Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41

Thread: North Slope Meat and predator hunt and photo trip

  1. #1
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default North Slope Meat and predator hunt and photo trip

    Five of us left last Sunday morning at 4am on an adventure that none of us had done before, but had been planning for several years. We decided we would be sleeping in tents even though we heard that the temps were a little low even by north slope standards! It would be a great test of my Arctic Oven that had, prior to this trip, only been exposed to a few zero degree trips and a fall moose hunt.

    The drive up was gorgeous. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking! I have made this trip in the early fall, but winter was a whole new perspective! There was so much to take in, but we were on a mission so the photography was somewhat limited.



    Those that have made this trip know the variety of scenery on the way. It never gets old!



    We were hoping to see lots of predators and caribou and our wish would be granted very early in the trip. About 10 miles south of the yukon a beautiful black wolf crossed the road half a mile in front of us. We went up to where we last saw him and the saw his tracks enter an extremely thick section of tree's. My heart sank as I ran through the ditch post holing up to my knee's thinking there was no way we were going to see him again! My buddy Tracy stayed up on the road and got ahead of me. He could see a small clearing in the tree's and gambled that the wolf would pass through that. Well, his gamble paid off and he took the black wolf he has been searching for the last 5 years! That would be the only one we saw this trip, so my quest continues!

    We did end up taking two red fox as well, but I did not get any pictures of them and those were the only other predators taken on this trip.

    Day three brought my path across that of two caribou about half a mile off the road in a slight depression that would make a very difficult stalk a slight possibility. We were just north of Toolik lake so those that have been up there know the type of terrain around there. It was the most challenging stalk I have ever done, taking over an hour to cover the last 200 yards, and towards the end I had to wait for a semi in the distance to start climbing the hill to provide a little background noise to mask the extremely loud snow! In the end I could only close the distance to 75 yards, but I regularly practice out to 70 so I took the gamble and it paid off big time! One shot took her down extremely quick and my first archery caribou was on the ground!



    We made several other stalks that day, but none would pan out.



    In between stalks we glassed heavily for predators and I did as much photography as I could at the -30 temps we had north of Atigun. My camera's performed flawlessly at those temps though so I was very impressed!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  2. #2
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default





    The scenery made the photography pretty easy. And every night we had northern lights to play with!



    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  3. #3
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    By the fourth day we had decided to drive all the way up to Deadhorse to have a good buffet and say we have made it to the end of the road in Alaska! We headed south of our camp first just to check things out and my buddy Tracy ended up taking a nice bull that morning.



    And on the drive up we encountered all kinds of wildlife but no other successfull caribou stalks would be made on this trip!

    This sheep was the largest we saw during the trip. Look at the hide on that guy! He is going to be a beautiful ram in a few years! Its a shame there is no opportunity to harvest a sheep in the winter. I would love to have a hide like that on my wall!



    And then we stumbled on this huge muskox bull! This was the highlight of the trip for me. I have wanted to harvest a muskox with my bow long before I ever came to Alaska and I hope to make that happen in the future at some point!



    After a great meal in Deadhorse we were greated by more Northern lights on the return trip so I took advantage of it as much as I could.

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Very nice photos, and thanks for sharing your journey with us...Oh Congrats on your first archery Bou nice shot!

  5. #5
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default







    The fifth day would be the last day we would spend north of Atigun and we had seen lots of ptarmigan throughout the trip so I wanted to try and harvest a few with my bow. I had brought up some fluflu's with judo points and they were dying to be put to use!

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  6. #6
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default







    They were not a real easy target with my z7, but I ended up putting a few in the bag!

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  7. #7
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default





    Birds are a blast and I am going to try harder to get out and chase them with a bow any chance I get! There are lots of grouse around my cabin that would make good targets as well!

