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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to go after Barren Ground Caribou in the Alaskan Artic in late September 2014. I have been there before with two of my brothers and had an awesome trip despite never pulling the trigger. We could have taken some smaller caribou but chose to hold off in hopes of bigger bulls. The migration was late and we went home with tag soup. Regardless the trip was eventful and the scenry and time together was well worth the monies invested. I had scene moose, fox, porcupine, dall sheep, grizzly bear, and caribou on the hunt. The transporter I will be using will be WE Guide Alaska or Northern Air Trophy. The fishing up there is also good depending on where you are set down to make your camp.
 

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I may be interested in this depending on how many days you will be gone for. If you could send me some more info I'd appreciate it. I have an air transporter also for an area where I shot my 'bou this year and a spot where I know of 3 400" 'bou being shot in the past 4 years if you'd possibly be interested in that as well. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
kudu58 said:
I may be interested in this depending on how many days you will be gone for. If you could send me some more info I'd appreciate it. I have an air transporter also for an area where I shot my 'bou this year and a spot where I know of 3 400" 'bou being shot in the past 4 years if you'd possibly be interested in that as well. Thanks.
Their website goes into great detail about the hunt.(We Guide Alaska) They run a great operation. When we were up there we met a few southern boys at the Kotzuebue Airport that had nothing but good things to say about Northern Air. They had taken a few caribou. I saw the pics from your hunt and I wouldn't mind them either. Again congrats on some great tropies! I would like to have at least 4 hunters on the trip and no more than 6. I believe the minimum most transporters will take is 2 and 6 max. At least in the research I did. I am open minded about this hunt however I am firm in going DIY. I think caribou hunts are the most overpriced hunt on the market. Can't see spending $6000.00 to hunt them. PM sent!
 

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Your cheapest route for DIY is to use an air taxi instead of a transporter. But you'll have 100% responsibility for every detail, you'll just be buying a ride. I hunt Alaska by myself every year and just hire an air taxi for the drop and pickup.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
tundragriz said:
Your cheapest route for DIY is to use an air taxi instead of a transporter. But you'll have 100% responsibility for every detail, you'll just be buying a ride. I hunt Alaska by myself every year and just hire an air taxi for the drop and pickup.
I agree with you but Alaska is along way from Pa. Makes it so much easier logistically to use their food and gear there instead of bringing everything with you. Also the airlines charge baggage fees like Obama's charging up the debt in this country.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kudu58 said:
I probably used the wrong term in transporter. It is an air taxi that I'm speaking of. Strictly DIY.
Does Eric Decker run drop hunts or unguided fully outfitted hunts?
 

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big28hunter said:
kudu58 said:
I probably used the wrong term in transporter. It is an air taxi that I'm speaking of. Strictly DIY.
Does Eric Decker run drop hunts or unguided fully outfitted hunts?
The Air Taxi service does drop camps, but they are not outfitted at all. It is all on your own, but not really that difficult. Since I've flown with that outfit, I now have prefernce in booking over someone who hasn't.
Eric does not do drop camps, and as stated earlier, his hunts for just caribou are NOT cheap. For the money involved, I would not even consider a guided caribou hunt. If the animals are there, all a guide is, is an extra pack mule. If the animals are not there, no guide is going to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
kudu58 said:
big28hunter said:
kudu58 said:
I probably used the wrong term in transporter. It is an air taxi that I'm speaking of. Strictly DIY.
Does Eric Decker run drop hunts or unguided fully outfitted hunts?
The Air Taxi service does drop camps, but they are not outfitted at all. It is all on your own, but not really that difficult. Since I've flown with that outfit, I now have prefernce in booking over someone who hasn't.
Eric does not do drop camps, and as stated earlier, his hunts for just caribou are NOT cheap. For the money involved, I would not even consider a guided caribou hunt. If the animals are there, all a guide is, is an extra pack mule. If the animals are not there, no guide is going to help you.
I totally agree with you! The reason why we did DIY when we went up in 2010. If you thing bringing our own gear isn't that big of an issue I am up for it. I guess it takes about $1000.00 off the price of the DIY hunt if you provide your own gear. At least it does with We Guide Alaska. I guess you do have some extra baggage fees to pay the airlines, though.
 

