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Building Hunting Arrows | Element Archery

For years I’ve shot the same arrow setup and as of late I’ve been contemplating changing that arrow setup. With the recent trend and growing awareness of increasing an arrows FOC and the benefits that it brings I’ve decided to change my arrow set up this season to increase arrow weight and achieve a much more desirable arrow FOC.

What is Arrow FOC and Why is it Important?

The acronym FOC stands for front of center and it is the percentage of an arrow’s total weight that is in the front half of the arrow. The more weight that is in the front half of the arrow the higher it’s FOC will be. An arrow with a higher FOC will stabilize the flight of an arrow and increase its downrange accuracy. It’s one of the key elements in shaping the trajectory of the arrow. The ideal percentage for FOC for hunting is between 10%-15% but some hunters go even higher. It all depends on how your setup tunes and the desired results you’re attempting to achieve.

In this short segment, we share and explain the arrow and components chosen to achieve my arrow FOC.

Building Big Game Hunting Arrows | Typhoon Element Arrows - YouTube
Below is the list of Tools and Compenents used:
  • 100-grain weighted insert with a 100-grain weighted point.
  • AAE Max Stealth Vanes– One vane is 2.6″ long X .50″ high and weighs 9.2 grain +/- .5 grains
  • AAE Max Bond– is a high-viscosity liquid that is easy to work with and penetrates well when using our tough Elastimax material.  Whether you are fletching carbon or aluminum, this is the toughest glue available.
  • AAE MAXweld Primer Penn– creates an amazing “Weld” between any Max material vane and the archers chosen arrow.
  • AAE Max Clean Arrow Wipes– are a quick and easy method of cleaning arrow shafts for proper fletching adhesion. 
  • Easton Quickbond Insert Adhesive– Impact resistant and ready to shoot in about 30 minutes.
  • Bitzenburger Fletching Jig– This fletching jig is made of long lasting die cast alloy. There are no plastic parts and it is built to last. Some say it is “the last jig you will ever buy.” I fletched mine with a right helical.
  • Nock Out Lighted Nocks– I shoot the Contender lighted nock that weighs around 21-25 grains depending upon the size of the bushing used.
  • Arrow Spinner- Checks straightness of shaft, nock, insert, and point. Also, it is the easiest way to check broadhead straightness.
  • Scale- to measure arrow components and the finished product.

You can see how I like to build and customize arrows, the next step in the process will be shooting and adjusting my sight tape to find out how these higher FOC arrows perform.

The post Building Arrows for Western Big Game appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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The post Protected: Spot and Stalk Hunting Axis Deer in Lanai appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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Put Your Optics to Work for You on Your Next Hunting Trip

Hunters invest hard work, dedicate valuable time, and go the extra mile to do their part to make a hunt come together. Gear is put to the test, as well as the strength and endurance of a hunter’s body and emotions. It’s critical, when a hunt comes together, to have the best tools and equipment that are right for you and your hunt. Choosing the right optics is a paramount decision for big game hunting, especially hunting big country like the vast expanses of the west.  

An investment in quality optics and advanced improvements in optics technology should be considered a critical component of your hunt. Your choice in optics will weigh heavily on methods and opportunities for success. Putting those tools to work in an efficient and dynamic approach makes your hunts more productive and rewarding. The keystone optics aside from your rifle scope on the hunt, include binoculars, range finder, and spotting scope. Consider the synergy between the tools in your kit, how they can efficiently be used in conjunction with one another, and any efficiencies one tool can offer the other, either in pairing or in practice.

Hunting Optics | Vortex Binoculars and Spotting Scope Review - YouTube
Rangefinder and Binocular Combination   

For decades, the optics toolkit for almost any big game hunt included a quality pair of binoculars, and a quality range finder. Both of these tools are critical to the hunt, both for finding and targeting game, and for accuracy. Optics companies have played around with the idea of a combined rangefinder / binocular combination unit for years, often resulting in good binoculars that were decent at range finding, or a good range finder with decent binoculars.  

Vortex Fury Laser Rangefinding Binoculars 

Vortex Optics has found a winner by combining their trusted 10X42 roof prism binoculars with their dependable laser range finder, producing an all in one critical tool for the hunt and the hunter. The Fury optics line by Vortex offers versatility, convenience, speed and efficiency in the field with dual purpose functionality. Vortex Fury range finding binoculars combine the advantages of high definition binocular lenses with an angle compensated laser range finder.

