Haul Road Success
This probably won't be short, but lets just say that we hunted 4 1/2 days, 1/2 hiking and 1/2 road hunting from toolik lake to slope mtn. There were quite a few hunters up there, but was told it was worse labor day weekend. Weather was amazing--to warm almost, there were several forest/tundra fires going. This affected visibility especially on the hill right before pump 2. I was able to get set up beside the road about 10 miles north of toolik lake. Had several other hunters set up within 5 minutes around me. The bulls came to me, let the first one go--he had an amazing shovel/bez combination, but not a single point on his main beam??? The second bull had everything==but not book material, he was 57yds when he crossed the road, so I held over his main with my 50yd pin to account for the lead since he was walking, I shot, felt perfect, but the animal didn't react and I didnt see the arrow strike since I was focused on the area above his main, it wasn't until the guy behind me said great shot that I knew that I had a solid hit, he didn't go far, seemed confused while the rest of the bou passed him by--about 30 bulls or so, and then he fell over, the arrow passed thru from back of the lungs up thru the heart. He died less than 200 yds from the road, so as you can imagine, the pack wasn't too tough.
Lessons learned, if you don't mind hunters, then road hunt, but don't be surprised when you find bou moving towards the road when 4-5 vehicles pull up, glass, get out and leave their vehicles where the bou can see them, this happened to my buddy, if it hadn't been that we wanted to get him a bull I would have fallen over laughing, it was comical how hunters were, I totally understand that no one owns any of the land, but when those 4 bulls were coming to the road and there were 3 other hunters already set up on the road, I took my buddy up the hill and told him to walk back to the pipeline as it was only fair that we don't set up where the other hunters were.
If you have a small ground blind it might be worth a shot==or get you a shot, not sure, but if I was ever to go back to the haul road that is what I would do.
There is a road that literally goes in 3 miles hardtop, on the right side of the road, just after toolik lake up top of a road, when heading north--several bous taken out of this area, but it is possible that they may have all moved out of there by now, that is where my group came from.
This hunt was fun, I wouldn't say that it is a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination, but many out of staters have this perception, it should be touted as an economical hunt, I had several guys ask me what I would do differently, I told them to save the money and be flown out to the bush==plans for 2010. I also think people think that bou are stupid==and don't give them enough credit--I actually saw a guy get out of his vehicle and run at the bou, and like I said, I don't know how many times I would see a vehicle park right where the bou wanted to cross--only to have the bou either repel back to wait for the vehicle to pass--or take a wide path around the vehicle with wary eyes.
I am grateful for the oppurtunity that was given to me and practice paid off, as soon as I get the pictures on disk I will download==average bull that I am very proud of
PM me if you have any questions