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Caribou
Contributors to this thread:
DonVathome 05-Apr-22
DonVathome 05-Apr-22
DonVathome 05-Apr-22
DanaC 05-Apr-22
Nick Muche 05-Apr-22
SBH 05-Apr-22
DonVathome 05-Apr-22
Oryx35 05-Apr-22
Nick Muche 05-Apr-22
Nick Muche 05-Apr-22
Nick Muche 05-Apr-22
DonVathome 06-Apr-22
KB 06-Apr-22
Nick Muche 06-Apr-22
HUNT MAN 06-Apr-22
greg simon 06-Apr-22
DonVathome 07-Apr-22
Muddyboots 07-Apr-22
Scar Finga 07-Apr-22
Nick Muche 07-Apr-22
yooper89 07-Apr-22
HUNT MAN 07-Apr-22
Hancock West 07-Apr-22
RK 07-Apr-22
DonVathome 08-Apr-22
Bowhunt3138 08-Apr-22
Snuffer 08-Apr-22
808bowhunter 08-Apr-22
DonVathome 08-Apr-22
Nick Muche 08-Apr-22
Pyrannah 08-Apr-22
Nick Muche 08-Apr-22
Roper 08-Apr-22
Hancock West 08-Apr-22
Hancock West 08-Apr-22
Straight Shooter 08-Apr-22
Nick Muche 08-Apr-22
IdyllwildArcher 10-Apr-22
Roper 22-Apr-22
DonVathome 22-Apr-22
Straight Shooter 26-Apr-22
Nick Muche 26-Apr-22
SteveB 30-Apr-22
WV Mountaineer 30-Apr-22
TEmbry 30-Apr-22
Hughiam 18-May-22
DonVathome 20-May-22
Brotsky 20-May-22
Beendare 20-May-22
Rut Nut 20-May-22
From: DonVathome
05-Apr-22

DonVathome's embedded Photo
DonVathome's embedded Photo
I have been on a draw hunt in Alaska twice now. I will not go again so I am willing to share details for serious bowsiters. You need to buy a license and apply, it is to late for 2022. Cost to apply is around $125 fyi. Draw odds if you use all 3 choices (which you definitely should do) are around 8%.

Attached is the caribou I shot. Rifle FIY sorry. This is definitely a doable bowhunt. The caribou I almost got was, literally, twice as big. He was unbelievable. The caribou are NOT migratory. You need to hire a flight service shortly after the draw comes out. Assume around $2k. There are very few tags and most go to residents who do not fly in. It is very likely you will have no competition. Trophy potential is outstanding and I bet 4 out of 5 trophy bulls die of old age not hunters.

The fact that these caribou are not migratory is huge. The limit is 1 caribou. What REALLY intrigued me is during my hunt I saw 3 guys hike down to the river bottom for their flight out - from the same place I was dropped off. I had a 250 pound total weight limit. I weigh 175. Very minimal gear for 10 days. These 3 hoped into ONE plane and left. I spent the next 5 days cold and wet with bare essentials dreaming of the camp I could have had! I hired golden Eagle with a steller rep - they did great. However you pay for it. It is common knowledge where the bou are and several places to get dropped off so you could hire any flight service and have a great hunt. Unlike moose there is no competition, and there are plenty of bou to go around.

If you and a partner drew likely you could do the hunt with considerably more gear then me and cheaper the what I paid.

This is a very reasonable caribou hunt with great trophy potential and no chance of missing a migration.

You fly into Fairbanks then into the field. This is much easier then smaller cities in AK. Fairbanks has everything you need, supplies (isobutane), butchers, taxidermist, uber etc. Logistically this makes things a lot easier and a lot cheaper vs flying into someplace smaller.

If anyone is really serious please send me a PM. I will share details with you.

From: DonVathome
05-Apr-22

DonVathome's embedded Photo
DonVathome's embedded Photo
There are a lot of griz in the area and I saw them several times fyi. I was camped at the foot of a glacier.

From: DonVathome
05-Apr-22
Sorry I keep trying to rotate the bou pic

From: DanaC
05-Apr-22

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo

From: Nick Muche
05-Apr-22
2% draw odds.

From: SBH
05-Apr-22
That looks awesome Don. Very kind of you to share details. Hope someone takes you up on that.

From: DonVathome
05-Apr-22
Nick that is the odds per app, you get 3 apps - pretty sure it was right about 8% (like 2.5% per chance x 3).

From: Oryx35
05-Apr-22
That's a heck of an offer if someone draws. I'll have to look at it for next year.

