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Thread: Steese Highway Success

  1. #1
    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Default Steese Highway Success

    I would be interested to know if many people had luck on the Steese this weekend My friends and I were on a ridge about three miles off the highway from 12 mile summit at about 8 a.m. We were amazed at the stream of traffic coming up the road. We were shortly joined by about 40 hunters, and no caribou. We moved to another ridge and put a successful stalk on about 20 animals getting 2 small bulls and two cows . We saw about 6 other animals taken as we were coming out. In the pull off while we were loading at about 3 p.m. we didn't see any on trucks that were headed back to town.

  2. #2
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    We didn't see any 'bou. And 99% of the trucks/trailers that we saw headed back empty-handed. Me thinks the season will re-open ....I doubt the quota was anywhere near being met this weekend. I'm not turning my harvest report until late in the week so I can see what the outcome was. 3-days to turn it in if you got one, 15 days if you didn't ...I can wait. Hopefully next weekend will open up. If not, then not.

    Brian

  3. #3
    Member RCBOWHUNTER's Avatar
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    Default Success

    I did not hunt due to already taking 2 bou earlier in the year, but went with 4 other guys yesterday who had tags. Despite having to turn around about mile 56 due to a flat tire on the trailer and "NO SPARE" we finally made it out there. We took 3 caribou and the 4th guy missed 3 times . We saw probably 20-25 other people dragging caribou behind their snomachines, so I would say that the quota will be met? There were caribou everywhere and even more hunters it seemed. Many times it seemed dangerous as we witnessed from a distance people shooting at caribou with hunters just beyond their line of site.

    I am sure more people will comment on their success and the pure craziness of the entire hunt. Quite an experience, but not one I am likely to repeat. Just too many people.......

  4. #4
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Yeah... WAY to many people. I estimated 100-150 hunters along the ridge I hunted. Shots non-stop all day and dead caribou everywhere. I think the only people I saw that didn't have caribou were a dozen four wheelers that couldn't get off the trail. I'm sure the quota was nearly met just on that one trail alone. I'll think twice before I do that hunt again. Crazy...

    On the positive side, both my wife and a buddies 13 yr old managed to cleanly harvest their first caribou.

    Isaac

  5. #5
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    Default too many people

    WAY too many people. More than I have ever seen up there. Many doing some crazy things. Not what I consider an enjoyable time out in the field when you're concerned about someone shooting in your direction with a high-powered rifle. For sure some got their caribou and its great to see 'bou out there. Grats to those who went and were successful but I'd rather chew glass than run that gauntlet again. Personally, I'd rather deal with drawing permits and fewer people in an area. Combo of a weekend opening plus advance notice of only a 2-day opener, and all the press coverage resulted in hundreds of people converging on the access points beginning days ahead.

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    Default caribou

    We hunted behind circle hot springs and there was a couple taken but other than that the mountains were void of caribou.

  7. #7
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Successful hunt, but as said already it was a zoo. Wish there was more snow and less people!

    I personally had four shots (two different times) that were taken in my direction that all missed their targets. I was close to crawling under my machine.

    I brought a big orange tarp to lay out and forgot to do it...definitely should have. After those shots were taken I loaded up and moved to a more visible spot to finish dressing my bou out. No problems after that.

    Lots of bou taken and I saw only a handful of empty sleds.

    Way too many people that need some range time and/or a range finder - my buddy watched a group of two guys both pop off full magazines and then head them shout "RELOAD!" Scary stuff.

    Glad I went - glad I didn't get shot

  8. #8
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Too many people...

    Wasn't quite what I expected... my fault. It was nice to be out with my huntin buddy and get away, but jeesh I think we would have seen less people if we would have hunted on Airport Way in Fairbanks. One thing that kept irking us was the people who WOULD NOT get over to their side of the road and would force us about into the darn ditch. What is wrong with you people, and you know who you are because we got dirty looks from the people doing it..????? I just don't understand. Hunters should be civil to eachother. That wasn't happening too much up there to me this weekend.

  9. #9
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Wow

    Those are some crazy stories, guys.

    Glad everybody (presumably) made it out safely...That's a hunt I'd rethink too...

  10. #10

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    I was at a local sporting goods store friday buying some powder for reloading and had to wait to be helped, the guy in front of me once greeted by the guy behind the counter said to him quote on quote " I need 30-06 ammo", the guy behind counter said what kind? The guy responds saying "the Caribou killing kind" . Any particular weight or brand the sales guy asks, he says " the kind that goes boom and kills caribou". I seriously started laughing and the guy turns around and just smiles at me. He then proceeded to ask him for a caribou tag for the Steese Highway herd in which the sales guy explains to him that its a registration hunt .It amazes me how many people go hunting that are totally out of touch with the sport of hunting! Heres a guy, doesn't even know what herd of Caribou he's hunting, doesn't know where to get his tags, doesn't even have a specific weight grain and type of ammo that he knows his gun shoots somewhat "Accurately" but he's got a sled on a trailer and a gun in the back seat and now he's got ammo and he's heading north. Surely theres some beer somehwere in the truck too. Anyone who went out on the steese this weekend shoulda known well in advance of what it was gonna be like, it doesn't change much from year to year except for the day it opens and how close or far the bou are from the road.

