Solo Hunting Alaskan Caribou

Solo Hunting Alaskan Caribou

Story and photos by: Louis Creviston

I found the hardest part of a Solo hunt for was actually leaving the house. 

Knowing I was going alone and running the ‘what if’ scenarios through my head over and over again gave me pause. But, after 10.5 hours of making my way to the hill country of interior Alaska, I settled right into my element - alone.

Sitting well above tree line in the 65-degree sun, I glassed miles and miles of open rolling hills beginning to show the vibrant fall colors of red, yellow, gold and orange. For two days, I glassed and walked and spotted, nothing. I knew caribou had at least been in the area after finding sheds in previous years. I just hoped they would be there now.

Alone in the rolling Alaskan hills.

On day three, I experienced the most intense rain/hailstorm I had ever been in. I wanted to plug my ears as the hail pounded the tent, but needed both hands to keep the end of the tent from collapsing in the wind. This went on for over 30 minutes. The only benefit from the storm I could think of was that it would put a few critters on the move. AND IT DID!

As soon as the hail quit, I had my binos on two bull caribou feeding up a far ridge. The bulls were a few miles off and it was 6:15PM. I knew it would be dark in three hours and it would take me most of that time to close the distance. Weighing the odds, I decided it was time to roll.

Bulls in the distance.

Two and half hours later and now three miles from camp, I spotted the bulls again right where I originally glassed them. They were grazing away with no idea I was putting a stalk on them and I had 30 minutes of daylight to work with.

When I reached the 400 yard mark the bulls bedded and I was stuck in the complete open with no cover. I had to really move slow, the air wasn’t moving, ground was wet and quiet, Kryptek Highlander was doing its job.

I made my way to a small boulder I could make a shot from and hit the Swarovski DS range finder. It read 351 yards and I thought, no issues there. Moving the scope from bull to bull, it was obvious which one to take. The huge tops and long back points made one bull stand far above his companion. A a single shot with the .338 Lapua from Hill Country Rifles and my ticket was punched.

Success on a solo hunt!

My trophy photo is blurry because the bugs were so thick the camera didn’t know where to focus. I could hardly breath without getting them in my nose and mouth. I think the blurry photo only adds to the reality of the moment.

Holding those antlers, the emotions hit just like they had with every other animal I’ve taken. Overwhelming gratitude for meat that will feed my family, amazement at the size and unique qualities of the antlers still in velvet, and the added confidence knowing that I did it all alone!

A beautiful Alaskan Caribou.
The sun sets on a successful solo hunt in Alaska.

Posted in Stories from the Hunt