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Thread: Farewell Bison Success

  1. #1
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    Default Farewell Bison Success

    We survived Deshka Landing to Farewell by snowmachine and I got my Bull. Thanks to everyone who provided advice, GPS tracks, we even had two different people give us satellite phones to take with us. Someone else provided an aviation handheld. We were well equipped and the heaviest loaded group we saw on the trail. Just flew in from McGrath and I'll try and get the pictures up soon.

    The Arctic Oven was essential and incredible, we saw -50F while we were camped and we were warm and comfortable sleeping three of us. I highly recommend these tents.

    THE ARCTIC OVEN AND ALL ACCESSORIES ARE FOR SALE ON CRAIGSLIST NOW. SAVE 10% OFF THE NEW PRICE.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Absolutely awesome! I'm very glad to hear that you got one and that everything worked out well. I got a bull out of there in 2002, but since I was young and not equipped to do the snowmachine from Willow route, I ended up hiring someone from Nikoli to take me out there. I'd love to get another chance at this one some day and go the route you took. Very, very cool. Looking forward to the pictures!

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    ...Awesome!!
    -Congratulations!

    -I can't wait to see the pics, also!
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I ended up hiring someone from Nikoli to take me out there.
    Is this one of those situations where a little fore thought before writing might have been called for?
    Providing services in the field....................?????
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default well?

    Where is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would ask? Some pictures would be nice as well.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Is this one of those situations where a little fore thought before writing might have been called for?
    Providing services in the field....................?????
    Registered guide, marten. John Runkle. Thanks for always keeping me straight, though.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Between myself, my kids and my buddies we have 10 applications in for that draw this year. We'll keep our fingers crossed and if successful will be contacting you for advice Good job.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Between myself, my kids and my buddies we have 10 applications in for that draw this year.
    It only takes 1

    Good job John !
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Registered guide, marten. John Runkle. Thanks for always keeping me straight, though.
    Cool. So for those looking to do the hunt in the future, what did that one cost you? Between the flying and guiding, and shipping meat/hides, etc.?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    MT ain't you providing services in the field for big game hunters?

    used to live in mcgrath and rode out to farewell burn a few times, saw tracks but no buffalo, but my class did get to process a calf someone poached and grill it up on the spot...man was that some good eating!
    congrats on a great experience and putting in the effort to pull it off, love to see a tag get used!!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  11. #11

    Question

    Good job. But why didn't you ride back instead of flying back in? Did you fly the meat, machines and camp back with you?
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Jake, now you should know the answer to that question. I rent vehicles and equipment IN TOWN. No services are provided by me in the field.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Cool. So for those looking to do the hunt in the future, what did that one cost you? Between the flying and guiding, and shipping meat/hides, etc.?
    I flew myself to Nikolai and back, so that cut out a lot of the cost. Generally folks fly scheduled commercial to McGrath, then catch a mail plane to Nikolai. The hunt itself was somewhere around $2200 or so...maybe a couple hundred more? It was a steep price for me at the time, but when we looked at the logistics of taking our own machines, the cost of fuel, food, etc, and the potential cost of an unused bison permit, well...it was easier to justify. The kicker is that Runkle moved to Anchorage last year and didn't run his bison camp this year - at least, I think he didn't. The state cut way back on the number of Farewell permits, so my understanding is he just couldn't make the economics work any longer. Hopefully he'll get back in the game, though. His camp was right in the middle of good bison country, and the guy certainly knew how to find 'em and how to judge 'em. I doubt I will ever hire a guide again, but for that one hunt it was more than worth it. Without someone to help me with judging, I would have taken the first animal I saw. As it was I ended up with a pretty nice bull and a great hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Where is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would ask? Some pictures would be nice as well.
    Guys if you can be patient I will tell the rest, and it is one HELL of a story, we winched up thousands of feet of hills, saw temps to -50F, multiple bison stalks, sometimes 70-100 bison spread out over 1 1/2 miles. There was plenty of suffering on this trip and I swore this was my first and LAST time I personally will run that trail. The trip ended being round trip ride when Mike hit a rock with his ski under the snow that brought him and the over 75 gal of fuel behind him to a dead stop. It actually broke a piece of his frame and now his shock springs were rubbing his A-arms and were still in the Dalzell Gorge with snow coming down and piling up.
    I'm still on a leave of abscense from work for this trip which means I'm away from high speed Internet, picture uploading, etc. And now that were back I have to prep the boat for the winter king derby, more to come. Here's something for you though, I called my wife one night on the sat phone while camped in the Dalzell Gorge and told her this is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever done.

    More later

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    I would be lying if I didn't say...it actually sounds like my kind of hunt

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    I've got a few more minutes while waiting for a flight. We stopped at Runkles "Bison Camp" on the way out. It is in total disrepair and falling down, doesn't appear to have been used
    in years AND the animals don't seem to favor that area any more, as the burn area has grown up significantly. Yes there used to be 25 March permits and now there are only 5 per year. There is much written on telling cow from bull and yearling from mature, but NOTHING written on telling a large animal from a smaller bull. I shot a bill that we estimated counting rings on the horns to be 4 yrs old. Tasty, tender meat but i had been hoping for much bigger. VERY hard animal to judge.

    Not all costs are determined yet, but it wasn't cheap. Flights from McGrath to ANC were $280 last minute. Freight on NAC is .30 per pound for backhaul. We may have a $900 bill with them. Lodging in McGrath was $200 per night for the three of us. I'll pass on more later. Oh yeah the fishing in Farewell Lake was INCREDIBLE for pike and Lake trout. I'm talking smoking hot. Yes, we even brought a gas power ice auger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Where is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would ask? Some pictures would be nice as well.
    ....I miss Paul Harvey....
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMooseMan View Post
    I would be lying if I didn't say...it actually sounds like my kind of hunt

    ...I was thinking the same thing!


    ...although, it sounds like this was the trip from h*** for him, from what he has relayed so far; I am sure I would have said no more,as well, after that hunt!
    ...I mean, I said it each time after childbirth..."Never Again"...
    -but, I did end up having five.....
    -lol-
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John S View Post
    We stopped at Runkles "Bison Camp" on the way out. It is in total disrepair and falling down,
    I'm sorry to hear that. It was a great place a few years back. All of the wall tents had their interior frames covered with mini hunt reports scribed into the wood. It was a great way to get excited about the next day's hunt.

    Quote Originally Posted by John S View Post
    Oh yeah the fishing in Farewell Lake was INCREDIBLE for pike and Lake trout. I'm talking smoking hot. Yes, we even brought a gas power ice auger.
    Great to hear! That might be a fun place to stop via floatplane sometime, or maybe in the winter on skis.

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    Good to hear you were successful, look forward to hearing the rest of the story.

    OE

    A couple pics of the rigs as they pass through Rohn:


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