Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Best chance for Caribou from Fairbanks or Kenai

  1. #1

    Default Best chance for Caribou from Fairbanks or Kenai

    I'm planning a hunt with (2) other hunters coming out of Michigan. We want to find a transporter for an unguided hunt. We can start in Fairbanks or the Kenai to pick up a "reasonably priced Transporter" to a drop off point to hunt.

    Not 100% interested in record bulls as much as wanting to have a good chance to see enough animals to make a decision. We want to bring the meat back, and a nice rack if possible. Here are my questions:

    1. Would it be a shorter flight to get into good bou numbers from Fairbanks compared to Mulchatna area out of the Kenai? I know a year can change things, but where would be a good area to look at for a good hunt?

    2. If we fly into Bettles for example, do they have somewhere to keep meat cool while we wait for a flight back to Fairbanks? I'm saying this because I'm not sure we will be able to have a transporter take us to Bettles from Fairbanks and may have to take a commercial flight instead with our dates already set.

    3. Do the transporters have a system to keep in touch somehow so they know if you have an emergency or need meat picked up?

    Thanks for your advice, I appreciate your replies.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ellwood City, Pa
    Posts
    39

    Default satelite phone

    Sorry I can't help you with much but you should be able to rent a satelite phone. This way you can get in contact with your transporter. I am also looking into a hunt next year and we are hoping to rent a phone for emergency. If you do a search you can find several places renting them and they should work fine there. I'm sure you will get a lot of good replies to your other questions from the good people at this site. Good luck.
    Todd

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    If you are talking about using a transporter etc then why look at either Kenai (this one baffles me) or Fairbanks? Why not go and hunt the WACH out of Kotzebue? My recomendation is to either pm northwestalska or check his website below.

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

  4. #4
    Member moose-head's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    @ Seminary, Dubuque Ia
    Posts
    839

    Default

    For what it's worth I've heard that the Mulchatna herd caribou are not as abundant as in years past.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Default Mulchatna???

    No North.
    After a decade of decline, the mulchatna herd crashed in 2003 and 2004.
    Those that have advised you to hunt to the north, units 23 and 26, are giving you accurate information.
    Call any unit 17 guide service, and/or any air transporter out in Dillingham and they will confirm that the mulchatna herd is less than a shadow of itself during the glory years.
    Call any Anch area taxidermist and ask how many 'bou used to come into their studio from the mulchatna herd in those glory years, versus now.
    No North.

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

  6. #6
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorville
    Posts
    597

    Default Further North

    I have heard the same thing about the Mulchatna Herd - not what it used to be. The Porcupine Herd, on the other hand, has grown by a factor of 10 in the last two decades (reasonably confident about this number - please don't be too angry with me if I'm off the mark a bit - you get the picture). Depending on your time frame, I would recommend you not overlook the caribou up on the North Slope. I know there are more than a couple operations that will fly you out there, or, if you'd rather expend physical energy instead of cash, you can hunt from the road. My buddy and I took a really nice bull from the Haul Road last fall. If you bow hunt, you can basically hunt from the road, but with a gun, you need to be 5 miles off. It's a tough 5 miles of spongy tundra, but well worth it, in my opinion. Anyway, something to consider. It's a fun drive if you can keep your vehicle in one piece. Make sure you let the rental company know you plan to take it up the Dalton. That said, they may not rent a car to you...

    I have only done one fly-out hunting trip, and it was unguided and under informed. It's a lot of money spent just to realize you don't know what the heck you're doing. Don't assume you can just be dropped into caribou land and have your pick of 1000 animals. You need to be as well informed as possible of where the caribou are, and you need to know how to get at them once you find them. It is certainly possible to have a successful do-it-yourself trip, but trust me, you want to learn as much as you possibly can before you pull out the credit card. (This forum is an unbeatable way to get that info.)

    -That said, my "unsuccessful" trip was still a wonderful experience. Being out in the wilderness alone made it worth the price of admission. Still, it's at least a little better when you actually see an animal!

    -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  7. #7
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Forget Kotz. Too many people, too few transporters.
    Take a scheduled airline from Fbks to Bettles. Frontier Flying Service is one. From Bettles, get Brooks Range Aviation to take you into unit 26. Bou limit there is 5 I think, for non res.
    On your return to Bettles, take Frontier back to Fbks.
    Not sure about cold storage in Bettles. Bettles Lodge is also a transporter. Chances are Brooks Range or Bettles lodge have a good idea where there are caribou. ADF&G bio's in Kotz and Nome do also as many bou have satellite collars on.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Forget Kotz. Too many people, too few transporters.
    Take a scheduled airline from Fbks to Bettles. Frontier Flying Service is one. From Bettles, get Brooks Range Aviation to take you into unit 26. Bou limit there is 5 I think, for non res.
    On your return to Bettles, take Frontier back to Fbks.
    Not sure about cold storage in Bettles. Bettles Lodge is also a transporter. Chances are Brooks Range or Bettles lodge have a good idea where there are caribou. ADF&G bio's in Kotz and Nome do also as many bou have satellite collars on.
    This is what we did a few years ago, and it turned out great. It still took planning and some luck, but it was a big time.

    Will

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for all the great information, I've since talked to a transporter out of Dillingham and they are not even considering taking people out for Caribou. They suggested Kotzebue.

    I'll check on cold storeage for meat in Bettles and Fairbanks and see if I can report back to this thread if I find any. It's kind of important if you want to bring meat back.

    I would think a 5-7 day hunt would be just enough time, but I'll ask the transporter about the numbers in the herd at that time and make a decision then. Nothing worse than getting your bou the 2nd day on a 7 day hunt, especially if the weather is warm. And then there's the flies and the bears that want you to share with them.

    Thanks again for the information.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •