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Thread: Hogatza/Koyukuk River Float Hunt

  1. #1

    Default Hogatza/Koyukuk River Float Hunt

    Hello everyone. A good friend of mine just received a permit to hunt in the Koyukuk Hogatza River area by Huslia. He asked me if I knew anything about that area. I told him I didn't but I thought some others on forum might have some info on the area. He wants to fly in to Huslia via a commercial airline, and charter out to the Hogatza River and either float down back to Huslia via the Koyukuk or fly back to to Huslia at some place downriver. Does anyone know of any air taxi services that fly into this river? He was hoping for a Beaver or Cessna on floats. He thinks that he and his dad will be hauling about 1200 to 1300 lbs.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    I have a friend that did that hunt, they flew with Coyote Air and did well.
    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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    Thanks TWB. I'll pass that information along to my friend.

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    Default Shadows on the Koyukuk

    Jack,

    Can't help with your hunt questions, but I can help you towards some reading that you might really enjoy regarding your hunt:
    Shadows on the Koyukuk, by Sidney Huntington. Its an autobiography of growing up in that area, before and after the war (WW II).

    One of the most interesting books I've ever read; so full of native customs, folklore, and knowledge.

    You can buy it on this site here.

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    You can fly into huslia and rent a boat. PM if you want more info....

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    Your friend will have to be satisfied with a charter out of Galena or Bettles. Very doubtful any airplane operators are working out of Huslia as a base. You might get a charter boat out of Huslia, but that even is unlikely.
    Sportsmans Air has a Beaver on floats and wheels in Galena in the fall. Brooks Range Aviation works out of Bettles. I think Bettles Lodge also has a plane or 2 in Bettles.
    Where did ther Coyote Air charter start TWB?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Where did ther Coyote Air charter start TWB?
    Whoops. I misspoke, flew with the folks out of Bettles.

    I think another fella who also did this hunt was "redneckdoctor". Shoot him a message he may be able to help.
    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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    Flew out with Sportsman's air out of Galena in 2011 to this same area and hunted an oxbow lake just of the Hogatza.

    I also had the chance to meet Sydney Huntington after reading his book. He was 98 then, and unfortunately did not have his book to get signed. He makes a trip to the Galena airport daily to visit with the hunters. Really a cool deal if you have read his book. I know Joe has advertised on his website that he will charter hunters instead of doing the whole package hunt. I would hunt with Joe again.

    There is also an outfitter in Huslia. I talked to a guy who used his services and was very positive. http://www.koyukukriverguideservice.com/

    I have no affiliation or history with this outfitter for what its worth. Good luck and post some pics... PM me with any questions. thanks, Danny

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    Lucky! Nice draw and you will enjoy it.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    www.northwestalaska.net

  10. #10

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    I've got a wealth of information to give you. I did the same trip this last September and got a repsectable 50" with 4x4 brow tines. We learned a lot. PM me and I'll help you out

  11. #11

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    I've done it, and this is what I came up with for all options.

    It's almost a 100 river miles up from Huslia to the Hog. 7 miles up the Hog to start hunting at Mclains Cr. When the wind is blowing certain streches of that Koyo turns into a choppy nightmare as the current goes against the wind. Not something I'd want to be in a smaller boat in. That's a lot of running in a rental boat, and you'd need a fair amount of fuel. The Cut-off is ok, but depending on the water level, you better have extra props. Then, you have the cost of flying your meat back to fairbanks, etc. Chartering a boat is a good option. Then you have to negotiate a rental boat, where you'll be dropped and picked up, etc. You'll see more/bigger moose on the boat ride up the Koyo than you'll see on the Hog.

    It's a 2k flight from Bettles to the Hog. 2 guys, and 2 moose and gear and you are looking at around 8k in flights, unless you can get out in 2 flights. Brooks Range Aviation told me to plan on 4 flights for 2 guys/gear/2 moose. Those moose are tanks too, so the weight really adds up when they have to stay on the bone. So, you are looking at 4k each to get in and out. Not too terrible, if you don't have to rent rafts, etc. 3 guys might be able to do 4 flights, which would be mo better.

    Sportsmans air is $6750 EACH to be dropped in there, and that includes camp. Not sure if you could nail him down for an hourly rate. Only game in Galena. It'd be the easiest way to access the area, but certainly not the cheapest. Too rich for this guy.

    It's an expensive area to hunt, no matter how you get in there. Some nice moose though. Success rate isn't through the roof, and seems a bit on the lower side for the cost of getting in. Woods are thicker than hell up there. Lots of oxbows you'll want to be familiar with. Lots of wolves and bears, but it's so dang thick you don't see em. You just hear them and see a ton of tracks. Shuster/sportsman's air will have his guys on some of the landable lakes on the lower part of the river. You'll see him dropping off/picking up hunters. Be prepared to change plans a few times if you take a boat up. You'll hear gun shots, see boats, and see float hunters coming down the river. They give out a bunch of tags, and most of the guys who hunt it end up at the last 10 miles of river in that unit. I figure most of the guys putting in for that tag see the success rate on the draw, but have a bit of sticker shock once they realize what it takes to hunt that unit. And, Virgil will have some guides/hunters in there too.

    Would I do it again?.. probably not. Pulled a good one out of there, but it seemed it gets hunted pretty dang hard every year. I think though you can have a better quality hunt, for less money in other units.

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