Caribou Hunting Tips
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The caribou is from the large species of North American deer more commonly known as the reindeer. Depending on their habitat, caribou can be broadly classified into three different types.
1. Barren Ground Caribou or RANGIFER ARTICUS ARTICUS
2. Woodland Caribou or RANGIFER CARIBOU CARIBOU
3. Mountain Caribou or RANGIFER MONTANUS
However, there are numerous sub-species and there exists a lot of confusion as to which sub species belongs to which general species.
In the US Caribou are found only in the states of
Caribou Hunting Methods
This being the general situation, caribou hunting needs to be arranged through an outfitter. Hunters have to be flown to bush landing strips where the outfitter meets them with an experienced guide to take them on the hunt. The hunter uses light planes provided by the outfitter to be flown directly into the caribou country. The small planes can land on small lakes and after the hunt is over can fly back the trophy and the meat that is carried to the lake landing field on back boards. The guides do most of the lugging.
The best way and most adventuress way to hunt caribou, is on horseback. Horses are able to cover good distances; up to twenty miles a day in bog, muskeg, and moss, that the amateur hunter finds very discouraging while traveling on foot to reach caribou locations. A horse also helps to carry back the meat and the trophy after the hunt. Caribou meat is excellent, but ages more rapidly than other wild game meat. This is a different case if you take a bull in the rut. Then the meat can be very tough and gamey in taste.
Another mode of travel in caribou country that is gaining popularity is the bush tractor. When used in conjunction with horses it can reach remote areas, which would otherwise be inaccessible through other means of transport. These machines can carry heavy loads of hunting equipment weighing up to a ton through heavy bush country; even fording creeks in their way. Hunters follow on horses or ride on the vehicle itself.
The first and major part of the hunt is locating the caribou. This is done by reaching high open areas, which are above the timberline. Reaching there on foot or on horseback, the entire surroundings should be surveyed through high quality binoculars or a light folding spotting scope fitted with a tripod that allows it to rotate freely in a full circle to see for miles all around.
After spotting the caribou, the hunter(s) move within rifle range and then proceed to stalk the animals. Since caribou is rather unpredictable in its movements, the caribou should be observed for at least a half hour or so to determine the general direction it might move in. If the animals have bedded down, it is a good time because they will remain bedded for some time, usually for an hour or so. Their favorite places for bedding are under elevated knolls on high slopes that allow them to view most of the country below.
To get closer, it is best to circle around any obstruction offered by some elevation in the countryside and then move closer taking advantage of the cover. It is best to keep watching the caribou until they get up to feed again with all heads pointing in an opposite direction, then speedily move on all fours for some time over uneven craggy terrain and then become stationery again before they raise their heads. In short bursts of movement one should try to reach within 300 to 400 yards of the prey before attempting a kill shot.
Rifle Cartridge Selection
Posted November 30, -1 by Justin Ott