Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Mammoth, Ducks, Moose n Caribou!

  1. #1
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default Mammoth, Ducks, Moose n Caribou!

    Well after hunting last year way up north with my buddy HuntAK59 and the one n only Strangerinastrangeland, we were invited back after totally enjoying ourselves last year with the family of Stranger, the country, and culture he lives in. So I didn't hesitate to confrim to go back up! The buddy HuntAK59 couldn't make this year. So with great hesitation I asked if I could bring my dad and we try for moose. For a couple reasons I hesitated, the villagers up there don't generally hunt moose and second-most important for me, was we would be disturbing their time when they are focused on fishing and heading up river for caribou catching for meats and hides to sew.
    So Stranger confirms it would indeed be okay to bring my dad and go for moose first then head up river either way, moose or no moose, go and catch caribou. I flew up in and got an any bull tag in advance, just not wanting to come empty handed if we could prevent it.
    We arrive, with the help of a local guy who gave us and our gear a ride to the house. It wasn't long and we were greeted by the kids of Stranger and his Wife. I wasn't sure what to expect. They all came blasting out the door and jumped on me! Then proceeded to my dad and a family member who lives up town showed up a bit later. Walked right past me with no acknowlegement at all. Which seemed wierd, but I had told my dad not everybody will appreciate us being there so to speak. So as he passed me I said, "Hey Jeff", he turned around, kinda puzzled for a sec, then said with great excitement, "Hey, The One n Only Chris Cole!" "What's up man!" Whew was I relieved! From there all the fun began!
    Will come back too all that in a bit.
    So these first pics are of us mammoth hunting with Strangers son being the capt'n. We boated to one of their favorite spots. Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 153.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 172.jpg

  2. #2
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    We would get out in walk the very steep banks of the spot and it was just awesome to see the permafrost exposed and errosion of the banks from all the rain they had for about 3 months straight! We would bounce around the area and just loved it all and was soaking it all in. Two of his daughters went and we were exploring with them also and showed us where to berry pick and trails they knew the area. Was just a blast being away from city life and work! His sound found some chunks of bones and could spot mammoth bone from the boat while driving by! When walking the areas you could smell it, just like Stranger has posted in the past about hunting mammoth. We were just in awe. Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 217.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 216.jpg At this spot is where they had found a big ol mammoth tooth earlier in the summer. I wanted to check out the back side where we are at in the pics. Super steep and was slick from melting and silt was just becoming more liquified. The bone was froze in pretty good. We were hoping it was a skull or large pieces of it. We tagged with rope, staking the claim, and off we went. At the end of our stay we went up to check it out. It had thawed a lot and Stranger climed up there and knocked the chunks loose,, just that slivers of bone had us fooled, me anyways.

  3. #3
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 229.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 226.jpgSo the next day we were legal to hunt and we went looking for moose. Stranger was taking us along with one of his daughters through sloughs and little water ways that were accessible from all the flooding. Only one cow responded to calling, which was cool to see. She eventually totally seen us and probably winded us as we were headed for the boat. My dad would call, and she would come running back to bank to check us out. This occured many times before we fired up the boat and left. Found a couple nice beaver hotels they can go back in trap. At another location we stopped and was calling. The youngster was getting anxious and maybe a bit bored of them calling and waiting. She was making noise so I figured I let her beat the brush and get involved in the process, while keeping her busy without her noticing. Still nothing appeared in the form of a moose. Called it day and went back to the house.

    The next day his son joined the three of us. We boated down river towards the mouth where Stranger's wife grew up in the summers, maybe all year, can't remember, but summer camp for sure. Along the way the son was catching ducks left n right. Best was 5 ducks in two shots, we were all impressed! Great adventure for sure and the son took the boat to head to Kots so we hung around the cabin hunting n calling while Stranger straightened up the place and called for moose too. The son was running late with his sister and gf coming back from Kots. We all loaded up headed for town. But was too heavy so we left his son and gf at camp and off we went, in the dark. No biggie, I thought it was cool, I'm sure my dad was freaked out a bit. But Stranger knows the river and land like nobody else and was an awesome boat ride. Him and his oldest daughter were chatting it up and laughing the whole way home at the back of the boat, while my dad and I just took in the sights, was crystal clear and stars were out, but very dark.
    The next day we headed down to the camp via another route with Strangers wife. I was the gunner today! First time duck hunting and I loved it!

