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Thread: 2013 caribou! Flat landers looking for adventure!!!

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    Default 2013 caribou! Flat landers looking for adventure!!!

    I have been lurking on the forums a little while now and enjoy all the information you guys share! A small group of us from the Midwest are looking to do a caribou hunt next year. Of course we have heard of the haul road and dalton highway but what other areas with easy to obtain tags should we look at? Would a fly in hunt be a better option then hunting off the road? Any and all information would be great!

    I can't provide much in return for great
    Information besides trophy whitetail hunting in kansas!

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    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad H View Post
    I have been lurking on the forums a little while now and enjoy all the information you guys share! A small group of us from the Midwest are looking to do a caribou hunt next year. Of course we have heard of the haul road and dalton highway but what other areas with easy to obtain tags should we look at? Would a fly in hunt be a better option then hunting off the road? Any and all information would be great!

    I can't provide much in return for great
    Information besides trophy whitetail hunting in kansas!
    Okay, well the Haul Road/Dalton Highway (same thing, BTW), and the Taylor Highway are the only real caribou hunting areas you can drive to. Since you are non-residents it appears you cannot hunt the Mulchatna herd, which is a shame. One caribou hunt I have always wanted to do is on Adak Island. It's a roughly 300 sq. mi. island on the Aleutian chain with tons of caribou on it. Unfortunately the flights to Adak just got a lot more expensive. Another idea is to fly to Nome on the commercial airline and hunt there. What time of year do you plan to go? Are you looking to meet up with some Alaskan locals for the trip or just stick with your own group?

    If you want more info on the general whereabouts of caribou in Alaska, I recommend looking for this book called "Caribou Hunting: A guide to Alaska's herds" by Larry Bartlett. I just picked it up from the library, and although it's a bit dated, he has a lot of useful information in it. Another good one is Hunting in Alaska by Chris Batin. Good luck.

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    Download the Alaskan REGS. and READ,READ,READ !! They are complicated and vary GMU to GMU. The Dalton/Haul Road is a corridor 5 miles on either side of the road that is archery only. There are areas you could hunt and there are people who can help you with planning your hunt. You just need to determine what kind of hunt you want to do first.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Just about any fly in hunt is going to be more productive than a road hunt for people that are new to the area. Do your research and find a reputable air taxi and have a good caribou hunt instead of dealing with everyone and their brother along the roads.

    You can do fly in hunts off the haul road or you can fly to Kotzebue and do a fly in hunt from there. Neither are cheap but both will be good fun hunts and should put you on a number of caribou.

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    I would do a fly in hunt out of happy valley... To make it worth your while buy 2-3 locking tags I would not do that hunt with just one locking tag in my pocket that's for sure...

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    Contact Golden Eagle Outfitters out of Kotzebue Alaska. Tell them you would like to hunt the Noatak River. They will take good care of you.

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    A fly in will always be your best bet up here. hunting the haul road well if you are willing to hike in off the road your odds get better. If you want to drive up and down until you see animals then make a stalk and then have it foiled by other hunters then come on up and spend some money. You get what you pay for so spend it on a fly in and you and your buddies will have a great hunt.
    Good luck

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
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    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Another option is to do a float trip, cover lots of country and see lots of game.
    Our own Michael Strahan who owns this website can help you prepare for that.
    BK

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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Brad H, where are you in Kansas, I'm from Council Grove. My son and I did a fly-in DIY hunt 2 years ago with 40 Mile Air, out of Tok. We both had moose tags for 20E, but were able to abtain registration permit for caribou in zone 2. We had cow moose around us but no bulls showed, we did however, have several bands of caribou around us every day. We were able to both take nice caribou bulls and use our moose tags on the bou. Let me know if I can give you any other info, or if you're close to the Council Grove area, stop by my store, Twin Lakes Liquor. I'm usually here most every day. Knute



    P.S. - You might do a search on here for the "Middle Fork 40 Mile River Caribou Hunt", to find the thread my son posted about our hunt.

