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Thread: 40 Mile Caribou, Central AK

  1. #1
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Default 40 Mile Caribou, Central AK

    On Tuesday afternoon I stopped by ADF&G and noticed the forty mile hunt fliers on the counter. When I finished with my other business I requested an RC860 permit. I had decided right then and there that I would go up and try for a caribou. By three my chores were done, by five I was on the road all gassed up, and equipment packed.

    Three hours, and 130 miles later, I was unloading the ATV. The clouds were hanging a little low, but I came this far. Off I went, about three miles out and sat on a ridge clearing for a couple of hours. Then the clouds settled in around me. This was not looking good. When surrounded by the cloud bank I called it a night.

    Back in the staging area there was a travel trailer parked. The occupants arrived as I was eating the goodies from my MRE. I went and spoke to them and explained I was hunting alone and would like to join them in the morning if possible. We talked awhile and agreed we would head out at eight.

    I awoke at five to rain and thought not a good omen. Snuggled back into the sleeping bag and woke again at seven to overcast skies, but no rain. We departed at eight on schedule and headed down the trail towards the towers that are about 8 miles out. Rough ride with some knarly hills, but caution and concern for safety got us through the rough spots. After 3 more miles we took a break to enjoy the view from high atop a ridgeline. Through my binos I spotted one lone caribou and announced to my new found friends. We rode another half mile and put a stalk on him. Little did I know that the rough ride had jarred my zero on the scope. Three shots and the caribou was still on the hoof! D***! I got the caribou headed for the lady and she dropped it with one shot from her new 300 WSM. Her first big game kill.

    After we quartered and bagged it I resighted my rifle and we decided to spread out on the ridgeline. She said there are caribou on two ridges over. We left her there and drove to get ahead of the twenty odd herd. Climbed a short hill and found we had overshot them. Doubled back a quarter mile and got to the top of the ridge. We laid in the leichen and awaited there inevitable arrival. The boo spotted us from about 130 yards. We nodded to each other and sighted in on the caribou of our choice.

    Two shot echoed through the hills. Two caribou dropped in their tracks. Two hunters shook hands and congratulated one another.

    The weather was perfect. The view phonomenal, you can't buy scenery like this in the lower 48! Visibility was virtually unlimited, with the Yukon river below us on one side and valleys on the other. Even if no caribou would have been shot by this party of three, it would have been a successful hunt.

    OH, one more thing. The backstrap steaks I had for lunch today were perfect. That is icing on the cake so to speak.

    And this is just one of the many reasons I love and live in Alaska!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default

    It was good seeing you out there. Did you enjoy the smokes? My wife makes caribou feet dolls, so this morning on our final load out we picked up the feet you left on the ridge.

    The cow laying on the ridgeline we were after when we talked to you, turned out to have three very nice bulls with her. Not sure if you heard us shoot or not about 20 minutes after we left you. We filled all three of our tags about 1/2 mile from you on the back of the ridge. We did not get back to camp until 0035 with the first load of meat. I will post pics in a week or so. I am off to chase sheep now.

    Take care, Rod

  3. #3

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    WOW...what a great story, I enjoyed your writing. Made me feel as if I was there!
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  4. #4
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Nice story!

    Congrats on putting down in words what we all should cherish and seek when afield, good friendships and an admiration of our surroundings. Its easy to "feel" that in your writings!
    Any Pic's???

  5. #5
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The Photos

    Hope the photo attachments load up. Per request.Small Cow.jpg

    Awesome Country.jpg

  6. #6
    Member danjordan78's Avatar
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    Default How was the ride out?

    I was one of the two guys on top by the repeater as you guys were headed out. Hope the ride out went ok with no brakes! We were running low on fuel after trying three different spots that day so couldn't get in far enough. No big deal though, there's always moose season!

    Nice Job!!
    Dan

    "May the gods keep the wolves in the hills and the women in our beds!" Menalaus -Troy

  7. #7
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    Default 40 Mile Herd Hunt

    I'm thinking that after all the successful kills of caribou in the area that bears are rampant on the gut piles. Is anyone able to confirm this by chance? Also has anyone spotted black bears in the area? Griz are probably all over the piles but it's obviously not Griz season in the area so I'll have to avoid those. If anyone can confirm black bear sign or sightings in the area I'd appreciate it and will probably head up there in search of whatever blackies might have wandered into the area.

  8. #8
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Default The Ride

    The ride out was challenging as you can imagine. I thought that I may run out of petrol as well, but we did have and extra gallon or two with us. A month ago I would not have been able to make that trip. I sure would not want to be a "rookie" ATV rider and have to make that trip.

    But, all in all, it was a glorious day. In fifteen years here I count that day in the top five of all the days in Alaska. Nice people, wonderful views, lots of caribou, and most important of all, everyone returned safely!

    Good luck moose hunting!

  9. #9
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    Default Nice Story Amigo!

    Enjoyed reading your story, very well written, I felt like I was there with ya. We had a great day too, with 2 bulls in the bag on wed, one very nice guy.

    Best, Don

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