From: Nick Muche
05-Apr-22
Lol

From: Nick Muche
05-Apr-22

Nick Muche's Link
Please reference this thread where he says it was the most physically demanding hunt of his life. And also where he mentioned they are non migratory, which is not true at all.

While a good tag, there are far better places to hunt caribou without drawing than this one. Lol

From: Nick Muche
05-Apr-22
Don, you actually get 6 apps, but no sense in explaining any further because you likely have 30 (half the pages than moose) pages of research for your second caribou hunt.

From: DonVathome
06-Apr-22
I was told those caribou do not migrate by quit a few people. Yes it was physically demanding. Everyone I talked to, including pilots all say they are always there. I think they might move lower later in the season (like moose moving higher in that area in the winter) but they are in the same places and very easy to find. I am just repeating what I heard.

Nick what the heck is wrong I am trying to help people out and share info if I have offended you in some way please let me know so I can apologize.

I checked last draw odds. 2.1% per app, you are allowed 6 apps (not 3, my mistake) so if you make all 6 choices this hunt your odds are 12.6%.

I pushed myself hard on this hunt and took off after a bout that was over 2 miles from my glassing spot, 3 miles from camp. I also took my caribou a little ways from camp. I always hunt hard and give 110%.

From: KB
06-Apr-22
What’s the point of spotlighting a draw hunt on the internet a month after the results come out just because you don’t intend to partake again? It’s a well known hunt and transporter. Who, in the event one of their clients draws, will obviously fill them in on all the necessary intel. Lots of folks come about these hunts via their own research and relationships. Shouldn’t be a surprise some don’t take kindly to randomly crowing about them so the whole world can read, for no apparent reason.

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-22
Exactly

From: HUNT MAN
06-Apr-22
^^^^^ This

From: greg simon
06-Apr-22
I’m confused. If “there are far better places to hunt caribou without drawing than this one” then why be so condescending? Also if the hunt and transporter are well known then what’s the big deal in talking about it?

If it’s a big deal, maybe just politely (or privately) point it out. No need to be an ass.

From: DonVathome
07-Apr-22

DonVathome's embedded Photo
DonVathome's embedded Photo
Nick for the record if 2 guys did this hunt TOTAL airfare - flight from the East coast AND flight into and out of the field, and getting your caribou out would cost each person under $1,000. I talked with every pilot in the area 10 years ago and several this year. Everyone, including my friend who was an outfitter there for decades said the caribou are always there and no one ever had any issue finding them. Everyone knew where they were at any given time during the season. I literally have never heard a pilot, guide, local, hunter or game and fish say otherwise. Golden Eagle said they had only 2 spots they drop guys. Even if they migrate it is obviously not an issue. Please let us know anyone who says the caribou are not always in the same spots during the August/September season. I do not want to lead anyone astray and if I am wrong I will be happy to admit it.

So Nick just in case I missed something you came here to:

1. Attack my draw odds saying I was wrong and they were 2% - when in reality they were over 12%. I knew they were over 10% but wanted everyone to have realistic goals and in case they cut tags. I would rather someone think they have 8% odds and be happy to find out they have 12%.

2. Point out there are far better hunts without offering any help or ideas? You live in AK and, despite your math impairment, claim to have much better options. Lets here about a caribou hunt, with no issues missing the migration, airfare for well under $1k per person including getting your animal out of the field, and trophy caribou with 0 competition from other hunters? I am just a moron from Ohio and you live there so let's here you suggestions.

Not sure what your rambling about my moose notes was? Maybe you remember my AK moose from 2020? I am glad you remember me and are tracking my moves, I have no idea who you are.

Here is the big one, hard to see but he was HUGE. He literally had to turn his head sideways and lay his antlers parallel to the ground to eat out of the side of his mouth.

Anyway thanks for all the PM's telling me to ignore Nick. I came here to try to help others not sure how this turned into what it did or what I did wrong. The transporters take almost no caribou hunters and having a NR draw will dramatically increase their chances of getting a customer. Most tags are drawn by residents who do not want to hire a transporter.

If anyone else would like info please PM me, or Nick since he seems to have much better ideas:)

From: Muddyboots
07-Apr-22
Don, thanks for the info.

From: Scar Finga
07-Apr-22
Don,

You did nothing wrong, some people just gotta be........... Well you know! Thanks for sharing!!

From: Nick Muche
07-Apr-22
Two years ago at the Board of Game meeting, they voted to only allow up to 25% of the available tags for this hunt be for NRs. This should be the first year that goes into effect. So that’ll affect the % quite a bit.

