Got Back Last Week - we did OK
Just got back from another trip to The Last Frontier. Four of us (3 nonres & 1 res) got 5 'bou, a black bear and a moose.
Here's my 'bou
Here's Bill's moose
We arrived in Anchorage at 0-dark thirty on Thursday morn (9/14). We had planned to drive to Seward for some halibut fishing but there was a typhoon blowing in the Gulf of Alaska and there were 25' swells reported in Resurrection Bay. So we got some sleep at Merle's place.
When the sun came up we drove to Palmer Creek, near Hope and backpacked in a short distance. Friday hiked up to a high lake and saw nothing encouraging so decided to hunt the lower part of the valley. We broke camp and went back to the truck where we did some glassing. Bill spotted a blackie from five miles away using his expensive glass. We drove the road to get close. I had the first chance to climb up the steep slope covered in 5' high grass and I got to within about 1/4 mile of him. But the wind shifted and he left the premises. Bill was watching from the road but lost him in some alders. When I got back down to the road, we drove about 1/2 mile and I spotted him again, about 1,000 feet above the road. Bill climbed the slope and the wind cooperated this time and he shot him but he didn't die. We had to track him into the alders (that's kind of scarey) but finally caught up with him and Bill administered the fatal shot. No photos because light was fading and we had to get gim skinned and back to the truck. It's a nice bear with a midnight black coat, about 5 1/2'. We were on him for eleven hours, from 10:30 AM when Bill spotted him, until 9:30 PM when we finally got him back to the truck.
On Sunday, fished for halibut with Aurora Charters out of Seward and everyone got their limit. There were still 5' swells and many of the passengers were chumming by launching their already eaten lunches over the railing.
Monday morning flew to Kotzebue and four of us met up to be dropped off on the Anisak River by Jim Kincaid of Northwestern Aviation. He did everything that he promised and some extra. No complaints.
Pickins were pretty slim. Nothing like the huge herds we saw on the Kugururok River in '07. We had to climb the ridges and hunt for them up high. On Tuesday Merle and Joe both connected on nice bulls, 1.7 miles from camp, as the crow flies. The four of us managed to pack them back to camp in one trip.
A storm appeared during the night and on Wednesday we could see that the Brooks Range, twenty-five miles away, was really getting hammered. But it was just kind of spitting sleet on the river and the wind was howling about fifty miles an hour. Bill and I glassed and called for moose on Wednesday morning. Saw a couple of cows and a calf but no bulls. We hiked up onto the higher ridges in the afternoon. Saw a few caribou but no shooters.
Thursday the wind was still roaring down the South slopes of the Brooks Range. At times up on those unprotected ridges, the wind was nearly knocking us off of our feet. Bill and I shot a couple bulls from 170 yards with a cross wind that created about a foot and a half of wind drift. We were 2 miles from camp and packed them about half way back, then carried a load into camp.
The wind was still screaming on Friday morning when the four of us packed them the rest of the way. Bill, myself and Joe glassed and called for moose in the afternoon. No luck.
Saturday, more of the same wind. Jow spotted Bullwinkle in the willows across the river and Bill put three holes into his lungs from 200 yards. Merle was having trouble with his waiders so he couldn't get across the river. Three of us crossed the river, skinned and caped him in 2 1/2 hours then packed him back across the river. We were a mile from camp but we cleared the brush from a big flat gravel bar so the bush plane could land there. We only had to pack him about 1/4 mile.
We hadn't seen very many 'bou all week, but on Sunday evening, while we were waiting for the plane to arrive, 40 bulls walked into camp and Merle (the resident) shot a second one.
We could have taken a couple of brown bears but had to pass because nonresidents can't hunt them without a guide. Merle must have been kind of confused about the need for a bear tag. He said that he had visited the F&G office in Anchorage and they told him that he didn't need a bear tag in that unit. But I guess he didn't believe them because he made no attempt to kill the bears that we spotted and told him about.
I hate marsh mounds.
Had a great time again.
Yea... just OK.
Jeeze man, you guys tore it up. Congrats on your hunt!
I am eating a breakfast burrito with the bear sausage as I read this.
It was a another great trip with great hunting companions.......alot of hard work but very rewarding and **** fun! I'm looking forward to our next adventure!
Sorry about the trip....maybe you guys will have better luck next time.