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Thread: Caring For Caribou On Dalton Highway In July...

  1. #1
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    Default Caring For Caribou On Dalton Highway In July...

    Hey everyone, I am planning a Dalton Highway caribou hunt for early July this year. I will be going up with my Jeep and a small camper for sleeping. The question I have is how do I handle the meat during the warm weather? I have no problem with the hike or the packing out, I know it will be hard... but I am worried about keeping the caribou fresh until I can get back to Wasilla and properly freeze, dry, or grind up the meat. I will take plenty of game bags and plan to use citric acid.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by water_swatter View Post
    Hey everyone, I am planning a Dalton Highway caribou hunt for early July this year. I will be going up with my Jeep and a small camper for sleeping. The question I have is how do I handle the meat during the warm weather? I have no problem with the hike or the packing out, I know it will be hard... but I am worried about keeping the caribou fresh until I can get back to Wasilla and properly freeze, dry, or grind up the meat. I will take plenty of game bags and plan to use citric acid.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
    Move fast. There isn't a lot you can do when it is just too warm other than move quickly. A lot of people choose not to hunt in the warmer times of the year just for the reason that it is too risky trying to get the meat out before it goes bad.

  3. #3
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Couple ideas..

    Bring heavy trash bags so you can place the meat in a river for cooling for a few hours at a time, making sure it doesn't get wet. Hop from river to river back to Wasilla.

    Bring dry ice or block ice in an extra large cooler.

    Call the butchers around Fairbanks and see if they have the freezer room to cool your catch.

    Bring a small freezer and generator with you.

    Best of luck to ya and bring your skeeter gear!
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Have you thought about taking it to Prudhoe and airfreighting it to Anchorage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by akdd View Post
    Have you thought about taking it to Prudhoe and airfreighting it to Anchorage?
    If you do, make sure to ask for the "back haul" rate w/AK airlines or they will try to bill you the regular rate which is about 4x more. They also sell waxed fish boxes (need a conatiner that is essentially H20 proof or they won't accept it).
    Lastly, they store your meat in the freezer on both ends of the trip allowing you 2 days of free storage on the destionation end.
    BK

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    To avoid the issue of meat spoilage you're off on the right foot by going in July. Of all the times I've been up there early July is one I've never seen a caribou. Take bug nets and heavy clothing, don't plan on getting out of the vehicle without it ...ever. Don't expose any skin either. You should have a beautiful trip but early July you shouldn't have to worry about meat spoiling.

  7. #7

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    I've killed caribou on the 1st and on the 5th of July. The 5th of July was just after midnight and it was snowing which kept the bou from moving too quickly north. Normally when they hit the flats in mid to late June, the bugs are so bad it drives them north to the ocean in a hurry. In all the years I've hunted the old opener of July 1st, you could get on bou for the first 3-5 days of the month, then there will be nothing along the road until late July. There is usually one big push of caribou across the road late at night, but it is here today gone tomorrow. Bring a raft so you can cross the river.

    If you are planning to head up after July 4th and before July 25th, my suggestion is to stay home and save your gas. When I worked in Prudhoe I had my own shop and could hunt after hours. These trends were nearly identical for 10+ years.

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    As said before, bring a freezer and generator.

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    Member Happily's Avatar
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    frozen jugs of water make the best ice blocks last a week usually and drinkable when they melt

  10. #10

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    A buddy and I did this once in either late July or early August. Can't remember the specific dates, but we ran into this problem and we ended up driving the meat up to Deadhorse and shipping it back to Anchorage. I think this will be your best bet if the temperature is too hot. I personally would never go back up there in July or early August. The bugs are just too bad which keeps all the caribou up by the ocean. You might get lucky and catch a straggler or two, but if you want the real action you are better off waiting until late August or early September. That, and meat care won't be an problem with cooler temperatures.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    I may see you up their, leaving Fairbanks Monday for a trip up north, I heard they are all close to deadhorse now.
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

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