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Thread: DC001 attempt; turned into camping trip

  1. #1

    Default DC001 attempt; turned into camping trip

    This year I was blessed with a caribou permit in the area along the Resurrection Trail system on the Kenai Peninsula (DC001).

    My wife and I planned to hike into Caribou Creek cabin about 8 miles in from Hope and then find a way up the mountains to hunt the caribou around Cannonball Creek or Big Indian Creek. The weather had been very wet prior to our trip and was rainy on our hike in.



    We borrowed a handy one wheeled push cart from a friend who has done this hunt several times in the past. The hike in wasn't bad for pack weight, but imagine trying to pack up to 300# of caribou back out... this cart could certainly be a lifesaver!

    By the time we arrived at the cabin the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing. The cabin was restored a mere 2 weeks prior to our arrival and was AWESOME!




    We had a comfy time together for the night, enjoying some fine dining on Mountain House sweet and sour pork and a Snicker's bar for desert. It was great... Isn't it amazing how things always taste better in the woods?!

    The next day, the day we were planning on climbing the moutnain, was glorious!



    We set out to find a horse trail up the mountian. We hiked for a couple of hours and indeed found the trail, but because of the wet, rainy weather the week before, we couldn't find a safe way across the river or even to the river for that matter! So, despite weather window, we decided to simply convert our hunt into a backpacking camping trip.

    We stayed at the cabin one more night, only to wake up to rain and snow... it was a really good thing we didn't get stuck up on the side of the mountain! The hike out was bitter-sweet... it was tough to leave such breath taking scenery and yet the weather was no longer inviting or accomodating.

    All in all it was a great trip, a great time of solitude and bonding. Certainly a time we will remember for years to come.

  2. #2
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Hope you had plenty of firewood. My wife and I spent a couple of hours bucking up a couple of birch dead falls there a week and a half ago. We also spotted seven black bears on the hillside from the porch of that very cabin.

  3. #3

    Default No bears and little firewood

    We saw some tracks along the way of some nice sized black bear, but they didn't show themselves. The wood shack was mostly empty (had a good start in the tinderbox and a few sticks in the shed). We didn't mind taking our cart and finding some wood for the stove. The first night the stove was perfect, just the right temperature (froze during the night). The second night however, the stove got away from us... I was really, really glad to see the vents in the eves! We also left some firewood behind... I believe in leaving things better than I find them... the cabin was immaculate, so we contributed to the wood shed.

  4. #4
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Yup we woke up to the cabin being about 90 degrees. I guess I was a little to worried about being cold.

  5. #5
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Pass by the cabin a couple of summers ago, man that looks nice, reminds me of the recent rebuilt of the upper Russian lakes cabin, amazing the work there.

  6. #6

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    Looks like a wonderful time regardless on no 'bou.

    My wife and I hiked up into the Kenai Mnts 8 days ago for 3 day trip. Hiked in on a trail then broke off of it in order to actually get into the mountains. Camped around 3500' elevation. Only did about 20 miles in 3 days of hiking (more glassing) only thing we saw was a NICE looking bull moose the day after season. However that didn't matter much as it would have been WAY too far back to actually pack it out for my wife and myself. We had 2 straight days of 40-50 mph winds and rain/snow. But its amazing how the right gear makes miserable conditions bearable and even enjoyable. We both had a great time and still plan to day hunt it in October as time allows. Looks like you had some beautiful weather. Glad you and your wife enjoyed your camping trip. Thanks for the story and pics.

  7. #7
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Did you see any birds while you were in there?

  8. #8

    Default birds

    Not an abundance... but we did flush out a few spuce hens. Only saw one on the trail, the others were back a ways into the trees. We packed lighter so I didn't have the bow or sling shot... the birds were safe.

  9. #9
    Member wykee5's Avatar
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    I was in there about three weeks ago. I lined up 2 good pack mules (gullible good friends) and we went in for 4 days. All the way past East Creek cabin on day one, then bushwacked into the mountains on day 2. Actually ran into 6 bulls, one real nice, but when we saw them our wind was blowing up the valley right at them. I had a real bad feeling about it, and they winded us before we could get downwind of them and went over the top of the ridge they were on. I went up after them just in case they were hanging around over the top, and ran into one that somehow missed the word about the hunters coming up the valley. Of course this happened to be one of the small ones, and 18 miles in I decided to pass him up. Ended up with some beautiful weather for the last couple of days and had a great time. The last day we came out 19 miles. That was a pretty tough hike. We did see quite a few spruce grouse down low and multiple bunches of ptarmigan once we were above tree line. Here is a pic of the little guy I let walk. I'm headed out again in a few minutes, I'll report back if I find anything.

  10. #10

    Default Very cool pic!

    Thanks for sharing your story. That is an awesome pic with the caribou in the sights! I think that pack mules/horses are definitely the way to go and if I draw this permit again will definitely figure out how to make that happen.

  11. #11

    Default cabin guests?

    Did you have 3 guys at your cabin by chance the day you arrived? Just wondering. My friends son and two of his buddies were out on the trail and mentioned they had run into guests of the cabin with a reservation so they had to move on. Wondering if that was you by chance.

  12. #12

    Default Yup

    I did indeed. Great guys. Looks like they had a great time... I trust they made it out ok...

  13. #13
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    Default Game Cart

    Thanks for returning my cart in good condition. For those of you interested the cart is called a "Pac Orse" and I've had it for over 20 years now. I'm not sure if they still make it, but it's a pretty skookum cart that has held up well under a lot of abuse. I've packed out two large bodied caribou from the Kenai Mountains as well as several nice dall sheep rams from the Chitina walk in area with this cart. It really saves your back and will hold a lot of gear as well as your game meat, cape, and trophy horns or rack. I've had over 300 pounds on it. The drawback of couse is that you need to utilize a brush free trail to gain you some miles into your general hunting area. From there you are back packing the final miles, but there are places it can definitely help. I have used it in open tundra, but with lighter loads.

  14. #14
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default The cabin

    Talked to a guy on the trail this week seems they redid the Fox cabin too. We only saw a few spruce hen this weekend, nice ride out, the mud on the way in made for some pushing. Bad head cold too, fell bushed out of what should have been an easy ride.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15

    Default They made it out safely

    My buddies son and his friends made it off the trail safely. After departing the cabin they hiked the last 7 or so miles to the trailhead where they were picked up. The guys are all US Marine combat veterans of numerous trips to Iraq and the "stan". Hardened guys who had just returned from the desert and out enjoying AK before heading back to the "stan" in January. Most folks have the utmost respect or even fear of the bears in AK. I would have had pity on any bear that got itself into a "pickle" with these 3!! LOL.

    thanks and glad you had a safe trip.
    Brian

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