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Thread: Successful jet ski hunt

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Default Successful jet ski hunt

    Well, I can now say that I have been on a successful jet ski hunt. I figured this may interest some of you so here's the story.

    I got to the Maclaren river lodge in the late afternoon Thursday and got a bit of a late start. I packed my entire camp into a large Cabelas dry bag and strapped it all on. After talking with Allen and Sue at the lodge and getting warned about how low the water was, I decided to take off the extra 15 gallons of fuel that I was hauling and go light. This meant that I couldn't go all the way to the Big Sue or Tyone like I had planned but that was okay with me.

    I ran about 14 miles down river and the water was getting pretty skinny and I didn't have much light left in the day so I decided to find a camp. I lucked out and found an old moose camp that hadn't been used for years. As I was making camp there were some beautiful caribou that crossed the river just above me. There were three massive bulls in the group but I had my heart set on a moose so I passed on the caribou.

    On Friday I hunted my crack off in the rain. I couldn't believe it but I didn't see a single moose. There was moose sign everywhere but I couldn't even find a cow, let alone a legal bull. I tried calling and raking and grunting but there just wasn't anything moving around that looked like a moose. There were plenty of bears though.

    It was late afternoon when I arrived back at my camp. While cooking dinner I noticed something moving on the bluffs across the river. There were 3 grizzlies that were roaming around right across the river from my camp. It was a sow with 2 cubs. They were sitting on the bluff looking towards my camp and looked as if they wanted to join me for dinner. I really wasn't in the mood to entertain so I figured I had better scare then off with a shot in the dirt. The bullet hit about 5' below then and she sent the 2 year old cubs rushing into the alders and she followed shortly after. When I shot to scare the 3 bears I must have spooked this bull caribou because he came running out basically right into the scope just below where I had shot at the bears. I figured since he was right across from my camp and I already had the gun ready that this was just meant to be. I dropped him in his tracks. He wasn't the biggest bull I had seen but after a long day of seeing zero moose I think think the stars were just aligned on this guy.

    It was getting dark and I was running out of light so I gutted the caribou and finished the job the following day. It's allot of work to take care of an animal all by yourself. It took me awhile because I had promised my taxidermist a full caribou cape. You definitely have to get creative when you don't have someone around to hold a leg for you. At one time I think I had 3 different lines running to different alders to allow me to skin him properly.


    I came back out late Saturday afternoon. I was pretty fully loaded. Lets just say I exceeded the jetski weight limit by about 150 pounds. It was pretty sketchy but I made it back with only one mishap. I made one bad choice on the river and ended up going from 40mph to 0mph within about 5 feet on a gravel bar. I think the only thing that got hurt was my pride. I had to walk the jetski to deeper water and then try to hop on while trying to keep the jetski right side up. It's not quite as easy as it sounds, especially when you have a full caribou on there.

    Getting back to the lodge was a good feeling. I took some photos and ate a glacier burger. If any of you ever get the chance to visit with Allen or Sue at the lodge and have time to eat some great food, I definitely recommend it. They are a great bunch of people and have always given me great advise.

    I guess I should just add a disclaimer to this story. Hunting from your jetski can be very dangerous. I would not recommend this to most people. Running rivers on a waverunner is not really their intended use and a good day can turn bad in a hurry. ~907~




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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Two more


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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    talking about using different transportational means.. good job and congrats!
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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Man what a way to think outside the box! Great story and some good pics too, congrats!
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thats a cool way to hunt. I have heard of guys running out to the islands in PWS to hunt deer but thats a first for moose and caribou. How does the hull hold up to the gravel?

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    That's true AK ingenuity and style! Way cool. I'm not much of a ski rider so if I did that i'd need a drysuit for sure.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Very well done! I have thought jet skis would be a great way to get out for duck hunters in the lower 48....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post


    I guess I should just add a disclaimer to this story. Hunting from your jetski can be very dangerous. I would not recommend this to most people. Running rivers on a waverunner is not really their intended use and a good day can turn bad in a hurry. ~907~

    I love your disclaimer 907,....actually, we all should probably be adding something similar to our stories,...that's perfect

    What a Cool Story and pics tho, never having ridden one of those, I can take your disclaimer to heart, but I really admire the ingenuity

    Somehow, I can hardly imagine how you had an extra 15 gallons of fuel on board,...
    and if you wanted to keep doing that extensively, which I have a feeling you will, could you build a rack system on the stern?
    or do you need to keep it somewhat clear for bailing out aft ?

