Caribou Success

HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
192
69
I managed to fill my tag on Saturday for a winter caribou hunt. We hunted a high mountain pass about 100 miles from Fairbanks and the 40 Mile Herd was there in force.

Once the sun came up, we were surrounded by caribou in the thousands for more than an hour. The shooting started and the herds just ran in circles around the mountain for most of the morning. I had hundreds out at 280 to 400 yards and I was equipped with my Christiansen MPR in 6.5 MPR that will easily make shots that far.

Except the wind was whipping at 25 miles per hour and it was -9F!

It took a few minutes but I finally worked across the dead open terrain to a group at 150 yards in a lee of a rise that cut the wind. From prone, off a bipod it was a chip shot and the caribou hunched at the crack of the rifle. Caribou erupted from the basin, running in every direction! I soon spotted the one I'd shot, still in the same place and looking very sick. A second shot ended any suffering and she fell on impact.

The first 143 ELDX zipped through the ribs on a lung shot, exited the off side and was completely final. The second shot impacted a rib up high and basically came unglued with a big piece smashing the spine and the other blasting a 3 inch hole out of the off side rib cage leaving a big mess of damaged meat, bullet fragments, and bloodshot behind. I'm pretty sure the damage would have been much reduced with another couple hundred yards of range, but in that wind my ability to hit it would have been eliminated!

I've had success with this bullet before, but at 350 yards. I'll likely be sticking to tougher bullets in the future, especially for any up close shooting.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,117
10
That must be an amazing sight to see so many caribou at one time. Congrats on filling you freezer with some fine meat! Maybe I'm missing seeing it in your post but is your Christensen Arm MPR a 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 PRC? Good info on the 143 gr ELD-X being a bit destructive when hitting bone. Those bullets shoot lights out in my wife's Tikka 6.5x55 but then again that gun shoots pretty much anything great.
 

HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
192
69
gerry":2b2odq0o said:
is your Christensen Arm MPR a 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 PRC?

It's the Creedmoor, I would imagine another 250-300fps in the PRC would have made results worse at that range. The rifle shoots these bullets into teeny, tiny groups, but I imagine I'll develop a load around the 140AB to get a bit tougher bullet.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,014
1,403
Sounds as if it was an excellent hunt. Congratulations on the stalk and the shot.
 

HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
192
69
For some reason, the platform won't allow me to attach a file photo. But I dearly love caribou hunting- from early season hunts up in the mountains to late season hunts with huge herds. The last few years we've concentrated on moose pretty heavily, but I love caribou hunting more than any other species.
 

Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,892
161
Congrats! I hope to make it up to 40 mile next fall.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,608
834
I can't imagine going out hunting after big game, and seeing that many animals. Sight to behold I'm sure. Congratulations on a successful hunt and thanks for giving us a picture of what you witnessed.

In my opinion, those long range bullets in general are a unrivaled specialty at what they are intended for, long range. But for shots 400 and under I prefer a standard bullet. I would be right with you going to a tougher bullet. I DETEST unnecessary messes on game animals intended for the freezer.
 

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,199
154
Congratulations. It must be amazing to be surrounded by so many game animals. Thanks for sharing.
 
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