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Thread: Fuel Prices and KOTZ

  1. #1

    Default Fuel Prices and KOTZ

    Wondering if anyone knows what impact fuel prices will have for the transporters out of Kotz for fall hunting in 2009? Are the prices per/hour of flying going up as of today? Last time I spoke with some of them they were around $600/hour flying time, and wondering where they will go from here.

    Would it be best to see if fuel prices stable out and go back down, lets say wait until 2010 to do the hunt, or just bite the bullet and go in 2009?

  2. #2

    Default Just go

    I'm planning a 2009 trip as well and expect prices to continue to rise. I am budgeting already for increases, hopefully just not as steeply as demand in the US drops due to our current higher prices. I check Alaska Airlines flights to Kotz every few weeks as a gauge/best guess on what is happening to travel fuel costs. Not sure if this is the best barometer, but its a large portion of the trip.

    I talked to the wife about the increase and suspected futher increases...she said just go, thinking it will probably not drop anyway and will only become more expensive in 2010, 2011, etc.

    We really can't estimate where the fuel prices will be, its based on world events, emotion and speculation without regulation anyway. Everytime a political event occurs in relation to Venezuela or an OPEC country for example...the price of a barrel rises and then is driven higher by speculation. The other factor is the weak dollar, it costs us more when we bid against foreign currencies.

    We can't anticipate or control any of that. Just my thoughts.

  3. #3
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    Default Fuel

    For Avgas in Kotz or anyother place got to www.airnav.com. Kotz identifier is PAOT and it was $8.00 a gallon on 13 Jun 08.

    Terry

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    Exclamation Gas and Kotz

    Hi Guys:

    I thought I would chime in on this issue because I am stuck with the wonderful prices here in Kotz. Right now the flight services that I have my clients booked on are charging $600 an hour for 185 and 206 aircraft but we get our fuel on barges that have not arrived for the 2008 season. We expect our first arrival about July 1 and based upon the increase that Nome saw last week you/we should expect an increase of $1.25- $1.50 a gal. in bulk. This will raise my drum cost to about $5.90-$6.25 an gal on boat gas. The AV gas will also jump as well so I would not be surprised to see a fuel surcharge for 2008.

    We get the reputation up here of charging an arm and a leg by the hunting crowd but keep in mind that we live with the high prices year round and everything we use from the store arrives on 2 barges or an airplane and transportation cost are high in the bush but thank goodness the hunting and fishing is world class.

    There are rumors that there will be some consolidation in flight services beginning in 2009 up here and this will make booking a flight service harder than it already is. The Park Service is in the process of addressing the issue of high impact drop zones and how to lessen the damage. Some of you know that these areas are in the Noatak Flats (Aggie and Eli Rivers) over in the Squirrel River which is managed by the BLM. A few flight services use these 3 areas as quick drop sites and lots of hunted find themselves there because they donít do their homework. All 3 rivers produce good caribou but all 3 are with in 35 minutes of Kotz and get hammered. I try very hard not so send group into those 3 areas because the quality of the hunt is less and the animals are hunted hard. There are many good rivers to hunt a little farther out and should be considered before you allow your transported to dump you in those 3 rivers. Be sure to talk with your transporter before you plop the money down and get into the plane. Every hunter should know exactly where he is going before take off from Kotzebue International Airport. Donít accept the common statement that ďI will put you down in front of the herd or migrationĒ That is code that you are going to be dumped in the Flats or in the Squirrel.

    All good pilots will make adjustments in drop sites based upon where the Bou are moving but they should communicate with you and you should know the area by reading lots of maps and asking folks who have hunted up here where the better drainages are based upon your expectations.


    An educated hunter is a successful hunter!

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

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    600 an hour.....my word.
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    Default

    While Walt's info is good advice, please be aware that the ultimate factor in dropping off anyone with an airplane is SAFETY. Not animal locations. While the areas mentioned by Walt are indeed close to Kotz, and cheaper to reach, they also offer KNOWN landing areas. If you think that your transporter can just pick anywhere to land that has bou coming, or crossing, your mistaken. I would bet that the few transporters still operating out of Kotz have spots they prefer to drop clients, whether it's on the Noatak, Squirrel, or anywhere else.
    For those of you doing your homework, I think I saw something about possible changes to the non res bag limit in unit 23, for caribou, in certain parts of 23. Don't think it's done yet, but it's being considered. It is possible that certain areas in unit 23 will have a 2 bou bag limit for non res. Hopefully your transporter, and local expert Walt, will know about those areas if it happens.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    I just rented a Beaver for $550.00 an hour for a moose hunt out of Glennallen.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazersteve View Post
    I just rented a Beaver for $550.00 an hour for a moose hunt out of Glennallen.
    Sounds like one hell of a deal to me.

