Contributors to this thread:
Been trying to narrow down a transporter for 2018 bou hunt. One of the things I am looking for is a little terrain rather than wide open tundra. Been looking into Brooks Range Aviation and 40 mile. Has anyone hunted with bra willing to share some informantion. If it is not too bowhunter friendly of an area I may keep searching. Thanks.
You need to be specific with what you want. Many of the early season Brooks Range hunts are really not in the Brooks range, they are in what I call the Dismal Plain. It's beautiful country, but as my nickname implies, quite flat and tough to hunt.
When you hunt the Haul Road, you often see caribou in open country that is terrible for a bow hunter.
40 Mile has a lot of options where they can put you. I've hunted sheep in their area a couple times and it has caribou, even above the sheep at times. That's more terrain than you want and they don't normally put you there.
If you tell them how you'll be hunting, they should be able to put you in the right place at the right time. They are a good outfit with a great rep.
Flew with Brooks Range Aviation in 2012. Great transporter, great people. Bettles is a unique experience in itself. The North Slope is predominantly wide open terrain. You will need to take advantage of terrain breaks and willow patches to get close. I'll post some photos of that hunt to give you an idea what to expect.
yer killin me, Paul. Was really hoping to talk with you this weekend in St. Louis....next time.
Thank pav. It looks a little better than I thought it would be. I suppose it all depends on where the herd is at that time too. We are planning to go late August/Sept to avoid some bugs if posssible. I'm mostly having a hard time trying to figure out what the terrain is like in the certain areas that transporters fly in to. Some pictures I see on here look like they have a lot more pines and rolling hills which I would like and then some pics look like you can't see a bump in the terrain for miles which I would like to avoid.
So, here's a few terrain snapshots of what you might expect if hunting the 40 Mile herd.
On the North Slope, there is a bull behind EVERY tree...
LOL Pete! For all I know....there could be a bull elephant behind every tree on the North Slope...
Good looking woman and huge bulls behind every tree. Favorite place on Earth up there! :)
That looks like much more fun! I'll have to hope they have some openings and if not go to plan b,c, or d. What week did you go? Thanks again for the help.
Actually with global warming there are now cottonwoods in the Sag River bottom.
Maybe 3" across and 8' tall.
Great pics Pav! Does 40 mile and bra overlap their hunting areas at all or are they completely different? Looks like bra has predominantly float planes compared to 40 mile's super cubs. Thanks for the info! Looks like an awesome experience
Great pics Pav! Does 40 mile and bra overlap their hunting areas at all or are they completely different? Looks like bra has predominantly float planes compared to 40 mile's super cubs. Anybody ever try tok air?? Thanks for the info! Looks like an awesome experience
Sorry for the double post -- Has anyone ever heard of a hunt being cancelled due to the season getting cut short? I have read if the bou migration ends up near the roads it can lead to a short season due to the fact the harvest quota is met quickly. That would be a bummer after 2 yrs of planning and a large amount of non refundable $ out there.
32Timbers - My caribou trips to date have started in late August. For first timers, being able to pick your dates on the North Slope is more realistic than the 40 Mile Herd. It can be tough to find an opening with transporters for the 40 Mile Herd.....which book repeat customers first.
Husky destroyer - BRA operates on the North Slope. The 40 Mile Herd is basically east of line between Fairbanks and Tok. Totally different hunting areas. Yes, you are likely looking at a float plane hunt on the North Slope versus Super Cubs for the 40 Mile herd.
I will say you guys are looking in the right place. Some great guys with tons of knowledge and experience are regulars on this site. Guys like Pete and Larry sure helped me get over the hump and make bowhunting Alaska a reality. Can't thank them enough!
Whatever I say here is just my musings on what I like for a caribou hunt. I've hunted them in trees, rocks and tundra....but never in mostly flat terrain. I wouldn't have an interest in spending my hunting time on level ground. It's just me and I prefer more interesting settings. In Alaska I would take a Fortymile hunt over anything else I can think of.
The higher hills in Fm country will be barren of trees but tend to have plenty of small cuts, gullies, rock piles, alders (along drainages) and other features which provide stalking cover. The comment of hunting at sheep elevations is true. I've had that experience and photographed sheep during a Fm hunt. There are fantastic bulls there but you'll hunt hard for them....think mountain caribou as in NWT and you're pretty close. August will produce frosts and even snow at elevation.
It's mostly Super Cub or maybe Cessna access and always wheels. The sky isn't full of planes and you'll be alone when hunting. Your gear load will restricted to the basics of a backpack hunt. You need good legs and cardio condition, especially if you kill a large bull and have to pack it far.