This was my only hunt this year due to be short handed at work but it was a good one.
It killed me to not moose hunt and have to eat my goat tag but there was some circumstances at work that were un avoidable.
We went up to the Ivishak and had Randy run us up to the Ice fields in the airboat and drop us off to float out.
We didn't score any monster bulls and to tell you the truth I had no clue how to hunt the tundra maggot until this trip. We ended up learning though and had a great trip. I took my youngest son who turned 8 a week before the trip. This was his first remote trip and it was a trip I won't ever forget.
It was this year that trophy meant nothing to me and it was all about sharing the experiance with my boy. My good friend also went with his two boys who are 16 and 18. I have been hunting with them since they were 8. I have been with them for all their moose kills and now their first Caribou. What a great feeling to be a part of those kids lives in all of our hunting and fishing trips as they have grown up. We tryly have some great experiances to look back on.
Fishing was world class and the hunting was great once we figured out we had to get 2 miles off the river to get the Caribou. We packed 3 of the bulls 2 miles and 6 of the bulls 1 mile.
It was a pretty tough hunt for an 8 year old packing that far on the tundra but he did it without a complaint. He packed gear and antlers and all the sheds he could find. Two of the days we made 2 roundtrips that 2 miles packing.
It was day 3 I realized what a little hunting partner I had. We got up and I had not killed anything yet due to I wasn't sure about taking him on that far of a hike. Day 3 and we wake up and eat some breakfast when he says dad are we ever going to get a caribou? I asked him if he really wanted to get one and he said yep lets go. So off we went to where I had been seeing them. We hiked about 2 miles up a hill when I spotted a herd about another mile away to our left accross a ravine. We sat down to eat and glass them over for bulls. We seen 3 bulls in the herd and Bradley says lets go get em.
Off we go to try and cut them off. We were moving at a pretty good clip when I stopped and had him grab the range finder out of the pack. I told him that his job was to tell me when we got to 500 yards.
We were still a half mile off when he would stop and look while I was trying to boogie and cut them off as they were moving fast so I took the range finder back to carry for a while.
As we got closer I gave him the range finder back. We were about 700 yards away when the whole herd stopped to look at us. I didn't know what to do in the wide open and above them coming down so I had Bradley get me a white TAG bag out of my pack. I wadded it up and everytime the bou would get nervous I would wave it in the air and they would all stop to look at it while we got closer.
I got to 500 yards and they were getting pretty skidish. I wasn't expecting this but the cows and calves were really spooky. I got to a point that he told me we were at 470 yards. I wanted to get within 200 but they were getting nervous so I started calculating what my 375 Ultramag would do at that range in my head.
We laid down and all of a sudden they started running so I found the biggest bull in my scope and then got a lead on him and when he got to where I wanted I squeezed one off. Bradley says he's down. So I look for the next biggest bull that is in a dead run and do the same and I hear Bradley say he's down.
Mission complete at this point.
I range them from where we are and one is at 470 yards and the other is at 430 yards. By far the longest shots I have ever taken and to be honest I wouldn't normally do that but knew what my rifle could do at that range so I figured why not.
Both shots anchored them good. The first bull was a bad shot as I hit him right in front of the hind quarters on the spine. It killed him instantly though as it basically blew his spine out and I really didn't lose any meat.
The second bull was right in the boiler room and it basically blew his lungs completely out.
Each bull was one shot and one kill. By far my longest and best shooting ever.
Neither bull moved after hitting the ground.
We walked over to the animals and took some photos and then I got to show him how we clean them and get ready to pack them out.
He was a big help and I must say that i enjoyed hunting with him and teaching him more than I have ever enjoyed hunting with an adult.
We spent that evening and the next day packing. He packed food and water in his pack and antlers and I packed meat. He also packed backstrap out.
Here is the link to the pictures of our trip.