Third Times a Charm
My Uncle Dean came up from California and joined me for a Ivashak River Caribou hunt. He and my aunt Pam have traveled up here several times but this was the third time he has come up to join me for a hunt. We have float hunted for Moose and flown to the Brooks for caribou before and although we have had great trips with great memories we were not able to connect with an animal.
We had seen few animals on the drive up which I kept telling him was not to be discouraging. To be honest, I made the same trip last year and seen alot more animals including bulls and it was about 15-20 degrees warmer than last year. I was getting a little discouraged. The party we were joining showed up a day late to pick us up because they were dealing with three bulls they had shot that morning. We slept in the truck that night hoping that was the reason they no showed. After they did show up the next morning and explained their tardiness we were loading the boat up when State Troopers showed up wth the History Channel cameraman along side! and, of coarse, verified we were all legal and good to go.
Dean and I headed out the next morning after the fog lifted. We were using a small inflatable with a tiller jet and with that lack of rain and water it was pretty difficult at times. We had to pull the inflatable over many very shallow areas. One of those areas happened to be where we seen this bull. We spooked it with the boat and I watched as it headed across the river and into the trees. I fully expected it to climb the small hill in that direction and that would be that.
After pulling the boat to the side I jumped up on the bank to see if I could find it again and to my amazement it had only run to the base of that hill and then just grazed. We could not get close enough without being seen. We figured 400 yards with the rangefinder but Dean was not comfortable enough with his .338 rifle to take that shot. We did know the drop of the bullet at 330 yards as that is how far the range goes that we did sight the rifles at. Then the bull bedded down and got right back up again. It did this again as if the bugs were driving it nuts. Then it starting climbing the hill away from us and we watched it telling ourselves that shooting it now will only wound it or scare it away. That is when it bedded down just before it reached the top, positioning itself so that it can watch the valley with its nose to the wind!
We then decided that this was our chance. We needed to follow a band of trees that would provide us cover moving to its left until we reached a point that we could cross the clearing to the same hill it was on and be out of its line of sight. After reaching the hill and climbing up to the top we crossed over to where we had last seen it. I reached a large area of brush before my uncle and slowly stood up to see if maybe it had gotten up. And sure enough! Not only did it stand up but it also moved on our direction. It was only about 50 yards away from me! Dean had not even gotten to my position yet as he was a little slower moving (slight age difference) I then signaled him what I seen and he came to me crouched down.
He slowly stood up to see what I had seen and positioned himself to have a stable shot with his elbow on his knee. All he could see was brush. We then saw that the bull started down the hill again because we probably made too much noise or it scented us. Uncle had to make an offhanded shot standing over brush and connected. This bull did not go down but it slowed down. After a couple more shots to the shoulder it finally went down.
We did not know we would be caping this animal for a mount until we got close enough to see what a trophy my uncle had harvested. he shovel alone I needed both my hands spread to reach the top to the bottom. It is the largest shovel I have ever seen.
We were blessed with a great animal, good (sometimes too good) weather, fantastic company, and more memories to save in our own internal hard drives.
The emphasis is on accuracy
, not power!
Congrats. Persistance pays off. Gorgeous shovel and bez!
good bull, nice mass.