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Day 3

Join Pat Lefemine in the Northwest Territories

day 1

day 2

day 3

day 4

day 5

day 6

day 7



Discuss this hunt

One of the hunters yesterday (Buzz) tagged out. He was only interested in one caribou and that fell for him on the very first day. He also remarked how many caribou he was seeing on the North side of the lake.

That got the wheels moving for Bill, who asked if we could skip our rotation to zone 4, and hit zone 1 instead – the zone that Buzz would have been hunting had he not tagged out.


These two bulls were on to us, but were in easy distance of Bill's rifle. He chose to pass on them. The bull to the left was very tall, but he only had forks on top.

Nobody had a problem with that - so off we went to zone 1. The morning weather was very foggy but cooler than yesterday. We hiked a couple miles, past two big hills where we glassed for quite a while. Two decent caribou appeared underneath us. No chance for me, but Bill could have dusted one of them. He passed on it – which was understandable. They needed a couple more years.


This cow and small bull fed 70 yards underneath us. It was the first cow we'd seen all trip.

We watched lots of caribou today. We even were treated to a blonde grizzly that fed on berries nearly a mile away. Unfortunately, nothing big enough was very close.

After lunch the sun started to peak out and the wind kicked up. The temp dropped at least 15 degrees which sent the black flies back to wherever those little bastards go. We climbed the tallest peak in the area where we could see for miles. On the top of that peak stood a large Inukshuk – an Inuit marking post. In fact, a camp legend was growing that George, the oldest guide in the group, had built those Inukshuk’s in such a way that if you lined them up from the water, they pointed to the best fishing spots on the lake.

We continued to glass the tundra around us. There were several bulls in the area now. In fact, we wondered where they had been all day as they had virtually materialized from the tundra. A couple of them were no doubt shooters! But one in particular had my eye. He was a shooter all right, but he was positioned perfectly for me. He was bedded on a peninsula, which jutted out into a small pond. His buddies had fed off, but he remained by himself.

We decided to get closer and take a better look at the terrain. The three of us snuck up to the hill behind the bull. After looking over the entire situation – it was absolutely perfect. The wind was blowing from the west and he was facing south – directly away from us in the north. To make it even better, he was tucked behind a small hill, and was laying in a depression. With no other eyes around to blow the setup, all I needed to do was to sneak behind that hill – watching his antler tips, and ease up and shoot him in his bed.

As I geared up for the stalk, Bill got ready with his rifle. If I blew the stalk, Bill would have an easy shot at him from that hill.

I set up my video camera for Paul to film the shot from the hill, but as I was doing that, another bull – maybe a little larger, was coming across the tundra. Paul told me to hold on and not stalk the bull. I remarked that I needed to get going before that bull ran by my bull, picked him up, and ruined the setup. But Paul wanted to wait, and before long, that bull was 150 yards from us - trotting across the tundra. The two bulls never saw each other and Paul told me to stalk that bull. But there was nothing I could do with him; he was feeding away from me in the open. I pointed to Bill and told Paul that if Bill wants him – he can shoot him. Bill had no problem with that and rested his rifle on a rock for a good rest.


This picture was taken from the video camera just before Bill Shot him. He was a real nice bull!.

Video of Bill's Rifle Shot (4mb - Windows Media)
Note: I realize that this is a bowhunting website but since I was paired up with a rifle hunter it is part of this hunt.

A minute later, the bull was down and we were congratulating Bill on his fine trophy. The shots spooked my bull, and the other caribou feeding across the lake. There was a chance (slim) that I could get myself in position for a shot, so I set up in some bushes and waited. The bull I wanted took a different route behind me. Oh well, despite my setup falling apart – I was happy for Bill.


Bill's caribou was a dandy!

The rest of the day was spent taking care of Bill’s caribou. We headed back to camp for another great meal and all the stories from the others. Lots of bulls were shot today – some awesome ones too!

 


Dinner Spotlight

Tonight's dinner was fresh lake trout, covered by a layer of fresh pike, and served over stuffing - smothered in a homemade fish sauce. On the side was fresh bread, rice with caribou burger, and fresh green beans. Drink of choice tonight was grape juice - the green stuff was starting to scare me.



The challenges of pairing a rifle hunter and a bowhunter

I know many of you are thinking that rifle hunting and bowhunting do not mix. I would tend to agree with that. But it's not always a bad thing - and in many ways it's harder on the rifle hunter than it is on the bowhunter.

The truth be known, I'd much prefer hunting with a rifle hunter who is in shape and willing to go the distance, than a bowhunter who's just the opposite. In fact, since bowhunting is so difficult here, another bowhunter would only decrease my opportunity for stalks.

Besides, it was apparent from the start that there would a lot of bulls here in a position unsuitable for a bow stalk. So I felt no competition with Bill for opportunities. I'm sure he felt the same.

While I was dissapointed that I never got to stalk that nice bull in his bed, the reality is that had I stalked him, the odds were against a successful kill. In the meantime, my stalk would have denied Bill a great caribou. I did not think that was fair to him, or Paul.

 

 

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Next - Day 4


Our outfitter for this hunt is Adventure Northwest
Yellowknife Office
P.O. Box 820
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Canada X1A 2N6
Tel: (867) 920-2196
Fax: (867) 920-4263

Email: [email protected]




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