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Thread: 40-Mile Caribou Hunt Nick's Take

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    Default 40-Mile Caribou Hunt Nick's Take

    Michael did a great job on his post of our hunt. He was kind enough to leave me room to boast as well and for that I'm thankful.
    As Michael said, we began planning early this year. We exchanged numerous e-mails relating to food items, gear lists and logistics. I was in Maryland on business a few months back and we had the chance to have dinner and put a face to the e-mails. He bought so we ate like kings.
    Michael mentions that our hunt seems like Club Med compared to others-he deserves a lot of credit. No detail went unnoticed as he was VERY thorough.
    I'll not repeat EVERY detail but will hit a couple of points he may have missed or I'll expound on some he mentioned.
    For instance: Car rental agencies in Anchorage lie, lie, lie. I have rented a 4x4 SUV on 5 separate occasions in Anchorage from 4 separate agencies. Each time I go to pick it up I'm told none are available-I get a van-EVERY time.

    We did sight in our rifles and the $9 apiece was definately worth it! We set up targets at 100 yards and we both missed totally. I was 3 feet high and 2 feet right (this after bedding my rifle 3 months ago and shooting a group at 100 yards I could cover with a nickel!)

    We headed to Tok and on the way we saw a few antlers and ate at the cafe in Glenallen-the caribou something or other.

    Upon arrival in TOK we hooked up with Dick at the hunters desk who told us to be ready to fly at 7 am. Next morning we waited til early afternoon then the adventure began in earnest.alaska2011caribou 1ht.jpg

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    alaska2011caribou 109.jpgalaska2011caribou 012.jpgThey flew us out in the 206 to a staging area where I was left and Michael and our gear were taken ahead to our camp. While at the staging area they brought in another hunter who had harvested a griz sow in self defence earlier in the day. Not what I needed to hear on my way into the field.

    An hour later I was taken to a ridge where Michael had already scoped out a place to camp which turned out to be perfect. The bear fence was an added security which did make us sleep better.

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    We saw many caribou that first evening. Glassing caribou slowed the erection of our camp but nevertheless we were enjoying steaks as darkness approached. Many of the caribou were of -last day shooter-size. This is a good lesson. Arriving by plane allows you to see caribou without the pressure of having to harvest the first big one you see. We did see 1 bull with an unusual rack. His backscratchers went straight up about 2 feet each. Looked like he had double main beams. I supposed he'd have scored well.

    Next morning we scouted for and found water. My camp filter was easy and soon we had about 10 gallons of water.
    We poked around looking at caribou the rest of the morning and saw a couple of nice bulls but nothing I wanted just yet. Early in the after noon we found 6 bulls about a mile or so from camp and a long way down hill. I thought twice about the big bull(actually about 10 times). Michael said he could get me on to him if I wanted but in the end they all moved off without a shot. We hiked back to camp and were #$%* glad we weren't packing that bull back!
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    couple pics one of filter, one of the bull I mentioned. He's on the far right.
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    Now for the fun part.
    We arrived in camp and got a bite to eat. We pulled out our spotting scopes and started looking for a herd of bulls we'd seen earlier in the day about a mile off. Most of them were outta site but a saw a few of them still moving our way. 1 looked especially nice to me. I've been on 2 previous caribou hunts and not yet fired a round. Only seen 1 truely nice bull. My desire was for a-prototypical-caribou. Decent tops, nice bez, double shovel, white mane. When he was still 3/4 of a mile away I determind he was worth a better look so, with Mikchael's blessing I moved downhill to a place I supposed he might cross. As I slid down I saw other bulls crossing below me and thought he might follow their course-and he did-almost. He and another bull spent most of the next 2 hrs moving to a place within 200 yards of me. I was growing concerned as there was a small herd of 30 or so cows coming around the hill at my elevation. I was worried they might alarm him if they winded me.
    The wind, however was blowing at my back-directly to the bulls. At 150 or 200 yards the stopped behind the only 2 bushes on the hill. For 20 minutes. This gave me every angle to judge him by. I approved. When finally he spooked, he ran off about 50 or so yards and offered up a broadside shot which I happily took.....and missed.....3 times!
    He then bolted off another 100 to 150 yards and again offered up a sideways shot. I re-loaded. I let out half my breath. I squeezed the trigger. Then I chambered a round(what a numbskull). Then I broke his back from 386 steps away. He expired before I got there. I later found a total of 3 holes, 2 up high in the ribs/lungs, 1 up high in the tenderloins/backbone.
    I'm a big man. I'm a tough man. I'm a strong man. I won't lie, when I got to my bull, a lot of emotions ran through me. First, relief. A deep exhale as I stood there looking at what I had finally done. Second, joy. Several nearly silent sobs as a few tears ran down my face to mix with the snot running out my nose. Third, respect. He was a big, mature bull. I took from him his one possession and now out of respect, I had to honor our commitment to each other.
    Soon Michael arrived( I had wiped away any hint of emotion). We took numerous photos and set about reducing my bull to tablefare.
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    couple more
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    a few more
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    Yeah, it's corney. Yeah, it's staged.

    Cool Huh?

    Every hunt should have this(or similar) shot--man law!
    G'night more tomorrow!
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    Your pictures explain a little better why Michael doesn't go home to hunt!. Those are Alaska Mag quality pics. Thanks for the story and pics.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    nice job Nick like the read the first time around also... Mike did great job on it... and now the other side of the story... bvery nice bull... very nice...
    "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."

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    congratulations man on a real cool hunt! sounds like you guys had a blast and did it right! good looking caribou....i especially like all the character on the rack...twisted and cool looking points on top!
    They say its unsafe to own a gun, I say its unsafe to have only one!!!

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    Great Bull!!! I didn't get to hunt this year but your story makes me fell like i was there. Man do I love those 40 mile Bulls
    Normal people believe that if something ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

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    Gotta give Nick loads of credit, he passed up smaller bulls on previous hunts and didn't pull the trigger on something less than he wanted. I'd say he was rewarded for his patience - no ground shrinkage on his bull! It was great to see all of the hunters checking it out and shaking his hand when we got back to Tok.

    It was awesome to see the look on his face when I got down to him, I think the realization of a dream was setting in. Way to go man! I bet it feels just as good today, as it did that day.

    Michael

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    It is a fine bull. Congrats to you and your partner.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Nice work Nick. That's a pretty bull. Love all the business in the bez and shovels on him. Congrats on letting your patience pay off. I would have had a hard time not shooting that bull with the 2+ foot backscratchers. That guy looks too cool to pass up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the nikster View Post
    We did see 1 bull with an unusual rack. His backscratchers went straight up about 2 feet each. Looked like he had double main beams.
    When i dropped my caribou off at my taxidermist about 2 weeks ago, he showed me a rack where the backscratchers crossed!!!

    Thanks for sharing your hunting trip bro!! congats!!!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I took a bull from the 40 mile herd last year that had interlocking tines.




    Great hunt guys, enjoyed reading both your accounts.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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