Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Other Big Game => Topic started by: Machias on March 26, 2018, 01:39:11 PM

Title: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 26, 2018, 01:39:11 PM
Heading up there at the end of Aug.  For some of you guys that have been up there, can you recommend gear that made your hunt more enjoyable or was downright necessary?  Do you think a Pair of White's Pac boots would be a good choice?  What type, if not, would you recommend?  What lures should I take for fishing?  Any way recommended for fixing fish that we do catch?  What caliber do you recommend...is my 30.06 suited to that environment (tell me no, so I have to buy a new rifle...and then recommend a good caliber! :)  )  How are the bugs during late Aug and besides a Thermocell do you recommend a headnet?  I appreciate any and all advice, thanks!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on March 26, 2018, 02:26:28 PM
Have a great trip! I also will be hunting the brooks range this fall, pretty stoked!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jmscon on March 26, 2018, 03:10:10 PM
@Pathfinder101 was there last August or maybe two years ago, might have some input.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jmscon on March 26, 2018, 03:13:07 PM
How are you guys getting up there, drive up or commercial flight? Fairbanks?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 26, 2018, 03:27:59 PM
We are flying from Spokane to Seattle, then to Anchorage and finally into Deadhorse.  Getting picked up there and driving for a little over an hour, then a Airboat ride into the hunting area.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 26, 2018, 03:29:57 PM
I am taking a Garmin Inreach, should have mentioned that in the opening thread.  They also mentioned there is a lot of ptarmigan so hoping to pop a few of those for dinner.  :)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on March 26, 2018, 03:59:12 PM
@Pathfinder101

I don't know much about the terrain and the boots best served for that terrain, but I'd look hard at a stiff pair of leather mountain hunting style boots. Whatever you choose, I'd get them now and start putting miles on them so they're broken in when the real work begins.  I had a thread about pac boots and hiking a while back and that thread convinced me they're great for keeping your feet warm but not great for hiking in.

Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on March 26, 2018, 04:08:30 PM
@spin05
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on March 26, 2018, 04:09:40 PM
http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,200485.0.html
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 26, 2018, 04:28:00 PM
 :tup: :tup:  Thank you!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: spin05 on March 26, 2018, 05:51:29 PM
@spin05

My son and i hunted Brooks range last september.  Spent our time in a set of Kuiu guide gear with one item as back up and some extra layers.  No bugs in sept for us. Far as boots we just wore our reguler danners around and did great. We took a set of Wiggys waders but never used them but where always in our packs.   We hunted south side of brooks so kinda of a diffrent animal then where your going.We did bring a cheap head net. Bring lots of parachute cord . We ran out. We had a blast. Migration was late and we didnt kill anything till the last days and we were not suppose to be there. Were only still there due to bad weather.   We both shoot .270 win.  My son shot his at 135 yards lying it its bed. I shot mine at 255yrds up on a mountain.   your 30.06 will be fine. We only caught some pike no grayling. spoons like a silver canadian wonder did best on the pike.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lokidog on March 26, 2018, 06:28:44 PM
When I hunted caribou, I wore my hip waders the entire time, I was down by Iliamna though and not in the Brooks.  Your 30-06 is plenty of gun, sorry to not be more enabling on that front.... 

As far as lures, Panther Martin spinners (Yellow body with red spots and silver blade is my favorite) seem to work really well, you could also bring some flies and a casting bobber if you get into Grayling.  A couple of Little Cleos would be good so you can cover some water, especially if windy, I like the 1/3 oz blue/silver ones.  Arctic Char are delicious any way you want to cook them.  The Grayling are good as well, fried or grilled.

I would always have a headnet along, I like to use them even here in WA during early archery season. They weigh next to nothing and take up little space.

I would love to get to AK again some time for Caribou.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: tchoutacabouffa on March 26, 2018, 06:55:43 PM
I am hunting off the haul road from Aug 10-Aug 20. Then down towards Portage for my DM210 Moose hunt Aug 30 - Sept ?


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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ASHQUACK on March 26, 2018, 10:14:15 PM
Sounds to me like you are heading to the same area we hunted. As far as boots, I wore my regular hiking boots around but always had a pair of the breathable hip waders in my pack. I wore them several times while crossing the small rivers and some very wet spots in the tundra. We hunted Aug 21-30th and that year the weather was nice and the bugs were bad! A head net was a must. I carried a 7stw and it was more than enough gun for caribou but I questioned whether or not it would be enough for a grizzly if need be. A trout rod and small #3 vibrax in blue and purple absolutely killed the grayling and artic char, daily. The only other thing I suggest is make darn sure your sleeping bag is good in wet cold weather. It snowed on us the last 3 days of our hunt. The final thing we did was had an extra set of dry clothes in a vacuum packed bag just in case.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 27, 2018, 05:21:00 AM
Look at the Wiggy's over boot Waders. I found the Ultimate Bug suit top to be the best when I was in the Brooks Range. As for spinners I would look at anything in a pink color the Char and grayling loved them.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: idaho guy on March 27, 2018, 10:26:39 AM
I would not bring whites pac boots! I have a pair but I would not want them up there
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 27, 2018, 09:26:31 PM
Awesome, thank you each and every one of you!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Duckhunter14 on March 28, 2018, 10:24:38 AM
You may want to listen to the hunt backcountry podcast's, they have two different episodes where the crew headed to Alaska. Once for Moose and then again for Caribou. Not sure the area, but they did cover in detail the items that made their hunt successful and the things that they may have forgot that made certain parts miserable.

The Meateater also had an episode on hunting caribou you may find some tidbits in that one too.

Hope you take lots of pictures and share with the HuntWa crew. Love to do the same trip one of these years!

Wish you the best of luck. I bet you're getting excited.

Clint
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 29, 2018, 10:31:27 AM
Thanks and yes, I'm already getting excited about this trip!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: TeacherMan on March 29, 2018, 10:44:07 AM
I wouldn't mess with the packs on any level. I would get a good set of hip waders that you can actually hike in and a set of danners that are broke in. The area I hunt is EXTREMELY marshy tundra so I never take off my hip boots but I'm on my wheeler most the time too. You will be fishing mainly for grayling but char as well. I really like small mepps with feather tails or any size zero or one spinner with a feather tail. Char love size two and three virbrax, reds, blues, pinks, silver, rainbow trout colors are good. Fillet the grayling and fry them up! Amazing white flaky meat. The char will be like eating brook trout. The 06 is a great rifle but realize you are in PRIME griz country. The interior bears rarely break 500 lbs but have attitudes like wolverines. Sleep with a can of bear spray lol. As for bugs a thermacell does very little on the white socks. 100% deet does OK. You absolutely want a bug net and gloves. Finally in your mind its easy to think your heading up during the summer but every time I'm in that country that time of year it seems I get dumped on by snow at least one night. I've had snow up there first week of August.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 29, 2018, 11:54:37 AM
Remember he will be on the North Slope of the Brooks
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Tbob on March 29, 2018, 02:12:28 PM
Hey dude,
   I did a moose/caribou combo way out in the brooks.. I would definitely bring some hip waders for sure! I wore mine most of the time as the Tundra was suuuuper wet and boggy. We crossed rivers and creeks all day everyday and without them Iíd have been completely screwed. I brought my nice leather hunting boots and they were completely soaked (from the top stepping into a hidden bog) within the first two hours of the trip.
    We had some really cold weather too! Iíd make sure your sleeping bag and pad are up to the task as well! Iíd bring the bug headnet for sure as they weight nothing and take up zero space for just in case, but while we were there it was just the little tiny biting flies that got to us the first few days, then everything was frozen solid! Have a safe trip man!
   Oh, Iíd bring a few xtra pairs of warm socks too. The little chemical hand warmers were life savers too!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on March 29, 2018, 03:10:53 PM
Thanks everyone!!  I have a GREAT sleeping bag, no worries there.  Not supposed to be very many bears in the area we will be hunting, BUT I am a bear magnet, so I'm sure if there is any in the area I will see them.  Thanks for the fishing tips!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: nwwanderer on March 29, 2018, 03:48:52 PM
'06 should be perfect, good optics and knives too
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: andrew_in_idaho on April 01, 2018, 10:06:03 PM
Is your .30-06 stainless? If not it seems like time for a new gun


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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 02, 2018, 08:52:07 AM
Is your .30-06 stainless? If not it seems like time for a new gun


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Nope and I agree!!!  :)  :)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: nwwanderer on April 02, 2018, 06:15:49 PM
Little slow here, absolutely, new stainless 6.5x?.  Optics to match!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 02, 2018, 09:32:38 PM
 :drool: :drool:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on April 03, 2018, 06:24:17 AM
Hey Fred what did the air fair run you if you don't mind me asking?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Kazekurt on April 03, 2018, 06:47:39 AM
I've hunted the two rivers you'll be hunting 4 times since 2011.   If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.   Bugs usually aren't bad in late August or early September but can be if the temp is above 50.  Make sure your rain gear is quality rain gear!  Are you rolling with the guide service that works that area or going in with friends?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 03, 2018, 08:16:47 AM
I've hunted the two rivers you'll be hunting 4 times since 2011.   If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.   Bugs usually aren't bad in late August or early September but can be if the temp is above 50.  Make sure your rain gear is quality rain gear!  Are you rolling with the guide service that works that area or going in with friends?

Thank you!  PM returned, we are going with guide that works that area.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 03, 2018, 08:17:11 AM
Hey Fred what did the air fair run you if you don't mind me asking?

$1320
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 03, 2018, 10:31:49 AM
Anyone recommend a good spotting scope for this trip?  I've never had one before and would like to get some recommendations.  Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 03, 2018, 11:27:20 AM
Whats your budget Fred
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 03, 2018, 12:51:51 PM
I have a bunch of green stamps and food stamps!  :)  I'd like to keep it at $600 or less....preferably less...but I don't want to drop $400 to $500 on something that is really nice looking junk...


P.S.  Purchased my Alaska Hunting License, 7 Day Fishing License, Caribou and Wolf Tags today!!  :) :)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 13, 2018, 01:08:34 PM
Received my tags in the mail!     :drool:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: spin05 on April 15, 2018, 05:33:32 AM
Some of the areas you dont need a wolf tag. Its like a depradation zone. There free to residents and non-residence. But you got yours now so too late i guess
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 17, 2018, 11:31:19 AM
Some of the areas you dont need a wolf tag. Its like a depradation zone. There free to residents and non-residence. But you got yours now so too late i guess

I don't think this area is one of those, but I could be wrong.  if anyone knows please let me know, the other three guys have not yet bought their tags...maybe I can save them a little bit of money.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: benhuntin on April 17, 2018, 02:27:01 PM
When we hunted up there 10 years ago you needed a tag. But not sure now.


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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on April 17, 2018, 03:09:00 PM
I was able to track the information down.  Where we will be hunting a tag is required.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: andrew_in_idaho on April 18, 2018, 11:45:22 AM
Anyone recommend a good spotting scope for this trip?  I've never had one before and would like to get some recommendations.  Thanks in advance!
Just saw this one. I'd go with the vanguard endeavor HD.
Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope with 15-45x Magnification https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BJFAYM4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Ji51Ab8AN1T96


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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on May 23, 2018, 08:40:10 AM
90 days out!!!!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Timberstalker on May 23, 2018, 09:09:56 AM
90 days out!!!!!!

Looking forward to what you get and the story you share. :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on May 24, 2018, 01:34:37 PM
Me too!!  :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on May 24, 2018, 01:54:44 PM
Anyone recommend a good spotting scope for this trip?  I've never had one before and would like to get some recommendations.  Thanks in advance!

