Caribou Gear Tarp

Caribou drop camp report

A little more info as far as transporter:

There are two main caribou transporters in Kotzebue. We went with Arctic Air which has changed ownership to Unguided Alaska. This is the first year under new ownership. I know they have had some struggles with scheduling and whatnot so I’m sure there will be a few people online that will have negative reviews. They were very open about the business and the schedule nightmare they inherited after taking ownership. I can say with very high confidence that the team of people working at Arctic Air are going to do everything they can to help you out. They are a full service transport company that really tries to have a good customer service experience. They aren’t just an air taxi. They also rent a lot of gear. Even more than the standard camp package. We rented the camp package and it had a lot of food, fuel, and equipment. The tents were great as well. I highly recommend contacting Kyle at Outdoors international if you want to contact these folks. Kyle is a great resource as a booking agent and it doesn’t cost anything to work with him.

All of that being said, if you are planning one of these hunts, manage your expectations. It’s expensive, and it’s probably going to cost more than you think. The hotel in Kotz is $330 per night. If you get several days of weather delays, that and $20 hamburgers adds up fast. There’s going to be a mad scramble at air strips when the weather breaks. Be ready and be understanding if things don’t go according to plan. Plan to have 5/6 days if you book an 8 day trip. Also plan for the added cost of those days.

It seems like it wasn’t strange for people to see other camps either. There’s only so many landing strips and if people are getting caribou in a specific area, that’s where hunters are going to go. I do feel like the number of hunters and the chaos that comes with handling all of that takes away from what many people are looking for. Our trip was smooth and just what we were looking for, but others were not. After talking with the transporter about it, I was encouraged that they are making a lot of changes going forward that should smooth out those issues and help ensure people get the experience they are looking for. At the end of the day, they are good people with good intentions. I’ve got a lot of confidence they will build this business into an A+ operation. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
 
Great info! GREAT HUNT! Mucho Grats to both of you! Bad ass 'bou! Your buddy's is awesome though yours? Yours would be one I'd have wet dreams over!

However, you should have said this was Nonya area and the group you chose was by the fantastic operation, Looselips.

Did I mention... provide me and only me the real scoop via PM. Not even your buddies! Oh, and spot me a few K to cover my hamburger craving. :ROFLMAO:

Sweet hunt! Thanks for taking us along and sharing the logistical background. Very cool.
 
A little more info as far as transporter:

There are two main caribou transporters in Kotzebue. We went with Arctic Air which has changed ownership to Unguided Alaska. This is the first year under new ownership. I know they have had some struggles with scheduling and whatnot so I’m sure there will be a few people online that will have negative reviews. They were very open about the business and the schedule nightmare they inherited after taking ownership. I can say with very high confidence that the team of people working at Arctic Air are going to do everything they can to help you out. They are a full service transport company that really tries to have a good customer service experience. They aren’t just an air taxi. They also rent a lot of gear. Even more than the standard camp package. We rented the camp package and it had a lot of food, fuel, and equipment. The tents were great as well. I highly recommend contacting Kyle at Outdoors international if you want to contact these folks. Kyle is a great resource as a booking agent and it doesn’t cost anything to work with him.

All of that being said, if you are planning one of these hunts, manage your expectations. It’s expensive, and it’s probably going to cost more than you think. The hotel in Kotz is $330 per night. If you get several days of weather delays, that and $20 hamburgers adds up fast. There’s going to be a mad scramble at air strips when the weather breaks. Be ready and be understanding if things don’t go according to plan. Plan to have 5/6 days if you book an 8 day trip. Also plan for the added cost of those days.

It seems like it wasn’t strange for people to see other camps either. There’s only so many landing strips and if people are getting caribou in a specific area, that’s where hunters are going to go. I do feel like the number of hunters and the chaos that comes with handling all of that takes away from what many people are looking for. Our trip was smooth and just what we were looking for, but others were not. After talking with the transporter about it, I was encouraged that they are making a lot of changes going forward that should smooth out those issues and help ensure people get the experience they are looking for. At the end of the day, they are good people with good intentions. I’ve got a lot of confidence they will build this business into an A+ operation. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
 
Great write up about an even better adventure! Congrats on some fine trophies! A trip like that is a bucket list item! I’ve done two northern BC moose hunts with one being a combo hunt. Unfortunately I didn’t see a legal caribou. Well done!
 
A little more info as far as transporter:

There are two main caribou transporters in Kotzebue. We went with Arctic Air which has changed ownership to Unguided Alaska. This is the first year under new ownership. I know they have had some struggles with scheduling and whatnot so I’m sure there will be a few people online that will have negative reviews. They were very open about the business and the schedule nightmare they inherited after taking ownership. I can say with very high confidence that the team of people working at Arctic Air are going to do everything they can to help you out. They are a full service transport company that really tries to have a good customer service experience. They aren’t just an air taxi. They also rent a lot of gear. Even more than the standard camp package. We rented the camp package and it had a lot of food, fuel, and equipment. The tents were great as well. I highly recommend contacting Kyle at Outdoors international if you want to contact these folks. Kyle is a great resource as a booking agent and it doesn’t cost anything to work with him.

All of that being said, if you are planning one of these hunts, manage your expectations. It’s expensive, and it’s probably going to cost more than you think. The hotel in Kotz is $330 per night. If you get several days of weather delays, that and $20 hamburgers adds up fast. There’s going to be a mad scramble at air strips when the weather breaks. Be ready and be understanding if things don’t go according to plan. Plan to have 5/6 days if you book an 8 day trip. Also plan for the added cost of those days.

It seems like it wasn’t strange for people to see other camps either. There’s only so many landing strips and if people are getting caribou in a specific area, that’s where hunters are going to go. I do feel like the number of hunters and the chaos that comes with handling all of that takes away from what many people are looking for. Our trip was smooth and just what we were looking for, but others were not. After talking with the transporter about it, I was encouraged that they are making a lot of changes going forward that should smooth out those issues and help ensure people get the experience they are looking for. At the end of the day, they are good people with good intentions. I’ve got a lot of confidence they will build this business into an A+ operation. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
What should someone budget for a trip like this?
 
What should someone budget for a trip like this?
Honestly, id say $10k. $6500 for transporter, $1k for flights, $1k for tags because you’ll get more than just caribou, $600 ish for lodging plus a couple hundred for food, call it 1k with flight tips. Then taxidermy bill or shipping meat home puts you around $10k. It was a big deal for me to save up for this but if you book several years out, a couple grand per year in the gun safe makes it easier.

I don’t remember if I already mentioned it for for a couple hundred bucks, we got the meat home Alaska air cargo and it arrived in Detroit an hour after my buddies flight and he picked it up and headed home. Very easy. Saved a lot of money vs checked bag route.
 
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Great info! GREAT HUNT! Mucho Grats to both of you! Bad ass 'bou! Your buddy's is awesome though yours? Yours would be one I'd have wet dreams over!

However, you should have said this was Nonya area and the group you chose was by the fantastic operation, Looselips.

Did I mention... provide me and only me the real scoop via PM. Not even your buddies! Oh, and spot me a few K to cover my hamburger craving. :ROFLMAO:

Sweet hunt! Thanks for taking us along and sharing the logistical background. Very cool.
You know, I had that written and asked my buddy if I should post it. At the end of the day, I really appreciated everything the transporter and outdoors international did and wanted to do it for them. I wanted to be greedy sooooo bad and keep it to myself, but I felt a bit guilty 😂
 
I don’t remember if I already mentioned it for for a couple hundred bucks, we got the meat home Alaska air cargo
Did you do the approved shipper process before you left, or did you use someone up there who had already gone through the app, site visit, etc.? If you did it, would you mind sharing the application cost and timeframe?

Awesome bull! Thanks for letting us in in it.
 
Did you do the approved shipper process before you left, or did you use someone up there who had already gone through the app, site visit, etc.? If you did it, would you mind sharing the application cost and timeframe?

Awesome bull! Thanks for letting us in in it.
My hunting buddy did it and it only took a couple days to go through. I’m not sure if it even cost anything to do. Very simple process and they are easy to work with.

He did it a couple weeks before we left. I think they say to allow 2 weeks to go through.
 
@MITCHMO Looks like a great trip! That's an amazing bull, those bez points are phenomenal!

$6500 for a transport fee? Was that for the plane charter or per person? How long was the flight? Presume you hunted on the north side of the range or did you hunt the state land to the east?

I'm considering going up there next spring and whacking a griz.
 
@MITCHMO Looks like a great trip! That's an amazing bull, those bez points are phenomenal!

$6500 for a transport fee? Was that for the plane charter or per person? How long was the flight? Presume you hunted on the north side of the range or did you hunt the state land to the east?

I'm considering going up there next spring and whacking a griz.
That $6500 included a camp rental with a ton of food. You should have seen how happy my buddy was when he saw the big bags of Twix and Kit Kat bars. That was the fee per person. It’s went up a lot but I believe it’s pretty standard pricing now. There’s another transport service out of dead horse that’s a lot cheaper but I’d still have to rent a car and deal with food.

There were three guys from Leupold that I think went with Ram Aviation. I was told they all shot a grizz. There were grizz all over and most people saw a handful. Somehow I never saw one but other groups saw 3-5 at least.

We were 120 miles north on the edge of the brooks. Relatively close to the ocean actually. There was a seagull sitting in camp one day. It takes about an hour to fly in. Golden eagle operates out of there as well but I was told he’s a pure transporter. If you want a taxi service, he’s probably worth calling. He flew me out in a really nice otter after I was dropped off at a staging landing strip. There was a sign at a hangar called “Arctic Backcountry Flying Service” as well. I know nothing about them though. Might be part of golden eagle. I wrote the number down somewhere if you end up needing it.
 
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