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Thread: Stalk or let 'em come to you?

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    Member GeorgeB7979's Avatar
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    Default Stalk or let 'em come to you?

    I was just trying to get some info on what the preferred methods were for Bowhunting Haul Rd. Wait for them to come to you or trying to stalk them? I know theres not much cover and they are usually pretty spooked anywhere near the Road, what are your thoughts on maybe using a sillhouete or blind up there? Thanks for any and all help you can give

    George

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I've only done that hunt once, so I am by no means an expert. In my experience, though, it seemed best to let them come to you. The problem with this is that they rarely travel in a straight line, especially when they get near the road, but trying to stalk them is extremely difficult in most places up there. I stalked numerous caribou up there, and while I was often able to get within 40 yards, the problem was being able to draw back. Stalking on my belly was the only option most of the time, but then I had to sit up and draw (with predictable results).

    Incidentally, one thing that'll make it easier is walking a mile off the road. The animals will be much more calm and easier to stalk. It sure is tempting to just cruise the road, but we did better when we just picked a spot and worked it from a distance off the road. Good luck!

    -Brian

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    A caribou sillouette sounds really interesting.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default Silhouette

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper
    A caribou sillouette sounds really interesting.
    I watched a couple of guys haul a full size mock-up caribou last year. Seemed to be a good idea in theory, although they ended up getting busted - from my vantage point it was hard to determine if the silhouette was the cause or that they stepped from behind the 'cover.'
    I might try something this year to see if it has any effect.

  5. #5

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    Do like B_M says, get a mile off the road and away from traffic, you will have a lot of competition near the road and most of them have no problem moving in on a caribou you are already stalking. I have found that finding little valleys or hills to hide behind help a lot, we got within 50 yards of a giant bull one time but my partner underestimated the distance and shot under his belly. Point is this, you can get close enough with the right amount of patience though it isn't easy.

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    Default 'bou suit

    okay folks, I know this is a little whacky, but I have a plan. I will be up there in sept hunting bear and bou. As a former taxidermist, I rounded up the head off of an old mount and have a set of velvet cow horns in it. I then put a hardhat harness inside the head with a chinstrap. And I have a brown felt 'cape' that I've painted in appropriate lighter colors. I've always tried to think outside the box. We've all seen the old paintings of native americans using hides to do this same thing. I don't think it'll work out in the wide open, but may allow that last 10 yards to get covered. Who knows. At worst, I'll get shot, at best, I'll have one heck of a story. And no, I won't wear it around a bear!!!
    and by the way, in my experience sitting on trails WITH GOOD COVER is far more effective than stalking out in the flats. I've had a ton of bulls within range up there, but if they see you draw, they're gone. Get a good hiding spot, and when you see antlers poking over the cover, draw. And hope they keep coming.....

  7. #7
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I'll stalk or let them come to me. I love the siloute. Most of the time I do 50/50. Stalk to a certain point and the let them come to me.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    I have done that hunt and as you have noted, the caribou are pretty spooked at the road and going under the pipeline. I did notice, over the three days of our hunt, that the caribou pretty much crossed the road within about 35 yards of where ever the first herd of the day crossed. It was pretty apparent in the snow (end of Sept). After a frustrating two days trying to use the road and pipeline as cover and getting busted by the lead cows, I notriced where they were crossing in the morning. I built a snow fort as a blind and had a herd go by on both sides of me. Took a small bull but if I had been able to see out the front and had patience, there were some real wall hangers right behind the one I took. Ah, for lost oppurtunities!

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    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Default That does sound a bit crazy.

    Wow salmo that sounds crazy and pretty cool. I would think it would work pretty well. I know that back home in New Mexico people were taking antelope rear end silhouettes and attaching them to there bows. From the videos I've seen it worked pretty good and I've thought of trying the same thing up north just haven't done it yet. I think we would all love a pic of this bou suit you've made up. Sure hope ya don't get shot trying it though. Good luck!

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    Member Lex's Avatar
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    Stalk..I hate tree stands !

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lex
    Stalk..I hate tree stands !
    ummm ??? me too?

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    Default bou' business

    Wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it but...

    I'll set the stage - 3 hunters
    (HILLBILLY, STAR PAKR and CERTIFIED KNOW IT ALLl

    It was mid August, somewhere on a river north of the Arctic Circle.

    While were not on the Haul Rd but I think this is worth trying no matter where you hunt.

    We found a nice bull along a gravel bar on the river. There was no hidden approach or stalk that would have hidden us. The bull was about 500 yards away in plain view. We waited for the bull to settle down and eventually it bedded. Star Pakr suggests moving further down river and trying to approach from behind. Certified Know it all says there’s no way for an approach… Hillbilly gets a sly smile and says, “I’ve always wanted to try this….” He reaches over and picks up the “still in velvet" rack from the 'bou I had harvested. He hoisted them above his head and started leading Certified know it all straight for the bedded bou. STAR PAKR stayed with the boat watching Hillbilly bob and weave like a feeding bou’ until he got with in 75 yards of the big bull.

    After Certified Know it all, missed a gimme shot Hillbilly drops the nice bou’….

    On the same trip we used similar techniques to close distance time and time again..

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag
    Wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it but...

    I'll set the stage - 3 hunters
    (HILLBILLY, STAR PAKR and CERTIFIED KNOW IT ALLl

    It was mid August, somewhere on a river north of the Arctic Circle.

    While were not on the Haul Rd but I think this is worth trying no matter where you hunt.

