2009 hunt planning
Up here in NW Alaska it can be very expensive due to the high price of Jet-A and AVA Gas. We are currently paying $7.35 at the pump and the flight services are expecting to charge $600-$650 and hour for 185-206 air craft this fall. That price should come down as our gas prices are based upon last falls barge delivery price and it is expected to come way down by first barge about July 3rd. (we hope!) I have been advising my clients to expect to $550-$600 an hour for flights.
Most of the groups I work with are flying a little farther out than the majority hunters we see. This translates into about 1.5 hours each way so thatís equal to 3 hours of fly time per trip. To give you an idea of costs 2 hunters can expect 1 flight out and 2 flights back due to meat and horn. So it works out to 3 trips x 3 hours fly time x $600 and hour =$3,600 divided by 2 hunters = $1,800 per hunter.
I mostly work with flight services that charge by the hour but there are some that offer package drop hunts and they run between $1,900 and 2,200 per hunter. You can expect there type pf package drop hunts to put you down fairly close to town often times less than 30 air minutes from town. There areas tent to be hunted harder and will place you in close proximity of other hunting groups. This does not mean you will not have a successful hunt as the caribou will walk right through a camp full of hunters just as quickly as a high mountain pass with only a single hunter. Always get involved with choosing the drop area. Yes the pilot is in charge of choosing a safe drop site but you the hunter can have a lot of influence as where you will hunt. Ask the pilot to make a pass around the area before you land. This will allow you a chance to see the land, find possible glassing points, passes and other camps. If there are other groups in that area donít be shy about saying no I would rather put down in a area less traveled. It is always a good idea to share your goals of the hunt with the pilot before the wheels are up also. If he knows you are interested in a more remote/less traveled hunting experience the chances are better thatís what you get!
Hunters who are actively involved in their hunt will have a better hunting experience than the guy who says ďPut me in front of the migration!Ē Lazy hunters always get me!
Well I hope this helps you in your 2009 hunting planning. It is coming up faster than you think! Flight services are booked and its time to get your head in the hunt!
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
33 miles north of the Arctic Circle