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Thread: DIY Caribou W/My Own Airplane?

  1. #1

    Default DIY Caribou W/My Own Airplane?

    Hello Alaskan Hunters,
    I own a Maule M-4 210 HP with 29' tires and oversized tailwheel too. Anyway I really enjoy your forum, and am planning on a August 2010 "Do it myself" caribou hunt.

    After reading reading everything I can from this, other forums, and books I think hunting upstream from the Villige of Noatak would be my best bet for caribou. I had considered hunting off the Dalton Highway, but am not familiar with landing areas there and think the gravel bars on the Noatak would be a better option.

    The time frame I'm considering is the first three weeks in August flying flying up from North Idaho. So far I have an Iridium sat phone, and a possible wingman in another Maule. It would be great to tag along with some local pilots, or just get some realistic advice. Thanks in advance!

    James
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  3. #3
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default nice

    Very nice plane. Wish you the best of luck. If you need a co-pilot let me know

  4. #4
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default How...

    ... are you going to keep that meat from going sour on your long flight home?

  5. #5
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Nice ride

    That is a fine looking airplane. Good luck in you endeavor. I can't help you in regards to navigation, Caribou, or logistics but I certainly appreciate your spirit.

    I hope you get plenty of good info from the folks up north.

    Many live in smaller towns and might be able to coordinate shipping your meat and trophy home in return for a little scouting flight or backstrap. Most of the small towns have strips for your plane.

    Best wishes.

  6. #6
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thats a great looking Maule! I assume you have a bit of back country and off runway experience with landings and takeoffs. If so you shouldn't have much of a problem landing on gravel bars and such. Just be prepared for our insane fuel prices!
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    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

    Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.

  7. #7
    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    Default

    in kotz and noatak your fuel will be around $7 a gallon. unless a miracle happens by next summer when the barge comes up.

  8. #8

    Default Caribou Hunt W/My Plane?

    Alaska Hunters,
    Thanks for the replies! I'm all ears, appreciate, and respect your local knowledge. Flying in Alaska is not my backyard, like North Idaho is. This self supported flight and hunt to Noatak will require a lot of logistics as well as cash $$.

    Last September I planned, and packed for a two week elk hunt in the Idaho Wilderness with my Maule. Luckily I shot a nice 6x6 bull elk on opening day. It was however disconcerting to see all the bones and carcases left by the recently introduced wolves.

    Anyway any information regarding landing areas, hazards, or just the address of a big double shovel caribou would be greatly appreciated. I've got some connections with DHL shipping to get the meat home.

    James

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default nice

    Great picture with your Maule and the ram!

    If you go to gmu23 make sure you get up to speed on land ownership. You can't necessarily land everywhere that you can land. Start with NANA corporation and go from there. Not familiar with Noatak myself.

  10. #10
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    James, you might consider posting on the bush flying forum on this site.

    One thing for sure, you're gonna want to keep tabs on the water levels on the Noatak once you get closer. Things can change real fast too if bad weather moves in.

    Inform yourself on Alaska hunting regulations governing aircraft use. And like Milo said, what is privately owned land. A small raft may prove beneficial. Most of all, hope you have a lot of hours doing off-airport landings and take-offs in that M-4. They ain't no super cub <grin>. Rocks sure look a lot smaller from the air than they really are!

  11. #11
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Sayak............he could probably get the meat back like any other non local hunter up there............ship it home. He could also give some fresh meat away.
    Most of the Noatak drainage above the village is Nat. Preserve. Your legal to hunt there. Some pretty good sized gravel bars on that river. Water levels could be an issue tho. You won't really know till you get there. Should be ridges and benches to land on as well. Mid august is before the normal migration. Might have to fly around some to find animals and a place to land/camp.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  12. #12
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    Default

    Upstream from the Kelly, it gets a bit narrower, though more than landable. The water will rise from storms in the mountains 100 miles east, and August is our rainiest month. Keep'n an eye on the weather is a must.

    There are quite a few landable spots on the ridges to the north as well.

    As pointed out about the gas, nothing is cheap up this way.

    The FnG trooper can point out some good places land, Im sure he knows them all. Stop in and chat with him in Kotz.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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  13. #13

    Default Noatak No Fly Zone

    You may also want to consider the no fly zone on the Noatak. I heard they extended it from like august 15th through September. Also they added some mandatory training for private pilots and anyone else flying into gmu23 and you have to take that before you go. Last year it seemed like there was more Caribou south of Kotzebue near Buckland.

  14. #14
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Remember if you land in Canada for a refuel you will need your firearms paperwork in order and no handguns.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flying View Post
    You may also want to consider the no fly zone on the Noatak. I heard they extended it from like august 15th through September. and you have to take that before you go. Last year it seemed like there was more Caribou south of Kotzebue near Buckland.
    "Also they added some mandatory training for private pilots and anyone else flying into gmu23"? I didn't see this in the regulations. Is it a Fish and Game regulation?

    Thanks,

    James

  16. #16
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default never heard of such a thing

    Never heard of such a thing. Sounds like rummores made into hard fact. After all who could check you out without giving up good hunting spots, and you know that isn't going to happen! Then again maybe the Point Hope boys figure there are lots of extra Caribou in thier area.LOL Good luck with the hunt, Tom

  17. #17
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James/Spokane Maule Pilot View Post
    "Also they added some mandatory training for private pilots and anyone else flying into gmu23"? I didn't see this in the regulations. Is it a Fish and Game regulation?

    Thanks,

    James
    There is some stuff going on. I don't know the details but send me a pm and I can point you in the right direction to get info.

  18. #18

    Default Flying up north

    I was told by the guy that fly's us out each year for Caribou that the game board changed it in Nome in November. They changed the non resident bag limit for Caribou to 2 animals but also changed the no fly zone and the pilot training. He said the pilot training sounded like total BS but they passed the proposal on it. Might check the board website or something. I'll check into more for a link.

  19. #19
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default

    One thing for sure, you're gonna want to keep tabs on the water levels on the Noatak once you get closer. Things can change real fast too if bad weather moves in.
    This ain't no lie I worked on the Noatak surveying years ago. Complete gravel bars, two miles long, were gone in a matter of hours when the river came up. We had to go work in another area because all our temporary survey points were under water.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  20. #20

    Default Flight Training To Hunt?

    Hello Alaska Hunters,
    Anymore word on this "flight training to hunt"? I give checkrides for a living and have never heard of anything like this. Idaho has some pretty challenging airstips, and there is no requirement for training.

    Thanks,

    James

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