WACH Hunt Planner
WACH Hunt Planner
Well guys we are in final approach to this falls hunt and I am getting a number of call from some of my groups who have the some of the same questions. I havenít written a WACH Report in a few years so lest see where this goes.
Most of you guys are 1 month out and you should have or need to lay all of your gear out, pack it up, weigh it and then decide what you really donít need to take. The flight services I work with fly 185 and 206 aircrafts. A 185 has a capacity of about 700 pounds depending on how much avgas the pilot needs to put on for your trip. A 206 has a capacity of about 900 pounds. A good pilot will weigh you and your gear in and it is important that you know what you have before you arrive in a place like Kotzebue. You will pay for that plane and 3 guys can fill a 206 in a hurry. 200 pounds per hunter (body wt.) leaves you with about 250-300 pounds of gear. Pare down that gear to meet that limit and you can make it in one load. Plan on 2 loads coming back out (meat and racks).
If your doing a float hunt you can count on that raft package coming in at about 160 pounds or so and a camp package tips the scale around 85-110 pounds for 3 guys. These are numbers that I give my guys based upon what my gear weighs but your gear may be more or less. Take what you really need, take extra stove fuel, pack enough extra food to last 3-4 days (MRE or MT. House) because the weather can delay your pick up and does in Unit 23 many times.
Know where you are getting dropped and have a back up plan. Back in 2005 we had very low water conditions and many of our float hunts had to be converted into drop hunts or switched to a different river. The weather really controls much of your hunt and that you can count on. Develop a conversation with your flight service about your drop site and study your maps.
Pre ship your gear to save money. Most flight services will allow you to ship up some gear ahead of time. If your eating freezes dried foods-Mt. House, ship it up at least 3 weeks before your hunt via USPS. Camp gear like kitchen can be shipped up early as well. Pre shipping will save you $ via Alaska Airlines. Do not ship critical gear like tents, sleeping bags etc. because you cannot replace that stuff in Kotz.
OkÖThatís enough for now. The key to a great hunt is planning and this is why I tell folks that it is a 9-12 month process to do this right. Donít cut corners, donít under estimate how nasty weather can be in places like NW Alaska and donít take cheap camping gear because a cheap tent is worthless but a well-built tent is worth every penny.
Get going guys and good luck this fall!
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