Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Killey River Caribou Adventure

  1. #1
    Member jkb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Big Lake

    Default Killey River Caribou Adventure

    Got back home at 6:00 AM from Funny River. Wow what an adventure, started out wanting to leave Big Lake at 5:00 AM last Saturday. One horse gave us some trouble loading, then a flat on the trailer, Finally 9:30 AM leave Big Lake. My 23 year old daughter, my 11 year old daughter, my 20 year old nephew, and myself are off to Funny River. After some stops and other issues reach our friends store in Funny River at 3:30 PM. Hit the trail at 5:30 PM. 1 hour into the trip a horse throws a shoe. 2 days travel we reach Caribou world.

    My daughter and I do a great stalk on a big black bear. He was so big I was sure he was a wet Chocolate Brown bear. We had no brown bear permit, I snuck close to identify the bear, so I could slip away undetected so I would have no chance of a IDLP. A float plane flew over us real low and the bear looked up at the plane and I knew it was a black bear. As my daughter got to me the wind changed and the bear winded us and was gone. I could have taken the bear while the bear was sniffing us but I wanted my daughter to have the bear and she was about 10 steps to late. We ended up seeing 3 brown bears and 5 black bears.

    On the caribou front we saw lots of small bulls, cows and calves. As my nephew and I were walking back to where my daughters were sitting watching for black bears. My Nephew was wearing a white shirt and we had two small bull caribou follow us for a mile thinking my nephew might be a caribou it was great. It was our last day of hunting. We arrived at the hill my daughters were waiting. There was a OK bull laying down about 200 yds from the hill. We took the bull so as to not go home emtpy handed. As I shot, The horse spooked and ran like the wind across the tundra. My daughter and nephew chased the horse and I started to dress the caribou. Well with the lost time of chasing the horse it was starting to get dark. We loaded to caribou on the horse and I said "everyone get out the headlamps I gave you before the trip we are walking to camp in dark" Well they left them in the tents, they thought the headlamps were for in the tents. The horse started to lead us to camp but the walking was very rough and when we ran into a creek the horse would not cross in the dark. We took and inventory of food and clothes in the ruck sacks, found a tree and built a fire next to it and spent the night under the tree. My nephew is in from California and was pretty panicked about not getting back to the tents. At 5:00 AM it got light enough to walk again. This is where it gets frustrating. About a mile from camp the biggest Caribou I've ever seen silhouettes itself a 100 yds aboves above us. Well I had just filled my tag the night before. I watched my B&C caribou walk away.

    All in all a great trip I lost 15 pounds and walked 60 miles. I found that my camera was broken on day one of the trip so no pictures sorry.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    Great trip report, jkb. Thanks for sharing! That night under the tree will be with your nephew forever. A few hours of discomfort and panic will be well worth the memories he holds and the stories that will get bigger with each passing year. Sorry to hear about the camera and the big bull that walked, but it sounds like you had a great time. Congrats!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Thanks for taking us along thru your story!!!
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  4. #4

    Thumbs up I like it.....

    Sounds like a good and successful "fair chase" Alaskan hunt. My hat is off to all of you!

  5. #5
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush

    Default Bummer about the camera!

    Thanks for the story Jim. Sounds like ya'll had a great adventure out there in the backcountry. Funny, but my son recently went on a week-long hiking expedition and I tried to give him a small led headlamp, saying he'd need it. He declined. When he got back he said something like "Wow it's getting dark now." <grin> Could have used the headlamp he said. Bet your nephew was hearing all kinds of noises that night under the tree! Plenty of great memories, so cool to hear of folks hunting with family. Congrats on the meat; the B&C bull will show up again.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Registered Guide, AK


    Thanks for the great read.

    If you realize it or not a great lesson was taught to the youngsters about not shooting if you can not 100% identify your target. None of the kids will ever forget an experience like this one. Ahh the one that got away. I have been in your shoes. I think your daughter is filling your shoes as well, with the blackie slipping away. I hope she ends up getting a bear with you. Nothing better than sharing hunts with the ones you love.

    My hats off to you with all the kids along.

  7. #7
    Member Sterlingmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Sterling, AK

    Default jkb

    Good story! Good ending! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on a successful hunt. Great family time.............


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts