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Brooks Range Hunting Trip .. Fast Approaching!

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  • #16
    Potential Partner

    Originally posted by Michigan
    ...I'm pretty sure that my husband thinks along those exact same lines...I sure would feel better if he would rent that satellite phone....

    .... it would be awesome if he could find a fellow hunter that would enjoy a trip such as this.

    I don't know you or your husband, but wives and husbands are supposed to be a team of sorts. If you want him to bring the phone, and he knows it will help you feel better about the trip, he should bring it. Besides, it's cheap insurance. On one hand I agree that it's nice to cut as many strings as possible for a while, and to just live out there in the spirit of the wild. But the truth is that this is little more than fantasy for almost all of us. Most of us would die out there if we were truly forced to survive off the land... why pretend we can? None of this is directed at your husband, by the way. My point is that it's all a judgement call; simply a question of degree of separation. Follow Rupert's advice to it's extreme and he'll be out there wearing an animal skin, from a critter he killed with sticks and stones he gathered himself on-site. I'm all about choosing self-imposed limits on technology, but as another poster said, he doesn't have to use the phone. It's there for emergencies. We're not ordering a pizza here (though I hear that if you order one by phone and it's not there in 30 minutes or less, it's free. Wonder if that applies in this case... hmmm....)

    You can rent a phone from Surveyor's Exchange in Anchorage and they may ship it to the air charter by prior arrangement. I've heard that some companies on the internet do the same thing. You might do a google search for that.

    As to a hunting partner, I know a guy who's headed up that way this fall, and he might be receptive to that. We may be talking tonight and I can ask him. He's hunted the Brooks on at least two occasions in the last two years. I'll keep you posted...

    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (406) 662-1791


    • #17
      Satelite Phone

      I have used Outfitter Satelite Inc. for renting a phone. The cost was about $125.00 for 14 days rental. Their phone number is 1-877-436-2255. Very good customer service and good equipment. Your husband could only use it in an emergency if that is what he chooses. I have used mine for both my trips. One to call the Flight service to tell them to delay a pick up and another to arrange an early pick-up due to meat concerns.Its cheap insurance and if he does'nt need to use it he wont. I dont think it takes anything away from your experience and I have found it very useful when you need to get in touch with your transporter. Just my opinion.Hope this helps.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Michael Strahan
        Follow Rupert's advice to it's extreme and he'll be out there wearing an animal skin, from a critter he killed with sticks and stones he gathered himself on-site.

        I got a chuckle out of that comment, but I actually don't see where my willingness to rely on my own judgement and common sense leads to me (or anyone else) running around in a loin cloth and waving a sharp stick. Just because I choose to concentrate my efforts and thought on doing the right thing the first time rather than assuming I'm going to do things wrong (and assuming Michigan's husband will do the same) doesn't lead to sharp rocks and a cave man lifestyle. I never suggested that Mr. Michigander be fatalistic, but I certainly do understand his willingness to live today rather than fret his life away worrying about what tomorrow might bring.

        Yep, I do limit my use of technology to some level that does not automatically guarantee my ability to overcome an animal's anti-predator behavior. Accordingly, I don't use night vision scopes nor amplified hearing aids. But that has nothing to do with my favoring leaving the phone behind.

        I strongly suspect that you and I view re-creational hunting in different lights.
        He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.


        • #19
          Note to Ruprecht

          Originally posted by RupertBear
          ...I got a chuckle out of that comment...I strongly suspect that you and I view re-creational hunting in different lights.

          Are you they guy Steve Martin was portraying in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" or is it just the name...?


          I don't know whether we see hunting in different lights or not, but at least you have a sense of humor!

