Sitka Mountain Gear
No Country for Old Men
Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 24-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
Treeline 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
Dyjack 25-Feb-17
IdyllwildArcher 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
brianhood 25-Feb-17
midwest 25-Feb-17
HUNT MAN 25-Feb-17
JRABQ 25-Feb-17
LKH 25-Feb-17
PoudreCanyon 25-Feb-17
caribou77 25-Feb-17
Ace 26-Feb-17
t-roy 26-Feb-17
WV Mountaineer 26-Feb-17
Paul@thefort 27-Feb-17
CPAhunter 27-Feb-17
Shiras 27-Feb-17
From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17
This is a RIFLE HUNT, so if that bugs you please stop reading.

In early 2016, before knowing I would draw a sheep bow-hunt in the Chugach range, I had booked an unguided caribou hunt in northern Alaska for 3 of us (me-60, brother Walter-65, and his son Matt-late 30-something). Inspired by HUNT MAN’s epic “Living on Tundra Time” post, I decided to post my story here also. This caribou hunt was in mid-August, before my October sheep bowhunt.

It’s a boring time of the year for me so I will give a lot of details. I will cover some of our experience with footwear, meat care, meat weight, transport issues, bugs, fishing, ptarmigan (lack of), walking on tundra, etc. I will say if you go it would be great if you can bring some younger guys along for help. The tundra is mean! Finding a transporter or drop-camp outfit was somewhat of a pain in the ass. It seems like every outfit, no matter how good, will have at least one bad review. After the dust settled I ended up booking with Arrowhead Outfitters, which was also the same outfit HUNT MAN used, and they do have a mixed reputation. We booked through Cabela’s, thinking that might give us some leverage, but who knows. Outside of a few minor glitches Arrowhead did what they said they were going to do, in our case. We did not see a huge number of animals, but we filled 4 of 6 tags in less than 4 days of hunting. Then we decided to come home a few days early, and they picked us up the day after we called them. So we have no major complaints.

The logistics for this hunt, coming entirely from out of state are a pain, but I guess that’s true for most AK hunt. One reason for writing this story is I hope some of our experiences will be helpful for anyone trying to do this type of hunt, I know I learned a lot from HUNTs post and other contacts.

The quick overview; we flew into Fairbanks, rented a truck, drove ~400 miles up the haul road to Prudhoe Bay, back 40 miles to outfitter base, then take floatplanes ~50 miles out on tundra. Then reverse route including meat and antlers from 4 caribou. We brought all meat and antlers back as checked baggage. For more details keep reading. Our booked hunt dates were Aug. 11-18, I’ve gotten the impression later dates would probably be better in terms of migration and animal densities, but we had some calendar issues to work around. Some of the later dates with Arrowhead were also booked up.

From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
trying to sleep in airport, no luck
JRABQ's embedded Photo
trying to sleep in airport, no luck
The first leg of the trip was hectic; due to my nephew’s work schedule I wanted to keep any extra days, or flex days on the end of the trip, not the beginning. This made the first day somewhat hellish. Since we arrived at the airport after midnight I figured it would be a waste of time and money renting a hotel room for 4 or 5 hours. We instead tried to get some shuteye in the airport, which did not happen, just too noisy. I thought I found a quiet corner, but every 45-60 minutes they would roll some huge noisy carts by us, I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17
At 8:00 AM I walked over to the rental agency (off site) and picked up the truck; 4X4 ¾ ton Ford. If you go this route do it well in advance, prices vary widely but are pretty damn expensive (unless you lie about taking it on the haul road). From there we bought some supplies (including boxes for meat), picked up the camp rental equipment, and hit the road about 10:30. It was raining or drizzling the first half of the trip, which absolutely sucked, and kept our average speed way down. As most are aware the haul road is a tough drive on average, but surprisingly there are a few well-paved sections where you can go 70+. We stopped in Cold Foot for food and gas (the famous buffet was not open both times we stopped) and got back on the road, arriving at the Outfitter’s site about 7 PM. We would need to refill gas tank before leaving on return trip; the outfitter recommended we go ahead and drive into Prudhoe Bay to get gas and spend the night. It took us another 90 minutes to go 40 miles because of road construction. The “hotel” was really an expensive dormitory for oil-field workers, but food was included and plentiful, which helped.

