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Thread: North Slope Adventure

  1. #1
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    Default North Slope Adventure

    My partner and I headed up Saturday the 8th. We got over the pass late in the evening just in time for a big blow and horizontal rain. Sheets of water covered the road.
    We slept in the truck, and woke to snow. Not just a little either. It was still blowing, but clearer. And cold. Did I say that? It was not the hot Fairbanks we just left the day prior. I think I was cold for most of the week up there.
    Our plans had been to head to the mountains. That changed to a caribou hunt. Sunday morning we put a stalk on 2 bulls that just crossed the river near the Sag DOT Camp. A bit later a State worker told us we were in the wrong place as he had not seen a bull since April. We pointed out the 2 bulls headed across the tundra. He was surprised. That very well may have been 2 of the first caribou of the season to cross the Sag.
    We headed to Deadhorse to see some of our guys there. On one of my trips to the truck, I was surprised from behind by a grizzly woofing at me. He closed the gap to 10'. My buddy had just come out the door and started yelling. I grabbed a 4 way lug wrench and yelled for all I was worth. When the bear turned toward my buddy, who was conveniently and sanely still standing inside the building door, I threw the lug wrench and nailed the bear in the ribs. He decided we were not any fun and departed.
    We headed south and hunted near the DOT Camp. I spotted caribou bedded not too far from the road, so we set up another stalk. I was closing the gap, with my partner behind me, when the caribou jumped up and ran at him. He had time to draw and release an arrow. The blood pumped pink and frothy. Lung shot. Nice.
    Turned out it was only a one lung hit. The bull headed to a flat area below us with another bull in tow. We sat above them and watched and waited. All of a sudden we spotted 2 guys stalking his bou and the other bull. What the heck? They got close, his bull jumped up, blood all over it's chest and side, and the guy shot. Geez. The other bull ran off, and the now twice hit bull went too. After a short distance it laid down.
    My partner headed down to talk. In the meantime I was still watching a bull that was coming up behind us. I watched things unfolding below, and decided the focus had to be the wounded bull.
    I headed down, got on the river bank, and snuck past the hunters and the bull. I could not get closer than 80 yards to the bull and as I saw no signs of angst from the guy that shot my buddies bull and my buddy, I held tight.
    Short story is that we got his bull. Best part of the story is this. The other hunters thought we could not stalk the caribou without spooking them due to our exposed location and had no idea one was hit, so they decided to give it the old college try. When the bull jumped up, one hunter saw the blood, and made the quick decision to try and help kill the bull asap. When my partner got to him, his first words were that he was not claiming the bull and he knew my buddy had a lethal shot in him. Way cool.
    We had a chance to see both of the men and their lovely wives the next day. All 4 were bowhunters, and I don't think the men had anything over the women in terms of sheer desire to be hunting. What a cool bunch of folks.
    So to Jake from ANC, and his buddy Joe from WY, thanks for being great, ethical hunters. I know Jake scored 2 times after that. I hope Joe and the ladies all got caribou too.

  2. #2
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    Ya just gotta love a story like that! I cant wait to get up there again!

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    just goes to show...

    not all faith is lost.


    good job.. wheres the pics?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  4. #4
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    congrats on the bull thanx for the story
    ? pitures?
    heading north in about 4 days if i get the projects done to be ready. using truck that i have not used before and have to get camper tie downs on, finish air bag installation ( basically just electrical for compressor pump)and change out impellor housing and put new impellor on. thanx to my son we made great progress on the tasks yesterday 13 hr day i was beat when i got home close to midnight. trailer hitch extension modification and installation took alot of time but it is complete.
    hope to met some of you up north.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  5. #5
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    Yes, have faith in your fellow man. It is easy to believe in the worst, easy to compare failings. Turned out we met good folks.
    I made another stalk. We headed out just as another truck pulled in and they jumped out. they watched us walk toward 3 bedded bulls. We went a long route to get around the wind, and snuck up to a ledge just below them. Turned out they were about 100 yards out. Needless to say I had to close the distance.
    As I crawled in, I noted something shiny on the other side of them. A face was peering from around a bush. Nice I thought. As I looked toward the road, I noted 3 trucks, a tourist bus, and a trooper truck parked near ours. Oh well.
    The bulls got up and headed toward the other hunter. I kept crawling, but at that point my hunt was done. Pretty hard to hunt caribou from the back. The wandered toward the hidden hunter, and he got a shot at one of bulls, hitting it lethally.
    At first I was a little bummed, but then again realized he had not messed up my hunt, and the bulls were walking away. Oh well, congrats to him. I think his name was Troy or Terry. Can't remember.
    I did note some monster bulls in a couple of trucks heading south. One looked like the main beams were over 3" in diameter. It had palmated tops with about a bazillion points. WOW.
    Did not take the time to find out about water levels on the rivers, so can't provide that info. With snow melt and rain I would expect them to be coming up a bit.

  6. #6
    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the Post

    And it sounds like ya'll had a fun, successful trip--albeit interesting.

    Glad to hear a few animals are starting to show up. I am leaving out of Kenai on Thursday heading up for a few days. This time of year seems hard to know what all to pack. It may be hot, cold, wet, rain, snow and sun--and heck, maybe all int he same day.

    Thanks again for the detailed account,

    Will
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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