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Thread: Haul Rd. in August...

  1. #1
    Premium Member AZinAK's Avatar
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    Question Haul Rd. in August...

    I'm trying to figure out if the 11th to the 18th of August would be a good time to do a walk in hunt with my dad. He is really only available up to the 18th due to deer and elk seasons in Arizona which is where he's coming up from. We are looking at hiking out the 5 miles and camping out for the week. I know it varies from year to year so I am just looking for EDUCATED guesses as to the probability of getting into some bou's. Thanks in advance!!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    You will almost definitely be able to find some. The variable is how far north they will be. I hunted two years ago during that same time frame and we found most of the caribou around Sagwon. Make sure you do a thorough search through the forum archives and read about the walk-in hunt. I can not be overstated how difficult the walking is. It is flat, but the ankle-rolling hummocks make it much more difficult than most tundra walking. Also, be absolutely sure that you mark your location with a gps, as the troopers do fly the area daily and will nail you if you take a caribou even 1/10th of a mile inside the 5-mile corridor.

    -Brian

  3. #3
    Premium Member AZinAK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks...

    Yeah, I've walked in but in October...I know it is different when everything is thawed. Thanks for the info. Keep it coming!!!

    AZinAK

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    Talking

    My partner and I were hunting near pump station 2 late one August when 2 Fort Rich GIs showed up. They camped nearby then introduced themselves.

    They planned to hike in the next morning and shoot a 'bou. One guy would take his rifle and be the shooter. Together, they would pack out the meat and antlers.

    The following day, they planned to do it again but the other guy would be the shooter. On the 3rd day they would drive home and go back to work on Monday

    My partner and I attempted to find out a little about these guys.

    The assurred us right off that although they had no Alaska hunting experience they were very experienced hunting in the lower-48 and did not need any advice from use.

    Since being transferred to Alaska they had been anixously waiting to become residents so they could get the cheap tags. This was their 1st big game season and were rearing to go.

    They admitted to knowing nothing about tundra or muskeg but looking out into the distance, one said, "Hell, I can see more than 5 miles "out into that field!"

    When we tried to explain the difficulties in walking in that country they proudly reminded us they were soldiers! They could do 50 miles in a day...with a full pack, doubletime!

    They departed early the next morning, even before we woke up.

    We watched for them all day. We kept our fire going (with our precious brought-in firewood), until almost midnight then we turned in. We figured we would call the Troopers if we didn not see them the next day.

    Late the next morning they showed up in our camp. Both were limping and were worn to a frazzle. They had killed a caribou.

    However both were in bad shape from walking through the tundra. They found out they would break a leg if they tried to watch for caribou and walk at the same time.

    And, it turns out a caribou is a quite a bit larger than those Texas deer. The antlers and head was a load by itself. And apparently did not know how to cape their trophy. They could not bring out everything in one trip so they relayed the loads. They had made it to camp just after midnight.

    And now they were going to break camp and go home. They decided one 'bou was enough.

    We still laugh about those guys.
    If you guys are reading this, thanks for the entertainment.

  5. #5
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    Default Right on BustedKnee

    Saw 3 guys do the five mile hike 2 years ago from the camp next to mine and they made a similar mistake to the one described above. They said they had planned for a WHOLE month for the hunt. I tried to explain that it was a long hike in the tundra but they insisted they'd be fine. They left at about 4am on foot all had rifles in hand and packs... I hunted and returned to camp that night at about 11pm and they were not back yet. At 3:30 in the morning I heard on walk by the tent and got up and talked to him he said the other two were on there way. They had made good time on the way out made about 5 1/2 miles and ran into 10 caribou and shot 2 nice bulls. He went dropped his pack and 2 quaters of the Bou he shot and crashed in his truck for 3 hours and was headed back out when I left in the morning to hunt. I was headed back to my camp at lunch and ran across the 2nd hunter in that party at 10:30 he was about 2 1/2 miles down the road and lost gave him a ride to his camp. Asked where the 3rd guy was he was still coming... Guy 3 made it to camp at about 11:45 he was wiped and could hardly walk(he was wearing white tennis shoes and jeans and was frozen!!!) he wasn't even wearing his pack he was dragging it had broke the straps on it when it was full of meat. To make a long story short the 3rd guy stayed in the truck for the next whole day and tried to thaw out while the other 2 made 2 more trips across the tundra to get the rest of the meat and antlers. They said the best thing that happened on the whole trip was that the 3rd guy had shot and missed his caribou or they would have died on the tundra. The only thing they had in there packs when they left was 2 water bottles and a lunch for the day the figured they'd be in and out in about 8 hours. It was a beautiful 20 deg at night and 30 during the day when they did this. They were LUCKY!

  6. #6

    Default Required reading!!!!!

    Bustedknee's post should be required reading for every hunter thinking of coming to Alaska to hunt. I saw this very thing many a time from these folks that think hunting Alaska is the same as hunting the lower 48. Alaska is nothing like there, especially the Slope.

    Bottom line, Alaska can and will kill you if you are not prepared!!!!!

