Author Topic: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt  (Read 2197 times)


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Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« on: October 24, 2012, 05:02:36 PM »
I left Fort Saskatchewan at 430am on September 11th and made the long hike to Prince George where I met up with a good friend and a hunting buddy of his. We spent the night there and got a few last minute things for our trip. We headed out for Dease Lake at 5am the next morning. We stopped a few times along the way to enjoy the northern wilderness and I got to see sockeye spawning in a small river just north of Smithers. We arrived In Dease lake late in the afternoon to fairly decent weather. We met our pilot and helped him for the remainder of the night getting his clients organized and planes loaded(he’s also an outfitter) We went back to town and grabbed a couple dozen beers and celebrated our upcoming journey that we thought we would be leaving on in the morning.

Day one-- Well the next morning we woke up to rain and fog.  There were two other groups ahead of us waiting to depart on their trips as well so we all sat around that day, it was a no go with the plane. We went and explored some of the local rivers and managed a few fish So we picked up a couple more cases of beer and celebrated our upcoming journey the next day!

Day Two— Basically a repeat of day 1, no flying till late in the afternoon so off we went fishing. Our pilot was able to get the Two groups ahead of us out. That night the pilot was nice enough to let us crash in his motor home instead of the expensive hotel.

Day Three—We were up early and all our gear on the dock waiting for the pilot to return from his outfitting camp. He Arrived around 930am and we loaded the old Beaver float plane and headed north. The flight was the most beautiful/scary flight I’ve ever been on. At times it seemed like the wings of the plan where going to touch the snow covered mountains. When finally arrived at our Lake it was more than I dreamed of it was awesome. As we circled the lake a few times finding a suitable spot to set up camp we flew over a MONSTER moose! Well that got us all jacked up! We landed the plane and off loaded it and began setting up camp. It was a nice day around 10 degrees and the sun was shining. We quickly set up camp and formulated a

plan to go for a hike and see what the area had to offer. Between the three of we had caribou, moose, stone sheep, goat, black bear tags. So in reality if it was brown it was going down!!! In BC you must wait 6 hours to hunt. So we just walked to the top of the platue and climbed a small knoll and spent the rest of the day glassing with nothing spotted in the fresh snow except wolf tracks. We spent the evening catching grayling and lake trout one after another.

Day 4—We were up early before the sun and took out the little zodiac and cruised to the other end of the lake to see what the large basin and valley had to offer. Tons of moose and caribou sign was all we turned up on our 8km hike. Just as we reached the shore we looked to the east and walking just in the tree line of the lake shore is small bull moose. We all agreed if James could get into bow range he would stick it. After some great calling he closed the distance to 35yards when I felt the wind at the back of my neck. The bull smelt us and turned quartering away and James sent the arrow into the boiler room. The bull crashed out into the water where we watched him for a about 30 seconds he was bleeding good but the shot looked a little bit back most likely liver/lung area. He slowly started walking towards the shore and the impossibly thick bush. I handed James my gun and he finished the bull off at about 80 yards! It was his fist moose and he couldn’t have been happier. We drug the bull up on sand bar and snapped a few pictures and began quartering out the bull for the boat ride back to camp. Back at camp we enjoyed fresh tenderloins and grayling on crackers and cheese and a couple celebration beers.

Day 5—We decided would try and locate that big bull we had seen when we flew in. We spent the whole day in kitchen but had no responses. We enjoyed some first class grayling fishing and went to bed early.

Day 6--  Up early again before the sun we decided to leave the comforts of camp and spike out to see if we could catch up to some stone sheep. We hunted hard and found some awesome caribou sheds but no sheep where found or caribou for that matter.

Day 7--  We gave it one more go for Sheep and caribou in a far off Basin. We walked our butts off but no luck spotting any sheep or caribou. There was plenty sign of both but no animals standing in the tracks. That night we made the long hike back to camp a bit defeated by the lack of game. Sitting around camp enjoy a shot of whiskey as we watched the sun dip behind the mountains we formulated a plan to see if we could be flown into another lake where we had figured might be a solid bet for caribou. We managed to get ahead of the pilot and said he would see us at 8am.

