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Thread: Kotzebue,bow hunt caribou

  1. #1
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    Default Kotzebue,bow hunt caribou

    Has anyone out there done any caribou hunting with the bow.I see there are a ton of caribou hunters, or should I out say meat gatherers in Alaska,but is there any die hard bow hunters.
    Nothing wrong with gathering your meat..however i have never hunted caribou and Im planning on doing so with the bow this sept. and i was wondering what to espect.Most folks I talk to paint a grim picture.
    most say it will be hard to get in bow range of them because of where they spend most of thier time.
    How about some pointers from you archers.would you drop camp or float hunt them.has anyone done archery float hunt?///

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    QDM
    I am not sure what "grim picture" the folks are painting for you. Northwest Alaska is a very beautiful place and there is more than enough caribou to go around. However, as with any hunting season in Alaska or in America for that matter, you must be in the right place at the right time.

    I am one of those meat gather's, and I have hunted out of Kotzebue for a number of years. I know a number of good people there. The meat gather's you are referring to, that is and has been a way of life for many hundreds/thousands of years. They do not hunt for recreation sake as you want to do. They have to hunt or they do not eat. Many times, they do not have the luxury of driving to the store to get their food. If they do, it is most likely by dog sled, snowmachine, boat, or ATV, and it is more than 10 times the cost of anywhere else. Gas in Kotzebue now is $7 to $8 per gallon.

    As far as some of your other questions, people hunt by air, boat, or float. There are a few different operations that fly hunter out of Kotzebue for either a float trip or fly-in hunting/camping.

    Another thing you need to be aware of, the NANA Regional Corporation controls most of the land around Kotebue, and NON-resident hunting is not permitted on their lands.

    About the best time to do a hunt out of Kotzebue, is between 9/1 to 9/15. That is the "most likely" time to catch the caribou on the migration.

    If you chose to pursue a hunt out of Kotzebue, I suggest leaving your attitude at home and get ready to eat humble pie when you get to Northwest Alaska. "Outsiders" sometimes are not warmly welcomed but mutual respect will take you a long ways.

    I will get more info, and post soon.

  3. #3

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    Wow....did you really just refer to us as .."Meat Gatherers" ???? Man, with that kind of talk, I'd suggest staying as far away from AK as possible. Do yourself a favor and just keep watching the outdoors channel, and leave the real "Meat Gathering" to us. +1 to what Big Daddy has to say, outsiders not taken to quickly in Kotz.

  4. #4
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    Default Google Search/Caribou Hunting

    Do Google search on 'caribou hunting outfitters Kotzebue' (don't use quotes). There are a few links that will get you started.

    As far as bow hunting in out of Kotzebue, generally there is little vegetation to use for cover. However, around the streams and rivers, there is usually a lot of brush that can be use for cover.

    If you watch any of the hunting shows on the Outdoor Channel with caribou hunting in Quebec or in the Yukon Territory, it will give you an idea of what you can expect.

    I would spend at least one week hunting, and you will need to prepared to do a lot of walking, which is not easy walking unless you are walking in the river/creek beds.

  5. #5
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    Default Bow hunting NW Alaska

    QDM:

    Kotzs is a great jump off spot for hunting bou. Needless to saw we offer the best chance to see lots of animals and the odds are very good that you will see trophy bulls.

    Hunting tundra offers the bow hunter many challenges but choosing the right spot is what will allow you the cover needed to be able to see and stalk caribou. I outfit 2-3 bow hunting groups each fall and while not all fill tags all see shoot able animals while hunting WACH.

    Last fall one of my bow groups of 3 hunters filled 2 or 3 tags with bows and the 3rd opted for a .270 on the last day, as he did not want to leave empty handed. Unit 23 is huge with many places to choose from, some are great bow hunting spots and many are not. Working with someone who lives up here is the difference between success and ending up in a wide open area and having all of your B & C bulls being 600 yards out and no chance of working up on them.

