Hunt Area within Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

imgp4524Big Game Backcountry Guides (BGBG) has an exclusive permit inside of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The hunting area is located on the north slope of the Eastern Brooks Range. The Brooks Range is the furthest north Mountain Range in North America with the highest peaks being Mt. Isto and Mt. Chamberlin with their tops being just less than 9,000’ high. The range is part of the Continental divide and it is approximately 150 miles wide by 700 miles in length, extending a swath of vary remote mountains across northern Alaska to Canada. The range is approximately 126 million years old and is vastly unpopulated. The hunt area is located within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a sub-range of the Brooks called the Phillip Smith Mountains. The Mountains rise abruptly to 7000’ with conglomerate and igneous rock rising from an ancient sea bed layered with fossils. Average peak heights are 5,000’ and 6,000’. The hunting has numerous glaciers and year around snow drifts that feed into the Marsh Fork and Canning watershed. In the fall the valleys consist of braided clear rivers bridged with Aufies (ice pack). The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest refuge and designated wilderness in North America at 19.6 million acres and has been labeled “Americas Wildest Refuge”. There is a strong population of Dall Sheep and live year round wintering on wind-blown ridges protected by tiered cliff faces. In the summer there is great feed throughout the area broken with cliff faces and broken topography. We will use super cub for access into staging strips to backpack into remote side drainages hunting Dall Sheep, Caribou and Grizzly. The area has supported guided sheep hunts for over 40 years and has produced high success rates harvesting many world class rams. BGBG has gone 100% on opportunity for sheep. We went 100% in 2015 on sheep harvests. Out of 10 hunters we expect to harvest two 40” rams and have everyone have multiple opportunity. Out of a session of four hunters one will shoot there sheep on day 1 and could have done the hunt in their slippers. Two will shoot sheep on day two and three and think they had a tough sheep hunt. The last guy will be asking on day seven what happened to my sheep hunt and BGBG will bring extra guides and support in allowing the hunter to stay extra days to get the job done. This is one reason we have such high success rates on sheep. While hunting sheep we are 50% successful on grizzly. Also, the area bordering to the south has been designated Arctic Village Sheep Management Area and has been closed to sheep harvests by sport hunters for 22 years. This area has a long history of producing trophy rams and was last hunted by Master Guide Larry Rivers before 1992. We are proud to be able to offer guided fair chase hunts for multiple species while backpacking through one of the wildest areas left in the world.

Journal Entries from Trip at Marsh Fork of the Canning River, 2013

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey