Yukon Buffalo Hunt w/ GoPro HD

It’s five thirty in the morning and the thermostat reads –21. I’m in the Yukon and getting ready to try my hand at Buffalo hunting. The GOPRO has been charging all-night and ready to capture whatever comes my way. My only question is will it perform in such cold weather? Only one way to find out.
We load up the sleds. I finish my third cup of baileys and Coffee and hop in the waiting truck packed with sleds and half asleep bodies. It’s about two hours north out of White Horse and just the drive alone is worth the trip. Some of the most breath taking scenery in Canada is up here. By the time we start unloading the sleds it’s warmed up to a cool –17. I’m riding a Polaris 600 and wondering how are prey wont here us screaming around the trails. I pull the GOPRO HD out of my pocket and with a quick snap I mount it to my helmet.

I manage to press record with my gloves still on and we take off on the first leg of our trip. It’s blue sky but feels like thirty below. My head is freezing due to the fact I’m only wearing a snowboard helmet and I start wondering if I’m going to last the trip. One of my buddie takes one look at me as I drive past him and frantically waves me down. He tells me to quickly put my hands on my face due to the fact my cheeks are in the first stage of frost bite! They feel like I have two pieces of tape under my eyes. I warm up the frozen area and one of the other guys gives me his extra face mask. Rookie mistake but no harm done.

We see no sign of fresh tracks, only frozen dung from weeks back. I’m not too concerned if we find some buffalo or not, just ripping around the endless trails and hills is just fine with me. We do some scouting on top of a few hills and then drop down to a very large frozen lake. This is where the fun starts. Not another sled track as far as the eyes can see. After just doing about 24km/h for hours and then getting to open up on the biggest track was unbelievable. The GOPRO captured it all while my friend and I cover every end of the lake doing about 140km/h. If the buffalo were any where near us, we definitely made our presence known.

Tip: if you are going to hunt Buffalo on sleds make sure you use a four stroke and leave the guys who want to just rip around, at home. We then went to the other end of the lake, built a fire and roasted the most amazing caribou smokies. So lean, so good.
One of our friends is an avid hunter and very familiar with the Yukon’s wild outdoors. He has all the gadgets from the GPS to the satellite phone. Naturally, we follow him without question. He decides to take us on a trappers trail and assumes it will eventually take us back to where we started. Well it did. But not before we roll two sleds and bend one ski. We came out empty handed but safe and still with a little light left.

When we got home I was very curious to see if the GOPRO had managed to capture our adventure. I was pleasantly surprised on how clear the footage was and how long the batteries had lasted. My only thoughts is when you are shooting in such cold temperatures it’s probably a good idea to keep the GOPRO close to your body until it’s time to shoot. Because it’s so simple to snap on and off it wont be much trouble. We have already made plans to come back next year and this time we will triumph!

~Mark Zealand

Have you ever been on a Buffalo Hunt? We’d loved to hear your story.

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By Mahlah
14 04 2010 at 04:42 PM

Awesome Mark! Love the intro!!