Advantages of Rangefinding Binoculars  Combining Binoculars and Rangefinder Offers Less to Keep Track of 

By combining two critical tools into one compact and easy to use package, the hunter is offered a level of ease, and has only one tool to look after. When you’re engaged in the hunt, making considerations and deciding tactics for things like wind, topography, and terrain; having one less tool to worry about being left behind, staying clean, keeping dry, and in kept working order is huge.  

Glassing and Ranging Behind a Single Optic 

A rangefinder / binocular combination offers hunters the ability to quickly and seamlessly both glass and range during long glassing sessions, on a spot and stalk, or during fast action. Providing the capability to focus on a distant object with quality binoculars and determine the conclusive range to that object without having to lower the binoculars, and find the target again in a new optic is incredible. Glassing distant ridges, canyons, and tree lines behind powerful binoculars with the ability to simply push a button for an accurate range is a game changer for the hunter who lets their optics do the leg work.

Using Rangefinding Binoculars with a Hunting Partner 

Hunting fellowship and friendships are a critical part of the outdoor and hunting adventure experience. Whether you share your trips with family or a certain group of exceptional friends who appreciate your passion, learning tactics for hunting together can put you in a fantastic position to fill that tag.  

Glassing sessions and spot and stalk hunts with a glassing team will put more eyes on the terrain and on the big game you pursue. Exceptional rangefinding binoculars offer a spotter the ability to track a wide field of view, and range quickly and efficiently, especially moving targets. Putting eyes on a group of moving game animals and your hunting partner on the stalk at the same time with the convenience of push button ranges is a game changer. Communication through hand signals between spotter and shooter with accurate ranges and not having to switch optics from binos to range finder can mean the difference between making the shot happen, and getting busted.

Rangefinding Binoculars Pair Perfectly with a Spotting Scope

Spotting scopes are must have tools for finding big game in big country. Their ability to bring far off objects close, collect light in low light conditions, and focus on details of remote objects is critical. With a quality spotting scope, you can not only find that far off game animal, but examine it in detail without putting miles on your boots. Spotting scopes allow you to scout miles of territory, distant ridges, remote water holes, and far off canyons efficiently and strategically; letting your eyes do the work and saving your legs for the hunt. Use a quality spotting scope like the Vortex Viper lineup to not only identify far off game animals, but to pick out landmarks and plan travel corridors according to the topography and the wind.   

While spotting scopes provide a crucial and integral part of your hunting strategy, they inherently have a vulnerability of tunnel vision. The same proficiency that offers magnified detail and the ability to concentrate on small areas of far off geography, also bears the susceptibleness of losing sight of the larger picture. The constricted vision of a spotting scope can be like wearing blinders, even losing relationship to the distance to far off objects. Pairing the wide field of view offered by binoculars with the focus of a spotting scope is an amazingly effective glassing strategy. Through incorporating rangefinding binoculars into the mix, you’ve put together the ultimate toolkit. All the advantages that the rangefinder binoculars bring to bear on the hunt are magnified when paired with a spotting scope.

Choosing the Right Hunting Optics 

Big game hunting seasons seem to always be on the edge. Opportunities come and go, and your ability to capitalize on those opportunities when they present themselves can be the difference between a filled tag and going home empty handed. Putting together a glassing strategy that incorporates the right tools and tactics for your hunt is a sure way to get ahead of the curve. Consider advantages in optics technology, scouting and glassing strategies, and the return on your investment when it comes to quality optics for your hunt. 

The post Choosing the Right Optic Combination for Your Hunt appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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Scout Your Hunt From Home Before Making the Trip

Live the Dream 

For many hunters, pursuing game on a western hunt is a dream, aspiration, and lofty goal. Putting in the time and resources for a chance at a hunt on a western mountain range aloft a high peak, or deep into desert country can be taxing. Every year hunters filled with a passion for the outdoors, for wilderness, and for adventure set out to make their dreams a reality.

