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Thread: opinions on first float hunt for moose

  1. #21
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Bruce,
    As already suggested get out and get some river miles under your belt BEFORE you do a float hunt. Get the oarsmanship down, sort out how you pack and stow your gear. Initially you'll bring all sorts of stuff you think you might need and after a couple of trips you'll pare that list down as experience lets you better analyze your gear. Take good notes and photos on these first trips. Test your gear and be honest with yourself--maybe your dry-bags aren't, or you brought too much rope, or not enough.

    Consider bringing along some 5 gal pails and filling them with river gravel--they'll be about 100lbs each, and see how your raft manuevers then. This is to simulate the weight of a moose. (it will change the way you approach this hunt, promise)

    Floating is an awesome way to hunt but like everything else it's always best to be prepared.
    As hunters and fishers, our first responsibility is to the longterm health of the resource

    Pray for our President--Psalms 109:8

  2. #22
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Alaska Float Hunting Information

    Hi Bruce,

    Lots of good info in this thread already. I'll toss some sticks on the fire too, if it's all right. I'll start with some links to pages on this site that you may not know about yet.

    LINKS


    • River Information Page. This page has general info about rivers in Alaska. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a listing of several hundred river systems, linked to various print and DVD resources that discuss them. All of those titles listed are in our bookstore.
    • General Hunting Page. This page provides a general overview of the species available in Alaska, together with links to each region and the species available there. Menus on the left-hand side of the page link to other pages on the site, including our regions pages, our Hunt Planning section, our entire Hunting Section (which contains our pages on each species) and more.
    • Hunt Planning Page. This page describes the different methodologies used in hunt planning, mistakes to avoid, a list of hunt planning resources from our bookstore, and a lot more.
    • Hunt Planning Timeline. This page describes the various components of hunt planning and maps them out on a timeline for you, describing when you should be doing each part of your plan. It's one of our hunt planning pages.
    • Hunt Planning Library. This is a list of 15 resources from our bookstore that are of interest to anyone planning an Alaska hunting trip.
    • Float Hunting Library. A list of 17 titles from our book and DVD store that are of particular interest to float hunters.
    • Float Hunting Page. This is our introduction to float hunting in Alaska. It offers pros and cons of float versus drop-camp hunts, details on location selection, gear, principles, meat care and resources.
    • Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers section. This new section unpacks the information contained in the float hunting seminars I've done for the last twenty or so years. The complete menu for that section is located on the left-hand side of the page and includes sections on terminology, hunt costs (in 2012 numbers), river selection, boat selection, river gear and a link to our YouTube channel featuring our Alaska Outdoor University series of podcasts, which just started earlier this winter. This section is intended to compliment (not compete with) the book I later wrote by the same title. I am adding new material to that section, so visit often!
    • Inflatable Boats Pages. The link is to our introduction to inflatable boats for Alaska trips. It contains an overview of boat fabrics, configurations, and links to our other boat pages. A side menu links to our pages on Round Boats, Catarafts, Canoes, Sportboats, Hybrid Boats, and a page on Oar Selection.
    • Meat Care Page. This page outlines the principles of proper meat care, cooling methods, citric acid application, bear problems and packing issues, plus a section on meat care resources from the bookstore.
    • Trophy Care Page. (in process of being written) This page outlines the tools needed and includes a podcast we filmed last fall, which shows the primary caping cuts on a moose. We will add other components to this page as we have time.
    • Hunt Planner Page. This page describes the hunt planning service offered by Outdoors Directory, including a link to put you in direct contact with us.


    All of the pages I listed here are works in progress, so check back often for updates. We plan to place RSS feeds on these pages, so you can be notified as they are updated.

    NOTES ON THE HUNT PLANNING SERVICE

    We provide direct assistance with all aspects of your hunt plan, not just maps and an air charter reservation. We interview you on a variety of related issues and assist you in putting a plan together that meets your expectations and desires. We cover budgeting / cost savings, planning resources, timing, species selection, area selection, transportation, village lodging, land use permits, avoidance of user conflict, interfacing with guides and subsistence users, equipment rental, gear selection, firearms, packing, expediting / shipping, emergency planning, hunting tactics, low-impact camping, field care of meat and trophies, meat donation, trophy expediting, and tons more. And once you're in our program, you're a "lifer". That means that we don't charge you a dime for consultation on subsequent hunts. For float hunts we also provide detailed 1:63,360-series USGS topo maps (the full-sized ones, not the kind you print off your computer). We pre-mark your maps with the river mileage, best hunting areas, and the best campsite locations (and we tell you where we got that info). To my knowledge we offer the most comprehensive hunt planning service on the market, bar none. Every hunt planner has a special niche, and offers something for someone out there. Ours is no different, though it is very thorough. Our two primary goals in the planning service are: 1) to help you develop the connections you need for this hunt and for future hunts, and 2) to provide precision coaching through each step, so you will know what you're doing the next time. The goal is to train you to know how to do your own research, to know how to find an area, to know the best commercial operators, to locate a good hunting area, and to know what to do when you get there. We don't hand you a hunt plan on a silver platter, either. We expect our hunters to shoulder the workload during the planning process and have found that this is, by far, the best way to teach folks how to do this. It's not complicated, but there are many things that require your attention.

