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Thread: Caribou Hunt 2012

  1. #1
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    Default Caribou Hunt 2012

    Guys and Gals,
    Thank you for all the great information that this forum contains, I have spent the last several hours reading through all the archieved information. I am currently setting up a caribou hunt for the 2012 season. We will be flying into Fairbanks and driving north to Deadhorse or Happy Valley. We have debated on the 3 different options of "road hunting with bows", drift trip or drop camp. We have decided to spent the entra money and get away from other hunters and will be either drifting or dropping.

    I have read through all the past posts, and several outfitters are recommended and others seem to consistently generate negitive comments. We are traveling 1000's of miles to Alaska and we are willing to put forth the time, effort and money to be successful. We are all younger and in good shape and willing to tackle the tundra. It would really be a disappointment to come all that way, and have to deal with some jerk that runs an outfitting business.

    I know that posting negitive comments about outfitters is not allowed on this forum. I welcome anyone to send me positive and negitives from past caribou hunts. I would like to understand specific problems or reasons the outfitters did not meet expectations, I would like to hear about good outfitters that exceeded expectations and so forth. I know this topic has been listed several times, but I am looking for more specific information. The feedback I recieve from this website is really going to put alot of weight into our decision.

    Please feel free to email me at josh_clymer2003@yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I haven't used a service up there, but over the past years I have heard more positive comments about Mike McCrary at 70 Degrees North than I have for any other service up there. If I were going to book a flight out of Happy Valley, that would be my first (and likely only) call.

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    Who did you find that would let you rent a vehicle to take up the Haul Road? Heard good things about 70 North. He flies Helios I believe and the payload is about 750 lbs. Which is far more than a cub can take. Some guys only fly cubs and it'll cost you a ton of money shuttling everything back and forth. Coyote Air is another one right there in Coldfoot that flies a beaver, I believe the payload there is like 1250lbs.

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    I plan on doing a fly in hunt with my wife and daughter next year and after Vince told me the great things 70 north did. I will be using them for sure as well.

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    "Who did you find that would let you rent a vehicle to take up the Haul Road?"

    OOOpps, did I forget to mention to the car rental place where I am taking my vehicle. What they don't know should not hurt...

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    FYI..
    I contacted Coyote Air, they will not take caribou hunters out??

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clymerj View Post
    "Who did you find that would let you rent a vehicle to take up the Haul Road?"

    OOOpps, did I forget to mention to the car rental place where I am taking my vehicle. What they don't know should not hurt...
    Ha ha, ya until you have to have the rig towed back to fairbanks. My first trip up I had a rock from an on-coming big rig put a hole in my radiator. A guy I met on my last trip up had his truck break down at Galbraith and had to have a tow truck drive all the way up. Good luck!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clymerj View Post
    OOOpps, did I forget to mention to the car rental place where I am taking my vehicle. What they don't know should not hurt...
    As long as you're prepared to spend $20,000 or more to replace their vehicle in the case of a wreck. Neither their nor your insurance will cover anything that goes wrong since you'll be signing a piece of paper stating that you won't be taking their vehicle up the Haul Road. You can be careful, but driving up there not all factors are in your control.

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    I understand the risk involved but I have not been able to find any other options to drive up Haul road. If anyone has a better option, I am all ears. If not, I'll take my chances...

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    I ran into two guys this last trip up who had flown from Anchorage to Deadhorse and were able to rent a truck and hunt the Haul road that way. Cuts way down on drive time I guess.

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    I just spoke with my insurance company and explained EXACTLY what I would be doing with a rental car in Alaska. They told me that I would be covered under my own policy, so the rental vehicle policy may not cover me, however my own insurance policy will. Does anyone see any flaws with this plan?

  12. #12

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    If you book with Deltana someone will meet you at the Deadhorse airport and ferry you down to their Happy Valley base. I had two inexperienced kids along in 2009 and really did need a guide so the money was well spent on a first-class operation. Ralph did have to relocate our camp when the weather stayed unexpectedly warm and the animals refused to come down our first drainage. The extra Supercub flight through tight passes was maybe the highlight of the trip and got us our meat.

