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Thread: 2009 Time in the field with my son.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default 2009 Time in the field with my son.

    Things are finally slowing down a little so I going to take a chance to share a few of our moments in the field with you all.

    I have a little hunter who is 10 now. He has been going on short trips with me since he was 3 and has been on several short moose/caribou trips with me and we have already shared many gut piles, but this year was a little different.
    As he gets older it is more of a fight with his mother to let him skip school for hunting season. She finally realized it was a losing battle, so she caved and gave us one week of hooky from school.

    I rearranged my hunting plans to include him on an 8 day moose and caribou trip. This was not his first hunt, but it was the first time he was going to spend time in a tent 50 miles from the road. I had given him his first BG rifle this year, a cute little .308. He practiced with it and I was confident in his shooting to head out for the big ones.
    We started the trip with just focusing on moose. He had made up his mind he wanted a "forker" or nothing. The two of us put several nice stalks on Bull Moose during the trip, but none were quite legal and at the last second I would have to tell him to put the rifle down because we were not going to shoot this one. I watched him get his first case of “buck fever” on one little bull that ended up having 3 points on each side it was very cute and he was able to get it together quickly.

    One bull in particular I am still kicking myself over, we had a mid 40"s bull feeding towards us with the wind in our favor and the bull never knew we were there. I set him up for the shot and told him to be ready. I told him the bull wasn’t wide enough, but I wanted to look at his brow tines so just stay ready. The closer the bull got I realized he had 3 brows on one side and 5 on the other. At 50 yards we had him and I said just stay on him, he’s not spooked and I want to be positive the 5 brow side was good to go.

    That’s when the boy looked at me and said “dad I don’t want to shoot him, he’s to big, and I want a forker”. I chuckled and told him “you don’t get to custom order your first moose; you shoot what I tell you to shoot”. Long story short 2 of the 5 brows were short stubby ones and I couldn’t be 100% positive they would meet the longer than wide requirement, so at the last second I had to say, “Sorry buddy, were going to have to let that one walk”. In hindsight the bull was most likely legal, but I just didn’t want to chance having to surrender his first moose. I explained to my son that he was young and he would have plenty of opportunities to bag a moose. He got over it quickly and we were able to bag 3 other moose on the trip that he was part of.

    Now on to the caribou, we had planned to strictly hunt moose on the first portion of the trip and to switch over to caribou for the second part. The funny thing was we saw several nice bull caribou while moose hunting and each time I would have to look into those big blue eyes and say not yet, we’ll hunt caribou later. The first day of caribou hunting I took him up into a valley where I have done well in the past. As soon as we got there I noticed 2 nice bulls running parallel to us, I quickly got out his gun and got him in position. “I want you to shoot the lead bull when he stops” I told him. The only problem is they never stopped. After that we sat on a little knob to do some glassing. There were little bands of caribou all over the valley, so I wasn’t worried; I was just trying to decide which group were the best to put a stalk on.

    Just then a caribou walked up on top of the knob we were sitting on, and was only about 40 yds away. My boy looks at me and says “hey dad can I shoot that one”? I told him no that one’s a cow lets just see if she has a boyfriend with her, as the caribou turned to walk back over the knob I realized it had a dinger. I had just let a little bull at 40 yds walk away! After a few minutes the same caribou walks back up onto our lookout and this time 70 yds away broadside. “Shoot him” I said while I settled in for a follow up shot. No shot and the little bull begins to run. I start Baaing at the bull to get him to stop and look back. It works and he stops and looks back at us, again I say “shoot him”. Again no shot and the bull really takes off this time. I start baaing again to stop him, but this time it’s not working. Now at this point the Bull is at a dead run about 200 yds away. I look down to my son who is laying on the tundra to tell him the hunt is over and not to shoot, but I can see that he is still trying to get a shot and he looks very concentrated. I think to myself IF he does shoot, he’ll never hit it and IF he does wound it, I am ready for a follow up shot, just then I look back to the running caribou and BOOM. The report startles me because I really didn’t expect the shot. What I expected even less was that bull doing a front summersault and hitting the ground like a ton of bricks. After a few seconds of whooping and hollering, I sent the boy in to make a finisher shot with me walking close behind. It was over, my 10 year old son had just taken his first big game animal. It wasn’t a perfect shot, a little far back, but it made sense that he didn’t lead a running animal, in my book a dead caribou is a perfect shot! It was a small bull. We could have taken much bigger ones, but he didn’t care. This one was his and he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.

    We finished out the week with some bird hunting and grayling fishing. This season he was able to harvest his first caribou, catch his first mess of grayling, brush up on some Ptarmigan, though he’s no rookie to them, almost got his first moose, and just the other day I took him out where we really got into the rabbits. He shot 4 and my 8 yr old shot one before I made them stop. There were bunnies everywhere and I would have been cleaning rabbits all night had I let them continue to shoot.

    What a great time I have had in the field with my boys this season! I can now see the writing on the wall. My moose/caribou shooting days are over for a while because I will be playing full time guide for my boys, but I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.
    Sorry for the long post, I am normally not so long winded, but there were a lot of adventures this season and these were only the highlights.
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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default More Pictures

    A few more Pics
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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Default Caribou

    Great story northriver. How exciting for both of you and glad the shot was a good one on the caribou. Who was more excited, you or your son?? Hard to tell from the smiles in the pictures but I believe your son has the permanent smile. Nice job on all your success and good "guiding" in the future for both the boys. Thanks.

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Hey be sure to tell him congrats for me and super job Dad.