With limited resources and budgets, it’s easy to get discouraged when planning a western hunt. The cost of tags, time away from work and family, equipment, and travel can all add up. With so much investment and so many resources committed, you want to be as prepared as possible when your boots hit the ground in the unit you are hunting. There is no replacement for on the ground, real life experience for learning new country, scouting for a hunt, or locating animals; but with today’s technology it’s possible for hunters to develop a sophisticated plan of attack using e-scouting.

E-Scouting 

Recent developments in GPS and mapping technology have opened up a whole new world to those who love to live outdoors. Satellite imaging, aerial photography, and highly developed mapping systems have come together to provide the western hunter with a level of convenience and security that is immeasurable. E-Scouting, or electronic scouting, provides hunters the opportunity to lay eyes across hunting areas from the comfort of your home or office, but most importantly well in advance of a hunting trip. The ability to identify areas of interest before arriving for a hunt, to study the area, and form plans based on the topography; well ahead of the trip is a game changer.

 

Filters

Integrated systems like On X Hunt have changed the way we plan for and scout for hunting trips, offering hunters a sharp turn to shorten the learning curve when learning a new area. On X Hunt uses key filters, built by hunters for hunters. Key information is filtered with a simple on and off interface to quickly identify things like unit boundaries, public and private lands, roads and trails. Aside for just mapping basic roads, trails, and topo lines; On X Hunt also filters things like water sources, current and previous forest fires, roadless areas, all over actual aerial photography.

Having the ability to quickly find roadless areas of your hunting unit, overlaid with a recent burn, and find a reliable water source all from miles away will put you leaps and bounds ahead when it comes time to scout, boots on the ground. By utilizing the On X Hunt system, identifying the areas you want to scout and hunt it’s easy to drop on waypoints, measure distance, and highlight areas you want to investigate.

E-scouting not only provides an in depth look at the territory, topography, and water sources; but it also provides an amazing resource for planning camps, finding trailheads, and identifying the best access to the areas you plan to hunt. On X Hunt not only identifies public lands, but popular public camping grounds, trail heads with mileage, and two track forest service roads. E-scouting is the perfect tool to develop a plan A, plan B, and even plan C to make the hunt happen. Know where you stand with On X Hunt by being able to identify public and private lands quickly, and without question.

Versatility  

Not only is the On X Hunt system an amazing tool for e-scouting, it is also incredibly versatile. The platform works incredibly well across various technologies, and integrates across devices.

On Your Phone 

On X Hunt runs as an application on your smartphone. Simply download the app from the app store, login and start scouting. The amazing thing about running On X Hunt on your smartphone is the ability to use the system off the cellular grid. On X Hunt uses your phone’s GPS and not cellular signal for real time location tracking to know where you stand.

If you are going to be hunting in area without cellular service, maps of your hunting area can easily be saved locally to your phone. Launch the app with a saved map with your waypoints, put your phone in airplane mode and save your battery.

On Your PC 

The versatility of On X Hunt doesn’t end with your smartphone. On X Hunt runs incredibly well on your personal computer. Launch the website on your browser and view your hunt area on a large screen. Zoom in for details, identify elevations, glassing points, and pick out hunt locations for wind directions and thermals. With On X Hunt on your PC you can drop waypoints, mark areas to identify all sorts of things like areas of interest, spots to hike into, even places to avoid.

Put ON X SD Card in your GPS 

Maybe you would rather run a traditional GPS unit rather than rely on your smartphone for mapping technology. On X has you covered, if your GPS unit accepts SD or mini SD cards, you are in luck. You can purchase SD cards from On X by state to run in your GPS unit. Those cards can be updated as maps, roads, and access change through the On X website.

It’s Seamless  

The On X platform not only works across multiple technology platforms like smartphone, GPS unit, and PC; but it works across them all together. Use your PC and large screen for detail and waypoints, when you mark up the map and customize it, those changes and edits automatically move onto your smartphone, and vice versa. Maybe you are running your smartphone, but like the GPS as a backup? No big deal, update the SD card to your PC with changes you made on your smartphone, and your off and running!

No Excuses  

Hunting season comes once a year, and for passionate outdoorsmen and women it is a fantastic time we all long for. Getting outdoors on that western hunt is more a reality than you know. With mapping technology like On x Hunt, you have the power to put in valuable scouting time from home. Take the opportunity to plan a hunt for this season, and get out there!

