below are the most asked questions we get year after year. Q & A on
Alaska Hunting Equipment, Clothes and guns the best hunting information!
Question: How do I get there?
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Fly directly from your home to
Fairbanks Alaska and spend the night in the Best western hotel.
The next morning (as early as possible) have breakfast and catch the hotel shuttle bus to Wrights air by 8am to the airport.
Sign up to our lodge destination you have been assigned with the secretary by wrights air charter
and on to the main camp by chartering our designated flying service.
You are responsible for all charter costs to and from fairbanks. Which is about $380.00-450.00 per person, roundtrip from Fairbanks. Here
we will meet you and transport you to our lodge by super cub plane. The point
of outfitting is when you arrive at our main lodge.
Once you arrive at the main lodge you will
be given a short tour, meet the crew, assigned a Guide and camp to
hunt in, and
then you can start to unpack, and repack. You will leave your traveling
clothes at the main camp, and wear one of your sets of hunting clothes.
You will sight your rifle at our range to make sure the highly trained
baggage handlers didn’t drop your rifle case to many times, on your
commercial flight. After this is done you will purchase you license and
tags, complete the paperwork required by the State of Alaska, and make
your final hunt payment. You may be flown out to your spike camp the
same day, weather permitting, or you may need to spend the night at main
camp. Usually your guide will already be at the spike camp getting
everything ready for your arrival.
Upon your arrival at the spike camp, your
guide will explain the daily routine, and answer any questions you will
have. You will start hunting the following morning. We check on each
camp every 2-3 days and bring in additional food and supplies as
required. Once you have taken your animal, you will be flown back to the
main camp to get a shower and relax. Your skin will be fleshed and
salted and prepared for shipping. After you have heard all the hunting
stories you can handle, or at the end of your hunt, we will call the
airlines and make your reservations for your return home.
Question: What items are furnished?
Answer: All camping
equipment, food, pads, cots, boats, motors and bush airplanes used
during the hunt. All licenses and tags will be purchased when you
arrive in base camp.
You will be personally guided by a licensed guide. All
field care of your skins will be handled by your guide. You will be
staying in the main lodge or a comfortable tent camps with cots, stoves
Question: What can I expect for
Mild wind and clear skies
most of the time. Rain and snow 10% of the time. Temperature is
usually 50-80 degrees in early August-mid August during the day . Mid
August-end of August 45-65 degrees during day and near freezing at
night. Sept 1st--Sept15th 35-50 degrees with nights down to
freezing and light snow.. You will be sitting for long periods of time
(12-14 hours per day) glassing for bears, 4-6 hours per day glassing for
Caribou. Warm layered clothing is required. Like I have said for years,
if we had white sandy beaches and warm weather in the Arctic, there
would be condos there instead of Grizzly bears and Caribou. Plan for the
worst weather you have ever hunted in, then if the weather is nice
you get the prize for good weather.
Question: When do we start hunting?
Answer: You will
start hunting the day following your arrival in spike camp. It is
illegal to shoot any big game animal the same day you are flying. Our
hunting area is approximately 3050 square miles in size, including over
50 miles of Park Boundary of Gates of Arctic National Park. 5 major
river drainages and 13 small streams with char and grayling. The
Siksikpuk River on which our base camp is located. supports an
excellent Grizzly bear population, we plan to take only 2-4 hunters per
Hunt and the rest will fly out to a spike camp. We also try to harvest
only mature animals, which helps to maintain an excellent Grizzly bear
population. Our camps are located near good vantage points, where you
will be able to glass valleys, streams and hillsides.
Question: What kind of sleeping bag do
need to bring a good sleeping bag no goose down filled only synthetics
good down to 20 degrees. We furnish, pads and cots for all
clients. If you are very tall or heavy and want to bring your favorite
Pad, please feel free to do so. We will still have one of ours
Question: What should I pack my gear
Answer: Please bring
only small/medium duffel bags. The perfect bag is Cabela’s Super Cub
duffel bag. Please, no suitcases or 6 foot long duffel with wheels on
them, commuter airlines charge for over 50#, and now your gun case counts
as one piece of baggage. Our super cubs are 1 passenger aircraft, with
50# of baggage, including your gun case. You will only need two sets of
hunting clothes, plus your traveling clothes. If your gear requires an
extra flight, there will be an additional $300.00 charge.