I was a walking Zombie at that point but still only got 3 or 4 hours of sleep, which made matters worse. Next day we drove back to base camp and waited to be flown out. The weather was a bit dicey all day (low ceiling) so it was not looking likely. We were supposed to take 2 planes in and swap places with 3 guys from TX. They had only 3 tags to fill, and had done so a couple of days earlier and were ready to go home. This does bring up one favorable thing about the Arrowhead price structure; if you have an odd number of people it is much easier to make the weight limits. We were definitely over their 70 lb/person weight limit, but since we had 2 planes it didn’t really matter. Of course in hindsight we had some stuff we could have, and perhaps should have left behind, more on that later.

From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
So after waiting around all day, about 5PM we get the call we are ready to go, drive ¼ mile to pond and load up the planes. One plane takes off, the 2nd has engine trouble, 1st plane comes back and lands. We wait another 90 minutes while they work on 2nd plane, decide they need parts. So plan changes to we will make two trips with one plane. I get on first plane and off we go.

From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17
Fly ~50 miles SW and land on pond/lake. Hectically unload plane, reload with as much TX gear and 2 guys as it will hold and they take off. I’m there with one guy (I’ll call him Tex), some gear, and all of their caribou. Since I rented the exact same tent the TX guys have up, we decide to just swap the bags and leave the tent standing as it is. I help him carry all of their caribou to the edge of the lake, he gets his gear ready, and we wait. Weather starts to deteriorate a bit. I guess about 90 minutes later we hear the hum of an airplane engine; we look outside as a bank of clouds roll in. The hum disappears. Turns out the plane got 2 miles from lake and had to turn around and go back.

So my party got split up. I had most of my hunting gear, my sleeping bag, and some food. Tex had a jetboil so we had mountain house for supper. But neither one of us had a purifier so we were a bit short on drinking water, I guess we could have boiled some if it was an emergency. The lake water was probably safe but it was very stained. Tex gives me the recap of their hunt and an overview of the area, which was extremely helpful. They shot 3 bulls; one very nice, another good one, and a young one, in I believe 4 or 5 days. Some caribou around but overall sparse population of bulls, they were disappointed in the amount of game they saw. They had decided to just buy one tag per person, our party bought 2 tags each (any caribou sex in this area). Tex was very worried about the condition of the first caribou they shot (I will talk about our experience later). No bears in or near camp (good), only one ptarmigan seen (bad). [In fact we never saw a ptarmigan, which was disappointing. I brought a small single shot 20 g and a box of shells just for that purpose. We also brought a small grill and some charcoal thinking we would have ptarmigan and/or fish to supplement mountain house, neither happened]

He also mentions a caribou trail leading to the main area they were hunting, which was a river valley about a mile west. Unfortunately I didn’t get the exact location of this trail (it is hard to see unless you are almost standing on it), nor did I realize how significant it was, until later.

So I finally get some sleep (even though it never really gets dark this time of year), and the next morning (Hunt Day 1-Thursday) I head off to the river valley. It was my first experience walking on the tundra, and it sucks as bad as advertised. I think HUNT MAN described it as “floating basketballs”, my variation of the description would be a water bed filled with bowling balls. The fact the ground moves when you step on it is bad enough, but what makes it worse is it moves in unpredictable ways. And every now and then you just step in a hole up to your knee.

Just to repeat the recommendation; good walking sticks are a lifesaver! I brought both breathable waders and hunting boots; I mostly wore Kenetreks with gaitors, and breathable rainpants for hunting. I did get some water in my boots a couple of times. There were some real wet spots where waders would be helpful; I managed to avoid those areas.

