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Author Topic: Alaska 2017  (Read 2041 times)

Offline Kazekurt

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Alaska 2017
« on: October 10, 2017, 08:54:52 PM »
I was blessed to get to make another pilgrimage up to Alaska this year and as always, it was an experience!  I was accompanied  this go around  by my  dad and two good friends from Ephrata, with this trip being my dad's first ever trip to Alaska.  As in years past, we flew into Fairbanks and met up with a couple of my relatives who live in North Pole.  (Yes, North Pole is actually a real place but every time I try to mail something there the people at the post office look at me like I've lost my mind.  Lol, I'm pretty sure some of my packages have ended up in that special place where they keep the mail for Santa Claus.). Anyway, after stopping at the Walmart to grab some last-minute supplies, and hitting up a gas station for over 300 gallons worth of fuel, we embarked on the long and arduous trip up the Dalton highway.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 09:05:59 PM »
As many of you probably know, the haul road is an adventure in and of itself and this year was no different.  Fortunately, we were up to the task and left the north pole with two trucks, an airboat, more tires than most Les Schwabs stock, two jacks, a toolbox full of tools, and a Partridge in a pear tree.  Fortunately, other than the usual thorough caking of mud, a couple of tire changes, and catching more air on several occasions than the General Lee, the trip to the north slope went relatively smooth; or at least so we thought...

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 09:29:41 PM »
Upon reaching the launch, we decided to warm up the airboat before backing into the water but the boat wouldn't start.  Fortunately, we had some mechanically minded individuals in our crew so we went to work trying to figure out what the problem was.  After testing the fuel, and some other small stuff, we came to the conclusion that we didn't have any spark and so our hunch was that our crankshaft sensor was not working.  Definitely not a problem you want to encounter on the North Slope, so we did the only thing we could which is head to Deadhorse hoping to find a mechanic and parts.  After locating a cool mechanic that agreed to check out our boat, he agreed that a crankshaft sensor was most likely our problem.  UnFortunately, he did not have the part, so he sent us over to the Napa and said there is a small chance that they might have one.  NAPA didn't have the part, but said they could have it air flighted in for $300 and we would have it the next day.  Since our only other option was driving 500 miles back to Fairbanks, we just paid the money, set up camp along the SAG, and waited for our part to arrive.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 09:36:02 PM »
We broke camp, and headed back to the Napa in Deadhorse the next morning where we received some more bad news.  Apparently due to fog, they could not deliver our part, and they were not sure how long it would be before they could deliver it.  At this point, we really only had two options.  None of us brought a bow, so we could not hunt in the Haul Rd Corredor, which meant we would either have to hike in 5 miles, or head back to Fairbanks to fix our boat.  Since I was the only one crazy enough to even contemplate hiking 5 miles across the tussucks and tundra, The group decided that we needed to go fix the boat.  Probably a smart move since hiking on that stuff is like walking on Jell-O.  So we headed 500 miles back to Fairbanks.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 09:43:16 PM »
At this point, we were 1000 miles worth of driving into our trip, and I still hadn't taken my gun out of the case.  Tough start, but I'm an eternal optimist, so I was confident this trip could still be salvaged.  The boat only took about 15 minutes  for us to fix after getting the part, and strangely enough, a crankshaft sensor looks a lot like the bolt to a bolt action rifle.  Anyway, We headed back up the haul road, and barring some brake line work on one of the trucks, and a tire change on the boat trailer, we arrived back at the launch without incident.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 09:58:40 PM »
 Upon arriving at the launch, we noticed that the river condition was unusually low, but  we were confident we could find a way to get the boat launched.   There was not enough water at the launch to actually lift the boat off the trailer, so we ended up having to back up to it with the other truck and actually pull it off the trailer into the river.   We executed that maneuver flawlessly, fired up the boat, loaded up, and we were finally on our way!!!  We headed a long ways up river, and we're not far from the base of the Smith mountains in the Brooks Range.  We had to do a little bajaing in some of the shallow spots, but by and large we made it up to where we wanted to set up camp without incident  and the hunt was on.   Day one, we hike into some remote lakes, do a pile of glassing, and quickly determine that there are not a lot of Caribou migrating through the area at this time.   This was my fourth trip into the area, and by far the least amount of Caribou I had encountered.  On the other hand, we were spotting a few grizzly bears, and since we had two residents with us, those were in play.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 10:03:59 PM »
 I'm going to have to be that guy… The rest of the story, with pics, will be finished tomorrow.

