted and cut up in an hour and a half and we were back on our way to camp. My brother had 4 chances while hunting but never did connect. We met some great people up there and had a trip of a lifetime. I would like to thank all the "seasoned vets" (haha) on this forum for all the posts I have read and learned from. This would never have happened if it werent for this site and all the knowledge I got from spending hours and hours on here researching. It still feels great thinking about what happened and I havent stopped smiling yet! Im hooked for life on bowhunting.

    Nick





  2. #2
    Member ergoman's Avatar
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    Good for both of you! Way to get it done! Great write up and pics as well.

  3. #3
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    Nick,

    Great animal and great story...it's wonderful that you shared the experience with your brother...you'll both remember it for life!! Next trip is your brother's turn. BTW, bowhunting is a wonderful thing to be "hooked" on...for sure!!

    Congrats and enjoy the experience and the boo meat!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  4. #4

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    No matter what the size, your first bow kill is always your biggest trophy! Keep on slinging those sticks and happy hunting!

  5. #5
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Congrats Nick, great story, So will you ever go back to rifle for Caribou, for me its all about the chase and sharing those adventures with other people, Your recap on the memories was great thanks for sharing.

    Rob
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  6. #6

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    Nice job! Very nice job indeed. Great story and great pictures. I especially like the second photo you posted with the light from the sun. Almost looks like the good Lord shining down on you and your brother from up above.

  7. #7
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    Sweet write-up! It got me excited reading it. Nice work and thanks.

  8. #8
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    Congrats Nick!! I'm jealous. Nice arrow penetration. I'm hoping for my first bow kill soon.

  9. #9
    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    I miss hunting with my brother, your post brought back a lot of memories of hunting with my bro. I will be hoping to hunt with him this October. Great story and I was smiling with you. Cherish those memories.

  10. #10

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    First archery kill is unforgettable. Congrats!

  11. #11
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Wow, great story! There is nothing quite like the excitement of getting close to your target while on a hunt. Nice pics, congrats!

  12. #12
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Fantastic! Congratulations on a special hunt. I made a similar mistake though...next time try not to job up and cheer until you are sure your 'bou is down and not getting up. I made that mistake on my first moose, and he ran a long way before I could put a second arrow in him...my bad, and I won't do that again. Looking at your picture you made a Perfect shot! How cool is that!?! Enjoy your steaks this winter
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Great pics and congrats from Colorado,...

  14. #14
    Member AkhuntNfish907's Avatar
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    Default Finally My First Bow Kill!

    Grats this is a nice kill

  15. #15
    Member Take_'em's Avatar
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    Very nice...really like the picture with the sunlight streaming in.

  16. #16
    Member HuntAK59's Avatar
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    GREAT post!! Would have been a great site to see. Glad you're hooked on bowhunting. I LOVE it. I tend to get out a little more with the rifle now, but soon will get back to bow hunting (after I get more alaska big game under my belt)

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the kind comments guys! Still feels great to have gotten the kill. Got the meat back a couple days ago and boy is it good! Now its time to stick a moose and drop some quackers

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