The thrill of the hunt. At times, that’s what keeps Life Below Zero‘s Alaskan survivalists going, even when Mother Nature seems to be conspiring against them. For Sue Aikens, she’s driven to the tundra to hunt caribou as the winter closes in.
This week on Life Below Zero, Sue is dismayed to see a forecast of sinking temperatures and snow. The winter is returning, and accompanying the subzero weather is 290 days of solitude, months where Sue won’t see another living soul.
To survive on the tundra, it’s essential to fearlessly seize every opportunity that comes along. Sue believes that the incoming storm may drive some caribou closer to nearby terrain, so she prepares her rifle and heads out into the wild to do some hunting in the waning daylight. Caribou can move around thirty miles per day, so Sue must take advantage of the short window of time where food wanders in range.
On the tundra, Sue knows she’s a predator, and must seek her pray out of their hiding spaces. “To me, anything God makes incredibly plentiful on the planet probably isn’t real high on the food chain,” she says. “Caribou tend to be really plentiful out here.”
However, hunting caribou takes skill and patience, and it’s crucial for Sue to correctly gauge how far away the caribou are before she shoots. When she takes her first shot at three caribou, her distance estimates are off, and her precious dinner begins to flee.
In the winter, Sue’s Kavik river Camp home becomes a desolate outpost where sherelies almost entirely on the fruits of her fall labors. With one shot down, she’s running out of time to restock her precious reserves of fresh meat.
With over a hundred pounds of meat on each caribou, Sue knows she must return to Kavik with some prey in tow.
Luckily, Sue knows better than to just let weeks’ worth of provisions escape. Her next shot lands, and with that, she’s secured another 100+ pounds of meat to help her last through the winter.
Hunting on the tundra is far from easy, but that doesn’t bother Sue. “It’s not a life for everybody, but I don’t get tired,” she says. “I got a 360-degree TV.”
Don’t miss an all-new episode of Life Below Zero this Thursday at 9P.