Offline Turner89

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 10:15:22 PM »
Looking forward to it :tup:

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 07:11:25 AM »
 :tup:  You have more patience than me....looking forward to your hunt.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 03:20:32 PM »
The next morning at the crack of dawn,  I'm up in my tent putting on my boots when I hear Kary excitedly whisper, "wolf on the hill!"  This, of course, causes some Immediate excitement in camp; especially considering in four trips up  to the north slope this is only the second wolf we had actually laid eyes on. Alex, one of my friends from Ephrata who was making his first trip to Alaska, bailed  out of his bag like somebody set it on fire, grabbed his rifle and headed up the ravine while I headed over the top of the hill.  I chuckled  to myself as we parted ways because In his haste to get on the wolf, Alex decided to forgo pants and just slipped on a pair of shoes and set forth in a shirt and boxers. 

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 03:35:53 PM »
About 3 or 4 minutes after parting ways with Alex, Whoooopp!   There was no mistaking that sound, Alex had clearly drilled something so  I quickly hustled over the hill to where he was.  The wolf had piled up in a  hole in the ravine so we couldn't see him till we were right on top of him!  I spotted the wolf,, and the celebration was on.   After all of the  obstacles we had endured,  and this being Alex's first trip,   I was elated for him!   Alex, of course, was jacked! I think the adrenaline was flowing so much  that he really didn't even have time to get cold.  We both shared some good laughs as he posed for his harvest pics,  and I assured him  that he wasn't crazy and that I would shoot A wolf  stark naked if that's what it took! 

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 03:42:51 PM »





Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 03:52:44 PM »
 The hunt could've ended right here, and we would have counted our blessings, but it got even better!  After the excitement of Alex taking the wolf, we decided to finish off the day by  cruising to one of our favorite fishing holes.   After  arriving at the hole, We absolutely hammered the Artic Char, including catching several over 5lbs!   I was especially happy for my dad and Tony because I knew that they loved  to fish like I loved to hunt. Needless to say, we ate well that night and managed to add a few geese and ptarmigan  to our camp buffet aswell.


Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 04:04:38 PM »
After gorging ourselves the night before, most of the guys slept in; but im always in hunt mode so I was up on the hill at the crack of dawn glassing for Bou and bears.   After about 15 minutes of glassing, I spotted some movement coming out of a draw about 500 yds out; Grizz!!!!

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 04:11:31 PM »





Offline elkinrutdrivemenuts

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 04:21:13 PM »
Tag, looking forward to more!

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 04:25:30 PM »
The Grizz was meandering up out of the draw and had most likely been down on the river during the night, but he didn't seem to be aware of my presence,  so  I quickly snuck back to camp and rounded up Kary.  We headed back in the direction I had last seen the Grizz and I soon spotted his hump and about the upper third of his body sticking out of a depression in the draw.  I new from some earlier ranging I had done that he was roughly 350 yards so we dropped down and prepared for the shot.  Since we could still only see the upper third, and there wasn't much vital there to shoot at, I told Kary to wait till he picked his head up.   After a short wait, he picked his head up, bang!!!!  He never left the hole😀

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 04:27:00 PM »

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 04:29:18 PM »

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 04:30:07 PM »
I've got to go round up some kids, but I will give my conclusion to the hunt later tonight.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 04:42:23 PM »
You can't use photobucket if you want us to be able to actually see the photos LOL.

:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 04:55:20 PM »
Are the pics not there?   It totally shows them from my end.   Lol, i'm not all that tech savvy.  What do I need to do to make them show up?

Offline cbond3318

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 04:57:27 PM »
I can see the photos!

Great hunt write up so far! Looking forward to the finale!
"All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and title, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind."

John Lubbock

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 05:18:53 PM »
 In conclusion, nothing on this trip went as planned, but it was an awesome experience nonetheless.  We lost approximately half our  hunt days to traveling and  The mechanical issue with the airboat.  Logged  in more Haul road miles than most ice Road truckers(over 2000).  Crossed Atigun pass 4 times.  Blew through 300 gallons of fuel on the rivers.  Saw some  of the most beautiful country God ever created.  Watched a friend Fullfil a dream… In his underwear.  Fished and hunted birds.  Saw 5 Grizz and brought one back with us.  Spotted probably a half dozen musk oxen.  Hunted AK with my dad!  Hiked miles through the tundra(ni..erheads suck!) and to top it all off, sputtered the airboat into the launch!  That my friends, is the trip of a lifetime. Can't wait to do it again :-)

Offline spin05

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Re: Alaska 2017
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 01:13:22 AM »
yea if you were on the north slope. I had heard the the caribou came threw rather early. We hunted the south side and they showed up sept. 15th

 

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