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Thread: Help on a float Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Help on a float Hunt

    Hey guys. Fairly new to the forum. Have been doing a lot of reading on here and have found a lot of wisdom. I'm 22 years old and have lived in the Fairbanks area all my life. I have done most of my hunting via ATV use or on foot, I've done the five mile haul road thing and some other walk in sheep hunts.
    I have an uncle who wants to fulfill a life long dream of float hunting for caribou in Alaska. Problem is I have limited experience with float hunting, other than having rafted the upper Chena a couple times. I've picked up a couple books on the subject, Larry's book being one.
    I've been batting around the idea of doing a fly in drop off on the upper Ivashak and then floating back down to the Dalton for a take out.
    - I need info on a transporter to fly us in, I know Coyote Air is one, is there any others up there?
    - How long (estimated days) would it take to float? I know this depend on how far up we're dropped off. Will 6-7 days be long enough?
    - What kind of raft should we use?
    I'm not totally set of doing the Ivishak, but I've seen pictures of the area and it's so beautiful. I don't want to do the Kotz hunt, as it is probably a little out of the budget and not really the experience we're looking for.
    Budget wise we're willing to spend $2500-4000/person. Realizing that my uncle will have to spend a little more just to get here from Oregon and get meat back to Oregon. There will most likely be 4 of us on this trip. Three AK resident (myself, brother and dad) and one out of state (my uncle).

  2. #2
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default PM sent

    PM sent with info

  3. #3
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    Default Float Hunt

    Thanks for all the PMs guys. I'm off to a good start.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Several options for your float hunt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Humphrey View Post
    Hey guys. Fairly new to the forum. Have been doing a lot of reading on here and have found a lot of wisdom. I'm 22 years old and have lived in the Fairbanks area all my life. I have done most of my hunting via ATV use or on foot, I've done the five mile haul road thing and some other walk in sheep hunts.
    I have an uncle who wants to fulfill a life long dream of float hunting for caribou in Alaska. Problem is I have limited experience with float hunting, other than having rafted the upper Chena a couple times. I've picked up a couple books on the subject, Larry's book being one.
    I've been batting around the idea of doing a fly in drop off on the upper Ivashak and then floating back down to the Dalton for a take out.
    - I need info on a transporter to fly us in, I know Coyote Air is one, is there any others up there?
    - How long (estimated days) would it take to float? I know this depend on how far up we're dropped off. Will 6-7 days be long enough?
    - What kind of raft should we use?
    I'm not totally set of doing the Ivishak, but I've seen pictures of the area and it's so beautiful. I don't want to do the Kotz hunt, as it is probably a little out of the budget and not really the experience we're looking for.
    Budget wise we're willing to spend $2500-4000/person. Realizing that my uncle will have to spend a little more just to get here from Oregon and get meat back to Oregon. There will most likely be 4 of us on this trip. Three AK resident (myself, brother and dad) and one out of state (my uncle).
    Caleb,

    The Ivishak is a National Wild and Scenic River, and I would start by reading about it on the Wild and Scenic Rivers site. HERE'S A LINK to their writeup on the Ivishak.

    Several print resources discuss the Ivishak / Sagavanirktok rivers. Pick up copies of Karen Jettmar’s “The Alaska River Guide”, Mosby & Dapkus’ “Alaska Paddling Guide” and Limeres & Pedersen’s “Alaska Fishing” for additional reading. Note that all three of these resources appear to draw from the same source, the Alaska River Logs, which are available on this website. HERE’S THE LINK to the report on the Ivishak. Even so, it is worth reading the other resources for additional information. The first two books are out of print, but you can occasionally find them on Ebay or elsewhere. Jettmar's book is supposed to reprint this spring, and there are rumors that the Paddling Guide is being rewritten... At any rate, these three books, along with the Alaska River Logs, contain some errors concerning mileage, gradient, and such, simply because the tools used to measure them back in the 1970's were not as good as those being used today. I'm not saying that their data on the Ivishak is flawed at all, I'm saying that in general the info in the River Logs, and therefore the other resources that drew from them, should be double checked with digital mapping software or other tools.

    The Ivishak is a beautiful river, offering excellent char fishing, and good access to caribou. It does, however, offer some major difficulties that should be considered.

    The water level on the Ivishak constantly changes because much of the water comes from runoff / rainfall. In low water years, many areas will require that you drag your boats through extremely shallow water. The river is rated Class I-II, but is very swift and braided in some places. It also sees a fair amount of jet boat / airboat traffic if there’s enough water. It will take you well over a week just to float it; add more time to hunt. In short, I don’t think this is going to be a good “first float hunt” for you, based on your experience level, time constraints, and the fact that this may be the only float hunt some of your group ever does. Your budget is sufficient to allow many other options.

    Drop me a PM and let’s talk about this trip. You have several better options, but you need to move quickly if you are going to get your air charter booked for 2008.

    Best 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

  5. #5
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    Default float hunt

    contact Larry Bartlett in Fbks. he runs an out fit called Pristine Ventures.he has written a few books on float hunting in Alaska,he also outfits.....ron

  6. #6
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Spot on Mike

    Mike's information is spot on concerning this post.

    Great Reference information concerning the books suggested as well as the Link for rivers.

    Mike's book is a better refernce guide to float hunting in my opinion compared to Larry's however it is still worth the read if your attempting to gain knowledge.

    Respectfully

    Blue Moose

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up WACH float hunting

    Caleb:

    If you’re interested in hunting the Western Arctic Caribou Herd out of Kotzebue drop me a line at northwestalaska@yahoo.com. I can assist you in putting together a great caribou float hunt and we can stay well with in your budget. WACH offers the best Caribou hunting in the state and I offer the best equipment rental along with assistance in choosing a time frame, river and pilot, a total package! My float clients were 100% in 2007, give me a call if I can be of assistance!


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

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