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Thread: The Alaskan way to hunt

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    Default The Alaskan way to hunt

    Hello all,

    After searching through the threads and finding some but fairly post dated information on this topic I figured I would start another in hopes of gaining good insite on what to expect and how to plan my hunt from the get go. I will be arriving in Alaska in August 2012 not much time to get my hunt together for opening moose. I have never been there and dont much believe in guides or paying to hunt period. Except for my equipment and gas of course. I will be stationed at FT wainwright. I was hoping on information on where to hunt and how to hunt. I litteraly know nothing more than the occasional hunting show that ive watched on the outdoor channel. that is nothing more than a guided hunt. So please help us Newbies out. What is an occasional hunt like, how much time do you need, do people road hunt often, do I need an ATV or snow machine or is it managable without, how far of a hike is it to usually get to good land, how far will I have to travel from fairbanks to get to good land, nd what is the forty mile caribou run and how does this work. not looking for special spots just as you can see a newbie. I grew up in ND and we did a lot of spot and stock hunts with 2-5 mile walks. Down south it was sittin in a tree stand which i never did before that. Takes a while to learn the best tactics to hunt new areas so figured i would start now. spent my whole time down south just trying to figure out how they hunt. took a while to realize stalkin in heavy dense woods doesnt work very well before i bought a tree stand. Any helpfull experienced knowledge would be much appreciated. Help strengthen my vision of what to expect and how the alaksan way to hunt is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    Hello all,

    After searching through the threads and finding some but fairly post dated information on this topic I figured I would start another in hopes of gaining good insite on what to expect and how to plan my hunt from the get go. I will be arriving in Alaska in August 2012 not much time to get my hunt together for opening moose. I have never been there and dont much believe in guides or paying to hunt period. Except for my equipment and gas of course. I will be stationed at FT wainwright. I was hoping on information on where to hunt and how to hunt. I litteraly know nothing more than the occasional hunting show that ive watched on the outdoor channel. that is nothing more than a guided hunt. So please help us Newbies out. What is an occasional hunt like, how much time do you need, do people road hunt often, do I need an ATV or snow machine or is it managable without, how far of a hike is it to usually get to good land, how far will I have to travel from fairbanks to get to good land, nd what is the forty mile caribou run and how does this work. not looking for special spots just as you can see a newbie. I grew up in ND and we did a lot of spot and stock hunts with 2-5 mile walks. Down south it was sittin in a tree stand which i never did before that. Takes a while to learn the best tactics to hunt new areas so figured i would start now. spent my whole time down south just trying to figure out how they hunt. took a while to realize stalkin in heavy dense woods doesnt work very well before i bought a tree stand. Any helpfull experienced knowledge would be much appreciated. Help strengthen my vision of what to expect and how the alaksan way to hunt is.
    You'll be living in a better area than I am located.
    Check out the regulations, and go onto the State Fish and Game page. Lots of information in there. Become familiar with the legal moose requirements for each area, unit boundaries, weapons restrictions, and vehicle restrictions.
    Buy an Alaska Road Atlas, and review the areas via google maps.
    For moose hunting, check out the assorted moose hunting videos on the TV, DVD's, and you tube.
    Hikes of 2-5 miles is generally more than most due up here. Yes, you may see more hiking that far... but the pack out can be quite a work out. If you get one down, you're probably have 8-10 trips so the miles add up quickly.

    Good luck!

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Dakota, welcome. Where in ND are you from? I'm from Mandan.

    You dont "need" a machine, but they help. I've done without since I moved up here and have a good time every season...poor memory/weak mind helps...so does an air taxi every so often. The replies on your previous thread are a good start and lots of good info in the search options. The AK gazateer/atlas, google earth, and the regs are also a good start. Get the regs now and know them well. Not too many people are going to give out a spot to go into as people dont want "competition". I dont know about the fortymile bou, I have just done the Haul road. Caribou is good to start, it will benefit to get your bow cert. ASAP. Using a treestand for moose hunting is definitely not out of the question either.

    Shoot me an email and I may be able to help some more: snobored345@hotmail.com

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    ripnlip, Im form Bismarck small world.

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    yeah I forgot to mention too, that I harvest the first legal animal I see...I am not picky just meat for the freezer. Diff story if you want big animals.

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    If you haven't already done so .... you may want to scroll some of the threads that discuss whether a moose was legal or not (brow tines and width requirements) as some moose are easier to judge than others.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Just plan on spending some time taking it all in. It can be overwhelming at first. Talk with people, browse this forum, spend lots of time digging through the regs, and take advantage of what opportunties present themselves.

    Fairbanks is a great spot to live for hunting opportunities.
    No, you don't need an ATV.
    There's a lot less road hunting in AK than anywhere in the lower 48. I'm sure that has to do (to some degree) with the fact there's a lot less roads.
    Prepare to spend some $$ however you go about it. How much will depend on how hard you're willing to work.
    As Wet eNuff said, get an Alaska Atlas and start familiarizing yourself with the state (again, regs are key to this as well).

