Bow hunting Caribou
We are planning our second caribou hunt and canít decide were to go. We hunted the Malchatna herd in 05 saw a lot of bou. We were bow hunting and only one of us was lucky enough to get a shot, and yes we came home empty handed. I was wondering if anyone could give some advice or opinion on the Malchatna herd, Western Artic herd, or the Aleutian Islands.
White - First of all, I would suggest that you search the archives of the old forums. There is an incredible amount of information, and you could easily spend hours sifting through various writings and reports on the caribou herds of the state. Here's a few brief ideas, though:
Mulchatna: This herd is in a time of pretty significant decline, especially as it relates to mature bulls. Nice caribou can still be taken, but they're fewer and farther between. Of course, you say you saw a lot, so you never know. This used to be tops, but is no longer the #1 choice of caribou hunters looking for a large bull.
WAH - This has become the premier destination for fly-out caribou hunters in Alaska. Numbers are good, trophy potential is great, bag limits are still liberal. I'm not familiar with the terrain, so you'll have to check the archives on that. This area is getting more crowded every year, but it's still possible to find seclusion up there.
Aleutians - Never hunted Adak, but understand that it can be a pretty fun and rewarding caribou hunt. I've seen pics of some awesome bulls out of there, and it seems like it would be a truly unique place to hunt. Be forewarned, though, that the airline ticket to get there is pretty steep. Of course, you wouldn't have to charter a bush plane like you would for the WAH or Mulchatna, so it may actually be cheaper. If you have mileage on Alaska Airlines, this hunt could be downright economical. From my understanding, logistics can be a bit tricky, so search through the archives and contact someone who has hunted it.
Lastly, don't totally discount the Haul Road caribou hunt. If you can find someone to rent you a truck, this drive north of the Brooks Range can be a blast. You'll share the area with other hunters, but there can be lots of caribou and it's bowhunting only within five miles of the road. Absolutely NOTHING to hide behind up there, but it sure is fun.
If you have more specific questions after searching the archives, go ahead and post them. This place is a wealth of knowledge!
Hunt the WACH
the largest herd in the state numbering in the millions, & the Mulchatna is in decline, so I would go with the WACH, & find a reputable airservice to bring you in where the 'bou are, you can query many a hunter here on this site for good airservices if you want 2.
Whoa there, gogoalie.........the western arctic herd isn't anywhere near even ONE million. It has hovered between 4 and 500 thou for several years now. Please check wth ADF&G if you doubt me.
If your an ethical hunter (don't ask me how to determine that) give Mike Strahan a PM. He has the inside track on hunting Adak.........or so he said on the old forum.
Martin, your right, I over exaggerated a bit, but hey, am a hunter & fisher...honestly the fish was this big!!!
The haul road is a good option, depending on when. The caribou seem to pretty much follow the same paths through out the day. I found where the first ones came through in the morning and built a snow "fort" to hide behind. It worked, I was surrounded. You can also rig up a blind but you have to be careful, anything that looks out of the ordinary is something they tend to avoid. They have also learned to be very wary of crossing under the pipeline and over the road.
The WAH would be my choice, a lot of animals and places to hide if you get dropped into the right areas. Good luck.
I would like to say thanks for all the info. I have been searching the archives and found lots of info., more than I know what to do with. Thank you all.
I Hunted the WAH out of Kotzebue and loved it. Terrian was tundra and high hills. I was on the Aggi River. We saw a couple hundred Bou but never in a big herd. Mid 20's is what we a at a time.
I can not wait to go back. One thing about the Mulchat and WAH is the antlers. WAH tends to have a V shape compared to the Mulchatna herd which has a U shape. More tropyies has come out of th Mulchat. Though the WAH has some very big Bou to. I got a great Bou.