Sitka Mountain Gear
Caribou 2016/17
Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
hunterofwild 09-Mar-15
Tatonka 10-Mar-15
Bigbears 10-Mar-15
Hunts_with_stick 10-Mar-15
OFFHNTN 10-Mar-15
loesshillsarcher 10-Mar-15
Halibutman 11-Mar-15
Halibutman 11-Mar-15
Tatonka 11-Mar-15
MathewsMan 11-Mar-15
Halibutman 11-Mar-15
rtkreaper 11-Mar-15
MathewsMan 12-Mar-15
rtkreaper 12-Mar-15
Stekewood 12-Mar-15
Nick Muche 12-Mar-15
Cornfed 77 12-Mar-15
mixed bag 12-Mar-15
ollie 12-Mar-15
Stekewood 12-Mar-15
rtkreaper 12-Mar-15
Kdog 12-Mar-15
razorsharp 16-Mar-15
Dwitt2n 16-Mar-15
Jody Maddock 16-Mar-15
rtkreaper 17-Mar-15
Mule Power 18-Mar-15
Tatonka 18-Mar-15
cariboukid 24-Mar-15
Nick Muche 24-Mar-15
TradbowBob 24-Mar-15
Huntbearwbow 03-Apr-15
Tatonka 03-Apr-15
Huntbearwbow 03-Apr-15
Triple 3 03-Apr-15
TheLama 03-Apr-15
TREESTANDWOLF 03-Apr-15
AkBowhntr 03-Apr-15
BOWUNTR 03-Apr-15
Kdog 03-Apr-15
hunterofwild 03-Apr-15
hunterofwild 03-Apr-15
AZBUGLER 06-Apr-15
Mad Trapper 07-Apr-15
From: hunterofwild
09-Mar-15
What are the TOP 3 thing you have learned from your last trip that you might do different on a future trip?

I am starting from scratch with planning a '16 or '17 Caribou hunt. My goal is to book something for 2016 possibly 2017. I am ok with a partially guided / drop camp style hunts given the right area. Fully Guided is not my first choice, but I would consider a 2-3 hunter per guide situation.

Barren Ground? Quebec? AK? Newfoundland?

Right now I am a party of one, but would consider joining another group, or putting together a group. I live and hunt in CO and I am comfortable living out of a pup tent for a week or more, but a remote cabin wouldn't be out of the budget.

The good news is, that the wife has given the green light and I have a pretty flexible budget. This has been a life long dream, and its time to start putting a few things into motion.

From: Tatonka
10-Mar-15
What's your budget? Are you driving to where you will hunt?

Take a look at Manitoba for Central Barren Ground Caribou.... 400,000 plus caribou and they only give out 250 resident and 250 non-resident tags. You can shoot two there and there are some really big bulls and a lot of them.

From: Bigbears
10-Mar-15
Budget would be the big question; if you are looking into Alaska. But I have found that if you are willing to have 4-5 guys in a camp it can help but you can't beat the experience.

10-Mar-15
I have been considering something along those lines as well. Party of one here as well. I hunt hard. If interested, pm me.

From: OFFHNTN
10-Mar-15
I agree with Tatonka.

10-Mar-15
If solo, I would look at Newfoundland or a Mountain Caribou. If with a party I would look at Quebec Labs, Barren Ground, or Central Barren Ground. Just my opinion. I am teaming up with a buddy for Central's this fall. Can't wait.

From: Halibutman
11-Mar-15
There are many different options available in caribou hunting these days. I haven't done them all, but I've definitely thought about it…

My suggestion would be a fly in do it yourself hunt in Alaska. This type of hunt can be put together for $3500 or less if you're frugal. You should plan to hunt the northern part of the state. Think Kotzebue or Prudhoe bay as good starting points. The key to making this trip affordable is to apply for and begin to use the Alaska airlines credit card. Their mileage plan is fantastic. Anyone considering an Alaskan hunt should enroll ASAP.

Newfoundland was an absolute blast. I was able to kill a giant "stag" and a moose on the first day using my rifle.The prices for this trip are going up… That's for sure. However, the outfitter I used is still priced less than $6000. I had a great time in camp with Craig. I was the only Hunter he hosted during my week. I recommend his operation.

http://www.newfoundlandbiggamehunting.com/page/rates

The picture on his "Caribou page" is actually of me with my stag.

I am booked for this September with Jack Hume adventures for my Quebec /Labrador Caribou. I am hoping to be successful there and then fly across the country to British Columbia for a mountain caribou hunt with Cassiar Stone outfitters. I chose Richard based on feedback from this site, and I chose Cassiar Stone because they hired a friend of mine from Idaho to guide for them. Those hunts are priced at $6200 and $9500 respectively. I would consider Quebec for my first caribou, but not a mountain caribou anywhere, as they seem to be flirting with 10K pretty regularly. You could hunt Alaska almost 3 times for that.

CCBG caribou are in flux right now because of the closure of a giant part of the range to hunting. As a result, the price has gone up considerably. The only reasonably priced operation I have found is booked up for the next two years! The Manitoba hunts seem to be overpriced in my opinion. I certainly would not recommend one of these hunts for a first Caribou.

So now my "3 things":

1.) buy multiple tags 2.) shoot the first bull you want to take home that gives you a chance 3) bring and wear comfortable knee high rubber boots with "lugs" on the soles (not slick). I usually wear mine the whole hunt.

There are plenty of guys here that have hunted caribou more than I have. They can amend my advice as they see fit.

Good luck!

From: Halibutman
11-Mar-15

Halibutman's Link

From: Tatonka
11-Mar-15
Alaska may be the least expensive, but when I was looking into hunts it seemed like Alaska was more of a hit or miss type of hunt than other places. A fellow I know went there three years ago... He and 3 friends came home with 1 caribou and it was killed late the last evening they had to hunt... He never did get his meat...the outfitter said he'd see to it that he got it.... Never happened.

I have good friends who have a daughter that is a bush pilot in Alaska. They go up every year to hunt and fish. They've struck out on Caribou 2 of the last 3 years.

Alaska, of course, is really the only option for someone from the U.S. who wants to do a DIY hunt.. If that's what a person wants to do, go for it!

To each his own, I guess. Manitoba was my first caribou hunt and I'd recommend it to anyone. Was it overpriced? I didn't think so, but every situation is different.. I was within driving distance, so my travel costs were pretty minimal, I didn't have to have antlers and meat shipped back, etc.

From: MathewsMan
11-Mar-15
I've only been on one caribou hunt, which was in Nunavut territory last year (I too back Tatonka's recommendation). The Mountain Caribou thing seems a tougher, higher priced hunt for those who have a few species of Bou already or for an add-on with a Sheep or Grizzly hunt or some combination trip, more of a bonus than specifically just for the Bou.

We primarily looked at success rates on trophy animals and raving references in our research. No matter what you choose, it is a hunting trip and there is a possibility you may not get an animal.

I am mostly a DIY type, but I look to sponsor's on bowsite first when considering such hunts. I've never used them but BSC or Link's are reputable consultants to talk to as well.

Jack Hume was atop our list and more reasonably priced than Nunavut or Manitoba (same thing), and having talked to him at the shows seemed a very good choice.

From: Halibutman
11-Mar-15
If you hunt in northern Alaska like I suggested, you have a very high probability of getting into caribou. The guys who have trouble are the ones who attempt to hunt the road system and/or the herds further south in the state.

There are all kinds of communities where someone can be a "bush pilot". Many of those communities have a really crappy caribou migration/population.

Hunts in Manitoba seem to be running about $8500. Just a few years ago, you could hunt that same subspecies for $5000. When the Northwest territories reopens, the price will go back down again. That is what I meant when I suggested it was overpriced.

Wherever you decide to hunt caribou, good luck! May the migration find you…

From: rtkreaper
11-Mar-15
I'll be heading up to hunt again next year again with JHA in Quebec. 2016 will be my 16th hunt with them. welcome to throw in with me if you like. Already looking forward to my 2015 hunt. See you on the tundra. Rory

From: MathewsMan
12-Mar-15
That's crazy Rory, hunting the same thing repeatedly would be like only being able to have one flavor of ice cream, or beer.

From: rtkreaper
12-Mar-15
Absolutely love the country and the people up there. That is why I do it every year. It got under my skin and I just have to go back. Met a lot of great people up there also. I do hunt a lot of other species so this is not my only hunt every year. Looking to break JHA's record for the number of times a person has hunted with them. Getting close I think!!!!! See you on the tundra. Rory

From: Stekewood
12-Mar-15
I've hunted them all except the central Canadian barren ground and if I had to pick one it would be a no brainer. Mountain Caribou all the way.

From: Nick Muche
12-Mar-15
" I have good friends who have a daughter that is a bush pilot in Alaska. They go up every year to hunt and fish. They've struck out on Caribou 2 of the last 3 years."

A plane and they struck out? That's quite funny... Fly more.

