BooHoo for Caribou

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by warpig, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. warpig

    warpig Guest

    cointoss 2
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    (9/26/02 9:09:41 pm)
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    Ok, just a short one for tonight and I'll add more tomorrow.

    We started the trip with one of my buds getting his new GMC Denali stolen from the hotel the morning we were to fly out. Language differences and the feeling that we were just another complaining Americans, kind of put a sour crimp to the start of the hunt. But finally we got some things going for the police and left for our departure with no time to spare. We had an uneventful flight to a little Inuit village on the Hudson Bay, which incidentally had four different names in Inuit, Cree, French Canadian, and just English which was Gray Whale.
    Talk about culture shock, since we had to layover there for about half a day while waiting for the bush plane that was equipped with tundra tires, we kind of hiked around the village. Most of it was little plywood houses, built over the perma-frost on supports and one little dirt road that mainly carried ATVs and I did see one full size 4wheel drive school bus. Meanwhile, the winds were building to gusts over 60 miles an hour and sustained at 50 mph with rain blowing sideways. Didn't know which would be worse having to stay at the airport or chance that the bush plane would come and send us out in all that weather but indeed it came. The plane was trying to take off without us even in yet and it was tied down while they loaded it with our weeks supplies of food and fuel. I have to tell you, I know just enough about flying to get in trouble and I was having serious doubts that we would be taking off. But out we went.
    We six squeezed in between the 100 gallon propane tanks and the 4dozen eggs and sundry supplies all labled in French, while the plane reeked of aviation fuel that had blown in through the open cargo door. I strapped myself in as the others were doing and started looking at the dents and scratches that most bush planes have on the inside and started noticeing other little things such as the window I sat next to where someone had carved their initials in; only thing that I had on my mind before we left, I hope the engine has been serviced well and that it wasn't the mechanic's initials I was starring at. When we started down the runway at the airport it only took us about 50 feet to lift off but what a crab yawl all the way to camp. And did I say bumpy, that pilot was having a hoot while we were getting the intense effect of that aviaiation fuel on the inside while hopping up and down and sideways and all the while questioning the gravy that I had had on the fries and the mystery meat at the Inuit "cafe". To sum it up it was a very,very long flight of 105 miles and we still had to land.
    The plane came in yawling and being buffeted by cross winds we hit the sand runway kinda hard but came to a complete stop by the 55 gallon fuel barrels that would top the tanks off so it would be able to make it back to Gray Whale. All of us grabbed our gear and pushed into the wind and rain hauling our 60 lbs of gear to the plywood camp. We were greeted by the two campmen and cook who for the most part spoke French, and the only French I could recall were terms of endearment from an old, old girfriend so I knew that I wouldn't be useing any of what I knew.
    cointoss2

    cointoss2

    shooter22
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    (9/26/02 10:10:28 pm)
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    I can hear the banjos....ding da ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,! da ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,ding,

    twang, ta twang,twang,twang,twang,twang,twang,twang,twang!




    LIKTOSHOOT
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    (9/27/02 7:25:09 am)
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    First day in camp sounds like ours, as we unload and make it ready for the week long stay. We don`t speak French, but it does sound close. Helped by shots of Jack and Bud cans flowing freely. Looking foward to Paul Harvey`s........



    THE REST OF THE STORY!!!

    kdub01
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    (9/27/02 12:33:51 pm)
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    Yeah, yeah! You Go, Ben - !

    Now, let's hear the rest of it (and no Inuit snow maidens - Sue may be watching!).
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    warpig883
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    (9/27/02 4:52:17 pm)
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    I bet you told the cook I Love You in French















    didn't ya?


    cointoss 2
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    (9/27/02 10:03:12 pm)
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    Well, I'm sure you all are tired of my writing by now, so here is the rest of the story...

