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Thread: Possible Float Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Possible Float Hunt

    Hey guys. Before I get started just want to say that I read on the forums daily and will continue to do so after I ask some questions. I don't want everyone to think I'm one of those guys that just comes out and asks questions that this site already answers.
    That being said I'm trying to consolidate my hunts this year. My main focus will be on sheep and bou, as this is my last season up here before I separate and I have the sheep bug so that hunt is a must. But I also really want to get after a bou with my bow.
    What I'm looking into quick fast and in a hurry is a possible sheep/bou float hunt fly in float out under 1500 total including flight and raft rental. Will be myself plus at least 1 so packraftss aren't out of the question. Right now we're looking into the ivishak first few weeks of Sept. Upwards of 14 days to do some hard hunting. Just not sure on the potential for sheep in that area. Not looking for secret spots just if people sense that it is and sheepy area. If not I'll just consult with Mike or Larry on other potential spots.
    Thanks a lot guys for the responses and for all the info I've already learned from you all.
    Ben

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    Your budget might be a little light. To rent a raft for 14 days would eat up most of that budget.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    If you float the Ivishak (like many, many other people) you will need to hike a long, long ways for sheep. I've floated it twice and never seen sheep but I've never hiked the side drainages either. Your air taxi drop off will cost you $1000 or more per load. With two guys you should be able to make one trip wherever you fly into.

    if you want better odds and less competition you will need to spend more $ and fly farther in then the Ivishak.

  4. #4

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    I would strongly urge you to reconsider being on the North side of the Brooks after 10 September. Most taxis have closed shop by the end of the first week of Sept due to weather concerns. Snow storms and icy rivers can develop with vengeance anytime in September. The Northern winds, fog, and crappy conditions can you cause some serious pain and suffering up North if your luck runs cold.

    If your focus is sheep, a float is an access method that can suck up your needed time to hunt thoroughly. If a float is a priority over harvesting a sheep, then that's a different conversation.

    You wont likely get an easy sheep hunt off the Shak, and the float requires some effort and coin. But if your focus is caribou and a float option, the first week of September is a good bet.

    By then, though, sheep are usually pushed quite a ways off the main river, so more time might be required to locate a legal ram. If a reasonable amount of snow falls early, then a ram or two might get pushed down closer to the main corridor...but I would count on it. The Shak gets hammered pretty hard because it's affordable (relative to other areas).

    Good luck either way.

    larry

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I agree with Larry (GASP!) as far as the timing for the Brooks. Earlier is MUCH better.

    I would stay off the Ivishak. Lotsa pressure and low chances for sheep. I also think you're going to need to adjust your budget a bit for the best opportunities. You are also WAY past the time frame for booking an air charter, though it's still possible to shake out an opening here and there. Charters in the Brooks book way in advance, in general.

    There are other locations for the combo hunt you are considering, and I would be happy to discuss those with you. Some places you probably have not considered.

    Sheep on a float hunt, as Larry indicated, usually involve parking the boat, securing it from bears, and hiking way up into the side drainages. This takes you away from your boat and other gear for days at a time. There are very few places where you can even see sheep from the river.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    It is doable lilprof, You just need to secure air transport, and a PR-49 from Larry. If you do this, you and your buddy plus all gear can fit on one plane and in budget. You need to add the travel days into your raft rental too, it will take two days just to get there from Anchorage. So rental for 14 days is around 700 bucks for a pack raft, then add have of 70 north's fees of 1300 per plane ride. you total is now at 1350 with extra days raft rental, ad the gas and some food and you are hovering around 1500 bucks per person if you have the gear already. It is doable, just pack light.

    As for the Shak, like everyone has said, it has some hunt pressure with all the traffic. But if you have done weekend hunts around anchorage and palmer your whole time here, then this hunt will be epic for you. I know sheep is something on your list, and it is still doable, but just the hunt in general with sheep possible, caribou, and grizzly is an experience that you will never forget since it your last adventure in AK. Go there, tell 70 north to take you to the bench, and have the time of your life. who knows you might like it enough to come back to AK.

    Joe

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    Thanks a lot everyone. Plane is booked for the 4th and 2 pr's, everything pending deposits of course. Really appreciate everyone taking time to respond and give me advice, it won't go wasted. As for talking with Mike from 70 he seems like a stand up guy and look forward to flying with him. Can't day enough about Larry, second time I have talked to him and both times have been great conversations wish I would have had the time to talk with you at the sportsman's show this year but your booth was packed! But there's no denying why, everyone wants to work with ya. Hope to have lots of pictures and positive reports come end of Sept

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Please revive this thread (after your adventure) and let us now how your trip turned out!

    Best of luck to ya!!

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    Not sure why you would ask about sheep hunting and then book a flight to the Ivishak. The first week of Sept. may be better for char fishing but is not the time to be flying out to go sheep hunting on the north side of the Brooks. You are being taken for a ride pal... The Ivishak doesn't produce sheep anymore, hasn't been a consistent producer since the 1980's. The early 90's saw a huge influx of paddlers/floaters because you could float out to your vehicle parked by the Sag River. Also power boats were put in the Sag and run up the Ivishak, beginning in the early 90's. The guy at 70 degrees or whatever is just taking your money...

