Float hunt versus drop camp for caribou

mtnbiker208

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Hello, looking for some opinions on float hunt vs drop camp for caribou. I have done 2 float hunts in the 90's for caribou. Fun times. We where in the mulchatna area. I have also done a drop camp for caribou out of wood titchick area(Dillingham). I also did a successful float hunt for moose in 2016.

I am leaning towards the southern brooks range area. I am a very competent river runner, lots of whitewater miles under my belt. I like floating, just not sure if it is the better method for caribou. What have others found?

thanks tim
 

AKBorn

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If you hunted the Mulchatna area in the 90's, you were in a heyday of Alaska caribou hunting for sure. I'm too lazy to do float hunts, I like to set up camp after the plane drops us off and then not take camp down until the day we fly out.

You clearly have the physical capability to do the float hunt, not sure if it's any advantage for caribou these days. I recall reading about some Brooks Range bou hunts on here this year and last, can't recall if anyone floated. A guy did a nice float on the Charlie in 2018, it's posted on here. I hunted close to the Charley this year from a drop camp, we were seeing about 150 bou per day.

Best of luck, whichever method and area you choose.
 
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mtnbiker208

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If you hunted the Mulchatna area in the 90's, you were in a heyday of Alaska caribou hunting for sure. I'm too lazy to do float hunts, I like to set up camp after the plane drops us off and then not take camp down until the day we fly out.
yes it was the heyday. Looking back I was living in cooper landing at the time and some real good memories. I do know times have changed. I am a river runner at heart, and need to figure out which is more important, the float or the hunt. Or 2 separate trips. one a whitewater float and the other a drop camp for bou.
 

Dexter Grayson

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Kenai, Alaska
Ive done both, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to personal preference on if you want to add the float aspect of the hunt. I will do both again!
 

thinhorn_AK

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Float hunting is where it’s at. If it was up to me, I’d float. You’re probably a better rafter than me but over the past few years I spent a lot of time floating rivers and doing multi day river trips with my pack rafts, I got really into it and learned a bunch. Anyways, I think float hunting is where it’s at.
 

Bakerthrive

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Jan 6, 2018
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Spokane, Wa
I want to know more about this too. The float hunt sounds awesome but I've heard some warnings about how on float hunts you can spend more time "camping" and less time hunting. Dinking with boats, setting up and tearing down camp every day, paddling. Is it as big a deal as it sounds? I don't want to short change my hunting time.
 

Bull_n_heat

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Jun 15, 2017
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Wyoming
Appreciating this thread everyone contributing. I am also curious if float type hunts also overlap with areas that nonresidents can hunt on general tags, or if many are restricted to residents only and/or limited quota units.
 

Where's Bruce?

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If you are in an area with no herds, your drop camp quickly becomes a prison. A float trip improves your chances but even if you still don't get on em...you're enjoying yourself and the landscape is constantly changing. There's always that hope of what lies beyond the next bend. Float trip for sure. I have almost all the necessary gear now...have to save some more coin and plan the area where I wanna be dropped of so I can float out.
 
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Larry Bartlett

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Feb 13, 2013
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The float option adds variety of camps and scenery and requires a lot more efforts for breaking camp and floating, which some groups admire and others do not.

Floats add $500-$800 per person for raft rentals

drops allow you to really learn one area and ambush more strategically after a few stalks.

In the end it's about what each group member wants from their hunt. If i had one guy who wouldn't do well on a float plan, a drop would be more suitable for that group that year.

Ah, who am i trying to kid...a float's where it's at and I'd convince a cripple to do it if he could still grab a draggin handle! Make a man out of ya, IMO, harvest or not.
 
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