    Indeed the cook was a French woman and yes I told her all the words I remembered and sometimes I was served first, being good looking and all that I am. At the very least I wasn't slapped! Actually, listening to the campmen talking on the radio satillite telephone in the evening to the other camps was the only news of the ouside world we had and I did start to pick up a few of the words.
    First day of the hunt, wind and driving rain with maybe about 5 caribou seen by me and just about the same for the other fellas.
    Day two, started out with a little less wind so we loaded up the freighter canoes with our gear for a ride across the lake; but did I tell you about the wolf that wanted to go? Yep, a real live genuine wolf came running right through the camp. While we were all standing and pointing it headed straight up to the runway where it stopped just kind of stared back and eyed the little camp dog named "Daisey". Couldn't tell if it had dinner or amorous desires but shoot, could that wolf move. Every night he and others were coming into camp and often right up next to the buildings just about the time we stopped the generator. The tracks told the story.
    Ok back to the hunt, I could just about hear one shot in the rain and wind so I turned on the little radio and one of the fellas said he got a caribou. So we all congradulated him and got back to hunting while the campmen helped him dress his out. Then the sleet started and I just about figured out that all smart caribou act like deer and would bed down someplace warm and dry out of the darn wind and rain, because at least I sure wanted to. Well they don't, and if anything, will readily move to the ridgetops and you just have to go up to them so there I was... wet through to the skin and then out of nowhere a small herd came. Fumbleing to get the rifle out of the guncase seemed to take forever and as I flipped the scope covers off, instantly the lenses became spoted from the sleet. By this time the bull couldn't have been more than 40 or 50 yds so I knew the wind wouldn't effect the bullet placement. Bang!!!
    He just stood there. What the heck, I could see a good chest hit; and of all things he started to browse on some of the lichen and then slowly started to amble off with the rest of the herd, so I put a final round out and anchored him. When I started to dress him out I was still amazed that he did not run off or seem excited at the shot. Nothing at all like deer that I have hunted nor any other game, the only thing I can figure was that driving wind had thrown the sound somehow. Later when talking with the other succesful hunters my story was similar to theirs as well. They just did not seem to adverse to the shot and bullet placement like deer.
    Days three and four to rough to cross lake so we hunted our side behind camp but the caribou just could not get across to us.
    Day five, the wind had switched directions in the night and blew the outhouse over. We thought the camp would go as well and I am serious. The outhouse was not just a little one holer but a genuine substancial built, divided walled, two holer. Complete with screened in windows for viewing while in a sitting position and a bag of lime for sanitation. But as far as I know I was the only one who attempted to throw a coffee can of it down the hole because it blew right back at me. Seems that when they dug the hole it caved in in the back which left the back bottom open and acted like a venturi with the wind blowing through and consequently up through where you would sit. Kind of hard to get rid of the t.p. that just kept blowing back up at you as well. Any how we six plus the campmen set the outhouse back up and laid some planks and brush down in hopes of making it a little more comfortable for use. Then off across the lake we went.
    We hunted all day and a most of the guys had filled their final tags but I just couldn't get to the right spot to cut the few bulls off that I had seen durring the day. But what was really starting to concern me was the wind was really putting rollers and white caps on the lake and we still had to cross back to camp. The lake is about 45 miles long and about 8 to ten miles at its widest, all we had to do was cross about four miles straight across to the camp. I could see it well through the binnoculars and I could see some huge white-caps too in the middle.
    Off we went in two seperate canoes with the campguides steering a quartering course. Water was comming over the transom and over the bow of these freighter canoes, we didn't stand a chance I knew it, the guides knew it, and the rest knew it too. When you are that committed you basically only have one thing you can do and that is prayand continue. Lifejackets wouldn't have helped, the other boat could never turn back, 10 foot waves was just too much. Think of the movie A Perfect Storm, that was in proportion to what we were in.
    By this time the other canoe had to run with the waves about four or five miles while quartering and they had finally made the other side, so all they basically had to do was beat back up to the camp by the shore. Unfourtanetly, we had to turn around and run back up on the side we had just left from, not a real good feeling but better than being on the bottom of the lake. Praying works! We sarted again and everyone was scared witless but we had a little better break when we started the second time and finally made it to camp. I have to tell you, even the non-drinkers had a long draw of Canadian Mist that evening and we were all sincerely thankful that someone was watching over us.
    Day six, took my last caribou. My partner and one of the guides took me up to where they had previously been succesful a day before, I didn't even have time to start scanning with binnoculars before two good bulls came up crossing the saddle on the ridge in front of me. My buddy had just enough time to grab his camcorder and start recording as I hunched over a boulder and fired the last shot. The rest of the day we all helped one of the bow hunters recover a caribou that he had shot with his bow.
    My hunt was over, trials and tribulations dealt with, new people, a different country and language as well as different perspectives, all worked out in the end when everthing was added together. Would I do it again, yes sir, just not for a month or two.
    cointoss2

    cointoss2

    kdub01
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    (9/28/02 12:08:40 am)
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    Great story, Ben.

    I think you miss the camp cook, more'n the hunting!
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    warpig883
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    (9/28/02 9:45:06 am)
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    ezSupporter
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    how does Caribou taste?


    cointoss 2
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    (9/28/02 10:31:18 am)
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    I have to say better than deer, close to elk and almost as good as moose. Come on over to dinner tonight piggy, having some steaks on the grill. And if I thought I could ship some to you without delay I would let you try it first hand.
    cointoss2

    Edited by: cointoss 2 at: 9/28/02 11:34:02 am

    warpig883
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    (9/28/02 11:42:29 am)
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    Wish I was there for the shooting and the eating


    TallTLynn
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    (9/29/02 9:52:11 am)
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    Sounds like you had a grand time there Cointoss!

    Caribou stew is pretty darn good too.