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Thread: Haul Road Car?

  1. #1
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    Wink Haul Road Car?

    I"'m in the planing stages of a Haul road hunt, Gun hunt, and was wondering if a regular car would do for a late September hunt for Caribou / Wolf? I would be flying in from out of state, and am looking to cut expenses any way I can. Most likly this would be solo, any one out there tried this? With the gas prices going where they are, and the long drive out of Fairbanks a higher mileage auto might make sense. Thanks Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

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    LongHunter7

    You cant hunt along the haul road with a firearm. Archery only, and no ATV's. There is a five mile restriction on each side of the pipe.

    Regular car would work. Slow way down when you see on comming semi and they do the same. Keep up your speed and they do the same...and you lose a windshield. Just off the haul road a couple days ago, lots of caribou hunters up there freezing in the snow even now.

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    Default

    Another thought is where are you going to stay? The end of Sept will bring temps down to 20 during the day and perhaps below zero at night with snow. There are limited areas to camp. Supercub is right, and its not an easy five mile hike. Doing it solo will probably require two meat trips so thats a minimum of 20 miles hiking. Be prepared, take chains, and be careful.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Most companies

    Most companies won't rent to you for the haul road. A car should have at least D or E rated tires for that trip.

    Hunting with a gun is a five mile hike. The worst in your life.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are contemplating getting a cheap used car vs renting.

    I don't think folks from outside can grasp how remote the location is, or the fact that it's 400 miles of gravel, mostly well maintaned, but there are sections that get decent sides chuckholes, washboard and occasionally wash out. Also September is the beginning of winter, so you are almost guranteed to have snow.

    What I'm trying to put into perspective is the need for reliable and appropriate transportation, which includes 4 good tires and two spare tires. Also carry extra fuel with you, as what fuel that is available is spaced far apart. If you figure if the car breaks down, you just abandone it, and hitchhike back, well that's about as irresponsible as it gets.

  6. #6
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    Default don't do it

    I can't recommend against this strongly enough. If you've never hunted up here before, this is not a beginner's hunt. It doesn't really matter how much experience you have in the states or what your fitness condition is. You simply cannot comprehend the conditions for the area you are thinking about until you have seen them for yourself. Solo and on the cheap isn't the way to do it. I would strongly recommend that if you're serious about this you come up and combine some other, more realistic and less challenging, hunt with a scouting trip up the haul road to see what you would be getting yourself into. If it was me, I'd come up during September for a moose hunt, which you can do w/o a guide, and take a few days to go up the haul road either before or after the hunt to look things over.

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    Wink

    Thanks to all for your input. I"m no green horn and am aware of the firearms five mile limit, but do not want to kill a nice bull in velvet. I'de be backpacking/ hunting for a nice bull, and don"t want just any bull, win lose, or draw. I've camped in cold before, below zero if I have too. I'm not locked in to late September, but want a bull out of velvet, and just before the rut so that I can enjoy the some meat! So as you can see I''m conflicted LOL. The problem at the temps that many have quoted is that of water crossings then, you can get yourself into trouble fast! I would rent a 4 wd , and it sounds like I might have too. A guided hunt just does not appeal to me. It looked like the WAH herd was the best bet for the DIY hunter depending on foot power. Thanks again Bill.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

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    Default Discouraged

    Don't get too discouraged by all the posts. We Alaskans and members of the forum recieve posts all year long from people that just have no clue as to what they are getting into. For many of us, the hunts and adventures we take for granted every year are an experience that many will never face.

    You can do the hunt but number 1 is planning. That includes all the research you can do. There is a lot of information on hunting the Haul Road on this forum. Use the search option.

    Next is preperation. Physical and mental. Get in shape and expect to be exhausted hauling out the meat and antlers. Walking the tundra is like nothing you have probably done before. Plan a very slow walk, rough walking and twisting motion of the knees and ankles. Back Packer Magazine had a good article this month on preperation of limbs and muscles for climbing and walking.

