Unguided Alaskan Caribou Hunts are some of the most sought after hunts in Alaska. There are important considerations on these hunts due to the weather and terrain that hunters should expect to encounter. These hunts are conducted mostly by spot-and-stalk tactics. The hunts are fly-in “Spike Camp/Base Camp” style, where you should will return back to camp every day. Either from stalking animals or primary glassing points in the immediate area.
- Depending on animal locations hunters could end up climbing up the side of rocky mountains or the more likely scenario of hiking across uneven and soft ground Tundra.
- There are often water features that require crossing and certain items on this gear list that are MANDATORY such as quality Waders and Rainwear.
- Hunters should expect to encounter temperatures in the 30-60’s F in the early season, and potentially in the 20-40’s F in the later season with the occasional cold fronts and temps potentially as low as 0-20’s F on rare occasions.
- Hunters should ALWAYS expect wind and rain. It’s just the Alaskan norm.
SUGGESTED GEAR LIST FOR A CARIBOU DROP HUNT IN ALASKA
This equipment list is not intended to endorse any one specific brand, however this list is what we’ve found works best from our experience and many years of hunting all over Alaska! Please do not hesitate to reach out for item-specific recommendations as there are too many options on the market to include here.
First and foremost, the durability, performance and fit of the clothing should take precedence over the color or pattern. Camouflage is not critical on these hunts. Absolutely no cotton layers are recommended! Synthetic and Merino type layers only. Not only will these dry faster but they have better antimicrobial properties to them as well.
Baselayer, top/bottom synthetic or merino (2 pair, hunt)
Midlayer, top fleece(1-2 pair)
Underwear, synthetic or merino (3-5 pair)
Pant, synthetic hiking (2 pair)
Puffy top, synthetic or down (1 pair)
Puffy bottom, synthetic or down (1 pair, optional)
Raingear, top/bottom (heavy duty preferred)
Gloves (3 pair, light/medium/insulated/waterproof/work glove variations)
Neck gaiter/balaclava (optional)
This is an extremely important component on any hunt. Waders and Wading Boots are mandatory. Depending on where you camp and hunt, you may encounter water crossings daily.
We prefer a waist or hip-height stockingfoot style, lightweight fly fishing wader with a lace up wading boot. We recommend the Simms G3 Guide Pant and G3 Boot Combo, or a Chota Tundra Hippie and Orvis Pro Boot Combo. These are the best combination for fit, quality and quietness.
Depending on the area, you may or may not use your hiking boots, but it is still important to have them. You’ll want a 8-10 inch fully waterproof leather hiking boots of your preference. Use what fits you best.
Boots (waterproof, leather hiking boots)
Socks (3-5 pair & Sealskinz/liner(s) if necessary)
Waders and wading boots (waist or hip height recommended with stockingfoot style booty & lace up wading boot)
We recommend synthetic bags. Down will work fine as well, however in the wet environments that you may be hunting in, it could start to clump or collapse over a long period. It will not dry once wet on these hunts so we just prefer a synthetic bag and minimum 0 degrees F rating. Also we recommend you bring a sleeping pad, lightweight inflatable pillow and a beanie to sleep in.
*Sleep systems ARE NOT INCLUDED in our Camp Gear Rental Package.
Your pack is a very important piece of equipment. These caribou hunts are Spike Camp style hunts with a stationary camp that you will depart and return to every day. You must have a good pack large enough to allow you to pack your animal back to camp.
Pack (3,200 cubic inch minimum, up to 7,200 cubic inch)
Backpack Accessories (weapon sling, holster, pockets, lids, etc.)
“Let the glass do the walking for you.” Our areas are vast, and having a quality set of bino’s, spotting scope, and tripod will be valuable once in the field. Having just one or two spotters and tripods for the entire group would be wise for weight reasons also.
For caribou, a 6.5mm caliber or larger is adequate, however a 7mm or 30 cal is preferred due to the high winds you may encounter in these areas. Remember that a hunter’s most important job is to make an ethical killing shot! Using a weapon that you are more proficient with is far more important than trying to shoot one that you are afraid of or not proficient with. Average shot distances will be 200-400 yards.
Every year we have a number of archery hunters. The areas we hunt are open, but they’re conducive to bowhunting if you’re patient, persistant and take your time. Practice for long shots.
Soft Case (for bushflight)
Satellite communication is mandatory on these hunts. Your options are to rent or buy a Sat phone, bring an Inreach Satellite Messenger, or a Zoleo. Our ability to communicate with you in the field, and you with us is vital! Also remember that pictures last forever. Many of today’s newer phones have great cameras, but if your phone’s camera is sub-par, we highly recommend that you bring a camera.
Smart Phone & Case
Inreach (or form of satellite communications device)
External Charger(s) *Consider bringing a solar charger.
Hunters will be 100% responsible for game care of harvested animals. There are strict meat salvage laws in Alaska, and having the right equipment is critical!
FOOD AND WATER
If you choose the Camp Gear Rental and Food Package option, you WILL NOT need to bring your own food. However, it could be a good idea to bring a few extra snacks or drink mixes. ALL HUNTERS will also need to bring their own form of water purification, and if you have one, bring your own long titanium spork/spoon for eating freeze-dried meals!
Personal Snacks or Drink Mixes
Water Purification System
Water Storage (Nalgene bottle or similar)
Long Spoon for freeze dried meals
*If you are bringing your own food, here’s what we provide in our food package to use as a reference.
We suggest bringing three forms of payment when traveling to remote areas (Cash, Check, Card). Bring any personal toiletries that you need, to include any vitamins, medications, etc. Hunters will need to make sure to bring their Licence, Tag(s), and Harvest Reports into the field with them.
Luggage/Hard Case (for commercial travel)
Extra Dry Bags
Extra Contractor Bags
Extra Gloves (for game cleaning)
Weapon Maintenance Kit
A good book to read for rainy days!