    I summarized some things on being new in Alaska in this thread. Lots of good information in the responses from the rest of the forum as well. (Maybe I'll do an update some day since I've put in three years since then, but not today...)
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-your-homework?
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Keep in mind that you will earn a great appreciation for just how LARGE an animal a moose really is. Do not take the pursuit lightly and be prepared for some serious effort after the animal is dead on the ground, additionaly DO NOT shoot one in the water unless you have the means to extract it .

    As for how to get where to hunt, your feet offer the best opportunity if you have the willingness. You may find a legal animal after stepping out of your vehicle, or you may never see one the entire season. A machine, generaly speaking, puts one into an area where there are more machines and are not neccessarily an advantage unless you employ your feet after reaching an area. Keep in mind that a great majority of "hunters" never get off of the seat.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Hunt Planning Resources and More!

    Dakota,

    Welcome to Alaska!

    We're twice the size of Texas, with very diverse ecosystems and different big-game species in each. We have the largest diversity of big-game animals in the United States, but perhaps the lowest density per square mile. In other words, there's a lot to hunt here, but a lot of acreage out there without a single living animal on it for most or all of the year. There are lots of ways to approach this, but in your situation I would start with building relationships with other hunters. You're in the military, so that shouldn't be too hard. You will quickly find that people are very protective of "their" spots. But there are a few who are freer with information. But the relationships also extend to commercial operators; equipment companies, raft rental outfits, air charters and more. Get to know some of these folks as you go, and you'll glean tons of information that will help you.

    At the same time it's a good idea to educate yourself about Alaska, the different regions of the state and what they have to offer, where the various species are found and how to hunt them. Access is a huge deal here; the road system is very limited. There are some good road-based hunts, but most of them are well known and relatively crowded. It takes some doing to find areas to hunt off the road system, that nobody seems to know about. But they are there. Our main "road system" is our rivers. We have over 365,000 miles of rivers in Alaska and they range (to keep the analogy) from little dirt jeep or ATV trails to superhighways. Just like a road, our rivers traverse country that contains good game habitat. The hard part (but very rewarding) is to identify these productive pockets along a given river system. To do that you need really good maps or aerial photos, general knowledge of the habitat preferences of the target species, an awareness of the local game regulations, some knowledge about the river system itself, and current, accurate information about overall herd health. There's a lot more to it than that, but that should get you started. More questions will arise as you get farther in to this.

    There are many research tools out there. Here are a few:

    • Our Hunting Pages. We have recently added a ton of content to our hunting area on this site. It's a work in progress (anyone out there want to help?), but it will give you some good direction to go. Of particular interest is the menu on the left-hand side of the page, which offers the following:


    • Hunt Planner. This contains information about our hunt planning services we offer on this site.
    • Timeline. When you should be planning which parts of your hunt, and details about the research process.
    • Location. How to find a place to hunt.
    • Library. A list of items from our store that you need for hunt planning and skill development. The store contains over 300 titles, many of which contain information about specific species, including how to hunt them, what gear to use, and a wealth of other information.
    • Management Reports. A link to the management reports provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, on moose, caribou, brown bear, black bear, deer, Dall sheep, goat, elk, muskox and more. These reports are not always current, but they provide an excellent baseline and a foundation for questions you will ask of the area biologist.
    • Resources. A list of the people you need to talk to, along with what questions to ask (and what not to ask). This will help you navigate the minefield of public input without getting blown up. You will make mistakes, but this will help prevent some of them at least. Contact instructions are provided.
    • Color Infrared Maps. This is an excellent planning tool and instructions are provided on where to find them and how to use them for planning your hunt.

    Below the Hunt Planning Menu, you will find the Hunting Menu, which contains links to our pages that include a general GMU map, general hunting information, pages on float hunting, guided hunts, unguided hunting in Alaska, meat care, trophy care, field care tools, and pages on all the major big-game species found in Alaska. We are looking for writers for some of these pages, as they are not complete. If anyone out there is interested, drop me a line and let's talk. We've made a significant dent in providing the info, but there is still a lot of work to do.

    • Float Hunting Book. A few years ago I wrote a book called, "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers". It contains detailed instructions on hunt planning, and specific details on float hunting techniques, river navigation, gear, hunting tactics for moose, caribou and both kinds of bear, plus write-ups on fifty river systems around the state. You might find it a useful tool. For some reason the publisher doesn't want me selling it, however I have found it out on Amazon and you can purchase it there.
    • Our Hunting Forums. You have already discovered this resource. I would poke around in here a bit. There are literally thousands of pages on this site that you can use to plan your hunt. Last time I checked, I think our site had close to 160,000 pages of content, much of it on hunting in Alaska.

    Well, that should give you something to chew on for a while. You have found the right place to make new friends, and to get the information you need. Welcome home, and I hope your experiences in Alaska are everything you hope for!

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    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: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    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

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    Default North Dakota transplant

    Grand Forks here. It's like Little Missouri Grasslands, except bigger and more wooded. I don't have an offroad vehicle of any sort either but have been mostly successful in the year I've been here. Big game is fun but small game gives you an excuse to get out as well and you can learn about local complications or find a honey hole that way. It's been a case of animals running into me more than the opposite so just be out there is my best advice.
    Go Big Red!

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    Welcome! Another suggestion I'll toss out there... You will need to be in the state for 1 year before you're considered a "resident". Non-resident hunting licenses, tags and such can get a bit spendy depending on what species you want to pursue. You may want to take a year to research, hike, recon, make friends, make plans, get gear and then hunt the following fall when you're a resident.

    You said you don't care much for guides... well, as a newby hunter you can learn a ton from a guide. A guided hunt may be something to consider.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    As a suggestion, search is your friend. Most of the topics you ask about are pretty common fodder here so pull up a seat- they'll come back around soon.

    To address your basic questions- no, you don't need an ATV. One may be occasionally advantageous, but not required. Don't overlook a basic canoe or raft either.

    Out of state tags are spendy, I can't say I'd suggest arriving in Aug. and plunking down on a out of state moose tag, gearing up and then trying to hunt Sept... Possible- but unlikely to score unless you're going with someone already here and have a pretty decent plan in the works. You might score on blind luck but its not much of a plan.

    I'd strongly suggest a small game/fishing license and spend some time scouting around looking things over and making some friends with similar interests. I can't tell you how much you'll want a friend along (or three) if you drop a moose. The small game hunting is also very good around Fairbanks. Do spend some time with the regs and in the field looking at moose- field judging isn't easy and the regs can be more than a little confusing the first time through.

    The hunting will be more like your ND spot and stalk experience than stand hunting in the South unless you're baiting bears.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    well you will love it up there was up there for 9 years before the army said it was time to go. but yes the hunting can be dun with out a machine like others said. Its been a couple years since i was up there but at one point you could hunt on the military land the first year you where up there for the resident price but moose off post would be pricey. Again I would check on that dont just believe me. Good luck and enjoy yourself

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    An ATV will make some hunts much better. A Jet Boat will make some hunts much better. Having the balls to go an extra 15 miles compared to the 4 other trucks in the pull off will make some hunts much better. Like it was stated earlier...the most diverse collection of wilderness out there, double Texas! It is vast, the closest animal that I have dropped to my truck is 3 miles (haul rd caribou w/ a bow) the only reason it was 3 miles instead of 12 was because the third guy in our party didn't come and just happened to be running down the rd when we popped out! You don't need a guided hunt, but you do need to be in some pretty good shape! You will need to watch a few videos to figure out how to field dress em...that's the other thing...there is no dragging, or pulling up the atv(usually...it does happen tho)...but there is a lot of skinning/field dressing the animal out in BFE! This forum is by far the best resource you have...the second will be people in your unit that have hunted and done so successfully!

    Good luck
    Missing the greatest state in the Union!

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    I agree with hodgeman's post above. Getting here in August and hoping to connect on a Moose in September is a narrow window. The fact that you'd have to spend some $500. for tag and license tells me to advise you to wait.
    By next year as a resident with 13 months to have made friends (you will need some to pack out a Moose ) familarize yourself with potential huntable land you'll save money and be better prepared.

    Welcome to Alaska and thank you for your service in keeping America safe.

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    Help others the first year, and then hunt with the same group the next year, at the same place, and you'll have the help that you gave previously, and already have good insider info on spots and buddies, both of which you need. my two pennies.

    P.S. Up here, "helpers" get meat too.

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    Lots of good info in the post on here! I agree with some that you are wishing for a lot to happen in a very short amount of time. Not saying it is not possible just going to take a bit of work.

    Drop me a line if you want to talk. broncoformudv at gmail.com

  18. #18

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    It is my understanding of the regs as military you get your tag at resident price. I know there are stipulations on where you can hunt. Can someone explain to me if Im right or wrong and where ill beable to hunt.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    It is my understanding of the regs as military you get your tag at resident price. I know there are stipulations on where you can hunt. Can someone explain to me if Im right or wrong and where ill beable to hunt.
    Why allow someone to tell you the wrong informaiton, when you can easily go to the regulations on-line and read page 11 for yourself.

    Too often folks new to AK, and even some that have been here a long time, fail to look things up for themselves and end up paying a hefty fine for listening to what Joe Bob told them on some forum. The Trooper won't care about what Joe Bob "thinks" the regulations say.

    Also get in touch with the wildlife division of the base MP office. Being active duty military can allow you to have hunting opportunities on base land that the rest of us don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    It is my understanding of the regs as military you get your tag at resident price. I know there are stipulations on where you can hunt. Can someone explain to me if Im right or wrong and where ill beable to hunt.
    This will answer some of those questions for you: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.main , Google Earth is a great place to view terrain and the road system, an Alaska State Gazeteer is invaluable as well.

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