By: Dustin Bomley
Editor’s Note: Dustin Bomley is the production manager for Alpine Archery. Earlier this year he went on his first caribou hunt with Safari Nordik and some of the Jim Shockey guides. He was hunting in northern Quebec 80 miles east of Kuujjuaq at the base of Ungava Bay.
We had every kind of weather you can have in seven days, except good weather. We had rain, sleet, snow, high winds and rough conditions. But my Alpen binoculars stood toe-to-toe with and, in my opinion, outperformed the binoculars of the other hunters in camp. My binoculars didn’t fog and I had clear vision through the glass. I was really pleased with how well my Alpen 8X42 Rainier binoculars stood up to the kind of conditions that we had to hunt in, and I used them for the entire hunt.
I could see the caribou coming from miles away with my Rainiers, and when the caribou crossed in front of me, I was able to get a clear view and pick the animal I wanted to try and stalk. The caribou came mainly in batches of 18 to 25 animals, although we did see a few herds that contained 100 caribou or more. The caribou were coming within 100 yards to a mile or two away from where we were. Now when you’re hunting on the tundra there’s no trees or bushes to hide behind. Too, if an area where you’re hunting has high winds or snowy conditions, a bowhunter is at a real disadvantage because you have to get within 50 yards or less of your prey. Add the element of the wind, and you can see we were hunting under really-tough conditions.
As the hunt progressed, I realized that I would have to take whatever caribou presented an opportunity for a shot because there was no way we could sneak up on them. I also decided that to get a lethal hit with the arrow I’d have to let the caribou come past me. The caribou never stopped, and they were constantly on the move. Therefore I realized that if I aimed for the front of the caribou’s shoulder while the caribou were walking away from me that I could get a quartering-away shot. My arrow would have to enter well back of the shoulder and travel forward.
I was fortunate enough to be able to take two bulls, neither of which was a trophy-class animal. But the shots were just over 40 yards, and under the wind and the weather conditions that we were hunting in, I really felt good about the two animals I took with my Alpine bow. This hunt was my first for caribou. I was really happy that I was able to even get in close enough to get a shot at a caribou, considering the difficulty of the conditions. The first bull I took was at 42 yards, and the second was at 47 yards.
We had a great hunt and a great trip but terrible weather. I felt fortunate that I could fill both tags. But I learned that I could bet on my Alpen binoculars, even when hunting under the worst conditions, and you can too. The Rainiers stood the test, never failed to give me a clear image, never fogged and always were ready to go. I couldn’t have been prouder of a pair of binoculars if I’d paid four times the price for them.
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