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Thread: Fixed Base or Float for North Slope Caribou

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Eagle River, Alaska, United States

    Default Fixed Base or Float for North Slope Caribou

    Finally talked my brother into coming up from Wyoming to chase some 'bou on the slope. I'm thinking a late August early September 'bou hunt with an opportunistic approach to other species. My question to all the wise posters out there is am I better off doing a drop off hunt from a fixed base or drifting the beautiful blue water river up there? I'd like to be able to harvest more than 2 animals which tends to push me toward the drift, but what are your thoughts and experiences?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paradise (Alaska)


    Many north slope waterways have dropped and are not always raftable/floatable in the upper reaches during the time you mentioned.
    Rafting takes time and is often not the most effective way to hunt migrating caribou.
    Setting up and breaking down camps is also time consuming.
    Shooting multiple caribou adds more than 100 pounds per animal, which can add up to the cost of an additional aircraft trip when hunting out of a "fixed base" camp.
    Raft/float hunting requires that you own a raft or two, or rent a raft or two.

    But either option works great....when it works....which is when the caribou are migrating through "your" area.
    Either a fixed base or a raft/float will work great. I have had many friends that have done either and/or both. They have all had great experiences. I, personally and professionally, usually do float hunts throughout Alaska because I own four different rafts, and I enjoy rafting. But, my two personal north slope caribou hunts were conducted from fixed base camps to maximize hunting time.

    So which is best? Fixed base hunt vs a float hunt? I feel strongly...both ways!

    For aircraft support I advise that you contact Mike McCrary at



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