DIY Caribou alaska

Hilljackoutlaw

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Jan 15, 2019
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833
Location
Southeast Idaho
Is it possible to do a NR caribou hunt using just the hunting rig in Alaska or do you need a Bush pilot to get in the right country? Never even been to Alaska let alone hunted there. Any and all info from the hunt talkers is welcome please. Especially info on costs of hiring a bush pilot if its 100% neccessary and pilot recommendations. Where to locate the herds that NR hunters can go after. How many days should I plan to be in the field. Weapon of choice for a caribou. And anything else you seasoned Alaskan hunters may be able to offer up. Thanks in advance -Sean
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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4,290
Location
Aurora, CO
You have a couple options.

Bush plane
- Cheapest option would be a one way out then float back... but then you rent buy a raft/deal with shuttle back to town
- Only possible in a couple of units, and a lot of the rivers require some skill

Haul Road
- Archery only within 5 (as the crow flies) miles of the road.
- You can't rent a car (at least from a major company)
- It's a long ass drive

Adak (Glass eye and I both have threads on our trips)
- Cheapest option
- weather is terrible
- very low trophy quality
- you go from a commercial flight straight to hunting so packing is a bit more complicated.

Whatever you hunt other critters with will work fine. I would think if you can figure out the logistics a giving yourself a week would be plenty of time.

I'm still a novice on hunting AK but my major take away from my 2 trips is that the only real difference from hunting in the lower 48 are the logistics. Getting in and out of the field can be very complicated. Once you work that out, it's really no different than hunting MT/WY/ or ID. Lots of hurry up and weight, you need to be prepared to pull the trigger on booking some aspects of the trip 18 months out, but then other portions can't be worked out till you are on the ground in AK.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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5,343
Location
Chugiak, AK
Lots of open-ended questions. You need to do a lot more research before you can line this one out.

I would go on a fly-out hunt in the Brooks, the 40-Mile country, or the Alaska Peninsula, if I was planning a hunt. It won't be cheap, but it will be in some incredible country. If doing it once in your lifetime, do it right, don't go cheap, or you will end up with a cheap experience. I get that many people find the experience of just hunting the road system incredible, but I will tell you that a trip into the Brooks will be the most incredible experience you could have, and no other trip could touch it, if solitude is what you seek. You'll be lucky to see an airplane in a week if you go to the right areas.

The "cheaper" the hunt the less chance of killing an animal, and/or a trophy type animal, i.e. Adak...

There are a number of hunts that can be done from the road system, or off an ATV, but without local knowledge and knowing caribou habits/habitat/ etc you're flying blind. Spend the money and fly in.

I don't think you can do a fly in hunt from out of state for less than about $5000 now, and it isn't going to get any cheaper.

Good luck, and scan the archives. There is a bunch of information on hunting AK caribou.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
Messages
911
Location
New York
You’d be hard pressed to fly into the 40mile or the brooks for less then 6k all in when it’s all said and done. I know I will blow that budget handily next year for sure.
I will be back up there next August.
 

lr123

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Feb 21, 2019
Messages
112
I agree that its possible to do it for much less. We will probably be renting a house and vehicle between 4 guys. It breaks down to about $80 a day per person. That's should put us around $1800/pp plus misc travel expenses.
 

glass eye

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Sep 3, 2012
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El Centro, CA
I agree that its possible to do it for much less. We will probably be renting a house and vehicle between 4 guys. It breaks down to about $80 a day per person. That's should put us around $1800/pp plus misc travel expenses.
If you go early in the fall you will not find caribou within the road system, you will have to backpack in for them. In that case a truck and room won't do you any good and you will save money. The house will be good after the hunt to cut, wrap, and freeze your caribou. Just pay someone to take you from the airport to the Lake Betty trailhead and go from there.
If you hunt late season in Dec/Jan you might catch the caribou within the road system. That's when most hunters show up from the Anchorage area for a cheap easy way to fill the freezer. No shooting of bulls late season, cows only. Big bulls will have dropped their antlers by then anyways. Small bulls and cows will have antlers so you have to look for its junk or lack thereof.
 

lr123

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Feb 21, 2019
Messages
112
I should have specified more I was planning on backpacking but not camping overnight. I realize the road system is close to non existent on most of the island as well. Maybe we will skip the vehicle rental and just hike to the trailhead.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
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Location
Palmer, AK
I'm hoping to do an Adak trip next fall. I'm still working out all of the logistics but I think we can do it for around $2500/pp for everything.
You could easily rent a vehicle in Fairbanks between 4 guys and do the Haul Road for much less than that. There are several companies that allow driving that road and build their vehicles to handle it; everyone just gives up looking after they call Budget and Avis and get shut down. Your odds of a big bull are 10x greater than the Adak inbred bou. If you rifle hunt, split into groups of two and each pack a half a caribou out 5 miles. That is cake. Probably have to hike a lot further than 5 miles on Adak. The fact everyone is so caught up on Adak is a mystery to me. Weather, scenery, accommodations, and caribou are all orders of magnitude better in the Brooks compared to the Aleutians.
 
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