Most Memorable Hunt

HuntingJudge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
88
with all the awesome stories I have been reading I figure I would jump in with one of mine.

To preface this story, I am writing a book of all of my hunting adventures for my kids to have some day. In no way has this ever been edited just memories wrote down. This is just one of my stories I have in there so far.

“My most memorable trip”

It all started a few years before we ever stepped foot on a plane. My dad told me that when I graduated high school he would like to go on a hunting trip to Alaska with me to do a caribou hunt, i was just hitting about 13 years old at this time. freshman in high school . My dad, Butch was diagnosed with lung cancer a short time later. I did not realize it then, but my family and mother especially had to give up a lot for me to be able to go on this trip with my dad before he passed away. My dad did not like airplanes, he did not like strangers much, and he did not like to hunt that much but this was something that he was able to give to me and memories that I still think about many times during a week. On to the hunt

Two years later this was actually happening. It was an experience that changed my life. Leaving Butte, Montana on August 21st, 2000 in a plane going to Anchorage, Alaska to hunt with Osprey lodge for Caribou. I do not remember too much about the flight to Anchorage. My dad and I were staying at the Best Western. It was really a nice place, my dad had been battling cancer for a couple years at this point and you could see it, he did not have hair and was smaller than I remembered him in the past, but he was all smiles. Thinking back on how sick he was this trip was hard on him. We were both tired at this point and called it a night fairly early.

The next day we were up early to catch the shuttle to the plane we would be taking to the lodge. There were a few serious hunters there with big gun cases, nice new hunting clothes and then there was my dad and I not knowing what was really going on but just following in the pack of people leaving. Our luggage was weighed and we boarded a half blue half white plane, with two giant propellers on it. The guy flying the plane handed out earplugs to all of us, he recommended putting them in. Now, remember my dad did not like to fly but he did it. Flying over the mountain ranges was amazing they were snow covered and you could see the rocky ledge of each different spine leading to the peak. We were flying 180 miles South West of Anchorage to the lodge. The pilot of the plain then said we were about to land after what just seemed like a couple minutes. When we touched down I thought we were hitting trees it was so bouncy. I saw my dad’s eyes get big as soon as we took the first bounce. We arrived at the lodge and it was beautiful, not a lot of trees, but greens and red and orange bushes scattered the hillside.

Everyone exited the plane and introduced themselves and we met the owners of the lodge. I don’t remember their names but the lady that was running most of the day to day activates was the nicest person. Her husband did all of the flying. There were guides, and cooks and people there to help pack the meat out. We met an individual that would be hunting with us on a 2:1 guided hunt he was from Minnesota. The lodge had garden decorations made of caribou skulls and sheds that I am guessing they found while guiding, or around the lodge. There were beautiful flowers and a common lawn area. The cabins that they had for us were nice but simple. They were heated and had two beds in them. There was a shower area, with running water. In the lodge, there was a big cooking area with a dining room caribou skulls, wolf and wolverine hides on the walls and an 80” moose skull that the owner of the lodge had shot a few years previous. She told me the story about how the guide had seen the moose the previous day and they went after it not far away from the lodge where she shot it, the next day. She said that it was almost a state record. We had to take a class that went over all the rules and regulations of hunting in Alaska. We were not allowed to hunt in Alaska until the next day so we all went out and sighted in the rifles that we brought with us. My dad was tired so I was on my own with all of the people that were hunting, all were older than me and most had beautiful guns with them and high-powered scopes. I was set up with my dad’s 30-06 and a 4 power scope. I remember some of the guys that were snickering about the gun but it was still on from the flight hitting a couple inches high at 100 yards.

