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The Northern Herds – Hunting Caribou and Moose in Alaska

The Northern Herds – Hunting Caribou and Moose in Alaska


ready to fight trying scare him away here video here we go leaving Billings heading for Fairbanks yeah right there that’s where you gonna
find there’s two 70-inch bulls right there are they tied up for us yeah we lassoed them last season all right made it to Fairbanks finally all day travel we’re in the hotel got all of
our gear we are waiting for dr. Robert PhD from the University of Fairbanks to come by
we’re gonna help with a wilderness health type study and he’s gonna show us
what kind of samples we got to do we got to get some freaky injections or
something I don’t know isotopes we think that there are some health
benefits of backcountry hunting I think there’s benefit any time you’re active muscles and brain
they’ll really think about whether you’re in a gym or not they just
think about the activity that you’re doing or not think but they just respond to it
we’re interested in finding out what type of health benefits are associated
with backcountry hunting either drink all that for you all of this okay Brandon for you Casey all that made it up to Alaska here this is just
awesome cooler weather this year we’ve got it’s supposed to be highs in the 40s
and 50s it’s raining this morning so we’re fogged in nothing we can do but
just wait for it to break here and then go cover some country saw a couple nice
bulls coming in yesterday they just weren’t in a good spot so we got camp
set up living in Alaska hunting caribou doesn’t get any better than this all right we’re at UAF for more follow-up and
testing as the start of the survival fitness study that we’re doing with dr.
koker and find out more we have to do over on the trip like you’re going up a hill and
you’re almost there keep going we are here man this is hard to believe
twenty years of waiting at least all right here we go always an adventure
we got some caribou they’re off in the distance out here so we blew up our raft
and we’re just making it across this river all the different channels here
and once we get over there see if we can make something happen it’s a few miles
over but it’s a chance at some caribou so here we go you don’t know until you know
right hey just crossing the channels here trying
to keep dry it’s pretty braided down here alright that was close we’re just
getting these quick plays at these caribou you know we’re seeing them move and
go in a direction and we’re just trying to hustle and get in front of them so
we’re run on beads a sweat coming down bugs but we’re hunting caribou and
there’s some giant bulls out of here so we just got to keep trying we just got
to keep after them and get in front of one and get a shot all right day two of the float it is a
cool frosty morning and get on the raft here in a couple hours and keep floating
we covered pretty good distance yesterday it was about 12 miles we
covered on the river even after getting a late start which is good and we even
had time to stop and look at some caribou for a while look at some dead
ones that we saw or antlers shining up on the hillside so anyway here we go see it
it looks like a tree standing up there there’s caribou over here there’s caribou
over here definitely seen a good sized bull that bull moose we just saw we think he might have
run across here but he might still be over there so we’re going to get back in the
raft and go around this corner and dock and get in there a little ways and
see if we can find him again you’re in Alaska Casey got his first caribou heck of a shot
his tops are huge he’s all palmated look at that caribou Casey beautiful
shovel alright here we go day four we spotted some caribou there’s
like four good bulls on this bench so crossed the river now we’re over here on
the other side we’re gonna give them a go may have to circle all the way around
and we get on them but there’s a good bull in there and we’ll just give it
some good effort see if we can’t go get on them close call man oh man we had those bulls
bedded we had to cheat the wind we got in close I was in range of the the two
medium-sized ones but there was just a giant in the herd trying to get a shot
at him and he ended up circling around catching my wind but that’s why I bow hunt
I mean to be up here on the North Slope and get a stalk like that that’s just
incredible but close all I can do is just keep trying the day’s still young got
a couple days left really going to try to get an arrow in a good caribou
here oh we got a heck of a mess this morning
going on the next stretch river and to say we have a sweeper problem would be
an understatement and the hole is too deep we can’t get out there and cut it
so we’re going to have to portage around Casey is probably gonna float right over the
middle of it because his raft drafts better and mine does it’s not quite a legal bull fun to see
though came in to our calls the recurve has him duped he wants to come across that river so bad but its so deep right there say something to him trying to scare him away here so we’re in close were inside 60 yards
I’m gonna creep about 20 yards more on this caribou and see if we can’t get a
shot well here he is caribou bull down what
an amazing experience up here in the North Slope to be able to chase these
caribou around the tundra it’s just really something that everybody should
experience they have their challenges they’re perfectly suited for the muskeg
but we were able to catch up to this nice palmated bull and put a good arrow
in them I’m just absolutely stoked what a cool huh it’s just only a few
bugs around they’re getting crazy now that we’ve killed a bull but you can’t
wipe this smile off my face it doesn’t matter how many bug bites I get but
it’s just absolutely awesome when you’re in a location are doing something that
you’ve wanted to do for so many years over 20 years I wanted to come to Alaska
and here we are it’s just weird it’s a good weird but it’s weird finally
here after all this waiting all right we are here at the pickup
point and we got Larry and Terry they just showed up they’re the private
investigators of the backcountry up here in Alaska they’re illegally following us I did not sign
that form on this hunt Casey and I got to take part in a wilderness health study
through the university of fairbanks through our contacts of pristine
ventures with Larry Bartlett and his contacts with the University and dr.
Robert Coker we were asked if we wanted to take part in this study on our 12-day
wilderness excursion in a backcountry in Alaska now the title the study is kind
of fancy it’s a caloric costs and the metabolic benefits of wilderness hunting
in Alaska basically what that means is once and for all they want to do a study
that’s never really been done before just to see what kind of energy was
expended and what your body goes through on a wilderness hunt and this really
pertains to backcountry hunting in the lower 48 when your backpack hunting or
even hunting off a horseback for days on end and in particular the the rugged
activities that you have to go through on a float I’m like we were on one of
the things that we did is the day before or the days before that we went into the
backcountry we had blood samples taken and then we also had to provide urine
samples before we went into the backcountry and then when we came out
and then also we had to take urine samples every single day when we were in
the backcountry which added a little bit level of complexities you could probably
imagine carrying around vials of that stuff wherever we were going but it was
very necessary to the study so that they could test what our body was doing on
every single day and we had to keep detailed daily diaries of our food
intake so they could examine the caloric count in fat content in every thing that
we were putting into our bodies and then both before and after the hunt we had to
go to their lab at the university of fairbanks and ride an exercise bike
with a breathing apparatus on our head so they can measure the output that our
body was putting out both pre and post hunt as well as scans in an MRI machine
and a DEXA machine dr. koker and his team have defended this study in front
of a peer-reviewed board and it is actually officially published now and
they’re going to continue to do more work on this so that we as hunters can
really dial in you know the caloric intake that we need to maintain certain
energy levels and then also just understand what’s going on you know so
that we can be healthy and safe and secure in the backcountry

5 thoughts on “The Northern Herds – Hunting Caribou and Moose in Alaska”

  1. Great work Brandon, Casey and Eastman's! Please see this link that contains the results of the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30430767

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