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Thread: My day of caribou!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Smile My day of caribou!

    Well I have absolutely no idea how to describe what happened today... or what even to call the thread so all I can hope is that a suitable title shows up in the process.....


    today started with the same hum drum of all the rest lately. anticipated client calls did not disappoint me this morning as I agreed yet again to meet some people in town on my day off and reset their units. I had little planed so I guess it did not matter..

    as I was dressing to leave I found myself dressing to be outdoors rather than the office. so it took little effort to grab the .22, .243 and 12 gage with my pack on the way to the office. of the three calls two showed up as scheduled and both asked ... why I was dressed for hunting.. my reply was short.. because I am going....For what? .... I don’t know yet.. just going.

    30 min later still no reply from number three I made the decision I should have made this morning. tired of being incovineced... I hit the gas station with no plan in mind, filled the car and my thermos... and found myself with my nose to the wind headed north out of town...

    as the miles rolled by, there was no radio only the constant buzz between my ears of town being left behind and a mind fettered up with clutter trying to sort itself out...

    slowly I realize I am the only one on the road... and that I am silent within and I begin looking for tracks... the wind and fresh snow made any track I spotted fresh as they can get, short of some warm feet in them..

    the gray soft light, the swirling snow drifting on the roads edges and the hum of my tires as I roll along searching for signs of life to begin my quest upon... feather or fur I was not being picky....

    as I round one corner and severely buffeted by strong gusts of wind I spot my first herd of Caribou standing within the gust of blowing snow, seeking shelter from the worst of it by a small stand of willows half broken by the weight of snow cause by the plows... as I pulled up along them in a vain attempt to photo them with the ever present O-berry.... the light and the wind made it too difficult... as I realized my presence was disturbing their peace I pulled on..


    a few more miles down the road I found what I was searching for.. Tracks and lots of them.. down with in the valley, sheltered from the Gail above were lots of caribou and the first set of wolf tracks...I slowly motored on to find my spot of safety for the wife’s van... ..


    as I up pack and dress for my time outside... I found I was racing, heart beating and getting excited nearly unable to control the emotion... I felt as though a young boy cracking open one of dads Adult magazines for the first time... as the giddy ness subsides I step off the road into the snow and head down hill... with each step the soft freshness absorbed the roar of frustration that had been welling up inside for weeks.

    I maneuvered myself down wind of nearly 20 Caribou resting on the hill side across from me and set my trap... silently shoveling the snow aside I made myself a den and settled in and begin to glass... I started low and soft with the fawn call... with short puffs I imitated the wail of a lost calf, or lamb or other baby animal... it really is wondrous that of all the sounds.. a crying baby is a crying baby no matter what shape it come from...

    nearly half an hour slid by before I knew it had even started... I watched another band of 7 Caribou, mill past me in the creek below... I knew I did not have to go far.. their hunters were nearby each end of the valley was being hammered by wind and blowing snow... we had one of the few havens around.... as I glass I see more making their way to the river bottom... as the light begins to fail with barely 30 minutes left to sun set, the hair on my neck begins to drift on its own... a few more puffs of the fawn call ... silence.. answers back.. the silence that is so loud it is deafing... nothing moves.. ( waaa, waaaaaa, whaa)


    then from behind me a solemn sound of movement ever so quietly...

    as I raise the rifle I am again gripped by the anticipation of the moment and my skin comes alive with involuntary movement...

    then out of the fog, and misting snow.

    one silent shape, then anther, then a third..... drifting past me in all


    13 caribou.. within feet, almost INCHES... they stop before me... As I lay my rifle across my lap once more, I am throttled by a moment of sheer glee...

    a young calf is in the rear and stopped almost within reach. its mother staring intently at me... and I whispered to her... go.. today I am your protector not your hunter... the most AMAZING thing happened.. the calf turned stepped forward to me, so close I could feel the soft puffs of breath upon my cheek.. filling it's nose of my sent. I watched it and the mother.. whom I SWEAR, told that calf, in any moms voice.... NO! DON"T TOUCH THAT!

    the entire group seem to visibly relax, then again doing something so foreign to me... they bedded down with in my grasp.

    I watch the mother Caribou rest alongside her young, and fully realized the void of my own children being away. then moments later. as the light was finally waning... they as a group came to their feet at full attention, yet I was not it... over the wind, I heard one, then another, then a group ... my quarry,,, howling to signal their own victory, of surviving yet another day.

