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Thread: Zone 1 caribou update... 40 mile steece end...

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Zone 1 caribou update... 40 mile steece end...

    Well, Myself, Martin Trapper and AK Dutch all braved the day and headed afield... heres the long and short of it... to answer all those wondering questions...


    what a ROUGH back breaking ride...

    no snow, lots of rocks, on the flats.. 18-48" snow drifts on the hills... or more rocks.. where theres not snow.. there is ICE. overflow and more ice.. 4 wheelers could do the wooded trails.. but will hurt someone in the hills..

    we made it to birch creek.. and the bou had already moved on.. TONS of yesterdays tracks and bed... and fortunatly... in the winter... Track soup is an option you can melt and add ramin or bullion base..

    I let the only shootable group of 3 get by me while i was stuck on the hill.. they came running by spooked from some other hunters. one other was spotted on a far hill going the other direction..

    a few are left in the area.. but we couldn't find them... tracks in our tracks on the way back out sort of deal..

    MT is the only one with the camera... mayhap.. he'll follow with some of the pics of the day...


    2moose spotted... 1 cow 1 nice bull.. and a ton of Ptarmies..

    had a hot shower and a beer... time to PASS OUT!!!!!!!!!!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Word from a hunter off the steese is the same. Rough trail, not many bou, no sight of dead bou at the Birch Cr. parking on the Steese.
    Why the heck is there a closed area. May be large numbers of bou North of the Steese.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Steese side report: Very rough trail. Like eat your lunch, waste your supsension, best you till you are black and blue rough. I do not have a single muscle that is not groaning. 3 of us got out pretty early, found a few animals, and took one cow. We followed my buddies trapline out, and I will make a positive report that nobody, which there were a lot of, bothered a silngle set. We were a tad bit worried, but they all seemed to respect the trapline. Plus it gave them a way through to high country.
    We did see a few more scattered off in the distance late in the afternoon, but w/ the sun setting fast, and low on gas, we opted to head back. We saw only a few ptarmigan, and no moose. Not much else really except rocks, tussocks, rocks, tussocks, rocks, and more tussocks. Almost back to the road somebody had red flagged the trail and cut in a new one aroiund a ditch. This had been a tough spot to get through, left there on purpose to disuade the faint of heart by my buddy. Somebody on a 4 wheeler got stuck in the bottom and decided to hack another route through the woods. Oh well.
    Extras: My old 1991 440GT ran great. A full new suspension held up. With the lack of snow, I could go about anywhere I wanted. Those tussocks are tough on ski post stanchions and I had to get off and tighten the linkage due to a loose clamp. I did have hand tools including a 9/16" wrench which was needed. A small variety of hand tools carried by everybody sure helps. A fan cooled motor sure is nice when it is that cold to blow a little warm air on you. The big ski-doo Tundras can't side hill worth beans. They sit way too high and the CG makes them unstable. Bear Creek Tortilla Soup in a Nissan thermos, sitting out of the wind behind a big stump, is a little slice of heaven after hours of being in the wind and cold. I could have sold that soup for $20/cup to my buddies.
    It was a long day, but well worth it to be up there watching the sun rise and set. All in all a great day to be out.
    ARR

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Why the heck is there a closed area.
    Welcome to hunting on the road system, Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Welcome to hunting on the road system, Mike.
    It is not just the road system, Brian. I see this over conservative idea all over the state. In this case, the area along the road was closed due to supposed high numbers of bou near the road. If that was the case, hunters would have reported passing up plenty of bou as they drove to the open area. No one has reported this.
    Tomorrow, Dec. 3, you can call in and possibly get a new permit to hunt the closed area. What a ******* joke! There aren't any real numbers of bou along the road. They should open the closeed area to everyone. Plus the cold weather is keeping hunters away. Forecast is for more cold. Weather and bou numbers make the closed area unnecessary. These animals are OWNED by the people of the state. We should have as unlimited access as biologically necessary. The closed area is unnecessary. Plain and simple.
    Maybe other reports will come in of greater numbers of bou then where the folks I talked to hunted, which I believe is likely the same area River Rat hunted. I doubt it tho.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    It is not just the road system, Brian. I see this over conservative idea all over the state. In this case, the area along the road was closed due to supposed high numbers of bou near the road. If that was the case, hunters would have reported passing up plenty of bou as they drove to the open area. No one has reported this.
    Tomorrow, Dec. 3, you can call in and possibly get a new permit to hunt the closed area. What a ******* joke! There aren't any real numbers of bou along the road. They should open the closeed area to everyone. Plus the cold weather is keeping hunters away. Forecast is for more cold. Weather and bou numbers make the closed area unnecessary. These animals are OWNED by the people of the state. We should have as unlimited access as biologically necessary. The closed area is unnecessary. Plain and simple.
    Maybe other reports will come in of greater numbers of bou then where the folks I talked to hunted, which I believe is likely the same area River Rat hunted. I doubt it tho.
    Managers, bios, AC's try to make the best decisions they can for the herd and all they get is blasted for it. I it was up to all the hunters, the 40 mile hunts, fall and winter would be a slaughter fest, but I guess that is what most people call "hunting" these days.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Oh, I know the frustrations, Mike - I was just giving you a hard time since you have now joined the masses. I'm well aware that it's not just the road system, though. I'm not opposed to closed areas to prevent overharvest, but I can certainly sympathize as there have been more than a few times where I've had to pass by animals that I could have otherwise harvested.

