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Thread: Adak Caribou seeking information

  1. #1

    Question Adak Caribou seeking information

    I'm heading out to go caribou hunting on Adak in late August and am seeking information from anyone having knowledge about some of the logistics of hunting there. If you don't want to post here please contact me at lhickshunts@yahoo.com. Thanks for any info and assistance.

  2. #2

    Post Adak Charter Flight

    I work for a flying service here in Anchorage. We get customers wanting to charter aircraft to Adak or surrounding areas. When asked why they dont fly with someone like Alaska Airlines they say that it is a little cheaper if they charter a aircraft as long as there is at least 6 people going out there.

    I dont know exactly what we charge out to Adak but if you have a group between 4 - 8 people going I could find out for you.

    Plus if you charter an aircraft from Anchorage than you dont have to wait in line at the airport.

  3. #3
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    Default adak hunt

    I'm thinking of heading out to Adak in August as well and would love to visit with anyone who has done the caribou hunt. I understand the herd hangs out on the south side of the island. Is the best plan to charter a boat drop off on that side and then tent camp and hunt or would it be better to try and rent four wheelers and drive across? The population is so small, I'm wondering what kinds and drop offs or rentals are available. Is it possible to tent camp out remote for several days in August or would the winds blow you out of there? I'm also interested in what the density of hunters is like. I'm hoping to go in early August as my goal is just to have a cool experience seeing the island and I'm in it to fill my freezer and not bring out a trophy. How many tags do you get if you are just hunting cows? I'd love some information. My e-mail is woolseys@hotmail.com.

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    I know a fella here that hunts there every year,and this past year he took a coupke of soldiers with him and as usual they all harvested animlas.And like you woolseys they where meat hunting.In-fact there is a shoulder mount Adak bull on the wall right now at Precision Taxidermy in fairbanks.
    One other note any animal harvested there I heard can not be put into the books there since they where an introduced animal on the Island.Im thinking why not have a new category for trophy animals for the Adak herd?
    Oh! one more thing I sort of remember a friend telling me one of the guys paid out about 4-5 grand for the hunt.Daniel

  5. #5

    Default can't drive across

    Woolseys,

    The entire south half of the island (& a piece of the north end) is a wilderness area -- no motorized vehicles allowed -- you can hike it, but it'd be a long haul out with meat & antlers (2 loads at least unless you're the incredible hulk). Last I knew the boat ride is pretty spendy (well over a grand - each way), but at least you can split the cost if you are traveling with a small group (4 max I think). If you camp, be sure to bring a sturdy tent -- two things are guaranteed on Adak -- it will be wet & it will be windy. So - you gotta be prepared to deal with some nasty conditions, but if you are up for it, it is a beautiful island.

    Greatland

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Adak caribou thoughts

    There's a lot already written in these forums about Adak caribou hunting; if you haven't done so already, please save us from writing it all over again by doing a search first. Not on your case at all, but I'm just weary of typing it all again! That said, here are some thoughts to consider:

    1. You cannot drive an ATV all over the island. As was suggested, MOST of the island is off-limits to vehicle traffic. ATV traffic is essentially limited to the road system and points in-between. But the terrain is often so steep that ATV travel is either impractical, or not necessary because there are roads nearby.

    2. Forget air taxi services. They don't exist on Adak. A guy tried it a while back and I think he got the plane in the air all of about two days in the entire season.

    3. Boat transport is doable, but the players change. Make contact with a local and get a recommendation. They know who the good ones are... and the bad ones. This is really the only realistic way to go very far from town. Keep in mind that fuel costs are skyrocketing in the Bush; expect to pay a good amount for this service. Also realize that it may not always be possible to get dropped off or picked up on schedule. The weather, as you have heard, can be unbelievably bad. Anyway, once you are dropped off, you will be hunting on foot, so plan on some hard physical exercise.

    4. Seasons and bag limits have been moving around a bit out there, so watch it or you could have a problem with the timing of your hunt. Check the Alaska Hunting Regulations, rather than getting your legal advice on an Internet forum.

    5. As to "the record book" (which book, would be the first question), I believe we have passed the date for non-inclusion in the Boone and Crockett records. In other words, I believe Adak caribou may now be entered in B&C, do to the duration of their existence on the island. I would check on that.

    6. I would be a little leery of flying all the way out there on a chartered small aircraft. 1200 miles is a L-O-N-G ways to fly in a winged culvert without a bathroom, in which you cannot even stand up. Use your mileage credit and fly Alaska out there. You'll get there faster, you'll arrive in a better mood, your gear can travel with you (as cargo or baggage), and your bladder will thank you. Adak is about as far as you can go from Anchorage and still remain in Alaska.

    7. In terms of where "the herd" hangs out, I would make no such generalizations. I know of no place (Adak included) where all the caribou hang out in one huge herd. You are more likely to find loose aggregations of caribou scattered here and there. It could be generally said that caribou tend to move closer to town later in the year, but you are still talking about scattered groups, ranging in size from a handful of animals to a hundred or more. Last I heard there were around 3500 head or so on the whole island. The bottom line? They are where you find them.

    8. The weather is legendary, and it would be impossible to over-state its severity. Bring the best gear, especially rain gear and a solid, four-season mountaineering tent that can be nailed down from every direction. Pitch it in a well-drained depression where the wind blows over the top. Avoid exposed locations or you might observe your tent from a distance, blowing across the countryside like a tumbleweed. Mark your camp well with a GPS, so if the weather socks in you can find it; this is especially important if you are camped in a depression where your tent is invisible from a distance. There are few definable landmarks out there in many areas.