How much walking is involved in the hunt?
Answer: All hunting
is done, by walking from spike camps. This is strictly a fair
chase hunt. Please be capable of walking three miles daily in
ankle-fit hip boots. Your guide will always carry his own rifle while
Question: Should I bring binoculars?
Answer: Yes, you
should bring the best binoculars that you have or can afford.
Most guides will be carrying 10X40 Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski. Any good
8X30 or 10X40 will be a big advantage to your hunt. Many clients are
excellent spotters, and you will be setting for hours looking through
your binoculars. Just make sure they are waterproof, because believe me,
Alaska weather will test your gear.
Question: Do I need to bring a spotting
Answer: No, every
guide will be carrying a good spotting scope and tripod. This will save
you about 5-7# in gear weight.
Question: What is your success rate
over the past 20 years?
rate has averaged 98% on Caribou and 85% on Grizzly and Brownbear and
Dall sheep. Usually someone holds out looking for that giant. If
any guide tells you he is 100% every year, you should be 100% sure, you
don’t want to hunt with him. Since 1971 we have run at 98%
success on Grizzly and Caribou and 85% on Brown Bear.
Question: How much should I tip my
Answer: This is
probably the hardest question I have to answer. I
have received tips ranging from $200-$2,000 a hunt for getting the
client a nice trophy, to zero for getting a client a super trophy. One
man sent his sons on a bear hunt and they took 2 bears in 2 days. He
told them to tip the guide 10% of the hunt price, that came to $2200.00
tip. I paid the guide $2000.00 in wages, so you can see the guide had a
good hunt, as well as the clients. I pay my guides very well to keep
them coming back year after year, and they are expected to provide you
with a very high quality hunting experience. It’s the additional effort
the guide puts forth to ensure you have a great hunt, that you should be
tipping for. The average is probably about $400 on a bear hunt, and
$300.00 on a caribou hunt. Some clients tip the packers, cook,
pilots, as well as your personal guide. The tipping amount is up to you,
and I don’t want you to think I am telling you that a big tip is
required or expected.
Question: Do you guarantee the taking
of an animal?
Answer: No, Alaska
state law prohibits guaranteeing success, on any given hunt or trip. But We
are the only guide in Alaska that I know of that will let you
extend your hunt for free for another 5 days or come back at no
charge if you don’t have an opportunity to take a Bull Caribou. on our fully guided hunts in the Brooks range.
Question: What are Ankle-fit hip boots
and where can I get them?
Answer: Ankle fit
hip boots are hip boots with a tight fitting ankle. This tighter fit
keeps the boots from moving up and down when you walk. By not rubbing on
your heel, there is less chance for blisters. You can purchase these
from Cabela’s, they call them contour ankle fit. They come in both
insulated and non insulated, and with regular boot sole or air-bob soles.
I recommend non insulated ones with the air-bob soles. I buy mine one size
larger than I normally wear and then buy 2 pair of felt insoles. I place
an insole in each boot. The insoles give you and extra padding for
walking on river gravel, and also absorb moisture. I change the insoles
Question: What kind of shape do I need
to be in?
Answer: The best
shape possible. You do not need to be a marathon runner, but you need to
be able to walk up to 3 miles in ankle fit hip boots daily. When bear
hunting we often are glassing areas 1-2 miles away. If a bear is
spotted, that you want, you need to be able to get close enough for a
shot. The only time when this is critical, is right before dark when
there may not be enough time to poke along at a snails pace. Usually you
will have enough time to work into place at a normal walk, unless a bear
is traveling and you are trying to cut him off. Most of our spike camps
are within 1 mile of a good lookout or vantage point.
