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Thread: Haul road caribou

  1. #1

    Default Haul road caribou

    Starting my planning now. Planning on a haul road rifle caribou hunt. Here's what I have thought out so far. Need help on gear list. And what else I need to think about to pull this off. Below is what my current thoughts on this hunt are. Please help direct my thinking to make this hunt possible.

    Leaving late aug/ early sept dates still tentative.

    Six mile hike to be sure I clear the corridor.

    Ten days vacation leaving Fairbanks starts day one.

    Need good Spair tire and extra fuel.

    Stop hunting day 7 or 8 to allow meat hauling. Approximately 1-2 days per bou

    2 resident hunters and one non resident hunter three people in total. (My brother will not be a resident which is why we chose the haul road)

    We're all poor so hiking is the only option no money for fly out.

    Might be willing to consider float hunt if option to float in and out is available but no money for flight

    Have a freighter pack for meet with out a geer pack and lots of military geer what should I use and what so I need to buy.

    Good tent needed planning on setting a base camp six miles off the road camping and hunting from there

    Not sure if where to start looking as in location how far up the road and so forth help needed there .

  2. #2
    Member kingman's Avatar
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    Default Haul road caribou

    I'm also planning a trip of for next year but I plan in taking my bow. One thing I read about in a past thread was setting up base camp 3 (maybe 4 in your case) miles in, so the meat trips back to the truck won't be quite as bad...

  3. #3
    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    Have you thought of renting a pack raft...packing it in then floating out with you meat and you inside? That might be an option and limit your packing to the haul road. this way you do all your hiking early in the hunt and always know you can just float out....just in case....and exit plan.

    joe

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    Numerous people are going to caution you on the "death march" or hike across the tundra to get to past the 5 mile mark. It obviously can be done, but be prepared. Also, you will really want a GPS, because it's the only way to be positive you are beyond the five mile mark.

  5. #5
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Default Haul road caribou

    Hiking sucks. Pack like a sheep hunter and have fun.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

  6. #6
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    5 miles out across that tundra is pure hell but it certainly can be done. I personally would recommend you go in early October when walking is a little easier, no bugs, and you can pull your caribou out on a kids plastic sled. My other recommendation is to take at least two good spare tiresome and three is even better. Just in case.

  7. #7

    Default Haul road caribou

    What's your thoughts on completely deboning the meet prior to packing out ?

  8. #8
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Default Haul road caribou

    Taking the bones out makes it lighter but I think it makes it harder to get a stable load. Thats the trade off. If you are going with three people; I'd shoot one, haul it out, and see if you want to do it again. Split three ways, it won't be too bad.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

  9. #9
    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    I second the GPS suggestion, and the way I did it was dropping a trail of waypoints along the highway at roughly 500' increments, go way beyond your starting point by a few miles in both directions. Then, as you're hiking in, set it to tell you the proximity to the nearest of those waypoints. When the nearest one is greater than 5 miles away, you're golden.

    I did this trip in late sept/2011 and hiked in just beyond Toolik Lake and we saw nothing but wolves. I think the late august early sept trip you're suggesting is a better idea. You may even see me up there.

    Walking in the tundra is fine and I was able to make the 5 mile point in about 3 hours even with a 45 pound pack. The first two miles were on some kind of pipeline service road so the walking was easy. On the tundra, it will take some practice but try to land your feet in all the troughs of the tussocks instead of the peaks; otherwise you will constantly be rolling your ankle.

    In early sept, expect lows dipping below freezing, with intermittent fog and hoar frost that will burn off in the morning sun. Daytime highs might hit 50.

    The following is my personal Arctic caribou gear list:

    - hunting license, harvest permits
    - gun, ~20 bullets
    - knife, bone saw
    - binoculars
    - spotting scope
    - frame pack
    - day pack
    - 4 man tent
    - bungee cords or rope
    - ultra light rain suit
    - Muck boots
    - light camo jacket and pants
    - 3-season sleeping bag
    - backcountry pot set
    - juice crystals
    - toothbrush/paste
    - any other meds (ibuprofen, tums etc)
    - thermal long sleeve undershirt & long underwear (preferably synthetic)
    - 2-3 pairs of hiking socks
    - bug spray
    - thermarest
    - matches
    - toilet paper
    - small plastic shovel (for burying you know what)
    - 2 Nalgene bottles
    - water pump
    - camera
    - sunglasses
    - map
    - GPS with map data and extra batteries
    - head lamp
    - small portable lantern
    - mole skin
    - instant coffee, powdered creamers & sugar
    - week's worth of backcountry meals
    - backcountry stove
    - bear proof Kevlar bag for storing food
    - dental floss
    - candy bars, protein bars, trail mix etc
    - hand warmers/foot warmers
    - powdered eggs
    - bacon bits
    - a dozen or so packets of ketchup
    - a small pillow
    - bandages
    - polysporin
    - wet wipes
    - a few empty gallon size ziploc bags
    - chapstick
    - playing cards
    - plastic spoons, forks
    - small bottle of olive oil
    - 2 or 3 bottles of white gas
    - wristwatch

  10. #10
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    It's a fun hunt and makes for great memories. Guys make it sound like hell on earth, it's not that bad. Just train for it.
    Leave the spotter at home, bring the GPS and check road-points to be assured that you are 5 miles in every direction from the road. And don't go to "six miles to be sure" if it isn't necessary. If your bou is at 5.2 miles, kill him.
    Proud to be an American!

  11. #11
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    A couple things, don't go in October- meat is inedible, go as light as possible-you gotta pack it all back out plus game if you get lucky(?) I've done this trip several times, I've never set up camp out further than 4.25 mi. If you go in august or early September take bug dope-lots of it, as mentioned above if there is snow or a good frost you can drag your camp in and out to save your legs n back, take a gps-obvious reasons there. Though last year I had one tell my father-in-law that camp was 180 degrees away from where it was so don't rely completly on it. Fresh Bou cooked in a frying pan with grease from some if it's own fat seasoned with a little strawberry crystal light isn't bad table fare. Take a good water filter. I've yet to see a good pair of gore-Tex boots stay dry out there for more than a mile or two, Muck boots work well. Don't forget the camera. The problem with a pack raft and hiking in and floating back out is the ivishak will have lots of pressure and the sag is extremely rough to float on the parts where it is outside the corridor. As far as deboneing the meat I've never done it completely, always just left it on leg bones and boned out the neck and ribs and left them out there. Each time I do this trip I question my sanity, it's not easy nor fun. It also doesn't guarantee being away from people nor does it guarantee seeing any animals. They just are where they are. Pray for snow just before you go, that tends to get them moving some.

  12. #12
    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    Also just want to add a note that the distances are very visually deceiving, you will see the road & pipeline in the distance and it looks like it's right there and you will hike hard for 6-8 hours before getting there! All the more reason for a GPS

  13. #13
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBURNS2244 View Post
    Numerous people are going to caution you on the "death march" or hike across the tundra to get to past the 5 mile mark. It obviously can be done, but be prepared. Also, you will really want a GPS, because it's the only way to be positive you are beyond the five mile mark.
    With regard to the first point, it is a death march and there are no two ways about it. If I were ever so foolish as to try it again, I'd go in October and drag a sled.

    With regard to the second point, a GPS is a must, and you need the five mile line marked before you leave the truck. I started walking out and soon saw on my GPS that I had looped around and was walking the opposite direction of that which I intended. That's two miles in the track log that are useless... So yeah, find yourself a GPS guy (like myself) and get a GPX file of the corridor. I can email you that file any time, and you can load it on your Garmin to test. You don't even need fancy software.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  14. #14
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Here's a link to my Haul Road report from this past season. You can PM me if you have any questions.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...unt?highlight=
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  15. #15
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    What's your thoughts on completely deboning the meet prior to packing out ?
    That depends on which unit you are hunting in. Read the regulations. There was a recent change this last year about keeping meat on the bone, but I can't remember which unit up there it applied to.

    Keeping meat on the bone in warmer weather is the best option. However packing out the brisket and neck means many many extra pounds of dense bone are coming out with you. More bone than meat by weight. But keeping this meat on the bone will keep it in better shape than a bag of scraps.

    Look for a Go Light SL5 floorless tipi for a main tent. Get a nest - bug shelter - for the inside. I like the bearpaw design nest made specific for the SL tents.

  16. #16
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    Do not hike the 5 miles and set up camp. Kingman is spot on, set up your camp 3 miles or so in. It will break up the meat haul to the truck. The hike is completely doable and it really is completely sucky. I've done it twice. Once for myself and got a bow cert immediately after while swearing never again. The second time was to help a friend. The first I was in great shape, the second in ok shape, both times was brutal.

    Keep in mind it is "5 miles from the road" not "5 miles in". If the road makes a curve at some point and you walked 6 miles but are 4.9 from the road you are in the wrong. Be familiar with your gps and make sure it has juice. There is no other way to be sure you are at a legal distance in.

  17. #17
    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    nothing better then a slope run! I agree with almost everything said above... the hike sucks but is doable... BRING A GPS... camp 3 miles out.

    also hike on the ridgetops the best you can, you will see why when you get up there. just remeber that when you are looking at a map or at a pull out looking for a spot to hike in.

  18. #18

    Default Haul road caribou

    Great advise keep it coming

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    I'll be doing this very same hunt. Two to four of my friends an I are planning on going up from KP, for 9 days.

    Couple questions.

    1. What about a game cart? Used one many a time carting white tails out of MI woods. TOTALLY different, I understand. Is it feasible? Worth it? Most carts break down an might be packed in?

    2. Whats the bear situation up there like? Is an e-fence a good idea for fairly new AK hunters?

    3. We'll all be AK residents in May(cheaper tags)!! Should we buy any other tags? Wolf an my Foxpro come to mind.

    Thanks! Great site.

    Jon.

  20. #20
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    1. The tundra is too bumpy for a game cart. A sled is a better alternative if there's some snow on the ground.

    2. Plenty of people have bear encounters up there, but in over a dozen trips I've never had one.

    3. If you have a trapping license you can trap with a firearm within the five mile corridor, which is nice for wolf.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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