I should have updated everyone, I got a really nice Leopold Gold Ring Scope from a HuntWa member.  it's perfect for my upcoming trip!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: MikeWalking on May 24, 2018, 03:24:01 PM
Heading up there at the end of Aug.  For some of you guys that have been up there, can you recommend gear that made your hunt more enjoyable or was downright necessary?  Do you think a Pair of White's Pac boots would be a good choice?  What type, if not, would you recommend?  What lures should I take for fishing?  Any way recommended for fixing fish that we do catch?  What caliber do you recommend...is my 30.06 suited to that environment (tell me no, so I have to buy a new rifle...and then recommend a good caliber! :)  )  How are the bugs during late Aug and besides a Thermocell do you recommend a headnet?  I appreciate any and all advice, thanks!

I've done 5 solo backpack trips in the Brooks Range.   Didn't have the $$ to hunt that far from home.  I wore my Pacs for all of them.  Cabela's Trail Runners?  Not sure if they're still offered.  I caught good size Grayling on almost every cast with my favorite frog pattern lure, in fact they hit everything offered but a foam spider.  I liked to cut them into 3rd's and stand them up in a few inches of water with a good goop of clarified butter and seasoning for a quick boil.

One 2 week trip I killed 10 mosquitos, passed on the OFF.  Other years they were like black rain.   OFF seemed to work better up there too. 

Bring a small radio, you'll be surprised at what you get.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on May 25, 2018, 05:54:28 AM
Awesome, THANK YOU!!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 24, 2018, 08:31:13 AM
T minus 29 days and counting down!!!! 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Ieatelk on July 26, 2018, 01:19:14 PM
We are leaving the 22nd of August to head up to hunt with Ryan as well. PM me if you want to chat...

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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: milldozer on July 26, 2018, 01:26:34 PM
Where abouts will you be hunting?  I am working outside of Coldfoot now until August 3rd and will be North of Atigun Aug. 22-Sept 10.  I would be happy to keep you updated on weather conditions/animal sightings, if wanted.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 26, 2018, 03:04:05 PM
We are flying in to Deadhorse and then driving south a bit to the Sag River and then taking an airboat ride in to the Ivishak River.  Unit 26B.  Thanks for any information on the weather or other conditions!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 26, 2018, 03:04:28 PM
We are leaving the 22nd of August to head up to hunt with Ryan as well. PM me if you want to chat...

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PM in bound!  :)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: tchoutacabouffa on July 26, 2018, 07:00:51 PM
I drove my truck up at the end of the school year to scout for my dm210 moose tag on aug 20. I fly back up next Thursday, Aug 2 and will be heading across the pass a couple days later. I have a PR49 packraft to float across the Sag river. PM me and I can let you know how it goes.


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Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on July 26, 2018, 08:31:28 PM
Machias, we spoke via pm earlier this spring. Iím doing this hunt as well with a few buddies this September. Iím gunna hit you up with another pm :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 26, 2018, 09:58:32 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Skyvalhunter on July 27, 2018, 05:49:53 AM
Will you be hunting from a horse?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 27, 2018, 08:02:25 AM
No, we are taking an airboat ride in and boot hunting from our drop off point.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on July 30, 2018, 03:28:28 PM
Hey Fred, I sent you another pm.....Josh
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on July 30, 2018, 03:49:57 PM
Hey Fred, I sent you another pm.....Josh

 :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: anglinarcher on August 15, 2018, 06:41:29 PM
good luck!! this is on my bucket list for sure
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 15, 2018, 07:28:32 PM
7 days to go!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: carpsniperg2 on August 15, 2018, 08:55:56 PM
Travel safe on your trip, take lots of pics!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 16, 2018, 08:20:34 AM
 :tup: :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: birddogdad on August 16, 2018, 08:34:47 AM
so i think i read a non resident closure enacted up there, hope its not in your area! cant find link but it was brooks range area i recall....found the article, may not be in your affected area but here :
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Wetwoodshunter on August 16, 2018, 09:00:57 AM
This is not the unit that he is hunting. He is hunting in unit 26B. Thanks for the heads up though.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 16, 2018, 09:09:49 AM
so i think i read a non resident closure enacted up there, hope its not in your area! cant find link but it was brooks range area i recall....found the article, may not be in your affected area but here :


 :yike:  Trying to give a guy a heartattack!!!  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: bearpaw on August 16, 2018, 09:34:29 AM
Good luck Fred, hope you have a great time, can't wait to read about your trip!  :tup: :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 16, 2018, 09:35:24 AM
 Thanks Dale!!  :tup: :tup:

You have a GREAT fall as well!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: birddogdad on August 16, 2018, 10:04:14 AM
so i think i read a non resident closure enacted up there, hope its not in your area! cant find link but it was brooks range area i recall....found the article, may not be in your affected area but here :


 :yike:  Trying to give a guy a heartattack!!!  :chuckle:


haha! not really the intent but long ass trip to find that the state had a fart and closed stuff.... just for the non res crowd.....
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on August 16, 2018, 10:17:21 AM
Can't wait to see pics.  Have a great trip man. 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Jpmiller on August 16, 2018, 02:49:42 PM
Was going to go this year with my old man but he backed out on me. Good luck, can't wait to hear how it goes for you.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: WACATHUNTER on August 17, 2018, 12:50:45 PM
Good luck. Canít wait to hear about it.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 17, 2018, 01:08:23 PM
The area we are headed to is in a weather alert for the Sag River, 2 to 4 inches of rain.  Looks like it should be settled down a bit by the time we get there.  Chance of snow the morning we get in.  :)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on August 17, 2018, 11:59:42 PM
What day are you getting into deadhorse again Fred?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 19, 2018, 08:08:21 AM
23rd.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ASHQUACK on August 19, 2018, 09:21:07 PM
2 to 4 inches of rain will make it easier for the guys to launch and recover the air boats. The last time I went we had to use a come along to get the boat on and off the trailer. Haven't been in a couple years but I can't imagine things have changed that much. Good luck on your hunt and take lots of pics. That's one thing i generally don't do and regret it every time.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 20, 2018, 07:53:02 AM
 :tup: :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on August 21, 2018, 12:44:39 PM
We expect a full writeup with a massive pic dump Fred!  Be good for it!! :tup: :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: hunter-4-life on August 21, 2018, 06:36:47 PM
.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 22, 2018, 01:37:16 PM
We expect a full writeup with a massive pic dump Fred!  Be good for it!! :tup: :tup:

Will do!!!    :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 22, 2018, 01:44:01 PM
First hunter in Ryan's camp this year!

