August 19, 2014

Caribou Hunting Trip

Disclaimer: In this blog post, it talks about Josh's hunting trip, as told by Joshua. There will be some pictures of him and Doug field dressing the caribou.

Last week I had the chance to go on a caribou hunt with my buddy, Doug.  Doug drew the caribou tag, asked if I wanted to come with, and of course I said yes.  We were scheduled to fly out on a float plane into the Kenai Mountains on Aug. 7th, but the weather didn't allow it.  We had to hang around the house waiting for the call to fly out.  We ended up booking another flight service and we finally left on Aug. 10th. 

We landed on the lake around 11:00 a.m. and we immediately set up camp and started scouting.  (In Alaska you cannot hunt the same day that you are airborne)  It was obvious that we were in some beautiful, but rough, country.

Our plan ride in:

Watching it take off.

 The first morning, Doug woke up earlier than I did and he decided to head out to a ridge and glass (look for animals) while I would trail behind.  As I was climbing over a ridge, I noticed a bull caribou not far from where I thought Doug should be.  Before I could even get my binoculars up, I heard a shot and the watched the caribou go down.  I made it up to Doug and he told me that he hoped the caribou did not fall into the river.  I tell you what, it sure was close.  It was on the other side of the river so we found a way across. That's when we started the real work.

Behind Doug it is straight down into the river.

We cleaned and got the caribou ready to pack.  The biggest difference from hunting in Illinois and hunting in Alaska is the fact that you have to practically be a cross between a marathon runner and an Olympic weight lifter to survive the packing... We actually got somewhat lucky and only had to pack the caribou about 1 1/2 to 2 miles through a river and over a mountain to camp.  (It took two extremely tiring trips)

 Caribou quarters hanging out of our packs
 Second trip with the rack

 Crossing the river
 Finally made it.

When we made it back to camp we cooked up some fresh caribou and hit the hay. 

We ended up going out for black bear the next day, but the weather turned awful and we decided to use our in-reach to text the flight service to pick us up.  The flight service picked us up along with other hunters in the area because of the weather.  All in all, it was a great trip and I am thankful for having great friends and great opportunities. 

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