    I made this trip to the slope many times and have taken a lot of caribou there. Nearly every trip we found folks not prepared and danged lucky to survive it.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  7. #7
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    Default August

    I've hunted there in August 3 times, twice by boat and one walk in. On my last trip a couple years ago my 17 y/o nephew came up for his first big game hunt and we did the walk in. I told him ahead of time that it would probably be the hardest hunt he would ever do and he wasn't dissapointed. There is some high ground just to the south of PS 2 where there is a pit you can park in if you plan to walk to the west. We went in about 5.5 miles because there are a couple curves in the road that can get you in trouble. Remember you must be 5 miles from all points on the road, not just where you are parked, a map and GPS will save you some trouble. We wore ankle fit hip boots as you will be walking in a lot of water. Packed very light, no tent, no sleeping bags, took layered clothing and rain gear, food, water purifier, the bare necessities. We took all the gear with us in the truck, then took in what we would need for 3 days depending on the weather. I've seen everything from sunshine, rain, to blizzards during August and the weather is unpredictable so use due diligence. My plan was at the first sign of bad weather to go back to the truck. At the 5.5 mile mark we sat down as there was a good vantage point and running water and waited. Chasing caribou is a waste of time, let them come to you. We saw a few cows and a small bull and then on day 2 we spotted 2 shootable bulls that were heading in our direction that we could intercept. We got into position and they popped over a small rise and he shot the bigger of the 2. We butchered him and loaded the meat and the antlers in out packs and headed back. It was a long hard haul back to the truck, I do a lot of mountain hiking and hunting, am in good shape, and am a retired grunt, got lots of badges and tabs and know what a hard hump is and that was tough. It's a different type of walking that will wear you out and bust you up. If 2 hunters are going in, plan on taking 1 animal, if you shoot 2, you may find yourself overwhelmed, its not worth it. If you want to go to the east, north of PS 2 there is a boat put in. If you take a small raft you can cross the Sag and walk in, do not try and wade across the Sag, it has killed people. The water level fluctuates a lot and the current can be deceiving. If you are tempted to do it, ask yourself if a caribou is worth dying for. I think hunting to the east is better but wouldn't even think about it without a safe way to cross the river. Take a head net and bug dope. Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to PM or email me.

  8. #8
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    It's definitely not easy but it's doable. My hunting partner and I did the hunt via the "one day" method. We walked in 6.19 miles, shot one caribou, and packed it out. All told it took over 24 hours. It was worse than any goat or sheep hunting I've ever done.

    I have a friend who hunts with his wife. They camp at the five mile mark, shoot one caribou, pack it out, then hike back in and pack camp out. It's not easy getting to the road only to have to turn around and head back in.

    The main factor to consider is that you should only shoot one caribou for two people. You should only also do this hunt if you are in good physical condition. You don't have to be an olympic athlete but, that old bum knee or bad ankle or sore back will most certainly rear its ugly head on the tundra and take you out.

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    I just learned more from your entry than any book could of ever prepared me for this hunt. I am from Washington state and am planning a caribou hunt east of the Sag with two guys from AK. One of our thoughts was to raft the Sag to the Ribdon and venture up it until we reach 5 mile destinations for a camp. Am I dreaming or is this a feasible effort. From everything I have read, once you cross the Sag there are alot fewer hunters. Also, is it possible to get a raft up the Ribdon? All new to me, I am used to hunting elk in timber and fields of SW Washington. Any info would be of great help.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    These bou were 20 yards from the road in August last year. They stayed there while my wife got out of our truck and snapped these photos. The 11th of August the bou flood gates opened just North of the pass. On the 8th when we drove to Deadhorse, we did not see one bou.

    I wish I had my bow with me.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Just got back from the Haul Rd/Deadhorse area. We camped about 30 miles south of Deadhorse. Not many caribou up there yet. Out of 9 hunters we got 2 small bulls. I got the first an my buddy got the second. It finally cooled off Thursday and rained and on our way out Sat morning we ran into some nice bulls in groups of about 30-50. Got a shot at a nice bull but overetimated the distance and shot real high. Should be good if it stays cool. Mark

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    loved the post from bustedknee, that almost sounded like me and my buddy last year, we did the 5 mile pack out west of toollik lake, we seen bous and went for em. cant say that i would take just anyone with me on this hunt, we were both very fit and it kicked our butts, at least we were well prepared. we made camp out 5 miles on the gps and hunted that night. the following morning we shot 2 nice bous 1 each, we even thought about taking a 3rd, thank goodness we didnt. the work involved with just the 2 were overwhelming! the weather was good and we quarted em up packed a load to camp, and went back for the rest. that same day we packed what was at the kill site back to the truck, and then by nightfall, we made it back out to the campsite. I thought I was gana have a stroke! we slept till at least noon the next day and packed out camp and the rest of the bou, the packs had to have wieghed 80lbs + and on that tundra thats more than a guy should safely pack. walk 25yds take a break, walk 25 more and repeat till you hit the road. I never worked so hard on a hunt, but its one im gana do again in a few weeks cause its worth every bit of pain you go through!

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    loved the post from bustedknee, that almost sounded like me and my buddy last year, we did the 5 mile pack out west of toollik lake, we seen bous and went for em. cant say that i would take just anyone with me on this hunt, we were both very fit and it kicked our butts, at least we were well prepared. we made camp out 5 miles on the gps and hunted that night. the following morning we shot 2 nice bous 1 each, we even thought about taking a 3rd, thank goodness we didnt. the work involved with just the 2 were overwhelming! the weather was good and we quarted em up packed a load to camp, and went back for the rest. that same day we packed what was at the kill site back to the truck, and then by nightfall, we made it back out to the campsite. I thought I was gana have a stroke! we slept till at least noon the next day and packed out camp and the rest of the bou, the packs had to have wieghed 80lbs + and on that tundra thats more than a guy should safely pack. walk 25yds take a break, walk 25 more and repeat till you hit the road. I never worked so hard on a hunt, but its one im gana do again in a few weeks cause its worth every bit of pain you go through!

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