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Thread: caribou help

  1. #1

    Default caribou help

    I am wanting to book a caribou hunt for fall of 2008 but I really have no idea where to begin, was wondering if someone could give me some advice as to what areas to focus on for a good chance a getting into some, I would like to do a drop off hunt. It would be my first time hunting caribou so im pretty unfamilliar with where to go and how to get started. Could anyone give me some advice for flight services and what areas to look at. What can I expect to pay etc I am a resident.
    Thanks for any help
    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    The best thing you could do is spend a few hours searching through the archives here. Type in the following search terms and see what you think:

    -Kotzebue caribou
    -WACH
    -Bettles Caribou
    -Mulchatna Herd
    -Deltana Outfitters


    That should be enough to give you a general idea on the options for three of the more popular and productive drop-off options. Good luck - planning is half the fun!

  3. #3
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I haven't done a caribou fly out yet, but plan on it. This forum member -northwestalska (www.northwestalska.com)- seems to know what's going on in the Kotzebue region. Everyone tends to be gravitating towards either the Western Arctic Caribou Herd or the Central Arctic Herd, as the Mulchatna seems to be mostly a bust.

    Guys (air taxi's) that operate out of Kotzebue and advertise $2000 +/- per hunter are only taking hunters 40-50 miles out of Kotzebue. Best to hook up with northwestalska, as he knows the air taxi situation up there. I'm looking into a 08 and/or 09 hunt too.

    Larry Bartlett (pristineventures.com) seems like an easy way to plan a hunt to. For a nominal fee he'll plan your hunt for you and provide maps, etc. Guys who use him seem to like him Mike Strahan plans/guides hunts too (michaelstrahan.net). I believe both may rent gear as well.

    Check the adf&g website for technical papers about the herds and herd numbers too. Check the bookstore as Larry Bartleet has a book out about caribou hunting that summarizes ALL of Alaska's caribou herds. Hope this helps. Fellas that have done caribou flyouts can help with more specific information.

    Tim

  4. #4

    Default Walt from Northwestalaska

    If you decide to go out of Kotzebue as we did this year by all means e-mail or call or post on this board to Walt and DO WHAT HE SAYS. He is the most helpful, honest nicest guy you could ever want to meet and he lives there full time. He has a gear rental business with all top quality stuff and beats everybody elses prices. You cannot go wrong with Walt.
    Bruce

  5. #5

    Default

    How do I get ahold of Walt? I am looking at a fall 2009 Caribou hunt. Looking for the lowest cost fly in service for an unguided hunt for (3) guys. We will be flying into Anchorage, but can travel to Kenai, Saldotna, or Homer to catch a fly in service. Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigborerevolver500 View Post
    How do I get ahold of Walt? I am looking at a fall 2009 Caribou hunt. Looking for the lowest cost fly in service for an unguided hunt for (3) guys. We will be flying into Anchorage, but can travel to Kenai, Saldotna, or Homer to catch a fly in service. Any suggestions?
    Walt can be found here.

    Be aware that the "lowest cost fly-in service" may not translate into the best hunt experience. Your least expensive options out of Anchorage, Kenai, Soldotna, or Homer would involve flying in to the Mulchatna herd. This herd has been largely unproductive over the past few seasons. Some hunters will spend 10 days over there and see nothing but cows and calves. Others have found success, but large bulls have been nearly nonexistant over there for 3 or 4 years now. It seems that hunters flying out of Kotzebue have been way more successful in terms of numbers of animals, size, and overall quality of the experience. Kotzebue is where the aforementioned Walt runs his business.

    On a side note, if the trip to Kotzebue seems a bit expensive, I would highly recommend getting an Alaska Airlines Visa card. With 20,000 miles you can fly from anywhere AK Air flies to Kotzebue for free. They cover most of the west coast in addition to Orlando, Chicago, D.C., and others. That would be the most financially feasible way to do this trip, in my opinion.

  7. #7
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Default Contact Info

    Quote Originally Posted by bigborerevolver500 View Post
    How do I get ahold of Walt? I am looking at a fall 2009 Caribou hunt. Looking for the lowest cost fly in service for an unguided hunt for (3) guys. We will be flying into Anchorage, but can travel to Kenai, Saldotna, or Homer to catch a fly in service. Any suggestions?
    Just go to member list at the top of the page and look under letter N and you'll find northwestalaska. Good Luck
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  8. #8
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    Default Bang for the Buck

    Problem with WACH is one you can only shot one caribou, 2nd In my 10 plus years in Alaska, I have not been to a less friendly place. 3rd, also one of the most expensive. I have hunted all the trips you have suggested and last year I had my most enjoyable bou hunt ever flying out with Mike of Alaska Bush Sports. Besides 3 brothers from Michigan, all the people there were return customers while myself and my son were in camp. Happy valley also had great fishing. You wont go bad having Larry plan a hunt for you either.

    Terry

  9. #9
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Get the book Hunt Alaska now by Dennis W. Confer. This book will explain everything to you that you would want to know about caribou hunting. From how to set up camp to judging antlers.

    Fish and game has a list of air taxi you can get. Also when you speak to Air taxi ask them if they have a resident rate. There are allot of air taxi that will offer you a discount in price for being a resident.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  10. #10
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    Larry Bartlett has a book about caribou hunting that gives information about general caribou as well as by each herd. Good book. The key to success is more that picking what herd to hunt, its what air service you use. Some are great, others know where they are going to drop you off before you get there with out any input from you. Check references!

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk-

    Drop me a private message and let's talk about this. I'd be more than happy to assist.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  12. #12

    Default

    Depends on your budget and what kind of hunting you do. I know a lot of guys head west to hunt the Mulchatna herd. It can be pricey though. Usually you have to fly into Illiamna with Illiamna air taxi, then from there you have to book with a cub pilot to get out to the herd. Usually the herd hangs out west of the Mulchatna river and the New Stuyahok area. If you bowhunt, alot of guys, myself included take to the haul road to hunt bou. Others with ATVs prefer to hunt up by Chicken. I also have had pretty good success out in the Alaska Range on the South Fork of the Kuskokwim and Post Rivers. Not as many numbers of caribou out there, but there are some big bulls, and you can also hunt some other critters at the same time. Check with Barry at Denali Flying Service. He knows that country real good. His plane is in Willow.

  13. #13
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Default Caribou

    I would just give Larry Bartlett a call he has been at this a long time & has a real good sense of what is going on in whatever area you may wish to hunt in. I have used him to plan 3 hunts for me & although at this time I could most likely plan it all on my own I am using him again to plan a moose caribou type thing for me in 08. I dont mean to sound like a ***** kisser but the guy is the real deal !
    I cant comment on Lost Creek but Mike seems to be very helpfull on this site. Based on my research he has not been in the hunt planning buisness very long, poss a year or two at best? But most likely helping others along the way.
    Once again Larry is just really knowledgeable in what he does & I along with others will all tell you the same thing simply the best at what he does!

    happy hunting & let us all know how it turns out

  14. #14
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default make a call

    I have talked with Mike and Larry and both men know there business. I would suggest talking with both of them, see what they have to say and then make your choice. Everyone one is going to have their personnal preference for one reason or another but do your research. Both have books on the subject. Larry's is out and Mike's should be shipping this month.

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