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Thread: Solo DIY AK hunt

  1. #1

    Default Solo DIY AK hunt

    Many read my threads in the past about my upcoming hunt this fall in AK. Many said solo DIY was to much for me (caribou and moose).

    I have been busy with other hunts (NM elk and VT moose) but I wanted to take some time to let you know how my hunt turned out.

    I started with caribou in 20a. Caribou and not a challenge with rifle IMO. I stalked to around 250 yards of lots of caribou and passed. On the eve of the 3rd day I found a decent bull near the runway and took him so I could ove to moose camp sooner.

    I will upload a pic asap not sure how right now.

    I packed the caribou to the runway and called my pilot via sat phone. Windstorm had hit. I did not get to moose camp for 5 more days. Ran out of food (got help from nearby local hunters which was GREAT).

    I was only in moose camp hunting for 4 legal days I saw 10 moose per day and passed TWO 50"-53"bulls that might have had 4 brow tines down on the runway 3 hours apart. It hurt. Both I think were barely legal and both I think had 4 brown tines on one side but I was never able to be 100% sure. I also passed several other 3 brow tine bulls under 50". I saw one solid 60" bull the last 20 minutes of light 2/12 miles away. Sign indicated he passed by during the night.

    I had no problems with my gear, the work, packing solo etc. I would have been able to pack a moose 1 mile given the terrain I found. I had a great time but I wish I had filled my caribou tag.

    I was had my caribou carcass checked by G&F and I had them land to check my pilot (ferrying meat from prvious hunters) while moose hunting. I hiked down to meet G&F and wa checked and found I knew, and obeyed all laws. I even asked every question I could think of and found I understood all laws and was prepared to deal with all laws.

    I did take a nice 6x6 elk in NM with muzzleloader and easily packed out over 1/2 the meat in one trip. Physically, mentally and gear wise I was ready for the trip. I was in the bush for 14 days.

  2. #2

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    OK I posted pics here years ago but I forget how and could not find instructions, if someone gives me a hint I can add some pics. Here is a link to my story on bowsite.com (with pics):

    http://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforum...SAGES=61&FF=10

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I was only in moose camp hunting for 4 legal days I saw 10 moose per day and passed TWO 50"-53"bulls that might have had 4 brow tines down on the runway 3 hours apart. It hurt. Both I think were barely legal and both I think had 4 brown tines on one side but I was never able to be 100% sure.
    When it happens .. it can happen fast yet seem to take forever. Congrats on your bou!

  4. #4
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Don, set up an account at photobucket and then use the basic image tag codes it provides to post links in our posts.

    this link is in the forum tips section.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...sting-Pictures

  5. #5
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    you can also use the manage photos link when you go advanced in your thread post.

  6. #6
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    i love a can do attitude

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    Many read my threads in the past about my upcoming hunt this fall in AK. Many said solo DIY was to much for me (caribou and moose).

    I have been busy with other hunts (NM elk and VT moose) but I wanted to take some time to let you know how my hunt turned out.

    I started with caribou in 20a. Caribou and not a challenge with rifle IMO. I stalked to around 250 yards of lots of caribou and passed. On the eve of the 3rd day I found a decent bull near the runway and took him so I could ove to moose camp sooner.

    I will upload a pic asap not sure how right now.

    I packed the caribou to the runway and called my pilot via sat phone. Windstorm had hit. I did not get to moose camp for 5 more days. Ran out of food (got help from nearby local hunters which was GREAT).

    I was only in moose camp hunting for 4 legal days I saw 10 moose per day and passed TWO 50"-53"bulls that might have had 4 brow tines down on the runway 3 hours apart. It hurt. Both I think were barely legal and both I think had 4 brown tines on one side but I was never able to be 100% sure. I also passed several other 3 brow tine bulls under 50". I saw one solid 60" bull the last 20 minutes of light 2/12 miles away. Sign indicated he passed by during the night.

    I had no problems with my gear, the work, packing solo etc. I would have been able to pack a moose 1 mile given the terrain I found. I had a great time but I wish I had filled my caribou tag.

    I was had my caribou carcass checked by G&F and I had them land to check my pilot (ferrying meat from prvious hunters) while moose hunting. I hiked down to meet G&F and wa checked and found I knew, and obeyed all laws. I even asked every question I could think of and found I understood all laws and was prepared to deal with all laws.

    I did take a nice 6x6 elk in NM with muzzleloader and easily packed out over 1/2 the meat in one trip. Physically, mentally and gear wise I was ready for the trip. I was in the bush for 14 days.
    Awesome story. There's nothing like a DIY Alaska hunt to clear your mind and put life into perspective. Congrats on your success.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  8. #8
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    Great story Bud! Wish I was younger and in better condition to live those kind of days again!

  9. #9
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    Glad to see you had a great hunt. I am sure you will be back soon. How do you like Caribou? You had a better season than me. I went moose hunting for 8 days and saw 6 moose and no bulls. Cant wait till next season! Going to try a different spot for sure.

  10. #10

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    Congratulations on the hunt.

    I too will step out solo next year but there was a tad bit of irony in your story. "Those who said it would be too much" could forsee a ripped tent, bear eating your food stash, freakish cold weather, too much to carry or something else. You ran out of food and received assitance from others. You did however take steps to control what you could, i.e. sat phone and taking animal with the shortest pack out.

    How much of what (food, gear, etc.) did you take for the 14 days?

  11. #11
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Your thread really brings out another deeper question. You can, but do you want to? Please keep in mind that I'm a solo hunter and have taken many animals alone. So I'm not disrespecting your choice. I'd just like to add some depth to this post.

    A moose is BIG!!! As has been discussed many times before. Just the act of breaking the animal down in a clean efficient matter assistance is helpful. A Caribou is not a Moose. Just saying!

    A remote hunt is a beautiful thing. I recommend finding someone to share it with. It's not a matter of safety necessarly but pleasure.

    When the meat needs care, coffee needs brewing, gear repairs, entertainment, sharing a drink, strategy, ect......A partner is pleasurable.

    I thank all those I've ever been afield with and cherish those relationships however deep or shallow the relationship may be. When it comes to Alaska it's always a win/win to extend yourself and build friendships. Were all in this together.

    Your tough, capable, and resourceful. That much is clear. Congrats on your personal success.

  12. #12
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default Solo DIY AK hunt

    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    Your thread really brings out another deeper question. You can, but do you want to? Please keep in mind that I'm a solo hunter and have taken many animals alone. So I'm not disrespecting your choice. I'd just like to add some depth to this post.

    A moose is BIG!!! As has been discussed many times before. Just the act of breaking the animal down in a clean efficient matter assistance is helpful. A Caribou is not a Moose. Just saying!

    A remote hunt is a beautiful thing. I recommend finding someone to share it with. It's not a matter of safety necessarly but pleasure.

    When the meat needs care, coffee needs brewing, gear repairs, entertainment, sharing a drink, strategy, ect......A partner is pleasurable.

    I thank all those I've ever been afield with and cherish those relationships however deep or shallow the relationship may be. When it comes to Alaska it's always a win/win to extend yourself and build friendships. Were all in this together.

    Your tough, capable, and resourceful. That much is clear. Congrats on your personal success.
    I couldn't agree with you more Bighorse.

  13. #13

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    I will get pics up, and again I understand getting a moose out solo - but it is only work. I am in great shape and trained hard, I will provide a link to a marine who hunted elk with me. Elk are smaller but I have no problem packing an elk solo, in 2 trips in one day oer 3 miles (I have done it). A moose is at most 3 times as big, so 1 mile for moose is roughly the same barring rougher terrain. 30% less oxygen at elk elevation though.

    I thought about it a lot, packing solo is intimidating even for elk - but with cool weather and knowledge it is easy to keep meat for a week hence I have 5 days if needed to pack - not hard to move a moose solo miles at 1-2 trips per day. Cool weather and time (and meat care experiance) are important.

    Also I was surpried no one mentioned the toughest part of all - mental - being alone for 14 days.

    I figured most have never done solo trips hence they do not know this is often the hardest part. I was more then prepared for anything, ripped tent = I had a tarp, ripped tarp I had contractor garbage bags and emergency space BAG (not blanket). Food I had caribou, could have shot rabbits etc, boiled or stick cooked bou (I did boil it) and could eat berries. Could treat water for a month with chemicals, I did not need help but it was nice! Wet sleeping bag - was sythentic, and had anough gear to get by with no bag. I had 4 flashlites and 4 knives (or more). After 14 days of nonstop note taking for future hunts I found/toughof exactly nothing else I really needed, forgot etc. Nothing an emergency could require I did not have (within reason).

    I thought when the plane first flew off I would be somewhat nervous and overwhelmed. I was surprised when I was not, all I thought was - next time deeper and more remote (I had flown over camps, the military base, atv trails etc on the flight in). Not being cocky or dumb I just was prepared for anything and being totally alone which I was not. Heck both my locations had enough crap left behind to literaly fashin my own lean too (very comfy) from debri - a good & dry lean too also.

    I really also think many do not realize how much someone can do who is prepared and in great shape. I am both and I know a guy in NM who is a little older and can hike circles around me! How far/high he can go in a short period of time is unreal!

    bowsite thread:

    http://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforum...SSAGES=26&FF=5

  14. #14
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Don, the proof is in the pudding...you set out to do it, and you got it done! Most impressive sir, my hat is off to you!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I will get pics up, and again I understand getting a moose out solo - but it is only work. I am in great shape and trained hard, I will provide a link to a marine who hunted elk with me. Elk are smaller but I have no problem packing an elk solo, in 2 trips in one day oer 3 miles (I have done it). A moose is at most 3 times as big, so 1 mile for moose is roughly the same barring rougher terrain. 30% less oxygen at elk elevation though.

    I thought about it a lot, packing solo is intimidating even for elk - but with cool weather and knowledge it is easy to keep meat for a week hence I have 5 days if needed to pack - not hard to move a moose solo miles at 1-2 trips per day. Cool weather and time (and meat care experiance) are important.
    Congrats on getting that done. I assume that was with the VT moose. Haven't packed one out a mile but definitely understand it's not an easy task. How was the terrain for walking? And glad you didn't have any problems with the meat care or bears.

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  18. #18

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    As for food I had mnt house for dinner, energy bars for breakfast, soup or tuna packets for lunch. Mixed in was enery gels, powdered drink mix, mnm's, hard candy, nuts, dried fruit, jerky etc.

    One great thing was I was able to get a 20# food drop into moose camp my weight in was limited to 250#, I weighed 180# and my pilot let me toss in a few more things so I flew in with about 80# (counting my clothes and gun) and had 20# waiting for me at moose camp. Bottom line is I was well equipped (compared to me original idea of what I could take). With the delat in bou camp I had TONS of food in moose camp. I also got to take a high quality full size tripod and spotting scope which was a huge advantage IMO.

    I never even saw a moose on my VT hunt, moose gave me a hard time this year! In my lifetime I have had 12 nonresident tags for rifle or muzzleloader. I have filled 10 of them, the only 2 I missed was both my moose tags this year!

    asceneryandscope.jpgatouchdown.jpg

  19. #19
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I packed the caribou to the runway and called my pilot via sat phone. Windstorm had hit. I did not get to moose camp for 5 more days. Ran out of food (got help from nearby local hunters which was GREAT).
    Looks like you had a good trip all in all, But..............how do you run out of food in 5 days with a WHOLE bou worth of meat to eat?
    Good luck on the next trip.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  20. #20
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I really also think many do not realize how much someone can do who is prepared and in great shape. I am both
    First off, don't assume that "many don't realize". I'm confident that the majority here DO INDEED realize.....(not a lot of cheechakos on this forum)

    Secondly...you seem to be someone that is pretty strong willed and confident about himself (and please don't take offense)....almost to a point of being "cocky". Understand that Alaska can change that in a heartbeat.....it has taken many, MANY a strong experienced man. As soon as you think you've got it all figured out AK. can, AND WILL, show you different. I mean come on.....the weather alone (in the middle of the summer) can kill ya EASILY, much less anything else.

    Understand that I am not trying to discourage you. I've killed and packed moose alone a few times. I've also sheep hunted alone as well. I was young, and strong once too, so I know where you're coming from. All I'm really getting at here is that.....sure, go into it with a "CAN DO" attitude....you'll need that. But you'd be FAR better served going into AK. alone with an educated humbleness, rather than a rookie "I'm tough, and I'll show you" mentality.

    The choice is yours but remember.......if, and when, Alaska rears her ugly face, the only way you make it out alive is because she lets you.....NOT because you were tough enough to beat her....

    Good Luck...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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