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Thread: 2014 Caribou hunt. Porcupine or 40 Mile Herd?

  1. #1
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    Default 2014 Caribou hunt. Porcupine or 40 Mile Herd?

    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!

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aroshtr View Post
    We are trying to avoid the "tundra and tussocks" and in search of a more mountain setting.
    Hahahahahahaha.....................Sorry.......... ....can't help laughing. I'm wondering where you got the idea you could hunt bou and NOT be in tundra/tussocks?
    Finding bou on the south slope of the Brooks before Oct. 1 is REALLY iffy. Especially so in the eastern Brooks. 40 mile is a good hunt area "usually". Others will likely chime in.
    Fly off the haul road, you may be able to get dropped in a braided river valley and if the bou cooperate you can avoid tussocks.
    I would suggest focusing on the "success" part and not on the tussock part.
    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 aroshtr View Post
    (based only on my research and limited knowledge!!):
    Maybe I should have emphasized this statement!

    Obviously, I have never been to Alaska, and can use some more information... HeHeHe

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    You can find hunts on the north side of the Brooks in the mountains that won't have you walking on so much tundra. A lot of the river valleys have more solid footing. Going for the Porcupine herd in the Brooks is going to cost a lot of money, if you haven't already figured that out.

    There are some nice bulls running around but finding them can be tough at times. I'm not exactly sure where they are and when but on my sheep hunts up there in mid-August, most of them are gone from the mountains. We've seen a few around but not many. Talking with the pilots and bios should nail this down for you. Caribou typically aren't hard horned till mid-september and most outfits will confine you to the south of the Brooks at the first part of September.

    Have you guys thought about putting in for Nelchina tags? I think right now, that's your best chance at getting a true monster of a caribou. Cheaper flyouts possibly as well. I don't know a lot about that hunt as far as regs and what not but I know there are bulls running around that are bigger than what you'll typically find in the Brooks. At least from my experience.

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    I did look into the Nelchina, but it is not open to any Non-Res hunting. The only special permit for bou open to non-res is in 20A (DC827). I have heard there are good bulls in there, but applying could be a problem. The draw odds are only about 6%, and to the best of my knowledge party applications only allow 2 hunters to apply. Thus odds of all three getting tags would be slim to none, even after applying for several years. It would be worth a shot I guess to see if we get lucky.

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Ok, ya sorry, like I said, I don't know the regs on the nelchina hunts.

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    Member Berto's Avatar
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    I grew up in MT. Email if you want some input.

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I would suggest doing a float trip on the Charley River. There you will find small mountains / rolling hills. Definitely very little tundra/tussocks. This is not a very common hunt area, and unlike the rest of the 40 Mile hunt, this area doesn't usually get cut short.

    I'd look at 40 Mile Air and some of the other transporters that can drop you off and pick you up. I'm not sure who they are, but there are outfitters in the interior that can rent you rafts.

    You might check out Michael Strahan's book. He owns this site and I'm sure his book is for sale in the online store here.

    Good Luck,
    Richard

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