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Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

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  • Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

    I'm scanning photos again tonight so I thought I would share my photos from a "Drop Camp" I did with my son Jared. A drop camp is a hunt where the float plane drops you off on an arctic lake and then comes back for you in ten days. The advantage to this hunt is you can arrange a mid trip fly by to pick up meat or help in an emergency.

    We got a late take off from Anchorage because the pilot had to wait between storm fronts. The disadvantage to this is you have to get your camp set up before dark or you could be in trouble.





    Here is a picture of Jared the next morning. As you can see we had a storm come through in the middle of the night. With the storm came 65+ mph winds which destroyed my new highly recommended Vortex 4 tent. Fortunately I made the call to set up my spare tent which was a Kelty Expedition 2. Although it was a much smaller tent it was easier to keep warm so we used it the rest of the trip.



    Here are the two tents. You will notice I also used a blue tarp as a lean-too to help block the tent from the wind. I also used the lean-too to set up the stove for boiling water. One of my preparation failures is I had not taking into consideration how much the cold would effect the white gas stove.



    Here is the mid-trip checkup where the pilot stop by to say hi and make sure we were okay. It wasn't really scheduled but they were missing a plane from overnight and they were out searching for him.



    This is a picture of me on day-6. All of my clothes are so wet I am down to a pair of tan field pants. It's amazing how even Gore-Tex will fail after 6-days of punishment.



    Mark
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ToUtahNow; 03-24-2009, 11:02 PM.
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

  • #2
    Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

    Good living there. Many recommend JetBoil now to avoid stove trouble.

    Any kills? Lose any weight while there?

    J.C.

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    • #3
      Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

      Too bad it was so cold, because gold strappy sandals would go cute with those cami's
      I love my plumber

      "My Hero"

      Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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      • #4
        Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
        Good living there. Many recommend JetBoil now to avoid stove trouble.

        Any kills? Lose any weight while there?

        J.C.
        This was my first Alaskan trip and I switched on future trips to an MSR stove with a backup MSR and never had another problem.

        When I left for the trip I weighed in at 218 then I lost 20 pounds in the 10-days 4 of which I found during the two days to prepare to send everything home.

        I did not take an animal during this trip but Jared took a small Caribou. I'm at that age where it is more than the kill but it was Jared's first mammal hunt.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

          Originally posted by MrsSeatDown View Post
          Too bad it was so cold, because gold strappy sandals would go cute with those cami's
          It warmed up towards the end of our trip but I'm not sure gold strappy sandals go with Fall Foliage Camo.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            This was my first Alaskan trip and I switched on future trips to an MSR stove with a backup MSR and never had another problem.

            When I left for the trip I weighed in at 218 then I lost 20 pounds in the 10-days 4 of which I found during the two days to prepare to send everything home.

            I did not take an animal during this trip but Jared took a small Caribou. I'm at that age where it is more than the kill but it was Jared's first mammal hunt.

            Mark
            Me too already. Good stories, experiences, & memories.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

              For those that have not done it, watching the plane leave you is a very lonely feeling.



              The morning after the plane left the weather magically turned nice.



              This is the Caribou Jared ended up with. I saw the caribou but was not impressed so I stayed in camp. Jared was able to hit the Caribou but not finish him. As the Caribou was on the other side of the lake from camp it took me three shots to dial in on him and put him down.



              If you can see the yellow tent that is where I shot from. The caribou was about 50-yards behind me when I took the photo.



              This is from the hill above our camp on the last day of our hunt.




              Mark
              Attached Files
              Last edited by ToUtahNow; 03-24-2009, 11:44 PM.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Me too already. Good stories, experiences, & memories.

                J.C.
                I have one more surgery to go through (shoulder replacement) and if all goes well I hope to get back in shape and do at least one more hunt. I would like to take a son-in-law (SteamOperator) or two with the next time.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                  thanks Mark.

                  the nuna (land) looks very simular to here except we're a little flatter.

                  that's a nice looking 'bou.

                  i like your idea with the windbreak.

                  up here we pour a little naptha (white gas) directly on the burner and light it up. it preheats and helps getting the heat. it's always good to be cautious when lighting those things and your absolutly right in not using it in that tent. it would not have been a good time had you lost your shelter.

                  that's an impressive shot there Mark. 10% training, 90% natural. what kind is your gun and scope?

                  when we cook up caribou up here a bay leaf makes it all happen. don't forget the bannock.

                  how did you like the taste of the meat without bleeding the animal? as you can see from the lack of trees Inuit never bled the animal and in fact needed the blood for the nutritional value.

                  it looks like the fall time and that's the best time for the skin. it doesn't shed,........as much.

                  thanks again Mark, seems like you got a little native in you.

                  Vince

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                    Vince,

                    This is probably common place for you but to me it was like a spiritual journey. Every morning I would wake up and lay there trying to remember what day it was and be thankful we were still alive. It is an amazing feeling.

                    I took 10-boxes of waterproof matches and two large boxes of regular matches. After the first day or two of having a hard time lighting the stove I started piling my used matches on the top of the stove to preheat the fuel. If I had not done that I am sure I would have run out of matches. Freeze dried food is no good without boiling water.

                    The rifle I was using that year was a Weatherby WeatherMark in 300 Weatherby Mag. The scope was a Kahles 3X12X56 which was sighted in 2" high at 100-yards. Jared had to spot for me because the shot was so far out I had to hold a couple of feet above the animal as he slowly walked away.

                    The hunt was in September and the meat ended up real tasty. I believe it was only in the field about 3-days before we came out of the field. Before we did anything we headed straight for the butcher so he could start processing it.

                    Mark
                    Last edited by ToUtahNow; 03-25-2009, 02:21 PM.
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                      For those that have not done it, watching the plane leave you is a very lonely feeling.
                      No kiddin'.

                      I did a 10 day fly in fishing trip up in Ontario a few years back.

                      One of the best vacations I've ever done.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                        brrrrr i almost got frostbite just looking at the photos

                        sounds like a great time, i just can't take the cold

                        steve
                        In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                          not to steal your thunder Mark, but i thought you'd find this interesting if you don't already know about Alert.

                          this place is so far north that they experience 24hr darkness for a number of months every year.

                          if your into it, http://text.www.meteo.gc.ca/forecast...x_e.html?id=NU


                          we Inuit are a little crazy, but we're not that crazy.


                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alert,_Nunavut


                          Vince


                          i heard tail the USAF had metal fueled up and ready to go up there during the cold war. but that has never confirmed or denied.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                            Wow that looks like one tough place.

                            Mark
                            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ten Days on the Alaskan Tundra

                              Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                              Wow that looks like one tough place.

                              Mark
                              i was just recently talking to a wildlife officer up here and she tells me the ravens up there have adapted to the 24hr darkness. night vision eyesight as it were.

                              i call those birds the toughest birds in the world.

                              they play in the air at -60 degrees.

                              Vince

                              this pic is not from up here. they dissapear when the seagulls come for the summer. out numbered. but i'm pretty sure i recognize this one.
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