    All in all it was an amazing trip and one I will be making every year if I can. The heavy snow this year pushed more caribou than normal into area's they are not always in. We ended up seeing them from just north of Wiseman to all the way up about 10 miles south of Deadhorse! Some singles all the way up to groups of 30 or more. The conditions are extremely difficult for stalks, but that just adds to the adventure in my book!

    And to finish off the story here are some pics from the drive home!





    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  8. #8
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default



    If you have thought about making this trip this year would be the time to do it! The weather was phenominal and the game was plentiful! After talking to quite a few of the locals up there it was clear that it is not always like this. Sometimes the conditions might be better, but it takes alot to line up on a hunt like this!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Thanks for the ride.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NorthWest Alaska
    Posts
    3,638

    Default

    Awsome!!!!

    You remind me of me ~~LOL!!~~ 'cept I have no road, but a snowgo, for lack therof....but a danm good Hunt there, and the pictures are the greatest part

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

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

  11. #11
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    After re-reading it let me clarify that Tracy ran further down the road before cutting down to a clearing in the woods. He did not shoot the wolf from the road! I just cut down through the ditch too soon and the snow was too deep for me to get to the clearing before the wolf did! Here is the picture of the wolf, for some reason it did not post the first time!

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  12. #12
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Sounds like he really got lucky with that wolf.....

    Did you guys stay warm enough? Vehicles start up alright?

  13. #13
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Yes he did! We quickly realized just how lucky he was! As for staying warm, I had an arctic oven tent and woodstove and it was difficult to keep it from getting too hot in there. I think I am going to look for a different heat source. We just used it in the morning to warm up before heading out and we started it in the evening to warm things up before we headed to bed, but we had one near death experience when the wind kept the pipe from drafting properly and the tent filled with dense smoke shortly after we fell asleep. luckily we both woke up immediately or it could have been bad. The other three were in a cabelas 6 man guide tent with a big buddy heater and they seamed to stay warm enough as well. We all had really good bags. The truck ran great, but was a tad slow to start a couple times. I would recommend getting one of those 12 volt defrosters they sell at truckstops to use for back windows and to supplement the trucks heater though. our back two windows were tough to keep clear without blasting out the front seat passengers!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  14. #14
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    Thanks for the truck advice. I was curious if you used a preheater or something prior to cranking it. My truck has been up there twice, but in the mild August temps. Stop for cheeseburgers at the Yukon or Coldfoot?

  15. #15
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    No preheater, but it was a 2009 Ford F150 gas truck. I dont think my diesel would have enjoyed it as much! We stopped a few times at Coldfoot for a burger and also at the buffet in Deadhorse. Made it pretty tolerable!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Wow, A-1A, thanks for the photos. I have done numerous trips and I appreciate youe spirit! 2 questions if you don't mind -

    How was the Oven?

    What camera, lens, etc.

    Garcias,

    Gooch
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Lastly the Matthews - after borrowing one and getting a bou on the haul road this year, I want one (I've killed quite a few up there prior to moving to SE). The Z-7. Does it live up to the hype?

    Once again the photos were awesome, like going! Next time in the winter (anyone for that matter) call me! I promise to be helpful and entertaining ;-)
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  18. #18
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,417

    Default

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing this great adventure.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  19. #19
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Gooch,
    The oven has been the best investment I have made so far in Alaska! I have used it on several hunts with this one being the coldest and it has always surpassed expectations. I am going to invest in the new 2 person version as well. The camera's I use are the 7d and the 5D mark II and on this trip the 70-200 f2.8, 16-35 f2.8 and the 15mm fisheye. The camera's performed flawlessly in all temps. I left them in the back of the truck so they were unheated the entire trip to avoid condensation issues. I figured I would have to remove the batteries and keep them in my pocket, or at least the heated cab, but didnt even have to do that!

    As for the Z7, you wont regret that purchase either! I have taken a moose, griz, caribou and ptarmigan so far with it and I love it!

    Hope that helps! let me know if you have any other questions!

    Cory
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  20. #20
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Fantastic post !!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    RJ Simington

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •