Pack in float out Haul Rd. Bou hunt ??



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  • Pack in float out Haul Rd. Bou hunt ??

    Hey guys, been browsing this site and there is ALL kinds of usefull info here, what a nice place to sit and read .. could spend a lot of time here for sure!!

    Am looking at a 2012 caribou hunt north of the Brooks, I was there in 2008 with the bow and was not successful .. although it was an awesome hunt!!

    My "plan", if feasible is this... purchase a packable raft (looking at Alpacka rafts) and hiking the 5 + miles in to a stream or river that will eventually drain back towards the Haul rd.

    Make camp near this steam, hunt from there and then float out with the kill.

    Before I put too much planning into this I thought I would check here to see if anyone has done this and if they had any suggestions for such and adventure.

    Thanks for any info guys.

  • #2
    Sure JW, i can offer a lot of useful info. Hike in float out options are rather simple:

    1. float the Atigun (Class I-IV) down to the Sag (Class I-III) down to the many points along the Haul Rd. from 1-3 days.

    2. Hike or drive to many points along the Sag and float across and hunt the east side of the river away from road hunters, take out anywhere from DOT station around Pump Station 3 to Happy Valley, Ice Cut, or Franklin Bluffs.

    3. Access the Sag from the Haul Rd near Ribdon and then cross the Sag to reach the Ribdon and hike upstream for a few miles...then float down to the Sag and return to road.

    4. Hike up the Kaparuk (east) to near the Sag and hunt, then float back to the road where the kaparuk crosses the Haul Rd.

    5. Hike west of the Haul rd to the Itkillik from Glabrieth Lk and float north to or beyond Slope Mnt. near the Sag and pack east to the road.

    I've rated them in order of interest and success.



    • #3
      Larry, thanks ALOT for that info!! Do all of the hunts you listed get you to the magic 5 mile boundary for a rifle hunt? It will be myself and 2 others looking to spend at least a week, would like to spend most of that time out past the 5 mile boundary. . using the rafts to get our bou back to the road or very close.


      • #4
        sure, the 5-mile corridor can be reached with option 1,3, and 5. Each has its own appeal and hardhsips. all are great hunts.


        • #5
          Alpacka rafts are great for their intended purpose but do not have a stellar reputation for stability in other than rather calm water. I would CAREFULLY research the particular drainage you choose to float out on regarding an Alpacka raft with your camp .... and possibly a 'bou! That water is cold! Good luck.
          "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


          • #6
            I don't have experience on the water in question, but I have been more than impressed with the stability of my Alpacka, particularly when it is loaded with some weight. The only time I have stability issues is when I'm the only thing in the boat, which makes it a little tippy towards the rear. With a loaded back across the bow, though, those little boats can handle moderate water with impressive stability.


            • #7
              Brian I was looking at the Denali Llama, cost is not crazy and it appears to be the best suited for my purpose that Alpacka offers, what model do you have and how durable are these things .. obviously going to be scraping some rock with a load.. can these things really take that kind of use?

              Larry, thanks for the info man.. seriously you have helped already with the initial planning of this trip.. needed a starting point to put my thinking cap on and now I have one.. now that I know this trip is possible I will be making every effort to make it happen!!


              • #8
                I've got the Llama. I've been pretty pleased with the abuse it can take, but obviously there are limitations since they're made with weight savings in mind. There is a lot of info out there about field repairs, so bringing a patch kit and knowing how to use it would be wise.


                • #9
                  My son and I packed and floated out a 'bou on another river with our two Denali Lama's. I learned the hard way keep the meat on the bottom and the backpack on the deck as far as center of gravity (flipped it twice, didn't loose anything except for some false confidence). I would be hesitant to think I could take more than 1/2 a 'bou, myself and my pack in a Lama...planning on getting an unrigged explorer for this summer.


                  • #10
                    No comment on specific haul road hunts, but as far as rafts are concerned, I would look at the NRS packraft:


                    I haven't had mine out on anything more than half thawed ponds so far, (bought it in January from Alaska Raft and Kayak) but so far I like it. I've used Alpacka's on Portage creek and local lakes a couple times and the NRS is comparable in construction and quality. Some of the advantages over Alpacka's: They are slightly bigger and can take more weight, they have a dual main air chamber and an inflatable seat and removable inflatable floor mat, which technically gives them 4 chambers, and they are fairly cheaper than Alpacka's. Also, they are available at Anchorage REI, which often has 20% off coupons and have their rock solid return policy. ( If I'd known REI would be carrying them I would have waited to buy it there)

                    They also have disadvantages to the Alpacka's, depending on what you are intending to use it for. Mainly, no spray skirt and slightly larger packed size and slightly heavier. I didn't consider those as deal breaker's compared to alpacka's however, and went with the NRS. I am looking forward to using it a fair bit this summer and I don't think I will be disappointed.


                    • #11

                      Thanks for that link, those are pretty cool rafts also, definetly larger payload and that is what I need, I guess Im a little concerned about its "packability" as fas as throwing this thing in or on my backpack and heading out on foot along with all my other essentials, how would you say this raft is in that regards... "doable"??


                      • #12
                        Having some experience with floating my Denali Llama with 75-100 pounds on a few occasions I can say that i would not want to do too many miles of boney class II+ or more with anything more than 75-80 pounds for too long. The boats are great up to 75 pounds or so in Class III water and what not but getting much more than that weight and they become somewhat sluggish harder to maneuver out of the way of rocks/waves. Not that it can't be done however. Something else to keep in mind is depending on how your rig your load you likely will have the spray deck rolled back if successful allowing water to get into the boat which means stoping to bail more often as well especially in splashy stuff.

                        It can certainly be done and has and I hope to do it again this year, just stuff to keep in mind. A 50 pound camp plus 75 pounds minimum of caribou meat/antlers and what not equals a LOADED packraft so choosing your river accordingly will be key. Good luck!!


                        • #13
                          dont forget water conditions too, larry mentioned that the atigun river float could take up to 3 days, well it took me 7 days last fall on low water to hunt and float to the pumpstaion, the first place to get to the road, nice float and it would be a lot easier in a raft, doable in a canoe but not ideal in low water, ive been looking into a packraft for the same reasons may see you up there! i would plan on a late august hunt too, last few years its been slower after the first week of sept in that area, but then again bou are unpredictable!


                          • #14
                            guys, if you don't already own an alpacka, wait a month or two for us to show what our prototype will do for alaska pack hunters. It appears i can;t say to much about specs or advertising, so i'll keep it generic.

                            9' version of the packraft-style rafts, weight about 11-13 lbs total, holds about 750lbs usueful load, but ideal for one person, backpack, and a 'bou or sheep/griz.

                            The NRS specs are the same as the alpacka rafts (Lama), but the material is stronger and the floor is slightly improved (inflatable).

                            Goo showed me a protype Feathercraft with a fully inflatabke floor and self-bailing model this week and it holds promise, but the size is prohibitve for backpack hunters (6').

                            If you can wait, do so, technology has opened up new doors for extreme float hunters, and i am on it. I just need a month or so to dial it in. I'll post a heap of photos here when i have the working version in hand, but it'll be worth waiting for.

                            I own 3 alpackas and love them (all Denali lamas). But they limit me to packing an animal plus my pack. I also want a packable raft that can hold my dog and pack comfortably, and i think this one will be the sweet ticket.

                            patience grasshoppers...but it's close enough to talk about it.


                            • #15
                              Larry, I have the time as we are looking at an Aug 2012 hunt ..please, please, please keep me informed on that raft with the 750lb payload..... My email is JohnWeist@Hotmail.Com


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