Tundra/walking river edges

Cowbell

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Jul 21, 2016
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Haul road / 5 mile death march/ is walking the river edges more stable than waking tundra - considering walking along ivashek to get 5 miles back and then float back to road on pack out - thanks in advance
 

Confluentus

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Apr 28, 2020
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I’ve never hunted the Ivishak specifically, but typically yes, walking the river beds in that country is generally preferable to the tussocks. You have to walk a ways up the Ivishak to get to 5 miles due to the orientation of the river. If you’re planning to float out, are you wearing waders? That would likely make the 5 miles much easier as you could stay in the floodplain consistently, crossing braids instead of going up and around.


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Cowbell

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Jul 21, 2016
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I’ve never hunted the Ivishak specifically, but typically yes, walking the river beds in that country is generally preferable to the tussocks. You have to walk a ways up the Ivishak to get to 5 miles due to the orientation of the river. If you’re planning to float out, are you wearing waders? That would likely make the 5 miles much easier as you could stay in the floodplain consistently, crossing braids instead of going up and around.


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This was exactly my thoughts - thanks for the help
 

Stid2677

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I would not do that...... The Sag runs fast and has killed folks. Have to cross the Sag to reach the Ivishak.
 

Larry Bartlett

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agree with Stid. The river sideline isn't an option. Plus, you'll have airboaters and jetboaters laughing at you the whole time.

The tundra hump point A to point B is the straightest and best option for that country. IMO, you'd be better off staying on the Haul Rd and scouting the East side for a crossing point, and then staging your efforts and ambush from that specific point along the Sag or beyond to the east where they are moving and crossing. Once you ID a crossing, it's a waiting game that pays out 75% better odds than blindly floating or striking across land.
 
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Cowbell

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agree with Stid. The river sideline isn't an option. Plus, you'll have airboaters and jetboaters laughing at you the whole time.

The tundra hump point A to point B is the straightest and best option for that country. IMO, you'd be better off staying on the Haul Rd and scouting the East side for a crossing point, and then staging your efforts and ambush from that specific point along the Sag or beyond to the east where they are moving and crossing. Once you ID a crossing, it's a waiting game that pays out 75% better odds than blindly floating or striking across land.
Thanks - good thing we have a raft rented.
 

Stid2677

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agree with Stid. The river sideline isn't an option. Plus, you'll have airboaters and jetboaters laughing at you the whole time.

The tundra hump point A to point B is the straightest and best option for that country. IMO, you'd be better off staying on the Haul Rd and scouting the East side for a crossing point, and then staging your efforts and ambush from that specific point along the Sag or beyond to the east where they are moving and crossing. Once you ID a crossing, it's a waiting game that pays out 75% better odds than blindly floating or striking across land.
I would take this advice. Also, those cheap kids snow sleds work great. Easier to drag loads than hump across that stuff. LB has that stuff dialed in.
 

twincedar

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Dec 2, 2018
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Haul road / 5 mile death march/ is walking the river edges more stable than waking tundra - considering walking along ivashek to get 5 miles back and then float back to road on pack out - thanks in advance
me too, waiting on my raft to arrive in early August!
 

Larry Bartlett

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Nah. the Sag is easy to cross with a proper raft. Just ferry it across in a safe 1/2-mile stretch to reach landfall on the east side of the river. However...your vantage is on the west side (the road is higher than the river and you can see moving bands of animals from the road (2-3 mile visibility) vs crossing blindly and scouting for a "crossing" in the river bottom. In that country, patience is diligence and rewarding IF and WHEN caribou are present. If they aren't, the tundra is a desolate landscape with ptarmigan and ground squirrel abound.

The part I wouldn't do is try to reach and line up the Ivishak. It's unnecessary to connect with animals and as Stid pointed out the river edge is crumbly stones with minimal sand for ground strength (people slip and drown annually), plus you'll cliff out in scores of spots before reaching good huntable terrain. When you hear of the Ivishak success stories, >60% of harvests are on federal land 20 miles from the Sag and in the mountains. Below the Mnts, state land allows airboaters and jetboaters and they HAMMER the Ivishak to access moving bands of 'bou between the road and Echooka.
 
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Nah. the Sag is easy to cross with a proper raft. Just ferry it across in a safe 1/2-mile stretch to reach landfall on the east side of the river. However...your vantage is on the west side (the road is higher than the river and you can see moving bands of animals from the road (2-3 mile visibility) vs crossing blindly and scouting for a "crossing" in the river bottom. In that country, patience is diligence and rewarding IF and WHEN caribou are present. If they aren't, the tundra is a desolate landscape with ptarmigan and ground squirrel abound.

The part I wouldn't do is try to reach and line up the Ivishak. It's unnecessary to connect with animals and as Stid pointed out the river edge is crumbly stones with minimal sand for ground strength (people slip and drown annually), plus you'll cliff out in scores of spots before reaching good huntable terrain. When you hear of the Ivishak success stories, >60% of harvests are on federal land 20 miles from the Sag and in the mountains. Below the Mnts, state land allows airboaters and jetboaters and they HAMMER the Ivishak to access moving bands of 'bou between the road and Echooka.
^^ THAT is the clarification i needed, thanks!! We have packrafts for jumping across and wont be doing any lining nor be headed up the Ivashak.
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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Water is low this year, rafted across the Sag a little just recently and it was a breeze. Last year at this time, I'd be several feet under water where this photo was taken Saturday.

My advice, find caribou, raft across and get out to the 5 miles if you must rifle hunt. Much easier to just hunt them with a bow. It took us roughly 6 hours to get two caribou back to my truck and we were only 1.5 miles from the road... 5 miles or more, no thanks. 2020 July Caribou.jpg
 
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Cowbell

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Jul 21, 2016
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Water is low this year, rafted across the Sag a little just recently and it was a breeze. Last year at this time, I'd be several feet under water where this photo was taken Saturday.

My advice, find caribou, raft across and get out to the 5 miles if you must rifle hunt. Much easier to just hunt them with a bow. It took us roughly 6 hours to get two caribou back to my truck and we were only 1.5 miles from the road... 5 miles or more, no thanks. View attachment 201017
Thanks Nick! I have enjoyed reading some of your past wisdom and experiences on this hunt. Will you be back up later in the hunt?
 

AKBorn

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Aug 14, 2018
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Maryland
Water is low this year, rafted across the Sag a little just recently and it was a breeze. Last year at this time, I'd be several feet under water where this photo was taken Saturday.

My advice, find caribou, raft across and get out to the 5 miles if you must rifle hunt. Much easier to just hunt them with a bow. It took us roughly 6 hours to get two caribou back to my truck and we were only 1.5 miles from the road... 5 miles or more, no thanks. View attachment 201017
Nice job getting it done in early season! What were the high temps during the daytime running?
 
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