Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: First Caribou hunt at Haul Road

  1. #1
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wainwright
    Posts
    105

    Default First Caribou hunt at Haul Road

    Went on my first caribou hunt this last weekend. Got a 4 day pass and my buddy from work and I went up the Haul road. This was our first caribou adventure. Left Thursday afternoon and camped at 5 mile. Cold and windy. Stopped at Coldfoot next morning for a bite to eat = AWESOME! Saw first herd of bou little north of Toolik Lake. Lesson #1 Ė Caribou can walk faster in the tundra then you can, so donít try to follow rather cut them off. 2.5 miles later gave up and returned to truck. Found three sheds though. Continued north to Last Chance stop before pump station #2. Camped there. And this is where the story gets interesting. Met up with some other guys in our unit. We were talking around the campfire when some dude, ďMikeĒ, drives up and ask us if we had a radio because his buddy wasnít back yet from the tundra retrieving 2 caribou they had shot the day prior about 6 miles out. We gave him a radio and he drove off to try to contact him. Hour or so later (2200) he returns with buddy, ďJim from OhioĒ in tow, who was really bad off. Jim had lost his jacket and was dehydrated and close to hypothermia. Both bous were still in the tundra. Mike said that they were in no physical shape to retrieve the caribou and if we would do it for a price. The deal was for both caribou minus one cape. Lesson #2 Ė Donít negotiate or agree to do anything while half asleep. Next morning we get up and hunt a little before Mike and Jim show up. I got within 60 yards of one close to the road, but a little too far for my skills. Mike arrives and we load up and start out into the tundra at 1100. Mike has the GPS grids but is not the best navigator. My buddy gets mad and takes over, putting the grids in his GPS and we get to spot. Find Jims jacket but no caribou. Wrong grid. Another .8 miles further we get the 1st caribou at about 6 miles out. It is now 1530 and we go to next bou which is about 4.2 from road, the spot where Jim drug the other bou the day prior in his sled and quit. Get to next bou and itís a heated argument. Physically the 3.5 of us (Mike is sucking so I count him as a half a person) canít take both bou back and make it before dark. We make the decision for Mike and are taking at least one full caribou out for us and they can get the rest the next day. Mike says they have to be in ANC by Sunday and canít. Finally tally, one guy drags the head with a lot of gear. Helping him is my buddy with half of one bou meat on his back. I have the other half of one on my back and drag the other out with some assistance from Mike. We arrived at the truck at 2000 exhausted. Lesson # 3 Ė Sleds SUCK, except on frozen lakes. At truck Mike and Jim transfer both caribou to us, capes included and leave for ANC. Half our group signed for one and went to Fairbanks. My buddy and I stayed and got up the next morning and hauled the rest of the meat and cape out, thus keeping them out of jail and probably losing some hunting privileges. Took us about four and a half hours round trip and we packed the truck up and headed home. Saw two small heards of bou around Toolik on way home but our bodies were too tired to go after them. Lesson #4 - Don't agree to bail someone out like this ever again.

    So we really never did any serious hunting but we learned a lot from our trip. Our military training in cold weather and land navigation, plus the fact we ruck and PT a lot made it easy for us to do the task. We learned not to get greedy like they did, but if we did do the 5 mile thing in the future that we shoot one bou and get him out before we even attempt to shoot another. We learned that packs are the way to go and what items are needed in the tundra. Finally this is Alaska and you better know what the heck you are getting into up here or you might die like these guys almost did.

    out

  2. #2
    Member Toddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    556

    Default The hard way

    Sapper
    Words of wisdom. Some people just have to learn the hard way. Godd thing you were their to bail them out.

    Drew

  3. #3

    Default Maybe...

    Were these 2 guys driving a silver reg. cab dodge pickup with a trailer? Just curious as I just got back Saturaday myself. There was caribou but they were aways off the road and you needed to be in good shape to hunt them. I hunted 3-4 miles out everyday with my bow holding out for a nice bull, which never gave me a shot less than 75yds. Maybe next time.

  4. #4
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wainwright
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Finley View Post
    Were these 2 guys driving a silver reg. cab dodge pickup with a trailer?
    Yes they were.

  5. #5

    Default Bummer.

