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Thread: 2010 northern adventure

  1. #1
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    Default 2010 northern adventure

    Myself and Jack my hunting buddy of 13 years applied for 2010 drawing permits and when the day came, I found i had drawn dm830, after looking into the cost of the hunt i asked around and found myself looking into other options for the season(guess I should have planned better). this was a great tag and I have never ate a tag before but with great pain i was unable to come up with enough to make it happen, hell i could buy a boat and go to the koyukuk for the cost of the transporter, the freight to/from gelena along with tickets to gelena. After a brief talk with the area biologist i was bumbed i couldnt make it, there but was assured there were plenty of moose in the other area I was looking at.

    I have no excperiance on the yukon or on a boat! so we booked a moose/caribou hunt to ANWR, from coldfoot for a lot cheaper! we planned on hunting our way north, and filling any tag we could fill, but were unable to get the early start we planned on. We finally got out of anchorage with the trailer full of everything but the kitchen sink and the 2010 hunting season was on.

    after multiple stops we found a place where some hunters were glassing, they had spotted a few bulls that morning, but all jack could think about were the sheep in the far distance. The next morning we packed for a over-nighter to get a look at these sheep, by the time we had dropped down the first ridge one of ther other hunters took a fork bull and was starting to pack it back. we BS-ed and he gave us a chuckle when we told him what we were up to. By 3 it was more than just raining now, it was pouring! and the down hill faceing alders were treating us like they were shower heads. By the time we got to the the bottom of the first real step stuff there was talk of just camping there and hunting moose on the way back.

    Packs were dropped and minutes later we noticed a bull just standing there striaght on watching us. we gave him a good look over and couldnt tell if he was wide enouph, he did have what looked like 3 tines on the on side but he wouldnt move. minutes passed and finaly jack pulled up , hes leagal! as the bull began to move. I was running the camera and remeber looking back at where the truck was, and then at jack, I gave him the sure, nod! then the are you cazy look. This was jacks first moose and hes a young fella, 22 thinks hes invincibale still, im only 30 but I know better, 3 + miles is way to far out to shot a moose imo. Attachment 40000 after downing his first bull we set up the tents, and grabed the butcher gear and walk up to the bull. It wasnt till he was standing on him that the words came out, Wow thats a big animal, this is ganna take a while.The weather was great for keeping the meat cool as we packed the first load out the next day, 4 hrs out 6 back to the tents,after a couple loads out each a friend came up to help on the 3rd and we were able to pull camp and the last loads, it was a back breaker! by the time we were done jack was asuring me he would never do this to anyone again, till at least next year. The velvet came right off at the kill site and had good color by the time we got outDSC01615.jpg

    The meat got sent home to get cutt, and we were agian back on the road north for some more self inflicted pain.


    We made it to coldfoot after a little rest and then to the the sheep spot, we geared up and packed for a 4 day hunt in a little honey hole that I took a ram last year. It was a full day pack out to make the 5 miles off the dalton highway and the mountains are tricky on this hell hole. there are 4 peaks that have swaying ridges that all connect and there are only 2 places that you would even attemt to go down, like last year we camped at the foot of the ridge and walked up and over to look over the valley and spot sheep. we were camped at 4.86 miles on the gps so the sheep on our side of the mountains were safe since we didnt bring the bow up with us. We did find a old sheep horn from years ago that i packed out later.
    DSC01651.jpg

    We spent that first evening around camp glassing the sheep on our side or the mountain while passing the sheep horn back and fourth wishing the little banana ram watching over the harlem of ewes near camp was as big.
    Last edited by LuJon; 10-02-2010 at 03:43.

  2. #2
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    DSC01582.jpgthese are the pics that didnt go through last time, at least I hope so
    DSC_0813.jpg

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Nice pic but those sheep are ewesless... I am looking forward to the rest of the report!

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    Nice report and pictures to boot. Glad you had some success and thanks for sharing

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    DSC01670.jpgfirst thing the next day we were on top looking the valley over the best that we could, fog so thick you couldnt see past your face at times had closed in. A little rain , and then some snow flakes even and by 2 it seamed like the only valley still fogged in was the one we wanted to hunt. Jack climbed up to the glassing spot for the last few minutes of light the night before and seen what looked like a full curl, we moved in and sat till night fall waiting, nothing. The next morning we were up on top looking the valley over agian but the weather was the same, on our way back to camp we spoted a small ram that took off out of the country so fast you would have thought he was shot at, later we found some arrows from this year, which explained it. So we called it and decided to go back and pull camp and try for bous on the road with the bow, after sheep have been jumped they are just plain spookey till next year. Our heads were low, and we felt a little defeated, but thats sheep hunting for you. we made it back to the truck with camp and by night fall to boot, we were tired and sore, but still drove up past toolik lake, befor passing out for the night. the next day up the haul road we went bows in the back seat and ready for round 2. there was a little construction that slowed us down but we got a migration report from the road crew, turns out they had mostly move through already. after we hit pump staion 2 we turned around, we were only seeing a few small groups way out there. happy valley was slow and the only bulls we seen were on the other side of the river, looked like we were gana go without a sheep or a bou on the road system. I stoped to watch the muskox wishing they were big old caribou bulls, but thats when we figured all this time we been up here we never went fishing? turns out the sag river has some real nice grayling! after catching multiple 16 inch graylings we made up for the hard work and frustration we had been enduring.DSC_0646.jpgwe had to be in coldfoot at 9 the next day so we fished till dark with bows close at hand.

