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Thread: The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread (2015-2016)

  1. #1
    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Default The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread (2015-2016)

    Yee-haw, here we go! Here begins all manner of rumor, speculation, misinformation, mockery, tall tales, bragging and the occasional useful piece of information for those of us who have a permit to hunt the Nelchina caribou herd. As usual, I have relentlessly pestered Frank Robbins with the Glennallen ADFG office until he felt willing to share some information with me and give me the verbal okay to relay what he said on this forum. What he said this morning to me is as follows:

    • The have flown the survey. Weather and caribou cooperated enough for them to do a traditional count, but also they took many good photographs of large conglomerations of caribou which are being analyzed now to make their herd estimate as accurate as possible.
    • He said the herd looks decently large and fairly healthy. His off-hand estimate for total population was 'near the size of last year's herd.' They definitely didn't get killed off by this last winter.
    • Their survey indicated about 55 calves for every 100 cows. He says this is a very good and healthy ratio for calves and is indicative of low mortality this winter. This looks good for the herd in the near future.
    • He expects a total quota 'very similar to last year' and will likely include a cow quota like last year's hunt. Official estimates and quotas should be released close to August 1st. Probably the 3rd.
    • When they were surveying, there were caribou on both sides of the Susitna, more on the west side than the east side and a little bit light in the Eureka area.


    Let the madness begin. Good luck and safe hunting to everybody out there. Remember to clean up your own trash and some of the junk left behind by the jerks and don't be too rude to the tour buses on the Denali. Also, kill a grizzly or two. 18 more days, GAME ON!
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    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    No tag for me this year, but will have the pleasure of helping two friends on their hunts. Love that area and that hunt.

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    Rumor, mockery, tall tales.....uhmmm. I heard that the Yeti herd rebounded as well but there is a restriction to 9' footers only and tusks 3 inches. You still can't shoot a Yow with yubs. Should be a good hunt year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mammoth Hunter View Post
    Rumor, mockery, tall tales.....uhmmm. I heard that the Yeti herd rebounded as well but there is a restriction to 9' footers only and tusks 3 inches. You still can't shoot a Yow with yubs. Should be a good hunt year.
    LOL. Wow, that didn't take long. Even by our standards.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    I'll be paying attention to this thread this year in hopes of picking up a few ideas. No tag for me, but I've promised to help take two of my buddies on their first AK big game hunt (they both have the Tier I tag). Having never done this hunt myself either we know our odds are a little long (especially hunting on foot), but we figure it's more about getting out and experiencing the hunt with a harvest being a secondary mark of success. Not that we won't take tips on where somebody has one tied up and waiting for us. Good luck to everyone heading afield!

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    Did the quota ever get reached last season? I shot mine in August and didn't keep up with the numbers killed after the first season closed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    Did the quota ever get reached last season? I shot mine in August and didn't keep up with the numbers killed after the first season closed.
    Nope. Frank says they still have harvest reports trickling in, but they were still several hundred away from the quota when the season ended this spring. Someone should look up and compare the numbers of permits signed up for this year to last. If it's close or lower, we could probably count on having the winter season open this year too.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    Nope. Frank says they still have harvest reports trickling in, but they were still several hundred away from the quota when the season ended this spring.
    True, but didn't they announce that they wouldn't re-open it after the fall break then reverse the decision?

    I think the concern was that so many of them were near roads that it could have turned into a turkey shoot and surpassed the quota before they were able to shut it down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
    True, but didn't they announce that they wouldn't re-open it after the fall break then reverse the decision?

    I think the concern was that so many of them were near roads that it could have turned into a turkey shoot and surpassed the quota before they were able to shut it down.
    What happened was the weather last summer sucked so bad they never got an actual survey done. Then, during August or September, they went and did live captures and some other looking around that showed better than previous results so they upped the quota and re-opened the hunt for winter.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    What happened was the weather last summer sucked so bad they never got an actual survey done. Then, during August or September, they went and did live captures and some other looking around that showed better than previous results so they upped the quota and re-opened the hunt for winter.
    It's good to hear that they had a fairly legit reason for the confusion. I see lots of complaining about this hunt but roadside poop aside it actually seems to be working pretty well to me.

  11. #11

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    Good to hear!! Hope to help my parents and inlaws with their tags as well as a couple buddies as well. I don't play the Tier I game but doesn't mean I can't go be a packer and get the experience anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    Someone should look up and compare the numbers of permits signed up for this year to last. If it's close or lower, we could probably count on having the winter season open this year too.
    Last year (2014-15) -

    Tier I = 5,604
    DC480 = 300
    DC481 = 100
    DC482 = 300
    DC483 = 300
    Total = 6,604 Nelchina Caribou Permits

    This year (2015-16)

    Tier I = 7,229
    DC480 = 300
    DC481 = 100
    DC482 = 300
    DC483 = 300
    Total = 8,229 Nelchina Caribou Permits

    Overall, there are about 1,600 more Nelchina caribou permits out there for this year, so not a huge change over last year. Still a heck of a lot less than the 12,000+ that were out for the 2013-14 season. Based on last year, I would say that there should be a winter hunt this year, but then again, a lot depends on how the herd moves during the season and whether they make themselves easy targets. Last year, if I recall correctly, they stayed fairly spread out during the first season making the success rate suffer a bit.

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    Does anybody know what the number of Tier1 caribou that they are trying to eliminate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1951 View Post
    Does anybody know what the number of Tier1 caribou that they are trying to eliminate?
    I'm not sure what you are asking. There is no specific quota for just Tier I, it is an overall quota for nelchina caribou that includes Tier I and the 4 drawing hunts. As far as what that quota is going to be, see the OP in this thread. It isn't expected to be published until the first part of August, but expected to be similar to last year.

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    Do not forget the 660 community Subsistence harvest permits.

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    Thanks for the info, yes I understand it included all caribou hunts in the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    but doesn't mean I can't go be a packer and get the experience anyways.
    I doubt very much that you need experience packing meat.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I doubt very much that you need experience packing meat.....
    Likely not, but the experience of helping my mom or mother inlaw fill their tags and pack them out for them would be a good time for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Likely not, but the experience of helping my mom or mother inlaw fill their tags and pack them out for them would be a good time for sure.
    Indeed......quality family time is what it's all about. I was just messin' with ya, as I know you've packed out plenty.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    LOL. Wow, that didn't take long. Even by our standards.

    When did we get standards?? We have "rules", but we don need no stinkin standards.

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