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    It's good by me if this hunt drags on due to low harvested numbers in the field, means more excuses for me to get out and enjoy an amazing part of this state and remind me why it is that I live up here. Dont get me wrong I get frustrated the same as other folks when I come home empty handed but it's the journey and experience that makes or breaks the trip for me. My wife wants to get her first Bou up there this winter and I'll enjoy the trip. Don't go out and fill the quota before she has a chance to fulfill her goal, I'll let you know when it's ok to go back out :-).

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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    but I guess that is what most people call "hunting" these days.
    Welcome to the fray. Northway.
    You are certainly correct that many people want a "slaughter fest, i.e. easy hunting. I like easy hunting as well. Like you, I have been on an AC, have been to BoG meetings, etc. etc. I don't know much about the Taylor end of the hunt. I'll leave that to you and those who live there. If your satisfied with management down there, great. I have no problem with that.
    I listened to the hotline and talked to bios here. My hunting pard from yesterday talked with the Region III supervisor. The Steese end of the hunt was restricted because of large numbers of bou along the road. Maybe that was true on Monday, Nov. 26 when the Tok office decided to close the hunt next to the Steese. From all reports, that is no longer true. As I said, maybe other hunters farther along the Steese found large numbers, but I'm skeptical that will happen. The closure along the Steese should be lifted in my opinion. Not to allow for a "slaughter" but to just allow SOME harvest. A bou has to be very close to the road to get shot by someone who does not have an off road rig.
    A Dec. hunt for caribou is NOT a sport hunt. Doubt any guides have clients participating. No transporters either. This is pure and simple a meat hunt. Exclusively for residents. It should be as EASY as the terrain, the weather, etc., AND the population allows. Right now the terrain and weather is difficult. The population is relatively high. There is no sign of numbers bou just standing along the road waiting to be shot. Access restrictions for the Steese end should be lifted. If you disagree, let's here your side!

    Sambuck.........good response and I enjoyed the humor. Your also right.............low harvest will extend the hunt time this is open. That is an upside. But the state, IMO, has a responsibility to make this hunt accessible to others, those who don't have, or have access to, off road transportation. Maybe there are a couple wives out there wanting to drive out with their hubby and get a bou, but they don't own a snogo. Just saying.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  10. #10
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    Steese side report: Very rough trail. Like eat your lunch, waste your supsension, best you till you are black and blue rough. I do not have a single muscle that is not groaning. 3 of us got out pretty early, found a few animals, and took one cow. We followed my buddies trapline out, and I will make a positive report that nobody, which there were a lot of, bothered a silngle set. We were a tad bit worried, but they all seemed to respect the trapline. Plus it gave them a way through to high country.
    We did see a few more scattered off in the distance late in the afternoon, but w/ the sun setting fast, and low on gas, we opted to head back. We saw only a few ptarmigan, and no moose. Not much else really except rocks, tussocks, rocks, tussocks, rocks, and more tussocks. Almost back to the road somebody had red flagged the trail and cut in a new one aroiund a ditch. This had been a tough spot to get through, left there on purpose to disuade the faint of heart by my buddy. Somebody on a 4 wheeler got stuck in the bottom and decided to hack another route through the woods. Oh well.
    Extras: My old 1991 440GT ran great. A full new suspension held up. With the lack of snow, I could go about anywhere I wanted. Those tussocks are tough on ski post stanchions and I had to get off and tighten the linkage due to a loose clamp. I did have hand tools including a 9/16" wrench which was needed. A small variety of hand tools carried by everybody sure helps. A fan cooled motor sure is nice when it is that cold to blow a little warm air on you. The big ski-doo Tundras can't side hill worth beans. They sit way too high and the CG makes them unstable. Bear Creek Tortilla Soup in a Nissan thermos, sitting out of the wind behind a big stump, is a little slice of heaven after hours of being in the wind and cold. I could have sold that soup for $20/cup to my buddies.
    It was a long day, but well worth it to be up there watching the sun rise and set. All in all a great day to be out.
    ARR
    Hey Greg, glad to hear you made it out and about... and can HONESTLY say... today


    i Feel ya!.

    while it wernt soup... a nice hot thermos of coffee, with pumpkin spice latte creamer and a spalsh of carolines over moose jerky and a bag of halloween chocolats.. and MT's hot dogger with Japalino musk ox sausages was the tickets of the day...

