Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Clueless in Florida, and heading to Alaska....Question

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Florida/Alaska
    Posts
    17

    Default Clueless in Florida, and heading to Alaska....Question

    Is anyone familiar with the area around Lake Wadell? It is on the west side of the Cook Inlet, approximately 15 miles east of Mt. Redoubt. I am wondering if Ptarmigan and Grouse can be found year round. I specifically want to know what the success rate for hunting in the area in the winter is....as I prefer not to starve and have no hunting experience , so need to start with small game.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    Is anyone familiar with the area around Lake Wadell? It is on the west side of the Cook Inlet, approximately 15 miles east of Mt. Redoubt. I am wondering if Ptarmigan and Grouse can be found year round. I specifically want to know what the success rate for hunting in the area in the winter is....as I prefer not to starve and have no hunting experience , so need to start with small game.
    Plan on a full larder for several months (3 at a time between restocking) including dry goods (rice, potato flakes, pancake), canned goods, and some canned meats first and THEN add to your larder w/wild game. Hare (rabbit) and grouse/ptarmigan populations are cyclic and too difficult to predict. Down load the ADF&G hunting regs and see what game management unit your Lake Waddel location is within, then contact the listed ADF&G Area office for that GMU.

    Forget about subsisting on red squirrels for your larder they are too small to be worth much and ground squirrels hibernate.

    A lake? There are may be salmon running into the lake in that region. Call ADF&G. Learn how to catch and can salmon. Salmon = Bears.

    Take a hunter safety course in Florida. Learn gun safety, and operation first. Watch the movie "In to the Wild". THINK about what you are trying to do here. Your post is way too vague.

    Determine to learn all you can about the skills you will need before you head out: wilderness first aid, cold water rescue, (this isn't Orlando), people who know precisely where you are, make a plan and stick to it. I hope you aren't going out alone....

    I'd prefer you not starve either, there is no excuse for it except ignorance so study this situation first.

    Read all you can about the skills you may need, immerse yourself in reading about Alaska bush survival skills the area and what tools/gear you will need specifically for that area. (Deep snow - snow shoes) Consider caretaking a place, a lodge or cabin, that is 100% set up first so you have shelter. This isn't the Everglades. Bugs? We have mosquitoes here like you've never seen - no ticks or chiggers or sand fleas though.

    Your post is actually kinda scary... Let us know more about the situation... Good fortunes to you...
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

  3. #3
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    I have to ask what many of us are probably thinking, Are you serious? You seem to have no idea what you are getting into and you are coming to Alaska from Florida. Time to step back and think about what you plan to do without any commitment to a schedule. This is a good place to learn, if you are willing to listen. Dont be a supertramp. You are not going to come to Alaska and live off the land, do not even plan on it. Dont let your boyfriend talk you into doing something that neither one of you is prepared for. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Florida/Alaska
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thank you for the replies and concern. We have been going to the shooting range every week. We are both good shots. We have a shot gun,a 30-06, a weatherby 22lr,a compound bow....We are planning to have six months supply of food to start. We have wood stoves, solar panels, snow shoes, chaninsaws,...etc...we will have everything we need, we are just not experienced hunters....We have already taken a hunter safety course, and a survival course...We have purchased enough cold weather gear , including snowshoes, for a lifetime. We have traps, and fishing equipment...nets etc...and are both experienced fishermen. We know the terrain,and what the weather will be. We were told our lake has trout and salmon. We have read everything and downloaded every video we can on hunting,living in the Alaska bush field dressing...etc...yes we watched Into the Wild...I bought books on Alaska Wild edibles...Alaska's poisonous plants....We won't try to make friends with the grizzlys like the late Mr. Treadwell. I have read everything about bear proofing your cabin...building a cache, etc...We will be s tarting out with enough supplies to last us quite a while...

