Finally got a second to post on a recent adventure near Kotzebue. I was joined by my wife, dad, and brother on a week long hunt near Kotzebue from September 18-25. The primary goal was caribou with two days of moose season left (4 brow tine area). Didn't see much from the air on the way in (about 12 sheep, one moose, and 40 or so caribou). Evening scouting the first night we arrived showed a few small bunches of caribou and one grizzly, all more than two miles from camp. The first day of the hunt ended with heavy backpacks. My wife and I scored on two nice bulls from the same group. We had watched this herd for almost three hours when they crossed the river and headed in our direction. She took first shot with her 270 Win and I followed up with my 338 Win Mag. Not bad for the first day.
Day two was foggy and slow going in the morning. About 4pm while standing up to move I see a flash above us about 600 yards away. Caribou!! Wait...er...no...what the ....MOOSE!! A lone bull was crossing through some high country, apparently just traveling to another drainage, and was wearing some nice headgear. A quick look through the spotting scope showed the fourth brow tine on the left side. He walked behind a small ridge, I tried to cut him off but the wind was BAD. I caught a quick flash of antler coming over the ridge and hit the deck. Laying prone in the Tundra I steadied my rifle over some muskeg (not exactly typical moose hunting conditions, no trees for almost a mile) and dropped him at about 200 yards. Twelve backpack loads later we had him at the landing strip (the -meat on the bone- law really makes one think twice about shooting a moose too far from the airstrip, this one was .7 by GPS).
As we were taking out the last loads of moose, we spotted a dozen caribou with two decent bulls in the bunch. My dad and brother dropped their loaded packs and walked to a good vantage point to watch the caribou. Just before dark, my brother took his first caribou about 2 miles from camp with a 7mm-08.
In all, we saw about 200 caribou. Only about 130 of which we could get to without wading through chest deep water. We were lucky enough to take the three biggest caribou we saw all week, and the only moose. I have never been that LUCKY in my life!!!!!
I had a great time planning and putting gear together for this hunt. The anticipation and logistics kept me excited all summer. Last winter I started reloading again and really felt great when all handloads performed as expected. We all shot Nosler Accubonds as I had never used them before (always just used the Partition because they had done me well). I would have to say the Accubonds performed as advertised and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again (no animal went over 20 feet with hits to the vitals).
Thanks to all on this board who have participated in lively discussion of all things hunting, I have learned quite a bit from the folks here. Just remember, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good!!!!
Thanks for reading.
PS - Pics are posted in 2008 hunting photo album. I'll put a few more here when I get a chance.