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Thread: Planning Hunting and Fishing trip.

  1. #1
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    Default Planning Hunting and Fishing trip.

    I'm planning a Hunting and Fishing trip for me and a buddy of mine, and I'm looking for information. We're from around Missoula Montana, and are familiar with hunting around there, but have never made the trip up to AK. so far from what I've seen September is prime for Moose, how is the fishing around that time? We still dont have a location in AK ironed out yet either, but we do know that we'll be looking at making this trip un-guided since we dont have the disposable income available to throw at a guide. We will be driving up from MT, so I've already done the research on transporting firearms through Canada, I've also done the research on the price of license's and tags. Right now as i understand a non-resident is only required to have a guide when hunting Brown Bear, Mountain Goat, and Dall Sheep. our trip will likely encompass Moose, Caribou, and possible Black depending on seasons / time-frame, we will also plan on doing some fishing for King Salmon and whatever else we can manage to catch.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    trip timeline will likely be for 2014 so we have more than enough time to plan and save accordingly.

    Thanks!

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    September in Alaska is a wonderful thing. Yes, the fishing will be good that time of year but not for kings. You're going to be a couple months late for those. There will be plenty of other fish to catch though. You're probably going to have to break up your trip into sections; one for caribou, one for moose and some time for fishing. Just do a lot of research, pick some peoples' brains, choose a spot, check out the regs, and enjoy Alaska.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Considering that 25% of AK's construction workers are from MT isn't there someone up here that you already know?

    King salmon season closes in early July if it even opens this year depending on which river.

    There could/should be some silvers around in September all depending on where you are at. Not in good caribou country though.

    Are you planning on bringing up horses/ATVs/boat? If you are planning on just driving along one of our three roads with the other 150,000 hunters you might not enjoy your experience.

    Most of the drive to areas that have over the counter non res caribou tags only have drawing moose tags. Most drive to areas that are easy to drive to have only drawing tags for non res hunters. The easiest way to figure out where you want to hunt is to print off a set of regs for an area with a road through it. In the far left column cross out everything with a R in it. Leave NR or B lines. Black out every line on the table without a HT in the tag column. It will take some doing, but this will show you just what your options are. Should leave some stuff in unit 20 for moose. Bow hunting only up north for bou.

    If you spend some money on bush flights more options open up.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Sounds like a fun trip! The odds will be against you as newbie DIYers, but ya gotta start somewhere! Wondering what you plan to do with all this wonderful meat and fish once you got it? Here's a couple ideas:

    http://www.alaskameatexpress.com/

    http://www.foodbankofalaska.org/viewPage.php?ID=44
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nckwnchstr View Post
    I'm planning a Hunting and Fishing trip for me and a buddy of mine, and I'm looking for information. We're from around Missoula Montana, and are familiar with hunting around there, but have never made the trip up to AK. so far from what I've seen September is prime for Moose, how is the fishing around that time? We still dont have a location in AK ironed out yet either, but we do know that we'll be looking at making this trip un-guided since we dont have the disposable income available to throw at a guide. We will be driving up from MT, so I've already done the research on transporting firearms through Canada, I've also done the research on the price of license's and tags. Right now as i understand a non-resident is only required to have a guide when hunting Brown Bear, Mountain Goat, and Dall Sheep. our trip will likely encompass Moose, Caribou, and possible Black depending on seasons / time-frame, we will also plan on doing some fishing for King Salmon and whatever else we can manage to catch.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    trip timeline will likely be for 2014 so we have more than enough time to plan and save accordingly.

    Thanks!
    Welcome to Outdoors Directory!

    You've got plenty of time to plan this, and you're in the right place. You might start by taking a look through our Hunting pages on the main site. Pay particular attention to the menus on the left side of the page, which take you to tons of other pages directly related to Alaska hunting. You'll quickly discover that planning an Alaska expedition trip is unlike anything you've ever done before. Lots of choices, and lots of info to wade through.

    Best of luck!