  4. #4
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    These are the duck pics that goes with previous post. His wife was a great capt'n also. We had found some great high spots that had moose sign, but nothing responded and appeared everything was moving out of the flood zone, even though ground was still high in areas but had swampy pastures and the sign was looking older the more we searched. I took a spill in the Kobuk river, which to my surprise was very cold water! Air temps were warm and it was sunny, breeze was cold cruising the river. I woulda thought with the high waters it woulda been warmer anyways. It was funny and was not my fault, but more important it was funny!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 251.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 245.jpgMean while, we were gonna head up river for caribou catching, but the river was locked down cause of Ted Smith. Which was a bad deal for everyone involved, especially family members. So Jeff said his cousin I think it was has a boat and would be wiling to take us down another branch of the river to an area we never checked out yet. This was where he grew up in the summers at camp. The cabin was very cool, one of two we seen where the logs were verticle! Never seen that before in a log cabin. We had spotted caribou from the hill where they camped in the summer in a tent away from the cabin a bit. Cranberries were everywhere, some moose sign, no bear sign and was just awesome seeing more new country and catching 4 more ducks. The big ol swans were just always outa reach, which mean they have been "educated". Was neat none the less seeing such big birds.

    I had a shot of the sunset, but will post next, as it timed out and was deleted. So we left that area and was cruising back channels and sloughs. Another great capt'n this guy was. We were at last day light about. Entered into a channel that led to a grassy lake. We were looking at ducks and luckily never got close enough for a shot. Some swans I think too took off. We rounded to our right, and I said, "big moose!" Of course then, who up till point on the whole entire trip, my dad started freaking out! He is worse than a little kid anymore! So we are watching the moose and trying to get a plan togeher. Plus range it and glass for brow tines, 4 or more he was the shooter, anything less or small looking rack, I was the shooter. So I'm ranging it at 600 yards and closing pretty quickly. It's still curious as to what we are and not leaving, just standing broad side and staring. I finally get a good glass on it, I said I think its pretty wide enough to clear 50" but not sure, first time ever seeing a bull moose that was close to being legal. We are creeping towards it. I continue glassing. It turns just right and bam! I see 4 brow tines for sure on one side. Oh boy, here we go again! Dad was wiggin out. I swear he is the only guy I know that can shoot an animal, hit it, without hitting anything important! He is going deaf on certain tones. He claims he didn't hear me say the last yardage, I can't remember now what it was, I think it was for sure around 200 yards tho, and he didn't hear that and aimed high, which was dumb since he's sighted in for 200 yards. Big chested brute of a moose and the .338 wouldn't drop enough to matter anyways.
    So he shoots, BAM! The .338WM barked. The big ol bull drops right in it tracks. My dad and Jeff were givin high fives and I was about too, my dad is my hunting buddy and only family member who hunts with me. He had always wanted a big bull, we always shot cows by bow. Which is why I asked to bring him to try for moose on this trip. Anyways, I'm watching the moose, cause his shot looked high. Sure enough, the darn thing start to get up! It's now a blur as to what angle the moose was but he shoots again, the bull drops. Then starts crawl up from the grassy watery edge! He shoots again. Then the again! After that shot, the bull had angled up and way from us. He shot the hind leg, missed the spine, luckily didn't gut shoot is some how. We take the boat up to the moose, which was still alive. I give some 10mm and it was done. Oh was I pissed, but kept my calm. He might clipped a lung I think, but no other bullet hit much. He broke a shoulder high, not really affecting it much on the first shot, yeah it dropped, but got right back up remember!
    All was well though and no major meat loss at that time. Later when cleaning it up days later after hanging, the hind leg was all kind of blood shot very deep and shredded. But such is life and another lesson learned for my dad.
    Back to the good stuff! So we break it down. We were discussing taking half the moose out and dropping on the river bank and coming back in to get the other half and other two guys. Then once on the river either one big load it or shuttle it back to town. We had an awesome sun set and had to finish in the dark, as the clouds rolled in, was early morning now and pitch black. Half the moose in the boat and I made the mistake of taking my my good little flash light that has a crazy bright beam and check the brush for eye balls! Sure as heck there were a set shinning greenish right back to me! I grabbed my dads rifle outa the boat. Handed him all his shells I dug outa the pack. I always had my 10mm on my chest. The local guy Jeff said, "Heck no, we are all going together with the moose now!" It was probably just a fox, but he wasn't having any of it! We loaded the boat, checking for free board while doing so. We adjusted some gear and my dad and I, off we were!
    Well, remember now, we snuck in through a skinny winding channel into a grassy lake! We get out to good water, clear the prop, and continue boating. UNTIL, the capt'n says, "ah, anyone remember where the channel is where we came in is at?"! Now by this time, head lamps are dying. My good lights is dying. But we proceed, the capt'n had a good idea of where to head actually and with some spot lighting, we found it! Whew, now we all kinda relax. Only down side is the boat has 6" or a tiny bit more, MAYBE, if we were lucky. It took awhile but we were on plane and headed for town about 9 bends up river. All is well, but my darn gut feeling knew better. Not sure why, it just did. Not only that, after many a close calls with all sorts of situations, I have learned to trust my gut, it's rarely wrong! I would shine the light back every so often, but the capt'n said it kept blinding him. Somewhere I had found batteries, took outa something and so my light was good again. We would light up the shore every now and then as too keep tabs on it so we wouldn't sand a bar or drift wood.
    Well, now there are times when the capt'n would adjust the throttle for some reason. I noticed, I am sure he did too, that the boat woudn't gain the speed or plane back. Skipping ahead a little bit, Stranger mentioned it was possibly from going from shallower water to deeper and loosing speed that way. Which I totally understand and had knowlege of that from the Oilfield boats. But what I was worried about in the boat was the sound of the motor and just my gut feeling something wasn't right. I am not sure how fast at or what point the water had been coming in, when I would flash the light back I never seen water. Well when the capt'n said something, and this was right after we crossed the river on a bend, it caught my attention of course and shined the light back there and water was up to his knees!!! He had waders on but I am sure he had to have felt it creeping up. At that instance, he guns the motor and we turn left towards shore sharply. The bow hits the bank, the following wake, which dind't really matter at that point cause we were going down anyways, swamped over the transome and the motor was under water just like that!!