    Ask some questions here from time to time.

    Then gear up. Quality. You can buy junk many times or quality once.

    Best of luck!

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Default Haul Road Hunt

    To not take seriously the advice given so far tells me you have no idea what you could be dealing with. Experience in the L48 does not equilibrate to experience up here. I would rather hunt for 10 miles in the mountains than try to cross 5 miles of tundra. In addition "camping" at subzero temps does not equate to living and hunting in subzero temps with the added wind. Stubborn is one thing but stupid is something completely different. At least consider a hunting companion to help share packing the weight of your camp.

  10. #10
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default

    I would think all the bulls would be out of velvet by september. If you want to shoot a big bull, how are you going to pack it out? Can you do it in 3 trips? Thats an absolute minimum of 30 miles in tough walking, and you MUST salvage all the meat. I'm all for solo hunts, but I don't think I could do this hunt by myself, and I'm in good shape. I don't want to bash on your plans, but you have to be realistic as to what you can safely accomplish.

    -Eric

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    My cousin did this hunt last year. "BRUTAL" were his exact words and we grew up in Alaska and have spent more time in the woods than out untill we both joind the service. Here is the picture, two men 1 bou near freezing horizontal rain a soaking wet tent. he said 1 animal was almost more than they could handle and doubted that they could safely get back in and out without risking serious exposure related injuries. Luckly they managed to get all the meat out in one trip. That said, this was a well planned trip that had been scouted numerous times over the year. I am sure that you will be fine but be ready to pass on an animal and be realistic if you can't get it out don't put it down!

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LongHunter7 View Post
    Thanks to all for your input. I"m no green horn and am aware of the firearms five mile limit, but do not want to kill a nice bull in velvet. I'de be backpacking/ hunting for a nice bull, and don"t want just any bull, win lose, or draw. I've camped in cold before, below zero if I have too. I'm not locked in to late September, but want a bull out of velvet, and just before the rut so that I can enjoy the some meat! So as you can see I''m conflicted LOL. The problem at the temps that many have quoted is that of water crossings then, you can get yourself into trouble fast! I would rent a 4 wd , and it sounds like I might have too. A guided hunt just does not appeal to me. It looked like the WAH herd was the best bet for the DIY hunter depending on foot power. Thanks again Bill.
    The question is: Have you done this hunt before and have you ever hiked on tundra? I must agree with everyone here. I have been up the Hawl Rd twice, both times with a bow and only walked in about 1 mile and that is exausting. You can't compare walking on tundra with anything else in the world. I spent 20 years in the military, have hunted all over the world... mountains, swamps, desert, and Alaskan tundra. You must be in great shape and take it really easy up there, one mis-step and you have sprained an ankle, knee or thrown out your back or worse yet, broken an ankle, leg or something else. If you are solo, that could mean death, especially in mid to late Sept. Personnally, I would never even consider this hunt solo, I've packed moose alone and still wouldn't want t o pack a caribou across 5 miles of tundra alone. Don't be foolish and risk your life over a little meat and a set of antlers, get a buddy to do the hunt with you. I have never hunted up there in late September, but if you look back through the past post on this subject, most say that after mid Sept, the rut has already started and the meat taste like $#!+.

    Good Luck, whatever you decide, I'll say a prayer for your safety.

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    Default Hang on

    Another option is to wait until mid-October when the tundra is frozen and more than likely snow covered. Getting out 5 miles is immeasurably easier then, if you are proficient on snowshoes or cross-country skis. Of course, the temps will most likely be in the -teens at night and high teens at most in the day. If you are well-equipped for northern climates, and have plenty of experience in cold, then you should make out OK. But, if you feel that these conditions may be testing your limits or are well beyond anything you have experienced before, then I don't recommend it. Honest self-assessment is critical here. It can get brutally cold in October up there, the country is huge, and if you get in trouble, the only help is on the highway.
    I have hunted solo up there a few times now from mid-Oct - late November, it's an awesome experience, but only if you are mentally and physically prepared for it.

