March 14 2021
7am- woke up and got coffee going while I had a quick shower. Pretty nice weather out there. All done. Had a smoke and a second cup. Yup pretty nice morning.
730am- Texted my Dad. Hes all ready and waiting on me. Been ready for a while apparently.
731am- standing beside the road all dressed for the day holding my gun and hunting bag. Thereís the big white trailer coming down the road.
735am- grabbed a coffee for the road from the newsstand and hit the ice road. Quick adjustment to the load and weíre on our way west to Aklavik and the Richardson mountains. My favourite place besides the goose blind. Riding in a Chevy diesel cause my f350 has a broken shock. I miss my truck but a Chevy is better than walking I suppose.
930 or so- two titans are warming up while we get the sleds ready. No extra gas needed. Caribou are close.
10am- after a good breakfast weíre on our way. Beautiful scenery and sunshine. We travel up the familiar old mountain road and before long the foothills are in sight. We pass a bunch of about 30 caribou in the delta because I can already see a lot more on the first foothill.
1130am and there caribou everywhere you look. At least a couple or three thousand scattered across the landscape and in the farther hills more. Thereís about 300 walking single file about 80-100 yards away. Time to try my new rifle. ďBANGĒ. My guns first shot and its already putting meat on the plate cause who actually put meat right on the table? Come on at least use a paper plate. We werenít in any rush and had already planned ahead to shoot a couple or three at a time to avoid having the legs freeze up. Better to work on freshly killed hot caribou. Frozen hide and a sharp knife isnít the best combination. Anyhow. I scan the herd and spot another suitable animal. Split the 2 and 300 yard mildots and caribou two drops in its track with a shattered neck bone. Here comes my dad with one in his sled. The old 25-06 is still doing alright. Canít let the sun fool you. Itís still winter and the wind is sharp as we skin and butcher with barehands.
Approximately 1pm- meat is loaded. Cody and 2 Edwins show up and we talk about caribou, snowmobiles, weather and wolves for a while before heading out to get more caribou. Using the terrain we get in close for a couple each at 50-60 yards. Really liking this tikka trigger. Browning? What Browning? Just kidding. Loved that BLR. I skinned mine on the lake and my dad skinned his on the hill top. Good to have that peaceful solitude. Time alone doing what you love to do.
330pm- Caribou is all skinned butchered and loaded. My Dad has what he needs now but I still give him one more. Was good to hunt with my Dad. Itís been a couple decades at least since heís hunted caribou other than August and September bulls. I watched as he crossed the lake and disappeared over the hills towards the delta. Iím hunting for 6 households today so I need to get 3 more. Iíve had my eye on small herd of 15-20 for most of the day as they have been feeding on a pointy hill with the perfect layout for a close encounter. I putt along at 5-6 km/h
And I see the small herd starting down the ridge. Theyíre out of sight now so I change my angle to meet them at the bottom. Works out perfectly and the bunch of 15-20 turns out to be about 300. I just sit and watch for 5 minutes or so. I spot 3 dry cows together all with short bushy antlers and a lot of white fur on their sides. Just the right kind. Old cows past breeding age. T3x quickly does the job and Iím done shooting for the day. I think this new gun is going to be alright. Probably much better than alright. Not sure the group size on paper or any of that other fancy Mumbo jumbo but darn it if it donít do what I need it to.
558pm- last three caribou are skinned butchered and loaded. This time I lash the sled a little more permanent rather than temporary for the ride home because Iím not shooting anymorewaitaminute...holy thatís a giant dry cow but I have what I need so I reluctantly pass that up. Plus my hands are a bit stiff now. Not much but a little
8pm- back in AK and putting my grandparents caribou away for them. Had a steak, mashed potatoes and some salad then a coffee for the road. Hard to leave the Grands house after a good hunt so we sit a bit longer than expected.
10pm- hitting the road. Good ride home but the old eye balls getting a bit heavy.
Midnight March 15 2021- pulled in to my yard and dropped my sled load of meat in the driveway. Canít let it all freeze solid together so put it all away nice and safe from ravens and foxes. Tomorrow is drop off and share some fresh meat day. Looking forward to that. Never gets old making peoples day with the gift of fresh country food. Like the kids say ďsharing is caringĒ or something like that. 😆
1am another good hot shower. Now itís ten after two and Iíve just burned an hour and 10 minutes writing this when i should be sleeping and resting up for a long day of field work and just generally being a dad and spouse starting in 4 hours and 50 minutes. In all seriousness though it was a great day. Iím thankful everyday for the opportunities we have to hunt fish and trap up here. ✌🏽 Taker easy chappies