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Thread: Planning Sept. 2012 Caribou Hunt (Rifle) - Advice Welcome

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    Default Planning Sept. 2012 Caribou Hunt (Rifle) - Advice Welcome

    Greetings. I've been reading this forum for some time now, and recently joined to solicit advice about an unguided Caribou hunt I am planning with a few friends/brother in September 2012. This will be our 1st Caribou hunt...we've hunted deer on POW going on +20 years...Mule Deer in the western states long before that...

    After reading through all the posts, recommendations...I have come to an early conclusion the best location is the Northern Brooks Range...either flying out of Happy Valley or out of DeadHorse/Prudhoe Bay...in Sept.

    At first I thought we could rent a vehicle in Fairbanks...rent camp gear...buy food and drive up. The cost, etc. of renting a big enough vehicle....renting gear, buying food seems impossible. ....so it seems the better solution is to let the Transporter/Outfitter rent us the camp gear and we buy food supplies down here in the lower 48, and ship them up a few weeks before our scheduled trip.

    I have contacted a few of the more recommended transporters/outfitters...all seem agreeable...and reasonable in costs...all fly out of Happy Valley or DeadHorse.

    Any and all recommendations & suggestions are welcome...the big question on my mind now is whether there is an advantage to flying out of Happy Valley or out of DeadHorse to get to the best camp/hunt locations.

    We know about Alaska weather...we know we have to be lucky with the migration...luck all the way. I am the guy 3 other guys will slam if things go south...so I want to try and cover all the bases...and experience is the best teacher.

    I haven't filled out my profile as yet...fair to say...hunting is what I live for...both my brothers and I. We want this Caribou hunt to be special. Our father's last deer hunt was a few years back on POW at age 88...hunting was his gift to us. My father was a WWII Navy - Submariner...bronze star...his 1st Submarine S-27 ran aground off the Aleutian Islands near Amchitka and crew stranded ashore...all hands survived...great story. My brother and I are old Army Vets...one of us is Vietnam Vet...too long ago to remember which one. My son is the best US Marine, Iraq Vet, decorated...I am one lucky man.

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    First of all, Thank You for your fathers, yours, brothers, and sons service. My father was a WWII Navy vet.
    Some of the guys more familiar with the area will chime in before long I suspect.
    My advice is continue watching this forum and see what stories are posted from that area. Likely there will be a few.
    The transporter biz ain't easy. Any operator that has been in biz in that area for a few years is likely a good guy to work with. He, more than anyone else can give you the scoop on where to go, success ratio, weather, equipment, etc. As much as any Guide, a transporter needs clients that return from the hunt successful, dry, warm, and happy. The good ones help their clients go into the field prepared and place them in the spots they feel most likely will lead to success.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Ditto martentrapper's comments. Thanks for all of your service.

    I have made two caribou hunts out of Happy Valley, both with Deltana Outfitters. I highly recommend them. Ralph Miller and his pilots are great gentlemen, true sportsmen, and deliver on the hunt. My son and I made our first trip as a drop camp with Deltana providing the camp and food. The hunting, camp gear and food were great. We both took nice carnou. Our second hunt was using them only as a transporter since we drove up and brought our own food and camp. We scrimped a little too much on the food , but it was still a very good hunt. Our fly in held great promise as we saw a tremendous number of caribou. The next morning (our first hunt day) the caribou disappeared. We continued to hunt for 2 days with little success. We called Ralph and he relocated us to another area where we ended up taking 2 nice caribou.

    Both hunts offered great scenery and many memories. I highly recommend Deltana Outfitters. PM me if you want more details.

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    Hi Patty, Thank you for your response...Deltana is high on my list. I may come back for more questions about your experience in terms of logistics, how not to scrimp on food, etc....if this is OK?

    Best of luck...Mike

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    Martentrapper...I agree completely...I have a high regard for these transporters...tough business. I aim to take away as much experience from the forum as possible. Best of luck...Mike

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    I will be glad to help in any way I can. Have fun with the planning and the hunting. If you can do it, put a week on the back end for fishing. It also helps with the head, meat prep, and shipping. Alaska is the best hunting and fishing experience. The experiences are so unique and memorable.

    This Forum is great! You may have to sift through some BS , but there is a wealth of helpful people on here. Be sure to pay attention to your Transporter's recommendations.

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    MAEMLEY

    No advice to offer just yet, but my wife and I have been planning our Bou trip for this year and we are leaving here in a couple of weeks. We are driving up out of Anchorage with our own gear and raft, flying out with Mike at 70 North, floating back to highway. Not sure if this information would be applicable to your circumstances, but will share story and photos on our retrun. We are flying out of Deadhorse. I understand the difficulty of planning such a hunt from a desktop so far away. I have recieved tons of help and assistance from folks here on the forum and you are in the right place to reach your goals. Stand By....................

    TGJ

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    Your buds are missing out on a huge part of the fun! I have excitedly planned 4 trips to Alaska. I could easily put together a hunt in a month or so now but I prefer to spend 12 months anticipating!!!
    If you hire a transporter, let's assume a couple of things. To increase his chances of repeat customers, he will place you in the best spot he has available so you will see caribou. While you are in the air, you will see scenery. You are going to be in Alaska with people you love having a great time. You can be forgiven for not harvesting an animal but your primary focus MUST be the safe return of you and your party. If you handle that, Alaska and the transporter will likely exceed your expectations.

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    TGJ, Thanks for your response. Looking forward to your trip experience. I would love to do a Float trip...decided this 1st time to keep it simpler. I have spoken with Mike at 70 North...he came with great references...and a reasonable price. Best of Luck, Mike

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    Nikster, I agree...and I have left empty handed with no regrets...over the many years I have hunted with family and friends. On the other hand...I have read about some horror stories...mostly of hunters flying out of Kotzebue. While these references may be isolated...they leave a lasting impression on me.

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