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    Sent you a PM

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    I lived on the north slope for 6 years, hunted for my food up there and spent countless hours out on the tundra.....

    Take heed the cautions being put out in this forum... it is deadly country.. planning is key. it is nothing like L48 cold... it is different.

    Also, the herd in the area isn't even known for "great" bulls.... if you want a trophy look to some other herds...

    If you do the hunt plan well and don't underestimate the environment... remember, up there you are several hundred miles ABOVE the arctic circle!!

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    Caribou start to come out of velvet about Aug. 20. By Sept. 1 they are all out and moving out. If ya think you are going to walk 5 miles over the tundra you are going to have a surprise...and more then likely that huge bull won't be standing on the 5 mile line....he will be further, maybe a lot further. Shoot inside the 5 miles (and one mile in the tundra FEELS like 5 miles) and you will find the troopers have a poor sense of humor. That little chopper will set down beside you long enough to hand you a piece of paper, and you will still walk and pack every scrap of meat out....and give it to them. Give it a LOT of thought before you go, then dont go.

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    I know this topic has been beat to death from us down here in the lower 48, but figured it would be a good time to ask this question. Looking at different mapping resources on the web, if you follow the Haul Rd North, there are quite a few trails that branch off, I'm assuming these are two tracks??? Are they at all accessible?

  18. #18
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    ALOT OF GOOD INFO HERE, HEED THE WARNING OF THIS INFO. FROM EXPERIENCED FOLKS. DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN'T DO IT. JUST BE OVERLY PREPARED WITH QUALITY GEAR. ....NO COTTON CLOTHES
    I HUNT THIS AREA 1-3 x/ YEAR. AND I WORK THERE AS WELL.
    THE MOST COMMON CITAITION FISH AND GAME WRITE IS FOR PEOPLE SHOOTING ANIMALS WITH RIFLES IN THE ARCHERY AREA. I HAVE EVEN TURNED A COUPLE IN. 2ND MOST COMMON IS NOT SALVAGING ALL THE MEAT,,, YES ALL OF THE MEAT.( EXCEPT HEAD AND BELOW KNEES) ALSAKA IS MUCH MORE STRICT THAN MANY STATES. ALSO ANTLERS CAN NOT BE BROUGHT OUT UNTIL LAST LOAD OF MEAT.
    WHEN MY UNCLE CAME TO HUNT WITH ME HE BROUGHT TWO YOUNGER GUYS IN THERE 30'S THAT WERE IN GREAT SHAPE AND WAS NOTHING TO WALK 12-15 MILES A DAY FOR THEM HUNTING....IN AZ. FIRST EVENING THEY CHASED A VERY NICE BOU FOR 2-3 HRS AFTER THAT THE NEVER VENTURED MORE THAN 1/2 MILE OFF ROAD BECAUSE THE TUNDRA KICKED THEIR BUTTS.
    FEW YEARS AGO YOUNG ARMY OFFICER ( I THINK HE WAS A RANGER) DROWNED TRYING TO CROSS BACK OVER THE SAG RIVER BY HIMSELF.

    THE HUNT CAN BE DONE BUT WILL BE EXTREME AND DANGEROUS. A RIGID KIDS PLASTIC SLED IS WORTH ITS WT. IN GOLD. ONE BOU CAN BE PUT INTO THE SLED AND EVEN WITHOUT SNOW YOU COULD GET IT OUT IN ONE TRIP.....EASY NOPE BUT EASIER.
    ONE YEAR A POLAR BEAR WAS 140 MILES INLAND, GUESS WHAT THEY EAT.....ANYTHING THAT MOVES....USUALLY NOT THE CASE THAT THEY ARE THAT FAR INLAND. BUT IT SURE SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF A COUPLE BOWHUNTERS SNEAKING ALONG THE SAG. PACK ICE AND SEALS WERE WAY OFF SHORE AND HE WAS HUNGRY.
    TWO EXPERIENCED KAYAKERS WERE KILLED BY A GRIZ IN THERE TENT COUPLE YEARS AGO.