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    I just spoke with my insurance company and explained EXACTLY what I would be doing with a rental car in Alaska. They told me that I would be covered under my own policy, so the rental vehicle policy may not cover me, however my own insurance policy will. Does anyone see any flaws with this plan?





    Yes, find out what the distance is that the insurance will cover a tow to. Some policies say that they will tow the vehicle up to 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles etc to the nearest dealer or repair shop. Doubt you'll be anywhere close to the listed covered mileage. So, that means you'll have to pay for every mile of tow till you get within the covered tow range. You can check with Good Sam RV insurance. For a one time annual fee they guarantee to tow ANY vehicle that you are driving from any driveable surface to the nearest repair shop or dealer. I think for the premo coverage it was only like $150 or less. I buy it every year because I drive the Denali Hwy alot and if my truck breaks down at mp 67 1/2 of the Denali Hwy they will send a tow rig, hook it up, and tow it to the Wasilla, Chevy dealer or other repair shop for free.

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    Regarding "out of bounds" use of a rental car.... I don't know for sure, but it seems that their not allowing it is not just a case of insurance but rather the added wear and tear on the vehicle that comes as a result. They don't say just that their insurance won't cover it, bur rather that driving them on those roads IS NOT ALLOWED. You may want to read up as to what "penalty" might be incurred if they find out that it was used. If you have some kind of accident or even a ticket, they will know where it was used. Even if your insurance covers the cost of the damage, you may still be on the hook for a "penalty" of some kind from the rental agency that your insurance won't touch.

    I believe that Airport Equipment Rentals will rent vehicles that they do allow on the Haul Road. Depending on what risk you might be taking with another rental vehicle, it might be worth paying a little extra to get one that is allowed up there and doesn't open you up to the possibility of a big out-of-pocket fee.

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    The 500 lbs of clay-like mud caked to the undercarriage will be a dead give away of where you've been. It took me multiple trips to the do-it-yourself carwash each of the last 2 years to remove the Haul Rd from my truck.

    If you can find someone to rent you a suitable vehicle without restrictions I'd strongly advise you to pay the extra money it may cost. Trust those that have been up there.


  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by clymerj View Post
    I just spoke with my insurance company and explained EXACTLY what I would be doing with a rental car in Alaska. They told me that I would be covered under my own policy, so the rental vehicle policy may not cover me, however my own insurance policy will. Does anyone see any flaws with this plan?
    Something to keep in mind. I don't know your insurance specifically, but I know that many insurance policies that would normally cover damage to a rental car will NOT cover damage if the use of that car was in violation of the rental agreement (which driving on the Haul Road would be for most rental companies). It looks like you may have already double checked that circumstance, but thought I would throw it out there anyway.

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    Thanks for the advice and thoughts.. I believe we have decided on everything other than exactly how to get up the Haul Road. Rental companies that allow vehicles up the road are $179 + tax per day, basically $200 / day. We are going to have the vehicle for 14 days or close to $2500 for a rental. I bet I could buy a vehicle on Craigslist for cheaper to use for 14 days and dump off to someone else for a couple hundred $$.. We are looking over all our options and looking at risk involved in each option. However it goes, we will get up there and have a great trip next year!

    Let me know if anyone knows someone that will give us a price on driving us up and picking us up in Happy Valley. Maybe a guy in the Military or a College student needs some extra cash??

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    wanna buy my old truck? $900 and its yours! 1991 chevy 1500 runs like a top i swear! 4x4 and a good heater! new brakes!



    Release Lake Trout

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    Hmmm, i'm starting to see a potential business opportunity if I was ever to lose my job.... Haul Road Shuttle Service. Good, heavy duty van with solid trailer for gear/meat capacity. Charge by the mile or fixed cost to certain popular destinations. Hmmmm.......

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    The haul road is also bad on tires....and on these new 4x4's if you smoke a tire - you get to buy 4 new ones....

    Anyone need 3 used (15K miles) dodge 20 inchers (stock) ?

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