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Thread: WACH Report! Aug 24 Update

  1. #1
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    Exclamation WACH Report! Aug 24 Update

    Well guys we are up and hunting in Kotz. Both of our local pilots have had the first clients of the season bring back big, impressive bulls to Kotzebue International Airstrip. These animals are all coming from the upper Squirrel and Aggie drainages and 100% velvet racks. This is way early but they are here. One group was set up for a 7 day drop hunt and was in and out in 3 days. The best part of this is they are all alone up there and both of these drainages that are hit hard and can be poor choices in September because of how close to town they are. But right now they are the place to be.

    I just talked with a group of my fisherman yesterday (Saturday) who returned from the (mid) Kelly River and now it is filling up with caribou, mostly mature bulls. I spent yesterday up in the Noatak Flats just above the lower Aggie glassing and fishing. No animals down that low yet except a young bull moose and lots of nasty pike. We hooked 25 or so pike and nailed almost 10 over 3 feet in length. My son made the cute observation, “dad…. How are we going to land the big ones without the net?” Landing 20+ pound pike with your bare hands and 6 wt. fishing rods is an adventure all should try some time!

    2 of our out of region drop services are expected in Kotz this week and their first clients will be right behind them. We should see the “Cabelas Army” in town soon. Remember the law states that all bou meat needs to come out on the bone until you arrive at a state maintained airport and that includes the rib racks. The Brown shirts, NPS law enforcement guys and the state will be here enforce agine this year so expect to be visited some time on your hunt. Last year they used both fixed wing and copters in their patrols and this year the troopers have added a jet boat. These guys are doing a good job keeping hunting safe and fair for all of us so cut them some slack when they visit you. When your in a jam they are your best friends!

    I will keep you posted on how it is going and shoot me a PM is you have any questions or equipment needs.



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

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Figured you were out hunting. Good info. Doesn't take an all out migration to make for happy hunters. Good luck to all the unit 23 hunters..............hope you have your cameras ready and extra batts. You too Walt!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  3. #3
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    Default Hate to say it

    But, Im glad they have alittle more enforcement up there. It's such a beautiful place and has such a bad reputation for wanton waste. I hope they can clean the place up because last time I was there it was bad, half commerical and half DIYers. As I tell everyone, if you take pictures of your cleaned animal remains, you or I will first, do a better job of cleaning and second it may save you money on legal fees in the future. It sure is nicer when there are fewer planes in the sky and fewer hunters in the field, gives you that remote feeling compared to a gas station on the side of the highway. Lastly Aug bou's taste great, and temps are nicer. Good luck to anyone hunting the NWA hurd this year.

    Terry

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Caribou now in the village of Noatak

    Locals in Noatak are now harvesting good numbers of bou with in 1 of a mile of town. This is normal for Noatak and the timing is right on track also. Good numbers, healthy animals and nice but fat on the bulls.

    One of our neighbors flew his cub up into the park on a sight seeing trip. He reported the same as I have reported in previous WACH reports, Lots of caribou in all drainages that link the Squirrel River to the Noatak (Elli, Aggi, Kelly and the N Fork of the Squirrel). I wish I was flying out this week! It is time to choose the fat boys in the back of the herd! This is going to be a hunting season to write about boy!

    Good luck, send me some of your pics and share your stories with those of us who are stuck in town!!

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Kotzebue AK
    907-442-3944

  5. #5
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    Default caribou pics?

    I never have seen the big groups of caribou. Can anyone post a few pics of the big herds? Hopefully someday I make it to Alaska to hunt them. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Talking WACH Aug 26th

    OK.. You guy are going to start treating me like Martentrapp soon but we are swimming in caribou right out side of town! No kidding. One of my next door neighbors headed out last night about 20 miles up the Noatak and bagged 6 caribou in about 30 mins (3 guys). The area just behind Hugo’s Mountain was covered with well over 2,000 caribou just drifting towards the river. Both sides of the Noatak had groups of 50-100 animals swimming the river in both directions.

    The worst part of this story is I am stuck in town until Friday night! I am headed out to my cabin for the weekend and the hopes are high. My son will join me for his first bou hunting trip and he is all pumped! Hopefully they will still be waiting for me. Reports will follow!

    Weeeeee Haaaaaa boys!

    Walt

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up how old is walt??

    Its seems the teenager inside is starting to take over!! It is great to hear the excitment you express in each post! I am 57 years old and though i have been to kotz three times prior in the last 5 yrs,it is starting to feel like the first date!!!WOW,I cant wait to be in the freezing drizzle for ten days, snow or great weather it matters not! Coming home to the Great Land every few years thrills me to the bone!Thanks Walt for the posts Keepem Comeing!! James in Co

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default WACH Pics

    Here's a photo we took a few years ago; we were sitting up on a cut bank above the Noatak and found ourselves in the middle of a massive migration. This photo doesn't show it, but we literally had to back up to shoot video! I had animals stepping over the top of me (we were in full camo). Amazing stuff.

    GREAT VIDEO CLIP!

    I have hours of video of this, and have posted a short clip on YouTube for your enjoyment. The video says it will be available "in the summer of 2004" yeah, RIGHT! Lots has happened since I put that together and I hope to get the video done this winter. It will be available on my website, and possibly here on Outdoors Directory.

    -Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 08-28-2008 at 11:49. Reason: Added URL for Video Clip
    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

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Thumbs up BUMP= Caribou video you HAVE to see!

    Well, this fell off the lists before folks had a chance to see the video clip I posted, so I thought I'd bump it back up in the lists to get your attention.

    HERE'S THE LINK. I filmed this in the western Arctic a few years ago and hope to have the video done this winter if there is enough interest.

    Enjoy!

    -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

  10. #10
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Mike

    What's that famous muzzle loader fellow say? "Holy Moly". that's some video.

  11. #11
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    Default Walts update

    Well I have returned from my first crack at the WACH Caribou (this fall!) and it was a good time for sure. I went up last night after work and we on a ridge by 6:30 pm. With in 20 minutes we had 4 groups of animals with in bino viewing range and spotted a group about 2 miles away loaded with mature bulls. The group made its way fairly close and we decided to try to cut them off down near a small drainage loaded with good cover. Got there in the nick of time because the bulls wandered with in 300 yards but were bunched tight. My partner and I selected our bulls and 2 hit the ground quickly. 265 yards and nice bulls. No B & C but nice bulls. We had load one back to the boat in 1 hour and headed back to the cabin for the night. We returned this morning by 9 am and had the final loads taken care of in 2 more hard hours.

    Great stalk and great hunt. I think I will do it again on Monday!
    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com
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