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Thread: 2010 DIY Alaska Trip Help

  1. #1
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    Default 2010 DIY Alaska Trip Help

    My girlfriends dad and I are wanting to do a DIY Alaska trip after my girfriend and I graduate from nursing school. Its going to be my graduation present to myself. I was just wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction as to what you might think we should go after? We are thinking caribou but are open to all species.

  2. #2
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default I would stick with...

    caribou for a first time DIY. Moose can be a real nightmare unless you are really prepared. Might want to contact a hunt planner if your either too inexperienced or under pressure for time. Mike Strahan is on this forum all the time. Check him out. Your welcome Mike. I was real impressed with your hunters report from this fall.

  3. #3
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    Larry Bartlett of Pristine Ventures is a very good hunt planner. I agree caribou is the better first time DIY hunt. However, if you want to do moose, there are oppurtunities but you have to be ready for it.
    Congratulations on the nursing degree.

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Research a drop hunt out of Kotzebue in Sept. All that means is you would fly to Kotzebue, get in a bush plane and have the pilot drop you off in a good place. You would stay 5-7 days hunting. Walking around and looking for caribou. Or a float hunt would be you doing the same thing but taking a raft and floating down a section of river (20-40 miles) and hunting along the way. Covering more ground can be advantagous. That is the two main ways of doing it. The land is amazing and vast. I am sure you would have a most memorable trip. We take float trips in Alaska every year and I could walk you through the entire process if desired. Always happy to talk float trips.

    Buy Michael Strahan's book, "Float Hunting Alaska". It is 400 pages full of good info. A must read. I wish I had bought it years ago. LOTS of research went into putting this book together. He is a forum member and a great resource. Nice guy too.

    My wife and I float rivers each year fly fishing. Usually 10-14 days at a time. Three NW rivers and one SW river to date. Going to ANWR next June to float the Kongakut. We were on the Wulik (100 miles north of Kotz) this Sept 10-15 fly fishing for trophy dollies. Got a 14 lb dolly on the fly rod. Some guys near us were dropped off to hunt. They all got their bulls. Many on the first day.

    Eric Sieh is our pilot out of Kotzebue. He can be reached via email at wolfcrk@otz.net or at Hageland Aviation in Kotzebue. He is a full time bush pilot in Kotz and a heck of nice guy. The rest just show up to make a buck running hunters all over the place in Sept. Eric knows the area like the back of his hand and is a great pilot. He could make some suggestions, but will not know where to take you until you come. The herd migrates and is hard to predict.

    Another contact in Kotz is Walt Maslen, he rents high quality gear (raft, tent, stove, etc..) and plans hunts I think. He has a website, www.northwestalaska.com He is also a forum member under the website name and is a valuable resource. He helped me when planning our trip on the Kugururok and Wulik. Contacting these two people should be of great help to you.

    I can help as well with logistics and planning, but I am not a big hunter. These float trips seem like a tough nut to crack at first, but are easy as pie. You just need to do some planning and research. In my opinion there is no better way to see Alaska. Good place (NW Alaska) for caribou hunting. Biggest herd in the state at over 500,000. But always on the move so it is hard to say now where you should hunt. Instead plan a trip to Kotz in Sept next year and be flexible trusting Eric to drop you off where the bou are when you get here. Have realistic expectations and understand that you may very well see other hunters. NW Alaska is a very remote place 11 months out of the year. I will let you guess what month I am leaving out. That is how it is done.

    Below are some pictures from our recent float trips. When the link opens, click "slideshow" in the upper right. Happy to talk further if I can be of any help. Email directly at danattherock@hotmail.com and put "Alaska" in the title.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603727567944/


    Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  5. #5
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    Is there any areas where we could purchase 2 caribou tags as a non resident?

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    Thumbs up Hunting 2010

    AF&G web site or buy them when you arrive.

