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Same Bull?

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
I can't say I've ever seen anyone post a picture of a caribou bull from one year to the next. I've looked at 1000s of caribou over the years and they are all unique but all somewhat the same. I am not sure how much different they are from year to year for antler growth. These two pics are half a mile a part 4 years apart. I believe its the same bull. Huge shovels like this are not common, as a matter of fact I think this is the biggest one I've ever seen. Its probably 14-16" wide. Both have a second shovel, although the one from 4 years ago has 3 points on it, and this year its just a long spike.

What do you think?

2019
P1010129 (1).JPG

1692747221137.png
2023
 
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Awful lot of similarities but enough differences to make you wonder. Even some similarities in the capes. As big as he is in 2019 I would assume he had some age then. 4 more years on a bull like that seems old. How old can a bull get in that country? Not knowing enough it would seem like long life for a bull in that country would be really rare. Very cool bulls to have laid eyes on either way.
 
Looks like the bulls we used to see back in the 60s and 70s and I have the same question, can you hunt them?
 
I think caribou peak on antler size around 5-6, and can live pretty long. 12-15 years. We've killed some bulls with hardly any teeth left with small antlers, and some with big antlers.

I would be very surprised if this isn't the same bull. Its his summer range, and like I said shovels like that are extremely rare. I can't think of another bull I've ever seen with a shovel that big, and I've looked at 100s and and 100s of big bulls. Most bulls are luckily to have a shovel half that size.

Yes we can hunt them, but I'm not packing one 12+ miles... sorry. I came for sheep, which even that spilt between two guys and camp sucks balls.

And the burning question... No, I didn't notch my sheep tag. We saw more caribou bulls than rams, I think. Sheep numbers are in the gutter, and beyond. I'll bet state wide they are down well over 50%. Some areas in the interior and eastern AK range are down 75%. Lamb numbers were high, but hard to make much headway when you only see 12 ewes instead of 42... The saddest part is there are basically no young rams between 1-3yo.

If I had to look at my crystal ball, I'd bet harvest in 5 years will be in the 200s statewide, down from 750-800. We need more auction tags and lead poisoning for golden eagles.
 
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I can't say I've ever seen anyone post a picture of a caribou bull from one year to the next. I've looked at 1000s of caribou over the years and they are all unique but all somewhat the same. I am not sure how much different they are from year to year for antler growth. These two pics are half a mile a part 4 years apart. I believe its the same bull. Huge shovels like this are not common, as a matter of fact I think this is the biggest one I've ever seen. Its probably 14-16" wide. Both have a second shovel, although the one from 4 years ago has 3 points on it, and this year its just a long spike.

What do you think?

2019
View attachment 288957

View attachment 288962
2023
Close but negative! Both beautiful!!
 
I thought bulls peaked at 6-7 and average life expectancy was 8-10? That said, antler morphology is the same, and his elbow patch looks similar. I'd split that bull with you....
 
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