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View Full Version : Flying to Alaska for Caribou Hunt



Ricochet
07-29-2016, 07:23 PM
Three of us are planning a 2017 caribou hunt to Alaska. We are thinking about using 40 mile air. I have talked to them and got the whole scoop. We are thinking of driving and bringing a chest freezer and generator so we can freeze the meat all the way home. I have also looked at a Kotzebue caribou hunt. The Kotzebue hunt would require flying in. That would save travel time and the gas prices would offset the the flight cost.

So my question is, how has your guy's experience with getting meat and antlers back home? The Kotzebue hunt might allow two caribou. Does the Kotzebue area have more caribou? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

sneakypete
07-29-2016, 07:31 PM
I've seen you tube videos of 40 mile air hunts, looked very good. Caribou hunt is on my bucket list!

JimP
07-29-2016, 07:39 PM
Check with Canadian Customs on their regulation of crossing the border with meat. I have never done it but it could get sticky if you just show up on the border with a freezer full of steaks.

Enjoy the hunt..

sneakypete
07-29-2016, 08:17 PM
I came back into the US last September, I had my moose cut and frozen, and the antlers. Not an issue. I had to lark my truck and go inside and talk to the ag officer. I was at the US border office maybe 10 min. If memory serves me you'll need an inspection if bringing back a grizzly and maybe a goat or stone sheep? That's done in Canada. Keep us posted on your adventure.

Team Kabob
07-31-2016, 03:32 PM
Good luck.



TK

Tim McCoy
07-31-2016, 06:36 PM
I've only brought antlers/skin/cape with cut wrapped meat from Can Into the USA, that part was a breeze. I'd decide on my ports of entry, then call those ports. Should be easy if you have the correct paperwork. If you drive, you'll have a number of crossings.

Ricochet
12-26-2016, 05:00 PM
I thought I would follow up with my plans for the Alaska hunt. We ended up getting one of the three openings for new customers that 40 mile air had available. I called 66 times in 7 minutes and I got the second of the three openings. I have purchased my hunting license and locking tag for the 2016 price. That saved me a lot of money. There tag prices are doubling!!! We all got caribou, bear, and wolf tags. We decided to fly to Fairbanks and have 40 mile air come and get us.

AKaviator
12-26-2016, 06:09 PM
I don't doubt that you'll have a great hunt. 40 mile air is top notch! The caribou herd in that area are doing well. I'll be real anxious to hear how you do! You may be happy to have the wolf and bear tags too!

Throw a pm my way if you would like any extra info...those are all my old stomping grounds!

dihardhunter
12-29-2016, 11:21 AM
Shyte, now that's what I'd call demand for a limited resource. Kudos on your persistence and keep us informed on how the hunt goes.

Hilltop
12-29-2016, 11:47 AM
Since you are flying in, what is your plan to get meat, cape, and antlers home? I'm looking very hard at a hunt up north for moose but haven't decided where yet.

AKaviator
12-30-2016, 12:59 AM
Hilltop, you'll hurt my feelings if you don't let me help, if you're planning for Alaska! :=)

Hilltop
12-30-2016, 07:25 AM
Hilltop, you'll hurt my feelings if you don't let me help, if you're planning for Alaska! :=)

AK...I really want to hunt up there but I have really limited vacation time for now. I'm looking at the south third of Alberta as a possibility for fall of 2018. Think I can pull it off by just taking one week off from work for a 5 day hunt. What do you think is the minimum time a person needs to invest for a hunt up there to have a decent chance at a bull?

Ricochet
12-30-2016, 08:52 AM
Since you are flying in, what is your plan to get meat, cape, and antlers home? I'm looking very hard at a hunt up north for moose but haven't decided where yet.

Alaska airlines allows you to put 99lbs of meat on the plane. As far as the antlers and cape, I talked to a taxidermist in Fairbanks. He has a shop in Oregon as well. He will ship the cape and antlers to Oregon and finish the work in a year. That's only if it is a nice bull. If it is a smaller bull I will ship it to my house a do a euro mount myself. I don't know exactly how I will get it home if I don't get the taxidermist. We also have to figure out how to get from Fairbanks to Tok and back. 40 mile air will come and get us for $1000 round trip. I'm looking at a rental car to see if it is cheaper.

