I wanted to drop you a quick note in regard to your up coming 08 hunting trip to NW Alaska.
This time of year it is very important that you get all of the details worked into your hunting plan. Many of you will ship some of your gear to your outfitters or flight services and that is a very good idea. Shipping gear up early will allow you to lighten your load on Alaska Airlines and reduce costs. It will also guarantee (almost) that your nonessential gear arrives before you and does not get lost by the airlines. Mail up to Kotz is VERY slow so 5 weeks is the minimum time you will need to ensure that gets here on time.
Things you should be shipping up include:
Dry food, hunting clothing, Tarps and extra rope, Game Bags (Very important to keep your game dry and bug free) Citric Acid for meat preservation, Meat packing boxes and plastic bags for shipping. These can be purchased and shipped up flat; the meat boxes cost in excess of $10 each if you can find them in Kotz.
The NPS has just released a DVD is very helpful to you in your hunt planning. It is very important that you learn as much as possible about this region before you come. We have many local customs that many outsiders do not understand and they run into problems with the local population. Remember that NW Alaska is about 89% native and this is a different culture up here that we need to respect. Plan on how you are going to transport your meat and racks back home. Contact Alaska Air at 800-252-7522 or Northern Air Cargo at 800-727-2141. There are 2-3 meat processing plants in Anchorage and many guys get their meat processed there and they have airport pick up in Anchorage. Remember meat donation in Kotzebue has been a hot topic in the past few years and this is where many guys get side-ways with the local folks. If you pull the trigger, you should take the meat home and enjoy it all winter, I do. Plan on 1-2 extra days on the end of your trip to process your meat! Also; the weather can prevent or slow down flight services so expect some delays getting out or returning to Kotz. The weather is very change-able in the fall and it can get very bad. 2005 was a good example of how bad weather made a mess of many hunting trips including mine. Weather in NW Alaska has been warmer than usual in the past few years and meat spoilage can be an issue, plan on how you will protect your meat and donít be too quick to drop the first bou you see. When youíre on a 7 day hunt and the temps are in the 50ís meat can and will spoil rather fast. Keep in mind that we have a huge herd up here and the chances are good that you will see plenty of caribou while youíre up here.
Enough is enough! If you have any questions please drop me a line and I will do my best to assist you in developing a successful hunt. The most successful hunters in NW Alaska are the guys who come prepared and educated. Make sure that you are all set with your flight services. Make sure you and your pilot have discussed drop and pick up options. Also keep in mind that you should have some input in where you are going to hunt. Donít arrive uninformed and assume that the pilot will just put you down in front of the migration. Unit 23 is larger than Indiana and there are lots of fantastic places to hunt so donít accept being dropped in an area that has other camps. We have 3 rivers that see most of the hunting pressure and while all 3 produce good numbers of caribou they also are where too many hunters end up because they are close to town and are a fast drop off for some of our pilots. These rivers are the Eli, Aggi (locals call them the Noatak Flats) and the Squirrel Rivers. All 3 have good hunting locations but can be very crowded.
Useful web sites that will assist your hunt planning.
Hunting tag info http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/
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