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  • Brooks Range Hunting Trip .. Fast Approaching!

    I am posting this for my husband, who is planning on flying out to Fairbanks next week, Monday or Tuesday. (August 8 or 9, 2006.) He has been up in the Brooks range area hunting (previously) on two other occasions. Once, with a fellow hunter-friend, and the second time more as a "guide" to three other hunters. It has been 18 years since his last Brooks range hunt. He has decided that he is going back in August (next week!) and I am attempting to help him make everything fall into place.

    Questions for anyone that may be able to advise is this. Previously he used Sourdough Outfitters (Dave Ketchum) as the bush pilot that flew him into the Brooks range area. Apparently this has been sold. My husband was very happy with all the Dave Ketchum previously did for him and is hoping that the new owners are just as reputable. Anyone know anything about the new owners of Sourdough Outfitters in Bettles? OR is there someone better that a person would want to consider?

    My husband's plan is to spend a good two weeks (or so) out in the Brooks range, alone. .. And would be returning back to Michigan by the end of August. Is this done? Going out hunting for that length of time .. totally alone?? (Okay, I interjected THAT part as his wife!)

    Anyway, any info any of you can possibly supply as far as a good (reputable) bush pilot would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Michigan

  • #2
    Hunting Alone

    I've hunted alone quite a few times, and wouldn't recomend it to anyone.Caring for a moose alone is a big job.

    Also if you shoot an animal the first couple of days,it will start spoiling within the 10 days or so before pickup.
    Good Luck, Riverlover

    Comment


    • #3
      There are plenty of people who hunt alone. It is done. Not always the safest way to go tho.
      Is your husband going to get dropped off and stay in one place for the whole time, or is he moving, like floating down a river? Staying in one place, having a good camp, etc. would be safer, more comfortable, than having to move every 1 to 3 days.
      Perhaps you or your husband could get a hold of Dave Ketchum and ask him if the new owners are reliable.
      Hunting regs have changed here substantially in the last 18 years. I hope your husband is familiar with these changes.
      I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
      I have less friends now!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Consolation

        Originally posted by Michigan
        ...two weeks (or so) out in the Brooks range, alone. .. And would be returning back to Michigan by the end of August. Is this done? Going out hunting for that length of time .. totally alone?? (Okay, I interjected THAT part as his wife!)...
        Michigan,

        I assume that since he's going in August he will be hunting caribou- not moose. Either way, a solo hunt should be fine. He's been there before and sounds like he knows what he's doing. The only concern I have about that aspect of this is how long it's been since he's been out there. It's not that the area has changed, but perhaps HE has changed... physically. Some of us aren't Superman anymore. Still, you know him best; it's just a thought.

        Sorry, I can't help you on the air charter; I haven't been up there in a while myself. There are some here who have, though.

        -Mike
        Michael Strahan
        Site Owner
        Alaska Hunt Consultant
        1 (907) 229-4501

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, he will be hunting Caribou. He loves hunting, but he also just absolutely loves this "part of the world". In his many conversations since his last trip, he says that there is nothing like the feeling of being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no contact with the rest of the world. He hopes that this will help him (once again) get his head on straight.

          I wonder what regulations have changed (that would apply to him with the caribou hunting) since he's been out there? He, I'm sure has researched this and should know. (I certainly hope so!!)

          In the past he has alway rented a raft and floated down the Chandler. (did I spell that right?) But, his plan is just to stay in one place on this trip.

          Mike Strahan .. has kind of hit the nail on the head with my concerns. My husband was 33 the last time he "did" this trip. He is 51 now, over weight (IMO) and has asthma. My husband maintains that he will "take it easy" for the first week or so and build himself up to more heavy duty walking, etc. As far as the asthma, husband says that the dry air up there will be wonderfull for that. Try telling him that he's not superman anymore ... (LOL!)

          Sure do appreciate all of your comments, etc.!!

          Michigan

          Comment


          • #6
            Suggestions

            Michigan,

            You probably have no worries about the asthma issue. We don't have a lot of pollen in the air in the fall, and most folks have little trouble with this at that time of the year. I'm not a doctor though, and wouldn't presume to give medical advice in your situation. His doctor should clear him for this trip, and that would be one thing I would insist on. Another idea would be to have the air charter do a flyover sometime at the mid-point of the hunt, just to check on him. Because he is alone, the charter will probably want to do this anyway, but I would set it up, and pay for it in advance. If you don't pay for the extra flight, it probably won't happen (most air charter services are completely jammed up in the fall, with weather delays, etc.) Finally, rent a satellite phone for him; he can check in periodically with you, or use it for an emergency situation if necessary.

            Please ask him to take plenty of pics and perhaps post one or two here after he returns! We always love to hear how folks fared out in the field!

            Hope it helps!