From: Cornfed 77
12-Mar-15
MathewsMan, its not crazy, its the tundra! Ive only been twice but I hope someday I have the resources to make it a yearly trip like Rory. And Rory, I cant believe you dont hold the record for trips with Hume! I will see him in Minnesota in a couple of weeks. Best of luck this year Rory!

James

From: mixed bag
12-Mar-15
Go with 40 mile air out of Tok ak

From: ollie
12-Mar-15
Check your references very carefully if considering Quebec. The herd changed their migration routes some years back and many established operations soon found themselves with camps in locations where caribou no longer frequent. It a pretty bleak hunt sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere waiting for a caribou migration that never comes.

From: Stekewood
12-Mar-15
I was thinking the same thing Nick......

From: rtkreaper
12-Mar-15
Cornfed 77 Looking forward to seeing you and your family in Minneapolis. We should be there by noon on Saturday. Hopefully see a few other familiar faces also. Dave, you going to be there. I hear Richard is going to buy us all lunch. Prime rib I think he said. See you on the tundra. Rory

From: Kdog
12-Mar-15
I am headed to Nunavut this September. Mathewsman and his dad are part of the reason I got interested in doing this Caribou hunt. I am headed to the same camp. I had just got back from my moose hunt in Manitoba that was great. I was looking to get something planned. Happens to be the same guys I booked my moose hunt with last fall. From everything I have heard, this outfitter has a great success rate. The price seems on the high end, but regardless I can't wait. You only live once, and I want to do these bow hunts for different animals while I still have the inclination and means to do it.

Good luck!

Kevin

From: razorsharp
16-Mar-15
40 mile books return clients first every year. Tough to get booked they are highly sought after.

From: Dwitt2n
16-Mar-15
Rory....pm sent.

From: Jody Maddock
16-Mar-15
Check out Blackstone outfitters in the Yukon for Barren Ground. http://blackstoneoutfitters.com/caribou

Area is in caribou wintering grounds, Porcupine heard. You need to sign up for their "on call" list, if the caribou don't get there you won't get the call. Once the caribou show up you have 10 days to get there. Don't know how big the list is. I would rather wait for the call rather than take my chances. Last year they notified all hunters it wasn't going to happen. $1000 deposit to get on the list if accepting new people. Hunt cost is around $6000 if I recall. Good luck wherever you go.

From: rtkreaper
17-Mar-15
Dave, PM sent. Rory

From: Mule Power
18-Mar-15
Nick X 3. If you are a bush pilot in AK and can't kill a caribou you need glasses! Or quit circling Anchorage. lol

From: Tatonka
18-Mar-15
From what I understand, you can't hunt in Alaska the day you fly. Spotting caribou one day, and having them be there the next (or within walking distance) are two different things... Just relaying what I was told. They saw caribou, but could not close the distance before the caribou moved on. I've not hunted caribou in Alaska, but the people I've talking to who have said walking on the tundra there is like walking on a waterbed filled with bowling balls.

A person can only cover so many miles on foot... That's what was nice about my Manitoba hunt. Traveling by boat allows a hunter to cover miles and miles of country compared to hunting on foot.

Maybe I need to hunt Alaska so I'll have first hand experience on what it is like!!!!

From: cariboukid
24-Mar-15
In response to Ollie's comment above...."The herd changed their migration routes some years back and many established operations soon found themselves with camps in locations where caribou no longer frequent. It's a pretty bleak hunt sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere waiting for a caribou migration that never comes." Not sure where that comes from but you obviously hunted with someone other than us!

I have been operating in Quebec my entire life and quite frankly I've hunted the George River herd from the Caniapiscau all the way into Labrador while it was open (following the changing migration from year to year) and had near 100% success in doing so even when the herd was down to 70 000 caribou. Since it was closed to hunting in 2009-2010 I was forced to move my base of operation from Schefferville to Lac Pau to gain closer access to the Leaf River Herd and at the same time took over all 30 of Luco and Caribou Adventure's former hunt camps/territory and have also since gained access to all of Arctic Adventures, Delay River and Explo Sylva's former hunting camps. In doing so allows me to cover a huge portion of Nunavik (northern Quebec) and although not a perfect science as caribou do have a mind of their own.., I can potentially move with the migration from camp to camp and from week to week. That is not saying that the caribou can't hold north of our camps or can't go west or east of our camps and that is not saying that the weather always allows me to get out and scout as often as I would like but none the less we have access to more territory, with more outpost camps scattered throughout the tundra than anyone has ever had access to in the past.

