Summit Treestands
Gosh darn Caribou...
Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Korey Wolfe 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Bowboy 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
JohnMC 23-Oct-20
John in MO / KY 23-Oct-20
beemann 23-Oct-20
altitude sick 23-Oct-20
kota-man 23-Oct-20
Stoneman 23-Oct-20
Rickm 23-Oct-20
Boreal 23-Oct-20
Shug 23-Oct-20
wooddamon1 23-Oct-20
keepemsharp 23-Oct-20
sticksender 23-Oct-20
Kurt 23-Oct-20
IdyllwildArcher 23-Oct-20
Treeline 23-Oct-20
t-roy 23-Oct-20
T Mac 23-Oct-20
Bou'bound 23-Oct-20
Nick Muche 23-Oct-20
Huntcell 23-Oct-20
rattling_junkie 23-Oct-20
Willieboat 23-Oct-20
Marty 24-Oct-20
BOWUNTR 24-Oct-20
bowhunter24 24-Oct-20
tkjwonta 24-Oct-20
TEmbry 24-Oct-20
Nick Muche 24-Oct-20
huntinelk 24-Oct-20
brettpsu 24-Oct-20
Pyrannah 24-Oct-20
BigOk 24-Oct-20
Drnaln 24-Oct-20
orionsbrother 24-Oct-20
yeager 24-Oct-20
Inshart 24-Oct-20
BillyD 24-Oct-20
ki-ke 25-Oct-20
jingalls 25-Oct-20
rjlefty3 25-Oct-20
iceman 26-Oct-20
Beav 26-Oct-20
elkmtngear 26-Oct-20
paul@thefort 26-Oct-20
WV Mountaineer 26-Oct-20
CurveBow 26-Oct-20
njbuck 26-Oct-20
Bake 26-Oct-20
Mad Trapper 26-Oct-20
Heat 26-Oct-20
Ron Niziolek 26-Oct-20
Jaquomo 26-Oct-20
KB 26-Oct-20
TD 27-Oct-20
Jasper 28-Oct-20
mountainman 04-Nov-20
From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
That's what I started to murmur to myself with a dead one at my feet after about the 8th or 9th one I packed out this fall. Here's a quick story of my fall while hunting Caribou here in Alaska.

We started in mid July and I think I just finished my last hunt of the season this past weekend. In all, I was able to hunt three distinct caribou herds and experienced hunting resident herds with few sightings, full on migration and lastly two rut hunts that were the most incredible days bow hunting I've had in awhile.

Our first hunt was in July. A quick weekend trip with my friend that took us around 1400 miles round trip. On this hunt, we spotted a lone bull far off and decided to make a play since sightings were sparse. On our hike to him we came to a little ridge next to a creek and as I looked down towards my boot I noticed I had stepped right on a hornets nest.... not wanting to get bit, I moved forward quickly and when I looked up I was greeted by 3 bulls staring right at me, 30 yards below. We had not seen these when we started but I calmly knelt down and they kind of walked off, not spooked. So we made a big loop to get ahead of them and about 2 hours later I was nestled behind a root ball in the middle of the dry river bed, 180 yards from the three bulls. After 2 more hours of sitting there, waiting for them to make a move, the finally got up. Once on their feet, they sprinted the other direction, making them about 500 yards away. About the time I lost hope, they turned right around and ran back to exactly where I was set up, and this bull gave me a 25 yard shot.

Here he is as he lay. Not a big bull, but a mid July caribou that was easily the best tasting caribou I've ever eaten.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
I love this photo, if only he was a little bigger!

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
The next Caribou hunt was a few weeks later and at the beginning of August. Usually around this time is when you can expect to see pulse's of caribou coming through the area. We certainly did, too! This was another quick weekend hunt where we put on around 1500 miles round trip, slept in the truck and ate simple shit like sandwich's.

Since I had already taken a caribou, my buddy was up first and as my luck dictated, there was a few really nice bulls in the group! He was able to put an incredible stalk on the bulls and arrowed the best one in the group! He died in a damn pond about 8ft below the tundra, so getting this horse up for photos was a chore!