Day 9  Our pilot arrived around 9am and we left our heavy wall  tent and boat and cots and extra gear. The lake we flew into was small and we needed to be as light as possible. We arrived at our lake in about 20 minutes and quickly set up or lightweight tents. We waited a few hours and decided to go have a look around. Well it wasn’t long we spotted our first Caribou 3 young bulls. None where legal, thank good because we were all getting a little trigger itchy! We kept on our hike and within a few hours i looked between two hills and spotted a HUGE bull caribou. We dropped to the ground and moved a bit closer to have a look. He looked legal but we were still way to far out to be 100% sure. We covered ground fast and peaked over a small hill to see him at 530 yards away. We set up the spotting scope and to our shock he wasn’t legal.... frustration is understatement. As much as we looked at him we couldn’t make him legal. He was with 20 or so cows and a few small bulls. We thought it was weird that he was the only mature bull in the group. At just about that time we looked over the hill we were hiding behind and there he was!! My Bull! He wasn’t as large as the other bull but he was also massive! At 305 yards i set o
ut my bipod and waited for him to clear a few cows and calves. The second he was clear I sent the 110gr TTSX on it way. The shot looked perfect he stood there with his head low as the other animals scattered. I fired one more shot and he took two steps and fell to his side! To say i was excited would be an understatement. As we walked up to him he kept getting bigger and bigger. That doesn’t happen very often! We snapped a few photos and skinned and quartered him up and loaded down our packs for the 8km hike back to camp.
When we got back to camp I started the chore of capping out my trophy for a shoulder mount. The other two guys were still up for a bit of walk and decided to see what else this area had to offer. They weren’t even gone an hour when I heard a few gunshots. A few hours later dark and cold out, they returned back to camp with a great caribou.

Day 10—up early before the sun we set off to retrieve the rest of meat. After back into camp we fished for the rest of the day and recovered from blisters and sore backs. Fishing was insane at this lake. Every cast we caught big grayling or nice arctic char. It was a blast.

Day 11—we flew out that afternoon with our gear but because the lake was so small we had to leave our meat and capes and horns. We enjoyed hot showers that night and cold beers.

Day 12—we picked up our meat and capes and antlers from our pilot and paid our very expensive bill. Let me tell you 9$ a mile sure adds up very fast. We left Dease by noon that day and I spent the next 20 hours driving home. It was a dream hunt come true and everything worked out perfect. I never got my moose but I still have a tag here in Alberta for November.
Sorry if this was long winded but it’s a lot to fit into a couple short words.

Gear used:
Rifle- Christensen Arms Extreme  270 WSM, Leupold VX 111 4.5-14
Ammo- Federal premium 110gr TTSX
Clothing- Mountain Hardwear, sitka,  Outdoor Research
Boots- Meindels IQ fit
pack- Mysteryranch 6500


Northern British Columbia, Dease Lake


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 05:22:14 PM »
Way to go guys! Those are massive bous and the stroy was GREAT! Good luck with your Alberta moose.


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 06:45:41 PM »
Great trip buddy.  Glad you had a good time.  Thanks for the pics


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 07:41:46 PM »
awesome pics and an awesome story..... congrats on a successful hunt


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 11:52:29 PM »
Great story and pics...Thanks for sharing
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right.


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 11:25:24 AM »
Looks like a grate trip and an adventure.  Just one thing was wrong  with the limited wights allowed in aircraft why on earth would waste it on the flat of pills  :P


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 09:29:17 PM »
Great pics, looks like a great hunt!
Bonnie (and Joel)


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Re: Mountain Caribou and Moose hunt
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 09:53:28 PM »
Outstanding adventure, thanks for sharing the great pics!