AKaviator
12-30-2016, 11:38 AM
AK...I really want to hunt up there but I have really limited vacation time for now. I'm looking at the south third of Alberta as a possibility for fall of 2018. Think I can pull it off by just taking one week off from work for a 5 day hunt. What do you think is the minimum time a person needs to invest for a hunt up there to have a decent chance at a bull?

You might be able to do it with a five day hunt, BUT, that doesn't leave much room for the unforeseen stuff. I've been weathered in for more than five days!

Umpqua Hunter
12-30-2016, 01:49 PM
We drove with meat and antlers from the Yukon to Oregon in the late 1980s a couple times with no issues.

A couple years ago, Bitterroot Bulls has done the Alaska to Montana drive with antlers and I believe (not sure) unprocessed meat. He might be a good resource.

Ricochet
01-01-2017, 09:30 AM
I just got my locking tags. Now I need to step up my working out. I just need few more gear items. Does anybody have a gear list for a hunt like this? Thanks

Tim McCoy
01-01-2017, 12:23 PM
Have brought two mule deer and one cougar into USA driving from Canada, in 05, 07 and 08. Zero issues. Going in, once, I was picked for the full search. Got to stand outside in a small booth for 30 minutes and hope I did not leave a pistol or ammo in my rig... Have your paperwork, gun and hunting info (tag/outfitter info) and it's fine. Coming back, the USA guys wanted to see the antlers/head mostly out of curiosity I suspect, tag too I think 1-2 times, and looked in a cooler at meat once. They seemed to have quite a bit of discretion. Best advice is to call both border crossings and see what the current requirements are, they can change time to time.

AK airlines was great for meat and antlers when I used them, we split the caribou skull caps, taped garden hose on antler tips, duct taped it together. Worked fine. Many of the villages have folks in need of meat, often elders, donating some is not a bad idea. I only took back a loin and hind quarter of caribou, donated the rest and they were very happy to have the meat. Not sure what the rules around that are now, check first.

When I hunted Caribou in AK, I used a transporter, was self guided. I packed just like I would for a tent hunt in the USA with just a few changes. Off the top of my head I can recall a few. Have a plan for bear, spray, fence, larger than needed rifle or all 3. I took spray and had partitions for bullets. A shotgun can do double duty, Ptarmigan and slugs for bear around the tent. We had no bear issues and were in brown bear country, they were all along creeks after salmon when we hunted. We were inland on the upper peninsula. It is not a bad idea to have a small stout extra tent, in case yours is destroyed by wind or a bear.

Plan for lots and lots of rain, both for you and the meat. No trees is common, we were away from the rivers/creeks, so we laid the quarters on top of low brush and covered with a tarp. Worst case is reasonably warm rainy weather where nothing crusts over and meat goes bad fast. Hopefully you have arrangements to have someone take out your meat if you get one down early. AK has very particular and strict meat rules/enforcement, know the rules.

On the tundra, know there are wetter areas where you can fall through a mat of vegetation. There was a particular green plant/grass that grew in those areas we learned to avoid, where we were anyway. My buddy fell through, his 300 WBY went to the bottom, he got out, stripped down and went back in to recover it. Was about 6/7' deep. Crazy stuff.

You can get weathered in, very common, so some extra food/fuel can come in handy. It can be cold and wet, prepare. Longest it has happened to me was 3 days on Kodiak. But it can happen anywhere, last longer and ground the brush pilots fast.

Am sure there is more, but hopefully this helps.

480/277
01-01-2017, 05:50 PM
I brought back moose,caribou and sheep from Alaska to CT numerous times.
Cut/wrap/freeze in Alaska
Bring back as extra luggage on plane. Never had a problem.
For antlers I take 6" pieces of garden hose. With plastic bags and duct tape.
They are sticklers for no blood. So clean head well and wrap well.

AKaviator
01-01-2017, 07:31 PM
I don't know what air carrier you are planning on. If Alaska Airlines, you might check out their website. I think their policies may have changed since some of the posters have used them. I can't say on any of the other airlines.
Antlers go south all the time so I'm sure it won't be a problem, maybe a little expensive.

timberman56
12-20-2017, 09:49 AM
ricochet--how did your hunt go?

Dark Mavis
01-07-2018, 10:56 PM
Still no word from ricochet? Hopefully the caribou didn't stampede through camp and take him out.

AKaviator
01-08-2018, 12:22 AM
They had a great hunt! But I don't want to steal any thunder from him. hopefully he'll get back on with some photos of their nice bulls!