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Thread: Caribou Timing - Brooks Range (23 & 26A)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Caribou Timing - Brooks Range (23 & 26A)

    Good day.

    First trip ever to Alaska. Will be bowhunting caribou in 2012. Have a transporter identified, gear list underway, and most of the logistics under control....I think!

    Next step is to book the hunt dates. Getting mixed reviews on that. Hearing 3rd week of August to 2nd week of September and both weeks in between. I realize weather plays a big part, but have no choice but to roll the dice in advance.

    So, if you were booking now for archery caribou....on the north face of the Brooks Range....and did not care about velvet versus hard horned.....which week would you choose?

    FYI, I'm a quality over quantity guy. Assuming the migration likely provides both though?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paradise (Alaska)


    Because you are using a transporter service, I believe you will see about the same number of bulls, and the same trophy quality of bulls, during any/all of the time you mentioned.
    But, I also believe that some- not all, but some- of the bulls shot late within your indicated time period will begin to get "rutty".
    And bro, I personally can not make rutty tasting caribou meat go down my gullet.

    Those Brooks Range north slope caribou rub off the velvet a few days prior to, or a few days after, Sept 1st.
    I prefer the middle ten days of the time period you are considering for trophy quality, quanity of bulls, and for the cooler night time temperatures that will affect the quality of the meat as well as reducing the quantity of those big-arse black flies . Keep in mind that predicting the bulk of the caribou migration is an inexact science. Just when ya think you have em all figured out, they can fool ya.
    Those north slope bulls are geneaally not hugh, but four years ago one of my friends in my group of buddies shot a legit 399 gross B&C (single shovel) bull. That is a big caribou anywhere!

  3. #3
    Member Berto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    ATA hit the nail on the head.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    You will have no problem with Rut during those time frames.

    Hunt the ridge tops, Caribou walk into the wind because og Misquitos, and like to be in high, cool, places. Lakes and river sides too.

    Good luck.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    fairbanks, ak


    It's been my experience that the worst time to hunt up on the slope is October, I did that once. Early to mid September even later September is even good meat. If I had choice of times to be up there it would be around the 10th of September. I've been up there twice around then and have seen some dandy bulls and in 2 trips watched 6 good bulls meet their maker. By then it's getting cooler so no bugs, meat keeps better, there is a chance of snow which stirs the Bou up really well, and it's just plain fun to hunt them then. Seems that any time in august is good if you like em in velvet. Later in august ensures no bugs.


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