From: JRABQ
24-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking SSW
JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking SSW
JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking West
JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking West
JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking NNW
JRABQ's embedded Photo
looking NNW
So it takes me an hour to go just under a mile, I sit down on the hill overlooking the river flood-plain; it is about 11:00 AM.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
2 bulls to NNW, zoomed way in
JRABQ's embedded Photo
2 bulls to NNW, zoomed way in
After about an hour I spotted a good bull to the south and two bulls to the north; all about ¾-1 mile. They all looked like nice mature bulls but I only had 10 X binoculars so I could not see much detail. [After much debate I decided not to bring a spotting scope since we were not really “trophy” hunting] Tex walked out to the glassing spot to see what was up, and said all 3 caribou looked like “new” bulls they had not seen earlier. Tex went back to wait for the plane, while I was figuring out what to do next. The bull to the south might have been slightly closer, but he had a lot more water (ponds, sloughs, etc.) around him. After milling around for a while the two bulls to the north turned and started coming back along a path that would bring them a little bit closer to me, still a long ways off. So I took off towards them, staying on the tundra just above the flood-plain. There was one small hill that I used for cover when I got a little closer. Once I got within 500-600 yards of them I saw one bull heading up the ridge on the tundra to the east, I changed course a bit to get behind the hill again.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
1st caribou shot
JRABQ's embedded Photo
1st caribou shot
JRABQ's embedded Photo
2nd caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
2nd caribou
After I got around the hill I was mostly looking up the ridge where I had seen the last caribou, and nothing was there. Figuring they had gone over the top I was going as fast as reasonable in that direction, when I glanced over to my left and saw huge antlers growing out the tundra about 125 yards away. CRAP! Obviously the caribou had turned around again, came off the ridge and bedded down. Real screwup not seeing them earlier. While I was getting my rifle off of my pack the caribou got up and started running straight away. At the time I was using one regular walking stick, and a set of Easton standup sticks (Cross shot, I highly recommend them, sturdy enough to serve as a walking stick). By the time I get my gun up on the sticks the caribou are 200+ yards away and still running. Well this is not the ideal situation, but I’ve made similar shots before so I wasn’t going to let this go without a try. I won’t go through all the details of the next 30 seconds, in fact I’m not sure I remember the exact order of what happened. But put the crosshairs on the trailing caribou and pulled the trigger. It wasn’t my finest shooting moment; brass was piling up on the tundra like the bullet boat scene from Hot Shots Part Deux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gJ3mZfGuD4

I do remember after my first or second shot the trailing caribou stopped. It was still standing but straight away so I was not sure I had hit it (I did). The lead caribou then started quartering away giving me an angle on him, so I shot at him.

When the smoke cleared there were two bull caribou dead on the tundra at 200-250 yards away. It turns out the trailing caribou was much bigger than the lead caribou; in hindsight if I had more time to judge them perhaps I just would have just shot the bigger one. Oh well. Here are some pics.

From: Treeline
25-Feb-17
Looks like a great bull! Congratulations!

I need to make a trip to Alaska again, soon...

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17
OK, now it is about 1PM, I’m 1.6 miles from camp (GPS), about 2 miles via best route, by myself, with 2 dead caribou on the tundra, and maybe ½ liter of water. I had the same feeling I get when I shoot an elk at the bottom of a hill; a weird mixture of “Yeehaw!” and “Oh Crap!”. Also mixed feelings realizing my hunt was already over in about 2 hours.

While I’m still absorbing the situation I hear the buzz of a plane, look up and see them fly over, Walter and Matt finally showed up. So I get to work on the caribou, which takes me about 3 hours by myself. I had thought I might do a euro mount with the larger caribou skull, but the coup de grace shot was a bit off and messed up that idea. I would end up just cutting skull plates off.

