Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Going Caribou Hunting for Mid-life Crisis

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    35

    Default Going Caribou Hunting for Mid-life Crisis

    At 48, instead of getting the red sports car and younger wife, I've decided to go hunting for the first time. Last summer it was dipnetting for the first time at Chitina (and again this summer). So I got my fishing/hunting license in May and filled in the application for the Nelchina Caribou herd hunt in unit 13. Since I had not hunted before I was told that it was unlikely I would win a permit and was not expecting to. But yesterday I discovered by accident (online) that I had won an RC566 permit. I had assumed I would get something in the mail notifying me of this, but saw in this forum that one could check your status online and was quite surprised to learn I had won a permit there.

    So my question is this: is it important to get out as soon as possible after August 10 to get my caribou? I don't have four-wheeler--just a four wheel drive truck. Any other advice is welcome as well. My gut feeling is that this will be a nice introduction to caribou hunting.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    Getting out early would be a good idea, as it will give you time to figure things out with plenty of season left in case you're not successful the first time or two afield. If you can't borrow an ATV, I would spend a fair amount of time hunting from your truck on the Denali Highway. I've seen caribou from the road everywhere from Brushkana Creek to right outside of Paxson. Find pullouts where you can see for a distance, and spend a lot of time glassing. You can often find small groups of caribou a mile or three off the road that don't move much during the day. This is especially true in the non-motorized areas north of the road, as they don't have the pressure that those caribou near ATV trails get. I've taken some this way - the only potential downside is that you'll have to make 2-3 trips to carry the caribou back to the road. You might try to connect with another person who has hunted the area before. It's not too tough to learn, but experience always helps. Good luck to you! Great choice for a mid-life crisis.

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Mid life crisis...

    Good for you man.

    And it is cheaper than drugs, booze, and fast women.

    Well, maybe not, but it is safer


    .
    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.

  4. #4
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    You've made a partial wise choice. Bou hunting in unit 13 should be quite enjoyable. Read Brian's advice.............see the part about the 2-3 trips to haul the meat back to the truck.............well..................ummmmmm... ...............you should probably get the younger wife too!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahaha.
    I want to thank you for the post..........it's so timely considering all the whining on another thread. I hope you get the biggest, fattest bull bou evershot in unit 13.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NorthWest Alaska
    Posts
    3,639

    Default

    1 Caribou is a nice start.

    They have good eyes and good noses,so watch your movment and the wind.

    You'll learn alot, wether you catch one or not.

    Yaaaa.......shoot a fat Bull.
    Last edited by strangerinastrangeland; 07-26-2009 at 02:23. Reason: save myself from myself
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

  6. #6
    Member Phil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Liverpool, NY (a suburb of Syracuse)
    Posts
    494

    Default Optimistic

    Lets see - mid-life at 48?? Makes you sound like 96 - 100 is the goal. Congratulations and, yes, it does beat some of the other options + it might last LOTS longer than a younger woman.

    I assume you are a resident as I think most (maybe all) of Unit 13 is closed to non-residents. Just follow Brian's advice - be patient and use binocs LOTS. For me (a non-resident) caribou hunting has ben very frustrating. They are there - no they are not, they are 100 miles away. Just keep working on them and you should be successful. BTW, they are LOTS smaller than moose (and that is very important when you are 2 or 3 miles away from transportation.

    Be sure to post pictures here after your hunt.

  7. #7
    Member AkBama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    27

    Default Right On!!

    Better late than never.

    Happy Hunting!

    Good luck and be safe!
    AkBama

  8. #8
    Member mntransplant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    S. Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    359

    Default Chitina Results

    Just wondering how your dipnetting trip went? Glad to see that good people are getting out and enjoying the outdoor activities.

  9. #9
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson
    Posts
    1,556

    Default Unit 13 Caribou

    Congrats on winning the permit! We also have a permit, and are looking forward to putting some meat in the freezer. You'll do fine on getting a bou. An atv is nice, but not necessary to scoring a caribou. A few were shot on my property adjacent the Denali Highway at mile 68. Brian, as always, is right on. You'll see bou anywhere between Brushkana and Paxson. There are a lot of trails up there, and you'll see more critters walking them then we do riding our atv's down them. Don't forget you can hunt grizzlies, blackies, and wolves at the same time your hunting your bou, and you can also hunt moose in the same are from Sept 1st to the 20th. So lot's of options.

    Good Luck!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  10. #10

    Default Ahtna Land

    Also be aware that some of the land along the Denali is private land owned by Ahtna, there was another thread on here that mentioned at what mile marker the Ahtna land ended. I believe if you go into the non-motorized area Brian mentioned that is east of Ahtna's land, but just be sure you know where the boundaries are.

    Good luck, never too late to take up hunting!

  11. #11

    Default

    Congradulations on the permit and choices. I hope you score on a bou, and I cant wait to hear of your success. How would you word the thread? Maybe something like! : Mid life crisis first Caribou.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mdhunter View Post
    Also be aware that some of the land along the Denali is private land owned by Ahtna, there was another thread on here that mentioned at what mile marker the Ahtna land ended. I believe if you go into the non-motorized area Brian mentioned that is east of Ahtna's land, but just be sure you know where the boundaries are.

    Good luck, never too late to take up hunting!
    As long as you are east of Brushkana you are past the AHTNA land.

  13. #13

    Default Just get local....

    Go to the Tangle River Lodge. Ask for Jack Johnson, the proprietor. Have dinner and eat a chili burger; and stay at the bunkhouse. You will probably get a caribou in a day to three days tops. They will tell you which passes to concentrate on and where you can walk to.
    The guy is a Nelchina Caribou Institution.
    The topic of caribou will come up and he will have probably more insight on caribou in this region then anyone alive.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I found a map online showing where the Ahtna private land is. It is not continuous:

    http://ahtna.lands.googlepages.com/cantwell.jpg

    I'm thinking of starting my hunt at the Paxson end. I'll leave my family in the travel trailer at Tangle lakes and head towards the non-motorized area.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I was planning on heading down this weekend to the Denali Highway but the rain makes me want to wait for another week.

    I'm trying to decide when I should go as I can't afford to make three different trips if the first one is not successful.

    I was reading in Batin's book "Hunting in Alaska..." the following:

    "Bulls need to scrape velvet from their antlers in lateAugust. They move down into the lower brushy areas to do this, forsaking the safety ofthe high alpine country. After their antlers are polished, bulls are constantly onthe move in search of receptive cows."

    Since I'm hunting on foot without an ATV, going the last week of August to hunt off the Denali Highway, might be the best time to go--especially if the bulls come down to scrape their antlers.

    Does this sound like a good strategy for my circumstances?

  16. #16

    Default

    Caribou are wanderers and constantly on the move. Find yourself a nice vantage point to glass from and stay there and glass, glass, glass. Eventually a caribou or 20 will wander by giving you your chance. I also hope you shoot a big fat bull and look forward to your report and pics!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •