Caribou.... with a bow?

wildwilderness

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It's a pain to fly into the bush with two weapons, or to pack two around. It sounds like your choice is already made by your buddies bringing rifles. Just go with the hunt and enjoy. If you want to bow hunt caribou plan a bowhunting trip, preferably in a bow only area to force you to stick with it! Or no rifles in camp.

I have killed 2 caribou with a bow, on Adak where I would say its conducive to stalking.
 

Spiral Horn

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On the very few occasions I gave-in and changed a bowhunt into a rifle hunt it always felt like I cheated. Although it will likely mean suffering through a number of blown stalks, just don’t give in, and you’ll eventually be rewarded.

Took a Mountain Caribou via the arrow on the last day of a 2017 hunt after sneaking to within 20 yards of him. It was quite a heart-pounding adventure and extremely satisfying. Taking that same critter at rifle range just doesn’t compare.
 
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[email protected]

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Question for some of you bou bow hunters:
A few of us are flying up with Arctic Air this fall of 2020 (Aug 25 or so) and Im taking a bow. Is this a bad idea? Has anyone done it on a hunt with AA? Is the ground/terrain conducive to bow hunting or is it an exercise in futility and I should just bring a boom stick?

Thanks for all the help and posts!! Were very excited about this trip and the experience!

Side note: the other memebers of the party are taking rifles and Ill have a pistol for defense.
I didnt take my bow and regretted it. We flew with AA and I was within bow range of three nice caribouon our trip. Absolutely doable if you're an experienced spot and stalk bow hunter. It is open country, but there are hills, brush and other cover. Plenty of cover and terrain to use if you are patient.

If you want a literal visual of the country you'll be in check out the youtube series we put out. Should give you a feel for the terrain.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
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Tonyostheimer

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Thanks Brad! Ill check that out and thanks for
The insight based on your experience
 

SDWarrior

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Never been, so take it for what it is worth.

If you really want one with a bow, you'll make it happen. I think the long range thing is that we as folks set our ranges by our capabilities - if you can shoot 400 yards easily that's your yardstick.

If you want one at 30 yards, then you gotta do whatever it gets you there - figure out their line and run to get in front (yes tundra isn't easy on running from what I hear) - get near some kind of bush in front of them and wait... Have a buddy nudge em towards you. Whatever it takes.

Folks get pronghorns with bows, they live in flat areas and can see your eyes blink at over 100 yards and a finger curl at over 300. If we/they can crawl up or set up on a crossing for those, why not a caribou?

Sounds like a great trip - Best of luck to you.




I had an opportunity to hunt the Quebec herd back in the 90's before they closed the hunting down. The guides would take folks out in boats and set em up for water crossing bous. From what i heard, they'd help make sure you were in the right place. Then when you got your 2 caribou, the brook and lake trout fishing was outstanding and the ptarmigan were thick. Was a little pricey for me at the time. Of course it is much more now.

Which outfit did you go with out of Quebec?
 

Trial153

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In Quebec in year past i did a coulpe trips with safari nordque and mirage. My last trip in 2017 i did with JHA, which was by far the best caribou hunt i ever experienced....totally lucked out
ALL were excellent bowhunts
 

squirrel

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I only had one adventure and went with a bow, made the mistake of taking a rifle "in case" Got to camp and was immediately instructed to take the rifle by the guides. I refused. I was instructed to take the rifle by my companions, all rifle guys to make everyone happy. I refused. By 3 pm on the first day they were all done 2 each. I went on my own as everyone was mad at me anyway (it was a fully guided hunt) 8 guys started hounding me to take the rifle, seemed to be the popular decision, I refused. On the 4th day I took a beauty at 15 yards. I butchered and packed him myself, went back hunting on my own and killed a nice one on the next to last day at 20 yards. Butchered and packed him myself, got done just as plane was due, though it was a half day late, turns out.

Popular decision, no, did I care? no... feeling as the pilot commented on "those two are NICE" absolutely priceless.

Smile at the following year's brochure extolling the "Camp ECHO being particularly well suited to the bowhunter" absolutely HUGE...

Now missing this one on the 2nd day hurt bad, aint no way around that. But after 25 years I'm over it, kinda, well mostly... Ok maybe not entirely.