    -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/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Thanks for the help so far, its looking like it could be a very fun and successful trip. The plan is to take my buddy's motorhome with a trailer, we'll be taking dirt bikes since we dont own four wheelers (at least none that would be reasonable for use when hunting yet) and potentially a Toyota 4Runner w/ an SAS on 36's built for crawling.

    so far the only person i know who lives in Alaska that i knew in MT moved up to be with her BF, so wouldnt be much help, and I've personally been away from MT for the past 10 years due to a commitment to the US Army, but with that ending in 2013 it gives me a year to save, plan, and get ready for an amazing trip that i'll never forget! so far i think a guided trip is out of the question, since neither myself nor my friend would be able to afford the cost of the guided trip, so we'll just have to muddle through things ourselves, but with probably 2 years until we actually make the trip we have more than enough time to do the research and get everything we need.

    when it comes to hunting caribou, if we went towards Region 2 (Kenai Mountains around GMU-7) would we need any special permits? from what i read its semi-difficult to access, but has high yield to potential trophy bulls, but it didnt list anything that said we would need to enter any drawing, or special permits.

    the weapons we'll likely be using is a .338 XLR for my friend, and a Savage 30-06 for myself. I may look into a larger caliber rifle, but from what i've read up on, a 30-06 should be more than enough rifle to handle any big game i have a tag for.


    Thanks,
    Nick

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nckwnchstr View Post
    when it comes to hunting caribou, if we went towards Region 2 (Kenai Mountains around GMU-7) would we need any special permits? from what i read its semi-difficult to access, but has high yield to potential trophy bulls, but it didnt list anything that said we would need to enter any drawing, or special permits.
    All caribou hunting on the Kenai Peninsula is restricted by drawing permit. The application period is in November and December, with the results coming out sometime around late February-March. The odds of drawing the permits in that area run somewhere around 10%. Additionally, those areas are basically walk-in only, though some use horses. There are no motorized access points for those hunts.

    For what it's worth, there are very few road accessible caribou opportunities for non-residents. Your most realistic bet for caribou is north of the Brooks Range along the Dalton Highway (often referred to as the Haul Road). It is restricted to bowhunting only within the first five miles of the road (archer must hold an IBEP certification) and there is no motorized access off the road, so you'd be looking at five of the most miserable miles of hiking to hunt with a rifle. For these reasons, most non-resident caribou hunters hire an air taxi to drop them off in remote areas where opportunities are far greater.

    The dirt bike idea is an interesting one for access, but if you're moose hunting you'll need to give some thought to how you'll get the meat and antlers out of the field. A single quarter off a mature bull moose is well over 100 pounds, so it's not something that would seem easy to hoist over your back while riding a dirt bike. I've never seen someone use one for hunting moose up here, but perhaps it can be done? Just something to think about.

    Good luck to you in your planning, and keep the questions coming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    All caribou hunting on the Kenai Peninsula is restricted by drawing permit. The application period is in November and December, with the results coming out sometime around late February-March. The odds of drawing the permits in that area run somewhere around 10%. Additionally, those areas are basically walk-in only, though some use horses. There are no motorized access points for those hunts.
    That sucks, i guess i miss-read the info off the main hunting pages, I've heard the draw tags can run you a good chunk of change, if a non-resident were to attempt to enter for a chance at a draw tag, what would i be looking at monetarily?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    For what it's worth, there are very few road accessible caribou opportunities for non-residents. Your most realistic bet for caribou is north of the Brooks Range along the Dalton Highway (often referred to as the Haul Road). It is restricted to bowhunting only within the first five miles of the road (archer must hold an IBEP certification) and there is no motorized access off the road, so you'd be looking at five of the most miserable miles of hiking to hunt with a rifle. For these reasons, most non-resident caribou hunters hire an air taxi to drop them off in remote areas where opportunities are far greater.
    by no motorized access i'm going to assume this includes a dirt bike (since it has a motor) but are there any Forest Service access roads anywhere? or would we have no choice at all but to either fly in via air-taxi, or hike? The hike itself wouldnt be a deal breaker at all, but it will be pretty tough when we try to quarter and pack the animal back out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    The dirt bike idea is an interesting one for access, but if you're moose hunting you'll need to give some thought to how you'll get the meat and antlers out of the field. A single quarter off a mature bull moose is well over 100 pounds, so it's not something that would seem easy to hoist over your back while riding a dirt bike. I've never seen someone use one for hunting moose up here, but perhaps it can be done? Just something to think about.

