September 03, 2021
Query: I’ve a burning need to bowhunt caribou, however guided hunts have gotten so costly I’ve to go DIY. I understand that limits me to Alaska. Obtained any recommendation? Kimberly B., through e-mail
Reply: I simply returned from a DIY caribou hunt in Alaska. First, analysis “transporters,” as they may fly you in by bush airplane. These flight providers are typically busy, so e book early.
Be sure your transporter flies into areas conducive to bowhunting. Extensive-open Alaskan tundra isn’t any place for a bowhunter, however your pilot will know the place the bowhunting areas are, and extra importantly, the place the caribou are. Remember that as of this writing, the Biden Administration’s Federal Subsistence Board was deciding whether or not to shut off two large areas (GMUs 23 and 26A) to non-local looking, so perform some research for those who hope to hunt the Western Arctic herd in these models.
Subsequent, begin an inventory, since you’ll be doing all of it by yourself. I bought all my dehydrated meals, snacks, and different nonperishable meals for the whole journey for 3 folks for eight days plus two, simply in case Mom Nature stranded us. I put the meals, a JetBoil range, ropes, tarps, prompt espresso and scorching chocolate, cutlery, lantern, first-aid equipment, 2.6-gallon water bag, frying pan (for tenderloins), salt/pepper, and numerous different objects in a heavy-duty tote. Don’t overlook to incorporate a water-filtration pump. Don’t drink any water that isn’t filtered or boiled. I sealed the tote and shipped it by USPS (not UPS or FedEx) to my transporter in Kotzebue, AK. Ship it properly prematurely, so you recognize it will likely be there whenever you arrive.
Since you possibly can’t ship or carry-on butane on your JetBoil, you’ll need to buy it by cellphone within the village you intend to fly into and have it delivered to your transporter. There was a scarcity final fall, so don’t wait till you arrive to amass it. We additionally packed an ultra-light backup range. With out flame, you’re in hassle.
As a substitute of 1 massive, heavy tent, we opted to every deliver a light-weight private backpacking tent. My two-person Hilleberg weighed solely 5 kilos. We additionally packed ultra-lightweight Helinox chairs, since you want a spot to take a seat.
Footwear is important. It’s possible you’ll should wade water in some unspecified time in the future, so we went with two choices. I desire to put on Kenetrek boots and gaiters, which permit me to shortly wade shallow water with out getting moist. For the wetter purposes, I put on Simms breathable stocking foot waders with their Information Boots. I’ve worn this mixture on three brown bear hunts and one caribou hunt, and they’re unbelievable. You keep dry in a downpour or whenever you sit on the bottom, and also you solely want a rain jacket. Hip boots are onerous in your toes and ankles, and also you’ll must put on rain pants in addition to a jacket. High quality raingear is a necessity.
That’s additionally true for a sleeping bag. I grabbed my 20-degree bag as an alternative of a 0-degree bag and paid for that mistake. A pad that insulates can also be a good suggestion, particularly if the bottom is frozen.
What’s left must be your standard looking gear and clothes, which should be high-quality and light-weight, as a result of your pilot may have a weight restrict. Ours was 80 kilos every. I extremely suggest an InReach, or another methodology of communication with the surface world. Make an inventory, examine it usually, then examine it once more. And good luck.
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