Contributors to this thread:
It looks like I am going to be doing a DIY mountain caribou hunt in BC next fall. I would like to hear from those who have hunted them. My contact in BC said I have about a 2% chance of being successful with a bow. I am still going to use a bow, but what are your thoughts?
Good luck! I have a buddy who just killed a great bull in the NW Territories with his recurve.
If they are in the area you are hunting, I would give you a lot higher chance of getting one if you have some bow hunting experience. I got mine the first day of hunting. Saw him early in the morning, bumped him once, stayed on him all day and killed him at dark. Walked up on several other bulls while I was up there after that.
What kind of success does he have with rifle hunters?
Have you done much spot and stalk hunting - mule deer, elk, bears on the ground, etc? If you have experience hunting stuff on the ground, it will help.
What a great bull! It's an unguided hunt. There are definitely caribou in the area. We will be up there for 12-14 days. It's a fly in hunt and then spike camp from there. He said guys usually do about 50% with rifles. I'll be going with my bow regardless. It should be a great time!
Treeline, what a great bull! He looks like he has an enormous body....elk size. Is he around the weight of one of your 3 year old Colorado 5x5 bulls? Kurt
Rattling junkie, I would hope we have a lot better chance than 2%! I am going on a similar excursion to yours this Sept. Hope to get to bowrange on a legal bull. I've hunted caribou in Newfoundland, Nunavut and Alaska and found them reasonably easy to Bowhunt. Just depends on the terrain you find them in, etc. They had a "wolf-range" that made them wary if you were under 80 yds as I recall. I doubt the Mt Caribou are a whole lot different.
Good luck on your hunt! You must have a buddy that will do a permit to accompany you if you still live out of province?
With that many days available, you should be able to get some good stalks in. Are you going early when they are still in velvet? I would think that would be your best bet to have them visible above treeline and be able to plan out stalks. Not sure how they act later after they rub out - might be more in the trees and hard to find.
He was a big bodied critter. Bigger than I thought caribou were supposed to be! I think he was a little smaller than a typical CO bull, but right in there. Three of us packed him off the mountain with one load each. Would have been easier with a couple of good backpacks, though.
Fantastic eating! I took as much meat as I could home and everyone loved it. I have heard that they get a lot gamier closer to the rut which may also be a good reason to go after them early.
Thanks for the encouragement! The hunt starts September 1. I have family in BC and will be hunting with my brother and my dad. Decided that I need to start taking advantage of the opportunities. It's cheaper for me to go and hunt caribou in BC then stay here and do it in MB.
Lots of wolves up there. If those caribou saw you just out walking in the open, they would definitely blow out. They also seemed to be spooky of the horses when we were riding and would keep their distance. You had to keep in whatever cover you could find to stay out of their line of sight. Really reminded me mostly of hunting mule deer above treeline.
I'd say you’re talking to the wrong outfitter for a bow hunt. Just me, but I think Mountain Caribou are the easiest of the five to kill with a bow.
From what I saw, they tend to be either alone or in small groups. They tend to be at a higher elevation with topography and some cover to work with on stalks. I killed the first one I stalked the first day of the hunt.
Sorry. I miss read your post. No outfitter involved. I bet your BC contact is a rifle hunter though.
Yes Bob, he is a rifle hunter. Rifle guys sure think differently. It should be a fun hunt.