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    Member Take_'em's Avatar
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    Brad

    My son and I are doing a fly in on 12 Sep with Brooks Aviation...I'll let you know our assessment afterwards. Two years ago we did the five mile Haul Road Hike. How hard can five miles be...yeah right. IMO, with the Haul Road timing is everything. Number of bou seen on drive up: zero. Number seen while hiking in and hunting near Toolik: zero. Number seen driving further up north: zero. Number seen after hike in north of Happy Valley: 5 (we were at 6 miles and they were another 2 or so miles in). Number seen on drive south: zero. Talking to other hunters (bow and rifle) on their luck: zero taken. One group said they were there same time the year before and the bou were everywhere. We did see Griz, Moose, fox, ptarmagin, musk ox, etc and had a great time prior to us both deploying. That is why they call it hunting.

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    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    First off how much are you going to spend on your trip? The cheapest option is to hunt off the road, but that isnt always the most productive option... Flying into Fairbanks and driving up the Haul Rd is an option too, but then one has to rent a vehicle to do that trip... Flying to Kotz and doing a trip would probably be the most expensive option out of all of them... I personally like to fly to Fairbanks and drive the haul road becuz I like the drive up and thru the Brooks Range... And I prefer to do a float hunt in the range as well so I fly out of Happy Valley to do this... But first I think you need to come up with a price and then narrow it down to a place and work on the details from there... You will get plenty of help here the guys are very knowledgeable on this topic here so get ready to recieve some info... Good Luck

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    Member ArcticNorseman's Avatar
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    Brad, welcome to the forum. I grew up a SD flat-lander, and I have to say easy walking up here is harder than any cockle-bur infested slough ya can find back there . . . lol. Anywhoooo, take a look at hunting GMU 20, Zone 2 . . . it's a registration hunt. Recommend you look at flying into Fairbanks and then hopping on one of the transporters out to the headwaters of the Salcha/40-mile/Goodpasture rivers. Given the short take-off/landing capabilities of different planes, a helio could get 2-3 guys out to a landing area in one trip . . . i recall Wright air in Fairbanks has some helios. Supercubs are the ole standby, but you'll be paying a lot for multiple trips, and these planes are pretty slow, so you'd want to fly out of Tok or Delta Junction, if going in these. Turbo Beavers can carry a lot too, but I don't know which transporters have those.

    It's true that 40-mile Air knows the areas well, probably best. Seems they get booked up early though.

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    If Helio is helicopter I suggest you look at the regulations as I don't believe you can Helio for hunting

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    Page 18 no helio

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Helio is a type of small plane.

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    Thanks wasnt sure

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    Adak island looked like a great option at first, but it seems the good bulls are gone???? I will look into forty mile air to see what they have open. Any other suggestions on who to use for a drop hunt?

    Im from southeast Kansas near St. Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad H View Post
    Adak island looked like a great option at first, but it seems the good bulls are gone???? I will look into forty mile air to see what they have open. Any other suggestions on who to use for a drop hunt?

    Im from southeast Kansas near St. Paul.
    When you say "a small group" how many people are you talking about? Some other good options are Wright Aviation out of Fairbanks, Golden Eagle Outfitters out of Kotzebue, Papa Bear Adventures out of Bethel, and 70 North Aviation out of Coldfoot (I think that's where he stages).

    I believe all of these outfits use a plane larger than a Cub to drop hunters,

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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Hey, Michael, good to see you back. Have seen much from you on here, for a long while. Are you heading back up north this season? My son and I are working on plans for another trip in 2014. Knute

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    Road hunting in Alaska is like the local WMA in the lower 48. It only costs the resident gas to go and satisfies the urge to get out. You run into the same issues as a WMA, lots of other hunters, fewer animals, but on a much larger scale. You have a chance to score if you work at it hard. Flying in is the same as a private club, costs more, takes more preseason effort, but the rewards and quality of the hunt is much better.
    You have folks that have been here 2,4,6,8,10 years and are still learning to hunt the road. Some score every year bht most are just looking for R&R with a chance.
    Someone coming up for a once in a lifetime or repeat adventure should look hard at the fly out as the cost of a rental and fuel could justify or equal a better quality experience.

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