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Girl, horses, caribou...take 4

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  • Girl, horses, caribou...take 4

    Made our trip back into Mal's spot this year and were lucky enough to come out on the winning side again. We packed into the area on the day before the opener, and were amazed to find that we were all by ourselves this year. Heard reports from people at the trailhead saying they had seen zero caribou, which was similar to other reports that I've heard in the last few days, but we didn't care. Its a nice spot, and it was going to be a fun trip regardless. So we got everyone loaded up and got ready to hit the trail.

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    Took several hours to get back in, but we settled in and made camp, and had us some dinner. The kid was starving by this point.

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    Next morning started with the sound of a spooked horse, so I was up. Evidently he touched the fence and paid the price. Since I was up, I made me some coffee and just enjoyed the quiet. Did some looking while sipping my coffee and after about 30 minutes, spotted a small herd (8-9) cows and calves coming over a small ridge about 2 miles away. Kept watching the area and eventually spotted a larger animal, but didn't see his head. Kept an eye on the area and fixed me another cup of coffee. Eventually, the animal came back in an open area, and I seen he was a decent bull. So, went over to the tent and told Mal that I seen a bull we should go after. Last year, she came out of that tent like her hair was on fire. This year, not so much. Teenagers....useless. After a second reminder, she was up and sort of ready to go. Got the horses tacked up and headed that way. Got to an area near the bull, and tied the horses up on some willow, and headed off on foot. We covered about 400 yards, when I noticed something that was either a funny looking rock, or a caribou. Threw up the binos, and seen it was the bull looking at us at about 300 yards. We laid down and got the bipod into position, and got ready. The bull decided he needed to get a bead on us, so he came running toward us. After several stops, he was at about 150 yards and gave her a quartering on shot. She took the shot, he dropped like a rock. Another caribou season ends almost the same as it had last year.



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    We had a great day to take our time and get him apart, then went back to camp and hung him in the shade to cool. We spent the rest of the day riding and exploring, seen several more caribou, all of which ran to us. Got back to camp in the evening and got the horses fed. Had a little red Robinson helo fly up the valley, then came back out right over our camp. I told Mal, bet thats a trooper and he's gonna check us out. Sure enough he spins around and lands a little ways from camp. He came over and checked all the usual stuff and was then on his way. Like that they are patrolling the CUA, I've seen way too many guys abusing it in the past years. Anyways, ate dinner, then had us some coffee, and hot chocolate and just enjoyed the evening. Just after sun down, the horses all alerted, and out pops a nice bull caribou about 300 yards from camp, almost in the exact place Mal shot her bull last year. Same thing happened again the next morning. Good spot we camp at I guess. Packed up all the gear and meat, then headed back out to the trail head. This year I packed my little 28 gauge in for the walk out. The dog put up quite a few ptarmigan, and I ended up shooting a good little bunch by the time we got back out.



    All considered, it was a great trip and some real good time spent with the girl. I'm just amazed at how much she's grown in the last few years, and know that these are the memories I'll carry with me to the end of my days. Feel lucky to be able to do this.

  • #2
    Congratulations to Mal, great job & good on you. Sounds like you have the area pretty well dialed in. What cal is she shooting?
    Caribou being caribou what do you think caused them to run in & investigate, the horses? You may have to go in with two permits next year if you can get it all out in one trip.

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    • #3
      Good luck finding that girl a young man worthy of son-in-law material (someday).

      Congrats on another fine outing!
      If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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      • #4
        Once again, her former teacher (my wife) is hugely excited to see Mal's success and very proud of her! Tell her congratulations from both of us!

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        • #5
          Thanks for the report - I love the pics! Congrats to Mal - well done.

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          • #6
            Awesome trip, sounds like a fun time.

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            • #7
              Its been a joy watching this young lady grow up here on the forum.
              Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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              • #8
                Good job to both of you!
                Love the story and pics, thanks for sharing.
                BK
                BK Marine Services 232-6399
                Alaskas only Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
                Alaskas only Lonestar drum winch dealer, Whirlwind props, Stinger gearbox, and Alumatech airboats.
                Www.bkmarineservices.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AKMarmot View Post
                  Congratulations to Mal, great job & good on you. Sounds like you have the area pretty well dialed in. What cal is she shooting?
                  Caribou being caribou what do you think caused them to run in & investigate, the horses? You may have to go in with two permits next year if you can get it all out in one trip.
                  She shoots a .243, which is a great rifle for her and the caribou.

                  As for the caribou running toward us...got no clue. They are just goofy animals sometimes. I think they are geared towards wolves and want to keep a bead on the danger, which doesnt generally work in their favor when it comes to humans with rifles. But thats just my theory. We were on foot when her's came running, the rest came running while we were on horseback. Just goofy animals.

                  I'm happy with just one caribou. Keeps things simple and I can focus on making sure she gets a good shot set up. We could do two with the horses we take in, but I'm fine with what we do for now.

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                  • #10
                    Again, a great story and pics, Just love the fact you use your stock for your daughters adventures, truly will be something to look back on. As you probably know time goes all to quickly. Thanks, Ron.

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                    • #11
                      Congrats that sure is some pretty country and the stock looks great!

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                      • #12
                        Great story,country,stock,caribou and pictures! Good wholesome memories for a lifetime! Whats that black thing she's holding in pic #2? I'm supposed to take my 11 yo granddaughter creek fishing this weekend and I think she too has one of those. I hope she doesn't drop my new creek fishing pole in the drink when that thing buzzes!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Blacktail135 View Post
                          Great story,country,stock,caribou and pictures! Good wholesome memories for a lifetime! Whats that black thing she's holding in pic #2? I'm supposed to take my 11 yo granddaughter creek fishing this weekend and I think she too has one of those. I hope she doesn't drop my new creek fishing pole in the drink when that thing buzzes!
                          Yeah, those things are almost impossible to get pried loose these days. In that pic however, she was watching the timer count down the ten minutes that it took to "cook" her freeze dried meal. She was starving by that point. Absolutely no cell coverage in that area which is the way it ought to be.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for sharing. It's been fun reading these stories over the years.

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                            • #15
                              One of my favorite stories in a long time. I've hunted and killed plenty, as have many on these forums. Seeing your daughter be successful with a great father who makes her the focus of the hunt makes my heart smile. I have 7 and 4 year old girls, and I look forward to the day. I asked my 7 year old, as part of a training I took part in, what would make me a better dad...with a little thought she said "Well, I sure can't wait for you to take me hunting". Me neither- thanks for sharing, absolutely priceless.
                              Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

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