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Thread: Caribou Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Caribou Hunt

    Hey all...Just got on here and figured I'd drop a line for some help. I am looking to go caribou hunting in the next week or two. Can anyone give me some suggestions on locations of herds? I just returned from Iraq and would like to do some hunting. Looking at either the 40 mi herd or up the Dalton Hwy. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    I believe they call caribou hunting on the haul road this time of the year a survival trip not a hunting trip. I can give you info about hunting up there in August and Sept but not in February. Good luck, though.
    EricL

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    I'd be checking the 511 road report. It has been vicious up there with wind lately. Typical winter blows and whiteouts.

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    I think 40 mile is closed about everywhere, this time of year, right? The registration hunt closed about a week after it opened... ditto white mountain.

  5. #5
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Wait until mid-April and hit the Haul Road. You'll have a bit more daylight and it probably won't be quite as cold.

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    Thanks for all your help. Going up on Wed...will post after with results.

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    Default Have fun.

    Sorry I didn't see your post until today. The Fortymile hunt is closed. Iím headed up the Haul Road in a couple of weeks. It can be a great time to be up there, even if cold. It looks like the weather is going to be relatively mild so you should be good there.

    http://pafg.arh.noaa.gov/zonefcst.php?zone=AKZ218

    Start looking for caribou around Finger Rock (MM 98) and if youíre bow hunting, stay alert for caribou from Finger Rock up to Atigun Pass. The caribou can be found in the trees this time of year so donít overlook these areas. If rifle hunting, check out to the east of Chandalar Shelf before heading over the pass.
    Once over the pass, the winds may make hunting miserable and even impossible, esp. if bowhunting.

    Thanks for serving(!) and good luck,

    Blair

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the tip Blair. I talked to a trucker at Sportsmans the other day and he said there are a bunch of em' around the Chandalar Shelf area. I will be bow hunting and my buddies want to trek back in to rifle hunt. I'll take some pictures of the area and post a report (on Friday) when I get back.

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    Thanks for the update keep them coming please, we are headed up the first part of april and I've been busy getting all the gear layed out and just spent $500 at sportsmans on stuff I was short Can't wait. thanks for the updates guys

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    Default Returned Empty

    Hey all. We returned from our hunt empty handed. The morning we left there was a winter storm warning that apparently came out just before we hit the road. Anyway, we got up there and found 500-700 caribou hanging out down in the shelf. Even with snow shoes you sink down into the waist deep snow which makes it difficult to make it up to the herd (about 1/4 mi from the road). It may be easier if you make sure you don't go up during a blizzard (we got a foot of snow while there). Kind of turned out to be a really long scouting trip.

  11. #11
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    Give the snow a week or so to set and harden, and try again...... you should be able to Shoe it easy then. It compacts and settles, or blows off.

    Might add that all the snow will make Caribou either hunkerdown and feed in any clear areas they have been grazing, or they will leave the area to the windswept ridges that are blown free of deep snow.
    They cant dig too deep.

    Could you use a snowgo and sled now?? ~LOL!~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  12. #12
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    were you traveling the road with the storm warning, was there any smaller herds in between the shelf and coldfoot. Sorry to hear you had no luck hopefully they are still there in april

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    Yeah we took off and then found out when we got to Coldfoot that it was going to continue to be nasty. We didn't see any Caribou until we actually got to the Shelf. When the sun finally did start to shine (2 hrs before dark) it was really nice up there...still tough walking though. I'll be going back up in late Mar/early Apr.

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    in early april do you thinks the snow would be packed enough for snow shoes or would you bring cross country ski's? So the weather was bad enough that there could have been caribou between cold foot and the shelf but you just couldn't see them?

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    I would think that by Apr the snow will be packed down a little better than it is now. Visibility was definitely hindered by the storm. It is possible there were some caribou before Coldfoot, but we couldn't see very far off the side of the road. The wind was really whipping and blowing snow everywhere. I am ready to go back due to the number of animals that we saw bunched up. Gonna wait until the conditions are a little better though. It's a long drive (Eielson - Chandalar) to come back empty handed.

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    Believe me I understand the drive, we are going to be leaving from anchorage and that's gonna be a real bummer if we come back empty handed and if we do it won't be beacause a lack of trying I can tell you that. I will continue to keep my fingers cross in hopes we can connect when we get up there

  17. #17
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    Default Update

    I was up there this weekend on a camping trip (no hunting) with a buddy from the lower 48 and I counted over 1000 caribou on the shelf. There was a monster snow drift between the highway and the caribou so getting to them would have been an ordeal as described. We snow shoed in a few miles farther south and the problem appears to be that really cold temps earlier in the year really decayed the snow underneath so you step on decent snow for 16 inches or so then break through the rotten snow to about 3 feet deep. The only cure for this is a bit of good thawing in the spring to solidify the cruddy layer.
    Aside from that, we saw no caribou between Atigun Pass and Galbraith Lake. The country north of the pass was wind-scoured like I have never seen up there. It must have been hellish while it was blowing. We saw one group of 4 caribou just north of Wiseman and a couple small groups just south of the shelf. We also saw a few trails through the snow but overall, not much sign south of the shelf.

    Blair

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    really good info thanks. I hope the snow won't be a problem the first part of april and the bou are still there

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    what do you all think about heading in the 5 miles with a quiet dog team. Maybe staking them out ahead of the herd and then skiing to get a good position. I am planning on a early/mid april hunt. Will the bou be past the shelf?

  20. #20
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    Anybody have any updates for the past week, I'm finishing getting the rest of the gear ready cause I fly to flordia for 10 days on the 16 and will have a couple weeks when I return to get the last little bit ready and i am just trying to keep the updates going every week thanks

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