Can anyone give me insight on differences between the two regions such as terrain and mainly quality of caribou? Also, I’d prefer a hard horned caribou over velvet but with that said, is it better odds for bigger caribou earlier when they are in velvet or later when hard horned? Trying to decide when the best time to plan on going is. We will be coming from Houston Texas and logistics will keep this from being something we can do often so for that reason we’d like to hunt somewhere and with someone that offers a good chance to shoot above average caribou that are mature. We aren’t expecting world class monster caribou but 350+ bull would be what we are after. Mainly a nice tall or palmated top, good bez and nice shovels.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’ve talked to arrowhead outfitters in the brooks range area and have read good reviews as well as read some really bad reviews.
Again, any and all input would be greatly appreciated!
Definitely found the 40 Mile terrain much more bowhunter friendly than the North Slope. Really depends what you want from the hunt. The North Slope provides a true tundra experience versus the hilly 40 Mile area. Both are spectacular in their own way.
You are likely talking float plane on the North Slope versus Super Cub for the 40 Mile herd. Expect weight limits to be much more restrictive in the Super Cubs.
Logistics to the North Slope are a bit more difficult / expensive.....especially if successful.
We flew with Brooks Range Aviation out of Bettles on the first hunt. I would highly recommend BRA should you choose the North Slope. Great people, great service. Your biggest challenge with the 40 Mile area will be booking an opening with a transporter as a first time client. There is a reason Tok Air is able to charge premium prices....demand is that high.
Best of luck!
I would try to hunt the Fortymile herd. Why? Fly into Fairbanks or Anchorage, and drive to Tok. Flying or driving way north to the Brooks area will cost more. Put the savings toward Tok Air or 40 Mile Air or other transporter. The big hills are a great advantage for spotting animals. Terrain is conducive to stalking or approaching. Logistics are somewhat easier. You'll undoubtedly be in an area all to yourself. Fortymile bulls are plenty big and bulky, with many of them resembling mountain caribou. I wouldn't say it's ever easy to judge and kill a 350" bull, especially as a first-time diy caribou hunter, but there are definitely bulls (in both places) which meet the criteria. I'm taking for granted you are bowhunting, given your question is on Bowsite. If this is most likely a one-time deal for you and your wife, I would spend a bit more to get the transporter with greatest likelihood of putting you into great country with better odds of success.
There is nothing in the Alaska Constitution that requires you to fly in from Tok!