    I noticed ya had been kinda quiet, and heck even thought about PM'ing ya last night to see how your hunting season went.

    But now I know. Again great job.

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    It doesn't get any better than that. Congrats on bring them up right.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterWolf View Post
    Hey be sure to tell him congrats for me and super job Dad.

    I noticed ya had been kinda quiet, and heck even thought about PM'ing ya last night to see how your hunting season went.

    But now I know. Again great job.
    WaterWolf,

    sorry, we just had the new baby, so I have been laying low for a while.
    I'll stay in touch though.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Congrats to all in the hunting party.
    I had been anxiously waiting for the story to appear. The pictures are great, but I especially like your (Dad's) version of how it went down.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Great job northriver21! Looks and sounds like you and your son had a great time this year and brought home some game as well. Thank you for including all of us it was great reading about your experiences with your family.
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    Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Great story! Reminds me of my dad taking me on my first caribou hunt. I can't wait till my boys are finally ready for their first hunts!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    That was one of the best posts of the season. Thanks for sharing!

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    Thumbs up I'd love to hear...

    ...the other side of the story. I loved yours; don't get me wrong. I just bet that your boy's story is even better than that. If he writes it up, share it, eh?

    Thanks+1

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    ... I especially like your (Dad's) version of how it went down.

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    Doesn't get much better than that. Congrats to your son on his first big game critter.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    ...the other side of the story. I loved yours; don't get me wrong. I just bet that your boy's story is even better than that. If he writes it up, share it, eh?

    Thanks+1
    Thats very funny you should mention that. It just so happens that one of his teachers asked him to write a paper about his trip as make up work. One of the remaining teachers who get how important these type of adventures are to a young kid!

    He typed his paper on my lap top, so I am going to cut and paste it here for you. Keep in mind this is coming from a 10 year old and most of the facts are correct. I will give him 200-250 yard on the caribou, but 300 is a little stretch if you ask me. The 3 Ptarmigan with one shot is true.

    So here it is as written by my son word for word.


    My Hunting Trip

    On Sunday August 30th I went on my first big hunting trip to Denali. I was able to shoot ptarmigan, catch grayling, and get a caribou. It was a long trip there. I played my DS, talked to my dad, and listened to music. In Talkeetna I got a cocoa (I snuck two vanilla coffee creamers to keep me up) and a bag of sunflower seeds. Slurp and crack was all you heard the rest of the way as I drank and ate my cocoa and sunflower seeds. “Are we there yet?” I questioned to my dad. “No!” He replied. “I’m hungry,” I whined. He handed me a piece of cold chicken. “Yes!” I screamed as we turned in to park. I quickly ran in the motor home, set up my sleeping bag, and fell fast asleep.

    I got up, threw my clothes on, and had a Twinkie for breakfast. I went outside as the rest of the hunting crew got ready. I waited, and waited, and waited until everyone was ready. We left down the road in the Argo. Bump, bump, bump, thump as we drove over the tundra and through the woods. We spooked a small flock of five ptarmigan. My dad handed me my 4-10 and a shell. I popped my shell in and cocked my gun. Pow! Three of them dropped dead. I put them in the buggy and we drove on. It took a long time to find a camping spot, when we did it was late. We set up a tent and I hit the hay hard.

    For the next few days we spent our time moose hunting (that’s a whole different story.) On the last day of tent camping we took down camp and went fishing. We found a good hole. I casted once, fish-on! “Wow that was quick!” I said. I had caught my first grayling. It was amazing. The fish must have never seen a lure in their life because every cast we caught one.

    On Friday my mom and brother came with a warm motor home. They had a microwave and good food. My dad, brother, and I left to go caribou hunting, and found one that was running about 300 yards away from us. My dad said, “Don’t shoot, you won’t hit it.” Bang, I dropped him with one shot in the back. He was still sort of squirming away so I popped him in the neck. He was a nice size bull for my first caribou. My family was proud of me.

    It was a long trip home, but it gave me time to realize how much fun I had had. I can’t wait to go hunting next year. Hopefully I get will get a moose. We butchered our moose and caribou. After that, I took the best shower of my life.

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    Thumbs up through a childs eye

    makes me think back to the first deer hunt with my Dad. Truly a blessing being able to pass on the skills of hunting and fishing. I wish you many more memories to come, you are very lucky.

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    I pictured the whole thing as I read his story. Nice job on the bou "D" and that three bird shot...................brag that one up all ya can, you earned it.

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    Thumbs up best yet

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    ... I just bet that your boy's story is even better than that....
    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    ...He typed his paper on my lap top, so I am going to cut and paste it here for you....
    Thanks for sharing that; please tell him its even better than I imagined; and I thought it would be great!

    There's no better reward than that of raising a kid well. I'd wish you the best but you obviously already have that - both of you.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Great story! Nothing better than being out hunting with your son, is there? Congrats on a great season!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Three daughters

    Keep teaching em right. I got three daughters and in a few years after I've worn down my knees good I'm gonna need some solid son-in-laws to help get the freezer full.

    For now my 10yr old daughter is gonna work just fine. She sure isn't that good of a shot. She can hike a mountain though.

    Great story! I enjoyed drinking my coffee and reading that.

  19. #19

    Thumbs up way cool...

    Thanks for starting morning off with a "bang"! I like all of it.

  20. #20

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    You can really see the excitement in your son's eye, i'd say he's hooked for life!! Sounds like you guys spent some quality time in the field and brought home some meat as a bonus, congrats to you both!!

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