The Pope and Young Club announced on Thursday that a new woodland caribou is under consideration for the title of archery world record. Newfoundland bowhunter Jeff Samson harvested a massive bull late last year with an initial entry score of 376 and 7/8. If that score is verified, it will beat the current record—which has stood for more than 48 years—by a whopping 31 points. Stalking the caribou was no easy task, and Samson said he had to get within 15 yards of the animal before making the shot.
“[Caribou] are pretty witty and they don’t usually let you that close to them,” Samson told CBC. “It tests your skill more. You have to judge wind conditions, your cover, how close you can get. Basically, you gotta outwit the animal to get close enough to it.”
Samson had seen the caribou several times before, but every time he got within 50 yards of the bull, it would take off. It took a great degree of patience and caution before he was able to slip in under the animal’s radar and take the shot. The hunter said he was not even aware of the caribou’s record potential until well after the hunt, when he was researching his harvest on the Pope and Young website. Samson explained that he hunted primarily for meat and only investigated the possibility of a world record out of curiosity.
“”It feels kind of hard to believe, ’cause I’m not a trophy hunter,” Samson said. “When I hunt, I hunt for meat—whether it be moose, caribou, other big game…or even small game like ducks or rabbit.”
The current world archery record is held by a 345 and 2/8 caribou also harvested in Newfoundland near the Victoria River in 1966 by Dempsey Cape.
Samson said he had no intention of mounting the animal—which had already been eaten—but is glad to have kept the antlers, which he will be putting on display whether or not it takes a world record.
“People started coming to the door and saying ‘that’s a big caribou’ and that kind of thing,” the hunter recalled to The Gander Beacon. “I knew it was big when I killed it, but I didn’t think it was world-record material.”
Image courtesy Pope and Young Club