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    kodiak beaver isn't much more than 600 an hour...206 i use outa talkeetna is only 360 an hour...gotta love bush life 'eh walt?!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  10. #10

    Default Possible Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    For those of you doing your homework, I think I saw something about possible changes to the non res bag limit in unit 23, for caribou, in certain parts of 23. Don't think it's done yet, but it's being considered. It is possible that certain areas in unit 23 will have a 2 bou bag limit for non res. Hopefully your transporter, and local expert Walt, will know about those areas if it happens.
    Read about the proposed changes:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...lanning.unit23 and how they are coming about:http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...lanning.unit23. Hunters doing their homework may also want to check out some general information about hunting Unit 23: http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...fg=unit23.main

    Planner

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    Default Beaver/Martentrapper

    Thatís a great price but lets keep in mind that Glennallen is only 200 road mikes from Anchorage while Kotz isÖÖ 580 air-miles from Anchorage and that is the factor that causes our prices to be higher. I know a guy who flyís a super cup in Gakona and he is charging about $350-400 an hour. I would love to see some prices from Galena, Bettles and other hubs in the Bush. Got to think they are getting hammered by these prices! Steve, will that %550 and hour get you a big Bou? That region canít offer much in the Bou department for any one but the locals I am guessing. Itís a tough call and prices will not be getting cheaper anytime soon but 600,000 caribou canít be wrong! Moose hunting is also very good!

    Martentrapper: As usual youíre correct on all accounts. Safety is #1 and the pilot needs to know his landing spots. I think the most important thing you said was about doing your homework. I have a tough time with the guys who think there is a caribou behind every rock and donít even know where they are going other than ďin front of the MigrationĒ Man that statement gets me worked up every time.

    Yes on the talk about of reinstating the 2 bou limit. Itís all on the table right now and we will see what will come but the idea of reducing wonton waste through reducing bag limits was weak at best. At the last RACK meeting it was brought out that the 06 data showed between 750-900 animals were taken by out of region hunters and to use that thought process to call for a reduction of bag limits in a region that hosts 600,000 caribou is a real stretch. Hell there will be more bou starve in this unit during the month of March than will be bagged using the 06 logic and data!

    Kotz can be a great hunting jump off point for the hunter who is independent and knows where he is going. It can also be a nightmare for the guy who arrives and tells his flight service to point me at the bou. Set that hook boys! We have a live one!

    Hunting is like voting, if you do your home work you can make an informed decision but nothing can guarantee that you will bag a winner!


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

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Trailblazer, you probably got the best deal, because the Beaver will burn more fuel than the other planes but will also have the biggest payload, so you probably locked in at a good time with that price.

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    To the best of my knowledge, there's only one fly-out operation in Galena these days and I don't think he charges by the hour. Last checked (about 3 months ago) a beaver out of Bettles is a little over $700/hr. and a beaver out of McGrath during moose season is $800/hr.

  14. #14
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    Don't forget the old adage, "You get what you pay for" Any transporter offering a bargain basement hunt or charter rate is probably gonna give you a bargain basement quality trip. Especially with the higher fuel prices.
    Walt, it's RAC, not RACK. Regional Advisory Council. A RAC meeting only concerns federal lands, so isn't really applicable to the guys reading this forum. Yes, they will mostly be hunting fed lands, but they will do so under state regs. Now when the hammer drops on unit 23 bou numbers, THEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNN it will be the RAC that sets the tone for the future of bou hunting in your area.
    Let's all pray the powers that be in unit 23 get together to work out the problems there. This new proposal sounds promising.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Default Unit 23

    Good info! Keep us informed and lets hope all ends well!

    Walt

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    "Would it be best to see if fuel prices stable out and go back down, lets say wait until 2010 to do the hunt, or just bite the bullet and go in 2009?"

    Steveo, I think you should just "bite the bullet" and go in 2009!!

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    Wink Bite the bullet

    Stevo:

    With the curent mess we are in on the worlds oil market you can bet that gas will keep going up. Shoot for 09 and give me a call if you need any assistance in the planning phase. Keep in mind You should be planning now for a 09 hunt. That sounds early but I have 50% of my 09 float hunts booked for 09 as of today. There is a real crunch in flight services and guys are planning way ahead to lock in.

    In 2000 gas was 2.85 a drum up here in Kotz and flight services were charging about $300 an hour. Today its $600 an hour and $4.65 a gal by the drum on gas.

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

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