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DIY Caribou Haul Rd AK
We are going to Alaska to hunt caribou off of the Dalton Hey. Does anyone have suggestions on the best place for most of the month of August? We are planning on spending the month with our RV. We know it should be rough terrain and are familiar with hunting elk in the back country of Wyoming. Any suggestions on clothing, techniques,or other things that might help.if we get our caribou early, we will spend time fishing or sight seeing. We already are preparing for extra fues, solar electric, extra tires, freezer, extra batteries, GPS, game cart. We have regs and have been talking to game and fish. Looks like we may start around Happy Valley or Dead horse. Thanks for ideas.
There are a pile of threads on the subject, try a search on "Haul" and/or "Dalton"...
Sounds like fun, don't forget your bowhunter ed card.
Leave the game cart. Tundra will simply bury it. Saw 3 young servicemen use one and they were buried to the axle.
Do like everyone else, drive till you find them. It's been poor and getting worse for a few years now.
It's not rough terrain, it's grass covered bowling balls that are attached to their spot with a swivel. Don't walk on them.
Your antelope hunting experience will be more valuable than elk. Cover can be non-existent except by the river and some drainages.
If you are early, bugs can be terrible. If early, figure on going almost to Deadhorse to hunt.
If young, tough, and a bit crazy, bring a rifle and go 5 miles off to shoot one.
What he said^^^. I spent the weeks up there last year. Off the road late in August expected lots of people where the caribou are. Early more bugs less people less caribou. If you want to see some Photos of the country . Check out the living on tundra time thread! Best of luck . It is for sure more like antelope than elk hunting. Hunt
I think "Oldgoat" did a story about hunting caribou up there last year?
It was great in the nineties. Took several caribou and a grizzly off the haul road. There is a lot more pressure now but there are still animals to be taken. Pack frame the only way to get meat back to the road. My favorite camp area on the road is at ice cut. Good luck and enjoy God's wonderful creation.
I know everyone likes to get their game without assistance. However, I think in this case you would much more enjoy your hunt if you hire a service to drop you off at the very least. I know we all like to brag about being DIY and not having a guide. You can do this without a guide. I do not recommend you do it without at least a flying service also called a transporter. There are too many things to go wrong. You are hunting in a state you are not familiar with so you don't want to get into trouble on accident. I got frost bite on my feet and it hurts about 150 days a year and we used a service! Probably would have been worse if we did a total DIY. I'd pay anything to have no pain in my toes. Money can't buy that back or I would pay for it! We all killed caribou and had a good time. They changed where they were going to take us in the mountains and took us down to the tundra so nobody had good waders. We only had super light weight paper thin waders to get off the plane. I'm not blaming anyone but me and my crew for not having the right gear but the point I want to make is ALASKA IS NO JOKE! ITS DANGEROUS!
My GPS quit working before I got as far as the Artic Circle the screen went black and didn't work at all till about 25 miles south of Artic Circle
That's an equipment problem. GPS's work fine up to at least Prudhoe. Besides, you don't need a gps for a Haul Road hunt.
I would bring a raft and hunt the islands and hunt by the bluffs. When hunting the islands, watch for muskox.
why would a GPS fail up there? other than a battery issue.
Film it! I want to see how it went.
I am confused by your comment about not needing GPS for a Haul Road hunt. In the "tundra time" thread, you stated : "...you guys couldn't have been in tougher country. Almost no contour and flat...
...Next time try to get dropped near a river or big creek so you have contour..."
If the area makes it difficult to keep your bearings, wouldn't a GPS (as well as a compass) reduce the risk of getting turned around?...especially if you decide to camp/hunt at least a couple miles from the road. Even if you do know the way back to the road, if you killed a caribou at dusk, and wanted to pack the animal out early the next morning, I would think that the GPS fix might prove to be quite useful in relocating the animal....particularly if you killed on the first day, and weren't very familiar with your surroundings yet.....
I realize that you live up there...just wondering what I am overlooking....?
The road runs close to straight north and south. A compass will get you back easily. It's also quite difficult to travel far enough that you can't see where you want to get back to.
There are drainages, that while you can generally cross them, they run for miles. The serve as a sort of guide as you travel I've hunted the haul road for about 17 years off and on. I've never really needed a gps although I have a couple.
An August hunt doesn't really involve a lot of darkness. Even in the middle of the night you can see well enough to travel.
The one time you might be happy for your gps is if you get extended fog.
I wondered about the fog.....but didn't know if that affected the GPS
Beautiful drive, heck of a road trip, and a fun hunt. Some people like to complain and will steer you away. A fly in hunt will get you more seclusion, but if you can't swing it don't let it keep you from going. I killed a nice bull hunting the road system in 2013. Persistence and realistic expectations are paramount if you choose this hunt.
We are retired, have plenty of time. Worst case, we might get 2_caribou right away and have to find other things to do. Might have to go back to civilization and visit with friends and fish. We should have between 15 and 20 hours of daylight, more than we need. Our tires are the heavy duty type, because we got stuck in the back country of Wyoming with 2 flat tires twice. Solved that with better ply tires. Got a CB, GPS, and determination. Plenty of food and water, lots of practice and solar panels for keeping things charged. Got the milepost for 2016. Sure we will forget something. We were just looking to find out if there is any difference with caribou.
I'll see you up there. I'm planning on going every weekend from late July through the end of August.
I highly recommend the GPS. My son and I backpacked in a few miles, set up camp, then we each took a GPS reading of the camp location. The campsite was in a non-descriptive area. Then we took off for a few more miles of hunting. The fog rolled in big time. We tried to find our camp, but then I pulled out the GPS. I told my son mine wasn't working as it was pointing to some crazy location a long way away. His did the same. Both were working fine and we were basically lost without them. It would have been a cold and wet night without them. We had a great time and I hope to go again. I highly recommend a raft or other boat to cross the Sag River. We saw a lot of animals across the river but it was too big for us to cross with waders.