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Thread: Caribou Hunt

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Caribou Hunt

    My friend Jason ‘who I met on this forum’ and I just got back from a Caribou hunt in the 40 mile country. We used this hunt as a shake down hunt to test some new gear and continue our training for our sheep hunt. I met Jason while looking for a sheep-hunting partner a few years ago. We have done a couple test hunts together and he has proven to be both a friend and dependable hunting partner. We loaded our gear and drove from Fairbanks to Tok to the 40 Mile air Hunters office. They would be flying us out to the field. 40 Mile was great as always and we had our gear weighed and loaded into a 206 for the flight out to the hunting area. The flight provided us with an incredible view as the 40 mile country past by under our wings. Once on the field strip we down loaded the 206 and climbed into the cubs for the short flight to our campsite.


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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We setup camp on a high ridge that gave us a commanding view of our area. We quickly setup camp and started glassing. We saw several caribou and had high hopes for the next days hunting. Since we were up high, water would be an issue. We found a seep source on a lower bench and headed for it. We wanted to carry as much water as possible because of the distance from the source. I got to try out my MSR HyperFlow water filter to fill our lightweight water bags. I also brought a Katadyn Base Camp water filter, we filled it and sealed the top and placed it in Jason’s pack and returned to camp. We erected a cook tarp and made dinner.


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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    After dinner we spotted some caribou and moved to glass them, while we were moving I started to feel sick, I started wretching and could not stop. I returned to the tent and got in my sack. I continued to wretch for the entire night. During the night I sweated thought all the clothes I brought. Everything was soaking wet including my BA Zirkel SL down bag. Even soaking wet my Montbell jacket and pants and that bag kept we warm during a cold, wet, blowing rain night. Having suffered from this in the past I knew I had to stay hydrated or I would have to be flown out. Jason was great, bringing me water during the night; I know we both got little sleep. The sweats stopped around 5 am and we both got some sleep.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    By about 09:30 I was starting to feel better, I was able to keep drinking water with Emergen-C packets. Later that morning Jason spotted a group of bulls, we got into an over look and I used my Spotter to judge the bulls. One bull stood out and I told Jason one was a shooter for sure, we had agreed before the hunt that Jason was to have the first opportunity. So, we analyzed the terrain and the wind direction and planned the stalk. Jason moved down the ridge out of their sight and was able to get into a shooting position. He looked the bull over and decided that he was the one. From my vantage point I could see Jason fire, but not see the bull. I watched Jason move into a firing position and I heard the report of his rifle as he fired. I watched him raise his hands over his head and knew he had taken the large bull.
    I quickly gathered the tools needed to field dress the bull and a camera to capture the moment and headed to the kill site to help with the task. I congratulated Jason on a great bull and we got to work. I was eager to try out my new Havalon knife, I found it razor sharp and it handled well. I used it for most everything except for severing the head from the spine, I do believe that you could if you took your time. After we got it almost done, I started to feel bad again and told Jayson that I had to head back to camp.


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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    When I got back I continued to hydrate and ate some. I took advantage of the nice weather and hung up all my clothes to dry out. Jayson returned to camp with a load of meat, we used some rocks to make a cache to store the meat because we were above the tree line. We wanted to be sure to have air flow around the meat. We had a meal and continued to glass for predators and for me a bull. We saw several nice bulls, but I was still not feeling a 100% yet and I was looking for something different.


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    The next morning we headed down and got the last of the meat and packed it back to camp. Jayson had to make one last load to get the trophy back to camp. He gave his new Barney’s pack a good work out. Once he got the head back I used my Havalon knife to remove the cape from the skull. I wanted to try a finger saw to remove the antlers from the skull, I was trying to cut weight by using the finger saw. After several minutes I decided that the finger saw was NOT working for me and got out the bone saw. Glad I figured this out now and not on the sheep mountain.


