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Thread: 2011 Caribou Hunt

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    Default 2011 Caribou Hunt

    Hello All, First let me say I am new to this site and have been lurking for a while. My friend and I are planning a DIY caribou hunt for next year. Im hoping maybe I can find some help here. I have searched this site quite a bit and have found some good infor so far. Now, a little about our abilities. We are both young and in good physical condition so hopefully or conditioning shouldn't be a hinderance. I've also spent a great deal of time in the high country wilderness areas in Wyoming where we both live. I know it doesnt compare to AK but I do have experince in Wyomings wilderness areas with an over abundant population of grizzlies as well. We are looking at going in August or September, is there a time that is best for caribou? We have considered hunting outside the 5 mile corridor along the haul road but Im thinking it would be money well spent to hire an air charter. Any recomendations in that department? It seems 40 mile air comes highly recomended, anybody ever use High Adventure Air out of Soldotna? Are there any specific regions I should concentrate on while planning this hunt? We're looking for a couple mature bulls, not expecting B&C racks by no means. Just looking for a great adventure with a good chance at harvesting a beautiful caribou bull. Those are about all the questions I have for now. I would be happy to share info on Deer/Elk/Antelope/Lion/Sheep/Moose hunting in Wyoming in return for info on caribou hunting in AK. Thank you in advance for your help.

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    If you were bowhunting, I'd suggest the Haul road. I did it for the first time this year and it was a lot of fun. But it sounds like you're rifle hunting. I would suggest a flyout cause that 5 mile walk on the tundra is horrible. Just walking out on that stuff while bowhunting was tough. I couldn't imagine 5 miles in some of that stuff.

    70 north out of happy valley is pretty reputable and does DIY trips for faily cheap.

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    You must live in northern wyoming near the park, thats some cool country, spent some time near jackson. liveing in Montana i spent a lot of time around the park, hunting and looking for sheds,are you fimiliar with the beartooh wilderness? If you are looking for a good time to hunt bou the end of aug and first part of sept are the best imo. it all depends on if you want bou in velvet or rubbed, the bou are rubbed the end of aug but the first part of aug most bulls are in full velvet, there are also more bou moveing in aug than later in sept. this year most of the bou had moved through by sept 11, but there where still a few herds moving, last year there where bou everywhere on the 2 of sept. Its hit and miss year to year, and bou can be going south one day and then north the next, they are a lot like hunting antelope, its the best comparison i can give you to what you may know. as far as hunting the 5 miles out, well be prepared for a hell of a hunt, it isnt easy, bring a good pair of boots! and be ready for any weather change, the tundra is damp to soaking wet and can wear the youngest of guys out, if you are hunting in a party dont shot more than 1 bou, 2 tops at a time because its more than a lot of work to get em back out. read up on the regs, bones have to be attached to the meat, so your packing out ribs and all, and its bow hunting only from the yukon river north unless you do the 5 miles. If you do the road system use the pipeline/gravel pit roads to your advantage to get you out there further, or cross the sag river, that can be hazardous though, be carefull. if you can, do a fly out thats the way to go, but there are only a couple places to fly from, coldfoot and happy valley are 2 of the handful, high adventure air from soldotna is hundreds of miles from anywhere near where you would fly out for bou on the slope, fyi. do some reasearch find a few transporters and call em, and price em, I used a transporter with a bad reputation on this site this year but still had sucsess on bou, we baged 3 bou, the smallest scoreing 297 BC.

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    Thats some good info I am as well going on this hunt and am very excited. I can only hope to shoot a nice bou with a nice rack. I would be very happy just to get some meat though as I love bou sausage. WyoRa hope your trip goes well and you get what you are looking for.

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    mr.Montana, You are correct I live in Northwest WY. Have spent some time in the Beartooths, helped my brother get his Mt. Goat right near the WY/MT line last year. Some beautiful country for sure. Does anybody know if applying for a draw hunt would be worth it? Are there areas and or herds that arent doing so well that I should maybe avoid? My bowhunting skills arent the best so I will be rifle hunting.

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    For out-of-staters, I wouldn't bother applying for any special bou permits. You'll find that most information and chatter on this forum about bou is regarding the northern herds. From what I've read and researched, the southern herds have been hunted hard and are down compared to those you'll encounter along the haul road. You do NOT want to fly out of Soldotna unless hunting the Mulchatna herd. Since you don't bow hunt and are considering a fly out hunt there is no question that you should focus on flying out of anywhere north of Fairbanks.

    I'm new to Alaska (via WA) and excited to hunt the haul road next fall. Maybe see ya up there. Good luck!

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    Thanks for the info. iturner8. It seems the Mulchatna herd is not fairing to well, and as such non-resident hunting is not even allowed in that area anymore. It looks like my only option is hunting the north country. I've been finding pretty reasonable prices on the drop hunt itself but the time/expense of just getting to the starting point is more than i was hoping for.

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    Mike McCrary of seventynorth flys out of Happy Valley and does an excellent job, just flew with him this past September on a DIY Caribou hunt. Ask lots of questions on this board, great group of hunters will have lots of good advice.

    Good luck!

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    If you are hunting with a rifle then I would put in for the Kenai Mtns herd DC001 they hand out 250 permits it is rough. Me and my dad tried it in aug. but had to turn around, we had to much in our packs. Pack as light as possible. You can bike in 7 miles and then walk 2 on the reserection creek trail or just walk 5 miles from summit lake. me and my dad did the summit lake but either way its hard. You can also get moose, black bear, and dall sheep harvest tickets. So you can hunt all 4!