I was a bit short of game bags, but got almost everything bagged up and moved 50 yards from first carcass. One hindquarter of the trailing caribou was shot up pretty badly, I dismembered it a bit and laid the meat on some small bushes to drain and hopefully dry off. Due to shortage of bags I also laid one shoulder on a bush. I cut one side of ribs off of the larger caribou, but stripped the rest of the rib meat off. We ended up cooking the ribs on the small grill, it was a pain but they were great! Fat off some wild game is not very tasty, but the charred caribou fat was the best part. So I load up all of the backstraps and tenderloins, along with the one rack of ribs and start heading back. After going a few hundred yards I see Walter and Matt walking towards me more or less on the same path I took, we meet up about 600 yards from the kill site by a patch of alders. Luckily they had plenty of water. I rested a bit and then took my load back to camp taking the way I came in on. I don’t think my pack weighed over 40 lbs but it was very tough walking. I think back about HUNT MANs story where he and Nick each carried an entire caribou over 2 miles back to camp, in one trip! I guess for younger and stronger guys it’s feasible, to me it seems impossible!

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Back at camp I made some Gatorade, grabbed a snack and walked back to the alders. Walter and Matt went to the kill site and hauled most of the remaining meat back to the alders; Matt (the youngster) carried a very heavy load and my Bro did alright for his age. We hung some of the meat up in the alders (the only “trees” for miles) and loaded the rest in our packs. This trip we tried going line-of-sight straight back to camp over the rolling tundra. It was a bit shorter but the footing was worse, didn’t go that way again. I was too tired to go back for another load, and it was getting late.

Day 2-Friday; Walter and Matt go sit at the glassing spot and stay there all day. I walk to the kill sight, saw off the skull plates, clean up and bag the remaining meat, and haul everything to the alders. In hindsight I should have stripped the velvet off, but thought there might be a chance of saving it and was trying to keep my options open. From there I made 2 trips back to camp, man it was tough for an old guy, and I was not carrying very heavy loads. At this point I/we had still not figured out the caribou trails, except for a short segment near camp. I was growing to hate the tundra. I would rather carry a 50-60 lb pack in the mountains of Colorado than a 30-40 lb pack on the tundra. I know I drank more than a gallon of water/Gatorade during the day. It did warm up considerably this day, probably hit 60+ degrees. At the end of day 2 I had everything back at camp except one shoulder and the antlers, I was beat. During Day-2 Walter and Matt (actually this was their first hunt day) saw a decent number of caribou, and had some walk within 100 yards of them, but they were all cows and a few small bulls. There was a herd of 20-30 caribou a long ways off (~2 miles+) to the SW, but it was across a river that I was not sure we could ford. If necessary I guess we would have tried it at some point, but the short term plan was just to wait and see if some other caribou would eventually filter by. During the next few days we also had a few cows walk within rifle range of camp.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
antlers at camp
JRABQ's embedded Photo
antlers at camp
JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Day-3 (Saturday) I retrieved the 2 sets of antlers and the last bag of meat. I probably could have done it in one trip, but decided not to overdo it and made two. I also couldn’t figure out how to carry two sets of antlers. [We would later end up splitting them, but at the time I was trying to keep them in one piece] By this time I had figured out the caribou trail(s) from camp to the glassing spot, and during the day found a trail from the glassing spot to the alders. In our location it seemed like wherever the “rolling tundra” met the river floodplain there would be some caribou trails running along this transition. Even if the trails occasionally went through some boggy or muddy spots, the footing was MUCH easier than walking on the tundra. I sure wish I had figured this out the first day. My Bro and Matt saw much less game this day so they were getting a bit frustrated.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
view from tent, meat under tarp
JRABQ's embedded Photo
view from tent, meat under tarp
There was a gulley on the lakeshore that usually had a persistent breeze; I stashed the meat here under a tarp. During the warmup Fri-Saturday we started to have a fly problem. Luckily I was checking the meat periodically because the backstrap bag had a small hole in it that the flies had found. I got everything cleaned up before the biology experiment began. We cooked the ribs one night, and ended up eating an entire backstrap over the next few days. As far as other bugs (mosquitos) we were lucky I guess. They were certainly numerous at times but nothing worse than I’ve experienced in the lower 48. We all had head nets, but did not need them a good deal of the time. Bug spray, or bug wipes worked well in most situations.

