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Thread: opinions on first float hunt for moose

  1. #1

    Default opinions on first float hunt for moose

    So, I'm thinking about a float hunt for moose. Neither I nor any of my hunting partners have ever rafted before but I have some limited canoeing experience. We have drop camped for caribou out of Kotz(thanks Walt) and have a bunch of elk hunting under our belts so we are experienced camp hunters. So, I was wondering what the wisdom of doing a first float for moose was in your experienced opinions?
    Thanks
    Bruce

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Bruce:

    There is no better time than the present. When we decided to do our float hunt for moose in the fall of 2010 we also had never done a float hunt, but with lot's of planning everything worked out great.

    Not sure if you've read our experience but you can find it at this link:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-kingfisherktn

    If you are thinking of doing the float this fall you are probably getting a little late to set up air transport and equipment rental. You can contact Michael Strahan, owner of this site for he does hunt planning and could provide you with excellent advice.

    Good luck and if you have questions send me an email.

    kingfisherktn

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    Member elksnout's Avatar
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    Hey King, along this line of float hunting "experience" 2 of us will be doing this Sept 2013. We are wondering if (god forbid) we get a moose down in the water, whats the best option to get him out enough to break down? My partner wants to bring a come-a-long, but with our weight limit for gear this doesn't seem practical? I was thinking a aluminum pulley system might work with 2 of us?

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elksnout View Post
    Hey King, along this line of float hunting "experience" 2 of us will be doing this Sept 2013. We are wondering if (god forbid) we get a moose down in the water, whats the best option to get him out enough to break down? My partner wants to bring a come-a-long, but with our weight limit for gear this doesn't seem practical? I was thinking a aluminum pulley system might work with 2 of us?
    We thought about bringing a come-a-long but opted out also because of the weight issue. We did as you suggested by bringing a light weight pulley system that we put together. We had 4 guys to pull on it if needed but fortunately we didn't have to put it into use. If you don't want to sit on top of the moose in the cold water while you break it down into manageable pieces you might want to consider the pulley and hopefully the 2 of you could move the critter into the shallows.

    king

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    How about a pulley system under 1lb??

    http://www.akcooltools.com/hitchmaster.html
    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

  6. #6
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    How about a pulley system under 1lb??

    http://www.akcooltools.com/hitchmaster.html
    We actually considered that tool but we had the light weight pulleys so decided not to spend the $. It does sound like an interesting prospect.

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    Bruce, there has to be a first time for everything. Like everyone else on here, we got our start by jumping on (usually) a relatively easy class I/II river. I have several floats under my belt and it has become my favorite, and usually only method for Moose. Read all you can on rafting and river travel. The 2 best books about float hunting are Michael Strahans Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers and Larry Bartletts Float Hunting Alaska. For my first float, we started by using Larry Bartlett's Hunt Planning service. Mike Strahan has one as well, though I have never used his. Mike may jump in here as well and he is great about answering questions asked on the forum and through his PM. From what I understand, Walt is great about outfitting a float hunt out of Kotz as well, plus there are some really nice bulls up there.

    There is lots of experience on the forum, so don't be afraid to ask questions. we've all been there.

    For what its worth, I have never taken a come-a-long on a float hunt. I always thought it was too much weight. Knock on wood, I haven't had to quarter a Moose in the water, but if I did, its part of the hunt. You'll be miserable from what I understand, but you'll get it done.

    Take care,
    Moose44

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I've had a couple of them die in the water, *(%^$%#^$) That being said they wer'nt that bad to take care of., smiles.

    Moose float so they can be floated to shallow water and if they are within the 25-40" range a couple of guys can get him up far enough on the bank to get the guts out then you can get it up futher and start the prosess of cuting it up.

    I'd rather not shoot one that ends up in the water, but its not that big of a deal. ( sometimes they don't fall where you want them to )

  9. #9

    Default Float Hunts

    Bruce, you're killing me!

    Float hunts take a little more work but the pay off is worth the effort. Moose like water so it makes sense to do a float hunt. Bruce make sure you get your application in by Nov. 2012 and the draw is in Feb. About 50% for unit 23.

    All of the rivers we pit clients on in Unit 23 are flat water, all of them. Ver little chance that anyone will take a bath. Look at the Kug, Nimmi, Tag, Selawik and the Wulik Rivers. The Kelly is also a good choice but it see's more use that the others. Allow for time. A moose hunt should be 9-10 days and be sure to over lap Sept. 20 by 2-3 days so you can convert your Moose tag into a caribou tag if you don't fill it. Nice option.


    Ok Bruce, time to plan! Keep asking questions and let the hunt begin!

