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Thread: Advice, Sheejnek or Charley Rivers for Caribou 2011?

  1. #1

    Default Advice, Sheejnek or Charley Rivers for Caribou 2011?

    Hello Alaska Hunters,

    I was wondering if someone could recommend the Sheejnek or Charley Rivers for an August 2011 Caribou hunt? I would be flying a tunda tire equipped Maule airplane, and was wondering about potential landing areas. Both of these rivers would be logistically doable with aviation fuel out of Circle, Alaska.

    The lower Charley River looks like it has good sand-bars on the map, but I donít know if itís more of a float hunt river. The Upper Sheejnek looks like good hunting terrain but may have limited landing areas.

    Anyway any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you, & Merry Christmas.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Anchorage, AK


    the upper sheejnek is realy braided out and year to year the water levels dont allow for even float hunting, may be a good to run the lower parts of the river, but the bou tend to hang up in the higher country, that can change in a hurry to though. its a ways to far for a moose but there is some good hunting in thses lower sections. out of the 2 i would choose the charley river, but i dont knom much about it, have heard some good reports about it.

  3. #3

    Default 2010 Hunt?

    I thought I remember reading that you were all set to go up there in 2010? Did you make the trip or what happened? Maybe I missed the post somewhere along the line.

  4. #4


    I thought I remember reading that you were all set to go up there in 2010? Did you make the trip or what happened? Maybe I missed the post somewhere along the line.
    No I didn't make it caribou hunting last year, but am planning on a 2011 hunt. I turn 50 this year so it will make the trip even better. Last fall I did fly into the Idaho wilderness and shot a pretty good black bear. Anyway I'm still doing my research and was wondering about the hunting and landing areas on the lower Charley River. Looks like opening day is August 10th for GMU 20E.

    Merry Christmas

    James The
    MMeenjek River

  5. #5
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks, Ak.


    Merry Xmas James. Always enjoy the pics you post. Are you flying around and picking landing spots from the air, there in Idaho?
    Done some small plane hunting myself. Really great when the weather is good. pretty poor when it ain't. Sometimes the weather socks you in on a gravel bar and the rain turns brings the river up. 1000 ft turns to 300 and your plane is up in the brush to keep it out of the water. I know a guy who lost his cub in an august rainy spell/flood on the Kobuk.
    Ridges are nice places to land sometimes, but gotta figure something to tie the plane down. No fun watching the plane dance in the wind wondering if it will stay there all night!
    Caribou on the sheenjek means going up to the head likely. Hard to say when and where bou will be on the south side of brooks. Upper sheenjek is pretty far from any source of fuel.
    Been some successful hunts posted here by guys who flew out to Charlie with 40 mile air. Would definately be less distance to go for a guy flying up from Id.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  6. #6


    Thanks Martin Trapper,

    I appreciate your advice. The Upper Sheejnek looks like a very interesting remote area to hunt and I thought the weather would be better on the South side of the Brooks. Fuel would be an issue with Circle, AK being the nearest 100LL. I don't know if Ft. Yukon has aviation fuel or if its an airport that would cater to a non-native blue-eye from Idaho.

    Half the fun for me is just planning the hunt and I've been pouring over maps and google earth. The Lower Charley River looks like there are some real good gravel bars for landing. I was also wondering if the lower Charley sees a lot of hunting pressure by jet-boats too. My Maule can take-off and land safely in less than 300 feet light, but requires 500 feet if I'm heavy.

    My wing-man in another Maule has canceled on me for my August 2011 hunt, so I'm on my own. I do have a sat phone but do feel comfortable hunting and flying by myself, maybe I'm just crazy that way. A lot of other pilots fly with the SPOT locators but I'd rather keep my emergencys, or breakdowns low key and not have to hit the 911 function on the SPOT.

    My other option is to hunt the North Slope and Canning River. I'd have a vehicle parked at Galbraith Lake and someone to hunt with too. Logisticly hunting the north side of Brooks is more difficult and a lot further to fly too. It would like to just tag along with some local Alaska hunters, but I can understand why most people would be leary about flying and hunting with a guy they don't know.

    Thanks again,



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  7. #7
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    This is your one source for all things regarding bush flying in ANWR:, oh, and "Murphy" is alive and well in Alaska! Good luck!
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


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