    9. Pay close attention to the local maps! Some areas are off limits due to unexploded ordnance lying about or Rommel Spikes waiting to skewer your foot when you step in the wrong place in the tall grass. Most (not all) of these areas are marked on local maps. If you find something not listed on the maps, IMMEDIATELY leave the area and report it so it can be assessed, identified, and marked accordingly.

    10. Spend some money in town; it will go a long ways toward getting local folks to help you out when you need it. Adak has a fairly large grocery store, a burger place, a bar, and many other amenities. If you're going to base your hunt out of town itself, there are many places to rent and you will be very comfortable. Call Adak Housing for details.

    Adak is a beautiful place. I love it out there. It is, in many ways, the quintessential Alaska experience; when it is good, it is very, very good. But when it is bad, well...

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Default What mike said.

    I would have to agree. I spent a month in three arm bay working for the gov.. The caribou were eveywhere, and no where. most days we diden't see any, other days, any where from 2 or 3 to 50 or 60.Look into a cabin not sure who to ask but I would try for three arm bay or the one in bay of islands. And be ready to fight off the rats. It's nuts. If you do get a cabin be ready to spend the first day cleaning it out. Talk about naddy. Don't know how I got out of there with out catching something.We did take two bou for food, talk about good eats. Did I mention the rats make sure your food and everything you value is in something they can't get into. There was a locker at each cabin but not sure what kind of shape they are in. Good luck.

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    Don't forget to bring a 30 pack of condoms, it is rumored that there is a "Woman behind every tree" there. Be careful in the national forest, its easy to get lost in it. Man, what a crazy idea, I used to travel to Attu when the CG had a loran station out there, talk about feeling like you are at the "End of the earth", if its not, you can see it from there for sure! I would rather go to Nunivak for a musk ox!

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Rats on Adak

    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    ... be ready to fight off the rats. It's nuts. ...
    There are currently only about 90 people (give or take) living on Adak Island now, and the dumpsters have been moved well away from the housing units. In my stays there I did not see any rats, though I heard about them. Going out to the dump at night for a "rat shoot" is something of a local sport. So I know they are there, but the housing units I have stayed in are clean, and appear to be rat free.

    Maybe the reduction in human population out there has had an impact on the rat population... seems pretty clean to me.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    Be aware that the weather and terrain on Adak can be treacherous. Several years ago a caribou hunter got lost while hunting 'bou and to the best of my knowledge he was never found despite a rather diligent search effort over the entire island.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    There are currently only about 90 people (give or take) living on Adak Island now, and the dumpsters have been moved well away from the housing units. In my stays there I did not see any rats, though I heard about them. Going out to the dump at night for a "rat shoot" is something of a local sport. So I know they are there, but the housing units I have stayed in are clean, and appear to be rat free.

    Maybe the reduction in human population out there has had an impact on the rat population... seems pretty clean to me.

    -Mike
    Mike I never spent much time in town. And no never saw any rats. What I was talking about was in the cabins around the island. I woulden't think that reduction in people would impact the rats. There are rats every where, even on the southen most part of the island I have seen them there.

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    Default wish I was going

    we were at the cabin in hidden bay last aug. we didnt see any rats but they had been there.
    didnt have any problems with them, which kind of surprised me,
    --biggest problem was deciding what kind of fresh fish we wanted to eat that day?

    some very good info on here about Adak, cant really add much, be prepared for rough terrain, stay away from the fern holes, have a good gps and know how to use it.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    Be aware that the weather and terrain on Adak can be treacherous. Several years ago a caribou hunter got lost while hunting 'bou and to the best of my knowledge he was never found despite a rather diligent search effort over the entire island.
    The Story....or one story, but there are several from the 1970's that I don't have any details on.

    In November of 1991 two men left Lake Bonnie Rose to hike through the hills and valleys that lead over to Teardrop Lake area and then back to Finger Bay and then up over some hills to get back to the truck at Lake Bonnie Rose.

    At some point they split up on the way back to cover two valleys where there may be caribou. Not long after they split up a typical Adak white out hit. One guy made it back to the truck and waited for his buddy. It became dark and he was running out of gas so he left to get the MP's and Adak Search and Rescue notified of the missing guy. They searched for a few days but never found him. It had snowed a lot during that time and over the winter.

    In spring of 1992 some folks were hiking from Finger Bay over to Little Thumb Bay just getting out of the house after a long winter.

    The hikers got to the pass over the ridge and were going down into the Little Thumb valley when they a coat that had been out there for a while. They picked it up and kept walking. They decided to walk up the valley and hike around the hills to get back into the upper end of Finger Bay using the Hidden Bay trail.

    Not long after entering the valley off the ridge they found a backpack that looked like it had been in the snow all winter. Another 100 yards they found a rifle. Looking up they noticed that ravens were flocking into one spot about 100 yards away. They had found hunter missing since November. The route he took carried him in the opposite direction from the truck and nearly 7 miles by foot away from safety. At one point he may have even crossed the trail that would have taken him to the end of the road in Finger Bay where he could have sheltered in a cabin.

    Classic hypothermia death scenario.

    The cool thing about the island is that it has some very neat topography due to its geology. This makes it a place that can be easy to navigate in using traditional map and compass tech if you know how to do that. I have made the hike to Hidden Bay a couple of times with only 100 yards of visibility in the fog and rain using basic navigation skills. This was decades before GPS started getting people lost faster.

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