    Well, I've blabbed on enough here. You are welcome to send me a PM if you have questions related to the planning service. I'd be happy to discuss that with you.

    Best 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://www.alaskahuntplanning.com/
    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

  3. #23
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Hi Bruce,

    Lots of good info in this thread already. I'll toss some sticks on the fire too, if it's all right. I'll start with some links to pages on this site that you may not know about yet.

    LINKS


    • River Information Page. This page has general info about rivers in Alaska. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a listing of several hundred river systems, linked to various print and DVD resources that discuss them. All of those titles listed are in our bookstore.
    • General Hunting Page. This page provides a general overview of the species available in Alaska, together with links to each region and the species available there. Menus on the left-hand side of the page link to other pages on the site, including our regions pages, our Hunt Planning section, our entire Hunting Section (which contains our pages on each species) and more.
    • Hunt Planning Page. This page describes the different methodologies used in hunt planning, mistakes to avoid, a list of hunt planning resources from our bookstore, and a lot more.
    • Hunt Planning Timeline. This page describes the various components of hunt planning and maps them out on a timeline for you, describing when you should be doing each part of your plan. It's one of our hunt planning pages.
    • Hunt Planning Library. This is a list of 15 resources from our bookstore that are of interest to anyone planning an Alaska hunting trip.
    • Float Hunting Library. A list of 17 titles from our book and DVD store that are of particular interest to float hunters.
    • Float Hunting Page. This is our introduction to float hunting in Alaska. It offers pros and cons of float versus drop-camp hunts, details on location selection, gear, principles, meat care and resources.
    • Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers section. This new section unpacks the information contained in the float hunting seminars I've done for the last twenty or so years. The complete menu for that section is located on the left-hand side of the page and includes sections on terminology, hunt costs (in 2012 numbers), river selection, boat selection, river gear and a link to our YouTube channel featuring our Alaska Outdoor University series of podcasts, which just started earlier this winter. This section is intended to compliment (not compete with) the book I later wrote by the same title. I am adding new material to that section, so visit often!
    • Inflatable Boats Pages. The link is to our introduction to inflatable boats for Alaska trips. It contains an overview of boat fabrics, configurations, and links to our other boat pages. A side menu links to our pages on Round Boats, Catarafts, Canoes, Sportboats, Hybrid Boats, and a page on Oar Selection.
    • Meat Care Page. This page outlines the principles of proper meat care, cooling methods, citric acid application, bear problems and packing issues, plus a section on meat care resources from the bookstore.
    • Trophy Care Page. (in process of being written) This page outlines the tools needed and includes a podcast we filmed last fall, which shows the primary caping cuts on a moose. We will add other components to this page as we have time.
    • Hunt Planner Page. This page describes the hunt planning service offered by Outdoors Directory, including a link to put you in direct contact with us.


    All of the pages I listed here are works in progress, so check back often for updates. We plan to place RSS feeds on these pages, so you can be notified as they are updated.

    NOTES ON THE HUNT PLANNING SERVICE

    We provide direct assistance with all aspects of your hunt plan, not just maps and an air charter reservation. We interview you on a variety of related issues and assist you in putting a plan together that meets your expectations and desires. We cover budgeting / cost savings, planning resources, timing, species selection, area selection, transportation, village lodging, land use permits, avoidance of user conflict, interfacing with guides and subsistence users, equipment rental, gear selection, firearms, packing, expediting / shipping, emergency planning, hunting tactics, low-impact camping, field care of meat and trophies, meat donation, trophy expediting, and tons more. And once you're in our program, you're a "lifer". That means that we don't charge you a dime for consultation on subsequent hunts. For float hunts we also provide detailed 1:63,360-series USGS topo maps (the full-sized ones, not the kind you print off your computer). We pre-mark your maps with the river mileage, best hunting areas, and the best campsite locations (and we tell you where we got that info). To my knowledge we offer the most comprehensive hunt planning service on the market, bar none. Every hunt planner has a special niche, and offers something for someone out there. Ours is no different, though it is very thorough. Our two primary goals in the planning service are: 1) to help you develop the connections you need for this hunt and for future hunts, and 2) to provide precision coaching through each step, so you will know what you're doing the next time. The goal is to train you to know how to do your own research, to know how to find an area, to know the best commercial operators, to locate a good hunting area, and to know what to do when you get there. We don't hand you a hunt plan on a silver platter, either. We expect our hunters to shoulder the workload during the planning process and have found that this is, by far, the best way to teach folks how to do this. It's not complicated, but there are many things that require your attention.

