Boo hunting in AK

Share your tales (tall or otherwise) of hunting adventures.

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mdeland
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Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:11 pm

Got back from our moose and caribou hunt up on the 40 mile and had three Boo tags and two moose. No moose or sign of moose in the area but we hit the Boo migration and got two bulls. Could have had three if one shooter had been a bit faster on the draw. Also had one shooter miss a nice black bear. Overall a beautiful and successful trip.
Here is a picture of a nice bull just after we put in and a couple days before season opening. MD
Image
Image

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:57 pm

Didn't have my camera handy most of the time while piloting my raft but saw lots of Raptors.............. four deer falcons, sparrow hawk, Bald Eagle, snow owl, Golden Eagle, mallard and merganzer ducks, swans and some weird geese we never have seen before.
Even Chris my hunting pard who is a taxidermist didn't know what they were. Seems every year this area springs a new bird we are not familiar with on us.
I also saw one of those little birds ,I can't think of just now what they're called that walks under water on the rocks. Craziest thing to see this little bugger fly over to a rock and just walk of the end under water and disappear. :lol: Mike

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:51 pm

The caribou don't seem to know what a raft is and if you don't move the oars you can get remarkably close before they move off. Same deal with the black bear as the raft is totally silent drifting in the current if clear of the stream bottom or rocks. These aren't small rafts as both are 14 foot NRS rowing frame rigs. Mine has a blue top, yellow mid band and black bottom, Scott's is all forest green but neither color seemed to have any effect on them over the other.
Some of the Rators would move off but one deer falcon just watched us float almost right under him on a tree limb while he just cocked his head to one side and acted like he had never seen anything half so interesting.
We also had a cross fox come into camp one morning begging for hand outs early on. Chris said he would come right up to almost touching distance. He figured the local miners on the river had been feeding him.
One miner showed us some nuggets he had taken and some of his Polk of flour gold he had recovered this summer. He seemed real starved for conversation and we couldn't believe he was showing us his gold. He said the nuggets were nice but the real money gold was the dust they were dredging. Lots of hover craft used in the mining areas and although some what noisy they leave virtually no impact on the river or banks. The place is clean as well with almost no trash found anywhere which we greatly appreciated.
The river was low where we put in and the first night we did some dragging across riffles. One miner we talked to said it hadn't rained in 30 days but it did the week we were in there and the river came up some making the rafting and rock avoidance much easier.
We stopped to reconnoiter the falls before going over them and decide the shoot to river left was the least hazardous and navigated them without incident. I could tell our two quests ( a farther and his fifteen year old daughter) were a bit apprehensive when Scott and I pulled over to have a look see before descending them. We assured them they would be fun and pushed off. Only a class 3 rapid so not really very threatening if some caution is used.
Molly said she thought it was lots of fun after words. As a P.S. she very neatly filled her bull caribou tag with an offhand shot at about 75 yards with her 7-08. :D MD

Kurt
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Kurt » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:57 am

Mike

In 2000 I was up in the 40 mile and when I got up tho the Glacier I got surrounded by the largest Caribou heard crossing the road behind and in front of me.
What have the fires done there a few years back? is it starting to green up again yet?
In 09 we spent two months on Deadwood and Badger creek and A little time at the 70 mile hole. I never seen so many moose 10 miles up a tractor trail NE from Central. I think that would be a good section to hunt in.

Kurt
The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"Winston Churchill

Denali
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Denali » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:58 pm

Mdeland,

Congratulations on your hunting trip! I drove up last year to hunt the Tanana and the road to Chicken. Caribou was closed by then. 6000 miles pulling a boat too far. Will bring a canoe next time. We were VERY lucky to get one moose on the Tanana. Had lots of black bear opportunities.

The little bird is an American Dipper. One of my favorite birds.

Mike

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:23 pm

Kurt, thanks for the tip on moose, I'm always on the hunt for information such as that in areas I have not tried. The 40 mile is pretty devoid of moose south fork on but I'm told lots of them are taken on the upper end and the Denison Fork. We would like to try the North Fork but it is fly in to the top and a class 4-5 rapid before it flows into the South Fork. That's pretty technical if you have a thousand pounds of meat aboard. The raft then moves like a slug!
We have found us a real sweet spot for caribou now and are in the hunt for a moose hole. I think our trouble is we have been trying to combine moose and caribou in one hunt for two long and need to split them up and make two trips each fall.
I'm good with that deal as I'm not getting any younger!
Thanks for the bird identification Mike. What a cool little guy to watch. I named an unusual shaped rock on one of the ridges where we began to see the Raptors "Falcon Rock" they seem to hang out in this area regularly.
I must have seen 30-40 caribou in small groups with singles on occasion and we have now located a convergence point that they follow regularly. Now if I can find a natural moose salt lick some where that will be great. I have a couple other river systems I want to try out in the next few years that show promise. :lol: MIke

Kurt
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Kurt » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:22 pm

Mike.

