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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

These two meat caribou were taken in the Shotgun Hills north of Bristol Bay AK. I have been on many hunting adventures with these two guys. Ben Tinker and Oleman of Aleknagik do a lot of proxy hunting for the village elders there. Our bag limits for caribou there is five each with a harvest ticket not counting the limits of the elders under the proxy hunting rules. On the hunts I have been involved in we never took more than 2 and the target animal was a dry cow preferably with one horn. The dry cow preference was to insure maximum body fat. I never did get the single horn thing.. I do recall the praise I received from village elders the day I came home with a small moose I had taken for meat. The praise was due to the fact this bull only had one horn. What represents a trophy truly is all in ones mind. The hunting practices of the Alaskan natives I have spent my time with are far more conservative than any rules or reg's I have ever read. Needless to say they utilize more of a game animal for food than most as well. Most seasons our resident caribou herd (mulchatna) roams the tundra about 100 miles or so north of the village in groups of 20 to 30,000. We usually combine our trips with the running of different trap lines along the way as well as fishing for whitefish at a couple different hot spots there. There are always plenty of ptarmigan to hunt as well on these trips. We have never really set a length of time to be gone on these ventures, we just return to the village when our sleds are full of meat.

~Jeff~

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Re: Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style
jeffalaska wrote:
The praise was due to the fact this bull only had one horn.

Interesting, did you learn why the one horn preference? Is that in the Togiak N.W.R?

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A one horned male caribou

A one horned male will have no chance to establish his own herd. His fights for dominance many mame him, when a two horned animal would not be mamed. It is better to respect his life and save him from a purposeless death. To take his life for food is to respect him and his gift of life.

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Story information

Bess.

It looks like your answer here might have been a one-time thing. I hope not, I liked what you had to say. I sounds like you know the heart of these people. That's what I'm interested in hearing more about. Please feel free to IM me. I'll be checking back. Thank you.

 

Bess wrote:

A one horned male will have no chance to establish his own herd. His fights for dominance many mame him, when a two horned animal would not be mamed. It is better to respect his life and save him from a purposeless death. To take his life for food is to respect him and his gift of life.

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Bit,
Most of our hunting and trapping is done within the boundaries of the Wood Tikchik State Park. The area I have referred to as Shotgun hills is yet north and east of the park. Although I have toured the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge on many occasions in the winter months. The map here should rough you in as to where I am speaking of. The Wood Tikchik State Park consists of about 1,500,000 acres and I believe it's our nations remotest state park. The single horn animal thing is a demonstration of a hunter's lack of need in showing pride in ones abilities. As for why I came home that day with a single horned little bull.., I'd taken an empty sled with me that day so I'd have the option if I got the chance. I rode about 100 miles or so and I saw 28 bull moose, Some huge fantastic trophy's were among what I saw. I passed on all the bulls I saw and as I neared the village on my return home there were four bulls with one being much smaller than the other three. I took a quick aim at the little guy (Ruger #1 375h&H) And watched his feet lift off the ground a good foot as he fell. So I pride myself on taking the bull that was the closest to the house and the easiest to dress out.

~Jeff~

In review the circle I have indicated on this map is probably a little north and east of the location intended.

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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Ok great, I found it, looks like it is in the south eastern portion of what my maps call the taylor mtns.

Your pictures shows the representive size of a boo well. Given there impressive antlers, I, in young years had imagined them as being as massive as an elk, or at least a large muley. I guess years of seeing them in pictures without anything to scale them too had given me this idea. Anyway, when I finally got to see one first hand, I was rather amazed they aren't much bigger than a typical pronghorn. In reality they look a little funny with all that head gear on a small body. Although I guess there are some varieties of boo that are larger, for instance the woodland boo, which I've never seen first hand.

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Bit,
I was doing a random online search for some info and came across this site. It has a fantastic interactive map/photo tour of the area I have been speaking of here.
http://www.nmwtlandtrust.org/gallery/interactive_map.php

pretty cool stuff huh?
~Jeff~

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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Hi Bit

I've seen the bou referred to as not much larger than a speed goat a few times. I'm curiuos. The bou I shot in Alaska last year was appx 300 pounds on the hoof. Where as most pronghorn I've ever seen appear to be no larger than 100 pounds on the hoof.

Or is there a difference between bou and reindeer maybe?

Simply curious as to what I'm missing.

THanks, Jeff

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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Yeah that is pretty cool Jeff, thanks for the link. Alaska sure is a neat place (in the summer Wink )

About the caribou. Reindeer are a subspecies of bou, subspecies is kind of like what a labrador is to a poodle, related (interbreedable) but look different. It is my understanding that are something like five different subspecies of bou, although with different height weight charateristics.

Here is my experience. I grew up on the western slope of colorado where pronghorn are common and I've hunted/taken them. A few years ago I spent several months on the north slope of alaska during the summer, and during that time observed a lot of barren ground bou very close, although I didn't hunt them. Based on my experience the average bou was bigger than an average pronghorn but not as much as I expected like maybe 175 compared to 125 or so. I'd just group them closer to a lope than say a rocky mountain elk on average. Either way, with the massive head gear, one would think they would outweigh an elk. I observed them in the summer when their weight and coat is probably a lot lower/smaller than during the late/early fall. These were just barren ground bou (which is what I believe Jeff has in the picture), like I mentioned above, supposedly woodland bou are a lot bigger. Would like to see one some day, although I guess they are fairly rare....

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Joined: 10/30/2004
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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

Cool, learned something again! One of the Jeffs.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
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Caribou Yup'ik Eskimo Style

nice caribou jeff

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