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Noah Smith
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2002 Caribou Hunt


    Our hunt started nearly a year ago with a call from my brother-in-law Bob Modderman, asking if we would be interested in a hunt in September of 2002 for caribou in northern Quebec, Canada. Bob is the one I hunted caribou with in 1997 on a winter hunt that we drove up to, 1600 miles. A fellow by the name of Bill Currier was putting together a hunt with Bob and that's how Noah and I were asked to go. Along with Bob was his three sons Rob, Steve and Nate. My brother Steve, who I hunted elk with in "94" a friend of Steve Modderman named Doug Brower and Bills brother Mel with Noah and I, that made up the entire camp of 10 hunters.

   After nearly a year of waiting, the time finally came for the hunt. On September the 5th, Noah & I conducted an estate auction in Lakeview, selling the personal property and the real estate. We started the auction at 5PM and were all done by 7PM. We left Lakeview about 8PM and met Bob and the rest of the guys in Grand Rapids for the long ride to Montreal, Canada. There were 8 of us in Bob's van, pulling a 12' trailer with all our gear. We took turns driving and reached Montreal about 13 hours later. Bill and his brother drove a pickup as they were going to stay an extra week in the camp. 5 guys loaded there gear on a turbo prop commercial plan about 2PM on Friday and were on their way to Schefferville about 800 miles north of Montreal. The rest of us got a hotel room in Montreal for the night and flew out the next morning at 6 AM. We all met up in Schefferville about 10AM on Saturday with our outfitter Rock, owner of Safari Caribou. He picked us up with a bus and brought us to the floatplane lake about 4 miles out of town. We all loaded our gear up and it took 2 Otters to take all 10 of us out to camp #7, about 150 miles northeast of Scheffervile. We were able to see a lot of wilderness on the plan ride out, as they don't fly very high. Lots of water and no civilization at all. We landed on a lake about 2 miles long and were greeted by our guide Michel and our cook for the next week named Jack. Michel had us store our gear and Jack had a lunch of homemade soup, then we were out hunting by 2 PM!! Michel took my brother Steve, Noah and I out with the boat and dropped Steve off first near the water and then took Noah and I about 1 mile away to another spot near the lake. Noah and I didn't see anything but about 4 PM I hear 2 shots from across the lake. A minute later I get a call from Steve, "I got 2 caribou, I'm all done hunting for the week"! Later he came up with a saying that was used all week." Steve Smith, 2 hours, 2 bullets, 2 bulls" In fact he wrote it on the cook cabin wall before we left, so if you ever see it you will know the story behind the saying.

   Noah and I went out the next morning but didn't see anything until we came back to camp about 6 PM Sunday when the guys were looking up the mountain about 1 mile behind the camp at some bull caribou. Noah and I decided to take a hike and we ended up stalking the herd for about a half mile then took a bull caribou each just at dusk. With help from the rest of the guys we were back in camp by 8 PM with the caribou. I must tell you I owe a dept to my nephew Nate for packing out the entire caribou on his back. Earlier I helped put Noah's caribou on his back and stated that I didn't think I could carry the entire caribou and would have to come back for the rest later. Then Nate said that he would carry it down the mountain for me and that just left the antlers for me to carry. PS: Later in the week I carried down ½ caribou from the same mountain and it was all I could do to make it down, I don't know how the boys did it with an entire caribou on there back. Youth must be nice! Jack kept supper ready for us and it was nice to get a hot meal in with caribou hanging in the meat shed!! Well the pressure was off now and Noah & I were going to start trophy hunting. Monday & Tuesday we say a few small bulls and some cows, but no shooters. The other hunters were doing good as we had about 12 or 14 bulls by Tuesday night, several REAL NICE BULLS! Wednesday I hunted all day and saw nothing until about 3 PM when a big bull came walking down the trail behind me and I dropped it with one shot from my .300 Weatherby mag. The bull had a large rack on one side but a smaller rack on the left side with a 10" drop tine! Anyway, my hunt was over for the week and I spent the rest of the time fishing and helping out the other hunters bring in their bulls. You see, we all had radios and when one of us got a bull down the others would come out and help bring it into camp. That worked out real well. Noah went out on Thursday morning on the far end of the lake, about 2 miles away, to a place they called "The Killing Field". About mid morning he had 3 bulls come by so close that he had to let them pass before he could pick out the biggest one. He dropped it with one shot from his 35 Remington. He got a huge bull. Really outdid his old man! By Thursday night we were all filled up, 20 bulls for 10 hunters. Several were, as Doug Brower would say, "huge slobs" with my nephew Steve Modderman's being the biggest. We got his kill on tape and if you ask him I'm sure he would let you see it! We then fished for pike and lake trout one day and took a hike back up the mountain for brook trout where I caught my first brookie with the help of my brother Steve. Friday we all got busy cutting up and skinning out the quarters and packing them in boxes for the trip back to Michigan. We flew out on Saturday morning and after the trip to Montreal and the drive home we were back by Sunday mid afternoon.

   What a fantastic trip we had!! If you want a great hunt, book with Safari Caribou Outfitters. We are looking into booking a hunt with him in 2005. The hunting was great, the food was excellent and the cabins were very nice. Our guide and cook where top notch! The Northern Lights came out several nights and really gave us a show! What a great trip with family and friends. I thank Bob Modderman for thinking of us when this trip was planned. Take a look at the pictures and watch for the story next year of my moose/caribou hunt in Newfoundland in Sept. 2003. Good luck hunting and keep in touch. Art

   If your interested in a fantastic caribou hunt, you can contact Rock St-Laurent at Safari Caribou C.P. 88, Robertsonville, Quebec, Canada, GON 1LO. Telephone Number 418-335-5557. OR www.safaricaribou.qc.ca

Arriving in camp on a floatplane. Michel and Jack waiting for the hunters.
The plane leaving over the cabins on his way out.
Here we are in the cook cabin eating supper after a day hunting.
Always lots of good food!!
Here I am with my second bull taken on Weds day Sept. 11. See the big drop tine on the left side?
Here is my first caribou. The pressure was off!
Noah with his nice bull taken at the "Killing Field" Notice all the water/bog?
Noah taking out his big bull with the help of Michel, our guide.
Noah with both of his nice bulls at the end of the hunt. Notice the cabins in the background.
Bob, Rob, Steve and Nate Modderman with Bob's nice caribou. This turned out to be a nice family picture.
We caught some nice lake trout, but had to throw them back as the season was over.
Here is brother Steve Smith with a nice northern pike taken out of the lake, then released back for another day.
This is one we called "After The Hunt". Three Smith boys relaxing after a week of hunting. We had all our bulls by then and the sun was out and we were just enjoying it all!!
This is my nephew, Steve Modderman from Fallon, Nevada with the nicest bull taken on our trip. As Doug would say, "A real slob of a bull" This one is on tape being taken by Steve.