Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C World's Record - Barren Ground Caribou

World's Record Barren Ground Caribou

Daniel L. Dobbs visited Alaska to shoot a giant Alaska brown bear. The trophy bear eluded him, but he came away from his combo hunt with more than adequate compensation— the new world's record barren ground caribou.

For most of his life Dan Dobbs dreamed about shooting a 10-foot Alaskan brown bear. And, after booking an Alaskan brown bear/caribou combo hunt he was sure his goal would come to fruition. So sure, in fact, he actually set aside a place in his trophy room for a mount. Caribou was a second thought . . . until one of the world's most amazing animals stepped in front of him.



On September 16, 1999, Dobbs flew to Iliamna Lake on the north end of the Alaska Peninsula, then boarded a floatplane to Rainbow River Lodge. On September 18, opening day of of bear season, Dobbs began his hunt. On the second day, September 20, Dobbs shot a nice— but not enormous—bear. He was happy, but a little disappointed, because he'd set his expectations so high. After taking the bear Dobbs reminded himself that the hunt wasn't over and vowed to "make up for it with a big caribou.”

Dobbs and assistant guide Mark Freshwaters traveled 45 minutes by floatplane and set up a comfortable spike camp on a small lake. They would look for animals from the Peninsula's north herd. The rut was just beginning and they expected to see plenty of animals. However, for several days Dobbs and Freshwaters didn’t see any caribou, other than a small group they'd spotted while landing at camp. Cold and windy weather added discomfort to their disappointment.

On the fourth morning, the men hiked to the top of a hill and used it as a vantage point. From there, they had an expansive view of a draw and a broad valley where caribou typically traveled. To gain a different view they moved to another hill. After a few minutes of glassing, Freshwaters said, “There is your caribou!” The bull was less than a mile away, but on the move. To get a shot, the men sprinted three-quarters of a mile back to their original vantage, and arrived moments before the bull.

The bull followed a ravine and the hunters only could see the tips of its antlers above the crest of the hill. Soon, more of the antlers became visible, and Dobbs' excitement mounted. At 90 yards out the bull stepped into full view. Dobbs squeezed the trigger, driving the bullet into the caribou's front shoulders. 

“This caribou will make the Boone and Crockett records book,” Freshwaters announced as the men admired the magnificent animal. “No way!” Dobbs responded, silently hoping Freshwaters was accurately judging the remarkable animal. Dobbs had nothing to worry about—his caribou easily made the book and was officially scored at 477 points at the 24th Awards Program in Springfield, Missouri. Dobbs didn't get his coveted 10-foot brown bear, but he came home with the new world's record barren ground caribou.


Support Conservation

Support Hunting

Support Conservation

Support Education

"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt