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Thread: Nelchina Update

  1. #1

    Smile Nelchina Update

    Time to revisit the actual point of the old thread, what's going on:

    This weekend (and days beyond) could be pivotal in how the groups on the E. Side may be migrating from the McLaren/Dickey L. areaa towards the Richardson Hgwy and Chistochina beyond that. As usual, there appears to be a large sub-group balling up and getting ready to do this migration. Interception points could include anywhere from McLaren Summit trails thru Swede Lake trails and everything in between-or beyond. Not wanting to drive the extremely rutted & washed out Denali from the Cantwell end, we're going to try in the latter area, but knowing the traditional heavy use these trails get with moose opening all bets are off. As previously posted, they were in this area last weekend and we had no problem harvesting a solitary 4 year old bull-which had excellant fat/meat content, a good sign as to the health of the herd bulls. A tactic we've used in the past is to let the Labor crowds drive them into action and take a "stand".-we'll post ASAP if succesful.

    Beyond that, there should be the other half of the herd located N. of Eureka / S. of the Big Su. trail on the Denali that typically stays around until the end of Sept. unless weather boots there but Eastward. Most of our information is based on field and flyover experience, historically and from last weekend.

    PS-THE WATER CROSSINGS STILL SOUND PRETTY HIGH, FOR 4-WHEELERS, AT LEAST.

    Good Luck, All

  2. #2

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for getting this thread back on track! Let's try to keep this thread focused on reports from the field. We are heading out tomorrow morning for the family caribou hunt. I will post when I get back. Good Luck to all.

  3. #3

    Default Thanks

    Roger the thread on track, will leave Sunday for tok, and back a week later, please keep the reports coming.
    Good Luck All
    Louie

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm heading north to Cantwell Friday evening. I know that the road is bad on that side, but we're just going to take it easy. I'll also post a report - probably on Monday evening.

    -Brian

  5. #5

    Default Trail should be good

    I have been told by several people that the trail behind Eureka is in pretty good shape. The rivers are a little high but not too bad. Couldn't be as bad as the way out last year. We were just loading up to head out when a Super cub dropped us a note to let me know my oldest son had been killed in Iraq. The way out was kind of a blur to say the least. This trip is as much for therapy as for hunting. Good luck to everybody heading out....and be careful!!!
    John Berberich
    Dad of Sgt. Kurtis Arcala KIA 9-11-05 Iraq.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear of your loss John.Sent ya a pm.

  7. #7

    Default loss

    John,

    Sorry to hear about your son also. They are the real heroes in my book. Again, very sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. I know some of the Palmer boys that played for Coahc Blake and know that was hard on them too.

  8. #8
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    We hit the Eureka trails on Thursday and Friday. Very easy going the entire way back to Monument.
    Most of the people we talked to said the boo were about 20 miles north of the Little Nelchina.
    At one point we hiked about 4 miles and didnt cut a fresh moose or caribou track.
    I think the Eureka area is at it's most productive point only if you hit it 10-15 August.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We just got back from the Denali Highway. We went back about 7 miles up the Seattle Creek Trail. All of the hunter reports were dismal, so we took the first caribou we saw. It was a small one, but it's meat in the freezer so I can't complain. Apparently there has been one or two coming out of that trail every day, but a lot more unsuccessful hunters than successful ones. There were 2 or three moose killed Sunday morning as well, but according to someone I talked to that will leave the area shot out of legal bulls. I'd head to the Paxon end of the Denali instead if you're planning a trip up.

    -Brian

  10. #10
    Member AK Trout's Avatar
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    Anyone got any caribou reports from the paxson end of hte denail?

    "I Envy Him And Him Only, That Catches More Fish Than I Do" Izaac Walton 1653
    The question of hunting is not a matter of life or death... it's more important than that

  11. #11

    Default Nelchina Caribou Weekend Update

    Spent Friday through Monday up on the Denali. We went into Seattle Crk on Friday, and saw two cow caribou about 2 miles out and one cow moose. The other hunters we talked to were not seeing any caribou either. Saturday we move over to Butte Crk Trail. Butte Crk was still high but dropping and we crossed on wheelers. Did not see any caribou, however we only went back to Coal Creek. We saw one cow moose. On Sunday we moved to Maclaren Summit. We got there late Sunday evening, talked to several people since they had meat hanging. We found that most had shot cows and that they were mostly seeing cows and calves. We spent Monday until about 1PM at the end of the trail and did see about 40 cows and calves. Missed an opportunity at a small bull. We spent each night out in a tent camp on the trail to maximize our time in country hunting. On the way back we stopped at Eureka. Talked to one group that killed a very large bull caribou about 25 miles back. It was taken out of a group of about 50 animals. They also told us that they started seeing caribou about 10 miles back. That's all for now. If I hear more I will report later. Keep the reports coming.