    We found a nice bull along a gravel bar on the river. There was no hidden approach or stalk that would have hidden us. The bull was about 500 yards away in plain view. We waited for the bull to settle down and eventually it bedded. Star Pakr suggests moving further down river and trying to approach from behind. Certified Know it all says there’s no way for an approach… Hillbilly gets a sly smile and says, “I’ve always wanted to try this….” He reaches over and picks up the “still in velvet" rack from the 'bou I had harvested. He hoisted them above his head and started leading Certified know it all straight for the bedded bou. STAR PAKR stayed with the boat watching Hillbilly bob and weave like a feeding bou’ until he got with in 75 yards of the big bull.

    After Certified Know it all, missed a gimme shot Hillbilly drops the nice bou’….

    On the same trip we used similar techniques to close distance time and time again..

    In the book "Caribou Hunting in Alaska" the author reccomends this technique to close the distance out on the Haul Rd.

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    Default Hmmmmm

    I think many people dont understand caribou. Unless caribou have been shot at a lot with rifles they will let you walk right up to 70-80 yards away. Thats right, no racks/silouettes/make up...etc... I videoed it over and over again. A biologist friend of mine said this was actually quite normal behavior. He said the caribous natural predators are given this same buffer zone. As long as they stay this distance away, the caribou are confident they can out run their adversary. Sounds strange but its true. I did it to prove my point at least 10 times last year.

    But to answer your question. Walk away from the road like everyone said. Look for good terrain features and use em to get close or plan an ambush.

    Good luck....I'll be there Aug and Oct.

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    Default Haul Road

    Stalk the ones that arent heading towards the road and let the ones that are heading towards the road come to you. Have killed a lot of bulls off of that road with a bow and the technique works very well. For example If the bou are walking parrallel to the Sag then you go further down the road, hike down to the Sag and ambush them as needed. If a band is heading towards the road just get on the other side of the road move up and down along the crown as neccessary by watching the tops of their racks then they cant see you and make sure your rig is not in the way in the area they plan on crossing at. So many guys think that the Caribou are stupid and along the road system they are not! They get to much pressure to allow you to get anywhere near bow range of them. Yes the small bou can be stupid and allow you to get within 70-80 yards of them but the mature bulls are going to require that you hunt them. Just dont let them see you or smell you and they are easy to kill. I watch guys jump out of their trucks and run out into the Tundra on the same side of the road that the caribou are on and run out and lay down in the Tundra like the Caribou are going to forget that they are there. These things get aggressively hunted by griz and wolves they arent that stupid. Stay out of their sight and their noses and your golden.

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    AlaskaCub, you couldn't have said it better.

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    Member GeorgeB7979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Bowhunter
    I think many people dont understand caribou. Unless caribou have been shot at a lot with rifles they will let you walk right up to 70-80 yards away. Thats right, no racks/silouettes/make up...etc... I videoed it over and over again. A biologist friend of mine said this was actually quite normal behavior. He said the caribous natural predators are given this same buffer zone. As long as they stay this distance away, the caribou are confident they can out run their adversary. Sounds strange but its true. I did it to prove my point at least 10 times last year.

    But to answer your question. Walk away from the road like everyone said. Look for good terrain features and use em to get close or plan an ambush.

    Good luck....I'll be there Aug and Oct.
    When I was there last year we were lucky to see 6 or 7 caribou a day, and that was driving all the way from toolik to deadhorse. The animals were hunted so hard, and were so skittish you couldn't get within 150 yards walking upright. I tried since several other people told me about the "70" yard rule. At one point I actually saw three other trucks go by and unload to "hunt" a group of three nice bulls I had been watching. Seeing 9 guys run across the tundra and then try to stalk them with the bulls watching them the whole time was humorous to say the least, needless to say the bulls threw their antlers back and took off. Hopefully this year I'll be there when the caribou are and they wont all be so pressured. Either way I'm definatly hiking to get away from the road and majority of hunters. Thanks much to everyone who replied, the info will be put to good use.

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    Talking Well

    Good luck on your trip. I just must be crazy. Made sure I was down wind and walked slowly towards them. Didnt run just casually walked out. Clicked the range finder for curiousity. Its sad but expect to see many people taking these wild long shots. I saw 2 monsters that guys walked right up to. The one scored 358 P+Y. I was hunting with him, and he has the mount to prove it. I guess he was just stupid. Or small...lol. The point of stalk the ones away from the road is RIGHT ON! If they look like they are walking towards the road let em come to you. The small ones are extra dumb, but once again it depends on when you go and how much they were hunted. Last year I shot a real nice one Jul 31 and my buddy took his P+Younger Aug 4th. Another thing nobody mentioned was camo. I like using the REALLY open patterns. They seem to work good up there. You see a lot of guys walking around with real dark patterns, and from a distance they look pure black. For me it seemed an open pattern and wind in my favor allowed me to walk upright towards them.

    Swing by my camp Aug 8th. We should have at least a few down...LOL Hope to see ya up there. Good luck.

  19. #19

    Default Caribou decoys

    I searched goggle for caribou decoys. I searched 20 pages. I checked the web pages for the main companies but no dice. It would probably work BUT.
    The best methods are in the replies that have already been stated. Nothing wrong with new ideas though. Dave

  20. #20
    Member AK Trout's Avatar
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    To hunt the haul road do you just need a regular caribou harvest tag?

    "I Envy Him And Him Only, That Catches More Fish Than I Do" Izaac Walton 1653
    The question of hunting is not a matter of life or death... it's more important than that

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