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DIY Caribou Hunting | Plan Your Own Hunting Trip

If you’re like most hunters in the lower 48, the allure of hunting in Alaska has probably always been on your mind. There’s something about that rugged and beautiful state that just captures our imaginations. And when you think of Alaska, it is hard not to dream of all the big game hunting opportunities there are. If you’re looking for a true wilderness adventure and have the DIY hunting spirit, you need to seriously think about DIY caribou hunting. Due to the rough terrain and remote locations that caribou tend to inhabit, you’re in for a real adventure should you decide to pursue this species.

But first, planning a DIY hunt is not always a simple thing – there’s a lot of planning that’s needed to do it right. You also need to realize that hunting caribou is not often as simple as just driving to a hunting location, getting out, shooting an animal, and packing up again. After flying into a major airport from your home state, you’ll very likely need to catch a smaller plane to a more rural setting. In some cases, you may even need an outfitter or bush pilot to fly you somewhere truly remote, like we did, for a caribou drop camp. Drop camp hunts involve a pilot literally dropping you off somewhere in the remote wilderness, where it is truly you against the natural world and little if any human influence for miles and miles. This kind of hunt is the one that really captures the DIY caribou hunting spirit. So if this sounds interesting to you, keep reading below for more information about caribou hunting.

Caribou Basics

Many people confuse caribou and reindeer, thinking they are the same thing. Technically, they are different subspecies – what most people know as “reindeer” occur in northern Europe and Russia, while “caribou” are the North American subspecies. Caribou are between a deer and elk size-wise, weighing in at about 300-400 pounds. Both males and females grow antlers, but only males get the large sweeping semi-circle antlers that they are known for.

 

They also have large hooves that act like snowshoes to help them move across both the soft tundra ground in summer and deep snows in winter. Yet, they are surprisingly fast moving across the thick brush of the tundra with this giant footwear. Caribou are migratory herd animals, moving several hundred miles between summer and winter ranges in very large groups. Some smaller herds do not migrate at all, however, and are called “resident herds” for that reason. They still cover a lot of ground on a daily basis, but they typically occupy the same general area throughout the year. These are the herds we targeted during our DIY caribou hunting drop camp.

 

Where to Hunt Caribou

As mentioned, caribou occur throughout Alaska and Canada and there are great hunting opportunities on both sides of the border. But for an easier process (regulation-wise), Alaska caribou hunts get the winning vote for most U.S. citizens. You don’t have to go through as many hoops when you’re a resident of the same country. Given the remote nature of caribou hunts, you should plan on at least a 10 to 12 day hunt window to account for travel time, unexpected delays, bad weather conditions, etc. That should still allow you enough time to hunt too.

Well before you plan on doing any DIY caribou hunting, spend some time researching – study the hunting regulations, look up good spots to target caribou herds, and get recommendations for reputable outfitters or bush pilot services. When you consider that this trip will be an investment, both financially and in time spent there, you need to be comfortable with your choices. As far as the hunting regulations go, you need to really pay attention in Alaska. You are required to pack out all of the meat (even the rib meat). Game wardens will check your game bags to be sure it’s legal and may even ask for the GPS coordinates of the carcass so they can confirm with a flyover. If you want to avoid any fines and unpleasantness, study the game laws.

 

While the idea of hunting the large, migratory herds is a really appealing thought, it can also be a risky gamble. If you don’t time it well, you might totally miss the herds on their migration, and spend an awful long trip hunting nothing but tundra brush and mosquitoes. Then again, if you hit the right time period, you could potentially be hunting thousands of animals and it could be the best caribou hunting you could hope for. But a safer option is to hunt the various resident herds. There won’t be huge numbers of animals to hunt, but you will likely see at least a few caribou every day.

