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Thread: Denali Highway Miracle. Pic heavy

  1. #1
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Default Denali Highway Miracle. Pic heavy

    The last few seasons have been very frustrating . Hardly any time to get out and never having the luck on our side. These things were all I could think about when one of my best friends asked me if I would go try to fill his tier 1 tag with him last week. He had no experience in hunting caribou. And had never been to the Denali hwy before. After a lot of debating I decided to just go for it, come what may. What followed was one hell of a weekend, and a reminder on how positivity and just rolling with the punches and having an open plan can lead to the greatest of things.

    Friday the 11th, I left work early to gather up a few things we needed. We were going for the bare minimum since it was technically a suicide run. To save on gas, we were rolling in my 87 subaru gl wagon. We didn't get out of town until after 5pm. We finally arrived to the big su bridge on the Denali at 11pm. And finally decided on a spot to park around midnight. We slept in the front seats of the car.....
    At 6am saturday we arose to cold winds and heavy rain. Seeing as how our original plan Had been to walk in on the CCUA, and after seeing the amount of vehicles there, we decided the best idea was to head to Alpine Lodge for a delicious hot breakfast and coffee. We spoke with several other hunters who told us there had no been no sightings, the animals weren't moving and there was alot of bears around. It was then I suggested we head to the Maclaren country.

    There was a ton of traffic up there that morning. Very busy. We stopped and glassed every place we could. It was very frustrating to glass that much country and not see anything.



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    As we drove along we noticed we had a leaky rear tire. Uh oh. Only one spare. And no pump. As we sat there looking at it and deciding on a plan, a truck pulled up. It was close friends of ours, and they loaned us their pump. Since we didn't want to break out the spare unless it was absolutely necessary we limped on that leaky spare, filling it as needed. It would do about 15 miles between fillups. None of us had seen anythibg, and we were definately feeling like we had come to late.... as we rounded a bend in the road, with a car behind us and a car in front, a lone caribou stepped into the road right in front of our car. My friend got out and we took off after him. He stopped in a swamp, and RJ dumped him at 82 yards with his 06. About 100 yard pack to the car. Not bad, things sure were in our favor. After we got him loaded up and refilled our tire we saw no need to go further, it was time to turn around.


    So we headed on back. We got into some nasty weather near the CCUA area and it was snowing heavily

    After we got up towards the higher country and the cantwell side of the bridge,or suddenly turned bluebird and sunny on us. We found a beautiful place to stop in the fresh snow and get some supper going.

    About 6pm we decided to keep rolling. I wanted to be cantwell before dark. We did not see any other game except for a covey of grouse. The sun in my eyes made it pretty hard too see the road with the new snow glaring off the ground. We came a round a wide corner of the highway and a slammed the brakes and slid to a stop. A huge bull had just stepped into the road right in front of us, with several vehicles coming up behind. I jumped out and before I even knew I was off the road .270 loaded in my hands counting brows thru the scope.... 3 and 3...wait. is that a 4th? I can't tell, my hearts pounding thru my chest , and then he turned his head, it was a 4th. I pulled the sights behind his shoulder and squeezed. He lurched forward as the bullet hit home and piled up in willows after 30 yards.



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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Congrats brother what a awesome trip
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
    Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    It was about 100 yards to the car. He taped at 52" and had almost 4 brows on the other side as well. So both ways was legal. The body of this animal was staggeringly huge. With darkness falling fast we set to work..... about 10pm, we realized we had a grizzly in the brush right behind us. He was Makin a racket, and sounded pretty pissed. I loaded my .44 and shot a couple into the air to push him away. It worked, for awhile. 30 minutes later, our lights were dying, no fresh batteries, and we only had 2 quarters in the car..... that's when mr. Grizz showed up again. We both shot a couple times, and then looming toward the road we could see a truck creeping by then turn around.. I headed over to talk with them, and found they were worried cuz our vehicle looked like something had happened. I asked if they would be willing to give us a hand and they agreed. We finally finished up at 2am. That poor subaru was loaded to the ground. thanked those two amazing dudes profusely, pumped up our tire and headed home. We arrived in the driveway at 7am sunday. Tired as hell but happy as could be. then began the work.


    An incredible 36 hour trip with a best friend and great memories. Oh and the total gas bill. $90.



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    Member Carlak2fl's Avatar
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    fantastic!
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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    RIGHT ON! Thats the way we USED to do it!! I have almost the exact same story in almost the exact spot when I shot my first moose in 87'. But mine was hauled out in a even smaller car, a Plymoth Horrizon! Congrats.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Well done. My son and I talked with you guys near Moore's camp as you were filling up the rear tire. I thought you looked familiar. Glad it worked out for you.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Well done. My son and I talked with you guys near Moore's camp as you were filling up the rear tire. I thought you looked familiar. Glad it worked out for you.
    Ha! I thought that about you as well! We stopped at moores, there was no one around. We found that caribou about 6 miles east of moores. Thanks for stopping and checking to see if we needed help, not many others did. Did you guys have any luck?



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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Wow! That is most excellent! Sometimes luck shines upon you... Way to put yourself out there where luck can happen!

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    Meat looks very well cared for. Congratulations on your hunt and adventure.

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    Amazing

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Meat looks very well cared for. Congratulations on your hunt and adventure.
    We began processing immediately, I was worried about it being stacked in the Subaru but it was only a few hours



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  13. #13
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    Ha! I thought that about you as well! We stopped at moores, there was no one around. We found that caribou about 6 miles east of moores. Thanks for stopping and checking to see if we needed help, not many others did. Did you guys have any luck?
    No luck with the bou, but my 10 year old harvested seven ptarmigan. We'll be back up this weekend if the hunt stays open.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Ben XCR's Avatar
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    That's awesome. Love it when a plan comes together.

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    Some times, no plans work out just fine!!! Nice moose!

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    THAT is a really great story/trip on the cheap! Congrats u lucky dogs. That will be one you will always remember.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Member moses42ak's Avatar
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    Great story! Congrats on the bou, moose and $90 gas bill. That's a win, win, win weekend!

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    That is a beautiful pile of meat!

  19. #19
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Incredible couple days of hunting!! Looks tasty
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Great story and pics, awesome luck, congrats! Thanks for posting.

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