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Thread: New to AK, looking for hunting help

  1. #1
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    Default New to AK, looking for hunting help

    I've just moved up here to Anchorage from SW Washington. I have always wanted to hunt for the meat I'll eat and I think with living in AK, now is the time to start. I haven't hunted before but am not stupid on the subject. I do range shoot. I was wondering information on decent hunting grounds within a couple hour drive of Anchorage and big game with general seasons that are worth hunting for? So far I know for sure I want to go for a black bear or two, other then that I am not sure. Any and all info will help. Thanks.

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    Welcome to the forum! most folks like it here, some don't. do a search on it, there are multiple threads on the subject. moose and bears are about it for big game around anchorage. Are you a resident? can you supply a little more info, say, how much you want to spend on hunting (it helps to know if you can spend 200 buck or 2000 bucks...easier to help you on your way), what gear you have, do you have something that could haul out a lot of meat, like say a tahoe or a pickup, or do ya just have a small car like a focus? what about family? do they like to hunt too, or is this a solo thing?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard! You're at the start of an awesome adventure, but understand that it's going to take time and likely a handful of frustrating experiences as you figure out how to do what you're looking to accomplish. The short answer is that there is no short answer to your question. One of the best things you could do is to spend a few weeks reading through the past few years' posts on here. Doing so will give you a reasonable idea of some areas to investigate, expectations of costs involved, time, success rates, gear requirements, and more. It can be a big undertaking to start hunting in Alaska, but going in with as much foreknowledge as possible will help. For what it's worth, I'd be happy to sit down with you over a cup of coffee or a pint of beer to look over maps and talk ideas. I have no grand secrets that I can share, but I can point you in some directions to start burning boot leather to scout out potential hunting grounds. Realize, though, that in general the farther you go from Anchorage the better off you'll be. I've taken game within an hour or two of town, but it gets better as you move down the road (with some exceptions).

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    Little more info on me; I'm 24yo, I will become a resident in Sept so most of my hunting will start after that. But that'll give me enough time to get my gear together; I am gonna try to at least get a black bear in the mean time though. Gear wise all I have up here is a M44 Mosin Nagant(7.62x54r) and a 12g with 18" and 27" smooth bore barrels. Vehicle wise I have a Subaru wagon and a Nissan Xterra. It's just me and the wife up here and I don't see her wanting to tag along anytime soon haha, but my dad and brother are already planning hunting trips up here once I become a resident. Spending limit wise I guess it would depend, I can see spending the money if its worth it. And I just found the forum today so I'll be spending the better part of my weekend seeing what the forum has for info for me and Brian, PM sent.

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    Welcome Pretty much all I do, for the past year and half here on these forums, I read and read all the posts, I've learned soooo much . Good luck to you and don't forget some good rain gear and footwear =)
    Alaska bound !

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    Your mosin will kill anything, I hunt with one, a friend of mine hunts with one, a very popular guy on here kills hundreds of caribou, muskox, moose, bears and for with one (strangerinastrangeland is his name).check chimos or mats tactical for hunting rounds for it. if your hunting over bait a 12 Ga with buck shot would drop them right there. with yours vehicles you should be able to haul out a bunch of meat with out having to make trips...I did see a guy load the entire quartered moose into a dodge neon once.....that was pretty crazy.....make sure to look into the drawing permits next winter. I have a feeling this is gonna be a bad year to start moose hunting the winter has hammered them. when in september do you become a resident? moose season loses for everything except registration hunts on september 25th. there are way more folks on here who kno way more than me...I have not hunted much out of big lake...
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    but don't let the folks convolute you into thinking that you need nay gun bigger than your 7.62.....I've killed moose and bears with my 32 special, one shot, one kill. they ran a shorter distance than ones hit with a -06 with a premium bullet.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, and welcome to Alaska!

    On top of all the great advice listed above... One thing to understand right off the bat, it's going to get overwhelming at times. There's a lot to learn and understand. Don't get frustrated and just go forward with the understanding it's going to take some time to learn the regulations, opportunities, equipment, etc. This forum is a great place to start. Also...

    Spend time surfing through the ADF&G website. LOTS of information there:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...unting.general

    Start understanding the regulations. I spend enough of my life staring at a computer screen for work, so prefer to lay my hands on a hard copy available at pretty much any sporting goods store, Fred Meyer, the ADF&G office, etc. Just cruise through it the first time with the understanding you're not going to retain everything, but get familiar. And then go back through and look at sections in depth.
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildliferegulations.main

    Consider taking a hunter education course if you have not already. I highly recommend it, and it's necessary for many hunt areas/permits.
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...ered.schedules

    Order a copy of this book from the AOD store. There are lots of other great titles there as well, but this is a great start. Some of the information is a little dated, but he gives great overview of all the species available for hunting, where they are in the state, and breakdowns of the different hunting units.
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...products_id=25

    While you're spending money, grab one of these as well. Learn to love maps. Fill the margins with notes, places to check out, trails to hike.
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=188

    Get to know and love Google Earth.