    Good luck to you in your planning, and keep the questions coming.
    the Dirt Bike is more of a feasible option than someone might think, the Native Americans used to use a system called a Travios to drag behind either a horse, or dog. we can adapt a Game Cart such as this one: to be pulled behind a dirt bike, wouldn't take too much fabrication to do so. the one Linked is capable of hauling 500lbs in one single load, and with this upgrade kit, is capable of hauling 700lbs in one load.

    Thanks,

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    It's a lot different up here than around Missoula, first off there are virtually no forest service roads. There are a few mining roads, and or old trails, but nothing like what you are use to. As far as the dirt bike goes, it can be real tough getting through some of the swamps. I used to hunt deer on my dirt bike back in Idaho and Montana, and I personally wouldn't even think about it up here, but that's just my thoughts. I have never even saw a dirt bike out where I moose hunt, but I am sure where there is a will there is a way.

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    If you can get your dirt bike to haul the trailer into and out of a 2 foot deep by 100 yard long mud pit it might work on one of the ATV trails. Since it requires ATVs to winch themselves out you might need to look into how to use a winch or come-a-long with the bikes.

    As stated above - and in lots of other posts in the past few years - AK does not have the extensive road system other places in the L48 have. In Southeast the US Forest service has built a large network of roads on public lands for timber harvest. There is limited timber harvest in the rest of the state, so no road system has been built to support it. Also there is not a substantial agricultural base up here building access roads for private land, ranches, or farms.

    For centuries the river systems up here have been the primary way to access the wilderness. Then came planes. Then came huge off road 4X4 rigs, but the modern use of ATVs have pushed them to the side for the most part. The huge number of ATVs and planes up here has resulted in the development of several "no motorized access" controlled use areas. Anything that uses a motor is not allowed for hunting in these areas. You either walk in, bike in, paddle a canoe, or use a horse.

    As I stated before as a non resident the options for hunting moose and caribou in a unit that has an actual road in it are limited to mostly drawing hunts for moose. There are a few small holes in this statement and you will have to really look hard at the regulations to find those holes. They are fully discussed in some threads this last fall by another non resident hunter.

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    Here is a video of an average trail here, this is a good one actually.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX4J4Q3OLy4
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    LOL great vid, stid; and yet people will still argue that they can pack a moose out solo on their back through 10-15 miles of this stuff.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by nckwnchstr View Post
    That sucks, i guess i miss-read the info off the main hunting pages, I've heard the draw tags can run you a good chunk of change, if a non-resident were to attempt to enter for a chance at a draw tag, what would i be looking at monetarily?


    by no motorized access i'm going to assume this includes a dirt bike (since it has a motor) but are there any Forest Service access roads anywhere? or would we have no choice at all but to either fly in via air-taxi, or hike? The hike itself wouldnt be a deal breaker at all, but it will be pretty tough when we try to quarter and pack the animal back out.
    To apply for the drawing, you need to have a hunting license and pay a $5 per hunt fee. It's not too bad, really, as you can buy the license for the year you'll be hunting up here (you can buy the next year's license in November when applying), so it's only really going to cost you an extra $15 to apply for three caribou permits. There is a limit of three applications per species, so it doesn't hurt to throw a few dollars at it despite the low odds of winning. If you win, make the appropriate plans - if not, focus on plan B.

    As for non-motorized areas, as others have noted there are almost no roads at all. Some areas (such as the Kenai Mountains) have great hiking trails while others (such as the Dalton Highway) have no trails at all. Packing out a caribou can be done in two loads by reasonably fit hikers, but plan on 8 trips for a mature bull moose. I wouldn't hesitate to pack a caribou 5+ miles with a competent partner, but I wouldn't even consider shooting a moose more than a mile or two from the road.