  6. #6
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    As we hit the beach I had already jumped out and was looking to tie off the boat. Jeff, for whatever reason, I think he was gonna call and let Stranger know we were headed back and just a mile or so from town when the boat sunk. But he had the phone in his hand! Othewise it would have been wet and not of use!! Sometimes ya get lucky. He made the call for a recue and we proceeded to unload the meat, gear and such. My dad was yelling about not letting the antlers slip away, ohhh, that pissed me off. Same as when we approached to finish his moose he said, "don't shoot my anlters!" I was nice and never put a bullet in the skull, I had thought about it, for a quicker kill, but it might have split the skull plate, which woulda been fine by me! Just because, the first thing of thought should be the meat!!!
    So we put the two game bags of meat down first, then the rest of the meat the best we could on top of those then tarped it. The ride came, but with 6 guys in a boat, no room for meat and left it for daytime recovery.
    The motor luckily was a two stroke, so they had it cleaned up and running no problems eventually. The meat was dry but sandy. We hung the meat at the house after brushing off what we could and baggin it. We gave the clean hind leg to the capt'n and Jeff took the clean ribs and sweet fats.
    Ah, all was well and life was good. Which bring us back to the Ted Smith issue. We were delayed another day and half. Which was good, his wife was able to catch a ride and the funneral in Kiana, spend some time with her sister the family without us. We stopped at Kiana, then were off a short bit later after greating family on the beach and giving them meat I brought with me. Up river was crazy though! It was a weekend and lots of boats ahead of us. Plus windy and rainy. Caribou were crossing though, just had to wait our turn. We launched atleast once after it seemed the guys upriver had picked what they wanted. We seen cows and calves and that's what we were after. After launching though, bullets started flying again and guys were using high powered rifles instead of .22lr rifles. So we called it a day and the other boat never joined us with gear and tent so we went and stayed in Kiana with family of Strangers wife's. I really like villiage too. Great times were had. We went back out the next day. But things were not in our favor. Weather was still bad. .22lr lever gun had jammed as were in a big herd of caribou. It didn't go as planned but 4 were caught and one was cool as we got to see Stranger put his first Lance to use!
    After things settled a bit, I mentioned I could've pulled the G20 out that had 16 rounds loaded! Oh boy, they didn't know I had with me, but my thought was it's always with me! But more importantly to me was taking in the sights and just enjoying it for it is! Last year after my buddys .22lr kit jammed from sand after the first shot I took with. I pulled out my G20 with 10mm upper that was loaded for bear over night. I caught a couple caribou and later after being home watching the video, you could clearly see a bullet pass thru and skip down river! That is why the unit is I think one of two where you can use rimfire to kill big game. It keeps the river safe and does the job on caribou. Doing so by boat, allows you to get close, allows you to smell if the bulls are in rut, cause bulls that tima year are prime with lotsa fats!
    So as I sat there with my loaded glock thinking we coulda caught tons more caribou, limit is 5 per day per person. We were looking to load up on good meats and prime skins.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Pics of sunset after moose downed, and Strangers first bull caribou by Lance!

