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Thread: Kenai Mountain caribou

  1. #1

    Default Kenai Mountain caribou

    I drew a caribou tag for GMU 7 near Hope. I'm new to hunting and am not personally familiar with the area. Can anyone fill me in on the herd, terrain, and any suggestions?
    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Well, you are a typical permit winner, for the Hope Caribou Hunt. I have too wonder why you applied, if you have no idea where they are, or how to get into where they are.

    I've spent 41 years wandering these hills around Hope, Alaska, I live at mile 7.3 of the Hope Road, and despite 30 years of applying I have never drawn a permit.

    This is why the success rate is so low for those who draw the Hope Caribou Permit. Last fall I found five monster caribou, at the head of one valley, three would have easy gone into the record book. They are there.

  3. #3
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    Default i think

    he is asking legitimate questions. you have to start somewhere, and that's what he is doing. with the permit system changed , he has 4 months to find things out and he is starting right away. i don't see anything wrong with that. what did you know about the area 41 years ago before you moved there?

  4. #4
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buhorojo View Post
    I drew a caribou tag for GMU 7 near Hope. I'm new to hunting and am not personally familiar with the area. Can anyone fill me in on the herd, terrain, and any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Its not rocket science. Hike the resurrection trail for 5-10 miles. Turn right. When you reach the top, start looking for antlers. Keep walking. Keep looking. Repeat every weekend until you find one.

  5. #5

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    Not sure about the sour grapes response above. I applaud a guy who has won a permit and is starting early to get his ducks lined up. I've been hunting Alaska for more than 40 years and I would never claim to know everything.....not even close. Does that mean there are permits I should not apply for? Not hardly.

  6. #6
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    I'd be curious as to any tips as well. I'm a relatively new Alaskan. I also won a Kenai tag and am pretty excited about it.

    I plan on hiking the area this summer to scout it out. I have a few friends who fly light planes and may see if I can talk one of them into doing some aerial recon. But any tips from those who are familiar with the area would certainly be welcome!

  7. #7
    Member ACNDHO's Avatar
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    Default I plan on hiking the area this summer to scout it out

    Best way to get it figured out. My son and I did some stomping last year and seen 2 bou never did get one.
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

  8. #8
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    You will find you gotta earn your stripes on the board bud.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Hike long and hard. I've had some success on this permit, and there's no secret other than covering ground. I hike 15ish miles per day that I hunt down there, and I'd say I see a caribou about 25% of the time. Go high. Those caribou act more like sheep than moose.

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    Where is unit 7 at I was drawn for this tag as well. I guess I better get my maps out.. I put in for the same hunts as my buddy except he was not drawn . I asked if he was still going and he said nope, he is going a different route now...

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Well, you are a typical permit winner, for the Hope Caribou Hunt. I have too wonder why you applied, if you have no idea where they are, or how to get into where they are.

    I've spent 41 years wandering these hills around Hope, Alaska, I live at mile 7.3 of the Hope Road, and despite 30 years of applying I have never drawn a permit.
    I applied because it had reasonable odds, is close to home which makes weekend scouting trips possible, and I have to start somewhere.

    Also contrary to your misconception of my post, I do have an idea where they are. I have done research (prior to applying). But since I began in December and have not been out there yet, I was interested in getting info from experienced hunters. I have maps of the trail systems, creeks and rivers. Its disappointing how many hunters disdain the questions of beginners on this forum.

    I'm sorry you were not drawn. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to be a local resident who has not been drawn after so long. Hopefully you will more successful next year...

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buhorojo View Post
    I applied because it had reasonable odds, is close to home which makes weekend scouting trips possible, and I have to start somewhere.
    Good on you. Those are the same reasons that I originally applied for this hunt, and since then I've learned a lot about the areas and it has become one of my favorite hiking destinations. Hit a different trail every weekend in June and July, then keep doing the same thing in August while carrying a rifle. Keep an eye out for wolves as well. I've seen more than a few in there.

  13. #13

    Default Camp sites

    Brian M,
    I own a very tiny RV. Any suggestions where to park for overnight camping near the trail? Also do you know if the gas line is an accessible area for hiking in? Could a small boat access the shore near big indian creek? Thank you in advance for any info you have. I'd love to see a wolf from a safe distance!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by buhorojo View Post

    Also contrary to your misconception of my post, I do have an idea where they are. I have done research (prior to applying). ...

