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Thread: Haul Road Caribou Hunting

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    Default Haul Road Caribou Hunting

    So I have just done some looking into the haul road in the archives and I couldnt find to much about Slope Mountain. My understanding is if you know bout it, it's very hush hush. If you have any information on it could you plase PM me and let me know if the guy I am talking to is right? I am interesed in getting off the road with out walking in the 5 miles. Thats why Slope is so interesting to me.

    Second, I am going up from July 28th-Aug 3rd. I have read, on here, that July is a good time to go becuase no one is up there and the bou are just starting to move. If anyone can help me out with this, it would be great. Just trying to get meat in the freezer and have a fun trip.

    Thanks and good luck!
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What is it about Slope Mountain that you're interested in, or what is the guy you're talking to hinting at with regards to Slope Mountain? It is stil covered by the 5 mile firearms restriction, so if you're hunting with a firearm, Slope Mountain isn't an option.

    I've only hunted up there twice, so take my comments with a grain of salt, but the only thing that I've noticed that is "special" about Slope Mountain is that it holds quite a few sheep in an accessible, easily hiked area. Most of the sheep are plainly visible from the road, and while there were no legal rams hanging out there when I passed through, I imagine if there are any that they would get chased by bowhunters early on the 10th. With regards to bowhunting caribou, it's nice that it is easy to spot the flanks of Slope Mountain from the road and that it gives some terrain to set up stalks (as opposed to the pancake flat terrain further north), but I can't think of anything else that would make it a special destination when hunting the Slope. Of course...maybe I'm just not in on the secret.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Two side notes - In late July/early August it is less likely that the caribou will be south as far as Slope Mountain in any numbers. I hunted it once during the first week of August, and we had to get up near Ice Cut before we started seeing substantial numbers of caribou. Second, if you are indeed bowhunting and you just want to put some space between you and others, consider bringing a small (stable and safe) raft. Float across the Sag and you'll be all alone without needing to walk for miles.

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    You know Brian I'm not real sure what it is about slope either, but he told me there were lots of big bous that roamed there. I remeber when I went up there, the big boys stayed away from the road and so I thought it made sense that they would be on the back side of slope where hunters couldnt see them. I am hunting with a bow and again am meat hunting. It would be nice to get a big one, but it's not the end of the world if it has meat on it . I would love to float the Sag, but money will not make that a reality. I will give it a shot and see if I can bag one by slope, and if I have to go farther north to see any that early, so be it. I just like to hunt and love it up there, its beautiful!
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Slope mountain isn't the only place to hide caribou. There's a million places that will hide a caribou, it doesn't take much. There is supposably some resident caribou around that area, so I was told, and I saw a few bulls around there. But for the most part, those caribou are there one day and gone the next, they don't stop moving. If they do stop, it's not for long.

    You don't have to float the Sag, just use a raft to ferry across. Last year I was up there and was ticked for not bringing something to get across, there were huge bulls all over and it would have been a great stalk in the willows! If the river is in good shape then it would be an easy cross in many places. Places I observed were braided and flat water.

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    The Slope Mountain area is a natural migration route for this herd. They typically move through there in fairly large numbers, but if they aren't there, then hiking to the back side wouldn't be worth your time. During late July, early August, the caribou are typically much further north. Sometimes the migration brings them through the slope mountain area earlier, but typically it is September-October when they are around there from my experience. I've never seen a legal ram on slope mountain, but have seen a couple 3/4 curls up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    You don't have to float the Sag, just use a raft to ferry across. Last year I was up there and was ticked for not bringing something to get across, there were huge bulls all over and it would have been a great stalk in the willows! If the river is in good shape then it would be an easy cross in many places. Places I observed were braided and flat water.
    What do youu mean you got ticketed for not having a raft or a way to cross? I'm also looking at going up those same dates that where mentioned below.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacherman View Post
    What do youu mean you got ticketed for not having a raft or a way to cross? I'm also looking at going up those same dates that where mentioned below.
    ticked (meaning upset with himself) not ticketed.

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    You don't have to float the Sag, just use a raft to ferry across. Last year I was up there and was ticked for not bringing something to get across, there were huge bulls all over and it would have been a great stalk in the willows! If the river is in good shape then it would be an easy cross in many places. Places I observed were braided and flat water.