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Kotz

    PS I dropped this one in the Noatak and had 5 hours or underwater cutting ahead of me.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    We actually considered that tool but we had the light weight pulleys so decided not to spend the $. It does sound like an interesting prospect.
    What kind of light weight pulleys did you have and where did you find them?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  11. #11
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    What kind of light weight pulleys did you have and where did you find them?
    Tom:

    Not sure what they were off of, but they were 3" aluminum pulleys and I picked them up at a garage sale. Sorry, they didn't have any markings on them so I can't tell you who made them. I'm guessing they were something from the fishing industry.

    king

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    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Tom:

    Not sure what they were off of, but they were 3" aluminum pulleys and I picked them up at a garage sale. Sorry, they didn't have any markings on them so I can't tell you who made them. I'm guessing they were something from the fishing industry.

    king
    any kind of little block and tackle type pulleys will work...hardware stores, commercial fishing supply places in ak, and if ya wanna get fancy theres plenty of that type of stuff in any store that carries climbing gear. once as a packer i observed a moose jump into a deep slew after being shot through both lungs...he was swimming ok and woulda made the other bank if the client hadnt then shot him under the ear about half way across, much to our dismay as you could imagine! about six or seven inches of his 63 inch spread were above water when we got to him. it was tons of work, and we DID have a come-a-long. mikes book (or any rafting or swiftwater rescue book) might have some information concerning a "z drag"...its just a system in which you can gain extra mechanical advantage with a couple pulleys and a climbing rope. used mostly for rescueing rafts from bad situations from shore when they've got lots of drag on them from the river. may be a tool useful for getting a moose out of the water...i'd reccomend picking your shots wisely. not many reasons i cant think of that a situation would call for dropping a moose in the water...but it does happen. and come a longs are a bit bulky and heavy. retrieval is pretty important to think about when moose hunting though...thats a pile of meat to take care of after the kill. just something to keep in mind. have fun! and use the skills you've hopefully attained from canoeing regarding reading water to good use, and educate yourself as much as possible. mikes book is good with lots of real world stuff in it, all explained in fairly laymans terms. larry bartlett has put out a couple great float hunting books as well as one on meat care along a river...hes a great guy also, i'd highly reccomend them. floating our states rivers is great adventure and an awsome way to see some beautiful country.

    zack

  13. #13

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    Walt, that aint a rubber boat I see you in the water with that moose!! At least I have never seen a rubber boat with that size Merc on it.
    :>)
    Walt, not to dis you but I am trying to also find out WHERE would be the best area to 1) draw some tags and 2)have the best chance of success.
    Any opinions welcome.
    Where do I get those books??
    Thanks
    Bruce

  14. #14

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    Bruce:

    Tag and Selawik are in the same sub unit, that would be my #1 pick and a close #2 would be the Wulik. Good moose, some caribou and world class Dolly Varden. Cant miss.

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com

  15. #15

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    once shot a bull and it fell in water. I was able to drag it to a beach sandbar but the water was a little too shallow to get it very far. No pulleys or enough rope to reach the treeline...so i used my air pump!

    Cut a hole between two rib bones, just large enough for me to insert the end of my air hose into the rib cage. I filled that bull up with air pressure and it actually help float the bull about 1"-1.5" higher, which then allowed me to drag him about 2 feet closer to the beach. This offered me better footing and we were able to qtr the bull and completely work it to a stack of game bags.

    Since then i started taking a small pulley hoist that ways a couple pounds. I have used it a couple times, but i have also used a simple z-drag system made with single pulleys and carabiners. With a 4 or 5 biners and a couple of pulleys you can move some weight without a doubt.

    You can buy single pulleys at the hardware store, but for lightweight models see your local raft shop or order from NRS.

    usually 100-ft of rope is acceptable.

    larry

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    Bruce:

    Tag and Selawik are in the same sub unit, that would be my #1 pick and a close #2 would be the Wulik. Good moose, some caribou and world class Dolly Varden. Cant miss.

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com
    I am not sure about the Selawik, but the TAG has been getting a lot of pressure in recent years. There is a transporter out of Gellena that has setup a base camp on one of the primary pick-up strips and he keeps the cam p full throughout the season, plus there is another transporter out of Kotz that has started droping camps and float hunters on the river. If you go there, look to have plenty of company.

  17. #17
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    once shot a bull and it fell in water. I was able to drag it to a beach sandbar but the water was a little too shallow to get it very far. No pulleys or enough rope to reach the treeline...so i used my air pump!

    Cut a hole between two rib bones, just large enough for me to insert the end of my air hose into the rib cage. I filled that bull up with air pressure and it actually help float the bull about 1"-1.5" higher, which then allowed me to drag him about 2 feet closer to the beach. This offered me better footing and we were able to qtr the bull and completely work it to a stack of game bags.

    Since then i started taking a small pulley hoist that ways a couple pounds. I have used it a couple times, but i have also used a simple z-drag system made with single pulleys and carabiners. With a 4 or 5 biners and a couple of pulleys you can move some weight without a doubt.

    You can buy single pulleys at the hardware store, but for lightweight models see your local raft shop or order from NRS.

    usually 100-ft of rope is acceptable.

    larry
    lol...nice larry...you blew a bull up and floated him? If that aint alaskan ingenuity i dont know what is...

  18. #18
    Member elksnout's Avatar
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    Ya gotta love this site...you guys are full of great ideas and info...Thanks!

  19. #19

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    Where can I get real hunter success data and draw success data? ADF&G somewhere?
    Thanks

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Where can I get real hunter success data and draw success data? ADF&G somewhere?
    Thanks
    For harvest success info, go here: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...unting.species
    Select the species of interest, then click the Harvest Statistics tab in the upper center.

    Draw success found on last page of hunting supplement: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/li..._draw_supp.pdf

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