I could have easily saved myself a pile of money by doing what so many other outfitters have done in the past and operated from the camps I had taken over from my father (Jack Hume) rather than invest further to purchase, rent and maintain so many camps other camps. I actually used every possible means available to be able to ensure that my clients would have access to the herds and more importantly in a legal and ethical manner while hunting from the safety and comforts of a fully equipped outpost camp.

I also personally fly around this enormous territory and choose our best camps from week to week and reposition hunters and staff accordingly. Had I not taken over all these camps and had I not been flying my own float plane to ensure that our clients are positioned in the best camps from week to week the only thing I could guarantee is that you probably would not see a caribou as your chances would drop from over 90% average to bellow 30%.

Ollie for your information I would not be afraid to compare my statistics with those of any other caribou outfitter in North America and yes I am from Quebec. The herds will continue to move no matter where you go to hunt. The important part is whether your outfitter has proven that he will do what it takes to move with the caribou when ever possible. With that being said our camps enjoyed near 100% success in 2014. Heck they have enjoyed near 100% success for the past two decades! The proof is in the pudding...is that the saying I've heard before. I don't mean to brag but nobody that hunted with JHA last year can say they went home without seeing a caribou! That is the truth.

Richard Hume

From: Nick Muche
24-Mar-15
Everyone that flies out for caribou (any animal really) has to wait a day (3am next day) to hunt.

That said, if guides and outfitters are able to get clients on animals the only reason a resident with a plane isn't able to do it is poor planning.

From: TradbowBob
24-Mar-15
I've been caribou hunting 2x, both with Jack Hume. If I could afford it I would be there every year.

I don't know about other places, just that I've come home with 4 caribou all taken with my longbow from 3 to 35 yards.

TBB

From: Huntbearwbow
03-Apr-15
I hunted caribou 3x, last two with JHA. You can trust JHA with your life because flying into a bush camp in the sub-arctic tundra is just that. Richard will put you on the bou.....Amanda has the logistics down pat....you can't go wrong with JHA, they are the gold standard of caribou hunting......------------->>>

From: Tatonka
03-Apr-15
How many hunters does JHA run through their camps each year? Just curious.....

From: Huntbearwbow
03-Apr-15
I won't speak for Richard but used to be 180-200........

From: Triple 3
03-Apr-15

Triple 3's Link
Not to be a trouble maker here LOL. But if I hear another hunter tell me his wife has given him the green light to do something he loves I think I am gona puke!! Another thing on my mind. After hundreds of you guys getting screwed in F___King Quebec!!!! for hundreds of thousands of dollars!!! Are you kidding me!!!!

No offence Richard But come on guys wake up!

Sorry guys just had to GMHP!!

Go to Alaska for gods sake!! with a proven operation How many hunts you got left in your life??

Craig

Bowsite Sponsor

From: TheLama
03-Apr-15
Craig,

Who do you use in Alaska? Or did I miss it above/

03-Apr-15
I will be running through Richards camp this year...literally after my first Bou. All I can say is that he and Amanda are super organized. It is going to be great!

From: AkBowhntr
03-Apr-15

AkBowhntr's embedded Photo
AkBowhntr's embedded Photo
Hit or miss in Alaska???? I would say mostly hit. And for way under the price you guys are mentioning. Just gotta know where and when to go.........

From: BOWUNTR
03-Apr-15
Jeff nailed it... Ed F

From: Kdog
03-Apr-15
AKBowhntr - Your post is just wrong in so many ways :)! Looks you know what your are doing, but I fail to see how your post helps anyone (thus the comment above that it is just wrong, lol)

From: hunterofwild
03-Apr-15
I a greatly appreciate all the responses. I really thought I would get an email from bowsite when folks posted which is why I haven't checked back. I don't see that any one mentioned Alaskan Trophy Hunts ran by Tom Shankster, anyone have any experience with his operation?

From: hunterofwild
03-Apr-15
And Oh BTW, Triple 3. My wife gave me the green light because I asked her about it. I don't need to defend it.

From: AZBUGLER
06-Apr-15
Amen hunterofwild! I'm with you. Good spouses discuss things together that affect both of them financially. My wife and I just had this discussion yesterday and decided it was time for me to start planning too. Just like we discussed her getting to take me to Hawaii which was on her bucket list.

Im in you same boat and will be following the comments too. This will most likely be a trip of a lifetime for me so research will be everything.

From: Mad Trapper
07-Apr-15
Triple 3 - you paint with a very broad brush. Yes many guys have been burned by Quebec outfitters, but Richard Hume is NOT one of them. The statistics speak for themselves. Period. There are good and bad outfitters in every state and province.

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