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Thread: Drainage hunting pressure

  1. #1
    Member BIG 27's Avatar
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    Default Drainage hunting pressure

    Just curious on what is proper edicate on you have a hunt booked in the Brooks for a sheep hunt and when your descending you see a camp from the air. Should you land and hunt as planned or should you ask pilot to find a new place? How does most air taxis deal with this dilema .How many hunters are two many working the same drainage where sheep populations seem to be stable.

    BIG 27
    ďA man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him,and leaving something of himself upon it -- Sir Martin Conway

  2. #2
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default My actions

    On my Brooks hunt in 09 I hiked in the 5 miles and found SYND sitting in the exact bowl I wanted to hunt at the head of the drainage I was trying to access. He owned some premium real esate and I just swallowed my pride and shifted gears. For 4 days I watched sheep all around his hunting area. I had a few in my area. It certainly deflated us for a time but after a day of glassing we found other areas with sheep and focused on those.

    Essentially I created enough space that he didn't even know I was there. After the hunt we figured it out.

    To answer your question directly......One hunting party at the head of a drainage is enough in my opinion. With modern optics you essentially are hunting the whole thing. It would be a bad and questionable situation having two hunting parties heading after a legal ram at the same time.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Big27,
    When I am dropping hunters or fisherman off, if there is another camp in the area I will try to move the client to another place, in the same area but not on top of the other guy. Not good business to drop people on top of each other.
    Thanks
    Jeff Kruse
    Bushwhacker Air

  4. #4
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    Default ethics

    good ethics, Jeff the charter CO we use here does the same.

  5. #5

    Wink

    Biggest problem with just going somewhere else, is that many of the camps are DECOY CAMPS, specifically set up to keep you and others out. Here is the deal: In most drainages there are established landing areas, with low risk and protected approaches. That is where the Base Camps are set up. Once you get up into the Spike Camps you will likely not see oneanothter. Don't alter your plans, set your course and go hunt.

    BTW: Residents as well as Guides set up Decoy Camps.
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  6. #6
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default space to roam...

    Big27,

    I do believe you and your air support should strive to create as much space between you and your neighbors as possible, but...

    Sometimes there can be several or many sheep canyons near an existing air strip...so pick one...
    or perhaps there is only one air strip in a giant main drainage...so go hike farther...
    or perhaps after being dropped off and hiking 10 or 20 miles (which you should be doing anyway) you bump into a camp in your preferred spot...in which case hike 4 more miles. Suck it up, and create the space.

    I have only been on 29 sheep hunts, producing 27 rams for myself, my friends or clients.
    I have never bumped into or observed a DECOY CAMP set up by resident hunters. Way too much work if they are on foot power, way to expensive if using either personal aircraft or a commercial air support provider.

    I have observed one guide outfit that set up camps that were not in use, but that were expected to be used later in the sheep season. So those would qualify as "decoy camps". And while I have heard of "dummy or decoy camps" many times, I have not saw any others besides the situation I just mentioned. But no dought, they must exist.

    So use your judgement. Be physically conditioned and mentally tough enough to hike another 10 miles, which on level ground is only another 3 hours. Always plan a few extra days of hunt-time to deal with unexpected issues.
    Outlive the competition....put additional barriors like rivers or mountains...between you and them other guys who beat you into your preferred spot! Face reality, if they got there first...their plan was a little better than your plan.

    And yes, other hunters have beat me into my preferred area once. After hiking 24 miles into an area, someone had planned better and got there before me. So i hiked back four miles. We got sheep. They got sheep. I'll admit that the biggest ram THEY got in MY AREA was the biggest. They planned a little bit better than I did.
    Have a great hunt.

    Dennis

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Biggest problem with just going somewhere else, is that many of the camps are DECOY CAMPS, specifically set up to keep you and others out..........BTW: Residents as well as Guides set up Decoy Camps.
    I've run into this. I consider it in itself to be unethical and have no problem whatsoever hunting right on top of such a "camp".

  8. #8
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    Default just do it Tim

    I guess you could just take a nap in his tent, hell it is already set up!
    Just kidding Tim, good luck with this dilema.

  9. #9

    Default

    If it were me and there were many spots that held good populations that were somewhat close (that i knew were empty) i would head out to them, if it would ruin my plans, id introduce the fellow to a thing called hunting pressure, maybe alaskans dont know about it yet

  10. #10

    Default

    How many of you would stop and visit? I mean introduce yourself and find out the other parties plans. Discuss how both parties would feel comfortable hunting around the others, how close or how far you should be. Maybe you are planning to go different directions, maybe one is about done hunting or has to leave early. Maybe people backed out in both parties and you decide to hunt "together".

    Or would you walk a wide circle around and completely avoid the other hunter to not disturb them? How far would you stay?

    I haven't run into too many others, but I personally tend to talk to the other hunter if I see them and it looks like I would not be interupting anything. Others times/situations like if I spot them from a long ways away or I was not planning to hunt near there anyway, I will be sure to try to totally avoid the area.

    A couple of years ago on the Ak Penn for fall brown bear I remember the guide showing me a couple of areas where another guide would land and do some spike camps so I would avoid them. I set up spikes and ferried so as to try to avoid anyone else. Come actual season a couple of planes landed on this other guides strip/tents and set up tents not a couple hundred yards away. Then later that day or the next, I don't remember for sure, those two planes showed up a few hundred yards from one of our sites. The guide I was working for thought he knew who they were. Thought it was some guide that had his license suspended/lost and was now supposedly hunting for himself Not sure if the trooper talked to them or not, but I didn't think it was a very good way to conduct oneself in the field.