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    Over the next few days I got my strength back and had patterned the caribou moving south of camp. They were funneling through a saddle very near the pickup point. I setup a hide and told Jayson that I was going to try to take a bull from this spot close to camp. Not long after we got settled in we had a young bull come within 150 yards from us, He was hanging out in front of us and we were taking pictures, when I looked up and saw a group of about five caribou with one nice bull in the group. I started to glass the bull and could see he had good tops, a lot up front, nice shovel, long tines. He may be a shooter. When he saw that young bull in front of us he came running straight to us. He stopped a 150 or so yards from the end of the strip. I did think it over, but my trigger finger won over and I fired. He stayed on his feet and I fired a second round and he went down for good. He has a very unique rack and the velvet was in good shape. We again put the Havalon to the test and it performed well. In no time at all we had the meat back to the cache. I got to get some blood on my new Kifaru Longhunter G2 pack. The pack has worked well for me, it allows me to carry the weight on my hips and not my bad back.



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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We continued to watch out for predators, but nothing was spotted. We wanted to make sure the meat was cared for so we decided to head back early. He had to get the meat put away and the antlers split and taken to the tannery.

    It was a great hunt and we had a chance to test some gear and share the hunting experience together.


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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default water filter

    How did you like that MSR Hyperflow filter? How would you compare it to other water filters that you have used in the past? Looks like you guys had a good hunt, glad you started feeling better and were able to finish your hunt.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have used a couple different water filters. The HyperFlow is lighter and pumps water at a faster rate. I used the same element on this hunt and a sheep hunt. I back flushed it a couple times. Worth the money to me.

    Steve

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    Great adventure and story as always!

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    Member EMoss#83's Avatar
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    Default Two Questions

    Gret photos,thanx for sharing
    1. Is that an old camo cabelas tent (or new), I have only seen the green ones.
    2.Is that the havalon knife, is it the only knife you bring (how do you like it)

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    As usual with you Steve, fantastic story and hunt. Congrats.

    Ps. Did you ever figure out what bug you caught?

  14. #14
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The tent is an older Cabellas tent in the outfitter camo, I don't think they have it anymore.

    I still used my Cutco drop point as backup, but that little Havalon might replace it on backpack hunts.

  15. #15

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    Great hunt report Stid. How ya like the bino pouch?? I too finally got to put the Havalon knife to the test on a little 'bou this year as well and it will be going on all my backpack hunts from now on. Looks like a great trip except for the being sick part glad you were able to get better. Glad the MontBel kept ya warm that is amazing stuff. Thanks for the pics and story. Look forward to hearing about the rest of your hunts this fall. Good luck.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Great story, excellent hunt! Congratulations.

    Tim

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    King, after I got back from Iraq I started having attacks of vomiting. They say I have cyclical vomiting syndrome. CVS, which means they don't know. This is the first time it has happened in the field. I keep the sat phone and PLB and try to stay healthy.

    Steve

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The Bino chest pack, works great. I was going to write about it in another hunt I just did. I really like it. I replaced my bino harness with it. I use it to carry my bino's and range finder. The side pockets are nice for a wind checker and extra lighter. The pouch worked very well at keeping my bino's dry and clear. The pack stays out of the way and works great with a pack. The inventor is a guide in Alaska and sent me my pouch without payment up front. A stand up guy with a nice product. His name is Jaret Owens.

    Steve

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    The Bino chest pack, works great. I was going to write about it in another hunt I just did. I really like it. I replaced my bino harness with it. I use it to carry my bino's and range finder. The side pockets are nice for a wind checker and extra lighter. The pouch worked very well at keeping my bino's dry and clear. The pack stays out of the way and works great with a pack. The inventor is a guide in Alaska and sent me my pouch without payment up front. A stand up guy with a nice product. His name is Jaret Owens.

    Steve
    Steve,

    I've been using the bino pouch since June. I love that thing. So much better for using with a pack than the bino harness. Yeah I put optics cleaner on one side along with some extra rounds for the rifle. Digital camera in the front pouch, and tags & liscense in the back pouch. Plus it doesn't bounce around due to no elastic and don't have to fight the elastic with a pack on in order to get them to your face. Just seems like a better setup all around. Granted heavier than the bino harness, but worth it to me. Glad you liked the setup. Look forward to hearing about the sheep hunt too.

  20. #20
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    glad you got to have a great hunt Steve, sorry about the illness!

    Glad your partner was there to help you out when you needed it - a good hunting partner is a key piece of gear!

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