    We hung out in Kiana for another day then headed to Noorvik. We arrived a couple hours after the youngests birthday party. Had some good cake and dinner, then more fun times! fall 2012 086.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 249.jpg

  8. #8
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    I am glad my dad was accepting of the way of life up there. I told him pretty much what to expect and such and so on. They have no TV in the house, at the time pretty much no internet either. Small house with lots of people always there. And I felt like I was at home! My dad had brought a bunch of magic tricks and juggling balls. Way tooo much candy and we had tons of fun each night! They know some good card tricks now, neat magic tricks. They were still learning how to juggle but the oldest daughter, she was doing good in no time. Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 272.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 275.jpg I was the jungle gym every night pretty much! We played games with the kids. Listened lotsa music and just enjoyed ourselves and the company! Seen the northern lights a few times. Foxes running around near by.

  9. #9
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    This was the greatest hunting trip of my life! I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the company of all we seen, and being able to take my dad to place he never woulda ever gone. Plus with his getting older and loosing bone mass, it was about the easiest way for him hunt a bull moose and luckily it all worked out. Not only is he a happy camper, he said he will never shoot a bull that big again! That was the largest moose I have ever seen with my own two eyes body wise. His front lower teeth were wore way down. The body was massive. I'll never forget the lower front leg above the elbow was as big as my thigh! The only thing I got catch was ducks, but seriously, I never felt more satified than on this hunt. Thanks again Stranger! True friend ya are, I don't care what anybody else says 'bout ya!



    Here are some of the end results of their way of hunting, trapping and life in general! The white pants are sewn outa 29 wolf legs! The natural shape of the legs, proves for making great pants. Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 290.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 293.jpg Seal skin pants and caribou parke. Was very cool to see these items and more in person. All sewn traditionally with sinue by his wife and oldest daughter.

  10. #10
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 294.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 296.jpgSome more beautiful work! The seal skin Parke is lined with caribou, making it a warm float coat essentially.

  11. #11
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Fall Moose n Mammoth hunt 307.jpgFall Moose n Mammoth hunt 310.jpg It was very neat to spend time with Stranger's wife and have her describe things to us, while on the boat and in Kots looking at the art work. She was telling she just can't make stuff to sell. She has to "feel it" and be in the "mood". Watching her manurisms as she was describing this stuff us and showing us how she came up with the shapes of the walrus. Stuff I can't put into words really. What is even better with these two large pieces of artwork, is that Stranger and not sure who else glued all the lumber together and clamped it together with rope and strong stick and wound up the rope to make their own glue lams! Beautiful to see in person, is being installed in the elders wing at the hospital.