  11. #11

    Wink

    I have seen the "visits" go several ways, from a cordial discussion, to a knockdown dragout. Some guys are more tolerant and some fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. Bottomline though, is that a tent/tarp set up at a strip is there for one reason and to keep you out. Very few would remain at a strip to hunt out of, especially for sheep. Lots of camps are set up days or weeks prior to season openers, and are rarely occuppied. You might find a camp with someone in it, but more often than not, I haven't. I just try to keep my distance from others and hope they do the same with me.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  12. #12

    Default

    Why not just go in a week early......? Why not go in Two weeks early....? Why not just go in a MONTH early. Got a job but love hunting.....think your a passionate hunter.......QUIT your job. That is what we would do.

    We would fly into the "Gates of the Arctic National Park" and stay for Five or Six Weeks, just two resident hunters on a sheep/grizzly/wolf hunt. We would shoot a small caribou every few weeks for camp meat. We would shoot 6 to 8 wolves to sell for enough money to cover the cost of the hunt. We never saw another human for six weeks, this was in 70' and again in 1971.

    We watched the wolves pull down sheep and caribou. One time we watched 37 wolves in one pack eat a cow caribou and a calf in a half an hour. The weather was good, and we had time for a nice base camp. But mostly there was no pressure on us, we just wandered around exploring valley after valley, making three day and four day loops back to base camp, always watching game, always learning, now days people learn on the internet forums, kind of sad, in a way.

  13. #13
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    I have run into "dummy camps" - most commonly in an area utilized by more than one guide. For myself I frequently set up a tent fairly close to an established strip to store extra and/or back up gear in. For a 7-10 hunt I usually do not return until the day before or day of pick up. For a 2 wk hunt (usually Brooks) I will often return around day 7 to 10 to resupply. On numerous occasions I have landed and found another tent (usually unoccupied), set up my megamid (or similar) and take off. Usually on my return the other tent will be gone and I will never have seen the other hunter or hunters. Just my experience and what I do ..... to hopefully add perspective to the multiple possibilities.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    I have run into "dummy camps" - most commonly in an area utilized by more than one guide. For myself I frequently set up a tent fairly close to an established strip to store extra and/or back up gear in. For a 7-10 hunt I usually do not return until the day before or day of pick up. For a 2 wk hunt (usually Brooks) I will often return around day 7 to 10 to resupply. On numerous occasions I have landed and found another tent (usually unoccupied), set up my megamid (or similar) and take off. Usually on my return the other tent will be gone and I will never have seen the other hunter or hunters. Just my experience and what I do ..... to hopefully add perspective to the multiple possibilities.
    This is exactly how we hunted Kodiak from the salt this past season. Nothing like a big heavy tent on the bay to come down to after a week in a bare bones alpine spike camp. Nice to be able to stand up inside in that case but would have been an equal improvement to go from a bivi to a smaller 4 man.

  15. #15
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Tim,

    As to your original question, some air taxis deal with it differently than others. I'd sure ask your air-taxi how they deal with such a thing, and what they expect when they fly you out. Typically the air-taxis all know each other, and they know the guides too who fly in clients, and all the various landing areas. The good air taxis won't bring out too many hunters, and try to work with everyone else so conflicts don't develop.

    It's pretty important to hire one of the good air taxis!

  16. #16

    Default I've had guys in the area I hunt

    and they head out before me. I am going to where I am going and if we have a conflict I guess we just do. I figure I will out walk anyone and pretty much know where the sheep will go when spooked, so no big deal. I also know what I have to go through to get to where I have to go, so never really worry too much!

    Actually met a couple of hunters this fall. They were a couple of 60 year old guys hunting sheep! They were looking for a way past a canyon. My partner and I talked to them in the evening and they were really nice guys and we actually were "inspired" to see these two old timers out hunting sheep! One of the guys owned a business and actually knew my dad. We told them to head back up our way in the morning and we would walk them up to a trail that would take them to the top of the mountain. We enjoyed our campfire that night and the next day hoping that these two guys found a ram to harvest! We figured if there was a legal ram up there, they were more deserving of it than us! I can only hope that I will still be doing it when I am 60!!

  17. #17
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    There is not always "another" place to go. Landing a bush plane on unfamiliar terrain is risky. Pushing your pilot to "find" another place to put you is even riskier.
    Like Northway and Goosepilot say, maybe consider just being a nice guy and trying to work things out.
    Whatever happened to sharing? Why isn't the ABHA recommending that?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    There is not always "another" place to go. Landing a bush plane on unfamiliar terrain is risky. Pushing your pilot to "find" another place to put you is even riskier.
    Like Northway and Goosepilot say, maybe consider just being a nice guy and trying to work things out.
    Whatever happened to sharing? Why isn't the ABHA recommending that?
    Kinda how i look at it...around here its very rare to have a spot all to yourself while elk hunting, if you do, its probly cause there aint no elk there lol.

  19. #19
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Biggest problem with just going somewhere else, is that many of the camps are DECOY CAMPS, specifically set up to keep you and others out. Here is the deal: In most drainages there are established landing areas, with low risk and protected approaches. That is where the Base Camps are set up. Once you get up into the Spike Camps you will likely not see oneanothter. Don't alter your plans, set your course and go hunt.

    BTW: Residents as well as Guides set up Decoy Camps.
    Akres is absolutely correct, DECOY CAMPS !!! ....this practice has been done alot by outfitters, especially along main drainages, they try to keep other hunters out. If I'm in the NW Brooks range, where its concessioned for outfitters, I always try to find out where the outfitter will be going then I go the other way. ....Always run into more rams.

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