Early August Caribou worth it?

MitchellNJ

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
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28
In 2020 my son and I had success off the Steese Hwy. Kept going out until we were away from the locals.
How far out the Steese did you go? Looking into that as an option but it seems like a ride all the way to Circle to get into HT areas. Did you do a float trip or all on foot?
 

VernAK

Well Known Rokslider
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Dec 24, 2012
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1,697
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Delta Jct, Alaska
The Steese Highway has been a very productive area for 40 Mile Caribou hunts the past few years but I wouldn't bank on that very far in advance. The herd may be on the Taylor Highway or may be in Canada. It's best to check the 40 Mile Hotline close to hunt time.

That herd has shown indications of stress for the past three years so the herd has been hunted extensively to reduce numbers. 2022 may be a different story.
 

Voyageur

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
899
The Steese Highway has been a very productive area for 40 Mile Caribou hunts the past few years but I wouldn't bank on that very far in advance. The herd may be on the Taylor Highway or may be in Canada. It's best to check the 40 Mile Hotline close to hunt time.

That herd has shown indications of stress for the past three years so the herd has been hunted extensively to reduce numbers. 2022 may be a different story.
So, Vern, based on your post I'm assuming they attribute the herd's stress to too many caribou???
 

VernAK

Well Known Rokslider
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Dec 24, 2012
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Location
Delta Jct, Alaska
So, Vern, based on your post I'm assuming they attribute the herd's stress to too many caribou???
Caribou are a very strange critter and often a great puzzle for biologists. The past few years, the 40 Mile Herd has utilized the same calving area and post calving areas while destroying the available food supply and not moving to better areas. Why?.....that's caribou. I suspect they may have fully utilized some of that Steese area also but I can't confirm at this time. The prime habitat for the herd is almost unlimited as shown this year when they went to the Elliot Highway where the lichen is abundant and in past years have gone into the Yukon Territory of Canada almost to Kluane Lake. That amount of area is larger than most states.

As a consequence, calving rates are down, calf weights are down and calf mortality is high.

Can this be turned around?..................we can only hope, but I don't know of anywhere that a declining caribou herd has been stabilized at reasonable levels.
 
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