Increase in flight costs for 2009 hunts-KOTZ
I have had a few e-mails from customers who have booked 2009 hunts with me each who have concerns about the increase that they are being quoted by our flight services for 2009 hunts.
I have not talked to Eric Sieh or Jim Kincaid about this yet but I will this week. I think it is safe to assume that we will see flight services increase their rates that will reflect the jump in fuel costs. It is important to understand that fuel cost in Kotz are very high. We saw the summer fuel barge arrive and bulk gas jumped around $2.50 a gal and with in days the cost of everything also jumped. Rent in town jumped $400 a month for almost everyone, food prices jumped about 25%, and milk went from $8.50 to 10.45 a gal for example. This is not to make excuses for the high prices but it is so you guys understand what it costs for us who live up here. I will be forced to raise my rental rated for the first time in 4 years also. I expect to raise them about 6-10% but I have not taken the time to nail that down yet.
Yes hunting up here is getting very expensive but keep in mind we offer the best chance at huge bulls and lots of them. WACH hunting out of Kotz is still a bargain when compared to Canada hunts or Adak hunts. Currently the herd estimates are about 450,000 animals. I have talked to Jim Dau, Alaska F&G and he is seeing a drop in herd numbers from 2005-2007 and he speculates that this may continue. Are we in for a drop in herd numbers? Donít know but there are about 100,000 fewer caribou in the past 2 years and this may be a decline. The hunting is super right now but if we see a decline that may change in the next 5 years and we know that prices will not drop out here.
With in the next 2 weeks I will up date this string that will reflect the hourly rate for the flight services and this will help you in the hunt planning phase. Many of my hunting packages for 2009 are already booked and I will finish booking the remaining hunts by Christmas. ( about 50% are booked right now) Jim Kincade is also booking his 2009 season and I have referred a number groups to him already and I would expect that he will also fill with in the next 2 months but please contact him directly as I am not affiliated with any single flight service, I just make referrals.
Ok its time to start planning so shoot me a message if you have any questions as I enjoy helping out where I can.
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
33 miles north of the Arctic Circle