When do caribou normally loose their velvet in unit 23, Alaska? Are there any precation to protect the antlers if we harvest a caribou in velvet?
Velvet in unit 23
The question is not when they loose their velvet up here but when do they return from the North Slope. Most of the animals that we see are almost free of velvet of or a little raggy, lots of blood though. Most animals that we see in unit 23 have made the trip over the Brooks as only a small % of the herd actually stay on our side of the mountain all summer. After many years of hunting up here we are seeing the bulk of the herd show in the Noatak Valley later than they use to. 10 years ago they arrived about Labor Day in small numbers and increased over the next 2 weeks and most of the animals were here by Sept 20. In the past 3 years the main thrust of the herd has not showed up until the 11th or so. We are seeing warmer falls then we use to and they donít cross the mountains until the weather makes them so they are sticking to the Slope longer then they use to. This may change as these are animals and they donít follow directions very well.
I am planning my first trip out on Sept 13/14 this year but I will go out for real the 21st. I have the pleasure of living up here and can shoot an animal any time I see one, where you need to pin down a time frame that will put you here in time for the animals. I would recommend the week of Sept. 11-18 or so. Itís a crapshoot but we have a lot of animals and you should do fine any time in Sept or early Oct. Be choosey as a bigger bull is just waiting over the next rise!
Take care, plan ahead and enjoy your time in their special part of the world!
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