- Mar 23, 2017
Very detailed and informative. Congrats on your caribou.Congrats to everyone!
Susan and I managed to get out to the range on Wednesday after getting the last of this year's hay hauled, stacked and tarped, and the new shed built and stuff put away.
Susan is liking her new LH Browning X Bolt in 6.5 Creedmoor! Shot a .420" group with the Federal 130 gr Terminal Ascent ammo, and rang the gongs consistently out to 400 yards! She like those "sexy bullets!"n
My rifle continues to like this ammo and produced groups as small as .291".
Interestingly, my rifle's 24" Benchmark barrel is shooting this bullet out at 2843 fps (SD of 23), whereas Susan's 22" factory barrel is shooting them at 1755 fps (SD of 43).
I also finally got to shoot my new to me Steyr Mannlicher Model M FS in 270 Win, with the Federal Premium 136 gr Terminal Ascent ammo. It produced an average group size of .708" at 100 yards, shooting @ 2792 fps from its 20" barrel (SD of15) while getting it zeroed for 200 yards. Virtually producing very similar ballistics to the 6.5 CM due to the shorter barrel.
We also got to stop and pick up my stones sheep rug from the taxidermist by Fort St John on Wednesday evening. The prime winter cape turned out amazing! So soft and thick! (Now on the back of the loveseat!)
We then spent a couple of days out hunting in a couple of different areas northeast of Fort St John. It was windy and mostly clear with the winds having cleared some of the smoke away. The rain during the night had helped as well.
Spotted a legal bull moose on her friend's brother's farm where we have permission to hunt...just hope he is still around when the 2 day season opens! Saw 2 more bulls (either would be legal), a large cow and a calf moose on the neighbouring farmer's land. No bears around as he did not have oats this year.
We then headed north to hunt another area for the remainder of the day.
We saw another bull moose, a couple of dozen bison, and saw some large caribou and wolf tracks on one muddy road.
We did take 17 grouse with Susan's Remington Sporting 28 (10 spruce hens and 7 ruffies). The grouse numbers appear to be good again this year!
At one point, I shot a ruffie about 40 yards from the truck, walked out and collected it, came back to the truck, and looked up the road, and there was a nice black bear standing there watching us, not far from where I had just collected my grouse. He didn't stick around long, so Susan didn't even get a chance to get her rifle ready! We did see more bears; one young cinnamon sow with 3 of this year's cubs (2 black and a blonde), and another large sow with 2 of last year's cubs (all black).
One area we went through had burned, and still had some hot spots smoking from our fires this year.
Yesterday, we went up the Alaska Highway to Pink Mountain.
Lots of smoke. Could not even see Pink Mtn from the highway.
We did come a cross a cow elk and a calf on the way in, but they were gone in a flash, with a raghorn bull following close behind. The bull would not have been legal in that area, but the cow was...just no opportunity for Susan.
As we climbed up the back side of the mountain, we finally got above the smoke and it was a beautiful sunny day. Yu9 just couldn't see much of the neighbouring valleys and mountains due to the smoke.
The scrub birch is very red right now and Pink Mountain was living up to its name with all of the colour!
We did see a nice black bear with a beautiful white splash on his chest eating berries, and we managed to get within 138 yards. Susan was set up on the shooting sticks, but unfortunately pulled her shot just off the mark for a clean miss. The bear ran over a quarter mile down the mountain into an area where Susan would not be able to make a stalk due to the terrain with her ankle, and resumed his berry eating business.
Up around the corner of the mountain we came across a herd of 14 stones sheep ewes and lambs. We watched them for awhile as they were making there way up the mountain from the seep they were drinking at. Was a great sight to see, and we passed within 40 yards of them as we finally continued on our way. We travelled along the top of the mountain to the end of the main trail to an old lease where we took a nature break before turning around.
Coming back along the top, we came to one spot where we have seen caribou in the past, and I have harvested a couple over the years...must be just one of those natural paths in the rolling terrain that they normally use across the alpine, as here comes this lone, young caribou bull. He did not appear to notice us as he continued in our direction. I got up on this small rise where I could just see his antler tops coming. As he came up out of the depression, he finally noticed me, stopped looking at me straight on for a few seconds, before continuing on in my direction. He stopped a couple more times to look at me, but kept coming. Finally at about 45 yards he stopped and looked at me for a few moments, before moving off to my left. I collected him with a 43 yard shot with my LH Browning X Bolt, also shooting the same 130 gr Terminal Ascent ammo. He toppled over right there from the double lung shot. (complete pass through). We got the meat into the cooler last evening and the hide is going to the taxidermist for tanning with the hair on.
Saw a number of grouse, but most were very small so we passed on shooting them. Appears that there was a late hatch in this area. The more mature birds were very skittish, as there was signs of a lot more traffic in this area, and obviously people have been shooting at them!
The wind did pick up about the time we finished dressing the caribou and getting it loaded, so the trip south was very nice as the smoke was clearing. The winds were not helping a couple of forest fires still going strong just north of Fort St John, east of the Alaska Highway.
Was great to back out in the field again, see all the game, and bring home some meat!
Hope everyone else is having as much fun out on the field as we are!