    Then why did you Say, "I am NOT familiar with the AREA"......in your original post.......???? Sorry, it is just frustrating after applying for (12) twelve permits per year for (30) thirty years and never getting drawn. I am 63 years old.

    If you just want a caribou, I see them from the Hope Road almost everyday. They are in my back yard once per week.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Then why did you Say, "I am NOT familiar with the AREA"......in your original post.......???? Sorry, it is just frustrating after applying for (12) twelve permits per year for (30) thirty years and never getting drawn. I am 63 years old. If you just want a caribou, I see them from the Hope Road almost everyday. They are in my back yard once per week.
    I have done quite a bit of research, I possess tons of book knowledge on hunting caribou. But lets be honest, book knowledge doesn't get you very far in the hunting process. People who have real life hunting experience are invaluable to beginners. Also, maps are only so beneficial. I'm at a loss until i can talk to someone about or see for myself what kind of terrain I'll be up against.

    I also put in on 12 permits. I still felt disappointed I only won one. I promise you i have adjusted that attitude and am greatful i got one(i'm already thinking about what to apply for next year...). I'm a greenhorn but i promise not to be one of the many that win and never attempt their hunt!

  16. #16
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    Default Stand By

    I have done the hunt several times and have scored on three nice bulls. I will send you a PM and share my experience, but it may not be for awhile as I'm headed outside on vacation.

  17. #17

    Default Asking questions....

    is what this forum is all about buddy!

    I would say the Resurrection Valley is going to be your primary area to be looking into. It is accessed through Hope or from the other end from the Devils Creek trailhead.

    I have spotted Caribou while glassing for bears in the immediate area around Hope on one occasion. It was last spring and I spotted two cows with calves WAY up there on a ridge.

    As another member mentioned, the best thing to do is get in there and look high! I would recommend actually camping near the tops of the ridges so you wont have to wake up every morning and climb 2000 feet or more when you actually do the hunt.

    One thing to definetly do is contact the biologist that covers that area and pick his brain. They are a wealth of knowledge and can play a strong role in your planning.

    Do a search on this forum for stories from members who have done this hunt.

    Also, there are forest service cabins you can rent in or around this hunt area. They may already be booked up...but that is another option for shelter.

  18. #18
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    Default Horses

    If you know anyone that has horses this is a great area for them.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by buhorojo View Post
    I'm a greenhorn but i promise not to be one of the many that win and never attempt their hunt!
    OK, first thing to really figure out is. What exactly you want in a harvest-able caribou.......? Then how are you going to get it out.......? If it is Sunday morning and you have to be at work Monday, you can't shoot a caribou (12) Twelve miles in, that is 24 miles per round trip, two loads of meat, and a third load for the camp. Thats 72 miles. Now the cape and rack are still in there. OK, only 6 miles in that is just 36 miles, plus 12 for the cape and rack = 48 miles.

    Brian M. said correctly they are in the very, very back of the valleys, up in the rocks and the last of the snow pockets, trying to avoid the insects............. There is nothing flat around here.

    The Grass will be (5') five feet high, and It will rain all day 3 out of every 4 days. With rain and fog, visibility will be challenging. One in 4 days will have high wind. I truly am NOT trying to discourage you, but you wanted to know.

    Frankly, nearly no one hunts after the snows come, but I think your permit is good till December 31'st. I don't understand why more hunters don't go in and pull a sled in late Oct. or early November.

    Most hunters new to Alaska, grossly under estimate the labor involved in extracting a big game animal, without horses, aircraft, or ATV. There are few if anyplace you can use an ATV inside the Chugach National Forest.

    In my opinion you need 5 day hunt minimum, assuming you know where they are, to get in, and get the caribou out. You need good equipment, and good luck with the weather. If you are not flat on boning out the meat, and care of the cape, but that on your too-do list.

    Figure out if you want to try to bring the antlers out whole or split the skull, and spoon them on your pack.

    There is good hiking now, yesterday we went into Gull Rock. If you have a snow machine you can check out the general terrain you will be hunting tomorrow, Just shoot back Palmer Creek 11 miles, and take the last valley on the right, go to the end, then take a left to the top of the world. You will be looking into "Caribou Creek"........Good hunting.

  20. #20
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    Just to let folks know I was messing around I was not drawn for this tag. But anyone with a little insight into DM333 please feel free to shoot me a PM

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