Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Newb to the forum - Moose hunt - float or drop?

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7

    Default Newb to the forum - Moose hunt - float or drop?

    I am beginning planning for an archery moose hunt for 2013. I am trying to decide on a float hunt or a drop camp. I am planning on going unguided. It seems like a drop camp could be less work...no packing and unpacking the raft...but could be more walking in a drop camp...I had a good friend that floated a river in GMU 23 10 years ago...him and another hunter took 2 moose and 2 caribou with bows...so I have had a woody ever since then to do a float hunt. But speaking to different outfitters has got me thinking...just looking for opinions and thoughts...thanks

  2. #2
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,689

    Default

    A float hunt sounds like a better option. I would contact Michael Strahan (this forum owner ) as he is a hunt planner. He also has a book he wrote specific on float hunts. You have time to get all the basics down pat and have a great hunt. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    If the outfitter can guarantee there are legal moose within packing range when you are there, no one else will be hunting the area and you know how to hunt moose in that type of country. I would go with a drop camp.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    Lots of "ifs" there. Generally speaking, I would opt for a float trip. If you have never done one, I would recommend Larry Bartlett's videos about float hunting. I wish I had seen them prior to going on my first one. He's also is a hunt planner. I did a drop camp on a slough but we had rafts with motors to get around and expand our hunt area. Packing a big bull back to camp on a drop hunt is not necessarily a fun task.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,391

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    If the outfitter can guarantee there are legal moose within packing range when you are there, no one else will be hunting the area and you know how to hunt moose in that type of country. I would go with a drop camp.
    If an outfitter offers a "guarantee" of legal animals, I'd find another outfitter. There are no guarantees in Alaska hunting, particularly when the legality of an animal is dictated by antler or horn size.

    I'd second the recommendation of talking to Michael Strahan and/or reading his book or watching Larry Bartlett's video. There certainly is a work component in float hunting that doesn't exist in a drop camp, but for my time and money, I think I'd rather do a float trip.

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7

    Default

    thanks for the replies....more ifs! I bought Michael Strahan's book yesterday...that's what so awesome about this...i am so stoked to be going to AK...how could it go wrong Dont answer that...Moose hunted BC last year...8 days on the river...saw one moose, hot rainy...they just weren't moving. the week after we left, the party right behind us shot two nice CA moose...that's how it works. We do our own thing here in CO for elk...pack in to wilderness with llamas...either see a bunch of elk or??? who knows...I dont mind so bad...just want to be able to check this box before I give up the ghost! thanks again...

  7. #7
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    I really think it all comes down to if you are content to see one area, that has the potential of having a lot of moose in it, or you want to see more area on a float trip. One is not necessarily better than the other. I can remember guiding a guy once where we were dropped in. The plan was to go to another area where the season would be open the next day. But the bulls the outfitters had found "seemed" to not be there anymore. But on the way in we saw a bunch of nice bulls. Unfortunately this area didn't open for a couple more days yet. They said the choice was mine. After I talked it over with the hunter for a few minutes we opted to go to the area were we had just seen the bulls. By the time opening day came I had seen 19 legal bulls. It seemed that in the mornings every little meadow had bulls sparring in it. My hunter could hardly compose himself. So if you happen to to be in a spot like this, why would you need to see more area floating down a river? Again, it's a great way to see more of the country and "possibly" more moose. But it doesn't guarantee it that's for sure.

  8. #8
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    alaska, all over the state
    Posts
    986

    Default

    I think id plan on figuring out your expectations for the hunt and plan accordingly. A considerable effort is involved in a float hunt and knowledge of meat care in river conditions should definitely be considered. In my opinion its relatively easy for a novice boater on a hunt to end up working quite a bit more than hunting...efficiency and knowing where to put your hunting efforts along the river and when to do your traveling are things that come with haveing done some float hunts. Besides foot travel there are very little logistics for a drop hunter..a float hunt is all about logistics and requires not only a basic knowledge of reading watwer and water safety, but will want to posess the skills with which to float his craft and party safely down the crick. He might also wanna know a little about boat repair, and good ol allaround woodsmanship will be called upon a bit more readily than a hunter in drop camp......just things ID think about.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default Where to get specific hunting advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by COElkHntr View Post
    I am beginning planning for an archery moose hunt for 2013. I am trying to decide on a float hunt or a drop camp.
    Your initial post sounds to me like you've got too much experience to require an actual guide, but not enough experience in the area/region to go it alone, or merely via free advice (which is oftentimes worth exactly the price paid). You sound to me like the perfect fit to do biz with a hunt planner. There are a few of them in the biz, including (as said previously) the owner of this site.

    If I were you, I'd have an initial (free, I would hope) talk with a couple of hunt planners, and then decisively make your move which to spend money at - you'll know by then, how much $, and which you feel more comfortable dealing with - and then be happy with having your Alaskan wilderness experience, getting lots of pictures, and getting back in one piece, and count it as a true blessing (a bonus) if you're fortunate enough to bring home some meat after your first trip afield here.

  10. #10
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,689

    Default

    FAMILYMAN hit the nail on the head. Great advice right there.

  11. #11
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,406

    Default

    I would also add in the hunt planner and tell you that the level of professionalism and advice you could get from hiring Mike would be well worth the money and his fees are very reasonable and affordable.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7

    Default

    thanks again for the replies...great advice...I love the idea of being on the river...my BC hunt was on a river...was a phenomenal experience...fog drifting across the river...beavers...too few moose! I started this as a float hunt prep...then got redirected by an outfitter...he made some great points...so started me thinking. How would one go about reaching out to hunt planners? My expectation is simple....see some great country...do my own thing, see some game and have the opportunity for a shot, take lots of pictures. My Grandfather grew up in MT, right before he passed away he said "I wish I had seen Alaska..." I don't want to say that! Thanks for the help...not done yet...but I am leaning towards a float...would love the opportunity for a chance at a caribou also...but from reading this forum...seems like a lot of challenges with the caribou herds...same issue in Quebec I would think...indigenous people saying to many taken by non-indigenous hunters, too many wolves (we have wolves in CO now...already impacting the elk herds) too many nonresident hunters...probably the truth is in there somewhere...sorry for the ramble...appreciate the feedback

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by COElkHntr View Post
    thanks again for the replies...great advice...I love the idea of being on the river...my BC hunt was on a river...was a phenomenal experience...fog drifting across the river...beavers...too few moose! I started this as a float hunt prep...then got redirected by an outfitter...he made some great points...so started me thinking. How would one go about reaching out to hunt planners? My expectation is simple....see some great country...do my own thing, see some game and have the opportunity for a shot, take lots of pictures. My Grandfather grew up in MT, right before he passed away he said "I wish I had seen Alaska..." I don't want to say that! Thanks for the help...not done yet...but I am leaning towards a float...would love the opportunity for a chance at a caribou also...but from reading this forum...seems like a lot of challenges with the caribou herds...same issue in Quebec I would think...indigenous people saying to many taken by non-indigenous hunters, too many wolves (we have wolves in CO now...already impacting the elk herds) too many nonresident hunters...probably the truth is in there somewhere...sorry for the ramble...appreciate the feedback
    Drop me a line and let's talk. And I do recommend you talk to other planners too. I'm really comprehensive, and each of us has a different niche. I've been at this around 20 years or so... and I'm happy to provide references from both successful and unsuccessful hunters.

    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

  14. #14
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks Michael...sent you an email from your site...

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Lots of "ifs" there. Generally speaking, I would opt for a float trip. If you have never done one, I would recommend Larry Bartlett's videos about float hunting. I wish I had seen them prior to going on my first one. He's also is a hunt planner. I did a drop camp on a slough but we had rafts with motors to get around and expand our hunt area. Packing a big bull back to camp on a drop hunt is not necessarily a fun task.
    Bill, I'm thinking that packing a big bull back to camp on a drop hunt is still a lot less work than packing the bull back to camp on a float hunt, and packing/unpacking camp, setting up tent, an packing/unpacking meat 4-5 times on a float hunt? Also, if you get unlucky with the water levels and do a lot more dragging than in most years, now you're talking a LOT of work on a float hunt.

    I'm asking, not stating, because I always do drop hunts. i have hunted along rivers a couple of times, but we had a boat, so not floating.

  16. #16
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    alaska, all over the state
    Posts
    986

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mdhunter View Post
    Bill, I'm thinking that packing a big bull back to camp on a drop hunt is still a lot less work than packing the bull back to camp on a float hunt, and packing/unpacking camp, setting up tent, an packing/unpacking meat 4-5 times on a float hunt? Also, if you get unlucky with the water levels and do a lot more dragging than in most years, now you're talking a LOT of work on a float hunt.

    I'm asking, not stating, because I always do drop hunts. i have hunted along rivers a couple of times, but we had a boat, so not floating.
    No comparison. Drop camp moose hunting requires very little effort to hunt out of oncecamp is established. The packing work that comes with sucess pales in comparison to the never ending efforts involved with float hunting. Dont get me wrong...in my opinion i believe the opportunity for true adventure is greatly increased on a river...and the satisfaction at the conclusion of a hunt is greater for me. Definitely are pros to the advantage of travel floating provides as well....but the amount of effort is in no way compareable.

