Well, Monday night we recived the news "Bulls are crossing, and they cant stop" , which is the good news we were waiting for. the cold weather certainly has the Caribou moving again.
Anyday , "Rut" will ruin the taste of the meats. We hunted three straight days, and every Bull we took was PRIME
We wont have an opportunity to hunt fat Caribou untill March, when females fatten up, and thats 6 months away.
With 15 in our house, and us eating what we do, were set untill Thanksgiving, and by then the ice will be thick enough to hunt safely, though we will only get a couple hours of light then, so hunting NOW is very important.
This is a hunt that has occured here for a few thousand years, acheologicly spaeking.
As a child in the early 20th century, my father in laws parents hunted here, actually living about a bend downriver from our hunting spot. They persued caribou in Kayaks, spearing them as they crossed, and setting snares in the Willows along the rivers edge, and caught the ones that had already crossed. This was their food and skins for the winter.
This is a Meat hunt, and theres nothing "Sporting" about it. We try and get up enough meat for our household, our neighbors and relatives before "Freeze up" when all we can do is stay home untill the ice thickens enough to be safe. Were also decending into Polar darkness, and hhunting will be breif during the twilight days, untill Febuary.
We wait by the rivers side for the fattest Bulls top cross, then we sally out and shoot them in the bain with a .22lr.
Its the quickest, most "Humane"(~~LOL!!~~) way to go about it, far quicker death than a heart/lung shot.
With a .22lr, we get a solid brain scrambler, no pass through shots, no wounded, no sick, only the one animal we have chosen out of the bunch, but often two or three.
There were littereally thousands of Caribou crossing, all three days we were there.
Each day we arrived in mid morning , as sun up it 9 am and we are an hour and 1/2 away with the boat, and still there were easily 10 boats in view along that 3 mile strech of river.
We watched about 500 Caribou cross, and nobody persue them that we were comfortable as well as ready to go get ours....and we didnt wait long at all.