    Find some other folks who hunt and offer to go along as a packer or just for company. Hunting knowledge is best learned through time in the field, sweat, blood, etc. Whether with someone else or alone, get out there as much as you can. Scout, learn the country, observe animals, stay in shape.

    Understand (in general) that the farther you get from major population centers (aka Anchorage, Palmer/Wasilla) and highways, the less competition from other hunters you'll have and the better your odds for success. That said, there are a hundred exceptions to every rule and there are some great hunts to be had close at hand. But generally these spots are well guarded and kept secret to those who know about them (or they quickly become not-so-great spots), so don't expect someone to draw you a map.

    Ask lots of questions.

    Cheers,
    Rich
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    There are places close to Anchorage where you can hunt moose, bear and sheep with out a tag. Granted you will have to work for them.
    This summer would be a good time to get out and hike areas looking for animals and learning what it takes in gear to be in Alaska. I'm not talking about buying expenses gear I talking about gear that worked.

    Finding someone with experience would be a good idea, if that not possible look for someone like yourself and just go. You would be surprise where you will find animal if you just go out and look around.

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    If you don't already, learn to use, and TRUST, your compass. Understand that in AK. when you get into areas while hunting, you may not see a horizon all day. It even could be so overcast that you have no idea where the sun is. It is VERY easy to get turned around up here. I'm not ashamed to say that I've been up a tree more than a few times to find a landmark of some sort. Get off the trail sometime and use your compass. Spend time off the beaten path to really begin to understand what it's like just to hike around up here.

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    To add to my last post....I can't tell you how many guys I know have gotten turned around in the woods and blame it on their compass. If you think you may be this type, then carry a second, or third one if you have to, if that's what it takes to believe what the darn things are telling you.

    I even had a guy I was guiding get lost when he didn't want to help me pack his moose so he said he would see me back at camp and "have dinner ready for me". It wasn't even a quarter mile to camp and I had the way back marked with survey tape. Needless to say after packing meat all day to the closest end of the lake we were on, I started to head back at almost dark with the last load, and heard him yelling way out in the distance. The guy was also a diabetic. He could hear me yell back at him, and shoot my 44, but he couldn't make out what direction the sound was coming from. I thought he was delirious or something from being out there all day. Luckily I found the guy before nightfall. So getting lost up here CAN be a pretty easy thing to do.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    There are places close to Anchorage where you can hunt moose, bear and sheep with out a tag.
    We need to be clear on this. Excluding some far north arctic units, everyone needs a harvest "tag" for moose, bears, goats, caribou, deer, and sheep. Thats what that HT stands for in the tables in the regulations.

    However, you do not need to apply for and win a drawing permit for all species in all units.

    For big game you will always need a tag/ticket, be it an "over the counter" harvest ticket or a drawing permit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    We need to be clear on this. Excluding some far north arctic units, everyone needs a harvest "tag" for moose, bears, goats, caribou, deer, and sheep. Thats what that HT stands for in the tables in the regulations.

    However, you do not need to apply for and win a drawing permit for all species in all units.

    For big game you will always need a tag/ticket, be it an "over the counter" harvest ticket or a drawing permit.
    I was wondering about that myself.........he MUST have meant a permit.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    For big game you will always need a tag/ticket, be it an "over the counter" harvest ticket or a drawing permit.
    With the exception of grizzly bear in a number of units where locking tags are not required. For example, all that is needed to hunt grizzlies in Unit 13 is a hunting license - no harvest ticket needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I was wondering about that myself.........he MUST have meant a permit.
    I did sorry

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    ODGamer I am going to give you the best possible advice there is..... Take BrianM up on his offer.. Noting better then sitting down with someone who has been around, has experience and know how. Some times these computers get in the way of getting answers to questions and sometimes at least for me its hard to get thoughts into text..
    dave

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    I am planning on a lot of hiking and scouting this spring/summer and I'll be taking a compass refreshing class next week at REI. And I am going to take Brian up on his offer, there's no better way to learn then from experienced individuals I think.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    You can't send PMs yet, but that will come after you've been a member a month and have 15+ posts. In the meantime, no worries - I'll be happy to meet with you. It might need to wait a few weeks, as my in-laws are visiting now and then I'm going to do a bit of bear hunting, but I'll get with you before black bears start popping. We'll figure something out in a couple of weeks if you're OK with that.

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    yeah that will work for me. Looking forward to setting something up. Thanks again.

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