Caribou drop camp report

Congratulations! I’m hoping to do this hunt in 2 or 3 years depending on availability. Was it hard to get your meat and antlers home? I’m assuming you had to split the skull cap?
 
Wow! Fantastic bull, congratulations! Sounds like y'all had a great trip, love it when a plan comes together.
 
man, thats a smoker. Congrats. looks very much like the area 3 friends and I hunted a few years back. pretty exciting plane ride in and out from the rocky ridge. we were about 100 mi. N of Kotz and E of the Noatak. we got weathered in 3 days at the end, 50 mph & rain. good call getting out when you could. sure was glad to get off that rock and back to town
 
Ok at the airport again so I’ll wrap this up.

When I crawled up over the small gravel pile I pretty much had a mental breakdown. All I saw was a sea of antlers. There was about 30 caribou tightly packed together in a small depression. Right in front of me was a massive bull, tines going everywhere, huge back scratchers, and super tall beams. I leveled off on him and took a quick second to survey the herd. I looked behind him and saw another bull that was obviously bigger. He turned his head and it looked like he had a comb on each front. I immediately put the crosshairs on his chest and sent one. The entire herd took off and he started slowing down. I sent another that missed over his back. I may have been a tad excited. He slowed to a stop and I hit him one more time. He reluctantly went down. He was trying really hard to get back up so I sent one more to seal the deal. I wasn’t taking any chances. A good portion of the herd disappeared over the rise, but some stayed on the skyline long enough to snap a pic.
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As I walked up to my bull, I was in awe. What a beautiful animal. I have tremendous respect for these animals that can survive out here.
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The first trip back was brutal, winds picked up and so did the rain. I took a front, hind, back strap, and loin back to camp. It was 2.5 miles of up and down. After making it back to warm dry camp, it was hard to get back out but my buddy convinced me to do one last trip. So out we went.
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Camp was about as far as you can see in this picture. Those hills are bigger than they look!
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Back at camp, we stashed the rest of the meat and called it a night. We were so tired PB&J was all we could handle for dinner. I let the transporter know that we were wrapped up and they said they could get us in the morning. I was conflicted on going out so early but there was no fly days and weather coming so it was now or never. That would also allow me to get home in time to hunt our youth season with my kids so we told them to grab us. The next day was decent weather for the first half of the day so out we went. Absolutely beautiful bush flight.
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I’ll post some more info when I get time. I’ll try to lay out specifics for people looking to go and information about the transporter. I hope this story inspires some of you!

BTW, this trip started as a frustrated email after not drawing a tag and emailing a transporter. They just so happened to have a cancellation so we jumped on it. I’m sure glad we did.
Congratulations

I’m confused though, I thought that the natives influenced F&G to shut down caribou hunts to non natives in the Kotzebue unit.
Is that over with ?
 
Congratulations! I’m hoping to do this hunt in 2 or 3 years depending on availability. Was it hard to get your meat and antlers home? I’m assuming you had to split the skull cap?
I did end up splitting it but the transporter made that super easy. We also signed up for Alaska air cargo and it was about $250 to ship two caribou. They even have an antler shipping service as well.
 
man, thats a smoker. Congrats. looks very much like the area 3 friends and I hunted a few years back. pretty exciting plane ride in and out from the rocky ridge. we were about 100 mi. N of Kotz and E of the Noatak. we got weathered in 3 days at the end, 50 mph & rain. good call getting out when you could. sure was glad to get off that rock and back to town
Yea the wind was crazy. We were nervous about the weather and they had pretty small flight windows most days.
 
Congratulations

I’m confused though, I thought that the natives influenced F&G to shut down caribou hunts to non natives in the Kotzebue unit.
Is that over with ?
They are working to close it to non residents but right now there’s one main area they closed which used to be the favorite spot. So the transporters have moved out of the closed area. I think the future is pretty dicey with caribou hunting up there.
 

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