He also just posted on his FB page that the second group has already tagged out!

Said the migration is off to a better start than last year but much colder so far.  Weather looks great for my first two days up there.  partly sunny, upper 40s and 5 mph wind.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on August 22, 2018, 03:38:06 PM
Man thatís got to get you fired up!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: h20hunter on August 22, 2018, 03:39:16 PM
Machias....time to pack your finest mule and head north. Skip flying.....that's for sissies.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on August 22, 2018, 03:53:31 PM
Oh heck yes!  Get it done!  Good luck and have fun.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 22, 2018, 10:14:22 PM
Oh yea!  Sitting on the tarmac in Seattle about to take off! 😊
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Timberstalker on August 23, 2018, 05:19:58 AM
Canít wait to see what you drum up. Good luck and be safe.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Skyvalhunter on August 23, 2018, 05:39:35 AM
good luck to you Fred, Enjoy the trip and the experience regardless of weather you harvest anything or not.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 23, 2018, 08:14:48 AM
2 hour delay.  😕
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: elkrack on August 23, 2018, 08:37:08 AM
Delays suck especially when your pumped to get to your destination. Good luck on your hunt!  :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 30, 2018, 07:41:47 AM
Back in Deadhorse, AK.  Amazing, beautiful,  frustrating, exhausting week.  Photos and details by Saturday.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on August 30, 2018, 07:44:25 AM
SUCCESS!!! :IBCOOL: :tup:

Can't wait to hear about it!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: X-Force on August 30, 2018, 07:56:13 AM
SUCCESS!!! :IBCOOL: :tup:

Can't wait to hear about it!
]

 :IBCOOL: :IBCOOL:

 :) Cant wait
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on August 30, 2018, 08:29:20 AM
Young bull.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on August 30, 2018, 08:38:38 AM
Gonna be delicious I bet. :drool:

Did you eat some in camp?

Congrats.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on August 30, 2018, 08:46:53 AM
Congrats, Machias!
Can't wait to hear the story.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: boneaddict on August 30, 2018, 08:51:26 AM
Great way to spend the fall!   Excited to hear the details
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: yakimanoob on August 30, 2018, 12:05:31 PM
So cool! 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: X-Force on August 30, 2018, 12:07:28 PM
Great way to spend the fall!   Excited to hear the details

 :yeah:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Timberstalker on August 30, 2018, 12:33:22 PM
Awesome.  Can't wait to hear the story.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Matth on August 30, 2018, 12:41:37 PM
sweet :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: saylean on August 30, 2018, 01:13:34 PM
Young bull.

Stoked for you Machias!

Awesome work!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Jpmiller on August 30, 2018, 07:20:53 PM
Awesome! Anxious to hear the story.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Widgeondeke on August 30, 2018, 07:29:51 PM
Congrats.   :tup:

Hope to read the details soon.

