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Thread: 2 Dads, 2 Boys, 2 Bulls & 21 Grouse

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    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Default 2 Dads, 2 Boys, 2 Bulls & 21 Grouse

    We just returned from another grand adventure on the Koyukuk river. This year I took my oldest son, Jackson (the red head), who is 8yo. My hunting partner from Fairbanks also brought his oldest son, Levi, who is 9yo. We departed Fairbanks for the bridge on Sept 14th to met up with two other boats. We cruised together, but hunted apart.
    I left the bridge with 200 gallons of fuel. I also had my new 21p 4 blade prop on with hopes of a little better fuel economy. Only one minor mishap on the down river leg, one of the other boats prop struck a log and spun the rubber clutch. No worries just put on a spare and away we all went. On the 15th we stopped in Ruby for fuel $5.30/g, which was less expensive than the bridge $5.39/g. Then off to Galena for a final top off $7.00/g. I used about 76 gallons to Galena, which is what I used in 2010, but I averaged 5 mph faster.
    We made is past the check station and spent one more night on the river before making our way to camp. We hoped to camp in the same place as last year because it is kid friendly without a high bank.

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    Our camp was available and dry. Later the rain and wind started and we got hammered. A day or two in the tent and all was well. The water level was on the rise everyday. Eventually flooding our camp.

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    After 6 days with little sign of moose and a couple boys who needed to hunt, we decided to turn them loose on the grouse. We started slow with 5 or 6 one day. The next day we let them loose and they bagged a total of 21 using a small 410 shotgun. It was awesome and I can't wait to make a video (I shot tons of video). That night we ate a fabulous meal of fresh grouse in sauce with pasta.

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    Keep it coming - this has all the earmarks of a great trip and tale.

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    We met lots of great people on the river. Fred and Gary, Tony and his crew, Travis and Felicia, as well as several others. It was tons of fun talking and telling stories with everyone. I also would like to thank everyone for their genuine concern for the welfare of our kids. The checking on us after the wind and rain and candy bars and the talk about being safe in the woods etc, THANK YOU. The boys did not suffer one bit and I felt very good knowing that other people where watching out for us too.

    BUT as things go... We where not having much luck with the moose and everyone was heading down river. So on Sept 23rd our 8th day of hunting and our 11th day afield, we decided to make a change. We broke camp and headed back to the Koyukuk, met up with our friends who we had traveled with. They where packed and loaded ready to head down river, but we had no moose. So we decided to stay and run solo. No worries that's how 2010 was anyway. After saying our goodbyes we headed up the Koyukuk another 20 or so miles. With the rising water every slough became available, so we searched everyone. And at about 3 pm we connected.


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    Awesome!! Great to see!!

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    A couple "Mudstaches" and carrot cigars.



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    Our flooded out camp


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    So moose one in the boat and it being Sept 24th we decided to head down stream. On our way down river we decided to check out our old camp which was flooded. We cruised at a very moderate pace seeing cows every 20-30 minutes. Around 8pm we needed a spot to camp so we headed into a old ox bow slough (I don't know the name of it). As we were motoring around looking for a spot we spotted another bull. I pulled to the shore and got my buddy into position. It was looking like one of those Texas Heart Shots at first, but we were close. So I whispered "head shot" and WHAM!!! I have never seen a moose drop this fast. Everyone just looked at each other and said wow! Not a step, straight down. Flat and dry to boot.


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    After that it was time to boogie. So we headed home as fast as possible. We arrived at the check station and had coffee with Nate and chatted with Glen. Our boys had given him a pineapple on the way up river, so they had to get the report on how good it was. Then it was off to Galena. We needed 60 gallons for our return trip. This would give us 20 gallons extra and make for a very comfortable margin. This was Sunday and we would not make Ruby by 4 pm so we had to get gas in Galena if we wanted to make it to Fairbanks on Monday. Well Jake "The Crazy Russian" only had 51 gallons left in his tank. So now we only have a 10 gallon margin. But there is always Tanana if we needed it. So off we went up river.




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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Outstanding trip, thanks. Really enjoyed the mustache and cigar.

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    We traveled at a respectable 25mph average with plenty of power to spare. I was sure we were going to have to put the 19p prop on for the up river leg, but no that 21p worked like a champ, popped us up on step with ease and gave us those 25mph at 4600 RPMs.


    We made it to the bridge with absolutely no issues. We used a total of 324 gallons and traveled 1135 miles. Carrying all 4 of us, our gear and all our meat. I am very pleased with the fuel economy. The trip home was nearly as smooth. In true "Jeff Heard" fashion I had my trailer grossly overloaded and burned up on set of bearings, somewhere on the Steese Hwy. I carry a couple spare pre-greased, fully assembled hubs, so it was not bad. 30 minutes and we where back on the road. It was a fabulous trip and look forward to many more.

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    Those boys will never forget this trip... That sounds like a great time...

    thanks for sharing...

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    Awesome, always love to see the kids out there. The extra effort is worht it. Nice pix of the stick bow and dead can. Pabst Blue Ribbon, I see you spared no expense!

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    What a great trip. Those boys are now going to expect trips like this every fall. I probably missed it from your previous posts. What type of boat and motor combo are you using? It appears that you are wearing one of the "Alaska Tundra Fleece" jackets that Boondocks used to have made. Man, I wish they would bring that stuff back. Well done, dads!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Great trip and nice job taking your boys along. The memories will last forever.

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