 

Basic Caribou Hunting Gear

With any hunts where you will have to pack your gear with you, the topic of which hunting gear to bring is a critical one. But it’s especially important for DIY caribou hunting. Bush pilots flying in Super Cubs really have to limit the weight on the plane ride, so don’t be surprised if they can only haul one hunter and about 100 pounds of gear at a time. That means you really can’t pack too heavily – weigh everything at home to be sure you will be able to fly to remote hunting locations once you arrive in Alaska. Try to cut out any unnecessary bulk and weight wherever you can, although this can be a little tricky when you’re packing bow hunting gear and want to keep everything safe and protected.

You should always be prepared for changing weather conditions in Alaska, but it really comes down to the time of year you’re hunting. During the early season months, be prepared to deal with thick mosquitoes using insect-treated clothing and mosquito head nets. As fall approaches, make sure you’ve got both warm and waterproof clothing options. Since you’ll truly be on your own in the wilderness, you need to be absolutely confident in the quality of your gear.

For our DIY caribou hunt, I depended on a large big game hunting pack to haul everything around with me. I brought both my Hoyt® bow and Browning® rifle, with the intent of using my bow (if I could stalk within range). You spend an awful lot of time glassing for caribou, and so your optics need to be top-notch too, which is why I used Vortex® spotting scopes. And if you’re lucky enough to actually put a caribou down, you need an extremely sharp and durable knife to skin and quarter it, which is why I used the Outdoor Edge® knives. Make sure you pack the best game bags you can find too to protect the meat from insects and keep it from getting contaminated by dirt and debris.

 

Caribou Hunting Tactics

Next, let’s dive into the specific DIY caribou hunting tactics you can use while out on the tundra. First, you should realize that days can be long in Alaska (at least in the early season). This is good because it allows you more hunting time, but the flip side is that you just don’t get as much sleep. Couple that with the grueling tundra walking, and you can tire out quickly. Keep your energy high with ample food (at least 3,000 to 4,000 calories a day) so that you can cover more ground. Scouting for caribou is both easy and hard at the same time. You could just find a slight hill and sit down to glass all day or you could continually walk the tundra hoping to intercept something along the way. Alternate your approach every other day to keep from exhausting yourself too quickly. 

 

 

If you find a spot with very good visibility around you, take some time to use your spotting scope to thoroughly scan the horizon. Since caribou are always on the move, you may well have a few come within view where you can assess if you want to pursue them. If you decide to stalk them, stay low by remaining in valleys and approaching from behind brush or trees. But when you’re bow hunting caribou in Alaska, you don’t usually have that much cover to hide your approach, which makes stalking within bow range really hard. That’s why it’s nice to have a rifle along too.

 

 

If you manage to kill a nice bull caribou, the real work is just beginning. You need to skin, quarter, and pack all the meat and antlers back to your spike camp, which could be located miles away. As mentioned, use game bags to keep the meat cleaner and keep flies off of it. And always be mindful of predators (e.g., bears or wolves) since you’re in a remote wilderness area. Keep the meat separated from your camp site by at least 50 yards to keep bears away from your tents. If you shoot a bull in velvet and you’d like to preserve it for a mount, there are preservative chemicals you can inject into the velvet tissue or paint on the antlers that start tanning the delicate tissue so it doesn’t fall off. If the weather is above freezing, you should try to get the caribou meat back to civilization as soon as possible to keep it from spoiling. Arrange some plans ahead of time with your pilot if hot weather is forecasted.

Start Caribou Hunting in Alaska

There you have it – does DIY caribou hunting sound like something you’d be interested in? It’s a lot of preparation and work to hunt them effectively and it takes a bit of luck to pull it all off, but it’s so worth it when the plan all comes together and you can share the experience with a hunting buddy.

Source link: https://www.purehunting.com/diy-caribou-hunting-plan-your-own-hunting-trip/ by Pure Hunting at www.purehunting.com

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Archery

Can You Hunt Enough To Feed Your Family For YEARS?

Survival Cave Food is here.

