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I want to hunt Caribou in Alaska in 2019 and was looking for some help. Probably would do rifle but am open to bow. Need some good outfitters leaning toward guided.
You need to post your budget because there's a range.
I'm going dyi bow up there in August (air charter) I can let you know after that. You may be able to save some money without a guide.
Was trying to stay at $10k all in. Not sure that is feasible with a guide but may be able to go to $12k all in max.
You're well advised to be looking now, in fact you might be too late for many of the air taxis and better outfitters. Good luck.
You`re going to kick yourself when you find out how easy Caribou hunting is. DIY is the way to go for Caribou....save your money for a trip that needs a guide.
Caribou are the Pronghorn of the North.
So easy a cave man could do it. Come to think of it, they probably did.
Call 40 mile air in Tok and go hunt the 40 mile herd in eastern ak while the population is growing and the natives are less likely to block that area off via the subsistence board on federal lands. You don’t need a guide for caribou. You just need to be where they are.
I prefer to hunt caribou way up north over the 40 mile option, but that's just me.
Everyone that's said you can do this yourself is telling the TRUTH! If you can hunt, kill, quarter, and pack a mule deer, you can absolutely do it with a caribou.
I like Kotzebue. Call Jared Cummings at Golden Eagle Outfitters. He and Jesse have flown me several times.
Getting pretty tough for first timer's to secure a transporter in the 40 Mile area. Still pretty much a slam dunk to book transporter's further north. Agree with what has been said above...you don't need a guide to successfully hunt caribou.
So you guys from the Lower 48 that go or have gone DIY, do you own camp equipment and fly it up with you or ship it ahead of time, or do rent everything from the flight services once you get there?
I took all my own gear up as checked baggage. Others UPS theirs and a few will rent. My stuff is all fairly light, so our group of 3 had no problem getting it all up there as checked baggage. We bought the food up there before the bush flight.
I did a bunch of research in prep for a 2019 bowhunt. Send me a PM along with phone number if you want to chat.
Well, most only allow 50# plus weapon so you can bring everything with except fuel.
Done it both ways. When using a float plane transporter, the per person weight limit is more relaxed. (i.e. you can bring more gear). We mailed the bulk of our gear to the transporter in advance. When using Super Cub, there is a pretty strict weight limit per person (and they mean it). We brought our gear up with us on the commercial flight.
I always try to bring everything on the plane. I've had no problem bringing my tent, gear, and food tote as checked luggage. Even with my huge tent (cabelas Alaskan guide model 40+ pounds) I'm still only at 3 checked bags maximum. I normally use my food tote (hard sided action packer) as a meat carrier on the way home. If you freeze your meat, wrap it in garbage bags, and then use your sleeping bad to insulate it, it will make it home just fine. Most transporters have freezers available.
I'm a rifle hunter, and always carry my optics on my back. My rifle case is usually bulging with clothes. My food tote will have clothes in it, and my ammo. Sometimes they allow you to put ammo in with your rifle, sometimes they don't. TSA doesn't seem to care either way.
I've done several caribou hunts where I never changed clothes. I think the number one rookie mistake is packing tons of clothes. You won't need them. If you've got some good sythetic clothes (Kuiu, Sitka, etc.) the main thing you'll need to change are socks and underwear.
I've never done the "ship my gear UPS" method. I don't really see value there, but maybe it's there. It seems to me like an added burden on the pilot/transporter that they'd rather not deal with. If I were them, I'd charge a fee to collect your gear and store it for you. Not sure how all that works out on bottom line cost.
Thanks for all the replies - I guess it sounds as if DIY is the way to go. So I guess I would be looking for a drop camp type where all equipment is there so I don't have to lug it around through airports. Just want to concentrate on the hunt and then getting meat back not all the gear. Any recommendations for that?