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Thread: Floating the Kongakut

  1. #1
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    Default Floating the Kongakut

    A friend from Anchorage and I are looking at a self-guided float hunt on the Kongakut River through ANWR in late August. We are looking for information or Guidebooks on floating the river, as well as info from people with first-hand experience of the river. Your feedback and advice would be appreciated. Also, if you have experience with flying services that go into the area, I would appreciate leads on that aspect as well. We are looking at using a 16-foot self-bailing conventional boat.

    Dave

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some info-

    Quote Originally Posted by rnnhntr View Post
    A friend from Anchorage and I are looking at a self-guided float hunt on the Kongakut River through ANWR in late August. We are looking for information or Guidebooks on floating the river, as well as info from people with first-hand experience of the river. Your feedback and advice would be appreciated. Also, if you have experience with flying services that go into the area, I would appreciate leads on that aspect as well. We are looking at using a 16-foot self-bailing conventional boat.

    Dave
    Dave,

    Not a lot in print on the Kongakut. In fact, I think mine is the only book that discusses it. I would do a search online; there are a lot of ecotour companies floating it these days. The river has been beaten to death by folks rushing to "get there before the oil companies destroy it", a funny reality considering the quantity of fossil fuels used in transporting them to that location, and the quantity of human waste left behind. I would expect some pressure there, so if you are looking to escape the crowds, you might look elsewhere.

    Drop me a PM and let's talk about some options. I would be happy to talk with you.

    Regards,

    -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

  3. #3
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    Default

    A good friend and his wife floated it last Aug. Lots of groups hunting and very few legal rams. They flew in and out with Wrights Air Service out of Fbks.

  4. #4
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    Default Kongakut float

    Dave-

    I floated the river in August of 2003 during the opening of the sheep season. There were 4 of us in a 14ft raft, two couples. We saw lots of sheep along the lower reaches of the River, but they all end at Whale Mountain as from there on out the mountains become hills. All of the sheep we saw along the main river were ewes and lambs and young rams. We didn't get a sheep, but we had terrible fog and rain during the time we had to hunt, and couldn't get where we really wanted to go.

    We didn't see any other hunters along the way, but there were some eco tour groups down at Caribou Pass- the normal pull out for the trip. Didn't see any of them along the way, but they must have passed us while we were up hiking valleys.

    My recommendation would be to hunt one of the valleys below the rapids to hike up and hunt. The sheep population seems to really increase once you are below this point, and I think you just need to hike up those drainages either east or west of the main north flowing river.

    I also agree with Mike that the river is getting a lot of use due to people wanting to get there before possible oil development. It is pretty ironic when you consider the fuel that is used to get there!

    Also, as far as companies that fly into Drain Creek on the Kongakut- Wright Air uses a Heliocourier, Yukon Air uses a 185, Coyote Air uses a Beaver, and Walt Audi in Kaktovik probably flies into there as well. I have flown in the area with both Yukon Air and Coyote Air and had great trips with them both!

    I did make a dvd of the trip if you are interested.

    Doug

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nakwasina View Post
    Dave-

    I floated the river in August of 2003 during the opening of the sheep season. There were 4 of us in a 14ft raft, two couples. We saw lots of sheep along the lower reaches of the River, but they all end at Whale Mountain as from there on out the mountains become hills. All of the sheep we saw along the main river were ewes and lambs and young rams. We didn't get a sheep, but we had terrible fog and rain during the time we had to hunt, and couldn't get where we really wanted to go.

    We didn't see any other hunters along the way, but there were some eco tour groups down at Caribou Pass- the normal pull out for the trip. Didn't see any of them along the way, but they must have passed us while we were up hiking valleys.

    My recommendation would be to hunt one of the valleys below the rapids to hike up and hunt. The sheep population seems to really increase once you are below this point, and I think you just need to hike up those drainages either east or west of the main north flowing river.

    I also agree with Mike that the river is getting a lot of use due to people wanting to get there before possible oil development. It is pretty ironic when you consider the fuel that is used to get there!

    Also, as far as companies that fly into Drain Creek on the Kongakut- Wright Air uses a Heliocourier, Yukon Air uses a 185, Coyote Air uses a Beaver, and Walt Audi in Kaktovik probably flies into there as well. I have flown in the area with both Yukon Air and Coyote Air and had great trips with them both!

    I did make a dvd of the trip if you are interested.

    Doug
    Sent you a PM
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  6. #6
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    Default Kongakut

    Also might want to look up Art Wolf he did a special on floating the Kongakut river on Alaska one,I think his web site is www.travelstotheedge.com or his contact # for videos is 888-973-0011
    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Default Might want to Talk to Jim as well

    http://www.arctictreksadventures.com/

    Jim Campbell & Carol Kasza
    Arctic Treks
    Box 73452, Fairbanks, Alaska 99707
    Phone: (907) 455-6502 Fax: (907) 455-6522

    Had a long talk with him last week! Well worth the effort to contact him as well concerning usage and options :-)

    Best of luck with your adventure

    Blue Moose

  8. #8

    Default

    I would recommend picking up a copy of Mike's book. I stopped by Mike's place on Saturday and picked one up. Outstanding book. I am about 1/2 way through it now and I will tell you that Mike does extremely well to capture all aspects of AK float hunting. This book will definately give you the who, what, when, where and why to float hunting AK. The book is a great read for both the novice and the most expirenced float hunter.

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