All caribou move and not all of the herds move the same amount. Most caribou herds are quite predictable in Aug/Sep, especially the smaller herds such as this one.

If you can do this hunt like you said, for $1,000 to include all the travel you laid out, I’ll eat my shorts. Never mind two people.

Dons hardest hunt ever, with a rifle, is now a great option for Bowhunters.

I’d also like to say thanks for all the PMs I’ve received about Donny, they were quite funny. Sorry Don, I won’t be discussing other caribou options on here anymore, I’d guess the latest closures in NW Alaska have quite a bit to do with the overwhelming amount of info on the web already.

From: yooper89
07-Apr-22
My dad’s willy is bigger than your dad’s willy!

From: HUNT MAN
07-Apr-22
Well how big is it??? Asking for a friend .

From: Hancock West
07-Apr-22
I thought it was we don't talk about bruno but i guess its we dont talk about alaska too.

From: RK
07-Apr-22
File under stuff that just does not matter. But hey, it’s a hunting thread

From: DonVathome
08-Apr-22
A physically demanding hunt does not affect weapon choice. My first time on this hunt was not as physically demanding. On this hunt I also got blasted with snow to the point I got nervous for a few hours. The caribou were also not near the runway - rarely within 1 mile so I had to climb. Camping lower was better - out of wind and near water so I climbed daily. I also hiked up around 1,500 feet in elevation in 2 directions just to look around. That was my choice. I got within archery range several times without trying the first time I went 10 ears ago and feel confident I had a good chance of doing it on my caribou in 2021. I also got within archery range once on that hunt, without trying. There are quit a few places one can get dropped for this hunt. I told my pilot I wanted an experience and scenery, work was no issue. He dropped me at the foot of a glacier which was amazing.

Nick if your issue was that, or pilot stuff why was your first post here saying I was wrong about draw odds (when in fact you were the one significantly wrong)? It seems like that set you off and you attacked me, switching what your problem was as post went on? That does not make any sense.

I came here and presented my take on this hunt from my 2 experiences and from around 12 other hunters who did this hunt, 2 were bowhunters and both were successful on nice bulls DIY. This bowhunt was not difficult for all the archers I know.

From: Bowhunt3138
08-Apr-22
WOW !! WTF?? Don't try to help anyone . Giving info is BAD !! Holy crap !!

From: Snuffer
08-Apr-22
Wearing camo is bad !

From: 808bowhunter
08-Apr-22
I think Nick is just trying to bring up the point of sharing too much on the internet. Help is always a nice offer but directly pointing out areas, generally ruins it for the one who worked to find it with research. I know if any of the posts opposing Nick put in yearly for this hunt they would feel differently. If I decided to quit elk hunting, it would be wrong (in my opinion and many others) to start sharing the great spots I found on the internet. No offense meant, but I do not believe draw odds are directly added up if you get in the draw twice. Also, if all the applicants for this hunt all put in in 3 or 6 time, whatever it is, the odds stay at 2% I would imagine. Not sure how many people browse bow site, but my guess is, the odds will get harder in the future with more info shared on the area. Im glad its not a draw I put in for!

From: DonVathome
08-Apr-22
808bowhunter I agree doing that is not ok. I have NEVER done that. I am still sworn to secrecy over my transporter for moose hunt in 2020. This unit has very very few NR apps, it mostly locals. They kill very very few of the caribou out there. There is no competition for spots, secret locations, air strips that only 1 pilot made and uses that other respect. That is not the case here - not by a long shot. If it was I would not be sharing this info. I have hunted out west 30-40 times and never shared secret intel. I just got torn up on MM for not saying what moose unit I was applying for because I elk hunted there with someone and was not going to give out any info.

If ANYONE here has ever seen me divulge something I should not have feel free to point it out. If I did it was an accident and I am fairly sure I have never ever shared anything anyone has told me that was secret.

If I was doing that then Nick would be fine to take a shot at me and if that was his issue why was his first post a flat out lie saying my draw odds data was incorrect? No mention of anything else, then after I defended myself - and pointed out he was wrong - he went crazy.

Again it is common knowledge where the caribou are - and it is a big area with lots of places to land and hunt - places that probably average 1 bou hunter a year or less. It is no secret and not stepping on anyone's toes IMO.

If someone has a different opinion that is fine. Approaching it like he did is not fine. Note how I pointed out his 2% draw odds thread.

From: Nick Muche
08-Apr-22
No one wants “your” moose spot, you shot a dink.

