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Thread: Koyukuk float or jet boat?

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    Default Koyukuk float or jet boat?

    just asking the opinion of people who have hunted the area: Given your choice for successful moose hunting for big bulls, would it be better to take a jet boat up there (exteme shallow 21 foot) or fly in and float down the hogatza river where we drew the tags??? Would you consider the jet boat ride enjoyable, albeit long? thanks for your responses ahead of time!!

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Most fellas here who have done this trip would opt a jet boat hands down. Indeed it is a long trek but an amazing one at that.

    Covering ground is important. There isn't a bull around every bend so you have to be mobile. Jet boats give you that edge.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneck doctor View Post
    just asking the opinion of people who have hunted the area: Given your choice for successful moose hunting for big bulls, would it be better to take a jet boat up there (exteme shallow 21 foot) or fly in and float down the hogatza river where we drew the tags??? Would you consider the jet boat ride enjoyable, albeit long? thanks for your responses ahead of time!!
    What tag # did your draw?

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    FLY IN AND FLOAT! Did I say that loud enough? To run a ES up into the Hog would be a very long trip. I don't know exactly how many river miles that would be, but just guessing, it looks like it would take you several days just to get to the mouth. From the Yukon R. bridge to the Dulbi R. is almost 500 miles, then it looks to be around another 150 miles to the mouth of the Hog. Then however far up the Hog you have to go. Running over 1300 miles (round trip) in a nice big comfortable boat is a long ways, doing it in a 21'er with a 200hp Sportjet? Wow. Fly in, do a nice float trip, take a nice bull or two and fly out. That's how I would rather do it.

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    I drew moose 896 in a party tag with my buddy

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    How many gallons of gas were you planning to carry on your boat from the time you departed Galena? Do you realize what gas you carry has to get you into your area and back to Galena? Might be able to buy fuel at Huslia, but not a guarantee.

    I would roughly guess you are going to be traveling 350-400 miles from Galena to get into your hunting area.

    Personally I would prefer going by jet boat, but only if you have the logistics handled. Two guys in your boat and all your gear bet you are talking about having to carry 370-400 gallons of gas on deck as a minimum unless you plan on running back to Galena using just a kicker.
    Not using a kicker figure on 2.5 days of non stop running to get there, add another 2.5 to get back.

    Rivers up there are normally slow. I think a float hunt would be fun but then again you could be stuck with a load of moose for a long time because you have to check it out at the check station. Plans would have to be made to have the meat picked up and flown to Galena, then to Anchorage otherwise it could spoil.

    I have hunted well above Huslia twice so you know I am just not spewing random thoughts.

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Read similar threads but hands down, boat it. Be it jet or prop, for me it was... Just awesome. But do your homework.
    Tony

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    Fly and float.

    That would be a crazy amount of running by jet boat to get up there.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Like Snowwolfe said, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get fuel in Huslia. If you can, fuel won't be a problem. If you can't get fuel in Huslia, I can guarantee you that you will not be able to step enough fuel, two people and gear, with your boat to get you from Galena to your hunting grounds and back. Fully loaded you will average no more than about 2.4 mpg and maybe not even that good. The distance you will have to travel on a boat load of fuel (if you can't get it in Huslia) will be about 700 miles round trip. That's just to the mouth of the Hog. You will need a minimum of about 300 gallons of fuel, with the fuel containers (10-30 gallon containers) you will have about 2100 lbs give or take of fuel alone. I would suggest putting 10-30gal. containers full of water (weighs a little over a pound/gal. than fuel) plus all your gear and both of you guys in the boat, and see how it runs. Oh, don't forget oil, you'll need enough for the whole trip, maybe 15 gallons give or take. I would take a little more than you think you'll use. Talk to Stid on the forum here, he and Big 27 (also on the forum) did the trip a couple years ago in your boat. I think he said that when they left Galena, the most fuel that they could step was like 190 gallons with them and their gear. They took 1 bull not too far up the Koyukuk and had a lot of problems getting back on step and staying on step with the wt. of the animal and less the wt. of the fuel that they had already burned. They ended up giving all the meat away in the village of Koyukuk because they didn't think that they would be able to get it back to the bridge. If I remember correctly, that's how the story went. Like I said, get ahold of Stid. There boat was in new condition with a perfect impellor/pump, etc. I'm telling you man, fly and float. You will have a much more enjoyable trip.

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    Option C would be to get flown out in a Beaver with a motorized raft but you'd need lake access that can dump you into the river system.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneck doctor View Post
    just asking the opinion of people who have hunted the area: Given your choice for successful moose hunting for big bulls, would it be better to take a jet boat up there (exteme shallow 21 foot) or fly in and float down the hogatza river where we drew the tags??? Would you consider the jet boat ride enjoyable, albeit long? thanks for your responses ahead of time!!
    So you basically have from one end to the other. I guess it really comes down to 3 things; time, money, and resources. Depending on any variation to one of these three could cause you to lean towards your preferred choice.
    Tony

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    I'm coming up with more questions than answers! I wonder what the odds are of gas in Huslia? I'm sure they have to sell it. I know a lot of locals must use gas up ther for their own personal boats, four wheelers, etc. I do like the option of being mobile when I'm up ther with a jet baot, though.

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    People in the villages don't have to do anything, lol. We never had any problems dealing with locals but some people do.

    One group of guys I met about 4 years ago actually bought gas at Huslia. They told me they had to get there before a certain time, carry their jugs to the fuel, then carry the full jugs back to the boat. You ever try to carry a 15 gallon drum of gas? Let alone a 30. It isnt that they don't sell it, it is they are very selective if they want it to sell it to visiting hunters. It is a different mind set up there.

    Bring some bottles of whiskey with you. It is the currency of choice along the river. And I am not pulling your leg. We bought gas at Tanana, Ruby, and Galena. Only Tanana accepted plastic. This might of changed but I doubt it.
    Tanana and Galena have fuel hoses that reach the river.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Bring some bottles of whiskey with you. It is the currency of choice along the river.
    I would advise against using alcohol as currency in rural Ak. Some villages have importation bans, and trading alcohol for services or gas could be construed as boot legging. Possibility for real problems.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    What a wonderful dilemma!! What totally insane, go big or go home trip of a lifetime to take. Both trips will cost you an arm and a leg and take a very long time. What would put it over the edge for me is the mechanical part. That is a TON of miles on a jet boat. Just one mechanical failure and you are super duper screwed. The only mechanical failure for a float trip is with the airplane, and they rarely fail, at least compared to a jet boat. Your boat WILL break down. How good of a mechanic are you? I really love my jet boat and try to do all my trips in boats. I also really love being on the water. Floating gives you a very pleasurable experience and rowing a boat is heaven for me. I bet you will see more game without the noisy motor. That might offset the inability to go back upstream. Wow, I love this sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    I would advise against using alcohol as currency in rural Ak. Some villages have importation bans, and trading alcohol for services or gas could be construed as boot legging. Possibility for real problems.
    What villages that sell fuel between Galena and Huslia have importation bans on liquor?

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