First Alaskan Caribou Hunt Booked

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
107
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Myself and 2 hunt partners just booked our first Caribou hunt in the Brooks Range through Golden Eagle Air for the 2nd week of September 2022, only 632 days, but whos counting anyways??? Just like all hunts we plan, it seems like forever but will be here in the blink of an eye.

This will be all of our first time in Alaska, but my hunt partners are pretty experienced back country hunting in the contiguous US, I am just getting into it.

My question to all you grizzled veterans is this:

What is something you didn't , or wouldn't, think to bring initially that will prove to be extremely useful, valuable, or make the trip that much more comfortable? Or something you learned on your trip(s) that could be extremely useful for a first timer?

Thanks in Advance for any advice!
 

Gunnersdad49

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
1,297
Location
Colorado
Bug net
Pre cooked bacon
Imodium (never eating Chicken Vindaloo again!)
Fishing gear and spices for char and grayling if you are anywhere near water.
 

AKBorn

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
455
Location
Tennessee
A fly-in hunt is different than a western backpacking trip, since you don’t have to hump everything to your camping spot (unless you camp a long way from where the plane drops you off – we try not to do this whenever possible). So, there is room for some minor luxuries and items that help the hunt along! Here are several lightweight additions we have made to our camp over the past 2 decades of remote AK trips:

Cheap, lightweight silk long underwear top and bottom – to sleep in only. It’s refreshing to change out of your hunting clothes when you go to bed, and sleep in clothes that don’t smell.

Lightweight camp shoes or crocs – to change out of your boots or waders when the day is done, and for those late-night bathroom runs.

Cut-resistant gloves – to wear over your nitrile gloves when field dressing game – protects against cutting fingers. Keeping cuts clean in the field is a pain in the ass.

Trekking poles – a HUGE help when navigating uneven terrain with a pack full of meat.

8-10 Rings (1.5 to 2” diameter) used to partition game bags when you put multiple pieces of meat in the same game bag. Put a piece of meat (neck meat, backstrap, etc.) in the game bag, slide a ring over the bag to create a separate section that holds only that piece of meat. Put another piece of meat in, and repeat. Helps keep meet cleaner and dryer, which helps reduce any spoilage in the field. I used to just tie knots between the separate sections of a bag, but knots take up a LOT of the bag’s usable space.

Tyvek Meat Tarps – Cut an 8’x8’ Tyvek sheet, and soak it in the clothes washer for a few hours. Then run it through one wash and rinse cycle, the soaking and wash/rinse will remove the annoyingly loud crinkly noise. You will be left with a cheap lightweight tarp that can be used to lay quarters and other pieces of meat on when you are field dressing an animal, helping to keep it clean and dry. We have each hunter take one tarp in their backpack; that way if we shoot a caribou a couple of miles away from camp, we can use the multiple tarps to set game bags on as we shuttle the animal back to camp in half mile increments or so.

We also use one Tyvek tarp under the tent, and one inside the tent, as support to the thin groundcloth that comes with most tents these days.

Empty 32-oz Gatorade Bottles – 1 for each hunter to use as a nighttime piss bottle. Beats getting up in the middle of the night to pee outside when it’s raining and the wind is blowing!

Large Unscented Trach Bags – We use these when we are packing meat, to keep blood and meat off of our packs to the extent possible.

Newspaper – Take a full sheet of newspaper, compress it just enough to shove inside your boots at night. In the morning, your boots will be dry when you put them on.

Hand Sanitizer – Who doesn’t have hand sanitizer these days? Use before preparing food and eating, or after field dressing or deboning animals.

Baby Wipes – An 80-120 pack should work for 3 hunters. Nice to wipe hands after a restroom visit, and also nice to wake up and give yourself a quick once over with 1-2 baby wipes before getting dressed in the morning.

Electric Tape – To place over your rifle muzzle, lots of little twigs and leaves in the AK backcountry.

Glow Sticks – 1 per night. If an animal happens to wake you from a deep sleep, it’s nice to have your bearings within the tent as opposed to waking up in the pitch dark. They don’t give off enough light to disrupt sleep in our experience.

