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Thread: moose hunt with FortyMile Air

  1. #1
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    Default moose hunt with FortyMile Air

    My brother and I are trying to set up a DIY moose hunt this fall on a tight budget. FortyMile air has a couple of small lakes that they can fly us into and I was hoping to get get some more info from the folks on this website. They would be dropping us off via float plane into the small lakes so we have a 700# gear limit. I have done web searches but I can't find anywhere to rent camping gear in TOK. Do I need to fly up all of my own camping gear (tents, stoves, cots etc) or is there a place in TOK to rent it? We would be flying into Fairbanks then flying into TOK via Fortymile air. On that flight they have a 70# limit.
    How are meat and horns usually shipped from TOK? I found the website for a guy who drives a trailer from anchorage to the lower 48 and charges 700$ (varies with fuel cost) for meat and horns? are there any other options out of TOK?
    Hunting on a small lake for moose is a raft or inflatable canoe required/desired? Are there places to rent those in TOK also?
    FortyMile Air seems to have a great reputaion with members on this forum and they have answered all my questions qickly so far, but does anyone have other ideas for a inexpensive DIY hunt? We are trying to stay under 4K total including 600$ airfare to Fairbanks.
    Thanks in advance..

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    40mile is a good transporter, we used them last year. Seems like there are some places in Fairbanks and Delta that will rent you camping gear, you'll have to search the forum a little more, but they're on here. Seems like there are some shuttle services that run around up there, possibly you could get your camping gear sent to Tok that way. We drove to Tok, so flying there is a bit out of my logistical experience.
    For hunting on a lake, you don't need a boat, but it will expand your range down the lake away from your camp a bit if you can paddle your meat back to camp rather than pack it. Otherwise just set up a meat pole on the lake where the moose fell and the float plane should be able to get to it.
    40Mile has some good area to hunt, you'll have a great experience and a good chance at a moose.
    Casey
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    My brother and I are trying to set up a DIY moose hunt this fall on a tight budget. FortyMile air has a couple of small lakes that they can fly us into and I was hoping to get get some more info from the folks on this website. They would be dropping us off via float plane into the small lakes so we have a 700# gear limit. I have done web searches but I can't find anywhere to rent camping gear in TOK. Do I need to fly up all of my own camping gear (tents, stoves, cots etc) or is there a place in TOK to rent it? We would be flying into Fairbanks then flying into TOK via Fortymile air. On that flight they have a 70# limit.
    How are meat and horns usually shipped from TOK? I found the website for a guy who drives a trailer from anchorage to the lower 48 and charges 700$ (varies with fuel cost) for meat and horns? are there any other options out of TOK?
    Hunting on a small lake for moose is a raft or inflatable canoe required/desired? Are there places to rent those in TOK also?
    FortyMile Air seems to have a great reputaion with members on this forum and they have answered all my questions qickly so far, but does anyone have other ideas for a inexpensive DIY hunt? We are trying to stay under 4K total including 600$ airfare to Fairbanks.
    Thanks in advance..
    I have visions of couch surfing and the residents at Tok greating you at the airport (LOL) with their inventories of brand new camping gear for rent(s).

    Here's some things to think about - $600 airfare for two to Fairbanks seems cheap. Is that one of those companion fares? and does that include a return trip. Add in the license & tags for two (assuming out of state) and it doesn't seem like you have much to work with for a stay in Fairbanks let alone vehicle rental, lodging, food, and gear rental or an outfitted drop off hunt.

    As for weight limits, does that include the harvested meats for your return trip? The meat from the moose would probably be a minimum of #400 without a head (assuming something like a tender spike/fork).

    Did 40 mile air give you any ideas/referrals? If you or your brother are military, the base may be able to rent gear to you.

    Hope that helps?

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    2000$ drop off and pickup via float plane (700# limit and 2 people)
    600 each airfare to Fairbanks (using miles to buy down price)
    700 each for moose and black bear tags and license
    900 pick up service for 2 boned out moose if lucky
    500 total for camping gear rental and food?
    170 each for flight from Fairbanks to Tok via fortymile air

    = about 2470 each rough numbers

    hadn't planned on staying fairbanks overnight but if needed it can be worked in and that would depend on flight schedules into Fairbanks and then into Tok.
    -Didn't think I would need a rental car?



    I had asked fortymile air about camping gear rental and they replied
    "
    As a big game transporter, we are not permitted to provide, rent, barter or sell any equipment that you'll use on your hunt." But they didn't provide alternatives. I didn't want to swamp them with questions if I could get them answered here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    2000$ drop off and pickup via float plane (700# limit and 2 people)
    600 each airfare to Fairbanks (using miles to buy down price)
    700 each for moose and black bear tags and license
    900 pick up service for 2 boned out moose if lucky
    500 total for camping gear rental and food?
    170 each for flight from Fairbanks to Tok via fortymile air

    = about 2470 each rough numbers

    hadn't planned on staying fairbanks overnight but if needed it can be worked in and that would depend on flight schedules into Fairbanks and then into Tok.
    -Didn't think I would need a rental car?

    I had asked fortymile air about camping gear rental and they replied
    "
    As a big game transporter, we are not permitted to provide, rent, barter or sell any equipment that you'll use on your hunt." But they didn't provide alternatives. I didn't want to swamp them with questions if I could get them answered here.
    Not that it matters, but I ended up with over $3000/per person using the numbers above.
    1@ 2000=2000
    2@600=1200
    2@700=1400
    1@900=900
    1@500=500
    1@170=170
    total =$6170

    Are you going to be able to bring up (and return with) the gear that is not rented, boots, coats, weapons, etc. for that price?

    Are you planning on giving the meat away? Or meat transporting and processing costs from Tok to Fairbanks, Fairbanks to Lower 48? At a minimum, you'll need to get it frozen to ship it south.

    How about costs for normal wear and accidents? For example, what happens if a bear shreds the tent? tears up a cooler?

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    You could call Larry Bartlet at Pristine Ventures in Fairbanks and ask him about basic hunt gear rental. He could send it ahead to Tok and have it waiting for you there, maybe.

    Or

    You can use the US Postal Service to mail your own gear by parcel post rates up to 40 mile and then spend an hour or so boxing and mailing it back home. Buy propane canisters at the Tok stores or other basics there like food. Three Bears is like a pocket sized Walmart except for fancy clothes.

    When I drove through Tok last fall there was a dog mushing equipment place that had a gear rental sign up. Don't know the name or what all else they rented beside dog mushing stuff. Kind of touristy.

    For all long distance hunts that involve a bush flight and then a small VFR/IFR flight to a major town there will always be a need to spend an extra night some where along the line. Plan on being stuck somewhere and when it does not happen you will have a better experience.

    If you have the time, and are willing, why don't you drive up with a small freezer in the back of a pickup? You have all your gear in the truck. You have an easy way to get the meat home with an inverter ran off the truck to power the freezer. You may not enjoy your brothers company enough for this though.

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    It's about 40 hours of driving time from Bellingham to Tok. During the most beautiful time of year. That should be doable in 2 days with two properly motivated and caffienated drivers. Heckuva lot easier logistically than flying up.

    I drove down in October 2005 with a big cooler and small freezer full of moose and fish. I opened all the truck canopy windows wide and ran a 2KW generator, filling it each time I stopped for fuel. Swapped meat between the freezer and the cooler halfway. Worked like a champ.

    As for hunting, on a drop like that, I'd make certain that you keep talking and camp smells to a minimum, on the presumption that any moose within your range to pack back to your lake can hear you...work that to your advantage and don't spook 'em all away.

  8. #8

    Default Lake Hunt with 40 Mile

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    I have done web searches but I can't find anywhere to rent camping gear in TOK. Do I need to fly up all of my own camping gear (tents, stoves, cots etc) or is there a place in TOK to rent it?
    Tok is a SMALL town in the middle of Alaska - think a couple of gas stations, one grocery store, a hardware store, a small sporting good store, etc. I've hunted there several times with 40 mile, have never heard of a place to rent gear in town. Shipping your own tried and trusted gear will probably be cheaper anyway, if you plan and ship via the right shipper. Just make sure to allow plenty of time for your gear to get there before you do. 40 Mile will hold it in their hangar until you arrive.

