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Thread: The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread (2017-2018)

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Default The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread (2017-2018)

    Oh hell yeah!!! Once again, the time has come, to plant my flag and defend my honor as the founder of The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread. Regardless, once again I am filled with excitement about the prospect of pursuing these beautiful, tasty ungulates in the gorgeous country we call the Nelchina Basin. I spoke with Frank Robbins with the Glennallen Fish and Game office and it does indeed sound like there is a lot to be excited about this year. Lets hit the facts, before this thread inevitably devolves into Yeti jokes and the like:

    • Fish and Game has a top end management goal of 40,000 animals for this herd. Last year, prior to hunting season, the department counted 49,500 animals in the herd. That's not the estimated size, that's just the photographed ones. So the herd started off last year at least 10,000 "over budget", so to speak.
    • Last year, almost 16,000 permits were issued, 9500 Tier 1, 5000 Draw and about 500 Federal. From this, the hunter harvested 6300 animals. So to start off this winter, the herd was most likely still far over the ideal capacity. This was even with the second animal added to the Tier hunters bag limit for the winter.
    • The interest in the Tier 1 hunt has waned slightly this year. This year, 8500 Tier 1, 5000 Draw and probably about 500 Federal permits will be issued.
    • For Tier 1 hunters, this is the last year that you will have all of August, September and the winter to hunt on the one permit. Next year, Tier 1 hunters will all have access to the winter hunt, but will have to pick between August or September when applying for their permit. This is based upon the recent Board of Game meeting.
    • The department can issue a higher bag limit if they feel it is necessary based upon the data once they collect it. There is no consensus yet internally, but it seems that they are keeping a close eye on it this year, since overpopulation may be a real problem.
    • They have not flown the survey as of yet. As usual, they are shooting for the last week of June or first week of July to hopefully have the caribou herd up so they can be counted.
    • Preliminary scouting flights for herd composition do reveal that the herd is in very good shape. The cow to calf ratio for animals located has been approximately 50:100. It appears that they fared very well through this mild winter. The cows have been very productive and the calves survival seems to be high. So to put some perspective to that, if the herd was approximately 45,000 animals after last year's hunt, approximately half cows, 50% calf success rate would add 11,250 animals this year alone. That's very strong growth and could bode well for increased limits this year (I hope).


    That's all the info that I have right now, but I will begin this year's routine pestering of Frank for information as it becomes available. When there is survey data and locations to share, I will strive to be the first to know and to immediately post it here.

    Information dump over. Now it is time to get excited and prepared for the hunt. Once again, I beg you all to take extraordinary care to hunt safely and ethically in this crowded hunt and to clean up after yourself and others (I've heard it brings big bull caribou around to clean up the landscape, even though you didn't make the mess). You only have to wait 51 more days....
    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
    Oh hell yeah!!! Once again, the time has come, to plant my flag and defend my honor as the founder of The Official Unit 13 Caribou Thread.(
    Thank you for planting your flag, I have even waiting months for you to share the info!

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    log in soo's I can keep my info current.

    highestview, thanks for the info!

    Chris

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    Glad to hear all that cause I haven't seen a caribou calf yet.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Glad to hear all that cause I haven't seen a caribou calf yet.
    Last year their movement was really strange. I called Frank from the field to ask him about locations since we weren't seeing any in an area where we usually cant get away from them and he said a huge slug of them was moving through the Alphabet Hills towards the Richardson, too far away for 95% of us to get to. They might be sticking a little further off the road than usual now.
    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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    A large (well a portion anyway lol) portion of the nelchina herd doesn't migrate,'i spend a lot of time around that portion. I may have just been a shade to early for calves. But usually by third week of may I'm seeing them. Just glad to hear they are seeing them. After the number of caribou calves we found out are being killed by bears it's encouraging to see a good crop.

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    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    Oh hell yeah, Yeti jokes! As the founder for Yeti jokes I will not disappoint however sadly it is to soon to begin. But thanks for starting the post. I also talk caribou so it's not all yarn. We took two bou last year, looking to nab another one this year. Hopefully they bump up the limit again. Good times a coming!!!

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    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Is this the new and official yeti thread? Let get them sightings posted so everyone knows where not to go
    Quality Counts @ Dahlberg's Taxidermy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    A large (well a portion anyway lol) portion of the nelchina herd doesn't migrate,'i spend a lot of time around that portion. I may have just been a shade to early for calves. But usually by third week of may I'm seeing them. Just glad to hear they are seeing them. After the number of caribou calves we found out are being killed by bears it's encouraging to see a good crop.
    BRWNBR-1 Frank-0

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    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    I'll probably do some Yeti scouting this weekend....hopefully I don't run into those pesky caribou.

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mammoth Hunter View Post
    I'll probably do some Yeti scouting this weekend....hopefully I don't run into those pesky caribou.
    My cinnamon mints exactly!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    Disclaimer.....I didn't look hard or go deep and it's very early but didn't see any caribou this past weekend around CUA or close to the highway. Did find 3 bear carcasses and 2 caribou carcasses close to road. I was mainly camping and trail exploring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    A large (well a portion anyway lol) portion of the nelchina herd doesn't migrate,'i spend a lot of time around that portion. I may have just been a shade to early for calves. But usually by third week of may I'm seeing them. Just glad to hear they are seeing them. After the number of caribou calves we found out are being killed by bears it's encouraging to see a good crop.
    While hunting bears between May 28th and June 26th, and when amongst the bulk of the cows that comprise the NCH, I was seeing a calf:cow ratio of about 15:100.

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    The weather has cooperated. They are flying the survey as we speak. It will be nice to have accurate numbers before the season starts. Here's hoping for an increased bag limit!
    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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    Was just up over Belanger pass yesterday. Zero caribou, a few sets of old tracks, fresh bear tracks and a slightly warm
    pile of yeti scat.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Seen over 1000 caribou on Monument hill behind Eureaka Lodge last Sunday all seem to be heading East..

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    Member RaZe's Avatar
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    My DC485 Tag arrived in the mail today! Just about a month to go!
    Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Was just up over Belanger pass yesterday. Zero caribou, a few sets of old tracks, fresh bear tracks and a slightly warm
    pile of yeti scat.
    I just got home from a 2,000 mile trip through Alaska, Yukon, & northern BC. The most remarkable part was between Haines and Beaver Creek. The Haines Highway is almost covered with bear scat, and we saw several grizzlies grazing on the sides of the Alaska Highway in YT in mid-day. We also saw a gorgeous chocolate black bear near Border City.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Just drove down the Alcan/Cassiar and all the grizz activity I saw was near Kluane Lake. Blacks seemed to be mostly on the Cassiar.

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    Rode Oscar lake trail and Maclaren to Seven Mile lake yesterday. I saw multiple kill spots evidenced by hides, legs, rib cages, and my dog found a cow antler. What part of the season are they harvested in that area with my understanding that they move east from there to winter. This is my first time hunting the Denali highway and appreciate any help with starting my search.

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