What will the real costs be? What costs am I likely not considering as I start building my spreadsheet?
Anybody have outfitter preferences?
Any preferences between AK and Canada? (AK has always been a dream, "The last frontier" and all) but I'd do Canada in a heartbeat if it were significantly cheaper.
Caribou fly in hunts generally involve you flying to wherever the caribou are at that time and moose hunts involve flying into good moose country, which is not often times places that caribou like to hang out. It's like hunting mule deer and white tail deer or mule deer and elk. Yeah, you'll find them occasionally in the same places, but generally, you're either hunting one or hunting the other.
There's definitely exceptions, like hunting a Canadian moose and then going for a mountain caribou if you find one or visa versa. But that's an expensive guided hunt and is not DIY due to it being in Canada.
Much of the good moose hunting in Alaska, you won't even get a spot on a transporter's plane unless you hunt caribou with them first.
Obviously I have no idea of your current hunting experiences but if you are set on DIY I would look at some lower 48 elk and mule deer hunts to get experience. The deep end can be hard to jump into without first getting your feet wet.
I could be wrong, so ignore me if I thats the case.
You got a long ways to go before you get to his status.
If you want to pay for a top notch outfitter it is a little more doable, but in my experience it is still VERY difficult when bowhunting. Maybe if you could book 7-10 days for first species and then another 7-10 days for second and focus on each then it maybe a bit more likely. But again I’m assuming this is not what he is asking about.
Caribou opportunities are a fraction of what they used to be even 10 years ago, especially for non-residents.
I killed a big moose and a double shovel caribou 2 days apart on the same trip in 1997 in Alaska flying with Ketchum air service.
Not too long after that the unit I was in required a guide to hunt moose for non residents and not too long after that Ketchum's went out of business.
If I was doing it again, and we are in the middle of planning for it again, I would just pick one species.
Good luck whatever you decide I don't forget to get references and call them
Our individual budgets are $10k each and I will have 14 days (maybe 20 with travel). My ideal hunt would be getting dropped off by a reputable person, pointed in a general direction, and then trying to figure it out.
There certainly are. I hunted a spot that (potentially) had both in September. But for the average DIY hunter from the lower 48, focusing on one specie is, IMO, the best way to get something. And doing “a little” research in AK is a tall task. No one gives up anything, the transporters and biologists don’t give up anything, and the AK DFG website is one of the most difficult to understand and glean information from - in fact, it’s pretty overwhelming for a lot of people from the lower 48, which is why they come to Bowsite and ask for help with how/where to look.
I over heard our local transporter in the airport in August bitching about guys wanting to do combo hunts. His basic take was that lower 48 guys had good success on caribou if they went for caribou, we’re lucky to ever get a moose, and if they wanted to get both, they either needed to move 1/2 way through the hunt or else they were setting themselves up for failure because you go to the best places for moose or the best places for caribou and those places are not the same.
August before last, I saw a moose and found caribou sheds while sheep hunting. Doesn’t mean I’d try to hunt those 3 animals at the same time even though the seasons overlap.
It’s not just animals in the same region. It’s how you’re hunting, where you’re hunting, etc. For instance, when I’m at 5000 feet and several miles in, it doesn’t matter that I glass a bomber moose in the valley below me if he’s at 1000 feet and 6 miles from where a plane can land.
There’s so much more than just having animals in the area. IMO, you can try it and there’s certainly areas, but if you really want to kill something, diversifying is not the key. Focused hunting for one specie and setting yourself up to be as successful as you possibly can be for it, is.
But having traveled for hunting many many times I would strongly support the plan to focus on one species at a time, especially bowhunting.
There are definitely many huntable areas where caribou and moose overlap. The majority of transporters are focused on an either-or strategy when it comes to hunting. You're going (earlier) for caribou in one area, or (later) for moose in another. A number of exceptions to this apply, but in general it's probably asking a bit much to think you'll get on a great two-species combo hunt for your first diy. Now that said....it DOES happen that luck works sometimes and both caribou and moose are taken. Doing it with a bow on your first diy hunt is almost a hat trick. My personal strategy would be to go with a focus on moose, and if a bull caribou shows up....take the gift.
I've seen big bulls of both species taken on the same hunt. I've had plenty of caribou go past me while moose hunting. It's most always hit-or-miss in terms of timing and opportunities. Caribou being unpredictable and migratory can be very undependable in a specific location. On the other hand they can absolutely flood a good moose area for several days and I've witnessed that...rare as it might be.
One hunt plan I've been considering is a 7-9 day drop into good caribou country, then a move to moose camp for 12 days of hunting....all of it solo....as most guys I know aren't able to be gone that long. Or maybe 21 days of Mountain House is just too much to tolerate!
As per the mixed bag aspect, glad to see Nick and Kevin discuss how it is still possible! As a side note to that, three of us went to Alaska in 1989 and came back with two caribou and two moose. Charlie has posted the photo on Bowsite before, as we ran into Pat and him up there. Trakman went solo in '88 and arrowed a huge bull moose and a decent caribou. The good old days....and I was the only one shooting a compound, the rest were taken with recurves.
My three DIY fly-in Alaskan bowhunts in the '80's cost me about $6,500 in grand total including airfare from CO for a Kodiak deer hunt and two moose/caribou trips. I just used my CO hunting gear with the addition of a pair of Lacrosse ankle fit hip boots and a Thermarest pad (new thing then). My old rain gear which wasn't very good caused me issues a few times. We definitely have superior gear today along with great communications devices.
AK it is. I will resist the temptation of bringing a rifle.