    Well, I've blabbed on enough here. You are welcome to send me a PM if you have questions related to the planning service. I'd be happy to discuss that with you.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    Mike you should make this a sticky and put it at the top here in the float thread.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  4. #24

    Default been off for a bit

    So, I live in SE Wisconsin. I don't own a raft. The only raft rental places around here do white water fun rafting so I can't rent one to try out my boat control skills. Do I abandon this trip due to lack of experience?
    Bruce

  5. #25
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    So, I live in SE Wisconsin. I don't own a raft. The only raft rental places around here do white water fun rafting so I can't rent one to try out my boat control skills. Do I abandon this trip due to lack of experience?
    Bruce
    Bruce,

    Most of the hunters I work with float Class I or Class II rivers. You should be able to handle Class I with no trouble. That's what I would be looking at if I were you. Alaska has over 365,000 miles of rivers, so there really is something for everyone.

    As to the rafting gear, it's usually best to determine which river you're floating and make your boat decision based on the location; "let the river choose the boat". Once you have the location figured out, then it's time to figure out where the boat is coming from. We have raft rental outfits in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and in a number of village location. Additionally, some air charter services offer rafting equipment at no additional charge.

    Hope it helps!

    -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://www.alaskahuntplanning.com/
    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

  6. #26
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Do I abandon this trip due to lack of experience?


    Yes.


    Or...


    Get your butt out and find someone that will give you some instruction. I did the same here in NC before taking my first float trip with my raft. Call around and talk to rafting outfits, tell them what you are looking for, you might be surprised. I found a guide that was in NC, but from Oregon where he was used to rowing boats. In NC, all we have are day trips on paddle boats, nearly nobody knows anything about rowing a raft. If nothing local works out, drive or fly to Colorado or somewhere and spend 2 days of 1:1 instruction learning how to row a boat. It is not rocket science, but it is admittingly a specific skill set.

    We used Ally pack canoes on a few trips before that. They are exceptional boats if you are on class II or easier rivers and have less than 700 lbs in the boat. If you canoe, this is an option of course. Likewise, renting a SOAR Pro Pioneer in Alaska would let you use kayak paddles. This will allow for a larger margin of safety and hauls lots more weight. In either case, these are easy boats to operate and fairly intuitive in their utility as so many of us have paddled canoes and/or kayaks.

    Many options are afforded to the motivated river runner. But if you are set on using a row frame raft, have no experience, won't be getting any, then yes, stay home. This is not what I want for you, but it is my honest opinion. You are responsible for not only your personal safety, but others in your boat, and any would be rescuers should you get in over your head and require help. Take the time to prepare adequately and have a safe trip. A remote river in Alaska is no place to cut your teeth.



    -Dan

  7. #27

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    Is rowing a raft much different from rowing a 14 foot aluminum boat?
    Bruce

  8. #28
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Is rowing a raft much different from rowing a 14 foot aluminum boat?
    Bruce
    If you have rowed the boat on a winding river I would they are close otherwise they are greatly different. There will be some slight differences. Most aluminum boats would have some type of keel or runners on the bottom so it won't turn as smoothly as a raft. The raft will give some where as the boat won't. One of the other thing is the boat will have a transom the typically you will only row in one direction and with the raft most are rounded at both ends so you end up rowing forward as well as backwards.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  9. #29
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    If you have rowed the boat on a winding river I would they are close otherwise they are greatly different. There will be some slight differences. Most aluminum boats would have some type of keel or runners on the bottom so it won't turn as smoothly as a raft. The raft will give some where as the boat won't. One of the other thing is the boat will have a transom the typically you will only row in one direction and with the raft most are rounded at both ends so you end up rowing forward as well as backwards.
    Rowing principles are the same regardless of the type of boat you're rowing, if that's what your asking.

    I think Tom summed it up pretty well. There are certainly differences in the shape of the hull that make them different to row. But the main difference is in where you're using it. Typically rafts are used on moving water, but aluminum rowboats are used on still water.

    -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://www.alaskahuntplanning.com/
    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

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