From: Pyrannah
08-Apr-22
now that's classy

From: Nick Muche
08-Apr-22
Thanks Ben! Call them like I see them. This entire thread has been ridiculous since the first post.

From: Roper
08-Apr-22
Nick just thinks Alaska is his and not big enough for anyone else. Wonder what he thought before he got there ? He will be the first one to put up a pic of his hunts in AK. Good on you DV.

From: Hancock West
08-Apr-22
Section 16 code 432 od alaska code of conduct. No ohioan shall comment on alaska

From: Hancock West
08-Apr-22
Congrats DV

08-Apr-22
Don, I hate to say it but your odds are not correct. If it’s 2.1% to draw on a particular app that’s fine but you don't multiply 2.1% by the number of total apps (you said 6) to equal 12% chance to draw.

From: Nick Muche
08-Apr-22
Some real short sighted people here. I don’t even apply for that hunt, cause I can and do kill 3-4 caribou a year in other areas.

I’m sorry some of you don’t realize just how stupid this has become, and offering advice based on the pretense of “I’ll never hunt there again” is, in my opinion, bullshit.

10-Apr-22
Roper, while Nick has posted plenty of animals on bowsite (and isn't that what the site is for? I, for one, love seeing pictures of dead animals), I've personally seen pictures of animals he's killed that he hasn't posted. You shouldn't make claims to things you can't know for sure.

And Don, I'm not taking sides on this, but I'm not certain that's how the math works. It's been a long time since I've taken statistics and I want to say first, that I could definitely be wrong on this, but I don't think 2%, six times = 12%. It's 2% six times. If I remember right, there's a law of diminishing returns in this math.

Also, did you ask Juneau if the published data is total apps too? As far as I know, it could be individual people, irrespective if they put in 1, 2, or 6 times. I don't recall many of these harder-to-draw application's draw odds changing when they changed the system from 1 app choice per unit to six however you wanted to divvy them up and I don't know about others, but when they changed the system, I know I went from doing different units to putting all my choices into one unit.

These would be good questions to ask someone in Juneau who actually works with the system. I have a sneaky suspicion that the published odds are off because G&F departments are known for doing bad math; ie: Nevada's (or is it Utah?) stats saying you had a "1 in XXX" odds of drawing, although that was only in the specific point pool of the person who actually drew, which is ridiculous as it discounts all the other point pools that didn't have a person who pulled a tag. Or how about the Idaho and Montana draws having a NR cap and then Idaho's site took or odds sites posting NR draw odds that are non-factual based on the fact that you have 50% NRs in the pool and only 10% of NRs can pull a tag? Again, these odds are so often not what they're made out to be.

This could all be bad speculation, but I think until someone talks with someone in Juneau that actually works with/designed the system or the reporting of the numbers, that a lot of these odds discussions are just speculation.

From: Roper
22-Apr-22
Nick just thinks Alaska is his and not big enough for anyone else. Wonder what he thought before he got there ? He will be the first one to put up a pic of his hunts in AK. Good on you DV.

From: DonVathome
22-Apr-22
I understand diminishing returns. I called a couple years ago. I also posted on AK forums and others got the same intell. It was also easy to see why they increased the number of choices you could make, which increased the ap fees they collected - like WY:) the number of "apps" increased by multiples of the year before. It was not 6, I think it was 3 times as many - which made sense because some might split choices with another hunt.

Draw odds listed on the last page of the app booklet are total apps divided by tags. When I applied I put all 6 choices, so when you look at the published draw odds that number of apps counts 6 for me. If someone picked that choice 3x it showed 3 for them. Divide that by the number of tags and you get your odds per app. Multiply by your apps an you get a VERY close estimate of your true odds. Within 1% I would guess. That does not mean my math is 11.1% instead of 12.1%. That means my estimate of 12.1% might be 12% or 12.2%.

I have a Civil Engineering degree so I have a good grasp of math and odds.

I am also still confused at what the issue with me is? Draw odds? Screwing outfitters/transporters? My trophy pics? If that does not pan out something else? I do not post a lot of pics here. I do 3-4 big game hunts a year. When I do it is mostly because I have personally met dozens of guys from here and may like to see how I did. No trophy pics in my profile, there have not been for decades. No pics of my last bull elk. I do not think posted pics of my 10' gator. Heck I do not think I have posted pics of any of my last 6 or 7 elk.

26-Apr-22
“I checked last draw odds. 2.1% per app, you are allowed 6 apps (not 3, my mistake) so if you make all 6 choices this hunt your odds are 12.6%.” - -

If the odds per app are 2.1% to draw and you have a total of 6 apps, you have a 2.1% chance to draw each app. If you have 6 apps and a buddy has 3, you have 3 additional chances to draw each offering a 2.1% chance to draw. Nothing close to 12%.