    If your looking at a 09 hunt it may be too late to find a flight service but we can try. If your planning on a 2010 hunt we have lots of time to set up a fantastic hunt. If you want to talk drop me a line at northwestalaska@yahoo.com or visit my web site at www.northwestalaska.com

    Good luck!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Kotzebue Alaska
    33 miles north of the Arctic Circle
    Home to 400,000 caribou and a few nice people!

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    Default Calm down my friend

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Dingbat View Post
    Wow....did you really just refer to us as .."Meat Gatherers" ???? Man, with that kind of talk, I'd suggest staying as far away from AK as possible. Do yourself a favor and just keep watching the outdoors channel, and leave the real "Meat Gathering" to us. +1 to what Big Daddy has to say, outsiders not taken to quickly in Kotz.
    I was told by a local that lives in Kotz, that reffered to himself as a meat gatherer.He said, this is what most residents in that area do.Because of the harsh enviroment.
    I have no attitude at all....I see however you got one in a hurry! Here is part of the grim picture he painted for me.He told me most nonresidents would run into locals with your attitude.
    I certianly meant no disrespect to anyone and feel it is rediculas to have to defend myself.As for the outdoor channel I dont have time to watch TV Im to busy polishing my hunting skills.

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    Default Kotzebue hunt

    [quote=BigDaddy;434544]QDM
    I am not sure what "grim picture" the folks are painting for you. Northwest Alaska is a very beautiful place and there is more than enough caribou to go around. However, as with any hunting season in Alaska or in America for that matter, you must be in the right place at the right time.

    I am one of those meat gather's, and I have hunted out of Kotzebue for a number of years. I know a number of good people there. The meat gather's you are referring to, that is and has been a way of life for many hundreds/thousands of years. They do not hunt for recreation sake as you want to do. They have to hunt or they do not eat. Many times, they do not have the luxury of driving to the store to get their food. If they do, it is most likely by dog sled, snowmachine, boat, or ATV, and it is more than 10 times the cost of anywhere else. Gas in Kotzebue now is $7 to $8 per gallon.

    As far as some of your other questions, people hunt by air, boat, or float. There are a few different operations that fly hunter out of Kotzebue for either a float trip or fly-in hunting/camping.

    Another thing you need to be aware of, the NANA Regional Corporation controls most of the land around Kotebue, and NON-resident hunting is not permitted on their lands.

    About the best time to do a hunt out of Kotzebue, is between 9/1 to 9/15. That is the "most likely" time to catch the caribou on the migration.

    If you chose to pursue a hunt out of Kotzebue, I suggest leaving your attitude at home and get ready to eat humble pie when you get to Northwest Alaska. "Outsiders" sometimes are not warmly welcomed but mutual respect will take you a long ways.

    Im one of the most humble folks you will ever meet.If you took me the wrong way Im sorry.Like I said in the origional post,I see nothing wrong with meat gathering.
    The grim picture that was painted to me was by a local person that told me that he as well as most folks in Kotzebue were meat gatherers and didnt spend alot of time actualy hunting them.,part 2 was most locals had an attitude with outsiders.I can see by just one wrong word how it could start a firestorm.I read Northern Air Trophy,s web page about Kotzebue.They suggested not wearing camo or orange in town so local folks wouldnt know you were a hunter????Because there could be problems.What is this all about.No Caribou or bear or moose is worth all the hassle.

  8. #8
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Default hard core bowhunter

    I am a hardcore bowhunter. That is I dont hunt with rifles. I love guns but have only hunted with a rifle once. Grew up bowhunting in arizona never took it to a serious level until a few years ago. That being said I have caribou hunted 2times unsuccessfully when I was a little younger with a bow. I have never been to kotzebue so I cant tell you exactly what the terrane is like but up where I have hunted on the haul road it is very flat very wet and not much for cover. I have made good stalks crawling through the marshy tundra and got within 30yards of a bull, and missed. I think if you are patient and lucky and as previously stated in the right place at the right time, you can and will be successful with a bow.
    I also find that some people take further shots on caribou than is seen as traditionally ethical. I believe its up to your skills and conditions.
    In my opinion it is harder to hunt up here than in alot of places like where I grew up. There aren't alot of roads up here that will get you to where the game is like in the lower 48 and if you hike in far enough to get to a legal bull moose or where there are lots of legal moose you're going to have a tough time packing it out. I think that the people who have the resources to get back via fourwheelers boats moose rigs have a big advantage. Sorry to get off track.