Do you have multiple tags?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lokidog on August 30, 2018, 11:43:08 PM
Congratulations!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 10:34:48 AM
The write up.  First off, I am sooo hooked on Alaska.  I've been dreaming of going to Alaska since I was 15 years old.  This was my first trip and God willing it won't be my last one.  I'm going to lay it all out there, the good the bad and the ugly.  I have thought quite a bit about how to write this experience up.  I want to be fair and honest in my assessment and not overly critical or sugar coat anything.  Ryan was our outfitter for this hunt.  Super nice guy, very good family man and works hard.  I think if he did a couple of things different I could come on here and wholeheartedly recommend using him.  I'm not sure I can do that, maybe as I think about it and reflect on the whole hunt more I can do that.  So why wouldn't I jump on here and tell you to book that dream hunt with his company, after all I was successful, I did harvest a nice respectable bull.  Lots of little things that start to add up.  First and foremost as I'm sure some other guys who hunted with Ryan this fall will echo, it was ridiculously hard to communicate with him.  I know he is SUPER busy, but he needs someone who can answer questions and stay on top of things from that side of the business.  It's frustrating when you put a few thousand dollars down and can't get a response for several days or weeks.  I had a couple of guys contact me via PMs asking if I knew how to get a hold of him because they had not spoken to him for weeks.  His wife Angela was a bit more responsive for us and that did help.  We arrived at Deadhorse Airport after a 2 hour delay in Anchorage and was meant by a guy named Jeff.  He's another outfitter up there and was asked by Ryan to bring us down to the boat launch.  We stopped by the General store on the way out of town.  Minor issue here, I spent $75 to send up two 100 canisters of Jetboil Fuel, yet the General store had bigger canisters for $14 ea.  Grrr.  While at the General Store we meant up with some guys and soon a guy named Keith was driving us to the launch, Keith was just another hunter who was going with Jeff and had been up the year before.  The Launch was 46 miles from Deadhorse, not 75 miles like the brochure said.  I think things like this make me wonder if they want you to think you are farther in than you are.  Maybe not, just a thought.  We waited about 30 minutes at the launch.  The Airbot ride was very cool, I'll post some videos once I get them uploaded to Youtube.  We were surprised it could fit all of our gear and the camp gear and us in one load.  Minor issue:  Ryan was pretty unorganized at the launch with a bunch of gear that had been sent up by several different groups.  Or as a former Military guy I'm being overly critical, but we ended up with a couple of items that were not ours and was offered a couple of items we did not request that I'm sure someone else would have been missing.  We had about an hour boat ride, but no where near the miles up the Ivishak that we were told we would be going in.  We ended up camping on the Echooka River.  Awesome place, awesome camping spot. I found out later from the camp below us, which I could see from the knoll above camp, they had 4 Grizzlies run through camp their first night. 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 10:50:10 AM
We set up camp.  The tents were brand new, very nice tents!  We used the old military cots which are virtually bombproof, they were very nice!  The camp cook set was a joke, it did have the items listed, but were not really suitable for camping for a week for 4 guys.  One tiny pot and a skillet without a lid, which was really needed up there in those temps.  The propane tank looked like it had been pulled from the bottom of the river, but it did work!  The raft was more like a kid's toy.  One of the guys in our group had ordered a second raft, which was a tad better.  Only one of us used the raft and that was to float back across the river once. The item that slightly ticked me off was the fishing gear.  We asked what the gear was like and was told they buy new fishing gear each season.  They were not $200 fishing rods but good $60 setups.  The four rod and reels we got were complete junk.  Three weren't even usable.  The boot dryers, don't even both getting them.  Picture holding a lighter below your both of your boots and you get an idea on how good these work.  Ryan picked up my meat the night I killed my bull as promised.  I took my 20 gauge up since there were supposed to be a bunch of ptarmigan to hunt.  I did see 3, but they flushed quite a ways out.  I think Ryan's son had been hunting them for a few days before we got there.  Super good kid and will be quite the hunter...actually already is quite the hunter and fisherman at age 11.  So all of the above is not something that would make me not use Ryan again, I really like Ryan, so I really want to be fair.  But the next thing is why I would hesitate using his services again.  Where we were camped, if the migration was on, which it was NOT, probably would have been fine.  But there were several camps above and below us on the River.  Pretty much no caribou could get to us without running into other camps.  We heard several shots most days above and below us.  This is not Ryan's fault, but in 7 days of hard hunting I saw 8 caribou.  4 bulls that were running like their hair was on fire after being shot at a couple of times before getting to my spot.  They were out about 325 yards and I saw them for about 3 seconds.  They were the first caribou I saw and it was day 3.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 11:05:53 AM
Before we left, several guys who had been up here before said don't walk and walk, find a high spot and glass.  The tundra is amazing stuff.  Swamps, one huge thick sponge with Nerf balls stuffed into the sponge and throw in a bowling ball here and there.  Day 4, about midway through the day I see a nice bull, probably 1000 yards out, just feeding.  I watched for a few minutes, figured out some terrain I could possibly get closer and started my stalk.  He dropped out of sight over a little hump.  I get over there and nothing.  It's flat as hell and he's nowhere to be seen.  How in the....I decided to go further.  Finally spotted another caribou.  I put the sneak on this caribou.  Belly crawled the last couple of hundred yards.  Young bull, well at least I thought so, but wasn't sure.  I got to about 140 yards and watched it sleep for about a half an hour.  It finally woke up and started feeding right towards me.  I decided if I could positively ID it as a bull I was going to shoot.  I was able to finally see it was a bull and had it standing there broadside at about 90-100 yards.  I talked myself out of the shot, it was really small.  Unbeknownst to me one of the guys in my party was watching the whole time and was silently screaming SHOOT, Holy crap shoot man!!   :chuckle:  I was back at camp and started thinking that was a dumb move, your going home empty handed.  Next day, two of the guys in my camp, guys that I just met for this trip, hardly left camp.  They mostly fished and only left camp a couple of times.  Hey, their money, their hunt.  Anyways they decide to go for a walk about.  They are in a huge bowl, that the other guy had been glassing for 5 days.  They spot a bull and drop down and start shooting, at about 700 or 800 yards.  The bull runs off unscathed, the other guy who had been hunting his tail off shot at the bull around 500ish yards and clipped the front leg.  I could not see any of this, but could hear the shots.  I got ready in case it was several animals.  Finally a bull comes into view.  Limping, but moving.  I watched it for about 30 seconds, thinking it might lay down.  I wasn't sure how hard it was hit.  Then it lifted it's head and took off at a pretty hard run.  I realized he was hurt, but not too bad and would go a long ways.  At 140 yards I took out both of his lungs and down he went.  Not a big bull, but one that I am happy to have taken.  As a group we saw one more caribou across the river, which one of the guys put a long stalk on, only to find out it was a cow. 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 11:15:34 AM
We caught a lot of grayling and some really nice Arctic Char.  One of the guys in camp caught about an 8 pound char.  We ate a lot of char for the week.  The food we shipped up was borderline horrible, except for the packet of biscuits and gravy.  The Jetboils were a huge plus.  So everything Ryan promised (minus the fishing gear) was provided.  He did everything he said he would.  It wouldn't take much in my opinion for him to do a few minor things and I'd recommend him.  Hopefully some of the other guys from WA that were up there hunting with him will chime in if I am being overly critical and unfair.  I have a bunch of videos and photos to post, but with my slow internet it will take a while.  Back at Deadhorse, the Aurora Hotel was the bomb, $150 a night, BUT all the food you can eat and free laundry.  The last part that was irritating was, we were told we could purchase wax boxes at the Alaskan Airline outlet for shipping the meat back.  Nope, there haven't been waxed boxes for quite a while.  So we had to scrounge up some boxes to send the meat back, but they did have a cooler and a freezer for the meat.  Meat and horns made it back fine, costs me $225 to send the meat and horns back.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 02, 2018, 11:40:28 AM
Fred,

First off, congrats!  Glad you took a nice bull, and glad you were able to fix someone elseís mistake while doing it!

REALLY appreciate your review.  Me and another guy were considering a hunt with the same outfitter over the next few years and were on the fence.  Honest reviews from upstanding individuals such as yourself help the next guys make educated decisions.

Curtis
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 04:36:27 PM

Last nite in camp.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 04:45:36 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 04:48:38 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 04:53:52 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:04:00 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 02, 2018, 05:10:28 PM
Did we just see the inside of your mouth?? :chuckle:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:11:10 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:11:51 PM
Did we just see the inside of your mouth?? :chuckle:

Coat pocket!!   :chuckle:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:17:34 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:23:12 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 02, 2018, 05:39:36 PM
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Widgeondeke on September 02, 2018, 07:15:28 PM
Did we just see the inside of your mouth?? :chuckle:

I thought the same thing  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: buggy on September 03, 2018, 02:25:39 PM
Any pics of the camp he provided?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: JoeE on September 03, 2018, 03:42:53 PM
Which outfitter was this? Did he (or you guys) already have the camp picked out ahead of time? When we went up we didnít know where we would be camped until about five minutes before the bush pilot took off because we wanted to discuss where the caribou were and where they were headed. Literally had at least a dozen caribou in sight from the tent the entire time in the field and it never let up.

