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Thread: Rex Trail ..... DM684

  1. #1
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    Cool Rex Trail ..... DM684

    The wife and I were pretty excited about her drawing a cow moose tag in 684 but the more web research we have done, the less appealing the hunt becomes. Our plan is to, as I'm sure is similar to others, is to ride in on the Rex trail on 4 wheelers with satellite camp and hunt once in the area. I have read a few articles, read the stats and talked with DNR about the cow hunt and the Rex Trail condition, and all seems a bit bleak. I was hoping that maybe someone out there has some new or more recent experience with the hunt and/or trail that could be helpful or even entertaining to read. Any opinions or even suggestions that may make help on the planning of this hunt.

    For as far as I can tell at this point, our hunting area is accessed by the Rex Trail and is about 17 miles of nasty deep muddy swamp conditions to an area that has been overhunted and burned out in the recent years. Like I said, bleak! Anyone have something to add to this.


    TIA
    TGJ

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    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    We call it the Wrecks Trail or the T. Rex Trail. It WILL eat your ATV if you goof up and often times breaks something even if you're good. I'd suggest only daytime runs over new terrain, take your time and have a good winch on each 'wheeler. And wear hip waders. And old clothes...

    It is a blast, don't let this info slow you down! There are still moose out there!

    IceKing02

  3. #3
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Depends. Bleak is in the eye of the beholder I guess. The fires on the flats in recent years have done nothing but vastly improve moose habitat. Personally, I would rather spend time amongst post fire succession vegitation than dog hair black spruce, but to each his own. Overhunted? Do you think it would be open for cows if the population was 'overhunted'? You'll see plenty of other folks in there doing the same thing your doing, but at least in that area you won't be competing with airboats running willy nilly over every square inch of the place. The trail's gonna be nasty, true. But, in the end, the trip's only going to be as bleak as you want to make it.
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    Default Rex Trail

    One thing is for sure--you will have plenty of company. If you fly over the Rex during hunting season it looks like a Boy
    Scout Jamberee, with all the tents and blue tarps! Yes, the trail is deeply rutted, due to several years of heavy traffic. The "passability" of the trail really depends on the weather. If it rains for several days prior to your hunt, the trail condition will be very poor.

    It's also true that much of that unit was burned a couple of years ago. The good news is that the burn really opened up the area, as it took out much of the black spruce. However it is pretty nasty to hunt in as much of it is still burned and black ash and downed black trees.

    Regarding the moose population, fish and game still thinks there is a healthy population in 20a, however, as you noted in the data, the hunt success is pretty low out there. It has been my observation that the population has really plummeted because of the last 5-6 years of antlerless hunts there, and the huge increase in traffic, as a result of all the information coming out about 20a.

    There is no doubt a higher concentration of moose in the northwest part of that unit, near the Tanana River, and if possible, you might want to think about trying to hunt the side sloughs off the Tanana, in that area. If not possible, and you end up hunting off the Rex, your chances increase the further you get of the trail.

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    Yeah my wife and I both got cow permits for DM695 thats way in there. I got an Argo with tracks so that should help with the trail. But I'm hunting on the far side of the Wood river, does the trail go beyond the Wood? I know some guys that go pretty far back in there and they say there's lots of moose, just got to get back in beyond the crowd. Is the Wood passable with a argo? What can I expect to find in there? Any info sure would help.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the Wood river, but I know the trail has been getting pounded with rain for weeks now. It's gonna be a really wet muddy year.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbentler View Post
    I'm not sure about the Wood river, but I know the trail has been getting pounded with rain for weeks now. It's gonna be a really wet muddy year.
    And the rivers are all running pretty high.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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    ridebackwards--I tried sending you information via a PM regarding your hunt but apparently you cannot receive private messages. Please fix that and I will send you info.

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    Riflemaker I think I fixed it so I can get PM's but i'm new to this forum thing so.... not positive about the fix.

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    I'm in the same situation; I also drew DM684 and am headed up later this month. I unsuccessfully hunted the Rex last September in search of a 50"+ bull. I did see a few cows, but didn't have a tag for them. I've ridden ATVs/UTVs on that trail several times and it's always different depending on the weather. If it rains a lot, it gets nearly impossible to get through some of the "wet" sections of the trail. It mostly depends on your experience and a bit on your ATV and tires/clearance. Some portions of the trail are essentially lost when the swamps fill up.

    The worst part is that you must cross the Totatlanika River to hunt with this tag. Last year we crossed the Totat and went all the way to the Tat, then it started raining hard so we turned around. By the time we made it back across the Totat, the river had risen about 1 foot. A few hours later, it was not crossable by ATV/UTV due to the depth and current flow. (I had a Polaris RZR S loaded down with gear (1400lbs total). It has 14" clearance with lift and tires and it was not enough weight to keep the current from pushing it down river.) I plan to take the same rig this year along with my Ranger.

    A few tips I've learned:
    -Some of the muddy trenches look bad, but have a hard/gravel bottom and are easily navigable.
    -Some of the muddy trenches look okay, but the bottom drops out a few feet in. Be careful and go slow to preserve your ability to back out.
    -Try to stay within your winch's reach of a large tree when crossing the big swamps. Carry extra rope to extend your winch's reach.
    -Never get all your ATVs stuck at the same time. (common sense, but I've seen it happen several times out there)
    -Bring extra fuel. I had to give some to a guy last year who used all his up trying to get out of one of the swamps.
    -A chainsaw will be useful to remove fallen trees that block the trail.

    Good luck. We'll probably see you out there.

  11. #11

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    Is the Rex Trail weight restricted?

  12. #12
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    Default Rex Trail restrictions

    Go to DNR's web site for a a complete link discussing the vehicle restrictions on the Rex Trail.

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    Does anyone know if ATV meat trailers are allowed on the trail?

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    The only restrictions I've seen are related to vehicles. ATVs or ORVs are limited to 1500 lbs curb weight. (Unloaded vehicle with all fluids topped off and driver not in vehicle.) I haven't read anything limiting ATV trailers. Anything over 1500 lbs requires a permit. See DNRs site for complete details.

    The only thing I would consider is that a meat wagon could become an anchor in some of the swamps!

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