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    How are meat and horns usually shipped from TOK? I found the website for a guy who drives a trailer from anchorage to the lower 48 and charges 700$ (varies with fuel cost) for meat and horns? are there any other options out of TOK?
    See of you can get in touch with "the Nikster" on this forum - he and I had a great caribou hunt with 40 Mile in 2010, and Nick got his antlers and about 100 pounds of meat back home pretty efficiently and cheaply. But, he and I both flew into Anchorage, and we rented a car and drove to Tok (abour 325 miles). There's no easy way to get several hundred pounds of meat from Tok to Anchorage or Fairbanks, and then home...it's gonna cost some dough any way you look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    Hunting on a small lake for moose is a raft or inflatable canoe required/desired? Are there places to rent those in TOK also?
    Small raft isn't required, but can be a help. Again, Tok is a SMALL town - if you're looking to rent a raft better get it in Fairbanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_hunter View Post
    Does anyone have other ideas for a inexpensive DIY hunt?
    Sure - drive up to Alaska, and hike in off the road in a unit open to non-residents. You'll have a lot of company, and might not see many bulls. But, it will be less expensive.

  9. #9
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    "170 each for flight from Fairbanks to Tok via fortymile air" is a good deal. If I had to rent a car I would probably start in ANC, 120 miles further than FAI but more options and my experience is flight are about $75-100 cheaper into ANC than FAI from SEA. If you drive up from the SEA area let me know I would like to give you some gas money in exchange for taking some items up for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFishOn View Post
    "170 each for flight from Fairbanks to Tok via fortymile air" is a good deal. If I had to rent a car I would probably start in ANC, 120 miles further than FAI but more options and my experience is flight are about $75-100 cheaper into ANC than FAI from SEA. If you drive up from the SEA area let me know I would like to give you some gas money in exchange for taking some items up for me.
    This would be my recomendation, having done it 2xs. Mail some of your camping gear ahead of time to 40 mile, fly to anc (a little cheaper air fare, far my choices for pickin up some last minute supplies,) rent a vehicle to drive to tok (an absolute beautiful drive). Your vehicle rental will be a FIXED expense for the how many days you rent it, and you can load it down as heavy as you choose to load it going each way. Verses a flight that you said was limited to 75lbs ( you can probably have more weight but the $$$$$$ rack up quick) You can then fedex or whatever any gear home and freeze what ever meat you choose to take home and fly it with you. Just saying what has worked very well for me in the past. I feel like your plans are going to be loaded with alot of hidden cost. Your hunt can be done for the amounts you have stated, but you have to explore all the options and know ALL THE COSTS OF ANY OF YOUR PLANS. On a trip like this hidden or unexpected costs can rack up quick. I personally would use my own camping gear, like I said mail some ahead of time, fly the rest up with you. Buy food and misc once in anchorage. Mail or ship all camping gear and antlers home after the hunt and only fly home with meat. I also bought a small inflatable at Sportsman's Warehouse and found it worth the weight and expense for expanding the hunting area.

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    Member 379 Peterbilt's Avatar
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    There is a freezer facility in Tok called Tok Mini Storage 907-883-5546. They are literaly a 3 minute drive from 40 mile air. The gal that runs it is Vikki and she runs a clean and dependable operation. I have picked up moose and 'bou there the last two years, headed for the lower 48. She has stored meat and antlers untill Sept 27th both years. However, I havent serviced Washington, as nobody from there has asked to ship.

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    Thanks everyone for your informative posts. As always, you guys are a treasure chest of valuable info.
    I envy you that live up in that great state!

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    I think 40Mile uses Vikki. I do know that I picked my meat up from a mini-storage place when I hunted with them. It sure is nice to send your meat back with 40Mile from the field and find it sitting in a nice cooler when you pick it up.

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    You've made a good start to planning your trip! The members of this forum can be a wealth of information.

    I've heard good things about 40 mile air and hope to have them fly me in on a caribou one of these years. For moose - and looking at budgetary constraints, maybe one tag and one bull would be enough? A big bull can yeild 450+lbs of meat, whereas a spike-fork is around 200+ lbs. Air transport from the field is an extra trip or two - - and if you have 2 bulls, that could be 4 or 5 extra flights.