    AS STATED THERE WILL BE NO VELVET END OF SEPT , VERY FEW ARE NOT STRIPPED CLEAN BY FIRST WEEK OF SEPT. NOT TOO UNCOMMON TO SEE -10 EVEN COLDER IN OCT . AND THE NEVER ENDING WIND. I HAVE HAD SNOW EVERY 2-3 DAYS WHEN HUNTING IN AUGUST.
    EVEN WITH 4WD I WOULD HAVE A SET OF CHAINS ATIGUN PASS CAN BE BRUTAL. 240 MILES FROM COLDFOOT TO DEADHORSE.....THERE ARE NO SERVICES. FRIEND OF MINE BLEW THE TRANSMISSION IN HIS TRUCK ON ATIGUN PASS. 16 HRS LATER WITH A SAT. PHONE HE GOT A WRECKER THERE AND $1600 LATER IT WAS IN FAIRBANKS.
    IF YOU GET COLD START A CAMP FIRE....OOPS NO TREES SOME BRUSH THOU

    YOU CAN DRIVE THE ROAD 50-100 MILES AND NOT SEE A BOU....FOR DAYS...SO HOW DO YOU PLAN TO PICK A SPOT TO HIKE IN AND FIND THE BOU. THEY JUST AREN'T EVERY WHERE THICK AS CAN BE.
    ALTERNATE THOUGHT: GO IN AUGUST AND HAVE THE AIRBOUT SERVICE DROP YOU UP THE IVASHAK..... SAVE MONEY AND HAVE A RAFT AND FLOAT OUT. I GUESS YOU COULD HIKE IN UP THE IVASHAK AND ARRANGE FOR THE AIR BOAT SERVICE TO HAUL YOU OUT WITH YOUR BOU???? HECK YOU COULD FLAG ME DOWN AND TELL ME A SAD STORY AND I WOULD PROBABLY HAUL YOU OUT IN MY JET BOAT.
    ANOTHER OPTION IF YOU ARE CLASS 4-5 WHITE WATER RAFTER FLOAT THE ATIGUN RIVER OUT OF THE BOW ONLY AREA HUNT THE AREA OUTSIDE AND FLOAT BACK DOWN SAG TO ROAD.....VERY NASTY CANYON TO FLOAT THRU.
    OTHER OPTION FLY OUT HUNT ON THE ALASKAN PEN.

    GOOD LUCK ON YOUR ADVENTURE

    BE PREPARED, BE SAFE AND DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WIN THE DARWIN AWARD


    SPARTY2005- NOT MAIN ROADS OFF HAUL ROAD ESP NORTH OF PASS SOME OF WHAT YOU SEE ARE WINTER ICE RAOAD TRAILS. EVEN SO YOU CAN NOT USE MOTORIZED VEHICLE ON ANY THAT MAY GO OFF MORE THAN 1/4 MILE EXCEPT A FEW
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  19. #19
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    I"m thinking this, use any roads to lessen the tundra walk through/into the 5 mile gun zone. Camp at aprox. 3 miles or so , and walk in 2 + more each day with a bivy camp just in case of a late in the day kill! Find the caribou, and glass, glass, glass then move into the travel zones , and setup for the finish. If I am fortunate pack the loads out in steps to the exit point. And yes I have good gear. I'm also a long time bowhunter, and can do that, but would realy like to hunt the slope with my 3006. Where is the flaw in my armor? Thanks Bill.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  20. #20
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    bring the bow leave the gun. That way you don't have to be nervous leaving your gun in the truck for several days. Make sure you glass alot and take your time most bowhunters up there just drive around in a fog waiting for one to run across the road in front of them.

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