    As I silently packed my goods and self back up the hill in the din of my head lamp... the magnitude of it all struck me like a hammer from behind...though I have hunted many,,, I have never spent a day with the caribou... Until now...





    i guess thats what i will call this...thread
    "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

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    Default Congrats on a fine day

    These are few and far between. Glad you got one when you needed it. Been there, but not for too many years.... I miss it.

    Much thanks for sharing. Should keep the wolves of civilization at bay for a while.

    Seems like a fitting gift for a hunter @ Christmas, even if it's a day late.

    Mike

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    uhhmmm......
    It doesn't matter what you miss them with.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdklinak View Post
    These are few and far between. Glad you got one when you needed it. Been there, but not for too many years.... I miss it.

    Much thanks for sharing. Should keep the wolves of civilization at bay for a while.

    Seems like a fitting gift for a hunter @ Christmas, even if it's a day late.

    Mike
    Thanks rdklinak! i have to say it is probably the most purely magical moment i have ever experienced in the outdoors, when that calf turned to me, unafraid it was really an experience i will never forget...




    Quote Originally Posted by KClark View Post
    uhhmmm......
    I know huh!!!! i still am too


    .
    "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

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    Did you have a camera with you? Sounds like one of those situations where you forget it at home then say "man, nobody's gonna believe this one"!! Good story.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Did you have a camera with you? Sounds like one of those situations where you forget it at home then say "man, nobody's gonna believe this one"!! Good story.
    i had my oberry and tried to get some photos of some as they wandered by in one group... but the light was awful for phone pics i want a new video... but not allowed till i can go hunting a year with out breaking the screen of the diggi
    "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

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    Nice post. That really captures the connection we have with the animal world.

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    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    I still get that way when I open an adult magazine.

    But seriously, awesome post. Makes me want to head north tomorrow just to see what I can see.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default incredible

    that's about the first thing that comes to mind after reading such a story. The second thought that comes to mind is jealousy.

    A true gift from God, congrats

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Great post. That's a lot more fun than I had today!

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    You might get a job collering and monitoring Caribou someday



    Cool when things like that happen, for sure........... as long as your not goin' vegan on us Vince ~~LOL!!~~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Wink Camera...

    Vince...it you would have had the foresight to have brought your camera...

    none of these events would have happened...

    Today, you and the caribou had a good personal day together, a good karma day.

    dennis

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. Absolutely fantastic. A lot of people wouldn't understand why a hunter would feel like that.

    I've still hunted, trying to ghost along like a white tail can in broad daylight and walked up on fawns and does. Within arm's length, they look at you like you are a moving stump.

    Moments as good as any trophy on the wall.

  14. #14
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    You might get a job collering and monitoring Caribou someday



    Cool when things like that happen, for sure........... as long as your not goin' vegan on us Vince ~~LOL!!~~
    LOL not quite.. i am just not allowed to shoot them....and i have meat for now.... it is very obvious the season was closed this winter.. the bou strolled down the road past the car while parked.. but did not care for it move along with them.. there was none of the SPOOKED racing like years past.. for the amount of bou i saw today unlike past winters after the December hunt.. there was a huge diff. been quite back there for them that you can tell...
    "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

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    way cool Vince

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Great post Vince!

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    Vince, great story. Good thing you weren't using your new Electric Field Eliminating Clothing. If you had been that caribou momma would not have been able to read your intentions with her sixth sense and know you meant her and the calf no harm.

    It is amazing how creatures do seem to be able to read us so well.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Great day!

    Those are the days we live for! Great story. Had a cariventure today myself. I ran the 63 miles from the lodge by myself this afternoon, to Cantwell, on the snow machine. At Seattle Creek I parked on the bridge, with a nice fresh couple of inches of snow on the ground and just enjoyed the silence.. after about 15 minutes, 8 caribou 'appeared' out of no where about 40 yards up the creek, and just fed along, not paying any attention to me. I watched them for a half an hour. cool stuff!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Vince that is what being in the outdoors is all about. That was one great Christmas present! Thanks for sharing that with us

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Close contact

    Twice this year I walked right into the bedroom of young deer here on Baranof. I enjoyed those moments of contact. It's a connection to the wilderness I cherish as a sportsmen. It's kinda like catch and release fishing. There is a moment when you release a prized trout when you know your doing something for the stream and your soul in the same moment. That connection with the wilderness was well shared in your story.

    Thank you for contributing.

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