This 3,900 foot pass is an easy short cut when flying from Slana River to Tok, via the Dry Tok, then Tok Rivers. Although when flying from Mankomen Lake to Tok this winter, Gillette Pass was socked in. Instead, we flew down Slana River to Tok, via Mentasta Pass – which was barely VFR.
Gillette Pass is also an important landmark when chasing caribou and sheep in our hunting area. Gillette Pass is the dividing line between Game Management Unit 13C where our moose hunting camp is located, and Unit 12. The borderline is drawn at the peak of the pass, where water flows in opposite directions off the pass.While we’re hunting moose primarily, we do stalk the gullible Caribou. To hunt, or actually possess, a caribou in Unit 13C you need a draw permit or Subsistence permit. In Unit 12, a (harvest) tag is all that’s needed. Both sides of our family have received Tier 1 Subsistence permits for Unit 13 in past years, including 2015 season.
A draw or Subsistence permit is acquired during Alaska’s “Drawing Hunt Permit”, or lottery, process. The information and instructions for a Drawing Hunt Permit is given in the Drawing Hunt Permit Supplement usually circulated in early November.
Caribou harvest tag is applied for and obtained online, from a Fish & Game office, or a sporting goods store.
Dall Sheep hunting in Unit 13C is by harvest tag – full curl or larger. Sheep hunts in Unit 12 are controlled by Tok Management Area rules and draw permits – still full curl or more. The dividing line for Sheep permits or tags is also at the peak of Gillette Pass. Beware, Tok Management Area does not follow the borderlines of Units 13C and 12 entirely. Sheep hunting regs and boundaries are kinda confusing within and near the TMA.
I haven’t purposely hunted sheep in twelve years, but if there was a full-curl within good probability range, I’d do it again.
The waters of the Gillette Pass flow east and west. Western flow is a short run to the Slana River and eventually into the Copper River. East flowing water forms the Dry Tok River, dumps into the Tok River, then Tanana River, and into the mighty Yukon. I have peed in both drainages.