13 year old Michael Frame from Zanesville OH, wish was to go to Alaska Caribou hunting so in September of 2005 he got his wish. This hunt has been Michaels dream for quite some time now and recently made a reality because of Benefit4Kids. Michael suffers from Langerhans cell Histiocytosis (LCH). In English, a person who suffers from LCH suffers from an uneven amount of white blood cells which then leads to many other problems, going as far as attacking the bone, if not detected. Michael is in remission currently and doing great!
Well, I got up at 3:00 A.M. and waited for Dean and Karen my grandma and grandpa to take Scott and I to Columbus International airport. I have never been on an airplane before so I was a little scared about that. But I was really excited about my hunt for caribou in Alaska. I got onto the airplane and was ready for the app. 17-hour trip. I was really surprised of the experience of going to airport to airport.
We had finally got to Bethel Alaska and met up with Don Lietzau of World Trek Safari. We went to the hanger to put our gear there for the night till the next morning so we could head out to the field and while we were there we met Wade Renfro of Renfro‘s Alaskan Adventures who was the outfitter for this hunt. Next we went to the Bed and Breakfast, the people who ran the Bed and Breakfast, Dr. Jane McClure and Dr. Bill Eggimann, where so kind and it was nice for them to have all of us there.
The next day we were ready to head out and by this point I was really excited to finally, after a year and a half, head into the tundra of Alaska to hunt. I flew out with Wade and Lou Limchayseng, who had booked a hunt with Wade also, for the hour flight. We got to my camp and I was about to meet one of the people I will never forget, and that would be Henry Duhaylongsod, who had helped raise money for my hunt so we had became best friends in a second. I was anxious to meet my guide, so then I meet Terry Mangold and his bother Tim Mangold who is also a guide for Wade. They both were very up to date on the caribou movement and safety. Terry and I hit it right off fast.
Don and Scott came about two hours later. I had been glassing for anything to move, and I looked over by Henrys gut pile and I see a big bear. I was excited because if I had seen something this quick I knew it was going to be a good hunt for sure. By the way I was going to be shooting a 50. Caliber T/C omega muzzleloader. So I went to bed early that night so I could get a good nights sleep.
The next day I got up and had a great breakfast and got a jump on the giant herd of caribou that Scott had spotted. We got our gear together and the chase was on! We had got closer to the herd and had spotted two good bulls. By this time my heart was pounding. Wouldn’t you know it the wind had changed so the herd had smelled us and ran down the mountain.
Then we decided to walk to what was called “The Knob”. The herd that we had been watching ran right down the side of the mountain. The one bull I had my eye on finally gave me a good look at him and I had realized that he had a tree limb in his rack so we all had a laugh about that. We had some more caribou come in but nothing was a shooter.
The next day we got up with spirits high. I had went down over the hill to look at the view of the river and realized that a parky squirrel was chasing me. I knew Terry wanted to shoot one to mount with his Bear Mount, so I slowly walked up and got him and he head shot it!
Later I had finally spotted a herd of caribou in the bottom in front of us. We had moved closer and had saw one nice bull. So Terry, Scott and Don who was video taping my hunt, and I got 160 yards from a herd of about 75 caribou, But the wind had change again and they had winded us. We went to leave for camp and I look behind us and there are about ten to fifteen caribou 300 yards but nothing would work out.
I got up the next day, and I knew I would shoot sometime but little did I know it was going to be today! We went to the river to take a look, and we saw a wolverine. That was cool to see but I had my eye set on a caribou. We get to the river and saw a lot of caribou and a wolf. We had seven cows close enough to get my heart pumping!
We then see the herd I took my bull out of and saw one good bull. It was 5:15 when I made the decision to make the two and a half-hour stalk straight up the mountain. We got to the herd and Terry, Don and I went up to the raise while Scott stayed back while we stalked 80 yards around a ledge to get a good angle to shoot. We stalked around and I got my gun up on my backpack and looked thought the scope and saw the bull! I didn't look at the rack at all. All of the hunt Terry told me behind the shoulder and spilt a hair. Don was right behind my shoulder video taping the shot. I was told to wait till he stood up and I did. He stood up and I shot. We got right up and ran to the sight. I had made an awesome shot! I wait for Scott to come up and I picked up the rack and I will never forget these next couple of minutes. By the time we got it gutted out, quartered out and packed up it was 7:30. We walk two and a half-hours in the dark “that was fun.”
A couple of days later we got picked up Wade came in the Mull and randy a pilot for wade came in the Super Cub to get us and our gear out. And went back to the hanger and I started cutting all the meat off the bone. The next day we flew out for Ohio. We got to the airport in Columbus Ohio and got hugs from mom, grandma, and grandpa!
Well I had a trip for a lifetime and it was because of Benefit4Kids! This is a great origination that helps sick kids and I think it is so cool they do that! I would love to say Thank You to everyone who made my hunt possible like... Steve Pray and family, Al Baggett, Don Lietzau, Terry Mangold, Henry Duhaylongsod, and Wade Renfro. Thank you once again to everyone…
Thank you goes out to all those involved with make this trip a reality for Michael. First off, thank you goes to Don Lietzau and World Trek Safaris Consultants and Wade Renfro from Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures. Both these men offer first class operations! This trip never would have been possible without these guys and a great deal of gratitude goes out to the both of them! I would also like to thank Kurt Norby and the entire Safari Club Alaska Chapter, Henry Duhaylongsod and his Dick Pacific employees, Gus and Geri Gillespie, Delano Lietzau from Wagon Wheel Kennels, and the band “Attention Deficit Disorder” for all sponsoring this hunt and making Michaels dream a reality! A big thank you goes out to the State of Alaska for donating Michaels tag and license, and Frank Pieper of Franks Taxidermy out of Eagle River Alaska for donating the time and effort to do a fabulous job on a mount so Michael can look up and see that mount everyday which will then trigger his memory to a flash back of this trip and keep that smile on his face for the rest of his life!
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