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Thread: Caribou North Slope Questions

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Default Caribou North Slope Questions

    So I plan on heading up the north slope to caribou hunt in mid-November. I have never hunted caribou so I am a little lost. I am bringing both a bow and rifle up there so the cooridoor will be fully open to me. One question is I am not really sure where to go once I get up to atigun pass. If I decide to walk the 5 miles in, I am not sure where the caribou herd is at. Are there websites that track them, or perhaps anyone on here that can help. Thanks!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    There are no websites that track them, apart from the hunter reports that you read on here. The report thread on the Bowhunting Forum stays pretty active, so that's a good place to look.

    As for where they'll be, if you find caribou near the road, you'll likely also find them out past the 5 mile mark. There's no single herd, but rather concentrations of animals. Drive until you start seeing caribou from the road, then let the fun begin! Make conservative choices, though - things can go really wrong in a hurry this time of year.

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    Hunt Cows, the bulls are in rut and the work involved isnt worth throwing up in your mouth when you smell Rut Bull meats......

    A female's antlers will have a nice "C" with lots of little points rather than a Bulls large "L". The Bulls are lean and feisty, while the cows are smooth and rounded looking and mellow, grazeing.

    When looking for A Female , view from behind will have ":" under the tail, while a bull will have ".",under the tail.....rewording that, basicly a Female will have two "Black dots" and a Bull One

    A nice female, with no calf along with a well pointed head set and rounded body will give you tender fat meat you will enjoy all winter.

    Good Luck!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    I've done the Veteran's Day long weekend a couple times with friends, usually hits around the 10th of November each year. We've had no experience with rutting bulls and bad meat, but if you're chasing a big bull the likelihood of his antlers falling off increases throughout the month. In 2011, a vast majority of the bulls had shed by our hunt, we didn't see a single big bull in 5 days. Most years though, there are still lots of good bulls, but their antlers commonly pop off when you drag/pick up the bull by the antlers. Also, we usually concentrate north of Atigun, but commonly see TONS of caribou on the south side on the way home each year. Our best luck has been wearing full snow camo, prepositioning ahead of herds (they use the same trails over and over) and let them walk right by you, sometimes within a few feet. You'll see temps well below zero that time of year, it hit -40 in 2011. Some people make it out 5 miles at that temp, but be VERY prepared since you'll be sweating your butt off walking/dragging 5+ miles, and sweat can be deadly at that temperature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    So I plan on heading up the north slope to caribou hunt in mid-November. I have never hunted caribou so I am a little lost. I am bringing both a bow and rifle up there so the cooridoor will be fully open to me. One question is I am not really sure where to go once I get up to atigun pass. If I decide to walk the 5 miles in, I am not sure where the caribou herd is at. Are there websites that track them, or perhaps anyone on here that can help. Thanks!!
    Get a CB radio installed in your vehicle and talk with the truckers that are heading south. Most of them will answer you back and let you know if they have seen any caribou. Can save you many hours of driving.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the replays. I think this info will help me bag a few this year. If anyone wants to tag along with me on my trip just let me know. So far its just me and a coworker.

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    The caribou will be out of the rut by then. They also start shedding horns the first part of November too. So if they're shedding horns, that means the rut is over.

    The bulls will have little to no fat on them as they've used it up during the rut. The meat is fine but extremely lean. Caribou is already lean. It depends on how much snow there is but more snow will push them through earlier.

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    Texas Boy, I am willing to tag along if you still got room. Im taking it your military as well.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aCOMBATIVEpyro View Post
    Texas Boy, I am willing to tag along if you still got room. Im taking it your military as well.
    Yeah I am military, in 3/21. We are heading to the field, and then when we get back I'm taking the bow cert. Do you have a bow/rifle and certs? And yes we have room as long as your willing to chip in a bit for gas.

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    Hey man no problem chipping in gas. I am in WTU, about to retire so... no more field problems for this guy. I have a Tikka T3 SL 7mm Mag, I dont have a bow but I am supposed to take a bow cert. sometime soon.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Well looks like the bow certs are a no go as they are full until their 2014 class in May. Are you able to make the 5 mi hike in? I am looking at the weekend of the 16th of Nov.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    Well looks like the bow certs are a no go as they are full until their 2014 class in May. Are you able to make the 5 mi hike in? I am looking at the weekend of the 16th of Nov.
    Hope y'all have a great trip, but DO NOT take that 5 mile hike lightly!!! -30 F, 40 mph winds and whiteout conditions are what you should expect.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    THAT sounds like fun...........

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    Well looks like the bow certs are a no go as they are full until their 2014 class in May. Are you able to make the 5 mi hike in? I am looking at the weekend of the 16th of Nov.
    There is an online course with a hands on part after you complete the online part.

    They show to have one seat left for the hands on part for the 26th Saturday.

    Link here

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...ered.bowhunter

    And here

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...es&classtype=b
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    From what they said when I went in, all classes are full. And I will be in the field on the 26th, unfortunately

    Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Tapatalk
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

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    Just show up to the Bow cert day of. The teachers tend to be pretty nice if you're a stand up sort of fellow. Some people simply won't show and they'll give you their spot. Just take the online portion first.

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    I was up there last yr on veterans day weekend... It was ****ing cold -40 the caribou were all by ps4 we drove all the way to ps3 nothing all up by atigun. No way in hell to get 5 miles... So with that good 4 season tent, get ice screws to hold tent down, buddy heaters lotsa of propane, cots take them, sleeping bags take the army ones, take all the cold weather gear the army issued to include vb boots... Alot of folks sleep in trucks. If you have a diesel best of luck have a plan to start that thing every few hours if the weather tanks... Snowshoes with tails and trekking poles... There are other things i forgot....

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Were you able to take any caribou when you went? I will be taking all the cold weather stuff I have. If you did get them, where could you get them? I have never driven this, but I have seen pictures and it looks impossible this time a year to get 5 miles away in atigun pass, you can to pass it and get around ps3 or later to have open areas to walk the 5mi. Thanks for any input!

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    I was the only ibep certified hunter the other two guys weren't so we continued on looking for bou 5 miles out. We took an akio as well with the harness system. If you can acquire an akio it will make life alot more easier. I have buds who use them... Once you come over atigun its impossible to get 5 miles off the road mtns on both sides. Once you get to toolik (sp ) then you can go 5 miles. We never made it 5 miles never saw another bou once we got to toolik and ps3 they were all by ps4. Take tire chains, did i mention it gets cold... Also losing daylight fast take a compass, flashlights, headlamps etc just in case your tromping back at night. Your water will freeze so pay attention, my suggestion take a thermos full of coffee, cocoa, apple cider your choice when tromp 5 miles out. I have a buddy who does it on skis, so if you are good on skis.. Gloves take the cold weather ones ie the arctic mittens, don't screw around with garbage **** from sportsman... If you have access to generator take just in case the weather tanks to -40. Me i would wait until april-may i will never go. Back up there in november it really sucked... But on the other hand weather could be decent lol...

  20. #20
    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm going to take an okio with. Also will grab a stove too if I can sign one out. Thanks for the help!

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