Left at light one morning. Walked unloaded 3.5 miles to my caribou. Loaded up, walked back to within a mile of the tent and that was 5pm. Luckily we even had a winter trail to follow plus a short landing strip to walk on part of the way. And we'd drug my bou down the mountain the nite before.
Very spongy in areas can make the walking tough. In other areas of Alaska the walking is a bit better but it never gets easy.
We waded around in salt and swamp grass up to our hips this weekend on the coast. It reminded me exactly of what I recall from up there, sans the 125 pound load of meat.
BUT its not like packing around at 10K feet with no air and about to fall off a cliff like you can in other hunts.
Thanks for the info. I have in mind a sheep hunt some time up there. Plus, my brother is planning an epic-scale journey up there several years in the future, and I may join him. He is in the mil (spec forces), and so can bring some interesting assets/skills to the table ... but the best assets still fall way short of what you learn when your foot first hits the ground.
If I were you and going with a SF brother, I'd tie his shoelaces together when you get there. OR you'd better be in some kind of shape to keep up. I have a good friend thats AMU, Ranger, Sniper, Airborne, in training for Delta.
When we left Georgia the last time he was in a pretty fast jog with over 100 pounds on his back and was running some unreal distances like that. With that amount on my back in AK I rarely got further than 100 steps or so without a break in the sponge. And at the end I would have to count out to 100+ to keep me going. Strange things it takes to keep going at times.
You'll love the hunt up there though. Just don't expect to see the caribou like you do on the TV in Canada. Its a bit different to say the least unless you get really lucky.
Roger that ... as our potential epic nears, I will train more and more, and he will be behind a desk more and more - so I hope to catch up. He also runs marathons, and I rarely run over 100 yards ... but the lines will cross.
The Dall Sheep terrain I see in pics looks absolutely fabulous!!!
What are the temperatures in Aug / Sept? ... I've heard it can actually get rather hot! Weather?
Is fishing equipment worth the carry?
Another friend of mine has been going up for caribou every year or so ... I'll drill him also.
I"ve been in summer and fall. Bugs can be bad at times. There are a few things I won't leave camp without.
1. Headnet and gloves for possible bugs
3. Gear to spend the nite with
I always take fishing gear, a full bug suit, 2 rainsuits, and enough liner socks for each day, and 2 pair of boots, and one pair of waders/rubber boots/wiggys waders etc.... Last landing strip I was at I was in a small river with salmon all around me, yet we ran out of time and never got to fish. But I'm taking more time next trip and will fish!!
Weather wise it can be a crap shoot. Last time I was there was mid to late Sept. First week out the lake froze over about 1/3 of the way and our water bottles would freeze at nite in the tent so we had to sleep with them inside the bags. Moved and about 3-4 days later it was actually above freezing during the days and only in the 20s at nite.
Move that back into August and it can be 50-70s temp wise.
Terrain wise sheep territory will be steeper so get stair stepper and put on a 75 pound pack and train. I"m lucky to last 30 minutes on the stepper when I'm in decent shape. But the more you do the better you are. My buddy that guides up there keeps telling me the sheep are easier cause you don't have to walk 5-10 miles. Every day. Just watch and wait with a good spotting scope and then make one good stalk.
I can say that I shot my caribou from the bottom to the top of a mountain. Elevation wise it was appx 600 foot elevation change. And that climb alone was steep enough that it took me 55 minutes to get to the animal after I shot him.
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...