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calk boots for hunting goats
I am planning a goat hunt to SE Alaska next fall. The outfitter strongly advises the use of a "caulk boot" which I have never heard of until now. Does anyone out there have any experience with these that they can share? Are they necessary, can I have an existing pair of boots caulked, and if so can I uncaulk them later? Thanks in advance. Mike
Interesting. Loggers wear them but never heard of dolls using them for goat hunts.
Just wear a pair of crampon compatible boots and get a good pair of step ins. That way you can just take them off when not needed.
Listen to the guide but get comfortable with the new gear. My guide for a goat hunt in Knik, AK, had to drop out and the new guide required I use an ice pick while the first guide forbid them. So, I got a pick that could double as a walking stick when side-hilling or leaning forward to catch a breather when wearing a heavy pack on the steep uphill stuff. Those can be dangerous if fall or the glance off a rock.
I bought ice crampons since we were likely using a glacier for part of the hike. They work great but be careful if they have the fangs that stick out from the toe. Those can catch the back of your other foot and is not pretty. If going up an ice wall, fangs are awesome. On level stuff the fangs are risky. One of my crampons broke on the last day of the hike out to the landing strip when a strap or wire was worn through by being on ice then rocks then icy rocks then ice, etc. Did not stop to try and repair or duct tape on my boot so did not inspect much then and have not been on ice since.
Be careful on your hunt and stick a nice one.
I have worn out two pairs of Caulk soles in SE AK and wouldn't leave home without them. They are more important than your bow, basically, it is the difference between 4WD and 2.
Hoffman Boots in Idaho will add Caulk soles to your existing boots, just make sure they are waterproof.
Wading boot screws
Wading boot screws
Or screw fishing wading boot screws into your current boot that you prefer. Orvis, Simms, KoldKutter all make quality screws that come with a socket to power screw them into the sole. Instead of wearing uncomfortable logger type boots. Just another option.
Hoffmans can add a caulk sole to your existing boots. You should be able to have them re-soled back to a regular sole when you are done with your hunt. Mine leaked after Hoffmans added caulks so you should get some sealskin socks. I'm guessing you are hunting with Muskeg. The area they hunt has lots of dead, wet slippery downed trees you will have to cross and the caulk boots work great in those areas.
Hoffmans sells regular boots that are "caulked" so you don`t have to buy the logger type boot. I would definitely get used to wearing them....it`s a little different than a normal boot. When you plant your foot....it`s planted. If you`re a "shuffler" you could be in for some face plants.
Mike, I was with an outfitter that required them as well and like Capra mentioned it is like 2WD vs. 4WD. PM me if you have a chance. Jeff
The loggers I knew would call them "cork" boots but spell it "caulk".
They are awesome in the woods and wet stuff...not so much if you have to hit the rocks.
Thanks Guys! Yes, I am going with Muskeg...Not sure how it works as I am sure there are some rocks involved. Maybe you carry two pair of boots? I am not sure about having my Scarpa boots Caulked if it may compromise their integrity...the other option is to just buy a pair that are already done...but how in the world do you wear in a pair of boots like that? Thanks for the insights!
Mike, Check your PM but the boots work great, they become heavier but grip like glue. Don't step on top of a boot with the other boot though. On rock they are noisy but that is just the way it is. The goats will hear you but are not too alarmed immediately like a whitetail. Jeff
Caulked boots actually grip really well on rocks, they are just a little noisy.
Buddies and I started using microspikes, easy on, easy off.
Buddies and I started using microspikes, easy on, easy off.
I have a pair of Whites in 11 (fairly narrow) that I wore once. I'll give you a good deal if they'll fit.
If you don’t want to ruin your existing boots. Read up on what fly fisherman wear on wading boots for traction on moss covered wet rocks. The studs they use do not pierce the sole. And are removable. Or as mentioned above use the lightweight, removable spring type ice and snow traction “crampons”. Not really crampons. But give great traction on ice and snow. “Corked” boots are popular in the NW but there are mountains all over the world climbed and traversed without corked boots. That’s the downside of going with a guide. If you don’t use the gear he prefers it can cause friction. Especially the first time you slip :)
I hunted the exact same area with muskeg and thought it was ridiculous to wear those caulk boots but Johnnie insisted so I bought a cheap pair of rubber boots in case I needed them.
Twenty minutes into my hike and I took off my meindles and wore the caulks every day for the rest of my hunt. They are a necessity there with the wet slopes and crossing timber areas. They do grind on rocks.
Do you guys think those microspikes would work as well as the caulks? It would be ideal to be able to put those babies on and take them off after, but I don't want to screw it up!
Hoffman boots. I have twice bought a pair, broke them in then sent them back to get "corked" works great. Hard to find a place to break in corked boots out of the box.
No Microspikes don't work as well in really loose stuff. They can fill up with devils club and leafy matter and get slick once plugged up. I don't really understand the need for corked boots since they are on 100% of the time, but I'd certainly listen to my outfitter. He knows your area and should not be second guessed. To me, and the two AK goat hunts I've been on, the way to go, as I said before, was to use a pair of step in crampons. They pop on and off in seconds and really work well! That way you can take them off for crossing rock or flat ground (there probably isn't any) and pop them back on when you need them. Best of both worlds. The step in models also stay put much better than the strap around models like micro-spikes.
Ask the outfitter or guide why “corks” over crampons. You could remove the front points from the crampons with a die grinder if they get in your way and are tripping you. But like suggested above if he is adamant about corks. You should just submit to his will or don’t use him. I personally would be more concerned with making sure a goat guide knows how to use technical climbing gear. A rock, Ice or alpine climber knows what situations to stay away from without being roped up. And having a client in situations that are not safe without proper gear or experience. Also not being able to retrieve a dead goat due to lack of climbing gear or skills is a shame. It’s kind of ridiculous that a state mandates a guide for non resident hunters safety purposes, then allows non climbing guides to take a persons money to shoot an animal that they may never retrieve.
Just listen to your outfitter. If he does not know hat he is talking about your issues are much bigger than boot style
Climbing gear is a bad idea. Unless you know what you’re doing and am an experienced climber you are far more likely to get you (and definitely the client) in serious trouble, I imagine there isn’t a guide in all of Alaska that would ask a client to use climbing gear.
A good guide will help you avoid areas where you would need climbing gear. And they generally won’t let you shoot if the goat is likely to get into a dangerous area, happened to me and guide called off the recovery. Lost goat and hunt over. But it’s better than being dead.
Pat I agree. That’s the point I made above. Or I thought I did. Must not have been clear. A certified climbing guide would not put a client in a dangerous position. And of course would not put gear on the client. But he and or his outfit should have the gear (and skill) To retrieve the goat or not be guiding in that kind of terrain. Most certified Climbing guides are used to very little pay and many Hunt also, so maybe charge a fee to have a more qualified person guiding that one very unique animal in a very unique landscape. So to at least have a shot at retrieval.