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Drop service out of Kotzebue AK
So this is probably a late start to get information but I got asked about joining in on a drop-in caribou hunt. The group is currently looking at using RAM Aviation. After some research including other threads on here, I am not getting the best feeling about that outfit. Anybody have more information about RAM in the past couple years? Also what other outfitters have some of you used in the area and experience with them?
I would absolutely stay away. Please PM me for details, I would suggest using Swisher Air out of Fairbnaks, it is a much better more reliable operation.
I have done 6 drop hunts for Caribou. So, I am somewhat exoerienced.
Expedition - PM sent. thank you
Expedition - PM sent. thank you
try Golden Eagle out of Kotz
Ive flown and guided out of Kotz for 18 years. Retired last year. I know every other outfit that flys out of there. Several are excellent with outstanding pilots, airplanes and reputations. Flying out of Fairbanks for a hunt that far north is rediculous. No one has ever flown out of Fairbanks to hunt the Western Arctic herd. That would cost you thousands. There are several very good outfits that you can use. Golden Eagle is certainly one of them. Another pilot I would use without reservation is Eric with Northwestern Aviation. His cell phone is 907 442-8525, email : firstname.lastname@example.org). Both of these outfits use 206's and 180's so depending on how many guys you have in your group, they can accommodate you.
Well RAM is definitely out. Waiting to hear back from a couple of the outfits you guys listed to see if they still have openings. There will be 6 of us going. Does late August - early September seem to be a better time to be out there? FullCry - I tried the cell # for Eric and it wasn't working? I did go ahead and shoot him an email.
Thanks for the info! Always helpful information on this site.
Here's the only other numbers I have for him 907 442-2145 or 442-2575
As far as what time is the best. Aug 25- Sept 20. Anytime later then that and you are risking snow.
I wasn't suggesting to fly out of Fairbanks to hunt Koz. My suggestion would be to hunt the 40 mile herd and fly out of Fairbanks.
Sorry for the confusion.
Bowhunting the forty mile herd (also out of Tok) requires some different physical conditioning depending on the area. It can be quite steep and rough going.
I would say later in September is better. Of course it depends on weather like always, but at this point go when you can book flights.
Just in case you hadn't heard, the NR limit on the Western Arctic Herd is now 1 bull, not 2.
The herd is in decline and is now at less than 1/2 the animals that existed at the peak.
The areas I hunter were relatively easy to hunt. There were mountains around if you wanted to climb them. However, in 4 different trips to the same area. We shot all of our caribou within 500 yards from camp. They were all very easy pack outs.
What is the fishing situation like on the tundra? Also, is it practical to take gear to chase a ptarmigan or two?
There's fishing to be had and typically ptarmigan everywhere you go.
If it was me, I'd go to an area with a higher bag limit in order to take advantage of it while it still exists. I can see much of the state going to a one caribou limit in the near future. It's nice to be able to continue hunting after you've taken a caribou on day one or two. Best of luck.
Hoping to hear back from a couple of the outfits listed above soon.
Nick how do you find out what areas still allow you to take 2 caribou? One of the other guys in the group today called AK fish and game and got told they won't know until June what the limits area. We were aware of the Western Artic Herd going down to 1. Congrats to all of you on your last hunt some nice bulls in there!
If you use a 206 (Golden Eagle Outfitters) then weight really isn't a concern at all. Jared and Jessie are great guys and awesome pilots. I've flown with them a whole bunch of times up there. I'd highly recommend them.
Golden Eagle is a great option. I'll know Friday if I'm flying with them this fall.
Have any of you gents hunted 25A in the recent years?
Well Quicksilver out of Fairbanks is out, they are booked for the year. Also Eric with Northwestern Aviation is in the process of retiring so they will not be flying this fall. My brother had a brief call with Golden Eagle the other day, they didn't have much time to talk it sounded like they have openings but not sure what dates yet. Waiting to hear back. With that we were almost set with Bushwhacker air for an August hunt by recommendation from Quicksilver. However he didn't mention that that he flys out of Kavik for August hunts and that you have to fly from Deadhorse to Kavik and flights are an extra $950/flight. So back to decision mode for us and quickly before everything books! Does anyone know if the limit will still be 2 caribou for out of state hunters on the Southern Slope?
The hunt out of Kavik is COMPLETELY different than the hunt out of OTZ. Get ready to climb some mountains if you do that hunt in August!!!! I did it back in 2011 solo. It was a great hunt, just not anything like the western arctic herd hunt.
Why is there NO hunting info on Golden Eagles website? Looks very PC .....hunting is not even on the option list....
I heard that ram aviation has new owners and is doing really good now and the old owner is in prison for tax avasion
The feds have shut down hunting on all Federal land in the North West Arctic Borough. You can only hunt on state land. It's still possible, but it's much more complicated.
Fly with Zach at Tok Air into unit 20. Much easier logistically and you'll have a much better hunt than the slope in my opinion. Best of luck.
Tok Air is $3000+ per person I heard. Any comparisons?
North Slope is near 4K, less personable service and additional logistic issues in most cases for non residents in terms of getting a vehicle to drive to Happy Valley and even more so for those needing to get to Kavik.
Kevin, Tok Air quoted me $3500, may be going to $4k in 2018. Plus extra for the meat haul...$500 or $800 I believe. Don't have the numbers in front of me.
It's not that tough to get to Kavik. It just requires a shared charter flight that (obviously) costs money and adds to total cost of the trip.
I had a great time in ANWR. I'd recommend that trip to anyone that wanted to work a little harder and see some genuinely wild country. I flew into a river that was full of grayling and a thousand or more ptarmigan, saw a couple hundred sheep and killed a really nice velvet caribou. Kavik is a weird little outpost in the middle of nowhere. It's not very scenic, but it's worth visiting just to see how remote Alaska can be.
My cousin lives in Kotzebue. lookup Sharon Milbocker and tell her I sent you:) Maybe she can help you with logistics
This is not written in the negative sense:
If Tok Air is getting $3500 (and maybe increasing) for caribou in the Fortymile area, I would interpret that as being the price he can command. If he gets booked and stays booked, that's a strong indicator he's putting people in good areas and getting results. I think $3500 is pretty pricey for Fortymile hunts, but it could be worth it to the guy going once and looking for highest odds. I don't know a thing about his overall success and customer feedback. For that matter I really don't know exact prices on other transporters in that area, but I would say Tok Air may be anchoring the high end of the spectrum. I would guess $2000-$2500 is the going average (per man) for a Super Cub in-out lasting no more than 1.5 hours one way.
Another thing to consider from any transporter is the duration of your hunt. More days mean more value obviously. Some services may want to get you out faster so they can reload and drop a second group...or a third.