After flying into Norman Wells follow us for an amazing Caribou hunt. These are unedited journal entries from our hunt (spelling and grammar???). I thought it would be fun to post exactly how I hand wrote them down. Also, didn't realize how much I use spellcheck on my computer
We are boarding a plane to Yellowknife then headed to Norman wells. Once in Norman wells we are taking drift plane to base camp. Not sure if we will go to spike camp today or not??
Last night in Edmonton we went to dinner at a pub called Canadian Brewhouse. We watched the 49ers game which they unfortunately lost but they did make it close. I had shepherds pie and they made it with Short ribs. Good meal before going to the backcountry
Wagered on who would shoot the biggest caribou with Chad and also had a side bet with Bill and Mark. Losers have to pay for golf and dinner when we return to Idaho. Odds are against the rookies a little bit.
Weather is rainy and little cold mid 40's(F).
Getting excited for hunt and playing mental games on what to shoot. I know I want a double shovel but don't want to get skunked again like in Montana when I passed on a few bulls day one and two. Chad has a Moose tag that will also be a lot of fun.
Got into camp last night, we were delayed a couple hours due to weather but once the storm cleared we took a twin otter drift plane to base camp. Had Caribou Stew last night which was amazing.
We are headed out to spike cap in a helicopter after breakfast. We are going to an area called: carcajou (Indian for wolverine, according to guide).
Had eggs, hash browns, bacon, and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Blueberries were homegrown from the camp cooks, it was amazing.
Got Basecamp all set up and glassed a couple of herds of caribou, I cant wait until tomorrow. Feels like Christmas.......
After a restless night of sleep, and fairly cold we got up early, ate breakfast and started to hunt. We unexpectedly came up on a herd of 15-20 caribou while trying to stalk and gain better views of a big herd up on the mountain. We almost tripped over a great bull. He was beaded down and all we saw was his top antlers and looked like a good shooter but once he stood up we knew he was a great bull. We decided early on that Chad would get the first one and i would shoot second. I am really kicking myself because this is a great bull. Chad was able to drop him with one shot from about 80 yards. We had lunch and field dressed his bull on the side of a hill.
We watched another herd appear after dressing Chad's bull and we saw a good bull with a big shovel. We were able to get within 250 yards a couple times but I decided to pass on the bull as it was early in the hunt and didn't have a great shot.
We hiked back to camp with Chads bull and it was not an easy task. They have these balls of wheat/grass called hummocks that make it feel like you are walking on bowling balls and when your packing 1/2 a caribou it sucks. Some of the hardest terrain to hike despite the little elevation gains.
First time using the Tenzing CF 13 and it did amazing.
Made it back to camp and had a mountain house meal (lasagna) and built a fire inside our tipi. I'm going to bed
Didn't sleep to well last night. Having regrets on passing on the bull last night. Having nightmares on this being another Montana elk hunt experience where greed resulted in going home empty. It's early still and we have four more days but snow is supposed to be coming in.
Glasses a herd way down the valley and tried making a move on them. Didn't see much caribou today but after hiking down the ridge chasing a better view we came upon a small herd with a good bull in it.
This bull had double shovels and long bezzes which I liked and met the requirements i had going in. Was hoping for bigger tops but in fear of snowstorm coming in and going home empty I decided to make a move on this bull. We snuck down the ridge and bear crawled up to a ridge. We glassed the bull at around 260 yards. I decided to shoot the bull, after lining up the sites I pulled the trigger and hit him right in the lungs. He didn't go down so I put a couple more shots in him and he went down. After field dressing him we decided to hike down to the creek bed to evade the hummocks. It took us 2 1/2 hours to hike back and had to cross creek river 5-6 times. After tagging out we celebrated back at camp and ate another round of mountain house meals.
The northern lights were out tonight which was neat to see. I only saw grey streaks but still pretty neat.
We packed up camp this morning and waited for the helicopter to come pick us up. Storm is coming in so we are trying to get out of spike camp as fast as possible.
Got back to base camp and we were the last ones back in. All the other hunters tagged out.
We took group pictures with all the hunters and some with just us. 100% success for the camp!
Had caribou lasagna back at base camp. It was delicious.
Went on a wolf walk today to the "land" bridge. Goal is to see the landmark but ready to shoot a wolf if we can find one. the Land Bridge was a really neat arch over the canyon with huge waterfalls. Took some great pictures with Chad and Mark.
As we were walking back to camp our guide turned around and saw a grizzly bear following us. He was on top of the hill about 50 yards away. Our guide fired a shot and the bear took off the other direction. We all put a round in the chamber and walked to the high ground to see if we could see the bear. We glassed him at roughly 2000 yards away in the ten minutes it took us to get up high.
We figured the bear would have been on us in less then 30 seconds if the guide had not turned around. It's amazing to think of how close we came to a terrible accident.
This area has had two bear attacks in the last Rhee years. Our guide was involved in one and had to shoot a bear off a hunter. The bear snuck up behind them and attached while they were glassing a bull moose. The hunter had to be life delighted out of the mountains and barely survived. The other incident the hunter was not as fortunate. The bear killed him instantly. A lot more dangerous out here then we anticipated.
Chad and I got back to camp and we're feeling pretty dirty so we decided to jump in the lake at basecamp and wash. Coldest water I have ever been in. They estimated it to be low 40's high 30's.
Packed up basecamp gear and getting ready for the drift plane to compe pick us up. Been an amazing hunt and already want to make plans to come back and do a combo (Moose/Carbou or Doll Sheep/Caribou) hunt.
Guides worked on the capes and we measured the horns to settle our bet. There was some confusion on how to score according to the old men (Mark and Bill) but we assume they knew they lost and were just making excuses.
Stayed in Norman Wells last night in the only hotel in town, got our export permits from the fish and game and ready to head back to Idaho tomorrow,
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