The next day was finally a hunting day. We started out in the morning walking to the north with our guide. It was not hard hiking because it was at sea level, and coming from a mile high in butte my lungs did not get worked too much, but my dad and the guy we were with did have a rough go. About noon my dad said that he needed to go back to the lodge and I asked him if he wanted me to go with him, we were not much more than a mile from the camp on a lookout. I think he was getting sick but he did not show it to me. He told me no and that I should stay there and hunt. About an hour after that a group of caribou wandered into the drainage we were watching and a good bull was with them. I told the guy that we were with that he could have the first shot because the hills and walking were killing him. The guide said that the caribou was at least 300 yards away. The guy from Minnesota said that he cannot shoot that far he has never shot over 100 yards in his life. He was a older gentleman, with a grey beard, glasses, and was short. I told the guide that I can. I asked him if it was worth shooting that caribou, and he told me that he believes “not passing on an animal the first day that you would shoot on the last day”. So, I was going to take the shot. I got a pack under my gun and found a good solid rest. The guide asked me where I was hitting when I sighted my gun in I told him two inches high at a hundred yards. He told me to “put the crosshairs on its back.” I squeezed the trigger (probably pulled) and the gun went off. I saw the caribou roll backward down the hill. I looked at it in my binoculars and there was a big pile of blood on top of the animal a little high right behind the shoulder.

The guy from Minnesota that I was with said that he had never seen a shot like that in his life, the guide said nice shot and we went over to my downed bull. When my dad left he had taken the camera with him so the guy from Minnesota took some pictures on his camera. It was great we gutted the bull and took some more pictures. I did it, but I was a little sad that my dad was not with me for the shot. We got back to camp and I told him the story over dinner. I could see in the smile on his face that he was proud of me and very happy. Looking back now, I bet he was happy he didnt have to see the Caribou get shot. He was not much of a hunter. (I remember a story about him. My family was hunting, dad had the last deer tag, and a monster buck stepped out. Everyone was telling him to shoot it and he stated he had forgot the bullets. Later in life my mom told me he left his bullets at home on purpose many times. He loved just being outside.) We just hung around camp the next day and talked more about the hunt. When the horns arrived back we took some pictures with it and the big Osprey Lodge sign in the front of the lodge. We sat around for the rest of the day taking in the trip. In the lodge, they brought in a chef for the hunting season and I was talking to him. He told me that he was a bakery chef, and it showed the deserts that he made was amazing, I still do not think I have tasted a cherry pastry like he made since then.
 

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HuntingJudge

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My dad had $500 left in his pocket so I was able to get another license for bears or another caribou, but that is not what ended up happening. The owner of the lodge asked my dad and I if we would like to go to their fishing camp for three days of fishing. My dad gave me the choice of hunting again or going fishing. I picked fishing because I knew his love for catching fish. I think he was surprised by the choice I made knowing my love for hunting.

My dad loved to fish, like a passion that I can only wish for when it comes to loving something. We use to go down below the dam where we had at our family cabin around Helena every weekend and night fish after all the chores were done, during the summer. He would take me out of school to go fishing when the fish were spawning and I would do my homework in the truck as we were going to a stream. When my dad was sick and not working because of cancer he would go fishing almost every day, at least when he was able to. We would go creek fishing creek a few times during the summer, this still today is one of my favorite places. One of the things I still remember to this day is fishing with him, I would fish a hole and creek or river for a good fifteen minutes, he would come over and one case catch a fish.

A day later we left and wouldn’t you know it, a smaller plane was taking us to the fishing camp. A Super Cub was waiting for us to load up into and head off to the river to fish. When we landed it felt like we took off again bouncing so high, then a little bit less of a bounce and less till we were rolling into the landing strip. Our fishing guide met us at the landing strip, we jumped on the four-wheeler and he took us about a mile into the forest where the fishing camp was located. The camp was interesting there was a guide tent, a cook tent and out tent. Now, these tents were not normal tents they were huge, made of a plastic/canvas material with a fireplace in them. The guide was young but man did he know the river. We went to the river that night and fished for a few hours before we ate dinner. The guide told us about the river and that there was a Koho salmon run going on. We caught a couple pike that night and our guide asked if we would mind eating them because he has been eating salmon for weeks at that point. My dad told him that he would cook them that night and give the guide a break. The pike was delicious that night.