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    lujon here is what be had to deal with for sheep the whole time!! lol DSC_0704.jpg

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    We checked in with our transpoter and by that evening we we in the feild on a nice moosey looking lake, we set up camp and started to glass for a bull. DSC01763.jpg this is jacks very unsafe! way of getting high ground, but hey it works. we didnt see anything but we couldnt hunt anyway so we sat around camp and got some rest. at daylight we were on the ridge behind us looking the valley over hoping for a big bull, by 2 we were ready for some lunch, back at camp we were about to start our daily dose of mountain house and our transported stoped in he had a bunch of caribou move into a spot and wanted to put us on em to get em out of the way. that night we called from camp into dark hoping that would bring in a bull for the morning. at 9 were were up and had camp set to go, were just waiting for the plane to land, makeing the big rookie mistake! guns unloaded put in their cases, all the gear bound up ready for transport. I sat up to stretch and seen a bull at about 400 yards away, we was at least a 50 inch bull with small paddles. I went in to panic mode scrambling around dumping bags out looking for a call, jack was getting the camera ready and by the time we were ready the bull was heading up to the look out spot. i moaned a few times and he stoped, and started back and disapeard for a minute. I was slinking in closer for a better position and jack was right behind me. I called a few more times and he just stood there on the ridge line. Jack was trying to get my attention but I was centered on the bull, I looked back as he wispered loudly, another bull he looks big! i couldnt see what he was looking at though, then a little movement revealed a moose shoulder, but i couldnt see any horn in all that brush, we were trying to comunicate which one to go after and finaly went for the 2nd one, by this time he was gone, and 5 minutes later they were on the far ridge walking away, the 2nd bull was much bigger and man was i bumbed! as they went out of sight I could hear the plane coming and we were not sure if we wanted to even get moved, but season was open till sept,25 and we had till then, it was only the 15th, so we moved. it was hard flying over that bull he was every bit of 65 +, but I would be back to this ridge!DSC_0843.jpg

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    We landed on our new home set up camp, relaxed and did a little pike fishing, trying not to look up at the mountain side full of caribou all day. at light the next morning we almost ran up the mountain side to a vantage piont eager to take a big bull. I already figured that I wasnt gana get a caribou this year or a sheep since we had already tried for both, and jack already was a moose up on me for the year and deal was he got the bous i got the moose for the fly out. The herd was moving strong and we were only 1.5 miles up hill from camp we crept around the edge of the mountain and up to a rock out crop. on the way up we spotted a nice bull and he was still there, jack waited, looked him over and shot him.DSC01708.jpgthe 2 bulls with him just stood there as we walked up to check him out, as we were admireing the rack a new herd was moving our direction, so we move into position and waited. This time jack had so many antlers to pick from he had a moment of buck fever but took this nice bullDSC01683.jpg That was enouph work for now so we started dressing the game out and reading it for packing. we packed one out that night and the other the next day, and while we were packing we seen one of the nice rams were were told about on the mountain side, the option was open for turning the moose hunt over for a sheep/bou combo.

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    We were picked up that next day to go back for that moose, and we spent the next 4 days looking hard but never seen him again, nor did we see another moose at all. there was another lake close by that had a few bulls on it, so we asked to be moved over to it, there was also a few grizzly hanging out on a old kill so i figure ide be happy with even just a bear, and not going home this year without even pulling the trigger once. after we took off we flew around and the same 2 bulls he had seen in the area were about 6 miles up river nowhere near a spot we could land, i guess they get that big for a reason? we landed on the last hope lake on a cold sept 23, that night we had a hard freeze and our transporter couldnt get off the lake till late that evening and had to land in beetles, he was coming to get us because of the freeze, and we pretty much had to call it.DSC_1395.jpg after another day of waiting around a warm fire we were picked up and flown back to fairbanks, where our truck was delivered, moose season was closed, and i was still empty handed. to end things on even a worse note the truck had a rear diff go out and we were stuck in fairbanks! I ran into a freind in town whome runs a trasport service, i guess he felt sorry for me and offered me a 2 day bou hunt in one of the camps he was pulling, so i left the truck problems with jack and took ma last ditch effort to get something and set out. we landed and there were bou all around the camp I got some rest and woke up at day break, the bou were way out there and my heart sunk, just my luck, this season was just not my year. I posted up and just waited for my luck to change and it did at 3:25 pm when a herd of about 50 came over the rise and within 75 yards. There were 2 nice bulls I picked out one and dropped him, I let out a hoot and ran up to the bull, I was as happy as a kid on christmas. hours later I had the bull back in camp and went back for the rack for the last load, boy what a year, and what a lot of work, next year i hope that my body will take another beating like this one, cause its sure catching up to me!!!!! DSC_1190.jpg

  10. #10

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    Quite the trip, but I honestly can't imagine the Koyukuk costing as much as that must have put you back. What did that Moose measure, just for others to use it as a guide/measuring tool. I am guessing 52".
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    Wow, talk about a mad scramble! I think you guys got the "full meal deal" for sure!

    I am curious as to why you didn't shoot a caribou when Jack shot his?

    Thx for sharing - sounds and looks great!!!
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    Thats great that you both were successful, But I am also wondering what system you guys used for who was "up to bat" when it comes to the shooting. If I am reading it right, Jack shot a bull moose and two caribou bulls before you pulled the trigger. Im not trying to bust any balls, just curious on what plan you guys had for taking the shots. Glad everything came together for you two, congrats.

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    the original plan was on the fly out i would take a moose and jack got 2 bous, if i got lucky i had first dibs on the sheep and bou on the road with a bow, his moose just happened just like my bou wasnt planned it just came together like that. we spent 5,800 on the whole trip, not including the new rear diff on the truck, and the transpoters i talked to wanted more than that just for their service for the koyukuk.

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