    and my tundra will side hill just fine.. i learned to take some of the weight off the back.. they can carry so much they get hard to handle.. but there were times running the snow pack was like being on the water with frozen white caps.. talk about CHOP with soft holes in between !
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Welcome to the fray. Northway.
    You are certainly correct that many people want a "slaughter fest, i.e. easy hunting. I like easy hunting as well. Like you, I have been on an AC, have been to BoG meetings, etc. etc. I don't know much about the Taylor end of the hunt. I'll leave that to you and those who live there. If your satisfied with management down there, great. I have no problem with that.
    I listened to the hotline and talked to bios here. My hunting pard from yesterday talked with the Region III supervisor. The Steese end of the hunt was restricted because of large numbers of bou along the road. Maybe that was true on Monday, Nov. 26 when the Tok office decided to close the hunt next to the Steese. From all reports, that is no longer true. As I said, maybe other hunters farther along the Steese found large numbers, but I'm skeptical that will happen. The closure along the Steese should be lifted in my opinion. Not to allow for a "slaughter" but to just allow SOME harvest. A bou has to be very close to the road to get shot by someone who does not have an off road rig.
    A Dec. hunt for caribou is NOT a sport hunt. Doubt any guides have clients participating. No transporters either. This is pure and simple a meat hunt. Exclusively for residents. It should be as EASY as the terrain, the weather, etc., AND the population allows. Right now the terrain and weather is difficult. The population is relatively high. There is no sign of numbers bou just standing along the road waiting to be shot. Access restrictions for the Steese end should be lifted. If you disagree, let's here your side!
    it has been my experiance mike... that as time goes on some and harvest remains low.. they will look at a 1 or 2 day opener to judge the impact of the herd.. but in realty the hunt needs to be open a least a week to meet the subsistence requirement..

    i dont forsee that being an issue this year.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Welcome to the fray. Northway.
    You are certainly correct that many people want a "slaughter fest, i.e. easy hunting. I like easy hunting as well. Like you, I have been on an AC, have been to BoG meetings, etc. etc. I don't know much about the Taylor end of the hunt. I'll leave that to you and those who live there. If your satisfied with management down there, great. I have no problem with that.
    I listened to the hotline and talked to bios here. My hunting pard from yesterday talked with the Region III supervisor. The Steese end of the hunt was restricted because of large numbers of bou along the road. Maybe that was true on Monday, Nov. 26 when the Tok office decided to close the hunt next to the Steese. From all reports, that is no longer true. As I said, maybe other hunters farther along the Steese found large numbers, but I'm skeptical that will happen. The closure along the Steese should be lifted in my opinion. Not to allow for a "slaughter" but to just allow SOME harvest. A bou has to be very close to the road to get shot by someone who does not have an off road rig.
    A Dec. hunt for caribou is NOT a sport hunt. Doubt any guides have clients participating. No transporters either. This is pure and simple a meat hunt. Exclusively for residents. It should be as EASY as the terrain, the weather, etc., AND the population allows. Right now the terrain and weather is difficult. The population is relatively high. There is no sign of numbers bou just standing along the road waiting to be shot. Access restrictions for the Steese end should be lifted. If you disagree, let's here your side!

    Sambuck.........good response and I enjoyed the humor. Your also right.............low harvest will extend the hunt time this is open. That is an upside. But the state, IMO, has a responsibility to make this hunt accessible to others, those who don't have, or have access to, off road transportation. Maybe there are a couple wives out there wanting to drive out with their hubby and get a bou, but they don't own a snogo. Just saying.
    Mike, it is a **** if you do **** if you don't situation. While I agree, if there aren't large amounts of bou, it should be open, but as of the 28 of November there were large #'s there. Your right it is a meat hunt, but it also has to be controlled to NOT go over the quota which was done in both fall seasons on the steese and Taylor side by quite a few bou. I think having the season extended will allow for those areas to eventually open up and allow for harvest over a longer period of time, thus allowing for more people to participate. Again no easy solution and I believe the managers are doing exactly what is written in the 40 mile plan. Just like most things in life, so will like it, some won't. Doesn't make either right, but the way things are.

  13. #13
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Warmed up to -20 today... looking to hold for the weekend also.. mayhap, a tad warmer in the Fairbanks area... hope some folks report back their findings...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Ok all it's ok to go shoot your caribou up there now. Took advantage if a warm day off and took my wife out for her first successful caribou hunt today. Great way to welcome in the the new year. 50 minutes of riding the sleds in and 2 shots later we both had our first animals of the year. Gotta love winter caribou hunting.

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    show photos

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    I'd post pics but I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get pics from my smart phone into here.

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    Haha i was out there this weekend as well, no luck with caribou saw 2 owls and a some moose nothing else. congrats on the hunt though.

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    It's definitely a difficult hunt to manage because of the time lag to inform the public of openings/closings. A lot of good folks put a lot of effort into designing and managing the 40 Mile Caribou Hunts and I'm sure they would appreciate constructive advice but some of the proposals, heard in other venues, were beyond belief.

    Some "hunters" can't get the idea that it's about the wildlife and not about the "hunter".

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    Not sure I'd call it a difficult hunt. In the last 4 years I've hunted it 6 days and harvested 3 caribou myself. Maybe I just get lucky, I like the way they manage it right now.

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    Anyone been out to Zone 3 recently?

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