From: Korey Wolfe
23-Oct-20
beautiful photo

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
A few hours later found me stalking a lone bull on the side of a nice tundra ridge. I walked about a mile to get around and above him. After a brisk hike, I was 90 yards away and he was in zombie mode, facing me but totally unaware. I decided to wait and let him make a move instead of bumping him. After 30 minutes or so, the damn thing decided the bugs were enough and he began sprinting in the opposite direction. Not what I wanted to see, but just as caribou do, he completely changed course and began running right back to me. I had to move about 300 yards through some rocks and terrain to intercept him, but I did and he came by me at 15 yards and I made my shot. He was down in 30 yards.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
This is where the story takes a shit, for me anyhow. There were caribou everywhere, it was unreal. I am talking several thousand and we had tags left to burn so the excitement was high. We took off after a large group and after the stalk didn't work out we headed back. On my walk back, I heard "ting-ting" and looked down at my feet to see my sight housing had broken off and fallen. Yay.. Caribou all over, no way to shoot them. I was pretty disappointed.

Later that day, I missed a real dandy at 25 yards bedded, tried just bare bowing it... arrow sailed 4 feet over his back and I decided to head home, buy a new sight and return soon.

MBG did send me a new bracket, I haven't put it on my bow yet.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
With a new sight on the bow and a free weekend to hunt, I went out again to try my luck. This trip was mostly boring and the drive was terrible except for having ol Treeman and Ike with me, which was a blast! We drove my 4Runner 850 miles round trip, with no shocks. They completely went out on me somewhere 30-40 miles from home and I decided to just take it easy and go anyhow.

After a fun night with them, I headed up. I was able to find this bull bedded and snuck into 16 yards. I waited hours for him to stand up cause his body was completely covered by brush. When he did, I shot him. The bugs were horrendous, my truck was basically broken and I was solo. Not a bad weekend, but that drive home was horrible, what normally takes me about 6 hours, took well beyond 12.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
After doing silly stuff like sheep hunting for a few weeks with my friend where we were able to get him a fantastic 12 year old ram, it was time for Moose/caribou camp. This years camp had me very excited. I was bringing my wife, my uncle and my childhood hunting mentor along. All three of them were anxious to hunt moose and caribou remotely for some time and F&G allowed them to have both moose and caribou tags in their pockets.

When we arrived to camp, I could tell that there had been A Lot of caribou coming through prior to us getting there. I was hopeful it would continue, but that was not to be the case. However, we made good on what we did see.

The third day, a group of bulls came off the timbered ridge across from camp, and after a nice stalk with my uncle he was able to anchor a quality bull with a 100 yard shot. His first caribou, the smile on his face as we walked up to him was out of this world and it warmed my soul. To give back to him for all he's done for me was an awesome feeling.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Later on in the week, while caribou sightings were slim we were able to get in front of three bulls about a mile from camp. It was a race to beat them to the X, but we did and with a little hard work my wife (she tried several stalks with the bow and it just wasn't working out) and my good friend were able to both take nice bulls! The four of us (mostly me, haha) packed them back to camp under the northern lights and our trip was a success! I killed a bull moose on this trip, but this is about caribou!

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Shortly after returning, taking care of meat and sending my family back to Wisconsin, my friend and I decided to head out in search of some more caribou. The weather had turned and I figured we'd have some good action. We only had the weekend to hunt and after the better part of two days we hadn't seen much. On our way home, we got lucky and found two bulls all by their lonesome in a very bad spot...for them. We headed out on the stalk and I was able to watch my buddy arrow his first caribou! We were headed home heavy once again!

From: Bowboy
23-Oct-20
Congrats and nice pictures. Your living the dream to the fullest.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
The following weekend I headed out to hunt the Porcupine herd because I figured it would be about time they'd be within boot range of the road. This particular hunt was nothing short of incredible. The caribou were in the area thicker than anything I had seen up to this point and I was excited to find my way into the middle. I found that the majority of the bulls were up high in the snow, so I climbed to the top of the mountain and began ridge running caribou trails into the last area I saw them. After a few hours I popped up over a ridge to find 60 caribou rutting and chasing, the bulls so fixated on the cows that they were nearly oblivious to my presence. I ranged the closest bull, Ol Uno, and the reading came back at 43. There were some other really nice bulls in the group, but they weren't as close AND they didn't give me the slip the day prior like Ol Uno did (I stalked him the day prior but couldn't get a shot). After the shot, the herd exploded and I was able to track my bull a few hundred yards down the mountain where I had to shoot him again and put my hands on him. I worked harder for this one than all the other combined, and it sure was fun.

For anyone wondering... The meat on this bull was fantastic, absolutely zero smell to it and the back strap I cooked when I got home was amazing... Second week of October.

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Save the best for last I guess... The following weekend, I had nothing planned and staying at home was not an option. Off we went again to try and catch the same herd rutting and boy did we... There were over 5,000 caribou in a 3 square mile area and they were acting insane. Bulls all over, caribou fighting, grunting, chasing, etc. Complete rut. Now, I get excited over whitetails when they are rutting, imagine an animal with over 350" of horn running around rut crazy, with thousands of others nearby... (yeah, I get it, Elk do the same :) ) it was amazing.

My friend and I split up and after awhile of picking my way through the river bottom, I was able to slowly crawl from bush to bush and put myself in the middle of 150 or so caribou. While I sat there, I was watching a decent bull chase cows and chase off smaller bulls when off the side of the mountain across from us, a much bigger bull made his way into the frenzy. He came right down and walked right to the bull I was stalking. The smaller bull began pawing the ground like he was about to go up against the matador! A giant fight ensued and after it was all over, the smaller bull ran off and this bigger one took all of his cows. I was just huddled behind a 3 foot tall willow when he chased a cow in my direction offering me a close shot.

The meat on this caribou had a small hint of something not quite right. It was not horrible or anywhere near what I had been told or read in the past. I am fully aware that some bulls may smell horrible, and this one's hide certainly did, but the meat was just fine aside from the small hint of rut. That being said, once I butchered him, I decided that would be my last one of the year and not chance shooting one that is inedible.

I couldn't have been happier with how our caribou hunting went this past season. My freezer is absolutely full and I got a few racks as well. I personally didn't take a single day of vacation to hunt caribou, yet I had some hunts most would have to take a week off or more to accomplish. I certainly feel blessed.

From: JohnMC
23-Oct-20
Cool stories and awesome picture as normal! Any pictures of the Northern Lights?

23-Oct-20
Good stuff!

From: beemann
23-Oct-20
Man I am envious. Sounds like a blast. I love Caribou. Good work..

23-Oct-20
Nice recap! And Great pictures.

From: kota-man
23-Oct-20
Very cool Nick...Congrats again on another great year.

From: Stoneman
23-Oct-20
"There were over 5,000 caribou in a 3 square mile area and they were acting insane. Bulls all over, caribou fighting, grunting, chasing, etc."

Yeah, elk may come close, but no where near this herd size! Great recap of a great season, well done!

Just one of the benefits of living in Alaska... hunting caribou like deer in south eastern US. Oh and sheep, moose, bears every year along with some incredible fishing too!

From: Rickm
23-Oct-20
Living the dream Nick. Congrats.

From: Boreal
23-Oct-20
Good stuff Nick!

From: Shug
23-Oct-20
Great stories

From: wooddamon1
23-Oct-20
Holy wow! Awesome, congrats!

From: keepemsharp
23-Oct-20
Trad gear seldom goes ting ting down on the ground leaving you helpless? {:

From: sticksender
23-Oct-20
Great season, congrats!

From: Kurt
23-Oct-20
Nick, some awesome photos of some great animals in even better settings! Congrats again! Hard to argue that caribou hunting is FUN!

23-Oct-20
Grats man! Hell of a season...

From: Treeline
23-Oct-20
Sounds like a blast!

For the life of me, can’t figure out how anyone ever kills anything with one of those wheelie bows and everything that can break on them;-)

Maybe try that recurve next year?

From: t-roy
23-Oct-20
Great recap, and even better pics, Nick! Congrats on a great season.

From: T Mac
23-Oct-20
Excellent recap congrats on taking some fine caribou. Hey Nick just curious how many tags does the state issue you as a resident?

From: Bou'bound
23-Oct-20
livin' the dream

From: Nick Muche
23-Oct-20
T Mac, it just depends on where you go and when you go. Most units are 1, some are 2, some are 4, some are 10+. Just have to watch the regs and be sure to hunt the areas with a smaller bag limit first.

From: Huntcell
23-Oct-20
Congratulations!!!

wow you sure stacked up them reindeer. Santa will have to go to Canada looking for help this year.

23-Oct-20
Great story Nick!

