Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Limit is Filled with Another Caribou

Gander Mountain

The morning was greeted with a low overcast, but good visibility and no mist or visible moisture in the air.  It cannot get any better than this.  In addition, it was a fairly light wind day.
Looking out the front porch of the lodge. This is a major improvement.  Notice the lack of white caps on the lake.  The overcast will just keep the sun out of our eyes.

My plan had been to hunt for two days, take a day off to recuperate, then hit it again.  However, when my guide saw Caribou on the hill behind us, the blood began to become energized.  I was ready to hit it again regardless of the pain that might be ensued.

The camp manager had a surprise for us.  We had been visited by a grizzly bear during the night and his tracks were in the sand down by the lake.  With all the meat hanging out next to the cabin, everyone was amazed he had not eaten his fill and destroyed what he did not eat.

This is how the meat was hung next to the lodge.  We were all amazed the bear did not tear into the tender morsels.

 Again, safety was the rule of thumb.  I was grateful the camp manager gave us specific warnings and instructions if we saw the bear during the evening.  His instructions were to yell like it was the end of the world and holler, " Bear!" numerous times.  The guides and the manager would take care of the problem.  Most likely he would be scared off, but then again it was a grizzly.
My footprint is against the bear track.  I wear a size 12, so that can give you an idea of the size of the animal.  Members of our group on hunting trips had seen bigger tracks, but this was representative of a descent size bear.  I wanted nothing to do with this animal.

It was the usual spot and stalk as we moved the boat along the shoreline from the lodge.  With the good visibility, they could see us as well as us seeing them.  Sometimes a little fog is a good thing.  After about 45 minutes some decent size Caribou was spotted right along the shore line and close to some of the pines that grew there.  We moved downwind from the five that were spotted and beached the boat.  Moving up to the bank was easy and we stayed close to the trees as we moved toward the Caribou.

At about 150 yards, we stopped.  There were two within an easy gun range.  The guide had me set up, but just before the shot was taken, a smaller animal walked right in between me and the bigger of the two animals.  I had to wait.  I was concerned the better animal would walk off, but he stayed right in the general area where a shot could be taken. Slowly the smaller animal wandered off to my right and the bigger animal was totally exposed.  With the cross hairs on the sweet spot, a round was sent.  He dropped like a sack of bricks.
This is the smaller of the two Caribou I could have taken.  The one taken is off to the the left of the picture and you can just see the white of his back end.  The animal just stood there after the shot, then slowly walked off.  When we got within 50 yards, he then ran. It was amazing how long he stood and stared at us.  He probably had never seen people before. 
The time was 10 AM on the third day, and I was limited out with two Caribou.  Neither one was trophy, but they were acceptable.  I am a meat hunter and not really interested in a trophy animal which would be old and not as tender as a youngster.  The best part of this shot was the animal was dropped not more than 20 yards from the lake's edge.  The guide and my hunting partner went to get the boat and after the caribou was deboned, it was a short walk to the boat. 
Very acceptable and I will get a nice two sacks of meat off the animal and enjoy him with friends and family. Look at the beauty of the tundra behind me.  It was spectacular, but to really appreciate it, you have to experience the beauty in person.  I was constantly amazed at the various plant life that grew on the barren landscape.  The white is the lichen,.  This is the main item in the diet of the Caribou.

I had the choice of staying with my guide and my companion hunter, but decided to fold my tent for the day.  My fellow hunter was after a trophy animal, and my needs were easily filled with meat and a great experience.  I did not want to be in their way as they spotted and stalked for a trophy.

Gander Mountain

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank

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