Iím glad you had a successful hunt and experienced Alaska. It gets better every time.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 03, 2018, 08:18:42 PM
He has several spots in mind, but we are limited to the river, since we went in by airboat.  If the migration had begun, I am quite certain we would have been right in their path.  Nothing the outfitter could do about that.  It's all timing.  He did offer to move us, but explained we would not see any more caribou than we were already seeing, but there would be less people near by.  Hind sight, I'm kind of wishing we'd taken him up on it, but 2 of the guys in camp did not want to move.  One other thing I wanted to mention was the Inreach.  What an awesome piece of gear.  No problem texting back home, the outfitter and even other HuntWa members up hunting the same area!  Well worth the money!!
Title: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 03, 2018, 08:30:14 PM
Here is the tents he provided.  We had to set camp up.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180904/85125ea09a2c86f3b81b803dd81dd22a.jpg)

Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 04, 2018, 07:02:03 AM
Am I missing something?  That kind of looks like the $40 tent I bought for my kids to play "camping" in the back yard with.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: JeffRaines on September 04, 2018, 08:16:58 AM
Am I missing something?  That kind of looks like the $40 tent I bought for my kids to play "camping" in the back yard with.

Not to mention that boat in the background! Thats a pool toy!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 04, 2018, 08:17:51 AM
Am I missing something?  That kind of looks like the $40 tent I bought for my kids to play "camping" in the back yard with.

Not to mention that boat in the background! Thats a pool toy!

I think that is literally a $40 Challenger raft
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: JeffRaines on September 04, 2018, 08:20:30 AM
Am I missing something?  That kind of looks like the $40 tent I bought for my kids to play "camping" in the back yard with.

Not to mention that boat in the background! Thats a pool toy!

I think that is literally a $40 Challenger raft

It is.

I mean, I'm sure it worked fine for fording the river there. I have an even cheaper one I used for fishing alpine lakes(15 bucks on amazon) until I broke down and bought a alpacka. For the record, I still have the $15 raft. It still doesn't leak. I just would expect a little more.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 04, 2018, 08:26:38 AM
I just looked at their website. It looks like their core competency is really transport.  They charge extra for "camping gear."  Maybe that's just not their niche.

They sure do seem to experience some successes... They're probably just really focused on the "unguided" part of the agreement.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 04, 2018, 11:33:20 AM
Am I missing something?  That kind of looks like the $40 tent I bought for my kids to play "camping" in the back yard with.

Pretty much.  The gear is not higher end stuff and some of that I understand...some of it, like the kitchen gear, fishing gear..etc...was disappointing.  One of the guys on the trip brought up a very valid point.  The outfitter essentlially provided the transportation in and out for us and our gear and the transportation of the meat out.  That's what he covered.  The rental gear was provided by another company, which is run by his family member.  On the gear end a little thought and slight improvements would have made it a much better experience on that front.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Wetwoodshunter on September 04, 2018, 11:50:40 AM
I just did the same hunt, I believe you were right below us on the river, we did hear your 7 shot fiasco when you harvested your bull. 5 shots all at once and then 2 more a few minutes later.

We had troubles with gear and the outfitter. He made us wait at the ramp twice for 4 hours each time going in and out, we were in an airboat wreck, he gave us a soaked tent and no cook stove for 2 days, our tent was better than yours was, cabelas alanak, but during the blizzard the wind nearly destroyed it. Also there is no way to keep it warm since they have mesh windows you cannot close, water would condensate on the mesh and drip on us all night on the inside of the rain fly.

Long story short, Ryan had a lot of bad luck this year with boats (sunk 1 another catastrophic breakdown). He was trying as hard as he could but with our service we will look for another hunt next time we do caribou.

We did harvest some animals, and had a great trip once we were in. The camps were way to close together, we hiked 60 miles in 7 days of hunting and ran into other hunters from other camps daily.

I kept a detailed journal of our experience, I'm undecided how I'm going to post the trip yet when I finish the article.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: cbond3318 on September 04, 2018, 11:58:24 AM
Good job Machias on your success! Happy for you!

And thank you for an honest review, I think a lot of people , myself included, have such a romantic view of hunting Alaska, honesty as yours keep them in check and really save some serious heartache.  :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ctwiggs1 on September 04, 2018, 12:05:31 PM
I just did the same hunt, I believe you were right below us on the river, we did hear your 7 shot fiasco when you harvested your bull. 5 shots all at once and then 2 more a few minutes later.

We had troubles with gear and the outfitter. He made us wait at the ramp twice for 4 hours each time going in and out, we were in an airboat wreck, he gave us a soaked tent and no cook stove for 2 days, our tent was better than yours was, cabelas alanak, but during the blizzard the wind nearly destroyed it. Also there is no way to keep it warm since they have mesh windows you cannot close, water would condensate on the mesh and drip on us all night on the inside of the rain fly.

Long story short, Ryan had a lot of bad luck this year with boats (sunk 1 another catastrophic breakdown). He was trying as hard as he could but with our service we will look for another hunt next time we do caribou.

We did harvest some animals, and had a great trip once we were in. The camps were way to close together, we hiked 60 miles in 7 days of hunting and ran into other hunters from other camps daily.

I kept a detailed journal of our experience, I'm undecided how I'm going to post the trip yet when I finish the article.

Please do.  It really helps.  And there are untold amounts of people who lurk, and learn from these writeups as well.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 04, 2018, 01:12:19 PM
I just did the same hunt, I believe you were right below us on the river, we did hear your 7 shot fiasco when you harvested your bull. 5 shots all at once and then 2 more a few minutes later.

We had troubles with gear and the outfitter. He made us wait at the ramp twice for 4 hours each time going in and out, we were in an airboat wreck, he gave us a soaked tent and no cook stove for 2 days, our tent was better than yours was, cabelas alanak, but during the blizzard the wind nearly destroyed it. Also there is no way to keep it warm since they have mesh windows you cannot close, water would condensate on the mesh and drip on us all night on the inside of the rain fly.