We woke and had pike, eggs, corn, and potatoes in a mix, weird but good. The guide told us that one of us would have to walk because he could not carry all the equipment and both of us on his trailer. I told my dad that I would walk but, when I started to walk I was stepping around bear poop almost every step. I arrived at the boat and we took off up the river it was a cold day, but absolutely beautiful. The sun crested the top of the trees and it started to warm up a bit. The River was twisting and turning. We were flying up the river with the 50 horse prop engine at full speed. We went about five miles upriver to a spot the guide said was one of his secret spots, I really don’t think it mattered because the fishing was better than I have ever seen, it was an almost every cast hooking up with 5-10 pound salmon. There were many times when we had 2 fish on at a time.

My dad asked the guide why he was not getting in on the action. The guide told my dad that he was not allowed to fish when he had clients. So my dad talked to him about fishing and learned that he had a love for fishing like my dad did but being a guide he was not able to get out as much as he would like. My dad told him that he would not cast again until the guide caught a few fish, and that he would not tell anyone if the guide did. So he did and on his first cast he hooked into a nice salmon.

Towards the end of the day we were winding down the trip up the river but the guide told us that he would like to hit one more spot, it was a back flowing area of the river and on my first cast I lost the last of the lure that we were catching all of the fish on all day. My dad gave me his pole and said that he could find something in the tackle box to use. He put on a big spinner with pink beads on and cast it up in the backwater, by that time I have caught two other salmon. Hooked into a fish on his first cast that bent his pole like no other fish has bent his or my pole all day. The fish then buzzed the drag on my dad’s pole it seemed like a hundred yards. It took him it seemed like 20 minutes to get that fish in, and when it finally came to the boat our guide got so excited. He said that it was the biggest Koho he had seen in the river this season. He asked if we wanted to keep it and even though I wanted to keep it my dad said that he would like to put it back and let him have another day. That day was the best day of fishing that I had ever had and a day I would never forget. The rest of the fishing trip was a blur. When we arrived back at the cabin my caribou was still one of the biggest taken on the trip but that did not even matter I was able to spend a week in Alaska doing what my dad and I both loved to do.
 

mdhunter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
1,350
Location
Maryland
with all the awesome stories I have been reading I figure I would jump in with one of mine.

To preface this story, I am writing a book of all of my hunting adventures for my kids to have some day. In no way has this ever been edited just memories wrote down. This is just one of my stories I have in there so far.

“My most memorable trip”

It all started a few years before we ever stepped foot on a plane. My dad told me that when I graduated high school he would like to go on a hunting trip to Alaska with me to do a caribou hunt, i was just hitting about 13 years old at this time. freshman in high school . My dad, Butch was diagnosed with lung cancer a short time later. I did not realize it then, but my family and mother especially had to give up a lot for me to be able to go on this trip with my dad before he passed away. My dad did not like airplanes, he did not like strangers much, and he did not like to hunt that much but this was something that he was able to give to me and memories that I still think about many times during a week. On to the hunt

Two years later this was actually happening. It was an experience that changed my life. Leaving Butte, Montana on August 21st, 2000 in a plane going to Anchorage, Alaska to hunt with Osprey lodge for Caribou. I do not remember too much about the flight to Anchorage. My dad and I were staying at the Best Western. It was really a nice place, my dad had been battling cancer for a couple years at this point and you could see it, he did not have hair and was smaller than I remembered him in the past, but he was all smiles. Thinking back on how sick he was this trip was hard on him. We were both tired at this point and called it a night fairly early.

The next day we were up early to catch the shuttle to the plane we would be taking to the lodge. There were a few serious hunters there with big gun cases, nice new hunting clothes and then there was my dad and I not knowing what was really going on but just following in the pack of people leaving. Our luggage was weighed and we boarded a half blue half white plane, with two giant propellers on it. The guy flying the plane handed out earplugs to all of us, he recommended putting them in. Now, remember my dad did not like to fly but he did it. Flying over the mountain ranges was amazing they were snow covered and you could see the rocky ledge of each different spine leading to the peak. We were flying 180 miles South West of Anchorage to the lodge. The pilot of the plain then said we were about to land after what just seemed like a couple minutes. When we touched down I thought we were hitting trees it was so bouncy. I saw my dad’s eyes get big as soon as we took the first bounce. We arrived at the lodge and it was beautiful, not a lot of trees, but greens and red and orange bushes scattered the hillside.

