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Thread: Haul Road Success - Walkin (First Bull)

  1. #1
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    Default Haul Road Success - Walkin (First Bull)

    My first Bull, 1,815 miles on the truck, 96 hours, 23 miles tundra walked, 1 Bull, lots of sweat and fun!!


    Well it was short and somewhat of a success. We departed here in Anchorage at 10pm on Thursday night and switched on and off drove straight through with a stop in Coldfoot for breakfast (that is a must). We made it to Gailbraith lake at 12 noon (14 hours to include the 1hr stop in coldfoot). The road was a lot better than expected and drove 60 most of the way on the haul road and some points I hit 80. Upon arrival at the gravel pit I was told don't walk unless you see something, and I didn't listen, we were excited and changed and charged over the hill (not taking the creek bed) and we finally got to the top 4 miles off the road and not a caribou to be found. We glassed and nothing so we headed back to the truck. At 3:30 we decided to leave and not camp there and head for Toolik or where we saw Caribou. We drove and drove and saw nothing until 4:15 around pump station 2. Saw 3 nice bulls next to a pull off but we had rifles so we figured we would camp close. We finally found ( 6:30) a nice beach site to camp at a boat launch right up from pump station 2. We decided to walk in just before station 2 in the morning.

    Left in the morning (36 degrees) and there was fog mixed with smoke and there was no place next to station 2 to pull off safely so we decided to drive north towards deadhorse. This is where all the Bou were, small groups all the way from station 2 to deadhorse. We were looking for a good place to pull off that would give us a pipeline road to take some of the pain away on the walk in. We decided to go all the way into deadhorse to get gas and stopped on the way back at noon at a spot. We started the walk. It was fast going out but we were amazed on what you would think in the distance was far was not as far as you wanted it to be. We saw a mound and headed for it, looked 5 miles but was only 2 1/2. From there we could glass, saw 3 groups of 15 and couldn't tell if any bulls so we got off and headed towards the middle one. We kept getting close and they still layed down and we determined they were outside the 5 mile mark after all the waypoints that we made. We dropped packs and started a slow stalk, they all got up and started to head South. From this I could see one nice bull inside the group and I called the shot. The others said they would be there to back me up if I missed as it was at 300 yards. I layed on the tundra and followed them in the group. The bull would stop until they all got by and then run up front and do that all over again. I waited until he got in the front, he turned and looked back at the herd and I placed one nice shot right in the front shoulder at 3:15pm. Not what I was looking for but there were strong winds. He went down with one shot and the others in the herd ran away.

    The butcher process wasn't that bad but we knew we had a hike before it got dark. We left at 6:15pm with 4 guys splitting the meat. It was 38 degrees. 1 of the guys in the party could not make it back with a full pack so we headed to the mound, he was not dress properly and we were sweating a little. We stopped at the mound and all but one dropped packs and we decided we would head back the next day to get all the stuff. We got back to the truck at 10:10 and got back to the camp at 11:15pm.

    Woke up in the morning and two guys said they couldn’t do it because their body hurt, so they took their second truck they brought and headed back to Anchorage. Me and another decided we could get it all, to include the pack the one other left. We left at 11am got to the mound at noon (2- ˝ miles), saw a bigger bull on the way out but no rifle as this was just a pickup. 2pm departed mound with one 86lbs pack and one 97 lbs pack. We made it back to the truck at 4pm and back to camp at 5:15pm.

    That night we decided to call it quits and not attempt another trip in and head home and process meat. We departed camp at 4:45am and arrived at 10:13pm with a 1-1/4 hr stop in Coldfoot for breakfast

    Great trip, would do it again but probably would carry a bow and a rifle to make it a non stop hunt.
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  2. #2

    Default Congratulations

    Sounds like it was a great hunt!!

  3. #3
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Nice going

    I just got done with my first caribou and have an idea of what you went through. Congrats to you!! Tell your buddies that a 125 lbs wife helped me pack out 2 caribou and never quit.

  4. #4

    Default just my thoughts

    Just keep in mind his buddies were probably AF, and hey, at least they didn't go back and get the truck

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    LOL@af and trucks! they gotta have a bumpersticker for those guys by now don't they?!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Default

    You guys are ANIMALS!