Long story short, Ryan had a lot of bad luck this year with boats (sunk 1 another catastrophic breakdown). He was trying as hard as he could but with our service we will look for another hunt next time we do caribou.

We did harvest some animals, and had a great trip once we were in. The camps were way to close together, we hiked 60 miles in 7 days of hunting and ran into other hunters from other camps daily.

I kept a detailed journal of our experience, I'm undecided how I'm going to post the trip yet when I finish the article.

Looking forward to your write up.  Congrats on the animals your group harvested. 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on September 04, 2018, 01:21:43 PM
I really appreciate the information you guys are providing and am looking forward to wetwoodshunter's thread and account of his trip when he starts one.

I will say this about guided trips and I think it relates to this one as well.

I have been on a few guided trips.  When the hunting or fishing are on fire nothing else matters.  When the hunting or fishing are not so hot all the little things seem to matter way more.  What bugs me is the little things are what you can control.  The guide can't control whether the fish are biting or the animals are there.  They can control the food that you eat, the gear that you use and the transportation to and from the hunt.  I have been skunked on trips before but everything that was in the guides control was exceptional and nothing to complain about.  I have been on others where the hunting was great and what the guide did was not up to par but the hunting or fishing was so great it didn't matter and then I have been on trips when the hunting or the fishing was terrible and those are the ones that everything is an issue and having the stuff that can be controlled not be right just really adds salt to the wound.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: jackelope on September 04, 2018, 01:30:50 PM
I just did the same hunt, I believe you were right below us on the river, we did hear your 7 shot fiasco when you harvested your bull. 5 shots all at once and then 2 more a few minutes later.

We had troubles with gear and the outfitter. He made us wait at the ramp twice for 4 hours each time going in and out, we were in an airboat wreck, he gave us a soaked tent and no cook stove for 2 days, our tent was better than yours was, cabelas alanak, but during the blizzard the wind nearly destroyed it. Also there is no way to keep it warm since they have mesh windows you cannot close, water would condensate on the mesh and drip on us all night on the inside of the rain fly.

Long story short, Ryan had a lot of bad luck this year with boats (sunk 1 another catastrophic breakdown). He was trying as hard as he could but with our service we will look for another hunt next time we do caribou.

We did harvest some animals, and had a great trip once we were in. The camps were way to close together, we hiked 60 miles in 7 days of hunting and ran into other hunters from other camps daily.

I kept a detailed journal of our experience, I'm undecided how I'm going to post the trip yet when I finish the article.

I agree. Write up and post your story. It would provide some insight for other hunters.


Not sure how I feel about the opening line, but it is what it is at this point I guess.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on September 04, 2018, 01:49:41 PM
I just did the same hunt, I believe you were right below us on the river, we did hear your 7 shot fiasco when you harvested your bull. 5 shots all at once and then 2 more a few minutes later.

We had troubles with gear and the outfitter. He made us wait at the ramp twice for 4 hours each time going in and out, we were in an airboat wreck, he gave us a soaked tent and no cook stove for 2 days, our tent was better than yours was, cabelas alanak, but during the blizzard the wind nearly destroyed it. Also there is no way to keep it warm since they have mesh windows you cannot close, water would condensate on the mesh and drip on us all night on the inside of the rain fly.

Long story short, Ryan had a lot of bad luck this year with boats (sunk 1 another catastrophic breakdown). He was trying as hard as he could but with our service we will look for another hunt next time we do caribou.

We did harvest some animals, and had a great trip once we were in. The camps were way to close together, we hiked 60 miles in 7 days of hunting and ran into other hunters from other camps daily.

I kept a detailed journal of our experience, I'm undecided how I'm going to post the trip yet when I finish the article.

I agree. Write up and post your story. It would provide some insight for other hunters.


Not sure how I feel about the opening line, but it is what it is at this point I guess.
My guess is there are established routes that the caribou travel and he is just stacking hunters up in locations that are in close proximity to that migration and also easier for him to get to multiple camps with one trip.

The problem is in my mind is that takes away a bit from the alaska experience.  It sounds like the shooting is similar to the Colockum during rifle season, as the elk go by camps each one takes a few shots.

I agree it is what it is but it is also nice to know going in that you are going to be in close proximity to other camps for this hunt.  I would have just assumed that an alaskan drop camp would be remote and solitary.  Reviews like this are very informative and teach us not to assume anything.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: daddysprad on September 04, 2018, 02:24:40 PM
I just wanted to add my 2 cents.   I was with Fred as he was my roommate in the tent.  We challenged each other nightly with our snoring but have known, hunted and worked together for years and just by the way, I was not the one who took the 800 yard shot and was amazed when they started shooting. 

A couple of notes.  Fred mentioned, the transportation and the equipment are two different companies although in the family.  If I were to go on this trip again, I would take my own equipment and not depend on anyone else.  There would be a weight issue but I would pay for it or I think Ryan would work it out. Ryan is a great guy and father trying to make a living; I respect that. 

The raft that was mentioned as a playtoy:   I bought and drop shipped to Ryan as a backup to the rented equipment.  I figured we could ride in the big raft and tow the caribou...haha.  They furnished an Explorere 200 which is what I buy for the grandkids to float the St Joe.  The rental cost for the Explorer 200 was $75.  It costs $17.99 on amazon.  We didn't even blow it up.

The biggest thing that I would figure out is how to dry out your clothes and sleeping bag (other that a real tent).  There is no wood to burn.  I also dropshipped 2 cases of 3 hour pressed logs thinking we would use them to help.  They were useless in the with and rain.  Mist, rain wind, snow and old guys walking through tundra create a lot of mosture.  You can keep changing clothes but eventually everything is damp and your pack empty.  Just having dry undies after 5 days is one of the most amazing things. next time I would buy the cheapest insulated underware that WalMart sells, one set per day.  At the end of each day I would burn that set.