    If you are interested in hunting WACH-Kotzebue please visit my web site at www.northwestalaska.com and we can help you out.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    33 miles north of the Arecic Circle

  7. #7
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Default welcome

    COarcher,

    Welcome you have come to the right place. When planning your trip you should consider many things such as the number of animals, the type of scenery you wish to view, your group ability & expectaions just to name a few. The Kotz hunt seems to be getting busier every year & as walt has said very expensive. With all that in mind you should consider your budget,overall desire to not have others hunting around you, available gear,float verses drop camp & the list goes on & on. You def have options such as access to the central arctic herd, or porcupine herd both of which have I believe have 5 tag limits per person. There are a lot of options but consider them carefully its the things like great scenery , a remote experiance, trophy quality (if it matters) & not seeing another sole that should be considered.

    Hunt planners are a great option I have used one the last 5 yrs & I swear by him. I would tell you who but just ask if you need to know.

  8. #8
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Gets pretty crowded in Kotz sometimes. Can be hard to get a secluded hunt spot. You might consider a unit 26 hunt for bou out of Bettles. Plus, unit 26 is a 5 bou limit. Unit 23 out of Kotz is one.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default I agree...

    with MT. The powers that be in Kotz IMO have gone to great lengths to discourage hunting by non unit residents. I would look to unit 26.

  10. #10
    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    Check with Mike's Air Taxi, he flys out of Happy Valley I have had good luck with him over the years...

    Otherwise one could fly out of Coldfoot, or Beetles,

    Coldfoot would be Coyote Air Service

    Beetles would be Brooks Range Aviation

    Just a couple of options for you...

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    Wow lots of great info. I'm looking foward to digging deep and finding the right place to go where I have the possibility to shoot at least 2 bou.

    If I got serious and booked a hunt for 2010 this summer just curious if that would be too late?

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COarcher View Post

    If I got serious and booked a hunt for 2010 this summer just curious if that would be too late?
    You'd probably be just fine booking a hunt for 2010 in mid-2009. If you're looking for a guided hunt for bear or sheep you need to plan more like 3 to 4 years out, but for an unguided drop hunt for moose or caribou, generally the previous year is far enough in advance.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    On another note, if you're looking to kill two caribou each, please make sure that you read a lot about meat care. Taking care of the meat of one animal is a lot of work, let alone four caribou between the two of you. You'll need to be prepared for temperatures from 70 down to below freezing, wind and rain, flies and predators. Many folks prepare a lot for the hunt while neglecting the reality of what they'll have to deal with after the shot.

  14. #14
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    COarcher,
    I wouldn't pass on the DIY moose hunt so easily, my dad and I did one just this year and were successful, 2 for 2. It is do able with some research. Bou hunt would be great too, just make sure you pick an area you'll be happy with. For example I don't like hunting by other people so the Kotz area shy's me away...
    by the way I live in Colorado Springs, where you at?

    mntman

    "hunting is where you prove yourself"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    You'd probably be just fine booking a hunt for 2010 in mid-2009. If you're looking for a guided hunt for bear or sheep you need to plan more like 3 to 4 years out, but for an unguided drop hunt for moose or caribou, generally the previous year is far enough in advance.

    Yes very true. I've heard of some people bringing garbage bags and putting the meat in them and them dropping the bags in lakes and or streams. Would this really work if I killed a bou on the first day of say a 5 or 7 day hunt?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COarcher View Post
    Yes very true. I've heard of some people bringing garbage bags and putting the meat in them and them dropping the bags in lakes and or streams. Would this really work if I killed a bou on the first day of say a 5 or 7 day hunt?
    The only use for the garbage bag method is to cool the meat quickly after the kill on a warm day. Once it is cooled, however, you will want to move your meat into clean, dry meat bags. Leaving your meat submerged in garbage bags, while cool, would allow increased bacterial growth due to the lack of air circulation and constant moisture. The basic rule of thumb is cool, clean, and dry. Keep these basics in mind and you should be fine. There are plenty of threads here in the archives concerning meat care and the virtues of cotton vs. synthetic (TAG) meat bags. Try a few searches for meat care and you'll have plenty of reading material.

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