My wife and I went up the Haul Road 4 - 7 Sep 07; both of us bow hunting and intending to take one caribou apiece. Roads were a little slippery in spots, but nothing cautious driving couldn't cure. We were pretty disappointed when we didn't see Caribou until almost to Pump Station 2.
Our first day hunting, 5 Sep 07, we put on six stalks and all failed. My wife got within 70 yards of a smallish bull, but her self-imposed limit was 40 yards. Our other stalks ended between 100 and 200 yards out; the stalking was difficult with so little cover. One of our stalks took us over a hill, which revealed a herd of about 30 caribou hidden from view from the road. The caribou ended up being about two miles off the road, but there was a dried up creek bed that had small scrub brush for good cover and would take us near where the caribou were bedding. Time ran out and we decided to come back the next day for another attempt.
On our second day, we did a quick tour of the road for 20 miles in either direction and didn't find any easy pickings. So, we headed back to the area where we saw the herd of 30 the day before. As we crested the hill, my wife spotted a cow. We were just looking to fill the freezer, so this was a viable option. My wife got within 100 yards, but I got spotted trying to circle around them and they bolted. After the blown stalk, we spotted three caribou bedded close to the dried creek bed. One was a nice bull and the other two cows. We decided to give them a try even though they were two miles from the road.
We easily walked bent over to within 220 yards. At that range, I saw they were bedded about 50 yards from the cover brush. That distance was beyond my wife's range so she deferred to me. My wife remained behind while I crawled on my hands and knees for another 140 yards to within 80 yards. The caribou still weren't alerted so I slowly belly crawled, basically moving with my arms and dragging my legs behind me, for another 30 yards. This brought me to within 50 yards, a shot I had practiced for months. I waited for about a half an hour, but the caribou seemed to be content to stay bedded. I was getting cold and I knew my wife had to be freezing at that point because the stalk from 220 to 50 yards took over an hour and a half.
I pondered different ways to get the caribou to stand and settled on rising to my knees to draw my bow. As I rose from my hidden spot, one of the cows rose and caused the bull to rise. I drew back my bow and let my arrow fly. The arrow hit a little back from where I wanted because he started to step forward, but I still double lunged him. He ran about a hundred yards and flopped over.
Here's some photos from my bull:
I shot the bull with a Mathews Switchback at 70 lbs. and 29 inch draw length. The arrows were Gold Tip 7595 Pro Hunters tipped with Wac'em 125 grain four-blade Exits. The broad head slipped in between ribs on the entry, but busted a rib in half on the exit. I practiced shots out to 80 yards (Spot Hogg 7 Deadly Pins Sight set at 20-30-40-50-60-70-80) and could hit a 10 inch circle at that distance easily. My self-imposed limit for hunting was 60 yards and this 50 yard shot seemed easy.
This is my first spot-n-stalk bow kill and I think I'm hooked. I shot a caribou two years ago with a rifle after the five mile hike in and this was much more satisfying.
We brought a Wilderness sled to haul out the caribou, thinking there would be more snow on the ground. On our third day of hunting, my wife was really sore in her upper back from pushing the sled while I pulled it with a mocked up harness. She tried drawing her bow back that morning and found it was fairly painful. We decided to call it quits and headed home feeling more than sucessful. Next year we'll go back and get my wife a caribou.