          I guess my take on the phone is that things can go wrong when a man is over fifty, and not all of the bad things are a result of stupidity. A few years back I had a client in the field on a float hunt. He was exhibiting flu-like symptoms for three days (dizziness, nausea, etc). He was otherwise in good physical condition, so I assumed he had the flu, an assessment supported by his contact with his flu-sickened grandchildren just before his Alaska hunt. One morning he got up to answer the call of nature and as he walked back to the tent I could see he was in distress. Walking up to him, I said, "Hey, are you all right?" He said he didn't feel so good, and then collapsed literally in my arms. He would have fallen on the ground if I were not there to catch him. I got out my VHF radio and GPS and called in our coordinates to a passing aircraft. We had him in the hospital within 2 1/2 hours. Turned out he had an undiagnosed tumor in his stomach with an artery associated with it. The artery had ruptured, and he was bleeding to death internally. The hospital did exploratory surgery to locate the problem, and he received eight units of blood. The doc later said that he has about a half-hour left and he would have died. Sometimes technology is just common sense.

          Michael Strahan
          Site Owner
          Alaska Hunt Consultant
          1 (406) 662-1791


          • #20
            I'll add just one thought to the phone issue. Rupert, are you married? Perhaps you are and things haven't changed for you, but when I got married my ways of thinking changed a bit. I am no longer responsible only to myself, but to my wife also. To be honest, it's frustrating at times to have to take safety just a bit more seriously (I chose to abort a stalk on a bear a few years back that I would have completed when i was single due to darkness and terrain issues), but those are the trade-offs I decided I was willing to make when I committed myself to another person. I haven't carried a sat phone yet - heck, my wife usually joins me afield - but if I were going solo for two weeks I would do it solely out of concern for her and the commitments I have made. My life is not my own any longer - which is the case with this guy heading to the Brooks - which is why I would strongly agree with those who advocate the phone.

            But hey, that's just my way of thinking.



            • #21
              One other point on Ruperts rediculous idea to leave the phone behind. Accidents and unexpected things happen. If something happens to your husband, and he is NOT where he is supposed to be when the plane comes to pick him up............a search will begin. Other people will have to devote their valuable time to finding him, possibly rescuing him. He could literaslly be yards away in an unseen spot and rescuers will not see him. Look at where the Chandler R. is on a map. Your husband WON'T be walking out to the local doctor is something happens.
              The best advice on this whole thread came from Mr. Strahan. Heed the advice. He offered an excellent example of how a sat phone can be the diference between relief and grieving. No one says your husband HAS to use it.
              I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
              I have less friends now!!


              • #22

                +1 on the phone,

                martentrapper is correct the motorola iridium is the most reliable signal.

                the phone rental will cost about $75/week.

                the clean , pure air in ak. has wonderful curative powers. have him take 2 separate inhalers and keep them in ziploc bags one on him the other in his pack and he should be fine.
                Cold Zero
                Member: S.C.I., N.R.A. Life Endowment Member & L.E. Tactical Firearms Instr.


                • #23
                  Bring the Phone

                  +1 to the many good reasons already given for bringing a phone.

                  Rupert - no offense, my fellow sportsman! but here's a list of things that come IMMEDIATELY off the top of my head, that would justify having the phone on a remote trip of that length:

                  - caribou down early (meat haul)
                  - camp move necessitated by weather/high water/etc
                  - shortage of food or water
                  - accident afield (knife cut, broken leg/ankle, etc)
                  - delay in bush plane pickup flight (due to weather backlogging their schedule or other reason)
                  - tent failure
                  - camp destroyed by marauding bear

                  Most of the guys who have already responded have tons more experience in the Alaskan bush than I do, and could add several more good reasons.

                  I think the "reek of fear" you mention may be more the "good smell of common sense" we seem to acquire with age...

                  Just my thoughts, and no criticism of your own preference to hunt as you see fit. For the Michigan man returning to Alaska after 18 years, it's just our way of hoping he has a safe and memorable hunt.



                  • #24
                    Take the Sat phone

                    Michigander -

                    Not sure if you will take advice from a Buckeye, but here goes....the sage old addage of 'better to have and not need than need and not have' truly applies here. Sat phones DO have a power button....Surveyor's Exchange rents them for $75 for a week; I am taking one on my Afognak Island elk Hunt in is just not something to take lightly, period.