The post Pure Hunting | E-Scouting with On X Maps appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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Are You Ready to Tackle DIY Moose Hunting?

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, there’s no shortage of adventures you can pursue in North America. From backpacking to rock climbing to hunting, there is something that will always intrigue us, challenge us, and push us to new heights. DIY moose hunting has to rank near the top of one or all of those lists. It combines backpacking/hiking in very remote areas, wilderness survival skills, battling the harsh elements, and going toe-to-toe with the world’s largest member of the deer family. If you like the idea of planning a DIY hunt for yourself and maybe a hunting buddy, here’s a rundown of how a DIY moose hunt could go.

Moose Biology

Moose are some of the most interesting and formidable-looking animals we have in North America. They also range across northern Europe and Asia, but this article focuses on the North American population that occurs in the northern U.S., Alaska, and Canada. Moose tend to inhabit remote areas that are nightmares for humans to travel through, including marshes, bogs, mucky river beds, dense regrowth, recently burnt forests, and thick alders, willows, or aspen. How they manage to move through such areas with such impressive headgear is a mystery.

As mentioned above, they are the world’s largest member of the deer family, which includes caribouelk, and the various deer species. Except for the bison, they are also North America’s largest land mammal. Additionally, of all the moose subspecies in the world, the Alaska-Yukon subspecies is biggest and can weigh up to 1,600 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. Other subspecies in North America include the Eastern moose (Eastern Canada and New England area), Shiras moose (Rocky Mountains), and the Northwestern moose (stretching from the Great Lakes states through Canada to Alaska). Moose are browsers through most of the year, which means they primarily eat the tender new growth of willows, birch, aspen, and many other tree or shrub species. But during the spring and summer, they will also graze on forbs, aquatic vegetation in shallow water, and leaves.

Where to Hunt Moose

Since moose occur across the northern U.S. states, Alaska, and Canada, you have a range of excellent DIY moose hunting opportunities. Most people dream about Alaska moose hunts, because it’s a wild and rugged state and even non-residents can easily register for many hunting units. The Alaska moose hunting license price is manageable (if not slightly high), although the travel there is what can cost a lot more. While you could truly do unguided moose hunting in Alaska, your odds are not great. You’d be competing with many other hunters and wouldn’t have any local knowledge to know where to go. A better option for what could possibly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity might be to use a plane or guide service to fly you into better hunting areas. These areas are more remote, don’t have as much pressure from other hunters, and they also offer more moose and potentially trophy animals. By doing one of these Alaska moose hunting drop camps, you are still hunting on your own – it’s just like taking a flying taxi to get there. That’s what we did last year, and as you can tell from the picture above, it worked out well!

However, there are also opportunities for more affordable moose hunting trips in the lower 48 if you are patient. Maine offers very good hunting opportunities for the Eastern subspecies, while Washington, Idaho, and Colorado have good habitat for the Shiras population. But it can be tough to draw tags in some states. For example, in the video below, Chris Nowak got a chance to bow hunt Shiras moose in Colorado a few years ago. It took him 14 years to draw this specific tag, so that might give you some context. If you plan on a moose hunting trip, especially in a highly coveted state or hunting unit, plan on applying for tags for at least a few years. Here’s how his adventure played out.

Colorado Moose Archery Hunt | Pure Hunting S.4 Ep.2 "Dream Draw Begins" - YouTube

Essential Moose Hunting Gear

Depending on where you hunt and how you have to get there, your DIY moose hunting equipment will vary a bit. Obviously, there’s a fine line between not being prepared and having so much gear that it’s hard to get around. If you plan on getting some kind of air transport to a drop camp or remote area, be aware that bush pilots flying in smaller planes have to strictly limit the weight they can take. In most cases, they may only haul one hunter and about 100 pounds of gear at a time. That means you need to eliminate any unnecessary weight and gear. Here are the essential items you’ll need.

No matter where you hunt, you should be prepared for different weather and environmental conditions. During the early season, include performance base layers, thinner camo clothing, and even insect-treated clothing. When you’ve been dropped off by a plane in a remote area, it’s not the ideal time to realize you should have packed mosquito and fly-repellent gear. Further on into autumn, make sure to pack heavier layers and waterproof gear to stay warm and dry. A great pair of boots are essential for all the hiking you’ll be doing, and we recommend Thorogood® boots. 

