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Thread: Back From Kotz

  1. #1

    Default Back From Kotz

    Hunted Caribou up on the Wulik and Kugururok Rivers (switched camps mid-week) from 8/30-9/7 (both rivers were very low, by the way). Rented gear from Walt and flew with NW Aviation, now run by Jim Kincaid. Both Walt and Jim were very helpful in setting up our trip and I would highly recommend them both.

    Early cool weather moved some animals into areas accessible from Kotz a couple weeks prior to our arrival. Of course, the hot weather arrived with us and and usual, "we should have been there last week". We had honest 80 degree temps with little breeze and no clouds almost every day. Every caribou we saw was heading north and some were just doing full speed doughnuts trying to escape the bugs, which were another story.

    We saw a total of approx. 75 head, with most of them on the first day. We were able to take advantage of that and one of my my partner's arrowed a decent bull on his first stalk. We were all bowhunting and were fortunate to go 1 for 3, given the conditions.

    We saw a wide variety of big game species; Moose, Caribou, Musk Ox, Wolf, Grizzly Bear and Dall Sheep. We watched a large black wolf attempt to bring down a big bull Caribou, an event that lasted for hours and was a highlight of my outdoor experiences. We caught a great variety of fish including Dolly Varden (or Arctic Char?), Arctic Grayling and Salmon. The remote country, scenic views and great fishing more than made up for the slow hunting, it was the most successful unsuccessful hunting trip I've ever been on.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Default Few More Photos

    Some of the nice fish we caught.
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  3. #3


    A couple more.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Bad day/week hunting is still better than your best day at work, lol. But so true.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  5. #5
    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    A, A


    not to hi-jack your thread but how's muskox to eat? Congrats on your hunt, I cant wait to achieve resident status and to get some hunting in.

  6. #6
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default great

    musk-ox is GREAT to eat.... marbled nicely, not too gamy.

    Sounds like a good hunt, 1 for 3 on a bow in country like that is very good. so who won?? the wolf or the bull??


  7. #7
    Member AK145's Avatar
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    Aug 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by AkGreg View Post
    musk-ox is GREAT to eat.... marbled nicely, not too gamy.

    Sounds like a good hunt, 1 for 3 on a bow in country like that is very good. so who won?? the wolf or the bull??

    That's what I was wondering did that turn out?

    Great pics too!
    STARRFLIGHT shooting staff
    What's a FOB?...visit

  8. #8

    Default Wolf vs. Bull

    We were on the point of a long ridge glassing a series of passes one day, hoping the caribou would show up. Down in a big meadow about 2.5 miles away we spotted something white, which turned out to be the bull, and something black following. At first I thought it was just a dark cow and at that distance it was tough to tell with just my 8x binos (I was too lazy to haul my spotting scope that day). Anyway, it soon became apparent that it was in fact a wolf and the bull was almost certainly wounded.

    The bull bedded and the wolf circled in, very slowly from downwind. When he was almost on top of him, the bull jumped up and they spent 5-10 minutes fighting, the wolf lunging in & out and that big bull trying to slash at him with his freshly shed antlers. After a while the wolf skulked off into the timber and the bull bedded right back down.

    This went on for hours, with the wolf and bull going back and forth. With evening approaching, we eventually bailed off the ridge and headed for camp. The last exchange looked like it could still have went either way. There were two ravens watching the whole thing unfold down in the meadow as well and we thought we would see some sign of the outcome the next day, even if it was only the birds. But when we got back up there we saw no evidence that the wolf had succeeded, so it's a mystery.

    It was a dilemma for me as I really wanted to hike down there and try and kill that bull (it was the first one we had seen in 3 days) but when it became obvious that he was injured (which we assumed as he was quickly bedding every time the wolf laid off him) I figured it would be unsporting to try and arrow him in a weakened condition. It was also a very long way from camp to that meadow and hauling out a big bull would have been a monumental task, plus there were a few grizzly's around, so my partner convinced me that it was not a good idea. We had a bear gun along and also thought about trying for the wolf, but figured our chances would be slim as it was pretty open out in that meadow and the gun was a close range, open sight job.

    So, I'd like to think the bull won the match but I'll never know. It was rare privilege to see a professional killer in action, while we amateurs stood on the sidelines, watching in awe.

    (On another note, can anyone tell me how to insert photos full size vs. just a thumbnail?)