  11. #11
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Our group was one of those that came back empty handed. We weren't planning on going up this weekend b/c I knew it was going to be a mad house, but with the 2 day season it kinda forced our hand. We had 4 wheelers, expecting the snow to be like in fairbanks, very little. Couldn't get off the trail with the wheelers so we just enjoyed the riding. First time up and learned alot. Definately the craziest hunting I have ever witnessed. Next time I am bringing a .22 for ptarmigan.

    out

  12. #12
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidty_dog View Post
    One thing that kept irking us was the people who WOULD NOT get over to their side of the road and would force us about into the darn ditch. What is wrong with you people, and you know who you are because we got dirty looks from the people doing it..????? I just don't understand. Hunters should be civil to eachother. That wasn't happening too much up there to me this weekend.
    No joke. My buddies and I were verging on road rage after we watched a truck with a trailer forced into the ditch by someone else driving down the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING HIGHWAY! I observed at least 20 vehicles that could not stay in their own lane.

    The bou were supposed to be on the road, so me and two friends went without snowmachines because we figured we'd enjoy the walk. Well it turns out that "on the road" actually meant "5 miles from the road." Needless to say, we didn't collect any animals. Oh well, learning experience I guess. I'd be hard pressed to do that hunt again, especially with the bumper to bumper traffic.

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    I did not go because I knew what it would be like. I lost my taste for that kind of hunting years ago, long before it got this crowded. I got better things to do. Like making holes in paper targets at 400 and 500 yards.

  14. #14
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    Default Mad House

    Have to agree with everyone else that it was a mad house up there this weekend. We also took ATV's hoping the trails were passable, we really didnt have to much of a problem driving the trails but had my buddy's ATV blow something out that hindered him from pulling his meat wagon and getting up the hills so we decided to turn back from about 10 miles out from the miller house site trails. We did see some caribou but snowmachiners were all over them. There must have been over 100 machines out those ridge lines chasing the bou around. I have hunted out there for about 6 years now and have never seen it that bad but if you take everything into consideration ie. Opening day is a Saturday, a 2 day season, great weather, The caribou on the slope werent really there for most to get this year it was bound to be a mad house. I am following in Graybeards footsteps and dont think Ill make that hunt again unless things change. Things are just to out of control with people shooting everywhere for me. I think ADF&G should seriously think about making it a drawing hunt but thtas just my opinion. All said and done we all had a good time getting out and came back safe and thats all that matters. Congrats to the ones who beat the rush and got there first.

  15. #15
    Member wolfkiller's Avatar
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    Default sun

    Sunday was nice up behind the hotsprings. 90% of the people were gone due to the lack of boo. We rode up and got 1 bull first thing in the morning.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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  16. #16
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Behind the Hotsprings

    Lots of people behind the Hot Springs on Saturday, just had the day to hunt saw several come out but most folks behind the Hotsprings were not doing to well. Seemed that on the way out there was more Caribou about 10 miles the circle side of Eagle Summit, lots of vehicles were parked in all areas. Had fun either way and took my 12 year old son who is wanting to go back out again.

  17. #17

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    Let me share my little story about this weekends hunt. I have been trying for a few years now to get my girlfriend interested in big game hunting. Not only was it a chore due to her not liking to camp in the cold, but she is still easing into killing stuff. I finally talk her into coming with me on this hunt, because I figured it would be an easier hunt, with a higher success rate. I could not have set myself up to ruin her of hunting more.
    Not only were the people very rude and inconsiderate on the road, the attitude in the field was worse. It was a marathon down the trail and up the ridges that we decided to take a look at. We had a 4-wheeler, and was one of the "empty sleds" at the end of the day.
    At one point we spotted a group of 12 'bou, and proceeded to walk along the ridge to get set up for a shot. As we got into position, and she was ready to fire, some yahoo on a sled burned through the whole ****ed group scattering them all over. To make it worse 6 other sleds proceeded to tear up the hillside and start to fire at them. And guess who was behind the 'bou? We were all in black, and had blaze orange with reflective tape over our parka's. We were less than 200 yards behind the animals, and after the second round screamed by our position, I was done with he whole outing.
    I would like to thank all of the inconsiderate, selfish people that ruined what could of been a very decent weekend for alot of people. I know we were not the only ones fired at, or circled by the Alaskan Sled Vultures.

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Sounds like maybe this hunt needs to go to a draw. Almost 99% of the time I prefer registration or harvest tags hunts to drawings, but in this case...sheesh, something needs to be done to reign in the madness.

  19. #19
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    Default lots of people

    me and a buddy just got back from the steese. We went in miller house/crossing. There were lots of people saterday it was crazy, hunters chasing caribou down with snowmachines, definately a crazy hunt.
    we found a valley with no hunters and 3 of us got our bou's, seen about 30 animals. mine was a small bull that someone clipped in the front neck region, my buddy and his son got a cow and a small bull.
    i seen 1 bull confiscated by fish and game (anyone hear why)?
    The temp's sunday were cold with the wind blowing, so cold in fact that after i shot mine my hands were so cold that when i notched my tag I almost cut out the 1st and the 2nd of dec. i had just about 1/4 of the notch left where the number 1 was. Must commend fish and game. the troppers up there were doing an outstanding job with the mad house they were dealing with.
    I think the number shot will far exceed the quota

  20. #20
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Sounds like maybe this hunt needs to go to a draw. Almost 99% of the time I prefer registration or harvest tags hunts to drawings, but in this case...sheesh, something needs to be done to reign in the madness.

    But I thought one of the reasons for the predator control program in the 40 mile country was to produce more caribou so more people could hunt?

    In all seriousness I don't see a draw solving this problem. The problem is a bunch hunters who do not practice good firearms safety and ethics all stacked on top of one another. Since everyone know where the caribou are those conditions won't change with a drawing hunt. The same hunter behavior happens with Delta bison although to a lesser degree.

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