With all the excitement of yesterday's bowhunt, I headed out with anticipation for my 2nd to the last day. There were only three of us left, so we pretty much had the run of the place. John Babler from MN was holding out for a trophy bull and Steve West was looking for a particular video shot/setup. I was just looking for a bull bigger than the one I shot - or at least - damn close to it.
Paul, Bill and I headed back to zone 1, where I had photographed the Inukshuk. Bill had options, such as fishing and just relaxing - but opted to join us instead. The temperature had risen considerably since yesterday, bringing out those little bastard black flies. The ride to the lake was fine, but the walk to the hill was creepy.
Once at the top of Inukshuk hill (my pet name), it was apparent the caribou were melting into the landscape, just like they did on our first day. We spotted a few, miles off in the distance but nothing close until noontime when a lone bull trotted across the tundra and literally vanished into a bush next to a small cliff. It happened so fast that I was the only one who saw it. But I could not get a sense for his size. He looked "decent" but I was after more than that. It was worth a look, so I asked Paul to film me over the shoulder and we took off after the bull.
We approached the hill cautiously, and downwind. This was another excellent setup and one that was raising my blood pressure. Before long I was on top of the hill, staring down at antler tips - 10 yards away. The bull was tucked in there pretty well, but I could not see his bottoms. His tops were OK, but nothing great. I motioned to Paul that I was going to draw and he got in position. As I started to draw, the bull busted me and ran to the bottom of the hill. He was too small, so I was not upset at the missed opportunity.
The bull immediately began feeding and I stalked him for photos several times over the next hour. I was well within 20 yards of him twice, but had no intention of shooting him - he needed at least 2 more years.
The wind died down even more, and the bugs came out in force. By 2 PM it was downright Hot. We were also seeing nothing - so we called it a day and planned to go back after dinner, when things cooled down. Unfortunately, the bugs were so bad that our night hunt was in vain.
We arrived to good news. John and Steve had both tagged out with their 2nd bulls. That left me as the lone hunter in camp. I warned Paul and Bill to "eat their wheaties" - tomorrow was going to be longer, farther and faster than we had driven ourselves before. I was determined to give it one last effort and fill that 2nd tag. Making bowhunters everywhere proud ;-) !!
Our outfitter for this hunt is Adventure Northwest
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