    For what it's worth, you may want to look into a fly-out from Happy Valley with an air carrier such as 70 North. It's not too expensive to get into great caribou hunting (though moose wouldn't be an option up there).

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Nice video Stid! Seems like I know that place! heh heh!

    nck, just do your research, plan on putting in for some tags, and come up and have fun. There are a lot of mining roads and decent area's where you can run a dirt bike. You'll just not be able to dive in some of the holes that were shown on the video.

    Good luck!
    Claude
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You might check out our Caribou Hunting Page, it's got info on caribou distribution around the state (including the Region 2permit situation), and lots more info on Alaska caribou hunting. It's a lot different here than you might think.

    Mke
    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.
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    Mike is being modest and not mentioning it but I would suggest being first timers that you employ his hunt consultation service and you will be way ahead of the game. My opinion my be may not be the most objective as the is a personal friend but many here will vouch for my claim that his services are fantastic and the level of detail and insights is worth a lot more than the price of admission.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Quote Originally Posted by nckwnchstr View Post
    I'm planning a Hunting and Fishing trip for me and a buddy of mine, and I'm looking for information. We're from around Missoula Montana, and are familiar with hunting around there, but have never made the trip up to AK. so far from what I've seen September is prime for Moose, how is the fishing around that time? We still dont have a location in AK ironed out yet either, but we do know that we'll be looking at making this trip un-guided since we dont have the disposable income available to throw at a guide. We will be driving up from MT, so I've already done the research on transporting firearms through Canada, I've also done the research on the price of license's and tags. Right now as i understand a non-resident is only required to have a guide when hunting Brown Bear, Mountain Goat, and Dall Sheep. our trip will likely encompass Moose, Caribou, and possible Black depending on seasons / time-frame, we will also plan on doing some fishing for King Salmon and whatever else we can manage to catch.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    trip timeline will likely be for 2014 so we have more than enough time to plan and save accordingly.

    Thanks!
    I realize that you did say you couldn't afford a "guided" hunt, but flying out to hunt non-guided wouldn't be quite as spendy. This will really open up the doors as far as going after a moose as well. If you're going to go through all the effort of planning a great hunt for the two of you, I would REALLY consider flying into a good hunting area. Plus you can get into some good fishing as well if you pick the right spot. It may not be for salmon, but rainbow, grayling, as well as pike can be had while hunting in some areas.

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    as a former resident of montana and missoula (college years) i can say it's a lot different up here especially the gear you will be using (depending on what you're hunting). i would take others advice and pay for a drop off unguided hunt. driving all the way up here would probably cost more in both money and time than just flying to anchorage and flying out to the bush. i have never hunted the road system but i would imagine it's a lot better off the roads or else it'll be like hunting around gold creek or the blackfoot corridor on opening day. good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    i have never hunted the road system but i would imagine it's a lot better off the roads or else it'll be like hunting around gold creek or the blackfoot corridor on opening day. good luck.
    Although I don't know anything about "gold creek" or the "blackfoot corridor", I would imagine you are saying it because you feel that it is full of hunters. If this is the case, then what you are saying about hunting the road system up here isn't necessarily true. Yes, there are places that will have a lot of people hunting them. But, as you know, AK. is a big place, and there are people that live on the road system up here that have their own little honey holes that produce all the time. Personally I have killed a number of nice bulls (moose) 2.5 miles from my house and have never run into anybody in my little, (what used to be) hot spot. And I live in a very populated area. I say what used to be, because moose hunting now on the Kenai is pretty poor, but not because of too many people, but too many wolves and bears. I know for a fact that there are many guys that do the same thing where they live.......on the road system. So even though it's not as easy, there "can" be real good hunting on the road system. You just have to know the spots. With a bit of research, and possibly a little help from some forum members, these guys could get lucky. But again, if they really want to have the potential for a good hunt, I still say they need to fly out somewhere.

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