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Not sure why you would ask about sheep hunting and then book a flight to the Ivishak. The first week of Sept. may be better for char fishing but is not the time to be flying out to go sheep hunting on the north side of the Brooks. You are being taken for a ride pal... The Ivishak doesn't produce sheep anymore, hasn't been a consistent producer since the 1980's. The early 90's saw a huge influx of paddlers/floaters because you could float out to your vehicle parked by the Sag River. Also power boats were put in the Sag and run up the Ivishak, beginning in the early 90's. The guy at 70 degrees or whatever is just taking your money...
    I can't comment on the accuracy of your information concerning Dall sheep in the Ivishak, but I do know Mike McCrary, the owner of 70 North. He doesn't take his hunters on airplane rides in dead zones.


    Posts like this are why I always advise the hunters I work with to check EVERYTHING. Even if they heard it from me, and especially if they read it on an internet forum. The best person to ask about this is not a forum poster. It's the area biologist. That's why we posted all of their contact information AT THIS LINK. Check it or regret it!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Well, I flew out of Deadhorse and Happy Valley in the 80s, 90s and after it became the flying circus that it is now, started hunting elsewhere. The reason why this guy is taking your money is: you told him you wanted a caribou. You have a fair chance of getting a caribou floating the Ivishak. That is going to be the most expensive caribou you have ever shot. He can justify taking you in there because you said at the least, I want to shoot a caribou with a bow ( refer to OP )...You have almost ZERO chance of success finding a legal ram at that time of year in the upper Ivishak. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilprofessor911 View Post
    Thanks a lot everyone. Plane is booked for the 4th and 2 pr's, everything pending deposits of course. Really appreciate everyone taking time to respond and give me advice, it won't go wasted. As for talking with Mike from 70 he seems like a stand up guy and look forward to flying with him. Can't day enough about Larry, second time I have talked to him and both times have been great conversations wish I would have had the time to talk with you at the sportsman's show this year but your booth was packed! But there's no denying why, everyone wants to work with ya. Hope to have lots of pictures and positive reports come end of Sept

    If you are ready to look, they can be found. Tell Mike I said Hi and have a great hunt. PM me if you like and I will share a tip or 2.





    Grizzly in there to.

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    As was previously mentioned about the weather on the Slope. I have fond memories of trying to find my last party of hunters, on a river, floating amidst pan-ice, this was the third week of Sept. This is the beginning of icing season for airplanes up North. None of the Cubs, Beavers, C-185s, Helios or 206s are equiped for flight in icing conditions. You can be in for quite a surprise that time of year from Mother Nature. Conversely I hunted the East side of the Canning for Muskox one late Sept. and only experienced cool nights and perfect (for hunting) temps during the days.

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    Looks like a mid August hunt...

  15. #15

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    Lilprofessor911 was asking questions to get some reasonable advice. He doesn't have the knowledge base that some of us have gained from decades of living here.

    Pipercub's comments aren't completely accurate on this thread, nor helpful. Guys bring home rams every year from the Shak, but they have to work for them, and I've been floating that river and monitoring success rates there for the most recent 20 years. Reminds me of Proverbs 18:6 from a King James edition i read in a trapper's cabin some years back...

    A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

    Some may prefer a less abrasive version from 22:10

    Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.

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    Or try "a fool and his money are soon parted".... Rent my rafts....fly in my plane...everything will work out...don't listen to anyone else...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    Lilprofessor911 was asking questions to get some reasonable advice. He doesn't have the knowledge base that some of us have gained from decades of living here.

    Pipercub's comments aren't completely accurate on this thread, nor helpful. Guys bring home rams every year from the Shak, but they have to work for them, and I've been floating that river and monitoring success rates there for the most recent 20 years. Reminds me of Proverbs 18:6 from a King James edition i read in a trapper's cabin some years back...

    A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

    Some may prefer a less abrasive version from 22:10

    Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
    Right on Larry!
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    It's too bad the the vast majority of pipercub's post are full of negativity and venom. He has a lot of experience up north and could offer some solid advice if he changed his presentation. Just saying....

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    Reality = however you perceive it. You call it negativity & Venom. I call it reality. When you limit yourself to advice coming from people who are trying to sell you something...you are truly blind....

  20. #20

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    Hey brother, you were probably flying and killing long before I was born...and for that I give you more respect than you might think judged by my posts directed to you. And I've given more free advice than I've ever sold anyone. I don't own a plane, but I pay scores of thousands to competent pilots like yourself every season to get my boots and boat on the river. My advice is worth only what the patient few pay for it, the rest of free to sift through by anyone who trusts it.

    My advice to you, as a man with less experience than you (and who received his lessons from listening more than talking) is this...you don't command respect by your knowledge, you're given that privilege by offering what you know freely and without a craving for acknowledgment so that others are lead in a positive direction with motivation and purpose. You're a man full of knowledge most people will never gain, but when you type your replies people's brows furrow and hackles raise. It's self-defeating and disrespectful to your audience.

    I for one can take it, and don't give a crap about how you perceive me, but you don't have to be such an A-hole to your family of fellow hunters.

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