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Blockcaver

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Heck of a bull you missed Squirrel! Good story as usual, and good on you to hang in with the bow!
 
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Tonyostheimer

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I only had one adventure and went with a bow, made the mistake of taking a rifle "in case" Got to camp and was immediately instructed to take the rifle by the guides. I refused. I was instructed to take the rifle by my companions, all rifle guys to make everyone happy. I refused. By 3 pm on the first day they were all done 2 each. I went on my own as everyone was mad at me anyway (it was a fully guided hunt) 8 guys started hounding me to take the rifle, seemed to be the popular decision, I refused. On the 4th day I took a beauty at 15 yards. I butchered and packed him myself, went back hunting on my own and killed a nice one on the next to last day at 20 yards. Butchered and packed him myself, got done just as plane was due, though it was a half day late, turns out.

Popular decision, no, did I care? no... feeling as the pilot commented on "those two are NICE" absolutely priceless.

Smile at the following year's brochure extolling the "Camp ECHO being particularly well suited to the bowhunter" absolutely HUGE...

Now missing this one on the 2nd day hurt bad, aint no way around that. But after 25 years I'm over it, kinda, well mostly... Ok maybe not entirely.

View attachment 165293
Thanks for sharing all of that! Heckuva bull!
 

OXN939

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Thanks for sharing all of that! Heckuva bull!
I spent a bunch of time doing load development and accurizing my rifle to be good to 400 yards two years ago... and then killed my bull at 40. One of the easier species to stalk- they don't seem to perceive you as a threat as long as you don't stick out above the horizon like, say, a grizz or a person
 

wanderin39

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Last year I went alone with my rifle, scored and enjoyed the doing by myself. This year a grandson and friend are going up. I am only taking my bow. Like the prior post, I think if I take a rifle, likely it would get used. Good luck and enjoy.
\
 
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Tonyostheimer

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Last year I went alone with my rifle, scored and enjoyed the doing by myself. This year a grandson and friend are going up. I am only taking my bow. Like the prior post, I think if I take a rifle, likely it would get used. Good luck and enjoy.
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After seeing all the posts on this thread Im recommited to just sticking to a bow, look forward to seeing the results of your trip
 

Beendare

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I know at least 20 guys that have killed Caribou with a bow..... ...and on the wide open tundra. Its not a difficult bowhunt. Caribou are pretty stupid really....nothing like a coues deer or Whitetail buck.

Its all about utilizing hunting skills.........and Its never as flat as it looks from a distance.

BG Caribou; if a group feeds by...then you can almost bet the group behind them will follow right about the same path. I've had 5 yd shots on Caribou with that strategy. Best of luck.


_______
 

Wyatt.Carter

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It's pretty simple. What are your priorities? If killing a caribou is the absolute top priority you should go equipped to accomplish that.

If your priority centers around killing one with your bow, go into it with a bow and plenty of determination.

If you don't bring a gun there's a 100% chance that any caribou you kill will be by using a bow.

If you bring both weapons, my personal estimate is you've probably got an 80% chance your kill will be while using the gun.

I'm biased toward using a bow for my own hunting. I've never been the guy who just HAD to kill an animal to call it a great hunt. I've never had the pull to kill a big game animal with a long range weapon such as scoped bolt rifle. Every big game hunt I've ever done, I rolled the dice willingly by going into it with only a bow. The times I didn't score probably only served to make me more determined to get better and hunt harder with a bow. Some of us are just hardcore bow people. That might not be a great thing for success rates, but how I hunt it has always been more important than if I kill it.

The bottom line is to know yourself and what makes you happy. Don't let my choices and values affect your choices and values. I don't really care what the other guy does....it's his hunt.

Great bull and advice!
 

mathews52

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Feb 28, 2020
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Persistence and knowing you’ll have some blown stalks. Keep at, its very doable with a bow. Leave the rifle at home!
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GPATTI

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Can’t speak to the specific area, but I bow hunted in northwest territory last year and on the 10th and last day of the hunt I used the guys rifle. Honestly I never worked so hard for an animal and it was probably the most exciting hunt I’ve ever been on. It was also the first animal I have shot with a rifle in over 25 years, and only the second animal I have ever shot with a gun. At the end of the day what matters to you is all that matters.
 
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