As masters of the hunt, you understand the thrill and satisfaction of providing for your family through your skills in the wilderness. However, relying solely on hunting and trapping may not be enough to ensure your family’s well-being in times of crisis. The stark reality is that whatever you’re able to hunt may not be sufficient to feed yourselves and your loved ones. At Survival Cave Food, we recognize the importance of having a reliable backup supply to augment your hunting efforts and provide peace of mind during emergencies.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges hunters face. While your hunting skills are impressive, unpredictable circumstances such as extreme weather, dwindling game populations, or even natural disasters can significantly impact your ability to procure food. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions meticulously crafted to augment your hunting efforts and provide long-term sustenance for you and your famil

A Reliable Backup for Your Hunting Success

Survival Cave Food stands as your dependable backup supply for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats are carefully crafted to provide essential nutrients and support your family’s well-being, complementing your hunting skills. Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you and your loved ones hungry – our products offer a reliable solution to ensure your family’s needs are met, no matter the circumstances.

Supporting Your Hunting Lifestyle

As skilled hunters, you’ve honed your craft and pride yourselves on providing for your family. Survival Cave Food aligns with these values, empowering you to maintain your independence and self-sufficiency while also being prepared for the unexpected. Our products not only offer sustenance but also peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared to support your family’s needs through any challenge.

Made with Care, Trusted by Hunters

At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our products, which are made with care and integrity. Our canned meats and freeze-dried meals are not just provisions; they’re essential components of your hunting lifestyle. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning hunting trips, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join Us in Securing Your Family's Future

Join countless skilled hunters like yourself who prioritize preparedness and self-sufficiency. With Survival Cave Food, you’re not just purchasing survival foods – you’re investing in the security and well-being of your loved ones. Take the first step towards a more secure future by exploring our selection today.

Order Now and Augment Your Hunting Success

Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you vulnerable. Take proactive measures to ensure your family’s well-being with Survival Cave Food. Explore our range of premium survival foods and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared to provide for your family, no matter what lies ahead.

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Hunting

Rangefinders: Advanced Techniques for Enhanced Hunting Success

male-woman-hunters-ready-hunt-holding

The utility of rangefinders in hunting extends far beyond their fundamental purpose of determining accurate distances for shooting. While commonly associated with aiding marksmanship, rangefinders can be leveraged in innovative ways to optimize hunting strategies and increase efficiency in the field. For both novice and seasoned hunters alike, mastering advanced techniques with rangefinders can significantly enhance the overall hunting experience. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into two distinct but invaluable techniques for utilizing rangefinders to their fullest potential.

Strategic Stalking: Planning with Precision

Hunter Education Course. Hunting in Russia. Nature places for hunting

One of the most profound realizations among hunters is the strategic value of rangefinders in planning stalks. Beyond mere navigation toward the prey, identifying optimal shooting positions can be a game-changer in hunting success.

Consider a scenario where a hunter spots a deer bedded downhill, with a prominent boulder positioned behind it. Traditional wisdom dictates estimating the distance to the deer and planning a route accordingly. However, the innovative use of a rangefinder elevates this approach to a new level of precision.

By ranging both the deer and the boulder, the hunter gains critical insight into the landscape’s geometry. Suppose the deer is determined to be 500 yards away, while the boulder registers at 547 yards. This data reveals that reaching the boulder would position the hunter approximately 47 yards from the deer. Armed with this knowledge, the hunter can strategize the approach, confident in the understanding of potential shooting distances.

Dynamic Distance Assessment: On-the-Move Tactics

Hunter with hunting gun and hunting form to hunt

In dynamic hunting scenarios where targets are mobile or their exact locations are uncertain, rangefinders emerge as indispensable tools for real-time distance assessment. Rather than relying on fixed objects for reference, hunters can adopt a proactive approach by utilizing rangefinders while on the move.

Imagine stalking a buck actively rutting in dense woodland. In such scenarios, maintaining situational awareness and adaptability are paramount. Here, the continuous use of a rangefinder proves invaluable.