Everyone exited the plane and introduced themselves and we met the owners of the lodge. I don’t remember their names but the lady that was running most of the day to day activates was the nicest person. Her husband did all of the flying. There were guides, and cooks and people there to help pack the meat out. We met an individual that would be hunting with us on a 2:1 guided hunt he was from Minnesota. The lodge had garden decorations made of caribou skulls and sheds that I am guessing they found while guiding, or around the lodge. There were beautiful flowers and a common lawn area. The cabins that they had for us were nice but simple. They were heated and had two beds in them. There was a shower area, with running water. In the lodge, there was a big cooking area with a dining room caribou skulls, wolf and wolverine hides on the walls and an 80” moose skull that the owner of the lodge had shot a few years previous. She told me the story about how the guide had seen the moose the previous day and they went after it not far away from the lodge where she shot it, the next day. She said that it was almost a state record. We had to take a class that went over all the rules and regulations of hunting in Alaska. We were not allowed to hunt in Alaska until the next day so we all went out and sighted in the rifles that we brought with us. My dad was tired so I was on my own with all of the people that were hunting, all were older than me and most had beautiful guns with them and high-powered scopes. I was set up with my dad’s 30-06 and a 4 power scope. I remember some of the guys that were snickering about the gun but it was still on from the flight hitting a couple inches high at 100 yards.

The next day was finally a hunting day. We started out in the morning walking to the north with our guide. It was not hard hiking because it was at sea level, and coming from a mile high in butte my lungs did not get worked too much, but my dad and the guy we were with did have a rough go. About noon my dad said that he needed to go back to the lodge and I asked him if he wanted me to go with him, we were not much more than a mile from the camp on a lookout. I think he was getting sick but he did not show it to me. He told me no and that I should stay there and hunt. About an hour after that a group of caribou wandered into the drainage we were watching and a good bull was with them. I told the guy that we were with that he could have the first shot because the hills and walking were killing him. The guide said that the caribou was at least 300 yards away. The guy from Minnesota said that he cannot shoot that far he has never shot over 100 yards in his life. He was a older gentleman, with a grey beard, glasses, and was short. I told the guide that I can. I asked him if it was worth shooting that caribou, and he told me that he believes “not passing on an animal the first day that you would shoot on the last day”. So, I was going to take the shot. I got a pack under my gun and found a good solid rest. The guide asked me where I was hitting when I sighted my gun in I told him two inches high at a hundred yards. He told me to “put the crosshairs on its back.” I squeezed the trigger (probably pulled) and the gun went off. I saw the caribou roll backward down the hill. I looked at it in my binoculars and there was a big pile of blood on top of the animal a little high right behind the shoulder.

The guy from Minnesota that I was with said that he had never seen a shot like that in his life, the guide said nice shot and we went over to my downed bull. When my dad left he had taken the camera with him so the guy from Minnesota took some pictures on his camera. It was great we gutted the bull and took some more pictures. I did it, but I was a little sad that my dad was not with me for the shot. We got back to camp and I told him the story over dinner. I could see in the smile on his face that he was proud of me and very happy. Looking back now, I bet he was happy he didnt have to see the Caribou get shot. He was not much of a hunter. (I remember a story about him. My family was hunting, dad had the last deer tag, and a monster buck stepped out. Everyone was telling him to shoot it and he stated he had forgot the bullets. Later in life my mom told me he left his bullets at home on purpose many times. He loved just being outside.) We just hung around camp the next day and talked more about the hunt. When the horns arrived back we took some pictures with it and the big Osprey Lodge sign in the front of the lodge. We sat around for the rest of the day taking in the trip. In the lodge, they brought in a chef for the hunting season and I was talking to him. He told me that he was a bakery chef, and it showed the deserts that he made was amazing, I still do not think I have tasted a cherry pastry like he made since then.
What a great post. With all the craziness in the world at the moment that story was the perfect medicine.
 
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