Top 10 North American Hunts: #9 – Caribou

Brian Magee Fired Up Outdoors Alaska Caribou

Photo courtesy of Fired Up Outdoors

Hunting seasons are largely over in North America, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop dreaming about next season and begin planning the next adventure.  Last week, we began the series with South Dakota pheasants coming in at #10. Today we continue our list of top ten North American hunts and focus on Caribou hunting in Alaska.

A caribou hunt takes a vast amount of preparation. Once you begin to turn your dream into a plan, there are many things you’ll need to take into consideration to make sure your trip is a success. First, be careful selecting airlines. If you want to take meat and antlers home, make sure your airline of choice allows it. Many airlines have restrictions and you want to be aware of these before it’s too late.

After travel logistics, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get into your desired hunting area. Aviation is a huge part of the Alaskan bush lifestyle and chances are, you’ll need to find a bush pilot to fly you in there. Make sure to do plenty of research and choose a reputable, experienced pilot to get you in and out safely. There are many choices in charter companies and pilots so try to find ones with positive online reviews or someone who is referred to you.

Chris Walls FiredUpOutdoors Caribou

Photo courtesy of Fired Up Outdoors

Whether you’re having an outfitter set up a drop camp for you or going with a seasoned guide, this is a hunt that you don’t want to experience alone. Definitely bring a friend (or several) and pack a Rino 650t handheld GPS/two-way radio for everyone in your party, along with plenty of extra batteries and enhanced TOPO maps. Rino provides two-way communication with your hunting buddies, a high-sensitivity GPS antenna for locating your position even in thick cover, and NOAA weather radio. You will find Rino to be an invaluable asset on your adventures into the Alaskan bush.

Season dates vary drastically from unit to unit, but the deadline to submit for a tag in a draw unit is typically mid-December. There are plenty of over-the-counter caribou tags available, but if this is a hunt you’re interested in, we strongly urge you look over the State of Alaska hunting regulations to make sure you are prepared.

Tune in next week when we continue the series on our Top 10 North American Hunts.

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