    As one of the replies suggested, if you can get extra travel time, driving might be the best option. Bring a freezer (12+ cf ?) with you and after you fill it up, plug it in each night. I made the drive from Vancouver to Ft St John in one day and then from Ft St John to Tok in the next, but each day was 18 hrs. That would be taxing knowing you're jumping a plane to the bush.

    Another option would be to catch the ferry out of Bellingham to Haines, and from there the drive to Tok is about 9-10 hours, but you will have border crossings. The ferry ride is just under 4 days each way, and the cost for a pick-up with two passengers isn't too bad. Plus ya could get a cabin on the return trip.

    Finally, if you stick with flying into Fairbanks and need to rent a raft or gear, try Blue Moose Rafting in Fairbanks. I used to work with him and he's got good rates on all kinds and sizes of rafts and gear.

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    I agree with the others that say drive up. I dont think it will take up that much more time considering you wont have to drive past Tok saving the Fairbanks to Tok and Tok to Fairbanks legs. You will also have all of your gear with you and means to get everything home. Remember there is a fee to bring your rifles through Canada but I think its only $35.00 each. By the time you figure your airfare to AK and to Tok and back and the price to get your meat and horns back to Washington I think you will be money ahead.

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    40-mile air will do you good. I think the $900 figure for meat haul may be PER animal!
    Peterbilt has put together a good program-use him if you can, otherwise...
    I spent a day and boned my caribou and trimmed him well. My meat fit into two coolers at 50 lbs each. ( I did donate some at 40-mile) I broke my antlers in half and placed them in a box with the tips covered by a piece of hose. Each box cost $50 to ship as excess baggage on Alaska air. A meal at Fast Eddies in Tok is a must. Being a realist, I would say this... "determine your costs, include everything you can imagine, then add AT LEAST 50%!" A trip into the Alaskan bush is worth every penny-a trip out is worth more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFishOn View Post
    "170 each for flight from Fairbanks to Tok via fortymile air" is a good deal. If I had to rent a car I would probably start in ANC, 120 miles further than FAI but more options and my experience is flight are about $75-100 cheaper into ANC than FAI from SEA. If you drive up from the SEA area let me know I would like to give you some gas money in exchange for taking some items up for me.
    depends on flights... since dad passed i have had to run back and forth to AZ via Vegas... flights Fairbanks to Seatlle have been the same cost and occasionally cheaper then Anch to seattle.. on the average RT Fbk to Vegas and a rental car to AZ has been ~ 1200.00 then i use miles to buy down a lot too( and a few at NO COST at all )... and fly first class due to upgrades. burned 200K miles since aug... ,<sigh>

    use the AK air web site rather the the online dealers.. AK Air will almost ALWAYS beat orbitz or the others.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    A couple of other notes: AK Air is also very gun friendly. Not so much on another airline I flew with once.

    Car rental from ANC is loaded with taxes and fees. I can be a LOT cheaper to rent "near" the airport than "at" the airport.

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    Ditto, dont rent from the airport, they cost s lot more and have higher taxes. It's also cheaper to book on line in advance. I found this out the hard way a few weeks ago. Never having rented a car before, I didn't know. The guy at the rental car place filled me in. I would drive up with a freezer and not mess with air travel. Too many headaches. Drive your own rig, have all the gear you want and you'll save a lot of money! Gas through Canada would be cheaper than all your air fare!

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    Looking at flights to ANC or FAI from SEA on AK Air near end of AUG to return around 17 SEP I find that flights are about $250 more to fly into FAI than ANC. I've made the SEA to ANC flight 6 times in the last six months and I'm a constant watcher of the prices SEA has cheap flights to ANC and normally 200-250 more Round Trip to FAI vic ANC...my experiences at least. Some other options out there for rentals as folks mentioned are off airport rentals and often some of the small places that sell used cars have rentals and believe it or not you can get a uhaul rental to tok and then back. Or take a bus there and a Uhaul back with your harvest. You also can rent a uhaul pickup cheap but have mileage to pay....check the sites out and do your math. But sometimes for example if you fly into ANC then take ERA to Kenai to fish you can rent a uhaul pickup for a lot less than a Hertz car in the summer even with the mileage costs with uhaul.

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