Pocket Shears – To help clear away small branches and bushes as you are clearing a spot for your tent.
 
OP
VenaticOppidan

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
107
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
A fly-in hunt is different than a western backpacking trip, since you don’t have to hump everything to your camping spot (unless you camp a long way from where the plane drops you off – we try not to do this whenever possible). So, there is room for some minor luxuries and items that help the hunt along! Here are several lightweight additions we have made to our camp over the past 2 decades of remote AK trips:

Cheap, lightweight silk long underwear top and bottom – to sleep in only. It’s refreshing to change out of your hunting clothes when you go to bed, and sleep in clothes that don’t smell.

Lightweight camp shoes or crocs – to change out of your boots or waders when the day is done, and for those late-night bathroom runs.

Cut-resistant gloves – to wear over your nitrile gloves when field dressing game – protects against cutting fingers. Keeping cuts clean in the field is a pain in the ass.

Trekking poles – a HUGE help when navigating uneven terrain with a pack full of meat.

8-10 Rings (1.5 to 2” diameter) used to partition game bags when you put multiple pieces of meat in the same game bag. Put a piece of meat (neck meat, backstrap, etc.) in the game bag, slide a ring over the bag to create a separate section that holds only that piece of meat. Put another piece of meat in, and repeat. Helps keep meet cleaner and dryer, which helps reduce any spoilage in the field. I used to just tie knots between the separate sections of a bag, but knots take up a LOT of the bag’s usable space.

Tyvek Meat Tarps – Cut an 8’x8’ Tyvek sheet, and soak it in the clothes washer for a few hours. Then run it through one wash and rinse cycle, the soaking and wash/rinse will remove the annoyingly loud crinkly noise. You will be left with a cheap lightweight tarp that can be used to lay quarters and other pieces of meat on when you are field dressing an animal, helping to keep it clean and dry. We have each hunter take one tarp in their backpack; that way if we shoot a caribou a couple of miles away from camp, we can use the multiple tarps to set game bags on as we shuttle the animal back to camp in half mile increments or so.

We also use one Tyvek tarp under the tent, and one inside the tent, as support to the thin groundcloth that comes with most tents these days.

Empty 32-oz Gatorade Bottles – 1 for each hunter to use as a nighttime piss bottle. Beats getting up in the middle of the night to pee outside when it’s raining and the wind is blowing!

Large Unscented Trach Bags – We use these when we are packing meat, to keep blood and meat off of our packs to the extent possible.

Newspaper – Take a full sheet of newspaper, compress it just enough to shove inside your boots at night. In the morning, your boots will be dry when you put them on.

Hand Sanitizer – Who doesn’t have hand sanitizer these days? Use before preparing food and eating, or after field dressing or deboning animals.

Baby Wipes – An 80-120 pack should work for 3 hunters. Nice to wipe hands after a restroom visit, and also nice to wake up and give yourself a quick once over with 1-2 baby wipes before getting dressed in the morning.

Electric Tape – To place over your rifle muzzle, lots of little twigs and leaves in the AK backcountry.

Glow Sticks – 1 per night. If an animal happens to wake you from a deep sleep, it’s nice to have your bearings within the tent as opposed to waking up in the pitch dark. They don’t give off enough light to disrupt sleep in our experience.

Pocket Shears – To help clear away small branches and bushes as you are clearing a spot for your tent.

Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. Definitely a few pro tips in there i will be sure to take advantage of. Really liked the camp shoes, glow stick, piss bottle, and ring ideas!


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Jboogg

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
12
Not trying to hijack the thread, but where would people recommend staying in Kotz before and after their hunt? I've heard mixed reviews about Bibber's B&B and Sunny Willow B&B. Thanks! Any other places worth looking at?
 
OP
VenaticOppidan

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
107
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Interested as well. Hopefully they don’t close the units like they are currently talking about...


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TSAMP

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
308
I stayed in the Nullagvik hotel. It appeared to be the nicest place in town and I was happy with it. It is a dry establishment so be aware. It did have a deep freezer available which was the main reason I chose it.
 
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