Equipped with a rangefinder, the hunter can seamlessly integrate distance assessment into their movements. With each step, the hunter periodically scans the terrain ahead, utilizing the rangefinder to gauge distances to potential targets. This streamlined approach minimizes unnecessary movement and ensures readiness for decisive action.

In the dynamic and unpredictable world of hunting, mastery of advanced techniques with rangefinders can be a game-changer. By embracing strategic stalking and dynamic distance assessment, hunters can optimize their hunting strategies and increase their chances of success in the field. 

Whether planning meticulous stalks or maintaining situational awareness on the move, the versatility of rangefinders empowers hunters to navigate diverse hunting scenarios with confidence and precision. As hunters continue to explore the boundless possibilities of rangefinder application, the pursuit of the game becomes not just a challenge, but a deeply rewarding adventure fueled by innovation and expertise.

Do you have any tips for using rangefinders? Leave them in the comments below.

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Firearms

Which Round Is Best For Hunting Wild Hogs?

rifle-scope-targeting-wild-hog-forest

In the vast tapestry of American wildlife management, few creatures present as perplexing a challenge as the wild hog. Revered for its delectable meat yet reviled for its destructive impact on ecosystems, the wild hog embodies a unique dichotomy in the realm of hunting. With festivals dedicated to their honor amidst the havoc they wreak, these invasive species demand a nuanced approach from hunters.

Understanding the Complexity

Herd of wild hogs rooting in the forest for food

To embark on a successful hog hunting expedition, one must grasp the intricate interplay between pest control and recreational pursuit. The wild hog’s adaptability and resilience render it a formidable adversary, requiring hunters to employ strategic tactics and appropriate equipment. Amidst this backdrop, the choice of cartridge emerges as a pivotal decision, wielding significant implications for the outcome of the hunt.

Harnessing Firepower

In the arsenal of hog hunters, cartridges serve as the cornerstone of their strategy. Each cartridge offers a unique blend of power, accuracy, and versatility, catering to different hunting scenarios and preferences. Among the plethora of options, certain cartridges have carved out a niche for themselves, earning acclaim for their efficacy in hog hunting.

The .308 Winchester

At the forefront of hog hunting cartridges stands the venerable .308 Winchester, revered for its versatility and widespread availability. With a diverse selection of bullet weights and a proven track record in the field, it remains a steadfast choice for hunters seeking reliability and performance across various hunting conditions.

The 6.5 PRC

For those venturing into the realm of long-range precision hunting, the 6.5 PRC emerges as a compelling option. Combining impressive ballistics with manageable recoil, it empowers hunters to take precise shots with confidence, ensuring ethical kills even at extended distances.

Exploring Short-Range Solutions

In the dense underbrush where wild hogs often roam, short-range encounters demand cartridges capable of delivering decisive stopping power. Among these, the 350 Legend stands out for its potent performance and adaptability, offering hunters a formidable tool for close-quarters engagements.

Unleashing Raw Power

Man hunting with Rifle

In the pursuit of wild hogs, where the stakes are high and the margin for error slim, cartridges renowned for their sheer stopping power reign supreme. The .30-06 Springfield, with its robust energy delivery and wide selection of bullet weights, stands as a testament to this ethos, ensuring that no hog escapes unscathed.

Embracing Innovation

 

As technology advances and new cartridges emerge, hunters are presented with a wealth of innovative options to explore. Among these, the 300 HAM’R stands out for its unique blend of performance and familiarity, offering hunters a compelling alternative in their quest for hog hunting excellence.

In the ever-evolving landscape of hog hunting, mastery lies not only in marksmanship but also in the thoughtful selection of equipment. By carefully considering factors such as hunting conditions, personal preferences, and ethical considerations, hunters can wield their chosen cartridge as a potent tool in their pursuit of wild hogs. As they navigate the untamed wilderness, armed with knowledge and expertise, they embark on a journey that transcends mere hunting—it becomes a quest for harmony amidst the wild.

What is the best round for hunting hogs in your experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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