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Thread: Advise on Bou on the Haul Rd.

  1. #1
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    Default Advise on Bou on the Haul Rd.

    I could probably search through this site and get the answers Im looking for but I would like to converse with some of you on here.

    Myself and 3 others are in the very early steps of planing a hunt to the Haul Rd. next fall (2008) and I am just looking for some pointers.

    One friend lived and worked in Valdez for 2yrs and has done the hunt once before but didnt have any luck, here is what he said the problem he encountered was

    He said that he saw alot of Bou in mid-september but was not able to get a shot as they are very unpredictable and due to lack of cover stalking was not realy an option, he felt that the best way to hunt them would be to attempt to predict theyre movements and attempt to locate an ambush point ahead of the group.

    My question is how feasible is this, Ive never been there so I have no idea.

    Also I understand that there is a 5mi "bow only" zone from the road, how difficult would it be to access the area where a rifle is permitted.

    I know there are no roads but are there small rivers that one would be able to utilize a canoe or small jet power boat to get to this zone, and if so what are the chances of Caribou even being there ??

    I know that these questions may seem a bit dumb for those who know more about the area but I guess if Im going to make the trip I want to be as knowledgeable as possible on how to go about it before hand.

    Any response would b appreciated

    Im from the UP of Michigan so its gonna be a long trip!!

  2. #2

    Default haul road hunt

    I took two friends up a few years ago , drove all the way to Deadhorse and back down road hunting , we all filled out but abided by the five mile nonsense and had one hell of a work out . If I were to do it again I would drive up to Happy Valley airstrip and buy a little Super Cub time . Fish and Game watch up there , we were stopped on the way back and thoroughly questioned about where we were when we started shooting . Watch the weather moving down after September 1st . Great country though , we run into musk oxe and had luck with moose south of Jim River , a good time .

  3. #3
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    IF you bow hunt try to get off the road a little bit. Most hunters there will hang around the road and it can be crowded at times. But if you walk 1/4 off the road you will be alone. Caribou there can pop up any where. So telling you where to go is hard. Drive tell you see them and then go after them.. 5 miles is strictly enforced. It's not an easy walk.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    I'll second the fact that the 5 mile trek is not an easy hike, and it's a hell of a lot more difficult than a five-mile hike along some trail. The tussocks/hummocks of the tundra make you lift your feet up near your knee with every step. You can't simply walk on top of them because they roll and have undefined edges. I'm certainly not saying it can't be done, but it's a lot of work, and it's hard on the knees. I'd also suggest not taking Alaska Gray literally about being all alone 1/4 of a mile off the road. He's speaking figuratively, but in general, most people simply drive along the road and "spot and stalk." One tip that will help you out is that caribou follow each other almost to a fault. If one walks through a particular area, others will follow and go almost exactly where the first one passed. If one gets spooked, though, the jig is up. They secrete pheromones from their interdigital glands that actually spook following caribou when it is encountered. The remaining caribou will spook as soon as they smell it. Finally, people take jet boats and airboats up the Ivishak River, but the others that I've explored are generally too shallow and rocky. Hope this helps,

    Rick

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    A canoe is another great thing to have. You can get across the sag. At times the caribou will be on the other side and not cross the sag for some time. I have been there many times and seen this. this also will give you another chance to get away from the crowd of people...
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  6. #6
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    Default My 2 cents

    If I was coming all the way from Michigan ,I would not be driving the road system. Im from Michigan but now retired from USAF and live and hunt in Alaska. Last year I took my son hunting with Alaska Bush Sports and had the time of my life. Boy shot a nice bou, not as expensive as you might think. Flying in really increase the odds many times. Hunted about 20 miles off the haul road and saw about 400 animals in 2 days.

    Terry

  7. #7

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    I would also recommend flying out.

    One to get away from people as much as possible. the haul road is teaming with some of Alaska's 'finest'. Use your imagination here.

    The other is caribou hunting is feast or famine. Sounds like this fall has been pretty dang slow. Flying out and giving the pilot some leeway will let you get into bigger groups of animals, HOPEFULLY. Nothing is a garuntee, but now you atleast have a better chance as you're not limited to one stretch of road.

    The hike, well, just read whats been said. I do know 2 spots hiking out is pretty nice actually, but there caribou aint always there. No there are no trails here, no roads nothing. It's just hard ground for MOST of the way.

    getting close to bou? Well the more animals ya have to stalk, the higher the odds you'll have of getting close. Not talking big herds, but more animals in general. I like seeing small groups and lots of them.

    I've had buddies and done it myself, snuck extremely close to animals bedded by little humps. Easy bow range for even a stickbow. Take your time and be patient about it. Don't get into I gotta kill it now mindset and you'll come out ahead. Take advantage of the right situation when it happens and you'll kill your caribou.

  8. #8
    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    Talking Haul Rd

    Listen to what Terry said, I hunted two times from the road, nothing... So this last fall I booked with Ak Bush Sports and we killed 6 bou in two days. I flew from WI and wasted a lot of money hunting off the road, just bite the bullet and spend the cash.. the five mile walk in won't happen... I tried it and it is tough... I thought I was tough but was mistaken... You can't walk five miles in a straight line due to lakes, swamps, rivers, etc... So the walk ends up being a lot more like six or seven miles and you haven't even started to hunt...I have hunted sheep and that was easier walking than the five mile hike off the road. Good Luck

  9. #9
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    Of course I'm not going to give up my "secret spot", but you might check into river access. I haven't looked at all of the river access spots and how far they get off the road, but I know there are a few spots where you can get more than 5 miles off depending on what type of boat you have, water conditions, etc. I have also seen some total morons trying to drag canoes and rafts across the tundra. This is not a really good idea. Lots of work involved in this. There are also a few spots where you might be able to use an Alyeska Pipeline access road to get back to the river. Most of these are locked with a gate, but there are a few that will lead you all the way back to the river.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Hike if your able, fly if your not in pretty good shape to haul back 100 lbs + over a terrain similar to walking on a half filled, leaking water bed with volley balls stuffed underneath for extra measures... Pack light and camp at the five mile mark and relax there versus hurring back before night to the Haul Road every day. When you tag, split it up and hike it back to your main camp, relax in comfort and have a beer, then hit it up again the next day at o' dark thirty, you already have a spike camp out at the corridor... I hike it every year and love it, well maybe not so much on the way back out, but I do it again every time. And I will again in 08.

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