From: Willieboat
23-Oct-20
Thanks for sharing!

From: Marty
24-Oct-20
Jealous! Well done!

From: BOWUNTR
24-Oct-20
Outstanding Nick.... you're living my dream... Ed F

From: bowhunter24
24-Oct-20
Thanks to you and all the others for another great story and pics...now if you got some extra meat??? Congrats on a great season I'm smiling at work again!

From: tkjwonta
24-Oct-20
Nick Muche, hunter extraordinare, getting it done again and again. Great hunts, great recaps and great pics, nicely done! Congrats!

From: TEmbry
24-Oct-20
Congrats buddy. Thanks for your help beyond these mentioned bulls to have My and Brian’s bulls butchered and cared for before the end of our sheep hunt. Could have handled it but you saved us hundreds of miles of driving and added hours back onto our already extended trip. We Match wits a lot but you remain one of my best friends ive ever met. These 5 bou had it coming if I get a vote!

From: Nick Muche
24-Oct-20
Teeter, love you buddy! Post up your Double! Heck, I was there too and I think between all of us (Treeman included) we found a way to make 6 caribou die that weekend and I didn’t shoot an arrow (at a caribou)!

From: huntinelk
24-Oct-20
Awesome season. Sounds like the Toyota will be heading for the million mile club...

From: brettpsu
24-Oct-20
Heck of a year Nick! Congrats and thanks for the write up.

From: Pyrannah
24-Oct-20
Wow

Congrats man!

From: BigOk
24-Oct-20
Congrats!!!

From: Drnaln
24-Oct-20
Very nice....Thanks for sharing!

24-Oct-20
Great year Nick!! Congratulations! Always glad to see what you’re up to. Hope all is well.

From: yeager
24-Oct-20
Fantastic season for you......congratulations. Hope my whitetail season here in Illinois pans out the same; rut should start kicking in soon!

From: Inshart
24-Oct-20
Your adventures never disappoint Nick, well done!

From: BillyD
24-Oct-20
Great stuff Nick - appreciate the recap and the photos. Congrats on a great season.

From: ki-ke
25-Oct-20
Thats a pile of caribou hunts in a season! You certainly ARE blessed Nick! Your success is so very much earned as well! Thanks for sharing!!

From: jingalls
25-Oct-20
Great job and thanks for the write up!!!

From: rjlefty3
25-Oct-20
This is awesome! Hell of a season!

The coat on the caribou plus the backdrop in that last photo make it just incredible!

From: iceman
26-Oct-20
Living the dream! Congrats, bud.

From: Beav
26-Oct-20
What an incredible season! You are lucky to live where you do but it still took a ton of drive and hard work to pull this off. Congrats Nick!

From: elkmtngear
26-Oct-20
I can't even imagine that much action/ encounters, in that time period. What an incredible place to be!

From: paul@thefort
26-Oct-20
nicely done Nick and others; that is enough meat to feed the whole AF base.

26-Oct-20
Awesome as always!!! Great stuff!

From: CurveBow
26-Oct-20
Congratulations Nick! Thanks for sharing....

>>>>-------->

From: njbuck
26-Oct-20
Hell of a bou season Nick, well done.

Lets hear how the rest of your season went.

From: Bake
26-Oct-20
That's awesome!

From: Mad Trapper
26-Oct-20
Congrats Nick!!

From: Heat
26-Oct-20
Killing that many critters is a ton of work but it sure looks like you all were having fun. Very cool man!

From: Ron Niziolek
26-Oct-20
Really good stuff Nick. I lone reading about your exploits and seeing the photos. Living the dream!

From: Jaquomo
26-Oct-20
Really cool, Nick! You're living all of our dreams, and killing more animals than wolves. Great story!

From: KB
26-Oct-20
Off the charts!

From: TD
27-Oct-20
Awesome on a stick.... congrats on a great season! The Dream indeed.

Thanks for the stories,and taking the time to put em together. Just what I needed right now. Only thing better than a caribou story is caribou(s) stories.....

Treeman killed something? Holy heck.... there's the whipped cream with a cherry on the top! =D

From: Jasper
28-Oct-20
Wow, wow, wow Nick! What an amazing year you’ve had! Big congratulations, you’re a cold blooded killer!

From: mountainman
04-Nov-20
Great season. Thanks for sharing.

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