It got cloudy and cool again for the next couple of days, but the dampness started to be an issue for the meat. I have kept elk and other game for many days in camp at similar temperatures without spoiling, but I’ve usually been in drier environments. My guess is the blood on the wet game bags eventually started to go rancid, which is not a good smell. I’ll just fast-forward on this issue; it became a big worry for me. On the drive back we stopped at the first clear stream and washed all of the meat from my caribou off, and put everything in a new set of bags. The meat looked fine (and is fine now), but the bags stunk pretty bad. If I had to do it again I would be more vigilant about trying to get things dried out, but I’m not sure it would have been possible. I would also consider trying the citric acid approach, but this is something I’ve never done (or needed) before. The other 2 caribou were killed later in the trip and this was not an issue.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17
Day-4 (Sunday) Walter and Matt went back to glassing spot. Matt went on a longer hike over towards the river but it did not turn up anything new. That day he wore his waders, and reported that they were reasonably comfortable and certainly drier than his regular boots. Even fewer caribou were seen this day so some ideas were tossed around for a new plan. I mostly sat around camp. I tried fishing a bit, but what I thought might be fish rising were just bubbles rising from the bottom due to decomposition I guess. Many of these lakes are “dead” so it was probably a waste of time bringing our fishing gear out on the tundra, in our case. I did see a swirl one time near the bank, and a flock of mergansers showed up one day, so maybe there actually were some fish in the lake.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt's caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt's caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt working on his caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt working on his caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Walter resting at Matt's kill site
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Walter resting at Matt's kill site
Day-5 (Monday) We awoke to thick fog and mist, and got a late start. About 10:30 Matt was looking off to the west and saw a nice bull very near the glassing spot, he tossed on his pack and took off. The bull disappeared over the rise well before Matt got over there. I was looking through my binoculars, as Matt got up to the top of the rise I saw him raise his rifle, then put it down, I heard no shot. Walter was about a 1/3 way there and he heard no shot either. Something about the acoustic properties of the tundra must absorb gunshots, because in fact the bull was just 80 yards away from Matt and he killed it. Matt was already working on the bull when his Dad showed up. Here are a few pics. While they were working on the bull a cow walked by pretty close and Walter shot it.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
Last load!
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Last load!
By the time I got there most of the work on the bull was done, I helped Walter with the cow. Since we were only about 0.9 mile from camp, and had figured out the trail system it was a much easier time getting these two animals back to camp. Walter and I only made one trip while Matt made several.

Matt and Walter decided they had enough fun, so we called outfitter and asked to be picked up as soon as possible. The weather forecast on my inReach (which was reasonably accurate by the way) was also looking worse for our scheduled pickup day (Thursday), so we decided to get out when we could.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
back at basecamp
JRABQ's embedded Photo
back at basecamp
Day-6 (Tuesday) Weather was borderline with clouds, wind, and sporadic light rain. We packed up a lot of gear, but not everything since we really didn’t think we would get picked up. But sometime in mid-afternoon we heard planes, and started the mad dash to get everything packed up. We got everything loaded up and made it back to basecamp without incident. Due to space issues the pilots split the skulls. Well that actually helped us out in a way, forcing the issue; since the skulls were split we could bring them back as checked baggage.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
on the drive back
JRABQ's embedded Photo
on the drive back
Matt and I worked on lining the storage boxes we bought in Fairbanks with ½” Styrofoam cut from larger sheets also from Lowes. We made 6 “coolers” and ended up returning 2 extra boxes to Lowes. We spent the night at the outfitters camp and headed back to Fairbanks in the AM. Weather was mostly clear on return trip and we got to see more of the Brooks Range, scenery was spectacular.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Matt
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Walter, spinning rod was working better.
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Walter, spinning rod was working better.
As I mentioned earlier we stopped to wash and re-bag my caribou meat, then had a late lunch in Coldfoot, burgers were great. Also put some ice in the meat boxes. Stopped and fished one stream and we all caught some grayling, which was a first for us. There was another river we planned to stop at but it was running muddy

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Classic photo everyone must take

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
dammit!
JRABQ's embedded Photo
dammit!
Well the haul road has a reputation; we almost made it the whole way without incident when this happened. $100 deductible on glass.

