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Thread: In over my head. Where to hunt in this new land

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    anchorage alaska

    Default In over my head. Where to hunt in this new land

    Just arrived in alaska, I was a life long ohio boy chaching whitetails around the state. Now i find my self in the best part of the country for sportmen like me but feel overwhelmed. Yes the military brought me here but i have time to hunt just not the knowledge of where to go. Looking for publice hunting ground to start, i believe i can find the tags i need from there, or i hope so. If any one could help me i would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    Where are you located? If you're in the Anchorage area, I'd be happy to sit down over a beer or a cup of coffee to talk ideas. I don't have any grand secrets to share, but can certainly point you towards some mountains to climb for black bear or some places to look for small game while getting your feet wet.

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006



    The military brought many of us here too. In my case the "Year of Bewilderment" was 20 years ago. Go to the BX and buy a copy of the Delorme Alaska Atlas & Gazeteer as well as a copy of the regs which are free. Read the regs thoroughly and consult the atlas as you go. The "Big Red Map Book" is a handy reference but the maps are in 1:250,000 so they only give a general lay of the land but few of begin our hunt planning to someplace new without them. If you're in a mood for books...the various how-to guides by Chris Batin, Larry Bartlett, Mike Strahan, and Tony Russ are excellent references. This homework will at least familiarize you with general requirements and terms, as well as the GMUs and help you ask better questions as you continue your education.

    Talk to the folks at Fish & Game and see what certifications or seminars you'll need based on the hunting you want to do (IBEP-Bow cert, Bear Bait seminar etc.). The ADF&G folks are accessible and helpful, and the website is loaded with great info for newcomers.

    Start saving your pennies too. Hunting in AK is expensive because to have a reasonable chance of success you need the right gear and like anything else quality costs more. Skimping on equipment usually hinders your ability to be successful, often makes for a miserable hunt, and occasionally leads to injury or even death. Figure on 2000 dollars to get set up with the basic adequate gear for AK. More (much more) if you catch Ovis dalli fever.

    In addition to the dent gear puts in your wallet there's the cost of getting to where the critters are. The best big game hunting is away from the roads and transportation ain't cheap. ATVs cost thousands to buy. Boats in the tens of thousands, and air taxis typically run from $1500 to $3000 (and up) per hunter depending where and type of plane. Also, understand that most air taxi's for September hunts are booked NLT March of that year.

    There are some relatively inexpensive road accessible hunting opportunities but they usually involves highly coveted lottery tags (aka Drawing Permits), long walks, or both.

    Of course there's this forum as source of info but we ask that you do some of your own homework before peppering us with questions easily answered by readily accessible sources. Use the search function here and read past threads about areas or animals you wish to hunt.

    Again, welcome. Enjoy your tour in Alaska, and thanks for choosing to serve!
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  4. #4


    My hunting partner just had to cancel a moose/bear hunt we had planned. I hate to cancel it as my back-up has cancelled also due to a death in the family. Would be glad to discuss and see if we have similar availability to git 'er dun.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska


    I'm happy to help, but am not available until after the 23rd. Drop me a line and let's talk. I do operate a consultation service for hunters, however I do spend a lot of time with folks at no charge. I am happy to provide some direction for you. Most of us were exactly where you are at some point and have not forgotten what it's like when you find yourself in the funhouse with the lights turned off...

    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address:
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Are you a resident yet? That really does up the ante when talking about tags and such. I can give you directions on the moose range out here in the valley and there is plenty of state land that is huntable. Pm me for further info if interested. Good luck
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  7. #7
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Mike, good on you to offer this soldier some advice, (you too Brian ) mike I love the "funhouse with the lights turned off "

  8. #8
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Eagle River


    Smartest thing I did was joining this forum. Lots of good folks here offering up great advise and willing to help a fellow hunter. Shoot me a message and we can meet up on base (I'm AF) or can come up to Eagle River and have a beer. I'm looking for more hunting partners.
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Palmer, ak


    Wow, you guys are awesome!! I am in the same boat, not in the millitary, but just moved up here and am overwhelmed!!

  10. #10


    I agree that alot of the guys on this forum are awesome. I didn't grow up hunting so when I finally decided to hunt, I learned alot by just reading the forum. I still don't have much experience but have gained alot of knowledge through tips from people on here. Hoping to go get my first moose when I get off slope.

  11. #11
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Ive been overwhelmed the last 10 years since I got here

    I know how you feel and I think your question will get you plenty of help. It's very different hunting here then where I grew up in Arizona. The biggest thing I've learned here is to get out and get off the wheeler and just try. Poke around in the high open country. And remember if it looks like an easy walk it's not. And an even harder pack out. If I ever get a free weekend I'm going to try to help another newer member connect on his first. If you can talk somebody into taking you out I think the hands on experience would be better then anything you read

  12. #12


    Step #1) Get Outdoors, Hike & Learn, Snowshoe & Learn, Hike and take photos. If you spend as much of your Alaska time Hiking as possible you will see where there is game. Get a Small Game Hunting lic. and "Get Outdoors".

    You can NOT learn it on a forum or in a book. Hunting Alaska is not like hunting deer in Ohio. Everyone thinks that there is a lot of game in Alaska, sorry it ain't true.

    Step #2) Put in for $200.00 worth of permit drawings this fall. But only put in for hunts that start after your here for one year.

    Step #3) Get outside today, tomorrow, just get out. Hunting Alaska is available 24/7/365 you need to get out this fall and see what the land looks like not from the truck window, but boots in the field. There are 500 trails you can day hike this fall and winter. You think hiking is for girls and sissy'men......????? Day hikes are how you will learn what you need to bring, what you don't need to bring, and how God awful huge a moose really is, you will learn how hard it is to even see a big bear, and reassess the fear of being bear'nibbled ten times a day. Mostly day hikes are your chance to study how animals move, and how their behavior.

    The bottom line, is you have a huge Alaska learning curve to overcome, get outdoors and get at'it. The trophies that you will leave Alaska with that really will bring a lifetime of pleasure............those trophies will be in your memory, not mounted on the wall. The real trophies of Alaska are in your heart.
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

  13. #13
    Member .338WM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Eagle River


    The most helpful aides for me were ; 1) getting out at every opportunity to explore. 2) Alaska atlas & gazeteer. 3) Talking to ADFG personel. 4) Meeting people with the same interest and being shown around a bit.

    First and foremost learn about the Alaska climate and weather, it is unforgiving ! Always have on your person something to improve your chances of survival if things go awry, and be sure to tell someone of your intended destination and return.

    Weather can be very extreme and change wicked fast here, take time to become educated about it. My most utilized planning tool and another .

    Welcome, and thank you for your service !
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

    Albert Einstein


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