                    I certianly hope your husband enjoys his time in the Brooks!


                    • #25
                      solo hunt

                      Last year I did a solo hunt for caribou in unit 17. I loved it! It was one of the most memorable things I have done. I took 6 rolls of film and kept notes in a jornal so I wouldn't forget anything. I REALLY wish I was going back this year! I really miss it (Ihave booked for next year with wife going also). I did take a sat phone. My outfitter wouldn't drop me if I didn't. I didn't sit around and talk on the phone. It wasn't turned on unless I called my outfitter to check in at certain times. It's not a bad idea to have but I really understand not wanting any contact. It just is a differant feeling. You know, we could die in a car wreck tomorrow or have a heart attack behind a desk. Not the way I want to go. I dont want to spend life worring about what "might" happen. I bet he knows what he is getting into. Make it fun for him. Tell him to rent the phone and keep it turned off in the tent. I used outfitter satalite also. Good results.
                      **** I wish i was going with him! Never did the Brooks Range. Would love to see it.


                      • #26
                        Plain and simple, things can go wrong. That why they call them accidents. If it were me, and I know it would make my wife feel better, I'd carry the phone. I'm not saying I would give her the number , but its there just in case you need it. The phone could have his life. I OWE it to my wife and my kids to come home.

                        Just my $.02


                        • #27
                          It's all about the experience!

                          Everyone seems to enjoy the hunting experience for their own individual reasons. It is impossible to describe to people who have never hunted(the Alaskan way) what it is that makes it so appealing.

                          As for myself, I look forward to the challenge of hunting. It's not all about the taking of the animals, its about the experience.

                          I was lucky enough to be raised in Alaska, but unfortunately had to leave to obtain an education in a field I was interested in. When I return there to hunt with my old man I am looking forward to completely escaping from everything that makes the modern world what it is. Out there, there are no beepers going off, cell phones ringing, cab drivers yelling, cars honking, or concrete! It's completely quiet... It gives me a chance to think, to relax, and to enjoy fending for myself. Knowing that a false step or bad decision can lead you into a critical even life-threatening predicament makes me feel that much more alive.

                          When you accomplish a feat such as surviving a hunt where there are no guides to cook for you or show you where the animals are, where you plan and pack everything yourself (and suffer the consequences when you forget something important!), you get a great feeling of confidence. It is a very sobering experience when you're out in the field and all you have to rely on is yourself.

                          Now, Michigan's wife, I am only 20 and have no commitments other than a girlfriend and will not attempt to advise you on what you or your husband should do as far as renting a SAT phone. However, I wanted to give you an idea from another hunter as to why I enjoy not taking the SAT phone.

                          I believe it would contradict all the reasons why I enjoyed the hunting adventures I've had.


                          • #28
                            alright, already

                            I understand the desire on the part of many folk to keep the ones who are/were so unfortunate as to be left behind happy, and I agree that it is a valid reason. It isn't one, though, that persuades me to take one along on my trips, however. If we all liked the same horse, it wouldn't be much of a race, eh?

                            As far as advice to the Michigander, I'd have to say take the phone. Not that I would [B]ever[B] advise him to turn the blamed thing on, but it would obviously make Mrs. Michigan feel a lot better and increase his chances of getting another kitchen pass at sometime in the future.
                            He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.


                            • #29
                              sat. phone


                              You are giving bad advice! I would be dead right now if I didn’t have a sat. phone on one bad occasion hunting, and it wasn’t my fault for any of the circumstances I was in. Sometimes bad things happen. Yes he should being a sat phone!


                              • #30
                                did you learn anything?


                                You really ought to provide us with a few details, especially since "it wasn't my fault" are among the most common words out there.

                                Did you figure out what skill(s) you were lacking that contributed to your near-death experience? After you recovered from your ordeal, did you then go out and learn those skills so that you'd not have a repeat of your misadventure?

                                Please do enlighten us.
                                He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.


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