  12. #12
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    Went up to Lake Louise to work on the cabin and seen several small groups of caribou starting just past Eureka.I few crossed Lake Louise Road and seen a few running around the lake.Mostly cows and calves.

  13. #13

    Cool East End Update

    We hunted the Swede / Tangle Lakes area and didn't come home with the one tag left, but saw quite a mixed bag of-for the most part-skittish animals in small groups (5-10). Seemed that between the warm weather and hunting pressure their movement was predominantly early and after about 11 am they flat went to ground. In fact, Saturday early was by far the best and it tapered dramatically after that. We had a couple of close opportunties but errored on the conservative side as the groups were pretty bunched up.

    We did see a few big boys, but they were their usual wary self and the couple we did have a chance at were out of range, geographically speaking. We didn't see a lot of visible success from others nor did the locals appear to be out in force on the Richardson, which would be indicative of their migration if under way. There were a bunch of road hunters in the Mile 15 (high point of the road on the Paxson end) area and we did hear some gunshots but don't know if they had success near the road or what. It does sound like the Gulkana was crossable but we didn't try. Maybe next weekend.

    Surprised to hear Coal Creek area was unproductive. Anyone have reports from the Moores Camp towards Mclaren area perchance? Or Dickey Lake?

    Good Luck

  14. #14
    Supporting Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Wondering if any of you guys have seen much Grizzly sign off the Denali? I am heading up that way this weekend looking for one.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    bronco - Didn't see anything or hear of anything at Seattle Creek. I'd try further down the road.

    -Brian

  16. #16
    Supporting Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I was planning on hunting the Paxson end. Hope I can find some old kills that are being worked over. But its not sounding like there are that many.

  17. #17

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    FYI, At the south end of Swede Lake(s) we saw a sow with two 2 year old cubs that had the most beautiful silvertip coats I've ever seen; almost wolverine type markings around their whole torso. Keep them in mind for next year if you're after pelts and not size...........in any case this area is pretty notorious for Griz if you get off the main trails and don't mind walking from there. Try the hill to the W. of Swede Lake / directly S. of Tangle Lodge. Or, try the Hungry Hollow area where it dumps into the Gulkana; spawning salmon + bumper berry crop = lotsa bear potentially. Take a one for the moose's sake if nothing else!

  18. #18
    Supporting Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Bwake. I was planning on heading in to Dicky on Swede Lake trail and glassing the surrounding hills. Didn't think of trying Hungry Hollow, will give that a look. Anyone been as far back as Alphabet hills this month?

  19. #19
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    Still small groups of caribou around Lake Louise area.Even had them walking by the cabin while the generator was running and hammering nails up on the roof.

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Labor Day weekend we went in to the headwaters of Watana Creek. Saw little to nothing until then. Three tags, but only brought out one nice caribou bull. I tried three stalks to put the wife into position for a shot, but no go on all three (although we had a small band of cows and calves so close I could'a slapped a couple on the rear with my hand). Butte Creek was a little high, but had come down quite a bit before we went in Saturday morning. One set of small griz tracks up the Watana Creek area.

    Last weekend I went up Hicks Creek to Caribou Creek, then Billy Creek. A bit too far to the west for this timeframe, but it was mostly an exploratory trip. The west end of the Denali Hwy was so bad, I swore I'd never do it again for a long weekend. Three hours to drive 60 miles, and the truck still took a whuppin'. I need to find a place closer for the wife.

    Hicks/Caribou Creeks ain't it, either. That is one rough, slow trail. Saw a couple of caribou gutpiles near Hicks Lake, and lots of tracks. When I woke up Saturday morning I found that a band of at least three caribou had walked by my tent during the night. Saw fresh griz tracks on Divide Creek, about a 7' animal or so. Never caught a glimpse of anything moving, however. Looks like they're smart; they move at night.

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