  7. #7

    Default some more thoughts

    A marine officer shared with me why there are so many rules in the military today--because of knuckleheads not thinking of the consequences before they act. The pain I go thru now to get leave almost isn't worth the hassle, several risk assesments have to be done--they freaked out when I told them that I wanted to hunt alaska. One of my NCOs showed me what the army thought about Profiles, it was fitting for about 99% of those with profiles in the AF. I am going to have to get a copy and send it to a few SNCOs that are in the AF, fits them to a T

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gobblinfool View Post
    A marine officer shared with me why there are so many rules in the military today--because of knuckleheads not thinking of the consequences before they act. The pain I go thru now to get leave almost isn't worth the hassle, several risk assesments have to be done--they freaked out when I told them that I wanted to hunt alaska. One of my NCOs showed me what the army thought about Profiles, it was fitting for about 99% of those with profiles in the AF. I am going to have to get a copy and send it to a few SNCOs that are in the AF, fits them to a T
    And every AF vet I know of, walked away with a disability. Might be some that didn't, but I have not met one yet. Totally different midsets between services.

  9. #9
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobblinfool View Post
    Just keep in mind his buddies were probably AF, and hey, at least they didn't go back and get the truck
    So it's only Air Force guys that do stoopid things? And ALL AF members are lazy and try to cut corners...and ALL of us SNCOs get on profiles to get out of deploying or other "unpleasant" tasks?

    Some folks seem to be making some general statements based on very little personal experience. Granted we do have some folks who don't seem to want to pull their fair share of the load, but you find that elsewhere (civilian and military occupations) also.

    Seems the first couple responses about the AF were in good fun, then this became a "let's call the AF a bunch of..." thread.

    By the way, I'm leaving for Iraq (again) in 2 weeks, to do an "Army mission"--unless I can make up an injury and get a profile....

  10. #10
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    And every AF vet I know of, walked away with a disability. Might be some that didn't, but I have not met one yet. Totally different midsets between services.

    Easy now.....I am one of those AF vets. But then again my former job in the military(by my choice) and 4 wars(also by my choice) contributed greatly to where I am going to be in 20 - 25 years. I may have been a spoiled AF Airman but I spent my time in the trenches with both the Army and Marines which #1 made me appreciate even more what I had, #2 allowed me to share the good life with my Brothers in Arms.

    Don't get me wrong I know of folks who did nothing but fly a desk and got a better disability rating then I and that is crapola. Rules need to change and be standardize between the services. Some of the things need to be looked at as heredity and not service related. That would change alot of the the disablilty ratings. Also things that happen off duty need not contribute to a disability rating.


    I guess the morale to the whole story is to make sure WHOEVER (not just AF guys) you take with you, whether it be a hunting, hiking, biking, fishing or snowmachine trip, that ALL are fit to the task. AF guys are not the only ones that I have help get out of the wringer since moving here 10 years ago. Everyone needs to be able to evaluate there own physical condition and either get in shape for the task or ensure they have a plan. Most younger folks now-n-days, unless raised in the country/Alaska, have little concept of what it takes to pack an animal 5 miles. Even a 25 pound pack over a 5 mile hike can be a daunting task given the right terrain.

    I hope you didn't share....or at least only give them what they were worth

  11. #11
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    Default

    Funny thing is, on this trip, the Air Force guys (me included) made the walk and the local guys was the one that couldn't do it.

  12. #12

    Default I apologize

    Wink hink,

    I couldn't resist when you said that your buddies had a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, figured it was the AF guys, I just got back form the haul road with one of my NCOs, who is top notch, as far as profiles, I have seen them all, having just done 6 years as an officer in the AF, now I am seeing how the army does things--though they are archaic in their methods, you can't compare the two branches when it comes to discipline, if a NCO wants to ride things out over here they are given a very crapppy detail to be in charge of.

  13. #13
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    I guess you won't be hunting with the two guys that bailed and even couldn't get their own pack out??? Wow!!! What were they thinking? They would be not remembered when the following year hunt comes along. I've done that similar hunt for seven years, yea it's a ball buster in a fun sort of way.... but come-on, the other two had to bail because of alittle hard work? It's probably for the better, would not want our hunting world to disrupted by a couple folks that probably need to stay at home and play Nintendo. Good job on your part to ensure ALL meat brought back and properly cared for...

  14. #14
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Getting back to the original thread

    Congrats on making the dreaded "death march" sucessfully! Lots on this forum (myself included) wouldn't (couldn't?) have done it, great job. BTW winnowing out who really is or is not a hunting buddy is part of the process.
    Dave

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