    What is your "In Tanks" range for fuel, and what was your average speed ?
    Can you pull back and just idle in current like that, y'kno for a tricky section of water,...or does it require a bit of speed,
    to keep your full maneuverability up there,...and does that limit your animal size capability ?
    and if you had taken a Moose, or if a less experienced guy was trying to do the same, would it have been feasible to haul more than one load back, make a nice meat pole stash, with Bear Fence, etc. and run smaller loads back to wherever your truck was?

    Wow, really captivating concept

    And, that is just a nice looking animal there, that rack looks unique in a really cool way,...
    the 4th pic,...tho you're not in it, is really excellent, one for the wall underneath that mount on your wall,...be a sure conversation starter
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I have that same frame pack!!!!!

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    We need to talk you and I.

    I have a pair of these machines.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Seeguys using skis on the Salcha for years now. They can get into some neat areas! Congrats, pretty cool!
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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    Pretty cool hunt. Great pics and adventure...

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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    I saw a guy running the Little Sue a few years back on a jet-ski and the boat operator cursed him as we came around a corner but I thought it was great! Way to go! Outside the box is a great way to think!! And a beautiful annimal to boot!! Good on ya man!!!
    Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the great comments guys. I'll try to answer some of the questions. First off, they actually hold up pretty well in the gravel and on the rocks. One time I had to ditch onto a gravel bar to avoid a rock that I saw way too late and ended up skidding across about 40' of rocks and then ended up in the grass. It probably wasn't the best choice but I was really surprised that it really didn't do anything to the hull. It just took me awhile to scoot it back to the water. They are allot thicker than people think. I'm sure they wouldn't do too well with a direct hit from a large blunt rock, but I have glanced a few boulders and it hasn't done anything yet.

    They are very maneuverable. You really have to hold on when turning then really fast. When you are by yourself it's not so bad but if you have a passenger then you need to be careful because they can go flying off real quick. When I am running light and going downriver I am going up to 50mph. Typically running upriver I am running 40mph. I was surprised that even when I put this large load on the ski I was still able to hit 40 mph going up the Maclaren. It did take me allot longer to get on step though. I'm sure the ski could go faster if I were to change the impeller to a different pitch but then I would loose my low end hole shot.

    Spanman, that was probably me that was on the Little Sue. I love running the Little Sue because it's so curvy and fun. The lower portion is a blast. Most people I have taken say that it is the funnest thing they have ever done on the water. I can generally make it from Berma landing to the ocean in about 30 to 35 minutes. One time I ran down there with a friend and we were in the middle of over 100 belugas. It was awesome. They were coming up right next the the ski. I got some good video and posted it to Youtube. You can find it if you search for "beluga waverunner".

    These waverunners have a 15 gallon tank. I have typically gotten between 90 and 100 miles to a tank of fuel. I know it is hard to believe I bring an extra 15 gallons with me but I just strap one of those blue plastic 15 gallon drums to the rear and bring my syphon hose with me. I am attaching a photo from a trip I did in PWS this last spring with a friend. You can see I have that blue drum strapped to the back. I figure that with the extra fuel I can safely run a round trip of about 180 miles.

    Thanks for reading. ~907~
    100_0112.jpg

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Cool, cool. Luv it!. But...............how the heck would you have got a moose back to the road? Multiple trips I assume.
    Been thinkin on ways to get "outside the box" for moose hunting around Fbks. Jet ski is a possibility.
    Great post!
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Too cool. I was wondering if that was someone from the forum. Guess now I know! We saw that as we were going across the bridge. Congrats on the bou.

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Congrats! Man that is cool, I always often wondered why you don't see people hunt with jetskis. Maybe one day they'll market a jet ski built just for a hunter for these rivers up here, camo, gun racks, extra carrying capacity and all! lol. It'd be just the ticket for me when I bear bait in the spring, get to some nice areas.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    You shot my 'fantasy' bull--long beams + big tops. Well done!
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Looooove it!

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    Default Successful jet ski hunt

    Nicely done!!!!

    Is there any problem with such a load of meat on top, with the craft wanting to capsize due to topheavy weight distribution, or are they heavy enough to keep things right side up naturally??? I know in a river like the Mac you are mostly in shallows, but say in PWS, they must stay upright even with the load??? I imagine their flotation is pretty skookum, but just wondering, especially if you're considering maxxing your payload to get a moose out in as few trips as possible.

    Favorite hunt story in some time, and that bull is no slouch. I know exactly what you mean about tying legs off, etc. when by yourself, but there is certainly some satisfaction in being a self-contained meat harvester. Especially when the meat offers itself right on a gravel bar.

    Again, nice work and thanks for the writeup and photos. I will definitely check out your videos.

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