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Arctic Air Unguided Caribou Hunt

Jackal7

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Has anyone used Arctic Air Flying out of Kotzebue, AK for an unguided drop hunt? We are thinking of using them in September 2019 for a four-man unguided caribou hunt in the Brooks Range. Any information or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Has anyone used Arctic Air Flying out of Kotzebue, AK for an unguided drop hunt? We are thinking of using them in September 2019 for a four-man unguided caribou hunt in the Brooks Range. Any information or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have a 3 man group booked with Arctic Air Flying out of Kotz for Sept 8-14 2019. We went through Outdoors International and they set us up with them. Cost was the same 3750.00. Hope its it a great hunt.
 
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Jackal7

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You will going right after us. We are booking for September 2-9, 2019. Sheila has been very helpful during our emails and calls. I have only seen positive references for AAF, which was not the case for some other outfitters we looked at. Hopefully there will be some char and grayling around as well. Good luck!
 

Mudslinger

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There are 3 of us going this year. Sept. 5-12 so I will let you know how we do. Sheila has been really helpful also for our questions and setting everything up. Just hope the caribou cooperate.
 

Ohio Darin

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I remember Pops using them 30 years ago with no complaints if that helps any. They have been at it a long time.....

1988 ALASKA 4.jpg
 
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I was told that owner of Artic Air is the previous owner of Ram Air that has accumulated all the bad reviews and jail time. Can anyone confirm such? Ram Air is now under a new owner for the last three years and apparently doing an excellent job to overcome the bad rep the Artic Air guy earned. I’ve made numerous calls to understand this. Anyone else can confirm?
 
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We have a trip booked with Arctic Air September 8-15 of 2019 sounds like I will be seeing some of you in Kotz.

But to echo some of the others Sheila is pretty much the reason we decided on them, super easy to deal with and great communication.


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AK Shane

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I was told that owner of Artic Air is the previous owner of Ram Air that has accumulated all the bad reviews and jail time. Can anyone confirm such? Ram Air is now under a new owner for the last three years and apparently doing an excellent job to overcome the bad rep the Artic Air guy earned. I’ve made numerous calls to understand this. Anyone else can confirm?
I was told that owner of Artic Air is the previous owner of Ram Air that has accumulated all the bad reviews and jail time. Can anyone confirm such? Ram Air is now under a new owner for the last three years and apparently doing an excellent job to overcome the bad rep the Artic Air guy earned. I’ve made numerous calls to understand this. Anyone else can confirm?
It would definitely be worth finding out who the owner is. If the owner is in fact the ex Ram owner then I would stay far away. Hopefully it's a different owner and turns out to be a great operation. Too bad their Web page doesn't offer any company background or owner info.
 

Texizona

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I was told that owner of Artic Air is the previous owner of Ram Air that has accumulated all the bad reviews and jail time. Can anyone confirm such? Ram Air is now under a new owner for the last three years and apparently doing an excellent job to overcome the bad rep the Artic Air guy earned. I’ve made numerous calls to understand this. Anyone else can confirm?
From what I understand this is true. However, when I was looking for a transporter last year, I spoke with Sheila and she was very responsive and helpful. More so than anyone else I spoke with.

We ended up going with a different transporter, so I can't comment on their service.
 
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There are 3 of us going this year. Sept. 5-12 so I will let you know how we do. Sheila has been really helpful also for our questions and setting everything up. Just hope the caribou cooperate.
So how was the overall experience Mudslinger?


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Mudslinger

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Our experience was awesome! Sheila was awesome to deal with even with me pestering her with questions. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again! Mike her husband was our pilot and they had another float plane. I would recommend going in September due to possibly warmer weather. We went on Sept 4th.

The weather was warm but we still saw probably 400 or so caribou with some real nice ones (to us anyway).

There were three of us and all three of us took caribou by day three. My buddy shot a small one but my brother and I were able to get on two good ones. I even was able to shoot mine from the tent.

The fishing for us was ok, although we didn't fish a lot. We hunted the gut piles for wolves but didn't have any luck with that.
I will try to post pictures if I can figure it out.

But rest assured Mike and Sheila do a great job! The equipment was for the most part new, and they will drop you off in a good location!
I also know watching other pictures of facebook and Instagram, some other guys did shoot some whoppers!
 
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Thanks for the great intel guys.

What was Artic Air’s facilities like for processing or deboning your caribou for shipping? Did they have any arrangements or contacts for shipping meat or antlers? Do they have any cabin or camp for overnighting on arrival or before flying out the next day?

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Oh and any pictures or video you can share of their facilities, your trip, and bou?

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Oh and any pictures or video you can share of their facilities, your trip, and bou?
 

Mudslinger

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As far as stays, you are on your own and their are hotels to stay at. They aren't the cheapest either from $200-$350.

We donated some meat but they sell meat boxes and antler boxes to check as baggage. I split my antlers and brothers antlers and put them in a box and checked them as baggage. The capes were frozen and put in a meat box and checked as baggage also.

My advise would be to use Alaskan Airlines the whole way home just for the ease of change fees if your flight needs to be changed on the way home and cheaper for checked luggage if you are flying meat or capes and antlers home.

They will take 100lbs of meat for a checked bag and charge you $150 per box and that is what my brother did.

Arctic Air has freezers you can put your meat in overnight.
They also have tables to cut your meat up on and a couple guys there that work for Arctic Air seasonal that will help also. Kaleb that helps them runs Kalebs Wildlife Taxidermy in Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin if you have any questions for him also.

We did get stuck in Kotz one extra night on the way there due to weather and we were stuck out in the field an extra night. So Alaska Airlines only charged about $25 to change airline tickets so that was pretty nice. I was flying united airlines from anchorage to Chicago on the way home and they wanted a lot of money to change my ticket because we were stuck out there an extra day. That is why I recommend flying Alaska Air. I learned my lesson! I had miles to burn from traveling on United so I went that route instead of being charged extra $.

If I can figure out how to attach my pictures I will do it also. I don't have any pictures of their facility.

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View attachment 83471

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DSC01127.jpg

another bull that we saw
 

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adam634

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I was told that owner of Artic Air is the previous owner of Ram Air that has accumulated all the bad reviews and jail time. Can anyone confirm such? Ram Air is now under a new owner for the last three years and apparently doing an excellent job to overcome the bad rep the Artic Air guy earned. I’ve made numerous calls to understand this. Anyone else can confirm?
Can anyone answer this? I’ve just booked August dates with Artic Air would love some info on the owner. I went through Russ Meyer also so I figured if he vouched for him it should be fine, but after reading this I’ve now got concerns.
 

AK Shane

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US Fish and Wildlife shows Sheila Spisak as the contact for Arctic Air under their list of air transporters operating in the refuge. Sheila and Mike Spisak were the previous owners of Ram Aviation before they sold the business 2 or 3 years ago.
 
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Jackal7

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Well, I started this discussion last February so I thought I would weigh in. Sheila has been awesome to deal with. We are booked for end of August through first week of September 2019. Obviously a lot can go wrong on this trip but we are ever hopeful. It seems like a number of parties had tough hunting in 26 this fall. We are hoping to see lots of caribou with Arctic Air in 2019 and even shoot four. Any advice on essential vs. non-essential gear would be appreciated. We are well organized, but our biggest conundrum is whether to bring stocking foot waders and wading boots or Muck style boots as the second pair (we all have good mountain boots). Any thoughts? We do plan on fly fishing when not hunting so that is why we were planning on the lightweight waders.
 
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