2020 will definitely be a year to remember, Coronavirus (COVID) Craziness, hunkering down, kids out of school, people out of work, businesses closing, the uncertainty of an Election Year and wondering if we were even going to have a Hunting Season at all this year .... HOWEVER, we did, and we did it BIG! Our guys came up with a lot of "pent up energy" after being hunkered down for so many months and were ready to get out there and take on the challenge of the Alaskan Arctic Wilderness!.
Biggest Hiccup & Lessons Learned during our 2020 Season ...
We all know technology is WONDERFUL when it works - - but makes life a little hectic when it doesn't. During Caribou Season, we learned AT&T and Garmin products weren't "talking" to each other over an ENTIRE week of hunting season!! Can you imagine?? We can, because we lived it! So, what we took from this communication issue, was when you guys bring your Garmin products - be sure to put in the phone number of the person you're wanting to keep in touch with, BUT ALSO, include their email address!
We were very lucky in the fact that most people realized their texts weren't getting through to us and contacted someone from back home to act as a "middle man" and help with communication in the field. So, even if you are using these products for other hunts, remember to keep in mind technology doesn't always work the way you think it should and it's always at the most inopportune time when it doesn't!!
Getting down to the real "nitty gritty" of the season that everyone wants to know ... what were the season statistics??
Well, we can tell you this season was not only one for the books with all the World craziness, but it was also one of our top years with regards to Success Rate. We told you our guys showed up with a bunch of pent up energy ... and they went after it! Overall, we ended the season with a 95.65% success rate ... which equates to 96% - it was a GREAT season!
2020 in Review for success rate for the Alaska Unguided Caribou Hunts (aka Alaska DIY Caribou hunts) was 95%, 91% in 2019 & 89% in 2018. Over the last 20 years, we have been in the high 80’s to 90th percentile for our Unguided Do It Yourself Caribou Hunting.
We also had some other big moments and accomplishments:
A very special man, who had to learn how to talk again due to throat cancer surgery a few short months before arriving, come hunt with us! When he returned home after harvesting his Caribou, he learned they had "got all the cancer" during his surgery! What a true testimony to the amazing things people can accomplish with hard work, prayer and the support of those loved ones around us.
Record number of WOMEN & CHILDREN in the field with us this year - some of which, had never even been "camping" before this trip!
One Marriage Proposal (after of course finding out if she could pack her animal back to camp and looked "her worst" (her words)) and she said YES!!
Lots of shots were taken at Wolves (both with cameras and rifles) - but only one (1) came out this year, but it wasn't for a lack of led being flung at them. We do however, still suggest taking in a wolf tag with you - you'll kick yourself if you have an opportunity and don't have a tag!
The Game Management Units we hunt are primarily GMU #23 and sometimes go into #26 in the early part of the season for Alaska Caribou Hunting. We follow the migration of the herd and place our camps in the migration pattern of the herd. We are the ONLY transporter in the area who is utilizing both wheeled and float planes to be able to access the areas the animals are in. Between the equipment we use and our history in the area, it puts us at a distinct advantage. Now, that’s not to say that this isn’t HUNTING – I will tell you this is HUNTING. You will be challenged and provided with an amazing Alaskan experience, but you have to be willing to put the work in as well. We place our hunters on Gravel Bars, Rivers, Streams or Lakes which are located South of the Brooks Range (DeLong Mountains) …. Where the animals were filter down out of the hills. Most of our hunters will see 100’s of animals daily (sometimes even more than that) - but they may not be walking right through your camp. This is where we tell you, you guys need to be willing to put in the work to get your animals.
In our unit, you can take one (1) Bull per person. We suggest you take in a Wolf Tag as well on this hunt, as anytime there are Caribou around, the Wolves aren’t far away either. We will gladly haul out a wolf for you at no additional cost. With your hunting license, you can also hunt Ptarmigan (bird), Red Fox and Arctic Fox (depending on the dates you’re in the field). If you’re into fishing at all, you guys can fish for Arctic Char, Grayling and if you’re on the lakes you can fish for Lake Trout …. Had some really amazing fish stories come out this year on the Lake Trout success.
During that time of year, you’ll often experience the Northern Lights as well – if we have the typical 30 – 40 degree weather. The cooler weather also brings the migration of the herd and clears out the bugs that our State is so well known for. Our hunts are 100% driven by weather and the migration of the animals…. So if it’s been hot or is hot out in the field (50’s – 60’s) the animals are no different than those down in the Lower 48 – they will lay down and stop migrating, or even turn around and go back to the North to try and get cooler. If the weather is cold and does what it has done for years and years, it gets cold and triggers the migration and the Caribou move South for the Winter. That’s where our hunt season is aligned and works with the migration the best.
Both our Guided Caribou Hunting and our Alaska Unguided Caribou Hunting success was through the roof this season. We are very proud to be able to say our hunters put in the work and came out with nice animals.
If you guys haven't checked out our Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr sites, make sure you do ... we are constantly updating them - ESPECIALLY DURING THE SEASONS - to help you guys stayed informed.
Although we are always proud of our DIY Caribou Hunters and like to brag about them, we also love to talk Guided Hunt Successes too! You can find more about our Guided Arctic Grizzly Hunts (Alaska Arctic Grizzly/Caribou Combo Hunts) & Alaska Peninsula Brown Bear Hunts by clicking below: