Ultralight Hunting: Towards a Coherent Definition
Apr 18, 2023 at 2:59 pm #3779210
I bet the guides will appreciate your level of fitness Mike. Should be fun. I’d go a bit heavier on rain gear. Alaska tends to tear things up. But it should be a great hunt. Are you taking that Kimber?Apr 18, 2023 at 3:30 pm #3779214
God willing, I plan on being in tip top shape :) My weighted rucking will start two months earlier than normal (for our season usually don’t start until early September).
Have Sitka Dewpoint tops/bottoms for rain gear (some Sitka waterproof mitts too)- they’ve proved themselves to me last Bob Marshall Open- did great with all the rain, but also held up to some extremely atrocious blowdown!
At this juncture I think I’m going to bring my Winchester Featherweight- it’s an .30-06 and have some 180 gr Accubonds for it, mainly because of the bear tag. It’s also a rifle I inherited from my late father-in-law; he told me that when he retired we’d go to Alaska to hunt, sadly passed before we had the chance.
From last year’s OpenApr 18, 2023 at 5:01 pm #3779218
Getting into weeds here but make sure that Winchester can handle wet if its wood. A co worker had a wood stocked rifle that would change POI in wet weather. Rainy weather can linger longer here.
I reload 180 Swift A Frames for Gabi’s 30-06. Very impressed with terminal performance. Same bullet in a 358 absolutely hammered a medium sized black bear.Apr 18, 2023 at 5:15 pm #3779220
Yeah I had the action Cerakoted and while I had the stock off, I Tru Oiled everything (even took off the recoil pad and hit that area too) with a couple of coats.Aug 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm #3787668
Recently got back from the Brooks Range. The hunt exceeded my expectations and I will tell you my expectations were high! :)
It started very shakily as we ended camped on a gravel bar (we were pack rafting) for three days straight, unable to glass due to smoke. Fortunately the smoke started to recede and we started hunting on day 4.
After checking out a couple of drainages over the next couple of days (backpacking) we saw a fair number of younger rams and ewes/lambs, but finally found a couple of nice rams late in the afternoon.. It was arduous hunt- lots of climbing in rock, only to have to lose a bunch of elevation to stay out of sight and then reclimbing. Several low crawls to the edge of the ridge as the rams had moved. After several crawls and retreats, we finally spotted them in the bottom of the basin- well below our position. The guide had the range at 420 yards, further than I was hoping for a shot. I settled in and was able to establish a good rest and after a couple of near half trigger pulls, the ram I chose finally stopped long enough for a full trigger pull. I saw the ram drop and quickly loaded another shell, the guide said “no need, we’re good”. Beautiful words to hear!
The ram was shot late enough that by the time we had caped and the meat boned, it was dark. It was a sketchy/rocky trip down to the bottom of the drainage where our camp gear was stashed, so we decided the safest option was to siwash (bivy) near the kill site. The good news is it was only about 5 hours of darkness above the Arctic Circle!
I had planned for this possibility having my puffy jacket, puffy pants, insulated booties (in addition to other layers); a 50″ ccf pad (used also for glassing) and an emergency bivy. The guides had not. While it wasn’t a comfortable for me, they froze. One of the guides used the cape as some insulation between the ground :)
The pack out turned out to be even more arduous than the hunt, negotiating the rock with a heavy pack sucked (and sketchy!). After we made it to our camp gear, we pretty much left the rock, but the spongy tundra, lots of brush to fight and even more weight made up for it. We started at 5:00 AM and hit the lake where we had the pack rafts stashed at 11:00 PM. It also decided to rain pretty heavily the last hour of our pack out. We dumped our packs, got our tents setup and ate a freeze dried meal in the tents. The rain subsided and we got big fire going, felt so good. We got some good coals and broke the tenderloins out. The guide sliced them thin and put them on a sharpened green willow stick- no spices, just lightly charred meat. I’m not exaggerating, the tenderloin melted in your mouth. After six or seven rounds we were finally sated. The outfitter (pilot) was able to pull us (and our gear) out in the morning.
I told the outfitter we were packing out two racks of ribs, his eyes lit up and said he’d cook them this evening. The tenderloins were amazing, the ribs beyond amazing. Unlike most ungulates (deer/elk/caribou/moose) wild sheep have a lot (a lot) of fat on the ribs- crazy good! Oh and they cold IPA’s in an Arctic refrigerator- 55 gallon drum sunk into the permafrost.
After an amazing meal, I got a hot shower and a night on a real bed in a cabin. Slept like a baby. The next morning we headed out for four days backpacking looking for grizzly. I saw 7 grizzlies (and two black bears) over those four days. I was looking for an exceptional bear and after passing on several, we found him. Sadly we lost him last seen going through a pass into another drainage. Still had a ball watching all the bears!
Definitely a hunt of a lifetime!Aug 26, 2023 at 8:45 am #3787692
Wow glad you had a good time MikeAug 26, 2023 at 10:42 am #3787701
Thanks!Aug 26, 2023 at 10:54 am #3787702
Mike I see you brought your Kimber instead of the 30-06. What was the thought process? Also looks like you upgraded the scope.
I think you should do a full trip report article that goes through the gear you used. Most of us won’t go sheep hunting in the Artic but packraft hunting is something you could do a lot of places.Aug 26, 2023 at 11:15 am #3787709
I was all set on using my M70 Featherweight in .06, one because I could use 180 gr bullets (grizzly) and two it has a lot of sentimental value (inherited from my late father-in-law).
I had some work done to it and purchased a new scope for it- Swaro Z3 3.5-10. When I took it to the range the bolt wouldn’t close with a round in it (would close w/o a round). It was too late in the game to take it to the gunsmith, so decided to go with the Kimber.
I think that’s the same scope it’s always had (maybe not). Leupold VXR 2-7.
The rams were a little small in the scope with a 7X scope :)
Here’s my gear list, any questions fire away. I will say everything worked really well and not sure I’d change anything if I was to do it againAug 26, 2023 at 12:17 pm #3787713Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
Well done. Lovely area and animal.Aug 26, 2023 at 6:03 pm #3787733
Danke!Aug 27, 2023 at 4:16 am #3787756ThomBPL Member
@popcornmanLocale: N NY
ThanksAug 28, 2023 at 2:14 am #3787839
Got my first moose. It was a (short) hike in hunt but not an overnight trip. Doing a backpack moose would be impractical. The little 358 got a new scope but still works well.Aug 28, 2023 at 7:35 am #3787843
the outfitter told me something I couldn’t believe, that AK passed a regulation that caribou and moose quarters had to come out whole- no boning- WTF?Aug 28, 2023 at 11:55 am #3787859
Yep. Supposed to encourage better meat care but I suspect it makes enforcing the no waste rules easier.
I get the rules but the result is you pretty much can’t ethically/legally shoot a moose unless it’s near an ATV trail or river. So Alaskans take ATVs into crazy places and spend big bucks on boats. I feel like minimal meat loss would be a good trade off for more non motorized hunting (and less muddy trails).
Mountain black bears are a fun and manageable alternative to Mountain mooseAug 28, 2023 at 12:56 pm #3787876
Yeah it would be easier for a warden checking meat (but we can do a pretty good job just looking and the use of a scale); meat cools way better when it’s off the bone so have hard time buying the argument better meat care
it’s been a long time since I’ve packed out whole elk quarters (even deer for that matter), if I do it means I’m close to the truck and that hasn’t happened for awhile :)Sep 27, 2023 at 12:26 pm #3790049Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I spent the past 3 days helping my friend Brooks get a Kodiak billy.Sep 27, 2023 at 1:38 pm #3790058
^ Sweet! Congrats to your buddy, looks like a grand hunt.Sep 29, 2023 at 11:50 am #3790171David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Comes up in fishing, too. Not that anyone would waste halibut meat, but you can’t cut it into small chunks so you can’t claim all that meat came from two big fish when it was really from many smaller fish (the daily limit is two halibut). So you can fillet them, but have to leave the four fillets intact.Nov 10, 2023 at 4:28 pm #3792882
Over on Rokslide.com there is a long running discussion about the use of the .223/5.56 with appropriate bullets on big game. Lots of pictures if you aren’t convinced. A niche product for UL hunters could be a truly lightweight 223 bolt action rifle built specifically around that cartridge. It would have to be custom but you could get lighter then say a Kimber (which can handle bigger/longer cartridges). A guy can dream.Nov 10, 2023 at 7:30 pm #3792887
That’s a loooong thread! :)
But interesting!Nov 11, 2023 at 10:52 am #3792905
Yeah Mike if I was going to use say a Kimber I would probably use a 308 or 6.5 because there is no weight penalty for the extra power. But if you could make a mini action Kimber you could be even lighter and a bit shorter. Of course a sub 4 pound rifle might be hard to shoot but it leaves room for a heavy scope or a suppressor without getting to heavy. Howa does make a mini action but everything else about the rifle is heavier. Could be a fun gunsmith project though. Now what I’d really love would be a sub 4 pound mini action in 450 Bushmaster. Great for when I backup a friend but I’m not going to shoot unless things get wild.Nov 11, 2023 at 8:18 pm #3792937
Someone on Rokslide has a 4# based on a AR platform but with a bolt- can’t recall the caliberNov 22, 2023 at 10:17 am #3793687
here’s the thread
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