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Thread: Mid August DIY Haul Road Caribou hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Mid August DIY Haul Road Caribou hunt

    Hello,
    4 of us are flying up from Wyoming for a DIY caribou hunt along the Dalton Highway, north of the Brooks Range. We've read larry's book, booked a truck, got tickets and tags (1 each), put gear together, and have been hiking with our packs loaded to help prepare. I've read most of the post related to this type of hunt and the information provided by folks on this forum is excellent. I do have a question that I have not seen adressed however (hope I didn't overlook it somewhere). This will probably be a once in a lifetime trip for us, and we were all considering buying more than one tag. Is that unrealistic as far as caring for the meat etc. is concerned. We all realize that is called hunting not killing, and we might not see that many, but we'd also hate to each get one early and then have 10 days left on our trip! Is there a place to buy additional tags if we encounter early success?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Closest place to the Haul Rd to buy tags is Fairbanks, as far as I know, which as you will find out is roughly an 8 hour drive...

  3. #3

    Default just my thoughts

    Are you going to be bowhunting? or Rifle hunting? If you have the money, you should buy the second tag before heading up. If you have one tag, you might want to be a bit choosier--especially with a rifle. Good luck.

  4. #4

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    You can buy tags in Prudhoe or in Coldfoot as well. If you plan on heading into town on occassion during your hunt, you could stick with the one tag for now, see how the hunting is and then purchase a second tag if needed after filling your first.

    The risk is to have to pass up a critter if your tag is already full and you don't have the second tag yet. The benefit is you don't have to spend another $325 if the animals aren't there.

    If it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the cash is there, I'd have two tags on me from the get go.

  5. #5
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    pm sent.....

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Get an blackbear tag and take a bear or wolf.Helps the bou and moose and puts something different on the wall

  7. #7
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Second Tag

    Since you are a non-resident a caribou tag is also good for a black bear. I've hunted Alaska (as a non-res) at least 12 times. The cost of the tags is a small part of what you will spend. Since you said this is likely to be the "hunt of a lifetime" I would agree - take 2 caribou tags from the get go.

    You can now shoot a smaller bull to assure yourself of something and then hold out for either a black bear or a "wallhanger".

    Regardless - have a great and safe time out there.

    Just keep telling yourself "It's only money"

  8. #8
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    Rifle hunting

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    We'd also like to do some fishing while we're there. We're not real big fishermen, but figured why not since we'll be there anyway. Any suggestions on bait? 2 fly fishermen and 2 rod and reels among us.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far too...

  10. #10

    Default Fish bait

    small spinners and spoons - trout size

  11. #11
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Black Bears

    I've never seen Black bears north side of Atigun Pass nor have I seen a blackie on the north side of the Brooks, I'm not saying it couldn't happen but normally you won't find a Black bear on that side. Now on the South side alond the Haul road thats a different story.

  12. #12
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    I've never seen Black bears north side of Atigun Pass nor have I seen a blackie on the north side of the Brooks, I'm not saying it couldn't happen but normally you won't find a Black bear on that side. Now on the South side alond the Haul road thats a different story.

    when i worked up there the furthest north i seen a black bear was between the First Koyukuk.. and Rosie creek prior to Cold foot.. after that 100% grizz.. and i think he was lost from the jim river area...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default rifle huntin...

    means at least 2-5 mile + hikes. Been there done that, learned I don't want to do it again..... but if that's where I gotta go to get away from the (ahem) people that blow my stalks and sling arrows over my head, so be it..... I have better things to occupy my time with for now...

    Shoot your bulls and leap frog them back to the road. 1/2 a mile or so at a time. It'll take a long time, but it's better than making the long walk back with 1 'bou for each 2 guys and having to go back for more fun.

    That's how I (we) did it. You'll be pretty much limited to the West side of the road unless you bring some kind of watercraft. I've seen inner tubes used before, but wouldn't recommend it. Not gonna explain it now, have to come back to ya later .... how we made crossing the Sag safe and un-eventfull.


    You'd better be in high country Mulie or elk shape before you get here.

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    Default crossing the river

    For a good read....... google "tyrolean traverse"

    Our system was more of a current powered ferry, but the idea is the same. Just less rope and hardware. 1 long rope, 1 short strap, a single pulley and a couple of caribiners is all it really takes. OH YEAH & PFD's are mandatory.... shouldn't have to say any more on that.

    Only sketchy parts are the initial crossings. Have to do that the hard way with no "guide rope" and it can get pretty interesting if you pick the wrong place. Moral of that story is pick the right place!!!

    A fairly decent quality raft works best. Nothing against Wal-Mart, but the wallyworld $40 pool toys aren't rafts. Sorry. They ain't cheap, but think Alpaca. There are others, just can't think of them .....

    You CAN NOT leave the crossing rope in place.... that could spell bad news to someone running the river in a boat. think clothes line.

    I do know of people that have tried to wade the Sag. Some made it, others didn't. There's enought 'bou west of the road that heading east ain't worth gettin dead... IMO

    Easy answer is to hunt the West side of the road if you're totin a boom stick.... They ain't sheep or griz so no point in risking your life any more than just being there is already doing.

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    Default

    Buy the second tag. There are usually enough animals for you to get two chances. If not, you have a good chance of getting a black bear south of the brooks range. Last year on the drive back down in early August I got two different stalks on two different blackies within 30 minutes of each other. They both smelled me and ran away but I did have the chance.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  16. #16
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Try Deltanna Outfitters

    I believe Deltana sells tags/licenses. I do not know if he sells them out of Happy valley though. I would give Deltanna a call and see if they would/could sell you an additional bou tag out of Happy valley. Let us know what you find out with Deltanna.

    http://deltana.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Leave the Spinfishers home!

    Kidding.
    Lots of grayling up there! anything small will work and you may just provide yourselves with a meal!

    Dont forget the fajita seasoning for the ptarmigan either... (bring a pellet gun or something lightweight)

  18. #18
    Member ACNDHO's Avatar
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    Default after that 100% grizz.. and i think he was lost from the jim river area... __________

    Last two summers I worked between pump1 and 3. Didn't see a lot of grizz but the evening cruises out of the pumps stations were bear cruises. We uasually had a few hanging around the stations that kept security on alert. This June had a grizz take a bou but to far for a good picture. A few others got a good pic of a wolf puttin a stalk on a few sheep in the same photo! That was down by pump 4.
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

  19. #19
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    Default Walking on tundra

    I'm sure you have read about it. You won't believe it when you experience it with a heavy pack on your back. It is tough but I would do it again. It is a memorable experience.

    I would suggest you prepare to set up camp some distance from the road and be patient. You will most likely be content to do the pack once. You will understand what I mean once you get that rascal the 5 plus miles to the road.

    Have fun and enjoy every moment. The drive up is an adventure, the caribou is icing on the cake.

  20. #20
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Some years there are caribou everywhere. Some years you couldn't find one if your life depended on it.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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