  17. #17
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ninefoot View Post
    No comparison. Drop camp moose hunting requires very little effort to hunt out of oncecamp is established. The packing work that comes with sucess pales in comparison to the never ending efforts involved with float hunting. Dont get me wrong...in my opinion i believe the opportunity for true adventure is greatly increased on a river...and the satisfaction at the conclusion of a hunt is greater for me. Definitely are pros to the advantage of travel floating provides as well....but the amount of effort is in no way compareable.
    It's usually PLENTY enough work as it is after killing a bull on a drop hunt, than to add to it the dealing with with the meat daily ON TOP of setting up new camp, water conditions, etc... on a float trip.....jmo.

  18. #18
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,406

    Default

    I've done both a drop and float hunt for moose and will say that I prefer the float over the drop. Allow way more options and access to different hunting lands if one area isn't producing or someone else decides that they like you spot as well. It's also very easy to stink up an area and blow it. I think that a drop camp you end up hunting farther and farther away from camp and can end up with a very long pack out as well
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    80

    Default

    COElkHntr, I have done both drop camps and float hunts as well. As others have mentioned, each has their strong/weak points. My personal preference is float hunts. In post 12, you mention the following: "My expectation is simple....see some great country...do my own thing, see some game and have the opportunity for a shot, take lots of pictures." To me, this sounds like a float hunt. You will definitely see more country floating, you can do your own thing and hunt along the river at any point YOU choose, and can take as many pictures as your heart desires of many different areas along the river. As far as game and opportunity, like you mentioned earlier, its hunting and weather conditions, as well as a whole host of other things may cause you to not see or get an opportunity at an animal.

    Some of the differences to keep in mind: With a drop camp you are limited to a fairly small area. As some of our guides above have pointed out, why do you need to see other areas if you have plenty of Moose close by. That's true. I've talked with many folks who swear by drop camps. In good areas they can be great. But sometimes, no matter the area, the Moose just won't cooperate. What happens at that point? How far can you realistically hunt from a drop camp? 1-2 miles tops? Folks on here will most likely agree that packing a Moose more than a mile isn't a whole lot of fun. Now, make that 2 miles that you have to pack 600-700 lbs of meat, and that also doesn't include the cape or antlers. How many trips will that take you and your partner? On a float hunt, if the Moose aren't cooperating in one area, I can float to another where they might work with me. Obviously, there is no guarantee that floating down river will get you into Moose, but it usually doesn't hurt. I would also add that most times, but not always, the packing distances can be much less than a drop camp. My last Bull, we packed about 100 yards downhill to the raft.


    Another difference is the amount of work that goes into a float hunt. With a drop camp, once you get camp set up, your main work is gathering wood, and hopefully packing your animal back to camp. If youíre hunting on a float hunt correctly, you are not changing camps every day. You will be floating a set distance on a river that allows you to hunt likely spots for a few days or more before you move on. On the days you float, you are loading/unloading the raft with gear and hopefully, meat. You have to set up/tear down camp, and take care of the meat. This does not take several hours to do. If you take your time, itís about an hour or a bit more. Oh, and you never know what youíll see around the next bend in the river. I have seen Moose & Bears while floating, but more importantly, you get to see things that you normally donít during therest of the year. The Eagle thatís eating fish along the river, the grayling as they rise to the surface, maybe itís the ducks that watch you float up to them, then take off and land on the river ahead of you and repeat throughout the day. On a nice day, it can be relaxing. You are watching the river ahead for both game and possible river hazards. Iíve had days on the river where the rain seems like itís coming from all directions or its gotten so cold that my feet feel like wood blocks. Iíve had days on the river where it was 70 degrees and I am worrying about my meat. Other days have been 5-10 degrees and Iím worried about my feet. Some of these have happened on the same trip. A nice float hunt will always be an adventure, even if you do not harvest anything.

    A float hunt will generally cost you more for the added equipment you have to rent. You can probably take more gear if you want to make camp a bit more comfortable aswell.

    If I sound biased towards float hunting, itís because I am. Everyone has their preferences and I am no different. We all think our preferred method is the best.

    We can all tell you our thoughts on which is better, but the bottom line is what do you want? Hereís an exercise for you to help you decide what you would like to do. Find a nice quiet place, close your eyes and imagine your hunt in Alaska. Think about your expectations and in turn, place yourself in a drop camp and then a float hunt. For your ďBucket ListĒ, which type of hunt do YOU see yourself on?

    Sorry to be so long-winded and good luck with what ever hunt you choose. Both Mike Strahan and Larry Bartlett (Hunt Planners) can help you in putting your hunt together, if needed.

    Let us know what hunt you finally choose.

    V/R
    Moose44

  20. #20
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Moose44 and the rest...thanks for the thoughts...I am still undecided which way to go...but....I really appreciate the sage advice. I will continue to read and plan...got Michael's book on the night stand...lots of websites to view and maps to study...the good thing is...one way or another I am going!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •