My first Bull, 1,815 miles on the truck, 96 hours, 23 miles tundra walked, 1 Bull, lots of sweat and fun!!
Well it was short and somewhat of a success. We departed here in Anchorage at 10pm on Thursday night and switched on and off drove straight through with a stop in Coldfoot for breakfast (that is a must). We made it to Gailbraith lake at 12 noon (14 hours to include the 1hr stop in coldfoot). The road was a lot better than expected and drove 60 most of the way on the haul road and some points I hit 80. Upon arrival at the gravel pit I was told don't walk unless you see something, and I didn't listen, we were excited and changed and charged over the hill (not taking the creek bed) and we finally got to the top 4 miles off the road and not a caribou to be found. We glassed and nothing so we headed back to the truck. At 3:30 we decided to leave and not camp there and head for Toolik or where we saw Caribou. We drove and drove and saw nothing until 4:15 around pump station 2. Saw 3 nice bulls next to a pull off but we had rifles so we figured we would camp close. We finally found ( 6:30) a nice beach site to camp at a boat launch right up from pump station 2. We decided to walk in just before station 2 in the morning.
Left in the morning (36 degrees) and there was fog mixed with smoke and there was no place next to station 2 to pull off safely so we decided to drive north towards deadhorse. This is where all the Bou were, small groups all the way from station 2 to deadhorse. We were looking for a good place to pull off that would give us a pipeline road to take some of the pain away on the walk in. We decided to go all the way into deadhorse to get gas and stopped on the way back at noon at a spot. We started the walk. It was fast going out but we were amazed on what you would think in the distance was far was not as far as you wanted it to be. We saw a mound and headed for it, looked 5 miles but was only 2 1/2. From there we could glass, saw 3 groups of 15 and couldn't tell if any bulls so we got off and headed towards the middle one. We kept getting close and they still layed down and we determined they were outside the 5 mile mark after all the waypoints that we made. We dropped packs and started a slow stalk, they all got up and started to head South. From this I could see one nice bull inside the group and I called the shot. The others said they would be there to back me up if I missed as it was at 300 yards. I layed on the tundra and followed them in the group. The bull would stop until they all got by and then run up front and do that all over again. I waited until he got in the front, he turned and looked back at the herd and I placed one nice shot right in the front shoulder at 3:15pm. Not what I was looking for but there were strong winds. He went down with one shot and the others in the herd ran away.
The butcher process wasn't that bad but we knew we had a hike before it got dark. We left at 6:15pm with 4 guys splitting the meat. It was 38 degrees. 1 of the guys in the party could not make it back with a full pack so we headed to the mound, he was not dress properly and we were sweating a little. We stopped at the mound and all but one dropped packs and we decided we would head back the next day to get all the stuff. We got back to the truck at 10:10 and got back to the camp at 11:15pm.
Woke up in the morning and two guys said they couldn’t do it because their body hurt, so they took their second truck they brought and headed back to Anchorage. Me and another decided we could get it all, to include the pack the one other left. We left at 11am got to the mound at noon (2- ˝ miles), saw a bigger bull on the way out but no rifle as this was just a pickup. 2pm departed mound with one 86lbs pack and one 97 lbs pack. We made it back to the truck at 4pm and back to camp at 5:15pm.
That night we decided to call it quits and not attempt another trip in and head home and process meat. We departed camp at 4:45am and arrived at 10:13pm with a 1-1/4 hr stop in Coldfoot for breakfast
Great trip, would do it again but probably would carry a bow and a rifle to make it a non stop hunt.