There was no table to put the stove on so you cooked on your knees.  I know you survivalist out there are thinking " I would just craft a table out of the natural resources"...Problem is there is nothing to build it with,  No wood and the bushes barely reached your knees. We found an old frying pan in a abandonded camp and you'd of thought we won the lottery.  We had to use our trekking poles to hang the gravity fed water filter.

Take wax boxes with you.  They don't know what they are in Deadhorse. 

I saw more caribou than Fred, probably 30 because of my spotting scope and my location.  I would also suggest leaving the spotting scope at home .  Pretty heavy to carry and gives you false hope since you cant run a caribou down in the tundra.  Good binos would do fine.

Here is how I would use Ryan's services again.  All of the rivers in that area eventually run into the Sag river.  Most of the Sag is in the 5 mile archery only area from the pipeline. If I ever did that particular hunt again,taking my own equipment,  would also have a large real raft.  I'd have Ryan take me as far up the most remote river possible twards the Brooks range and have him drop me off.  I'd then spend a week floating back toward the Sag hoping to find the caribou.

This was a bucket list thing for me I had been planning for 30 years.  The lack of caribou could not be helped, but the comfort in camp could have.  My suggestion to Ryan is to figure out how to communicate to his hunters 24/7 who have questions and need answers.  He could also bolster up his website with some more current info like the infamous wax boxes.  He should get out of the equipment business.  I thinks if it hadn't been for the poor equipment, we'd have little to complain about.

Sorry to jack this thread Fred for what it's worth. 

 
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Rainier10 on September 04, 2018, 03:18:22 PM
That last post is exactly what I am talking about.  The stuff that can be controlled should and if the animals aren't there at least the stuff that can be controlled doesn't bring you even farther down even more because it is sub par.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 04, 2018, 03:28:33 PM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: h20hunter on September 04, 2018, 03:32:14 PM
Some excellent posts.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: JoeE on September 04, 2018, 05:53:17 PM
What was the cost for the trip for each person?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: tlbradford on September 04, 2018, 06:23:06 PM
Congrats Fred!  Thanks for the great write-up, movies, and photos.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Wetwoodshunter on September 04, 2018, 06:39:36 PM
Congrats Fred, and so you know I meant no disrespect in my previous post. I was glad to read your story we were thinking someone got charged by a grizz.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Jpmiller on September 04, 2018, 07:28:51 PM
I was going to take my dad up on this hunt this summer before his health went South. I appreciate the write up, gives me some questions to ask if I ever get a chance to make it up there with him
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 04, 2018, 09:16:15 PM
Congrats Fred, and so you know I meant no disrespect in my previous post. I was glad to read your story we were thinking someone got charged by a grizz.
I didn't have any problems with what you wrote,  I understood what you were saying.  😊
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 04, 2018, 09:17:26 PM
What was the cost for the trip for each person?

$2500 to the outfitter.  All told I spent around $5400ish.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ihunt on September 07, 2018, 07:34:38 AM
I also was up there with ryan aug 18-24 and it was a experience big time boat problems belt came off of motor crashed boat into a undercut bank blew the front windows out of the boat water coming in my hunting partner got hurt leg black and blue from hip to ankle and is still going to Dr. We did kill to big bull's only seen 25 Caribou total.It would be hard for me to recommend Ryan.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ihunt on September 07, 2018, 07:38:05 AM
Pic
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Wetwoodshunter on September 07, 2018, 07:45:11 AM
Very nice caribou. We were in a different boat wreck but he told us all about your guys wreck although your story probably has a lot more truth in it. You must have hit the bank hard.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: ihunt on September 07, 2018, 07:50:14 AM
I could go on about the trip we just figured it was just Alaska it was crazy 1st day.
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 07, 2018, 08:24:54 AM
AWESOME looking bulls, congrats!!!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 07, 2018, 08:25:21 AM
I hope your partner is doing better!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Pathfinder101 on September 07, 2018, 08:48:19 AM
Looks like you had a great hunt!  Congrats  :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: gramps on September 07, 2018, 10:40:23 AM
Fred....I will try to get this congratulations in the correct thread.  Thanks for sharing also
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 07, 2018, 11:26:54 AM
Fred....I will try to get this congratulations in the correct thread.  Thanks for sharing also

:)  Thanks!!
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on September 07, 2018, 11:56:27 AM
Happy to see everyone made it home safely for the most part. Congrats on the bulls! We just got back late last night from our hunt, I will also chime in with a review and some stories when I get a chance......
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on September 07, 2018, 12:39:14 PM
Great write up Fred! :tup:
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: JoeE on September 07, 2018, 01:17:50 PM
Did yo hunt with the same outfit Lewy?
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 07, 2018, 02:16:05 PM
Did yo hunt with the same outfit Lewy?

He did
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lewy on September 07, 2018, 09:31:32 PM
  Well you guys have pretty well said everything that I would have about the trip. There were definitely some things that fell short on the other end. On top of that the migration was late and the weather was terrible so that made for a tough week. We had a high water situation that made travel extremely dangerous and almost cost us our camp. We returned from a long day of hunting and packing meat to find that the river had eroded 15 plus feet of high bank leaving our tents literally hanging over the edge of the raging water. That was quite the surprise not to mention we were already wet and totally whooped so having to break and move camp in a squal wasnít real fun. The river claimed some of our gear, fishing poles and some sheds that we had picked up as well! In the end we did kill a few bulls and made some great memories. I will say that Ryan worked his ass off for us and even moved us to a new location about half way threw the week, he had a tough season up there filled with some bad luck so I feel for the guy, but better communication and organization would have went a long way imo. Oh....and god put deadhorse at the end of the world for a reason ;)
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: Machias on September 08, 2018, 09:34:15 AM
  Oh....and god put deadhorse at the end of the world for a reason ;)
🤣🤣🤣
Title: Re: Brooks Range Caribou Hunt
Post by: lokidog on September 11, 2018, 12:29:38 PM
Sounds like an experience.  I've been wanting to go back to AK for a caribou hunt but from what I have read here and in the past, I might be quite disappointed when comparing it to my 1993 hunt.  I did a float plane drop hunt, all gear our own, north of Iliamna.

Thanks for all of the detailed write-ups.