  12. #12
    Member Rob B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska,
    Posts
    3,153

    Default

    Amazing story. Definitley a trip of a lifetime for you and your Dad.
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
    Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
    Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
    MMSI# 338232859

  13. #13

    Default

    Thanks for taking the time to tell the story. Really enjoyed it.

  14. #14
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robbentler View Post
    Amazing story. Definitley a trip of a lifetime for you and your Dad.
    Yes it was. While butchering the moose he kept saying it was the best day of his life! Then after the boat sank, he kept saying, it went from the best day of my life to the worse! We have had many adventures and trips together in the 17 years of living here, plus a few in Indiana where we grew up. But yeah, screw Indiana, AK is home!

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabarbwire View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to tell the story. Really enjoyed it.
    Yeah it took some, I am sick and not doing much, was gonna clean but started typing instead! There is just still so much to share about the whole time we were there, but I had to clean. Plus not everybody agrees with how we hunt while up there. I'd do the same if legal down here!

    I have had pretty much no acceptance amoung my other buddies or hunters I have told about the hunts. Which my dad was one honestly at first last year, but after seeing pics and then being there in person not to mention just trying to make him understand by telling him everything that goes with their way of life and reasons for doing what they do and how they do it. I'll try and remember to ask him tomorrow night, goin to his house to help hang his moose rack he finished this weekend, about what he thinks about shooting from the boat and catching two fawns.

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    A lifestyle that uses both old and new but if the new went away they would still make it fine. Thanks for sharing
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NorthWest Alaska
    Posts
    3,639

    Default

    Great wriite up, Chris.

    Ya, I majorly slack when filling in the rest of the world about the hows and whys od our ways.....

    Where would I start?? A film crew would help here

    well, as you noticed, The river had been at flood stage for 2 solid months, and Big boats from Kotz were up pretty far, further than any normal year as where we go is above a large wide shallow portion of the river that most Ocean Boats dont get tom, but this year the high water and bazillions of caribou crossing, it was an easy wait to catch, as wll the Ocean boats were filling up on meats, and alotta young fellows were woking with the high powerd rifles, rather than .22's and we found it best to just keep to our section of the river. You can tell the young , unexperianced Hunters, chargeing out early, or tward caribou so far away they were allready in the willows before the boat arrived ~~LOL!!~~ but with patience we get what we come for, FAT Bulls , for all their worth, Fawns with soft meat fopr Elders and little kids and skins that have short hairs, and the hairs hold fast (important when makeing clothing) for durability, and dont have scars from warble flys hatching out of their backs in Summer..............theres just too much to explain.

    I'll take more pictures and let them explain

    I wish you had been here when the temps cooled and Meat was the Word!! when the temps hit the majic mark and we can save Fat Caribou whole, in the skin for the comming Arctic darkness, well Im better off for it, like bulk buying at a groceries store. Certain animals and certain animal products can be utilized in certain ways at certain times of year to obtain the "Best" of materials to make things you can bet your life on, and thats what it ammounts to. Being safe and sure of your target is why we do it the way we do it, nothing sporty or nobel about such, Death is the goal and all that follows is good for me and my family. Makeing extra meat to make up for theis summer disasterous Salmon Fishing makes entering Winter a much more less stressfull occassion.

    Still, well do this again someday, except me haveing to find youall inthe dark of 2 am, along the river bank.....~~LOL!!~~

    Whitefish are under the ice, Nets are doing the hunting now Finnally, some Fish to eat .......

    Rock on, Chris!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    4,670

    Default

    Great job sharing you and your dads trip up North and outstanding pics!

  18. #18

    Default

    Thanks for the stories...what an amazing trip!

  19. #19
    Member Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,334

    Default

    Very interesting stories for sure! One does not have to look far to find others living differently - just the way life is....

    Thanks for sharing! Oh, just how wide was that moose rack anyhoo???
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  20. #20
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,986

    Default

    Sounds like you had an excellent adventure! Thanks for sharing.
    "Grin and Bear It"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •