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Thread: Float report Sept 4-16

  1. #1
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Float report Sept 4-16

    Don't have all the pics together as I'm jut getting home from 10+ days afield. Our first 3 generation hunt. 100 river miles, good water and fantastic weather.

    Minor wind delay at the tail end kept the rafting a challenge but we got her done!

    Sept 9th we settled into camp at the edge of a uber Moosey clearing. Laid down the hot nasty scraping and come morning we had 4 bulls coming in. Took a dandy bull who snuck in on us just across the river at maybe 35 yards from camp.

    2 days later I got the sneak on a gorgeous black bear while rounding a bend. Beautiful hide, rich blueberry smelling meat. Very excited on the bear!!

    Few to start. I'll add more tomorrow when I regroup!!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347952072.751514.jpg

    No trip is complete without a stop at Monderosa for a burger and beer!!
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347952115.570628.jpg
    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

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Fantastic! Very much looking forward to the rest of the pictures and the story.

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    Yummie! Black Bear on Berries. Congrats on a successful hunt.

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    Congrats on a great adventure..look forward to pics and the rest of the story
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Get rested and give us more !!!!

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    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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    Member wykee5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    the edge of a uber Moosey clearing.
    Now that sounds like a place I'd like to make camp myself someday. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

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    Default Float report Sept 4-16

    Another teaser. 5 1/2 ft Sow. Still had berries in her mouth. Gorgeous hide.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1348023985.029521.jpg

    Thanks Jesse, can't wait to see her from the tannery.

    Very humbling experience with my first black bear.
    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

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    Looks like a great hunt. Can't wait to hear the details.

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    Where to start....Humbled to say the very least. This one started last year. Dove into rafting a few years ago with float hunting my top priority. Work last year made front runner so no extensive hunt could hit the books, so plans were laid off til 2012.

    Schedules aligned and 11 months later, well planned purchases were made and well, Here I am. Horseback, ATV, river boat...I experienced it all, but never found that hunt niche that rubbed me the right way, until i started Float Drag'n Alaska.

    Blessed to say the least that I was able to share another great hunt with my father who started me out in the woods when I was young, though this year was to be different. My 7yo boy and the love of my life would be accompanying us as well. Never found a team better than the 3 1/2 of us.

    September 3rd beers were had at my house, finishing up the last minute touches. Weighting gear, cutting the fat. Lots of conversation on safety was directed with my son who was very eager to learn from papa.

    Drive to Fairbanks was uneventful. Slept most of the way thankfully!

    For those that aren't familiar with Shadow Aviation, Andy is an absolute hidden gem. I'm no aviation expert but my father has a very extensive background with it so some aspects have rubbed off. Very clean aircraft, well maintained, beautiful float gear. Andy handled our flight out.

    Traditional mayhem the first day. Handling rafts, packing up. The next few days were spent getting into moose habitat. By our 3rd day on the water, we were in the zone. My gal was in charge of real estate, she picked the camp. Even though there was no fresh sign, we gave the nod. It was game on. I could almost feel 'em around me.

    I spent the night of the 9th on the edge of camp which was surrounded by massive spruce overlooking a field of scattered deadfall, alder and scrub. It was game on. Dad and I scattered into different spots calling. Prestone can was on fire by sundown. Dad woke pretty early though and I didnt catch the drift and went back asleep. An hour later shots rang out from a close distance. I quickly exited my bag but was almost stuck in my bivy.

    "BOOOM BABY, Brown n DOWN" I hear as I unzip the tent wearing just my skivvies and North Face booties. Moose down!! 4 bulls came in that night, with his harvest sneaking up behind him to the other side of the river. Made for a close pack which I enjoyed very much!




    With moose back in camp we called it a day. The bulls silenced immediately and were never to be heard again. With mileage to cover, we broke camp the following morning and moved on.

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    Member Goon's Avatar
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    nice bear man

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    Spent the next few days just covering ground. Predators ruled the river banks, every pit stop found ancient bear trails embedded 6-10 inches into the growth along treeline. We were clearly in a place that sees very, very few hunters. Mid day of the 13th we rounded an oxbow with a healthy straight cut. I spotted this sow right away making her way back up the bank from waters edge. With my son in the raft, my only course was to swing the nose aside and take my best shot. Wasn't quite black bear ready, 130 yards out and closing, my .300 was cased and strapped with the rest of my gear while the 45-70 was at my side and my only option. Standing, on the float with the raft turning I let off a round and she dropped. I was tickled to say the least. She never even knew I was coming. That satisfaction right there, is what will always take me back to float hunting Alaska.

    I knew right away my son was hooked on big game hunting. Before I ever started, "Dad, we have to pray....Thank you god for giving us this bear" Amen!

    Quite the intriguing child he is. Big heart, very big heart, I was truly humbled.


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    The next several days were truly enjoyable. Frosty mornings followed by clear skies. By day 9 it was decided, we were all content with the 1 moose we had in camp though taking a second or third was certainly an option. Beaver was easily found. Lazily they built and incorporated their dens into sweepers, which was a real pain at times but of the 3 sweepers we cleared, none took longer than 30 or so minutes to free. My only observation was ensuring the deadfall stuck elsewhere, rather than into my now down stream raft during the night.


    My son has become quite the caller. Learned quickly that my rafts' tubes are just as good for scraping as any tree.










    Until next time!

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    have not even read any of this thread but wow, what a picture. Dad and son both so proud. I need to read nothing more than these pictures tell. Good on you and your son. Our future is bright!

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    Great pictures and story..congrats on the bear, moose and the time well spent with your son and dad..we are all about that!. Good job man..awesome trip
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Great hunt report Dan, sounds you all had a fun time out there on the water and got to see plenty of sights! Thanks for reminding me I need to stop at the Monderosa, haven't been in there for close to 20 years and that burger looks good.

  16. #16
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    Default Float report Sept 4-16

    Thanks fellas. This trip will last for a very long time that's for sure. I have more pics to add but have another 750 to sort thru!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1348068446.187512.jpg
    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

  17. #17
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Thanks, what a bunch of great pics, great write-up and sounds like a fantastic trip for all of you.

  18. #18
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    Default Float report Sept 4-16

    I've had some interest in info on float hunts with kids so when I get a chance I'll write up some things that worked, didn't and some gear items we used.
    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

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    TWB: awesome report, you're the dad of the year. What a great picture of you and your son, oh yeah, and the bear and moose also.

  20. #20
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    Moose Camp. Gorgeous sunsets every night. The spruce trees here were just amazing, some of the biggest Ive ever seen in the Alaska. Trunk widths of 4+ feet across.


    Cutco DD and Havalon were a match made in heaven. Rounded tips on the palm lead me to believe this guy was on the recession side of age, maybe 6-8yo?


    Dam Beavers. Loved to build their lodge into deadfall.

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