  9. #9
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    Default Kotebue Hunt/Haul Road Hunt Comparison/ Orange/Camo

    Kotzebue area has rolling hills, with flat areas. Mostly, there is little cover in open land, except near the creeks and rivers where there is brush that could be use for cover.

    Compared to Haul Road, the area between Pump Station 3 and 4 is similar to the terrain in NW AK around Noorvik and Kiana.

    North and west of Pump Station 2, it is nothing but flat and nothing to hide behind. On the east side of the Haul Road north of Pump Station 2 is where the Sag River is there is brush that can be used for cover.

    As far as not wearing orange or camo, you do not have to wear orange. I never used camo because I didn't have it. Truely, I do not think it makes a difference. When I was watching Haul Road hunters, you could instantly see hunters in camo from a long way out. So, if I could see them, I am certain caribou will see you.

    The one good thing about hunting out of Kotebue is that people are few and far between, except around the rivers. If you fly out and get dropped off, this will buy you and added level of remoteness.

    Weather can be quite variable this time of year. I have been out one year and it was 65-70 degrees and sunny (bad year for hunting). Another year, it was clear and cold, 20 to 30 degrees in the morning, 40-50 degrees in the day. Yet another year, it was 35-40 degrees, overcast, windy and rainy (spelled miserable time).

  10. #10

    Default QDM4Sure

    QDM4Sure,


    I didn't think you had an attitude, it's hard sometimes to communicate in forums without the luxury of nonverbals. Don't sweat it. There can definitely be an attitude up in Kotz, yet it's not really that big of a deal. Kotzebue is like Disney World for the hunter, yet it doesn't always pan out exactly the way you want it to, that's sort of the beautiful of it. I am a FANATIC bow hunter, in fact I would rather bow hunt than make sweet, sweet love, nothing better than back country bow hunting. Like any back country bow hunt you will have your challenges, you can increase your odds by being in impeccable shape, and being aggressive. Start training and getting into good shape, biggest downfall of the lower 48ers that come up here is not being in shape and not being aggressive enough. It will not be easy, but it certainly can be done. I'll be up there this September to do a little guiding and actually get to hunt on my own. I will be using a bow only with hopes of taking a moose and/or caribou. Gotta be aggressive and for god sake get in shape!
    Marc Theiler

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    Default

    As you can see from some of the responses here, sport hunters, tho perfectly legal hunters in Alaska, do not always meet with a welcome.
    Talk with Walt, Northwestalaska, and also talk with transporters in Bettles. Some of the area around Kotz has trees, which would likely give you additional opportunities for cover.
    There is a transporter in Kiana, Lee's Sea Air. Supposed to be a good guy to do business with. Talk to Walt about hooking up with him this coming fall.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  12. #12

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    You shouldn't have problems in Kotz. I 've hunted there and had no problems. You don't hunt in the town. Most time spent in town was waiting for our flight out to hunt and that was waiting around on the ramp, no locals just other hunters. If you are in town for a few days and go to the Bayside to eat you should have no problems either. The people we met seemed nice enough and were willing to talk.

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    2 of us did a drop hunt in 07 with bows and we brought a 300 Mag 4 bears with us.. all 4 were shot with a gun. north of the brooks so open and they were moving so fast. i would do a float with a bow but not a drop. We were 2-6 ml from camp everyday when we found big bulls. I hiked 4 ml everyday for 2 months with 80 pound pack and still got my ASS kicked up there

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    Default Kotzebue Bow Hunting

    I don't personally but my hunting partner is a die-hard bow hunter. We have had great luck with caribou out of Kotz. I would concentrate around a river, where you can figure out a crossing, get up high and spot caribou coming to the river and than slide down to the river when the one you want is crossing. That way you are letting them walk through un destribed until the one you want is on his way.
    Last you need is a bunch of cows blowing out of there and turning old mister big boy away
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