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    I have to disagree with the previous post, the Kenai mountain Caribou are very few and far between. If your going to spend the money to get up here from Wyoming, go ahead and go up north to where the numbers are, still no garuntee but gotta be better odds than Kenai Mountain. Besides, The out of state tags for all those species would cost a fortune! It is true you can "downgrade" your tag but coming from wyoming, I doubt he wants to take home a black bear or moose after coming all the way up here! Just my thoughts anyhow.

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    I agree with limon32. I had this tag two years ago and it is a very hard hunt. I was up on the haul rd. this year and you will have company there. But the amount of animals you will see comparied to the Kenai hunt is worth the walk out on the haul rd. Kenai is a vast area with a small heard. Most people who draw this tag will fly and look first then hike and hunt; this means more cost to your hunt.
    Dan

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    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    Go with Mike McCray he will take good care of you guys.... I have used him four times and was successful each time, hiking off the five mile corridor is a waste of time and effort when you can hire someone for a reasonable rate... You will just get wore out the first day and be unable to hunt hard the rest of the trip.... Good Luck

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    Mr. Montana Who was the Transporter with the "bad reputation" that you used

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    I have been recently looking at using Wright Airservice as they are they only ones who will respond to my inquirys. The hunt would be for the fortymile herd I believe. I am concerned about hunting the fortymile because the regulations say it can close or open at a moments notice. What are the chances I plan a hunt for the first part of Sept. only to have to season close because the quota has been met or some other reason. Kinda worried about planning a hunt from Wyoming only to show up in AK and find out I cant hunt. Anybody know more about how the 40 mile hunt works? Im wanting to get something booked sooner rather than later, preferably by the end of this year as my friend needs to schedule his vacation fairly soon.

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    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    the season closing at a moments notice are for specific areas, if you fly with 40 Mile Air they will get you into some nice areas, Ived used them a couple times, Wrights is very good also

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    Quote Originally Posted by WyoRA View Post
    I have been recently looking at using Wright Airservice as they are they only ones who will respond to my inquirys. The hunt would be for the fortymile herd I believe. I am concerned about hunting the fortymile because the regulations say it can close or open at a moments notice. What are the chances I plan a hunt for the first part of Sept. only to have to season close because the quota has been met or some other reason. Kinda worried about planning a hunt from Wyoming only to show up in AK and find out I cant hunt. Anybody know more about how the 40 mile hunt works? Im wanting to get something booked sooner rather than later, preferably by the end of this year as my friend needs to schedule his vacation fairly soon.
    Wright Air will fly you into Zone 2, that's the remote zone of Unit 20. Zones 1 and 3 are along the highway and often get shut donw fairly quickly, but Zone 2 is typically open until mid September or so.

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    I would second the recommendation for Mike at seventy north. They are a great outfit who is reasonably priced. My dad (Also from Wyoming) and I flew with them this year and had a blast. Just my .02 but if I came from the lower 48 for a caribou hunt, I would be flying off the haul road to hunt.

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    Mike at 70 degree north is a great guy. Never used his services for bou but he put me on the sheep this year. I told him where I wanted to be dropped off and he put me within 100 yards of camp and only 3 miles from the 3 rams we took this year. Id use him again. If you're coming to ak from down south go up north and experience the north and check out the bou on the slope. Its tons of fun when you get into them. I suggest flying in as well. Ive hiked the 5 miles several times and I guess I haven't learned. Its a ton of work. I guess the lure of the bou keeps calling me back. Imo bou are the most fun of all ak animals to hunt. You usually see lots of them and whats a trophy to one isnt always a trophy to the next guy so its easy to hunt with a buddy. Spend some time and look at lots of heads before you pull the trigger. You will have a lot invested into this trip so dont shoot the first one you see. Most of the time a bigger one will be just over the hill. If you see one headed away from you, dont waste your time, he'll outwalk you all day long. Ive tried that several times and only once did we catch up to it. We had to run to do it. If you want to know what the tundra is like to walk on soak a mattress and put basketballs and footballs randomly under it and walk on it. You need good sturdy boots waterproof is a must for any sort of comfort. Also on a side note on the north slope ive seen bulls in full velvet clear into the middle of september, they arent all rubbed of by the first as stated before. Patience is an important part of bou hunting as well. One day you will look all over the horizon and not see a single bou, the next day you wont be able to decide which one will fill the freezer the best. They are "here today, gone tomorrow" type of animals. Air taxi is the way to go, if you go that way though plan on delays, weather on the slope is very unpredictable! Take food for several days longer than you plan on being out hunting. There will be days every year that the taxis will not fly at all due to weather. If there are weather related delays there will be guys in line in front of you. You have to be flexible to fly up there. Good luck! Most importantly have fun and be safe. Bou is tons of fun! Moose are lots of work once you get one, sheep are lots of work to get one, bears to me aren't lots of fun because they leave my stomach in knots (bad experiences) havent tried goats yet, yea bou are fun.

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    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Does 70 north have a web site or someone have their number handy?
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearclaw67 View Post
    Does 70 north have a web site or someone have their number handy?
    This is there web site http://seventynorth.com/
    but there is not a lot of info on it.
    Phone 1-800-557-4248


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