            -Mike
            Michael Strahan
            Site Owner
            Alaska Hunt Consultant
            1 (907) 229-4501

            Comment


            • #7
              Sat Phone

              I'll second Mike's suggestion of the Sat. Phone. Money well spent for anyone hunting alone for extended periods of time.

              -Carnivore
              Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
              Genesis 9:3

              Comment


              • #8
                3rd vote for the sat phone. Either get it down there, or pick it up in Anch. or Fbks. Bet he didn't have a sat phone last time. I would recommend the Irridium company over Globalstar. Irridium has better coverage.
                I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
                I have less friends now!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  i have no experience with sat phones. can you give an idea what a sat phone might rent for?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    leave the phone behind

                    As hunters, we live in about the best of all times. We can afford to go to places in a few days that once would have taken weeks, if not months of travel. Our loads are reduced to pounds when once they would have been measured by the tons. Our bodies have access to the best medical care in the world, so that we are all younger than the passage of years would suggest. Yet I still smell the reek of fear in the posts here.

                    To everything there is a beginning. We might not see it, but upon thought and reflection, we come to understand it. A man has been to a place that he loved, participating in a sport that he loved in pursuit of animals that he loved. If he has evaluated himself at all realistically, he believes that he can once again visit that place and do what he loves. Certainly he’s a bit older, but younger for his years than his father was, and even moreso than for his grandfather, and so forth. The wisdom of age can more than make up for the slight loss of the vigor of youth.

                    Yet rather than contemplate the level of struggle that might be necessary to win and wallow in the glory of that, there are the posts of “what if, what if.” Get a satellite phone, just in case. HOGWASH. This is a perpetuation of the cancer of our times, the unwillingness, nay the sheer inability, of anyone to take responsibility for their own actions and to live with the consequences.

                    I am not saying that anybody should be meekly fatalistic. I am saying that to live in fear is not to live at all. Quit trying to steal the Michigander’s life.
                    He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Satellite phones

                      Rupertbear,

                      I'm pretty sure that my husband thinks along those exact same lines.

                      Yet .. still, I can see just a bit of hesitancy on his part. I agree .. to a point, with what you are advocating .. but if the technology is out there, why not make use of it? (Of course this is "the wife" that you are hearing from.)

                      I sure would feel better if he would rent that satellite phone. But maybe he won't. As I mentioned above, he absolutely loves the feeling of not being able to be contacted. Would the satellite phone ruin that feeling for him? I don't know. The only thing that I DO know for sure is that it would give me peace of mind!

                      Even better .. it would be awesome if he could find a fellow hunter that would enjoy a trip such as this. Because of the "last minuteness" (new word there) of his plans, none of his hunting friends are able to accompany him.

                      All that said, my husband will (of course!) decide this for himself. He is pretty headstrong, so there is a very good chance that he will also say HOGWASH when I bring this up.

                      Just in case .. I did do some research on this and there are no stores/companies that rent these locally. Would anyone have a (specific) name of a company/store that I could contact either in Fairbanks or Bettles that rent these? If my husband is agreeable to this, I would take care of everything so that all he had to do was stop in and pick it up.

                      Again .. thanks to all for so much input. I never dreamed I (the wife of Michigan) would enjoy reading an Alaska hunting site .. but I have learned AND enjoyed reading/catching up on some of the threads here!

                      One that I did NOT like opening up to read .. was in regards to keeping bears out of camp ..

                      Michigan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Take the phone

                        There is a reason I will live longer than my father and he lived longer than his. We all learned by each others mistakes. I would take the phone not only for my personal safety but in case I take an animal 1 or 2 days into a 14 day hunt I can call my air charter and arrange to have my meat picked up instead of having to worry about spoilage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          brooks range

                          RB:
                          I do solo hunts frequently and its not something to take lightly. I carry a satellite phone. I also think that if you have certain medical conditions or unfamiliarity with the terrain and climate you should be very careful. I dont hunt the Brooks but I have heard of snowstorms that would prevent a pickup for a while which would be disaster with a medical condition. Also its fine to want to do an adventure but you need to plan carefully as you have to think of your family if you make some wreckless decisions. If you havent been hunting in a while you wont know your limitations and you certainly cant be too familiar with the weather or terrain in two seasons 18 years ago! I would feel a lot more comfortable if he addresses concerns than if he dismisses them...You would know if he tends to be a cautious guy or not. The good news is that area is probably pretty popular that time of year and he may be around lots of other parties. It sounds like he has a pretty safe hunt planned using a base camp. Just some other thoughts...
                          “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Take The Phone

                            from what I've read of this post, your husband is a tough guy, but his toughest days are behind him.

                            Take a phone to assure safety--even with it, things could go awry. Increase the odds of a safe, enjoyable--importantly, SOLO ---experience.
                            Best of Luck, Frank
                            Proud to be an American!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Take it

                              Yes, take the sat phone, no one said he has to use it but if something serious happened, he'd have it available.

                              Comment

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