From: Nick Muche
26-Apr-22
He’s an engineer DJ, please, spare us the logic :)

From: SteveB
30-Apr-22
Testosterone can be a very bad thing.

30-Apr-22
SS for the win.

From: TEmbry
30-Apr-22
I have a 4% chance of drawing if I was 1 of 25 apps last year. By the logic posted, if next year I was given the opportunity to put in 25 applications I would be guaranteed the tag (multiply your single app odds by number of apps). It is wrong for multiple assumptions, but the two biggest being that it implies you are taking over applications previously held by someone else and that they aren’t still applying and it also suggests that you are the only one buying multiple chances.

In the above scenario my odds are actually 51% assuming I’m the only person allowed to put in more than once. You have to take the odds of NOT drawing multiplied out by the number of tags being drawn to find your true odds and even that would be false math because as apps are pulled some will inherently change odds variably as they may have any number of apps removed once they are successful.

NO ONE can compute true odds on Alaska Draw without specific application data for applicants which isn’t publicly available. Also how the draw works in order of hunt numbers drawn can also change odds. Which hunts are pulled first? If I apply for 4 different areas using my 6 chances and I draw on one that wasn’t my first choice it eliminates me from contention on my app for the other areas because I can’t hold two draw tags for the same species.

From: Hughiam
18-May-22
I was waiting for someone to explain the draw odds correctly!

From: DonVathome
20-May-22
TEmbry you are correct!

However draw odds and they way they draw has not changed. It is a fair assumption that applicants will choose ROUGHLY the same number of chances each year. When AK increased you choices and let you pick 6 choices yes that dramatically had an affect. But that affect is over. You can see that in the numbers each year since they did that. Little changed.

Numbers listed at the back of the draw supplement show total choices. If 100 guys applied for that hunt 3x each it would say 300.

Let's use some very basic math. 7000 choices for 150 tags. We do not know how many different applicants there were. Wild guess based on how many applied before they gave you 6 choices was around 2,300. It does not matter.

I never applied but apply next year and all other apps/choices remain the same.

Odds before I applied, per choice, are 7082/150 = 1 in 47.2133333

If I apply and other apps/choices remain the same and I:

Only pick that hunt once 7083/150 = 1 in 47.22 x my 1 choice = 1 in 47.22

Pick that hunt 6 times: 7088/150 = 1 in 47.253333 x my 6 choices = 1 in 7.87555 (12.7%)

You guys keep assuming that years after they allow 6 choices there are massive changes in how many choices each person makes. That is simply not true - and the data from the past decade makes that obvious.

Again the odds in the back of the supplement show choices (which is applicants times the number of choices they make). If it only showed applicants it would be impossible to make "accurate" predictions about true draw odds. This is not that case.

Bascially several of you are saying that your draw odds do not go up very very very close to 6 fold wen you pick one choice vs. picking all 6 choices. That would be true if there was only a few apps but given the volume one person picking more choices has a very tiny overall affect on the total number choices.

If you redo my math above but cut the choices from 7000 to 70 you will clearly see the affect many of you are CORRECTLY describing. With 7000 it is miniscule.

Again TEmbry you are correct.

DJ I am not entirely sure exactly what you are trying to say - can you please redo my math your way to explain?

BTW those numbers are straight out of the supplement for 2021/2022

The year before there were 7966 choices and 150 apps so the numbers are very very close. A new applicant applying will have very close to the odds I posted.

You guys have the raw data now and call call G&F to see if what I said is true. Feel free to correct my math. You can also research when they went to 6 choices per app and check that years data and the year before. I did that all along and it makes it very clear, just like G&F told me, that the numbers on the last page of the supplement show total choices, not total applicants.

From: Brotsky
20-May-22
This thread is a great example of why we can't have nice things anymore.

Also, Nick would give a guy the shirt off his back and plenty of help on Alaska. Just ask and don't be a Richard...oh, and don't post it on the internet. SMH.

From: Beendare
20-May-22
I would agree with Nick that there is some misleading info in this thread, namely The costs and logistics of hunting Alaska nowadays gets very expensive, the bush flights are up there.

A bush flight that was $700 back in the 90’s is now about $2k or more. .

From: Rut Nut
20-May-22
I always hated math in school.....................................this thread gave me a headache just trying to follow along. Probably why I never applied for any special tags out west.

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