To get in shape, I recommend climbing
stairs or hills. Walking on flat ground doesn’t help you as much as you
think. If you have a pack frame, put it on and start climbing. After a
couple of days, add a couple of gallon milk jugs full of water. Climb
the hills or stairs and when you get to the top, you can dump the water
and start back down. Coming down hills or stairs with lots of weight in
your pack is very hard on your knees. Work your way up to where you can
climb with 5 gallons of water or 40#. That is more than you will need,
but you will think the 20# load o your hunt, is really light then.
Question: Do I need a camera?
Answer: Yes, every
hunter should bring a camera and extra film to take home pictures of
their adventure of hunting in Alaska. I recommend a small waterproof
digital camera. A built in telephoto lens is nice and at least one extra
set of batteries. Also each guide carries a digital camera and we will
be glad to download yhere pictures on disk for you to take home.
The one comment I get often is that “I wish I had taken more pictures”.
Alaska is a cameraman’s, dream come true.
Question: Do I need to bring fishing
Answer: We have a
good selection of spinning rod and reels and a couple of fly rods at the
lodge for you to use. We also have a good selection of lures and flies.
If you want to fish with a fly rod bring a few extra flies and leaders
RECOMMENDED FLIES: An assortment of
bunny leeches, egg-sucking leeches, wooly buggers and flesh flies tied
on # 4 and # 2 hooks should be in every angler's fly box. Black, purple,
olive and dark red are the preferred colors, but throw a couple of loud
color ones (chartreuse or hot pink) in your box also if you can. Egg
patterns, lots of them, are also a must, and they should be
orange, red and hot pink, tied on # 8 & 10 hooks. Spawn sack flies like
the Babine Special, the Alaskan Omelette, and the Polar Shrimp, on white
or tan with bright orange, pink or red, and tied on # 4 & 6 hooks are
also hot producers. These flies will work on just about everything that
swims in Alaska.
Question: What caliber do you
Answer: I recommend
at least a 270 or larger for Caribou and 300mag or 338 for Bears.
More Grizzly bears are taken with a 300mag - larger Brown Bears 338
caliber, and more Caribou are taken with a 30-06. If you are
buying a new rifle to hunt Alaska, get a 338 mag. The 338 is a perfect
rifle for everything in Alaska. Good bonded bullets such as
Nozlers, Swift or Barnes are the best.
The guides carry from 270-338 calibers depending on the hunt. Pre
64 model 70's very popular, with a fiberglass stock. My rifle is light
weight, has a 20 ½” barrel, and a 1.5–5 power Leupold VarXIII scope. I
shoot only Nozler bullets in Federal factory loads.
Your scope is actually more important than your rifle. Bring
only a good waterproof scope, that will not fog up in the rain. Lens
covers are a must. You will not need anything larger than a 2X7 or 3X9
power scope. Please no 6X20 power scopes, we are not shooting prairie
The stainless steel actions and fiberglass
stocks are the best for Alaska, because your rifle is going to be wet
40% of the time. Trust me.
Question: What kind of pack should I
Answer: You should
bring at least a very large good day pack with a hip belt, or better yet
would be a framed pack with a good hip belt. You will be carrying your
camera, extra shells, rain gear, a jacket, your lunch and snacks, plus
your water bottle. Then add about 5# of misc. stuff you will probably
never use, but like to carry just in case.
The best frame
pack on the market is sold by Barney’s Sports Chalet in Anchorage. It is
a well built, with heavy duty shoulder straps and hip belt. This is what
95% of all the guides use. I buy these frames for my packers who
regularly are packing 100# of Caribou meat or more each trip.
Question: How much ammo should I bring?
Answer: Bring 2
boxes of the exact same ammo that you have sighted your rifle in with at
home. Sight your rifle in 3” high at 100 yards. Then you can hold on the
animal out to 300 yards. Very seldom do we ever take a shot over
200yards. Usually the average shot is 150 yards. Please shoot your rifle
at least 50 times before you come and get use to it, and know where it
shoots. I had one hunter who came on a bear hunt who had never shot his
rifle once, only had it bore sighted at the gun shop where he bought it.
Another hunter said he had his wife sight in his 338 for him. He had
never shot his rifle either until he arrived at camp.
practice shooting kneeling, sitting, and a little offhand.