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Thread: Ivishak River Caribou

  1. #1
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    Default Ivishak River Caribou

    Just got back from AK and wanted to give you guys the update on the Caribou hunt we did. Took an 18 foot tunnel with a 40 hp jet up the Ivishak almost two weeks ago now (the 7th thru the 10th), past where the Alaska Adventure's guide was set up. Did not see many bulls, but of the three of us we each did manage to connect on the 9th. It did seem like on the 9th there were a lot more caribou moving down out of the hills toward the river.

    To those who think that the float hunt for Caribou is easy up there, YOU'RE WRONG. I suppose if you hit the migration right it would be outstanding and fairly simple. I stalked my caribou almost 3 miles from camp and a solid 1.5 miles from the river delta. The tundra there is very difficult to navigate, especially with 120 pounds on your back. We hunted hard for the 4 days we were there and killed the only 3 good bulls we had a legitimate shot at. We saw a few groups, but at significant ranges that made getting within 500 yards difficult. As it was my bull and another of the three were shot at 450 yards. Now to those who think I am suggesting this hunt is HARD, thats not what im saying. However, I am saying its not nearly as easy as some people make it seem.

    Me and Donofrio (caribou on packs).jpg

  2. #2

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    Good work guys, those are some **** fine bulls you took for up there. We had to hike a few miles out to get into decent sized bulls as well. Seems like they are a bit nervous about heading down to the river any more. Can't say I blame 'em.

  3. #3
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    Congratulations; nice 'bou!! J.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for sharing, you can tell your hard work made the difference in harvesting those nice arctic bulls. How many people did you see up there, cause I heard the guy who brought Larry Rivers place was bringing in a bunch of hunters.

    Terry

  5. #5
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Congrats guys

    Congrats on some fine bulls. It looks like you have two double shovels there. I hope you guys saved a few for us up there. I can't wait to get up there. Six days feels like an eternity when you are waiting for a hunt to start.

    Feel free to post some pics of the camp set-up and scenery. The bou pics are great, but I like to look at the pics of others camps also. Usually I get an idea of how to improve something I do.

  6. #6
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    Congrats!!

    Those are some awesome bulls!!

    Nothing like a good looking caribou rack to make the drive home a little easier

    Tim
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  7. #7
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Those are some nice bulls indeed. Congrats...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Thanks for sharing, you can tell your hard work made the difference in harvesting those nice arctic bulls. How many people did you see up there, cause I heard the guy who brought Larry Rivers place was bringing in a bunch of hunters.

    Terry

    Not sure exactly where larry rivers cabin is located, but I spoke with a fish and game officer who mentioned it when he landed to check us. We only saw 1 group of 4 hunters in two jet boats who camped basically on top of the guide's set up. The guide had a group of hunters come in over the weekend but we never saw them (they didnt come up river I guess?)

    It really did seem like you had to get away from the river to see Bulls. We saw plenty of cows fairly close to the river, but very few bulls even close. Aside from a group of five bulls that the other group of guys I mentioned were already on, we barely spotted any bulls from the boat. Instead, we glassed areas where we could see a good distance from the river.

    Honestly, it worked out this time, but next time I'd check to see if there are any other rivers you could navigate to get out of the five miles. I did hear from a group of guys we know that they were sheep hunting in the Brooks and thats where all the Bou are. They said they saw groups of hundreds in the valleys up there. So I suppose if you are going to go to the trouble to get up the Ivashak, you may as well just get into the Brooks and really get into the Caribou.

  9. #9
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    Last year, Doc Mccarthy was sheep hunting in the mountains and also said he saw some giant bou up in sheep country. Probably alot fewer bugs. A couple of us are thinking about flying up in second week in Sept.

    Terry

  10. #10
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Where is the Ivishak River and how can one get there?
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

  11. #11
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Bob,
    Brooks range. Launch is about 40 miles south of Prudhoe.
    20 hr drive from the valley or 750 miles from Palmer.
    BK

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