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Caribou questions
Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
Jasper 16-Dec-20
Jasper 16-Dec-20
CPAhunter 16-Dec-20
t-roy 16-Dec-20
76aggie 16-Dec-20
LKH 16-Dec-20
From: Jasper
16-Dec-20
Looking forward to my first caribou hunt next September...barren ground, guided in the Arctic. I’ve been bow hunting for over 50 years so I realize the answers will be “in general” but compared to a whitetail.....

1. How is a caribou’s sense of smell? 2. How wary are they? 3. What’s the average shot length? 4. What quiver/how many arrows do you carry? (I carry 4 for whitetails but want to get another quiver) 5. What is one piece of advice you would give me?

Thanks and God bless! John

From: Jasper
16-Dec-20
Looking forward to my first caribou hunt next September...barren ground, guided in the Arctic. I’ve been bow hunting for over 50 years so I realize the answers will be “in general” but compared to a whitetail.....

1. How is a caribou’s sense of smell? 2. How wary are they? 3. What’s the average shot length? 4. What quiver/how many arrows do you carry? (I carry 4 for whitetails but want to get another quiver) 5. What is one piece of advice you would give me?

Thanks and God bless! John

From: CPAhunter
16-Dec-20
1. Not nearly that of a whitetail. 2. They are more wary of movement than scent or color 3. See the trophy photos here on Bowsite. Prepare for 50 yards and 20 is a chip shot 4. A lot. You may want to carry blunts to whack a ptarmigan. It only takes one arrow but be over prepared 5. Practice long shots. Shoot a group every day.

From: t-roy
16-Dec-20
One thing our guides told us in Quebec was “you can’t outwalk them”. If they were already ahead of us and walking, we weren’t going to catch up to them, which was definitely the case, but sometimes they would just abruptly turn around and head back the opposite direction, so who knows? They seemed to have a good sense of smell and reacted negatively if they smelled us. They didn’t strike me as overly spooky, in fact they seemed somewhat curious at times. Hopefully Muche and others will jump on here. They have tons of experience hunting them.

From: 76aggie
16-Dec-20
1. I have not had a caribou wind me ever. I'm sure they have a good nose but not nearly as acute as a whitetail. 2. Caribou have not been nearly as wary as a whitetail. Singles can be very curious and actually check you out. 3. Shot range can really vary but be prepared to shoot out to at least 40 yards. Obviously, you may have some closer shots but most of the ones I have been around are taken at longer distances. 4. I suggest carrying as many arrows as you can. 5. Practice shooting in the wind. The wind in the arctic can blow really strong. Especially at longer distances, the wind can play havoc on your arrows. If you can, pick an ambush spot where caribou frequent. IE: a water crossing. If some get by you at an ambush spot, be patient as another group may not be far behind and take the same path. Bring adequate clothing. I had a guy show up in a group behind our group one year and he was wearing ankle high hiking boots. Felt so sorry for him that I sold him my knee high Laccrosse rubber boots.

From: LKH
16-Dec-20
In about 15 years of doing the Haul Road, I took 11 bou with recurve/longbow. The first 6 had a combined range of under 60 yards. I've only taken 1 at 30 plus. That said, there were a ton of opportunities if I could have shot accurately at longer distances.

They have what I call an explosion range. If you are within that and they get any motion, they bolt out to about 250 yds., stop and look back.

If they are just roaming and feeding you can hunt to where you think they will go and wait. They are like most deer and like any edge or little bump.

They have a good nose and will pick you up but most have never smelled man and don't react like deer/elk. It still screws up a stalk if you are close.

Unless going after the tundra has turned dark, you are better off with a light grey plain coat than any of the dark camo used in the trees. You will stand out like a pounded thumb. My son had a coat my wife made that was lime green with little red bears on it and he killed several at close range w/recurve.

Finally, hats! Lots of guys use ball caps and do fine but you can't beat one of the military booney hats that allow you to put a couple of branches or grass in the loops and break up the round predator dome look of our heads. If spotted at close range, don't duck back down, simply freeze and wait them out. They already thought they saw something and ducking down merely confirms it. This also works for deer, antelope and elk.

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