There is nothing like waking up in the morning by a Moose rubbing it's neck on the camper in the early morning . :D
The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"Winston Churchill

Michael Johnson
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Michael Johnson » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:59 pm

Mike, I just read about your raft trip. I tried to send you a pm but I can't get the message to send properly. My sons and I are looking at doing a drop hunt with 40 mile air service out of Tok in 2013. Needless to say the AK regs are somewhat confusing. From what I can tell looking at temperatures and nonresident regs and from talking with an Alaska fish and game biologist, the zone three part of the 40 mile herd looks like a good fly-in bet. There is a hunt that opens on 29 August. What is your take on this? How did you keep your meat in good shape with as warm as the temps have been? Thanks for your consideration. - Mike
Mike Johnson
Hood Canal Hooligans B.P.C.R. Team

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:37 pm

Mike, the meat kept real well , all we did was put it in good meat bags and hung it up at night to crust over. In the day time when the temperature rose to the mid 50's I put it on my plywood deck in the back of my raft, covered it over with a space blanket and put all our gear on top with the soft pack directly on top of the space blanket. This kept it insulated from the air and allowed the coolness of the 40-45 degree river water to keep it cool inside the raft . The decks keep it up out of the water on the raft floor we take over the front on the rapids.
The folks we passed on the way out, up on the road to Chicken had more Boo than we did. The migration was close to the road system this year. I saw some racks that made our two bulls look like little guys although they both had big bodies.
We got one of our bulls about three miles out of Chicken after we just got back on the road back home. Eight or nine crossed right in front of us and Molly got out and laid one down. Chris my pardner wasn't exactly sure were Molly was after she dropped her bull and when he got a shot wasn't sure which bull to take in fear of hitting a cow on the far side so he had a short window of time to get off a shot and decided he better wait. I sure appreciated his coolheadedness not knowing where exactly Molly was and possibly crippling a cow on the off side so held his fire.Two big cautions that many a hunter would have been to excited to factor in. I think he also held fire to make sure Molly would get a second chance if she missed. He really wanted her to get one.
I sure have some cool and selfless friends for hunting buddies. All I had was a moose tag so was relegated to grunt work which was fine as I thoroughly enjoyed my son-in-law and Molly both getting their first Caribou.
Don't know much about unit 29 for caribou numbers or location just now but I can say that they want the grizzly, wolves and black bear cleaned out of most of the Tok Area. Residents don't even need special tags for Grizzly although they must be sealed at Fish and Game. MD

Michael Johnson
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Michael Johnson » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:49 pm

Not unit 29 mike. Unit 20 on or after 29th of August. - Thanks, Mike
Mike Johnson
Hood Canal Hooligans B.P.C.R. Team

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:57 pm

Sorry Mike, you said August 29 not unit 29, my bad. I think this may be good as the migration appeared to just be beginning as all we saw were small bands and singles. I'm no caribou expert and especially in this area but I do know from talking to miners in the area that late August is when they begin to herd up more. We usually go about three weeks later as that is better for moose and the migration is usually mostly past by then. I think you are probably good on August 29 and especially so if you can find a convergence point. The herds will usually follow the same corridors of river basins and ridges unless re-routed by fire or flood. IF you can find a convergence point of one or two of these migration arteries you stand a much better chance of picking up the small groups or singles before the bunch ups. At least that is my take to this point.
Sorry Kurt I forgot to address your question about the fires. It looked pretty greened up to me as far as I could see around Tok and Chicken this year. I did note a big burn area on the left shore of the Chitna River in June on our raft trip that burned two years ago I think and it was already greened up nicely. Mike

Michael Johnson
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Michael Johnson » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:30 pm

Thanks Mike!
Mike Johnson
Hood Canal Hooligans B.P.C.R. Team

Yellowhouse
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by Yellowhouse » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:35 pm

Care to comment on rifle and load used ? :)
Sam

mdeland
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by mdeland » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:21 pm

The old Alaska stand by caliber for Scott's taken at 326 yards, .338 Mag with a 225 Barnes I believe. Molly's was at about 75 yards with a 7-08 and don't know what load. I use a .338-280 improved of my own design built on a Argentine Mauser and shoot Nosler 210 grain partitions or 225 grain Hornady interlock. We were also after grizzly, black bear and wolves if they presented themselves along the river.
If I ever get this Roller built I'm going to try it with a duplex load and government bullet. I'll use a ghost ring aperture rear and home made brass faced front blade I make and am fond of up front.

jdb3
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Re: Boo hunting in AK

Post by jdb3 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:34 am

On my way to Togiak this weekend for moose. Hopefully they will be out and about. Jim
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" Benjamin Franklin.

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