    When these guys told me they where going to head out the 5 miles to shoot a couple with a rifle I wondered if they really knew what they were doing. They didn't look to be in the kind of shape to be packing out caribou 5 miles. The guy that went after the bou didn't even leave until approx. 11am as he blew out the caribou I was trying to stalk about 2 miles out. The way the tundra was frozen and the weather was good I don't doubt someone in good shape and knew what they were doing could shoot and pack out a caribou in the same day. Obviously that wasn't these fellas....good on ya for giving them a hand.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    All-I-SAW, AK.
    Posts
    1,036

    Question

    Your intentions to help others are to be commended... Your lucky that the Trooper didn't come and visit you before your last trip across the tundra. Sounds like the antlers were brought out before all of the meat...(that's how I read it anyways)...But, you made it and lessons learned...

  7. #7
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wainwright
    Posts
    105

    Default

    All the meat of one caribou was taken out with the head of that one on the first trip as well as half the meat of the other caribou. The one full one went to the other guy in our party, leaving us just half the meat of the second. Went out the next day and got the other half and the head. We assumed this was legal since it as two seperate animals. Also assumed you can bring the meat and head out at the same time just not the head before the meat.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    All-I-SAW, AK.
    Posts
    1,036

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper 2-6 View Post
    All the meat of one caribou was taken out with the head of that one on the first trip as well as half the meat of the other caribou. The one full one went to the other guy in our party, leaving us just half the meat of the second. Went out the next day and got the other half and the head. We assumed this was legal since it as two seperate animals. Also assumed you can bring the meat and head out at the same time just not the head before the meat.
    That's a good point, I'm not sure if that only applies to one animal on the ground or more..

  9. #9
    Member LKN4ELK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Sapper,

    Were these guys driving a grey single cab dodge? We were up there also but told them if they do the five mile death march they should only take one at a time. Not sure if these are the same two but the one guy did not look like he was ready to do five mile hike. I am 35 and in decent shape but my partner and I were out at 3.9 miles and we looked at each other while bow hunting and said if we are this far out with bows might as well be carrying rifle. Just curious if that is the same two dudes.

    LKN4ELK

  10. #10
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wainwright
    Posts
    105

    Default

    LKN4ELK,

    Yep same dudes. One looked in decent shape but the other was a little bigger. Also they were wearing cotton. Cotton is not the way to go. You need a good fleece or poly pro or maybe wool. Thats why they also got in trouble.

  11. #11
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1

    Thumbs up It wasn't us!!!

    My buddie and I were out there last weekend. We shot two small bulls, one singleton at 5.3 miles and the other loner at 6.2 miles. We packed them out using internal frame Kifaru backpacks and each caribou gave us 90-100 pounds of boned-out meat. Our packs with gear, rifle & meat weighed around 110 pounds. It took us two hours to get in 5.2 miles and 3 1/2 hours to get back to the road. It's a ball breaker to say the least. We are in our mid forties, athletic, play hockey 2-3 days a week, sheep and goat hunt. Fortunately, my partner has two young boys that'll be packin for us in a few years. A large mature herd bull, plus rack & hide, would be **** near impossible for one hunter to carry out on his back. I recommend one shooter per trip and a buddie to help recover the animal. We were driving the silver GMC with a topper and I hope that nobody mistakes us for the two guys that could'nt "get er done."

    We used an Artic oven tent with a wood stove and duraflame logs for heat. I don't think there is a better tent on the market for that hunt. Alaska tent and tarp has them but be prepared to pay a fortune.

  12. #12
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default I'm lost

    So why was it that jim and mike were seperated and how the heck do you loose your jacket? You are to be commended on your ethics and willingness to help someone out. The stupidity of some people amaze me, It's just like reading the hunting partnes horror stories. I would and couldn't imagine have either one of those guys as partners. I'm curious what a brown shirt would say about bringing out the 1st caribou and cape and then getting the other. I would have to agree with you and your logic about the way that you did it. Thanks for sharing the story.

  13. #13
    Member Roger45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    966

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper 2-6 View Post
    Also assumed you can bring the meat and head out at the same time just not the head before the meat.
    As it has been expained to me...you can not retrieve the cape or antlers of *the* animal you are transporting prior to all of the meat. You can take it with the meat, just not before. This holds true for one or five animals...this was important to me as I found you can take all of the first animal (head and hide) prior to any of the second animal. If you take any part of the second, then the head and hide must come out last. I hope that helps explain as a F & G guy told me...and I have had a Guide explain it as well.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •