First off, since this is my first post here, I want to say this site has been a wealth of information. The people here are very helpful, and knowledgeable. I know it can sometimes be annoying to have lots of newbies and non-residents asking for advice, but thanks for putting up with one more!
Three of us from Montana are planning on coming up and doing a fly-in drop hunt for caribou. We are trying to avoid the "tundra and tussocks" and in search of a more mountain setting. So we have looked away from the Kotz hunts and most of the north slope hunts. We will be both rifle and bow hunting, and have ruled out the haul road in favor of a drop hunt.
Expectations: We are mainly focused on trying to make sure we have a successful hunt, and do not come home empty handed. (I know this isn't always possible with such a migratory animal). We would also like the opportunity at mature bulls. (Not expecting booners, but don't really want to spend that much time and money to only have a realistic chance at 2 and 3 year old bulls. Hunting in late august or early sept for hard horned bulls would also be a main priority.
Options so far with Pro/Cons (based only on my research and limited knowledge!!):
1. 40 Mile hunt. Pros??? plenty of caribou, possibly more predictable locations, no bone-in meat restrictions, fairly easy access to trasporters and potentially lower cost. Cons??? Fewer trophy bulls than in other areas, 1 caribou limit.
2. Porcupine hunt on south slope. Pros??? Possibility of very large numbers of caribou, better chance at very large bulls, and a two bull limit. Cons??? Difficult to predict herd locations, chance that majority caribou could be in Canada, and potentially higher costs.
We are looking for any advice or alternate suggestions. Any information or tips would be greatly appreciated. I have been in contact with a couple of the area biologists and have reputable air transporters in mind. Before we book I just thought it would be prudent to ask for advice from the true experts (Locals, or those that have been there, done that), and see what they would do.
Thanks for your time guys!