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With The Bowsite's Brian Cole


Nunami Wilderness Camp

Foreword: This hunt began with an 8 hour drive from Lansing Michigan to Montreal Canada. Our car was politely, but professionally searched at the border. I had no problem with that. Nor would anyone who has seen my driver's license picture!

We spent the night at a hotel in Montreal, and the following morning flew (3 hour flight) via Dash-8 turbo prop charter to the Inuit town of Kuujjuarapik. There we boarded a Twin-Otter for the short 45 minute flight to the Nunami outpost camp on the shores of magnificent Lac Mollet. Upon arrival at Nunami all the hunters were assembled for a short briefing. Cozy wood stove cabins were assigned, gear unpacked and at 6pm EST. dinner was served in the mess hall. Needless to say, that first night was all about Caribou dreams.

Camp came alive at 6am and after a hearty breakfast of Crepes and sausage, we grabbed our gear and headed for the 18 foot boat that would be our mode of transportation during the week. Float planes are available, and part of an affordable package, but Dionn, who was to be our guide all week, wanted to use his boat for the maneuverability it afforded. It turned out to be a good decision.
Me and Dionn, the Mariner!
The morning was cool, crisp and clear, and it wasn't long before I and hunting partner, Dan Bertalan were seeing rafts of Caribou swimming the many channels and narrows that abound in Mollet lake. This was my first caribou hunt. For Dan, it was his 16th time to hunt the nomadic Tuk-Tuk. Having an award winning outdoor writer and cinematographer who loved to hunt Caribou as a companion made this excursion extra special, as Dan would be filming my efforts to upend a big 'bou. And as it turned out, it wouldn't be long before the film was rolling
Big bulls everywhere... .
Our guide, Newfoundlander Dionn Skiffington, (half mariner, and half African tracker) was intimately familiar with the caribou and their migration routes. So after scouting the edge of a high hogsback, we decided to make our first set up in a low spot -- tamarack swamp -- where many of the caribou trails that paralleled the lake shore came together in a classic funnel. It was here I heard my first, "click-click" telltale sound of approaching caribou. Before long cows and calves were trotting by, and at least one huge P&Y class bull, that I managed to halt with a cow call. He pulled up right behind a spruce tree -- no shot. A few more cows and small bulls later, Dionn returned from a reconnoiter and said we should pack up and hurry to a different spot, higher up on the hill.

[Note: I must confess here, that I saw many bull caribou that I would have had no problem taking. Even after weeks of preparation watching videos, etc...they all looked huge to me. But Dan and Dionn were adamant that I exercise some patience.]

We tried a couple more setups before opting to climb to the top of huge granite hogsback hill. Once on top we were treated to a breathtaking panorama of Mollet lake and the many cuts, bays, islands and peninsulas that made our view a picture post card. The top of the hill flattened into a lush lichen pasture dotted with boulders and spruce trees. And within a few moments we caught the movement of two huge bulls, feeding their way up the hill and into the lichen covered top.
Munching bull
We all flattened. Then I got up and stalked within 40 yards of the best bull, picking an ambush setup that had me hugging the offside of a spruce tree as tightly as I could. It barely afforded enough space to pull my bow. But it was the best I was going to get in this situation. The big bull fed his way in my direction. Sweet torture. Finally I could hear his giant antlers hitting brush, and his teeth pulling lichen from it's bed, and his his back molars crunching this boreal cotton candy. All the while his ankle joints clicked syncopations that rode the favorable wind direction to my one good ear. Just as the bull and I were reaching break point, a cow and calf came straight up the hill and passed by my off side within a couple yards. Being a whitetail hunter, I expected her to blow out of there. She didn't. I could smell the bull, and she should have certainly smelled me. I am now a firm believer that Scent-Lok technology really works

Three more steps; two more; one more step and the bull would be broadside at 5 yards. What a gorgeous day; what an incredibly beautiful hunting environment -- candy land -- could it get any better? Yup. The sight of my Muzzy tipped arrow buried to the fletch right behind the front shoulder was like dotting the "i" in a written prayer.
Spitting distance
The bull exploded in a blur of antlers and hooves, and headed on a downhill death run towards the lake shore.
My first caribou.

That evening, after being ceremoniously Knighted, I was given a Memento of my first caribou kill.

This pin will remain on my HW Wool Vest as a reminder of a special hunt.

Downloadable video: 5yd_shot

You'll need Windows Media Player to view this file.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


Past Live Hunts
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