  9. #9

    Default Nice trip

    Busta PM sent...........

  10. #10
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks, Ak.


    Unsporting? That's a new one. How is it unsporting to stalk an animal that would have likely still had it's own senses? Very commen for one predator to finish off what another pred started. If the animal was wounded, something would very likely have finished it off anyway. It could very well have been wounded by another human.
    Nice story anyway. Glad you enjoyed the trip. That's a really big trout.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  11. #11
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by Busta Ribs View Post
    (On another note, can anyone tell me how to insert photos full size vs. just a thumbnail?)
    Brian M posted this on picture posting:

    It should help and using photobucket is a breeze. Great pictures. That is a beautiful char!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  12. #12

    Default Ethics

    At the risk of engaging in a no-win debate, let me attempt to clarify what I meant by my "unsporting" comment.

    I embrace the additional challenge that bowhunting demands (I also like having a convenient excuse when I don't kill anything, 1 for 3 with a bow sounds more like a success than a failure). And I have no problem whatsoever with gun hunting or gun hunters but for me, the up close/intimate nature of hunting to within bow range every single time is my reason for being out there (please do not misinterpret this as an "elitist" attitude, cause it's not).

    Accordingly, any unfair advantage, whether inaccurately perceived or actual, takes away from my experience.

    Certainly, it comes down to level of injury in this particular case. If that big bull was injured to the point that I could have easily slipped up behind him and bonked him on the head with a dead log, than I would think that even you (MT) would agree that it would be less than sporting to shoot the thing in his bed. If he was knicked in the ham and still had all his faculties of evasion, than I agree that it would have been just as much of an accomplishment to take him, even if he was unarguably preoccupied with his current, more natural predicament.

    It's really hard to say, he did look pretty healthy and was probably still very sharp at the time we saw him.

    But like I said before, it was a real long way down there and even further back to camp, so we were looking for an excuse not to go after him anyway. Had he been a half mile away it may have warranted a bit more investigation. Honest.

    And you may very well be correct that the bull was wounded by a hunter as we found out during our extraction that there was another hunting camp a few miles away in the same direction that the bull came from. They may have been bowhunters too, because we never heard any rifle shots.

    And yes, that was a smokin' big Char...err trout. The fishing was fabulous.

  13. #13

    Default More photos

    Now that I think I have the attachment process figured out I thought I'd add some more photos. These are of our first day and hopefully are in the order that they occurred.

  14. #14
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Very nice, I'm jealous. I've already started planning a float for '09 somewhere in the NW region.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    North Pole

    Default hey busta

    Congrats that was so awesome to read your post I enjoyed that and found something cool you said that clicked.

    I was over at my Taxidermist shop Saturday and his brother showed up from his hunt,which was also out of Kotz,and he said they shot a 73 inch Moose, 6 Caribou and two grizzlies and he also said it hit 80 degrees while he was there and for the life of him he swore he saw a Musk Ox but he thought his eyes where playing with him since it was a ways off,now I'll have tot ell him he more than likely did see!

    Again congrats on your hunt and I loved the pics

  16. #16


    Nice one- How far did you have a pack that animal-

    I went to Koz. a few years back and harvested two. Pretty hard hunt.

  17. #17

    Default Pack out

    My partner killed the bull about 2.5 miles from camp, but only about a mile from the river. So we packed straight to the river, dumped the gear/meat, and I hiked up river to camp to get our raft (we were not floating but wanted a small utility raft in case we needed it for river crossing/gear shuttles). I floated down to the meat/gear, we loaded it up and then lined the raft back upriver to camp.

    The low water had us scraping bottom a few times but it was a lot easier than 2.5 miles of heavy packing over tussock fields.

  18. #18

    Default Cool grill.

    Looks like an awsome trip. Was wondering where you picked that grill up from?

  19. #19

    Default Nifty Backpack Grill

    Yea, that thing rocked. It was unbelievably portable, the whole thing fit into the one of the tubular rails you see in the photo. It also had a collapsible metal bowl that you can put charcoal in.

    It's called a "Grilliput" (play on words for Lilliput, I suppose). Most places get about 30.00 for it but here's a link where you can get one for 20.00:

    We also had the small collapsible bowl for charcoal, that's another 9 bucks. The whole deal weighs under 2 lbs I think. Very cool piece of gear.


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