One of Fred Lamphere’s lifelong hunting goals first began as an image on a coin.
“One of my first hobbies growing up was coin collecting,” said Lamphere. “The first time I saw a caribou was on a Canadian quarter.”
A fascination with caribou, also known as reindeer, would continue as Lamphere grew up in Western South Dakota with its abundance of game animals.
Lamphere has served 30 years in law enforcement, starting in Newell and including the last 18 years as Butte County Sheriff.
He and his wife have also outfitted and guided hunts in western South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming for more than 23 years.
Lamphere has also been a Hunt Safe Instructor for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks since 1997.
A hunt of caribou in the northern tundra of Canada rose to the top of his outdoors to-do list, finally checked off five years ago when a son, Brian, helped set up a guided trip to Northern Manitoba.
“I was taken aback to say the least. I was so excited, proud and overwhelmed it was finally going to happen,” Lamphere recalled.
In spite of knee problems, Lamphere was able to participate in the September 2014 hunt, accompanied by Brian and family friends, father and son, Jerry and Ryan Pflaumer of Gillette.
The trip resulted in Lamphere’s taking a central Canada barren ground caribou, which five years later earned a Third Award at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 30th Big Game Awards Banquet in Springfield, Mo. last month.
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The B&C scale awards points based on a series of measurements of antlers and skulls of animals harvested.
Lamphere’s caribou bull scored 366-5/8 Boone and Crockett points ranking 226th all-time for that species.
It will be listed along with 4,462 other outstanding trophies in the Boone and Crockett Club’s 30th Big Game Awards book available this fall.
According to a Boone & Crockett Club release, big game trophy size is a direct reflection of habitat quality, age, and low mortality of game animals.
The Boone and Crockett system of scoring big game trophies originated in 1906 as means of recording details on species thought to be disappearing because of rampant habitat loss, market hunting, and unregulated harvest.
The four men totaled six caribou taken during the trip. They also brought back the processed meat, with one quarter of each animal going to their Gangler Sub-Arctic Adventures guides.
“It seems like this hunt just continues to give,” Lamphere said. “I am so grateful to my son Brian, our friends Jerry and Ryan Pflaumer for making the hunt of a lifetime for me possible. As crippled up as I was, they really took good care of me and I cannot thank them enough.”
Since then, Lamphere has had two successful knee replacement surgeries. He is now looking forward, he said, to perhaps another caribou hunt.
“Maybe a mountain caribou,” he said.