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Thread: Unguided Caribou for Non-resident???

  1. #1
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    Default Unguided Caribou for Non-resident???

    Gents,

    I am a very experienced outdoorsmen and hunter from Wyoming (about as wild as you get for the lower 48), and would like to do a drop camp unguided for Caribou in 2012. I am looking for someone to point me in the right direction for a non-resident. Or should I rule out going unguided? What areas are available to buy a tag over the counter, or on the internet? Also, having never hunted Caribou before, I am more interested in going to an area where there are lots of Caribou. Not so worried about killing a trophy as much as just getting one on my first trip. The reason I'm thinking of unguided is because of the experience my hunting party has, and to keep the costs down. The location of the hunt would also factor into the airfare costs, I assume. I will be one of 4 hunters most likely, all of which are experienced hunters. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Another thing to think about would be if anyone would like to trade hunts if they have the resources to get me to the caribou? I have guided in Wyoming and could facilitate a place and the knowledge for a elk, or mule deer, or antelope hunt. Just something to think about.

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Checkout the archives, and head up to GMU 26B. Call Mike McCrary with Seventynorth, or dirk with Coyote Air....

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Some of your questions can be answered by reading the regs online. Some others can be answered by searching thru the archives on this forum.
    I think you will find that the best non res bou hunts are as follows
    Kotzebue-unit 23 Brooks Range hunt
    Bettles-unit 26 Brooks Range hunt
    Coldfoot/Deadhorse- unit 26 Brooks Range hunt
    Tok- unit 20 (I think) hunt.

    There have been successful hunt posts on this forum from all of these areas this past fall.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  4. #4
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    What's your guys take on Unit 23 vs Unit 26? I've received emails on both.

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    I am liking into this hunt as well. What about areas 9 or 17 which I believe I'd used by high adventure air

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    Caribou hunting is similar to real estate in one huge way. You know what I'm saying.... If you do everything thing else right but you are in the wrong location, You will have NO success. And the opposite is true as well, you can make a bunch of preparation mistakes and still be bailed out by a good location. Probably the best places have already been mentioned, Now you need access. Contact the transporters and get recent client lists-which may include unsuccessful hunters. Contact the people on the list. This will help to sort out the good talkers from the good transporters. You gotta have a budget!!!! include air, hotels, rental cars, shipping gear, licenses/tags/permits,food, fuel, air support, rental gear, shipping meat/trophies home, tips, trinkets/gifts, taxis, Phone rental, etc. You have time to prepare so use it. Think and talk and plan and think and talk and plan and then think and talk and plan some more. I have had several great trips to Alaska and owe it all to a sound plan. Simply forgetting a water filter may not affect your hunt at all, or, it could kill you. I am an Idaho boy. I plan for a tough back country hunt with some Alaskan tweaks and I do just fine, So too, will you!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    I am liking into this hunt as well. What about areas 9 or 17 which I believe I'd used by high adventure air
    Unit 9 has no nonresident season. Unit 17's caribou herd is in the same boat - no season for nonresidents.
    Best bets for caribou are Units 23 or 26 - as has been stated above.

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    Nikster,

    Thanks for the advice. I need to start planning now for a 2012 fall hunt! I've got some planning done, but not enough.

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    How does donating meat in Alaska work? I imagine it has to go to Anchorage? And do you have to get it processed before donation?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by loucks10 View Post
    How does donating meat in Alaska work? I imagine it has to go to Anchorage? And do you have to get it processed before donation?
    Your air taxi might be able to help with that; I know that 40 Mile Air in Tok helps hunters who wish to donate some or all of their meat, and I'm betting that other air taxis can help with that as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by loucks10 View Post
    How does donating meat in Alaska work? I imagine it has to go to Anchorage? And do you have to get it processed before donation?
    There are forms in the back of the regulations. It has a breakdown of the meat parts, you must retain a copy and whoever you donate to keeps a copy. Most air taxis have list of folks that will accept meat. In Fairbanks you can dontate meat to the food bank.

    Nobody is going to want rotten, dirty meat. Keep it clean and treat it like food and you will have no trouble donating good quality meat.

    Donated some to villagers last moose season, kept the meat as I would if I was giving it my mother. The ladies at the village were very grateful for the fresh meat. Have also donated to the Fairbanks food bank, very rewarding to share when you have more than you can use.



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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    loucks10,
    if cost is a factor, ask the charters about hidden costs. Weight limits are a factor when flying in and out. Ask how many animals they'll fly out for you and if they'll move you at no cost if you don't see any animals in the first few days. I did some limited research on charters and found that it can cost a pretty penny above what expected. Maybe some others can chime in on what questions to ask before booking

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    +1 Mike McCrary @ seventynorth

  14. #14
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    I think I'm leaning toward a Unit 23 Kotzebue hunt. Any additional info that anyone can provide on this area? Transporters? Best time to hunt? From what I've looked into in getting antlers/heads back on the airlines, they must be crated or boxed. Has anyone on here done this before? And do the transporters have crates you can buy, or how do you go about this task?

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    The two companies in that area I keep seeing show up is RAM aviation and northern air trophy. I think I have seen that ram sells packaging for meat and trophies

  16. #16
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    On my last hunt out there a buddy stationed out in Puerto Rico came along and took a Caribou. He folded and taped pieces of cardboard around the points and the lady at the airline counter gave him a large bag to put them in. He checked in the bag with the antlers, technically as a piece of luggage, and they made it back to Puerto Rico just fine with no issues. Under the advanced search button do a search on Kotzebue transporters and see what you come up with. There are two transporters that are based out of Kotzebue year round and both have a very good reputation, much better than the transporters that come in during the hunting "rush" from different cities. But with their good reputation comes the fact that they will be booked up much quicker than the other guys.

  17. #17

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    I live in unit 23. Best way to get the antlers out is with Ryan air, they only do freight and will transfer it directly to everts or northern air cargo in Kotzebue, which is the main hub of the region.
    Last edited by LuJon; 01-12-2011 at 11:02.

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    This past September my father and I flew out of Tok with 40 mile air for an unguided Moose hunt. We had never been on a hunt in Alaska either, but had many years of experience hunting in our homeland of Kansas. We were flown out to unit 20E, we did not harvest a moose, but we were in the zone where we could have a bou registration ticket as well. Though we could not find any bull moose, we were in the middle of the 40 mile bou herd, and we harvested 2 great bulls by our standards. All unguided, and on a budget. Every ounce of meat made it home as well. Only problem now is, we need to find a place big enough to hang our trophies. lol. check out our story here: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...unt?highlight=

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    But if you want to fly with 40 Mile Air, best call yesterday. They may already be booked solid.
    So, what other air taxis are in the TOK area that would service the local caribou herd?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibex View Post
    But if you want to fly with 40 Mile Air, best call yesterday. They may already be booked solid.
    So, what other air taxis are in the TOK area that would service the local caribou herd?

    That is true, 40 mile air is probably already booked for the 2011 season, but if you are looking for 2012 season, you won't be able to book until December 2011. Well worth it though, they are a class act. Leif even landed the day after i took my bou, just to see how we were doing. Great people there running a great operation. Not sure of any other services in that area. We were lucky enough to get in with 40 mile air

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