    Where on the sag is a good place to put in? How far up do I need to go? How deep is the water? Just wondering so I can look in to a raft from a buddy of mines and see if we can get across it and get some nice bou's.
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Well if you had a light packable raft you could put in at many areas. There's a launch at ice cut I believe. But many places you could walk down to the river at just go right across. I don't know how deep it gets but it varies. It's too deep to wade and wear a life jacket of you do cross. Many places you could park and walk down to the river and cross a few braids and go hunt and then come back across and be back at the truck. One guy had a canoe and drifted a short stretch and just hitched rides back to his rig. There are a ton of nice hunters that finding a ride is no problem in this situation.

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    Member Sterlingmike's Avatar
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    Brian,

    How would a canoe work in late April? Just was talking with someone yesterday into heading that way this Spring. Might still be frozen for all I know........

    Mike

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I would count on finding ice in the river in late April, though I've never been there during that time, so I'm just guessing.

    I lent my buddy my packraft for a hunt up there a couple of years ago. It worked out nicely.


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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    And you can just put in any where and just get across the Sag and walk in a little to get on the bou? I have only been up there once, but we never got close enough to shot anything legal, when we went it was bull only and 2 total. So we are looking at getting off the road a little and trying to get on the bou. I'm not walking 5 miles, but 1/2 mile or so will get us away from people. most arent willing to walk in that far. Thats my way of thinking anyway.

    Quick question for everyone. Is there any place to camp that isnt overly exposed? We camped 5 miles osuth of pump station 3 last time and was in the wide open. If anyone has a good place to just set up camp, please let me know. We had tent stakes pulling out of the ground due to high winds.
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Any place that you can get to the river you could probably cross with a raft. When I was up there, there were several times that the only thing separating me from some nice bulls was the river, they were literally on the other side.

    You don't have to walk five miles to get to caribou and the other side of Slope mountain is almost five miles. The further south you are, the easier the terrain is to walk on it seems. Seemed to me it was more rocky, mostly south of Slope mountain. You just have to cover some ground and find where the caribou are then start hunting.

    As far as camp spots, I didn't find anything like you describe, it's all open terrain with not much shelter. There was one spot that you could get down below a bank by the river but that seems to be a well known spot and there was already a camp there.

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks! I guees when it comes to a camp spot, it will be a hit or miss thing. I will have to talk to my buddy about useing his raft to get across the Sag. IF we see bou on Slope, then we might just walk in the 5 miles. From looking at my "haul road maps" it looks like the back side of slope is 5 miles. So if they are there, it might be worth it to walk the 5 miles useing slope to get back there. I would think since it's higher in elevation, it would have more soild ground to walk. on. Maybe i'm crazy and don't know what I'm talking about, but you never know. I will make sure to keep my options open since I'm going up so early in the season.
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The chief advantage of hunting Slope Mtn is you will gain elevation quickly and have fairly firm ground to walk on. You still have to walk the full 5 miles.

    Ice out on the Sag is about mid-May
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    I hiked out towards slope last year after a nice bull and got across the creek and started making my way up. There is a ton of water coming out of the ground up there and it was hard to find a path up through all that swampy crap. I just had my lowa boots on and went over the tops many times. That was the only area I really had trouble. That was on the north side, maybe the south side is better walking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    ticked (meaning upset with himself) not ticketed.

    WOW, thats funny, don't know how I read that wrong.

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    I have walked across ice on the Sag during the last couple days in May chasing grizzlies. The ice is usually out around the last week of May, first week of June. We didn't make it to the other side and wisely turned back. The grizzly we were after broke through the ice, but got out and made it to the other side. It was something to watch. A few years ago I video taped the ice going out on the Sag and it looked like the ground was moving. A few days later it was froze up again solid, then broke free in June. Seems like every year is different.

    Slope mountain has some decent ground to walk on when you hit the top, but it isn't clear of the muskeg and tussoks. Pretty neat country up there though.

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    I will be heading up in late july to early august thanks for the info on the sag . Some peolple i hunt with go up the ivashek and they say it bad on boats but if i can float down or just across that awsome..

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