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
antler boxes
JRABQ's embedded Photo
antler boxes
JRABQ's embedded Photo
6 meat boxes; 4 caribou
JRABQ's embedded Photo
6 meat boxes; 4 caribou
After returning the 2 extra storage boxes at Lowes we bought some cardboard boxes and wrapped up our antlers for the trip home, took several rolls of shipping tape and a lot of cutting. Ugly but it worked

Bought some more ice for the meat boxes, got room at motel, and rearranged airline tickets to go home next day. Matt & Walter got hit with a pretty big fare increase (to east coast), I bought my ticket with points and this time there was no extra charge for the change (in October there was).

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17

JRABQ's embedded Photo
Home!
JRABQ's embedded Photo
Home!
Right before going to airport we swapped ice for dry ice, not sure it was needed. As a lot of folks have noted the Alaska Air CC works out great, and their baggage fee structure is very reasonable, compared to the options. One thing to note is when you hit your 3rd bag the fee is a flat $75, even if it is overweight (51-100 lbs) or oversized. In camp I weighed all my caribou meat with a fish scale and came up to ~193 lbs (2 caribou). We ate some meat in camp (ribs and one backstrap); the 3 meat boxes I came home with totaled ~190 lbs, with the heaviest weighing about 70. Here is my luggage cart at the airport back home; 3 meat boxes, antler box, rifle case, and duffel bag (clothes, pack, etc.), the total baggage fee was either $325 or $350. It was good to be home, where the ground doesn’t move when you step on it.

From: Dyjack
25-Feb-17
Sounds like an epic adventure! Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading it!

25-Feb-17
I'm ok with the rifle hunt, but you, sir, crossed the line posting a fish caught on a spinner!

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17
"you, sir, crossed the line posting a fish caught on a spinner! " Er, ....well he carved the rod himself, from a cedar tree, honest!

From: brianhood
25-Feb-17
Nice hunt. Spending time with your family is priceless. Thanks for sharing.

From: midwest
25-Feb-17
Congrats on your hunt and thank you very much for sharing some of the logistics. Did you guys strip the velvet?

From: HUNT MAN
25-Feb-17
Thanks for posting ! It brings back some great memories ! I can't wait to go back! What a incredible adventure and I am glad it all Worked out! Hunt

From: JRABQ
25-Feb-17
Midwest- "Did you guys strip the velvet? " The velvet on mine was going bad when I got home, I wish I had stripped it in the field. Some sections were dried on and very hard to get off, other sections were putrid. I think Matt's was OK when he got home, and got it in a large freezer right away.

Not sure what the final outcome will be for any of the antlers.

I bought a fake caribou skull with the intention of staining the antlers and mounting them on it, but it is way down the list of "fun" things to do. I guess I haven't ruled out getting fake velvet put back on the antlers, but the stuff I've seen didn't look all that great.

From: LKH
25-Feb-17
About the only way to keep velvet that time or the year is formaldehyde or one of it's equivalents. I Have one mounted that I killed 12 Aug, 1996 and I worked it off and on for 3 days, then hung it in a cool basement for the winter. It was in camp north of the Brooks for almost 2 weeks before we got it out.

From: PoudreCanyon
25-Feb-17
Great post and cool hunt! Caribou is delicious:)

From: caribou77
25-Feb-17
Thanks for sharing! Great hunt and nice bulls!

From: Ace
26-Feb-17
Great adventure and a well told story.

From: t-roy
26-Feb-17
Very nice! Congrats to your group.

26-Feb-17
Awesome man.

From: Paul@thefort
27-Feb-17
Well, that was fun! Paul

From: CPAhunter
27-Feb-17
Great story & trip!

From: Shiras
27-Feb-17
Congrats and thanks for sharing! Sounds like a fun adventure.

By the way you would not have needed to split and box the antlers. You can tape cut up cardboard and foam on the antlers and use heavy duty shrink wrap on the antlers and put them on as checked baggage. We did it on a 64" wide moose with no problems.

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