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Thread: Best time of year for Bou on Haul Road?

  1. #1

    Default Best time of year for Bou on Haul Road?

    ok,I hunted the Haul Road for the first time this year about the second week of September. We did get some shots but saw about 50-100 annimals a day. We spoke to one camp that had been there for 2 weeks and the animals had just showed up? Is this a normal year or is it just an off year? I had the time of my life and I want to go back but when should i plan it. By reading this forum I thought the last 2 weeks of August was best but now I think that was just the time most hunters went up there! We spent most of the time near Toolik lake as that was where the animals where located. Also has anyone used a blind up there for cover? Most animals where in the open and hard to stalk!!!! Some locals said that October 1st was a better time of year, just would like to see more animals. Thanks as always.

  2. #2
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I don't think there is really a "best" time of year. Seeing good numbers of animals fluctuates every year depending on the caribou movement. August is a good month, but can be hot, have lots of bugs, and you may have to go pretty far North for the 'bou. September is probably the best all around, but it conflicts with moose hunting and you may run into a bunch of people up there. October the temps start dropping so camping in cold temps becomes a concern, but the 'bou are usually farther South and into better stalking terrain. November is down right dangerous and requires a lot of cold weather experience and preparation, but the 'bou may be as far South as Atigun Pass and the hunting can be easy because you can easily see where the 'bou are travelling and set up along well used paths. The real down side to November is most bulls will have dropped their antlers, so if you're into the hunt for a tropy it's too late.

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    So how does everyone feel about bowhunting up there in mid August? How far north would you expect to go? How many miles north of Fairbanks. Never hunted up there & wondering about the drive, odds of success, etc.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    In August, I would expect to have to drive to at least PS 2 and probably farther, which is 350 - 400 miles North of Fairbanks. It's really hard to guess. Last year in August the caribou were almost to Galbraith, but I think '05 and '06 were just flukes.

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    A friend and I were up there Aug 8-16 this year. We didn't see much until day 6, where we saw about 30 or 40 animals. I shot my caribou on Day 7. We saw over 100 animals on Day 7, but very few before that.

    When we got there, there was a west wind and the temps were in the mid 70's. We started seeing animals when it cooled off and the wind changed to an east wind. We spent most of our time north of Pump 2.

    From talking to other hunters that week, it would seem that weather has more to do with it than time of year. Several hunters had talked about their annual hunting trip being the same time each year, but that each year was different.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    There is no pattern. They go where they go, more or less. Your best bet is to be as flexible as you can with when you go and check for updates.

    There is an Inuit proverb "No one knows where goes the wind, or the caribou."

    All that said there are caribou that winter from Toolik to Atigun. If horns aren't a priority, Galbraith Lake is usually a good bet from January on

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