Hey there all!
I wanted to introduce myself to the forum real quick as you will likely see many upcoming threads bearing my name, along with questions that are sure to amuse.
First, the bad news: I've lived in Alaska most of my life, but I've never been big game hunting! A sad thing, I know, but the good news is I plan on becoming one within the next year. I've had an interest in it lately, but couldn't manage it because I've been going to college out of state. Now that I'm returning back to the Great Land, I figure it's time to actually become an Alaskan!
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I've never bushwhacked before. But I've usually been focusing on how to avoid bears, not how to bait them in. Anyway, I've taken the last few weeks and spent some time rifling through these forums for information on hunting in general. I'm also becoming very familiar with Fish and Game's website, and the corresponding labyrinth of rules and regulations. From what I've gathered so far, there is no such thing as planning too much for big game hunts! It's with this in mind that I have signed up and look forward to bugging some old timers about, well, pretty much everything related to the hunt, from the undergarments to the butcher.
I'm moving back up next month, and I plan on starting the slow process (due to the all-too-familiar budget constraints and work/school schedules) of gathering equipment and scouting some areas. I'm looking forward to the 2013 season more so than the upcoming one simply due to the vast gap of knowledge I'll be trying to fill (and applying for permits, and the Basic Hunter Education Course, and did I mention not knowing a thing about skinning and packing a 1500 pound moose?).
I'm in the process of becoming a teacher, meaning that, if I'm lucky enough to get a job, as soon as seasons open I'll be required to be in a classroom 5 days of the week. On the bright side, it also means that I'll be able to scout spots (and fish) through most of the summer. I've got a good place not too far off the highway in GMU 20 to operate out of, and I'll be living between Anchorage and the Valley. Theoretically that opens up a lot of different Units. I'd prefer to hunt moose in GMU20, specifically A and C, but I've heard that A has experienced quite the hunting pressure. Is it too unrealistic to think that I could scout out some bulls in early August and take one over a long weekend in early September, keeping in mind I wouldn't be alone? Does a moose hunt HAVE to mean a week out in the sticks?
Looking forward to getting to know some of you and hopefully contributing to the forums. For what it's worth: I PROMISE not to ask about your favorite spot in the woods. I'd like to get one of my own.... eventually....
does a moose hunt have to be a week in the sticks? no it doesnt, if you do it right....put your time in on a good spot, find where the animals are and opening day slip in there, bag your bull, and go home.....thats whats worked for me most years....def helps to have a couple healthy buddies to help with the hard work....moose hunting is pretty easy for the most part...hardest part is locating a legal animal....which could take days or weeks or even the whole season.....depending on how much time you allow yourself in the field.....good luck and welcome to the forum!
Release Lake Trout
Welcome aboard! First of all, I'm a teacher as well and I live in Eagle River. If you want to sit down over a beer or a cup of coffee when you get home, let me know. I'm always up for looking over maps and talking hunting (and butchering, apparently). I can't promise any gems of wisdom, but I'm happy to talk ideas. As for moose, no - as was pointed out above, you don't need to take a week, nor do you have to be way off the beaten path. Obviously, though, the longer you have the better your odds are. Teaching is an excellent profession for fishing, but somewhat terrible for hunting. Still, there are lots of teachers who hunt and you'll just have to figure out a way to make it happen every year. Between 2.5 days of personal leave, leave without pay, and weekends, you can make a lot of options work for you. There are also a couple of options available in the first week of August, but those require a good deal of travel and/or expense.
Welcome to the forums, and welcome back to Alaska. A moose hunt, if your lucky, is 3 weeks in the sticks and bagging one the last day! Nothing better than time in the field. But as Brian mentioned, being a teacher is tough on your hunting career. I'm sure he can give you great tips, as he always finds a way to get out more than most, so it can be done!
Excellent! Thanks for the feedback guys! Brian, I may just have to take you up on that offer. Would it be alright if I PM'ed you as it gets closer to my return date? My Mom teaches at KCC and knows a few guys who manage to swing a trip at the beginning of the year, so I know it can be done. It would seem to me that in a state with such a subsistence life style the school districts would start in mid October and run through mid June. Oh well, nice to dream at least.
Denali, I'm with you on being out in the field. In fact, that's all I ever really want to do when I'm home; explore!
Of course, feel free to send me a note when you get home and we'll chat. I hear you on the school schedule - I keep trying to get someone to listen to that reasoning, but it has thus far been to no avail. I went and testified before the school board when they made the switch to an early start, but didn't get much traction.