40 Mile Caribou Backpacking Hunt

OXN939

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it’s very crowded and has many ATV trails. I am looking to get away from this.

I did the exact hunt you're talking about with one of my buddies in 2020. We put in a combined total of 53 backcountry miles along both the Taylor and Steese highways. It was a cool trip, but we didn't kill anything and kind of knew that would likely be the case before we started. Also, if you do hike in near the Steese and think you've found a sneaky route that is too far back and through terrain that is too difficult for ATVs... you will find at least one ATV waiting for you when you get wherever you're going.
 

Mykolaivka887

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...... if you do hike in .... and think you've found a sneaky route that is too far back and through terrain that is too difficult for ATVs .... you will find at least one ATV waiting for you when you get wherever you're going.


And this is what's most disgusting about modern-day Alaska, aside from all the people that have now translocated to here. It's pathetic. I absolutely hate what's become of my beloved Alaska and especially on state land. It's just sickening to me ......
 

OXN939

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And this is what's most disgusting about modern-day Alaska, aside from all the people that have now translocated to here. It's pathetic. I absolutely hate what's become of my beloved Alaska and especially on state land. It's just sickening to me ......

Yeah that's why I got my last 5 pilot's licenses lol
 
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elkandsheep

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Hiked Pinnell trail about 9 miles in from Twelve Mile summit. Saw Caribou. Looks like alot of the country north of the trail will be hard to get an ATV into. I think I have a spot picked. Don't really know how the packout will work though since the trail goes over many steep mountains, might have to find a better way to the road. Any ideas?
 

Cheechako

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Feb 15, 2021
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Anchorage, ak
The ridge top and the trail are probably going to be your best for getting out. sidehills and valley bottoms in there are harder walking. Bring a friend with a strong back and a good pack or don’t go so far in.
 

VernAK

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Delta Jct, Alaska
Quotas are being announced with the total being 1200 caribou. The season opens 8/10 but expect emergency closures immediately if the caribou are bunched in an easy access area.......Steese Highway.
 

YellCoAR

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Mar 31, 2022
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Yell County Arkansas
Wow that is way down from last years 4,500 opened the 10th.
Last years numbers on the 13th
Zone 1&4 769
Zone 2 9
Zone 3 14
Last years numbers on the 16th
Zone 1&4 1286
Zone 2 24
Zone 3 24

Looks like it could close really fast.
 

AKaDougie

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Sep 14, 2020
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North Pole
Vern is correct. I would expect Steese area to be open for caribou for only a few hours before they close it. If you dont have one down within a few hours of day light make sure you call hotline before you pull the trigger.
 

YellCoAR

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Mar 31, 2022
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Yell County Arkansas
What affect do you guys think this will have on the Dalton Highway hunting?
I know I was considering the 40 mile depending on the information I could get once getting to Fairbanks.
 

william schmaltz

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elkandsheep

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Wow, I picked the worst year to do this. If anyone is up here and has any other ideas for Caribou or is going up the Dalton and is looking for a partner, I'm open.
 

alexanderg23

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Palmer, AK
Vern is correct. I would expect Steese area to be open for caribou for only a few hours before they close it. If you dont have one down within a few hours of day light make sure you call hotline before you pull the trigger.
They can’t really expect people to call during the day right?
 

Yellowknife

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Fishhook, Alaska
They can’t really expect people to call during the day right?

They don't. I've never seen less than 24 hrs notice, and 48 hrs is more common. If they expect that the quota will be reached nearly immediately, they will either announce further restrictions or simply set the closure date before it even opens. HOWEVER, in my experience the early August portion of the herd crossing the Steese is usually heavy on the cows. No predicting caribou with any certainty, but the bulk of the bulls are often still trailing back into Zone 3. It may take a minute to hit quota.

I strongly urge anybody hunting this opener to act like any other hunt. Stalk within range and pick your shots with care. Just because you can see other hunters on the ridgeline and the clock is ticking, doesn't mean mean you need to try long or running shots. The wounding and loss rates on these hunts is embarrassing. If you see one herd passing through, there will be another.

This goes double this year because of the bull only restriction. The wildlife troopers will be at every trailhead stacking confiscated cows in their truck.

I've drug a couple dozen caribou back from the Steese. It's a great place, but I'll let you guys have it on the 10th this year.
 

AKaDougie

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North Pole
They can’t really expect people to call during the day right?
Hunters are reminded to call the Fortymile Caribou Herd Hotline (907) 267-2310 for updates about the hunt quota and bag limit before departing for the field to learn of zone closures.


This would be more of a Trooper question (and you may get different answers), what does departing for the field mean?
Does this mean every morning?
Does this mean I leave for the whole season into a non-cell phone service on the 9th I am good to go?

I personally would be on the side of caution and would try to get an update every morning before leaving camp.
 
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elkandsheep

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Aug 9, 2019
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Still open to anyone who wants to go up the Dalton after the hunt though
 
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