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Thread: 2013 North Slope Sag River Haul Road (Dalton Highway) float trip Caribou Hunt ? ?

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    Default 2013 North Slope Sag River Haul Road (Dalton Highway) float trip Caribou Hunt ? ?

    Hey guys ,

    I am looking for advice on this type of hunt. I've worked in the area for the last year and this is going to be my first hunt up there. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
    There will be three of us going and we are flying into Deadhorse. So all of our gear needs to make it as checked luggage. The baggage fees we are not worried about but we are trying to find answers from people who have flown antlers and meat with Era and also Alaska airlines. We want to be able to check everything. Yes we will be freezing all the meat before we fly out and will have definite clean skull plates etc. However I haven't had much of a chance to talk with the Era people and need more input on them and their rules (we will fly Era from and to Anchorage from Prudhoe). I know I can do a lot of research with the airlines , however I would like to hear from some people that have recently experienced the scenario. Wondering about hard coolers or the carboard and cooler type boxes that people use to fly frozen fish (having a hard time finding those).
    Also any good kayak suggestions (we all want personal kayaks for luggage and weight reasons) ? I've been looking at the sevylor tahiti but just read some unfavorable reviews about it.
    I want something efficient for the Sag, maybe packrafts ? I've been looking at prestine ventures pretty hard.
    I need a lot of other answers too but don't exactly know the questions? It's a DIY hunt so I'm not interested in outfitter suggestions and we can't afford a drop hunt.

    All advice is welcomed!

    thanks !

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Where will you be putting in at? The cardboard boxes work well, we used those on Kodiak and shipped everything home with alaskan air cargo. Not a bad way to go. I imagine you can find those at some of the sporting goods places around town like maybe B & J's? Our transporter had them and just gave them to us.

    Depending where you put in there are some really dangerous parts of that river from what I hear. I believe a guy died while packrafting or kayaking last fall or the fall before in the canyon. And it seems like someone dies almost every other year on that river.

    Even floating along the highway section can get you access to bou on the other side that others can't get to. Get a registration grizz tag too. I saw three nice bears this fall up there and they were all eating berries on the other side of the river, out of reach from the road hunters.

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    Freddy's normally has available fish boxes if you decide to go that route also check Sam's which often carries them summer months or any meat and or fish processing companies in your area.

    Concerning the Boat of course the Pro P or Soar Canyon are viable options as well as the SOTAR boat Geaux has. You should also look at a couple of additional options IMO which would be the AIRE Outfitter II wonderful kayak with a little more get up and go as well as potentiall the Trib Tom Cat II and the Newer NRS Pike IK. All have pluses and minues if weight is the concern the Outfitter, Trib and Pike all come in between 55-45 lbs if my memory is not failing to bad.

    Best wishes

    RMM

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Freddy's normally has available fish boxes if you decide to go that route also check Sam's which often carries them summer months or any meat and or fish processing companies in your area.

    Concerning the Boat of course the Pro P or Soar Canyon are viable options as well as the SOTAR boat Geaux has. You should also look at a couple of additional options IMO which would be the AIRE Outfitter II wonderful kayak with a little more get up and go as well as potentiall the Trib Tom Cat II and the Newer NRS Pike IK. All have pluses and minues if weight is the concern the Outfitter, Trib and Pike all come in between 55-45 lbs if my memory is not failing to bad.

    Best wishes

    RMM
    I will look into all of these you mentioned, thanks. I looked at some SOAR boats. pretty impressive. I am looking for something that I could have on my back for a while back home in Idaho. Hiking into backcountry and hunting my way down a drainage to the river. I figured if I invest now I can use it this year for caribou and still have what I want for the backcountry packs.

    I usually only pass through Alaska in the airports on the way to and from work on the slope. I was trying to research a way to get those boxes shipped to my home in Idaho so I could fly gear and gear up in them to save myself time and effort. Otherwise I have to fly into Anchorage a day early. Get a rental car for a day, hotel, run my errands , etc.. Very Hard to find those boxes online or I'm just not looking in the right places maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    Where will you be putting in at? The cardboard boxes work well, we used those on Kodiak and shipped everything home with alaskan air cargo. Not a bad way to go. I imagine you can find those at some of the sporting goods places around town like maybe B & J's? Our transporter had them and just gave them to us.

    Depending where you put in there are some really dangerous parts of that river from what I hear. I believe a guy died while packrafting or kayaking last fall or the fall before in the canyon. And it seems like someone dies almost every other year on that river.

    Even floating along the highway section can get you access to bou on the other side that others can't get to. Get a registration grizz tag too. I saw three nice bears this fall up there and they were all eating berries on the other side of the river, out of reach from the road hunters.
    I think we will put in somewhere close to Pump station 2. I hear there is a river access road somewhere around there close. Maybe somewhere closer to Happy Valley is another option. I need to do some more scouting this summer. From some other stuff I have read the river is not to bad once out of the mountains ?

    I would love a Grizz tag but as an Idaho resident, I'm afraid it's not in my budget lol.

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    they have those fish boxes at the fedex and UPS stores up here. If you are coming through Fairbanks at all there is a pack raft rental here with very reasonable rates that would be some less things to take on the plane from Idaho. And your not out alot of $$

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bsj425 View Post
    they have those fish boxes at the fedex and UPS stores up here. If you are coming through Fairbanks at all there is a pack raft rental here with very reasonable rates that would be some less things to take on the plane from Idaho. And your not out alot of $$
    Good Idea, I will check with the shipping places up on the Slope as well. I think we have some Fed Ex and UPS carriers up here.

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    Alright so I found some information online.
    This is straight from the AA website , http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...hecked-baggage

    Scroll way down and there is a trophy section and it explains the parameters for antlers as checked luggage.
    Seems Like I'm better off just splitting the antlers for dimension and ease of transport reasons. Unless it's a truly great Pope and Young Bou of a
    lifetime, then I would just use the AA Air cargo option. They have antler boxes at the AA terminal in Deadhorse just for Antler cargo. They told me that an average bull would be around $250 to Idaho.

    The AA rep on the phone also told me about baggage. bags are $20 for the first two (MVP status equals first two free). The third bag is an additional $20 no matter what tier you are, then after that they are $50 per additional bag.

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    A few years back I floated the Atigun River with a Pro-Pioneer and took out at Pump Station 3. The Atigun is a bit tough in a few spots with many rocks and some elevation drops that get you moving pretty fast. Got dumped a few times too. Wouldn't recommend it unless you used a small cat or other framed raft. My Soar had a rowing setup with oarlocks that gave me pretty good control but was still tough.
    Continuing on down through slope mountain was exciting too with big boulders and swift water but after that a framed raft handles the rest of the river easily. Didn't see too many caribou on that trip in mid-August but you never know with caribou. One day there are hard to find and the next they are everywhere. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskahntr View Post
    A few years back I floated the Atigun River with a Pro-Pioneer and took out at Pump Station 3. The Atigun is a bit tough in a few spots with many rocks and some elevation drops that get you moving pretty fast. Got dumped a few times too. Wouldn't recommend it unless you used a small cat or other framed raft. My Soar had a rowing setup with oarlocks that gave me pretty good control but was still tough.
    Continuing on down through slope mountain was exciting too with big boulders and swift water but after that a framed raft handles the rest of the river easily. Didn't see too many caribou on that trip in mid-August but you never know with caribou. One day there are hard to find and the next they are everywhere. Good luck.
    Exactly, I heard about the waters further upriver into the range being tougher. We are opting to stay out of the steeper drainages and hunt from Happy Valley area North along the Sag. I'm told that area has calmer waters since the elevation is much flatter. I did ended up with a PR-49 packraft from Larry at Pristine Ventures. This thing is a pretty sweet set up and is exactly what I'm looking for for this hunt as well as Backcountry stuff back home in Idaho. I haven't had it out too much yet but from the little time I have in it, it seems very stable. Moreover I can check it on the airplane with ease !

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    The Safeway store in Homer sells the boxes. Maybe the stores in Anchorage sell them also.

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