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Thread: Haul Rd, in Jan or Feb?

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default Haul Rd, in Jan or Feb?

    Anyone done it? anyone do it twice? trying to see if it'd be worth the drive, don't even know where the caribou are that time of year, any insight would be great.
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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs down No way, guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Anyone done it? anyone do it twice? trying to see if it'd be worth the drive, don't even know where the caribou are that time of year, any insight would be great.

    No sunrise at all in January, Brwnbr. And dangerously bitter temps. with -50* to -100* windchills common. Feb. not much better, sometimes worse!

    That's a survival mission, not a hunt!



    Happy New Year!

    Framk

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    thanks frank, was mostly curious if there were any caribou around that time of year, case we get a weird break of weather.
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    Member n0g0d's Avatar
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    Default February

    I've hunted the Toolik lake area the last week of Feb. We harvested two caribou for four hunters and had a great time. We camped for three nights in a double wall tent with a couple of propane heaters. Coldest temp. was probably about 30 below with only one day of severe wind. I know the weather could have been alot worse. The crusty snow and lack of cover makes for some tough stalking. We were the only hunters around and there were caribou everywhere.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    BRWNBR- I have read plenty of your posts and always thought you hunt just a little harder than most then I see this thread...Jan-Feb haul road hunt?? Those slope workers get paid that much for a REASON! I thought I was pushing it just a bit doing a 6 day hunt up the rex trail! If you do it tell us what gear you used and bring back some pics! I am leaving on my 20 A hunt day after tomorrow!

  6. #6

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    With what fuel cost right now (especially in Coldfoot), Jake I'd just go to the grocery store and buy some Prime Rib. Its a meat hunt (if there are a few stragglers around) and it will cost several hundered dollars in gas to go up and back and thats just speaking from a Fairbanks take off not Anch. Its beautiful country but damm if aint expensive to drive up there right now. Gas and Diesel have to be close to or over $4 a gallon right now and with having to run the truck so much to keep it from freezing, sounds veddy spendy to me. There is generally stragglers around through winter though not often in the numbers that they can be in Sept-Nov. Be safe if you go.

  7. #7

    Default Haul road

    The bou' are plentiful right now up and down the road by Toolik. Temps are around 0 give or take 10 degrees. Definately dark around here right now. It was awsome the other night when it was clear and the moon was out. If you want an adventure be sure to bring a generator (to warm your truck), Acrtic oven (no brainer), and a lot of extra gas so you wont have to buy it up here.

    H

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    Thumbs up Haul Rd Caribou in Jan - Feb.

    BrownBear....
    East of the Haul Rd., in the area of Galbaith & Toolik, the slopes are windswept, usually providing easy browsing for caribou. Seems that there is always a semi-resident band that can be found there. I've spent a good deal of time there in Feb - April, and have always enjoyed it. And always come home with meat. If you have the option, take a friend with a dogteam....8 dogs is the right number. (Too many can be a threat to the driver...the voice of experience.) It's a beautifully Alaskan way to enjoy a classic hunt. And a trained team can make getting your legal two caribou back to your truck actually fun, and you don't have to camp by the road. Personally, I prefer to go up there in March or very early April. If you try to keep to the ridge tops, the traveling should be easy. I've always had a great time. And bull caribou harvested in the spring is wonderful table fare.

    I've never taken a generator and never had trouble starting my truck....use the winter weight Mobil One synthetic oil in a gasoline engine in a sound truck with dual batteries. Diesel rigs may need a generator.

    If you take an Arctic Oven, remember there is no firewood, unless you haul it in. I use large, high quality mountaineering dome tents and heat them with propane lanterns and they get plenty warm...approx. 50+ degrees. A truck mounted camper also works well.

    It's a great adventure. You'll enjoy it.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Rick, a late march/early april dog team hunt sounds interesting. but for now (january) it's seems nuts. Hunt by flashlight?!?
    January has NO sunrise and Feb 1st has a bit over 4 hours. A Jan-Feb trip sounds like total misery.
    I know Brownbr's a tough guy or I'd say it's downright dangerous.

    Things gets better by March 1st with about 8-9 hours of daylight.

    Cub is right, too. The gas will kill ya....

    Best of luck, brave souls....I'm throwing another log on the warm fire.

  10. #10

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    I am cringing just thinking about it Frank. I killed a bou up their one winter at -30 degrees plus buku wind and when I drew my bow back it made sounds I had never heard before. I was sure the bow was gonna explode when I released the arrow.The bou was broadside facing left at 40 yards and the wind was blowing so hard I aimed just in front of the bou's throat, the wind hooked the arrow just perfect right behind the shoulder. Bou went about 60 yards and crashed. I never shut the truck off for the few days I was up there and the only time my hands were warm whilst I was out of the truck was when I opened that caribou up, within 30 seconds everything was cold again. That darn wind up there! I am cringing just thinking about it. Seriously though it takes a lot of fuel to go up there and hunt in the winter time and running the truck as much as we do you burn buku fuel. When I had the diesel we went to bed with about 5 above temps and awoke to -28 (according to the overhead temp gauge in the dodge) I cringed as I tried to turn the old Cummins over, she started but she didn't want to and I took a few years off the starter but it was a magical sound when she stabilized and started to run right. Back in the camper I went! Good luck Jake, we dont need to tell you to be prepared for anything. Dont know what the condition is in the pass but a set of chains can sure be handy too, when you see all the truckers chaining up on Chandalar Shelf thats a good hint!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    was just looking for insight from guys who've been there, i think i've gotten that, thanks everyone. i'm not looking to make the paper just looking for something to do, thinkin' i'll look to an archery reg moose hunt instead...lol
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If I had a bow and the coresponding cert I would be up by healy trying to skewer one instead of running the sled in 40 miles camping for 6 freezing days chasing them around with my rifle.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    If I had a bow and the coresponding cert I would be up by healy trying to skewer one instead of running the sled in 40 miles camping for 6 freezing days chasing them around with my rifle.
    Sounds like the next new toy there.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Sounds like the next new toy there.
    You got that right! the wife just brought up taking up archery out of the blue the other day Funny I don't think I have ever discussed it with her before. I hope she will like it as much as she enjoys ripping off rounds with my red hawk.

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    Default

    BRWNBR, here is a related topic. You may have seen it but here's the link.

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    sounds cold, dark and dangerous. makes me wonder how I survived 13 years of chasing them boo around in the brooks for food in every month of every year.
    oh ya now I remember, all it took was the right gear, survival skills, the right frame of mind, and like minded partners.

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    did it once in mid april, lots of daylight but still blizzards and bitter cold. ended up sleeping in cab of truck with engine running. as i recall it was
    -20 @ night then. but tolerable most days. not easy trip but still we had a blast. saw largest flock of ptarmigan i have ever seen or heard of. hunted then 4 days........never killed one from that flock
    always wanted to hunt caribou by moon light thou.
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  18. #18

    Default Start of March

    Earliest I've ever been was first week of March. Wouldn't do it again. Hiked in the 5 around Toolik/Galbraith and spent 5 days. Temps at night were -40 to -50F except last night it warmed up to -30F. Day time temps -10 to -30F at warmest. Luckly not a lot of wind. About 9 hours daylight. Arctic oven, generator for Truck (had to warm the generator in the Arctic oven to get it started). Caribou were there and we had luck but I still wouldn't go that early again. April is awesome.

    Luke

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Forgot one item...

    Quote Originally Posted by dws View Post
    sounds cold, dark and dangerous. makes me wonder how I survived 13 years of chasing them boo around in the brooks for food in every month of every year.
    oh ya now I remember, all it took was the right gear, survival skills, the right frame of mind, and like minded partners.


    Definitely need some good duct tape to get that flashlight to stick to the bow.
    <grin>

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