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big28hunter said:
I agree with you but Alaska is along way from Pa. Makes it so much easier logistically to use their food and gear there instead of bringing everything with you. Also the airlines charge baggage fees like Obama's charging up the debt in this country.
big28hunter said:
I guess you do have some extra baggage fees to pay the airlines, though.
Multiple people sharing common items can stay within the (2) 50 pound limit. I take my stove, all the food, full tent, firearm, all meat handling equipment, and still make the limit, barely, but I do, with about a 20 pound carry on. My rifle case is packed to the 50 pound limit and (1) 50 pound duffle. If you're going to go in on a cub you'll need to stay within about a 50-60 lb limit anyway. This past year was the heaviest situation for me using the flintlock and I was still able to stay within the 2 bag 100 lb. check-in. The only thing you need to pick up on site is fuel, there is no way to fly commercial with any kind of fuel other than esbit tablets.

The way I do it is choose my hunting spot and email a topo or google earth image to the taxi marking the spot to see if they can land anywhere nearby. I'm familiar enough with their capabilities so I know the answer but I want confirmation avoiding last minute surprises. Then I send back an image with a hand drawn flight path to look at the surrounding area before landing, 2 years ago I changed the drop off a couple miles because of what I saw from the air. However, I packed back to the original area and was picked up there. Pilot had no way of knowing I moved so had to flag him with a white plastic bag on a big stick.

In the tundra for me white plastic bags are essential equipment. With no landmark references it is soooo easy to lose your tent or a downed animal with the swales. Somewhere near the tent I put the bag over the most prominent bush, taiga top, or old caribou antler so it can be seen from miles away with binocs. Handy if you're bringing back a load of meat in the twilight after the sun sets.

In one case I wanted a high alpine drop and I knew the plane couldn't get within miles of it so I literally dropped my camp out the belly hole and hiked up nice and light. Was hard enough bringing the camp and meat down to sea level, heavy down and light back up several times. I've gone in on super cubs, 206's, 182's, and beaver, both floats and tires. Beaver is the only one with the belly hole, not sure the others would allow you to open the door for an air drop, maybe?

When I choose a drop off spot I plan a hunt radius for a max 2 day meat packout. I don't like loads over 75 lb so for me with a caribou that is about a 3 mile radius from camp with 2 trips each day (12 mi/day). Could do it in less trips with heavier loads but that's a risk I won't take alone. 2 years ago I had a VERY hard fall in a creek bringing out an unfleshed bear hide (100 lb I guess).

I "think" I'm passing on hunting this year, will be doing a motorcycle trip up in June to Prudhoe Bay via Newfoundland, Key West, Mexico, and Inuvik, about 18k miles and 40 days. Last year I solo hunted in May and then rode my bike back up in July. For years I've been thinking/planning an air drop early december trapping trip in the SE, might happen this year instead of the hunt. I'll freight my supplies up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
tundragriz said:
big28hunter said:
I agree with you but Alaska is along way from Pa. Makes it so much easier logistically to use their food and gear there instead of bringing everything with you. Also the airlines charge baggage fees like Obama's charging up the debt in this country.
big28hunter said:
I guess you do have some extra baggage fees to pay the airlines, though.
Multiple people sharing common items can stay within the (2) 50 pound limit. I take my stove, all the food, full tent, firearm, all meat handling equipment, and still make the limit, barely, but I do, with about a 20 pound carry on. My rifle case is packed to the 50 pound limit and (1) 50 pound duffle. If you're going to go in on a cub you'll need to stay within about a 50-60 lb limit anyway. This past year was the heaviest situation for me using the flintlock and I was still able to stay within the 2 bag 100 lb. check-in. The only thing you need to pick up on site is fuel, there is no way to fly commercial with any kind of fuel other than esbit tablets.