Depending on what tags you get and your own preference, you could bring a gun, bow, or both. I typically bring both my Hoyt® bow and Browning® rifle, with the intent of using my bow first. But on our Alaskan moose hunt, the bull winded me within 15 yards and came back out at 70 yards – if I hadn’t had my X-Bolt with, I may not have had another opportunity with the bow. 

We’ll talk about how to hunt moose below, but a good strategy is to sit at a vantage point and glass for bulls. Vortex® spotting scopes and binoculars are top-of-the-line and we always bring them with. If you can connect with a bull moose, you will need a sharp and durable knife to skin and quarter it – the knives from Outdoor Edge® will get the job done, as you saw in the video with Chris above. Game bags will also help you protect the meat from insects, dirt, and debris. 

Moose Hunting Tactics

Obviously, before you go DIY moose hunting, you should spend time researching a few areas, studying the hunting regulations, and learning how to hunt for them. The best tactic for each area is a little different. For example, Eastern moose primarily spend their time in the dense forests and bogs of New England, so doing a spot and stalk hunt would be a little impractical. Meanwhile, hunting the Shiras or Alaska-Yukon subspecies requires you to cover a lot of open country to find them.

But scouting for moose does take some effort no matter where you hunt. You’ll still need to put your boots to good use by walking miles each day, focusing on high quality moose habitat and looking for sign (e.g., tree rubs, broken branches 5 to 8 feet into the air, moose scat or tracks, etc.). If you find an area with lots of good sign (especially if it is fresh), use your spotting scope or binoculars to scan the woods or slopes around you. Look for large dark objects and bright antler paddles that stand out against the background. If you don’t see anything, you may want to stay still for a while and start a calling sequence. You can make cow moose calls using just your hands or fashion one out of some rolled-up birch bark. Give a few calls and then use a branch to rake the trees around you, which simulates a bull making a rub. A better tool to use is an old deer, elk, or moose shoulder blade bone (scapula), as it has the same general shape as a moose paddle and sounds similar. If you don’t get any response, it might be time to move on, following the sign as you go. 

 

If one responds to your call, try to pinpoint the location and get in a concealed position where you can see them approach and make a shot. After calling, a bull may come in quickly or may take many, many hours to a day to come to the call. If you have the time, patience is key. If you spot a moose further away that won’t come to you, use whatever brush, trees, or hills available to approach without them seeing you. In Chris’ case, the moose were very used to seeing hikers and tourists in that area, so he was able to use that to his advantage by acting like one. Instead of trying to stay hidden (like a predator does), he openly and slowly approached the moose to within 17 yards to make a chip shot that dropped the moose within eyesight. If the moose where you’re hunting are skittish around humans, you’ll have to do everything you can to stay hidden until it’s too late for them to care anymore.

If you do connect with a bull moose on your DIY moose hunting trip, don’t pat yourself on the back too quickly because you’ve still got your work cut out for you. You will need to skin, quarter, and pack all the meat and antlers back to your camp, which is no easy undertaking considering a bull moose could weigh 1,600+ pounds on the hoof! Their hides are extremely tough and each quarter can weigh 150 pounds easily. Last, if the weather forecast is warm, you need to get the meat on ice or in a cooler as soon as possible. But if the temperatures are around or below freezing, you can take your time getting it back from the wilderness.

Time for DIY Moose Hunting

If DIY moose hunting sounds good to you, maybe it’s time you get serious about it. In most states, you’ll be able to apply for the next year’s moose hunting season by mid-winter. Remember that it might take you a while to get drawn for a tag, but you will also usually earn preference points each time you apply, making it more likely the next year. Keep after it and you’ll get out on your own moose hunting adventure soon. 

The post DIY Moose Hunting | The North American Adventure appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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How to Go DIY Caribou Hunting in Alaska

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.

DIY Alaskan Caribou Hunt | Pure Hunting S.2, Ep.3, "Caribou Drop Camp" - YouTube

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. 

Alaskan Caribou Hunting Tips and Tactics | Pure Hunting Tips and Tactics - YouTube

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.

The post DIY Caribou Hunting | Plan Your Own Hunting Trip appeared first on Pure Hunting.

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