The way I do it is choose my hunting spot and email a topo or google earth image to the taxi marking the spot to see if they can land anywhere nearby. I'm familiar enough with their capabilities so I know the answer but I want confirmation avoiding last minute surprises. Then I send back an image with a hand drawn flight path to look at the surrounding area before landing, 2 years ago I changed the drop off a couple miles because of what I saw from the air. However, I packed back to the original area and was picked up there. Pilot had no way of knowing I moved so had to flag him with a white plastic bag on a big stick.

In the tundra for me white plastic bags are essential equipment. With no landmark references it is soooo easy to lose your tent or a downed animal with the swales. Somewhere near the tent I put the bag over the most prominent bush, taiga top, or old caribou antler so it can be seen from miles away with binocs. Handy if you're bringing back a load of meat in the twilight after the sun sets.

In one case I wanted a high alpine drop and I knew the plane couldn't get within miles of it so I literally dropped my camp out the belly hole and hiked up nice and light. Was hard enough bringing the camp and meat down to sea level, heavy down and light back up several times. I've gone in on super cubs, 206's, 182's, and beaver, both floats and tires. Beaver is the only one with the belly hole, not sure the others would allow you to open the door for an air drop, maybe?

When I choose a drop off spot I plan a hunt radius for a max 2 day meat packout. I don't like loads over 75 lb so for me with a caribou that is about a 3 mile radius from camp with 2 trips each day (12 mi/day). Could do it in less trips with heavier loads but that's a risk I won't take alone. 2 years ago I had a VERY hard fall in a creek bringing out an unfleshed bear hide (100 lb I guess).

I "think" I'm passing on hunting this year, will be doing a motorcycle trip up in June to Prudhoe Bay via Newfoundland, Key West, Mexico, and Inuvik, about 18k miles and 40 days. Last year I solo hunted in May and then rode my bike back up in July. For years I've been thinking/planning an air drop early december trapping trip in the SE, might happen this year instead of the hunt. I'll freight my supplies up.
Thanks for all that info. I think saving $1000.00 is worth taking your own gear. I will seriously consider an air taxi instead of a unguided fully outfitted hunt.
 

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Mike,
I think when I left Alaska I was already thinking how I can get back. I'd like to be kept in the loop to see if could work for me. I have a few other irons in the fire right now.

big28hunter, My hats off to you for getting the ball rolling now and not waiting till the last minute. I'd be interested in getting more info. Any chance you'll be at the Eastern Sports show next month?
 

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RatherBeHunting said:
Mike,
I think when I left Alaska I was already thinking how I can get back. I'd like to be kept in the loop to see if could work for me. I have a few other irons in the fire right now.

big28hunter, My hats off to you for getting the ball rolling now and not waiting till the last minute. I'd be interested in getting more info. Any chance you'll be at the Eastern Sports show next month?
As of right now, I am planning on going the Mon or Tues of the show if either of you wanted to meet up. I have one potential monkey wrench waiting to foul that up right now though. I should have a final answer on that in about a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
RatherBeHunting said:
Mike,
I think when I left Alaska I was already thinking how I can get back. I'd like to be kept in the loop to see if could work for me. I have a few other irons in the fire right now.

big28hunter, My hats off to you for getting the ball rolling now and not waiting till the last minute. I'd be interested in getting more info. Any chance you'll be at the Eastern Sports show next month?
I figure it's best to give other hunters time if they decide to go. I myself am usually booked on a hunt about 2 years early. One to lock in the rate which most outfitters I have dealt with do and two to give me something to strive for. I am going to the sportsman show on the 4th and 5th. If we put this hunt together I have no problem traveling to meet you guys so we can discuss this hunt. Also We Guide Alaska has a great website which goes into great detail about their hunts. Ever since my first hunt to Alaska on Kodiak Island it has become a favorite destinations for me. Now I have only hunted there twice but GOD willing I will see many more hunts there. Look forward to talking to you both.
 

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Mike,
I'm approx. 45min. from the show. We'll see how your plans play out, I can be flexible.

Big28,
I usually do the weekends. The outfitter I hunted with last year will be there the first weekend and then head for Nashville on Wed. I plan on being there with him either the 4th or 5th. probably more than likely the 5th.
 
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