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Two Rivers, AK
    Posts
    745

    Default

    It doesn't seem as if anybody will be able to talk you out of what sounds like a genuinely terrible idea, so all I can say is don't be too proud to ask for either advice or help, invest in something like a SPOT, don't assume that what you know about fishing in Florida is going to help you pull a trout out of an Alaskan lake (esp. in the winter), and remember that finding game is a hard-earned skill. Staying warm is not as simple as just piling on a lot of warm clothes.

    I'll look forward to reading about your exploits and your rescue in the ADN.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

  6. #6
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    I wouldn't try to fly an airplane solo after reading lots of books and watching videos even if i had a parachute in the plane. I don't see how this is really all that different. I wish you the best. Stay safe and don't consider a surrender a failure.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    We have traps, and fishing equipment...nets etc...and are both experienced fishermen. We know the terrain,and what the weather will be. We were told our lake has trout and salmon.
    Just a couple of points on the fishing - first of all, nets aren't legal to use for catching fish in most watersheds. There are a handful of exceptions, but netting fish in freshwater is only allowed in rare circumstances. Second, when you way you "know the terrain", do you mean first-hand or by map? Boggy ground and tundra can be incredibly difficult to travel on. Again - just be aware that what you know may turn out to be vastly difference in person. Lastly, as for your lake having salmon, almost zero salmon are harvested in lakes. If you have access to the river feeding the lake, you might do well there if you know how to target the salmon species present (each species requires different techniques and tackle), but don't expect to fish for salmon in the lake itself.

    As for your initial question, as others have said - don't plan on small game making up a significant portion of your diet. You stated that you don't want to starve in context of small game hunting. The way to avoid that is to not plan on eating small game other than on relatively rare occasions. For what it's worth, grouse and ptarmigan don't inhabit the same terrain for the most part. Ptarmigan are mostly found in the alpine and subalpine, whereas grouse are found lower (and taste like spruce needles in the winter).

    Good luck. What you're planning to do has been done and can be done, but very few really understand what they're getting into and ever fewer succeed. If you're serious about it, the best thing you could do would be to move somewhere on the road system for a year or two to get things figured out first. If you jump into remote living right away, your odds of success will be dramatically lower.

  8. #8
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward
    Posts
    1,799

    Default

    All about helping out...but have to agree on this...if you are just looking to move up and start new..might want to sign up for Dave Canteberry's classes and spend a few months with him. If you dont know who he is...then forget about it

    Otherwise, come on up and good luck. TON of great info on this site and guys living the dream.

    [QUOTE=dkwarthog;1293673]I have to ask what many of us are probably thinking, Are you serious? You seem to have no idea what you are getting into and you are coming to Alaska from Florida. Time to step back and think about what you plan to do without any commitment to a schedule. This is a good place to learn, if you are willing to listen. Dont be a supertramp. You are not going to come to Alaska and live off the land, do not even plan on it. Dont let your boyfriend talk you into doing something that neither one of you is prepared for. Good luck.[/QU
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,957

    Default

    Wadell Lake is right at the bottom of GMU 16B. There is a state game refuge and a critical habitat area close by. You must abide by Alaska game laws and seasons. There are seasons and limts to grouse and ptarmigan but not for hare. Are they in the area? I really cannot answer that becaseu I have not hunted that area. There will probably be grouse there since it looks low and close to the inlet. Populatin density and finding them will be the trick. You can walk a long way in -20 degree temps in the winter and not see a thing. Also remember that you are a non-resident for hunting and fishing purpose for 365 days once you are here with the intent to stay. You are not going to do much fishing in the winter unless you have a good ice auger and if you have a hand one, a lot of energy. You are experienced fisherman and that's great but for what? Fishing for bass in Florida and fishing for salmon in Alaska is not the same. There will probably be salmon in the creek/river feeding the lake during the run but as Brian stated, salmon fishing in lakes is difficult and after the runs are over, there are no salmon (for the most part). And not all rivers have all salmon species running it. Fish and Game has a great resource with google earth that lets you research the lakes. You'll really need to have some way to communicate with others so if somethng happens you can get help. Hopefully someone with a plane on skis. Take this slow. As others have stated, despite what the "reality tv" shows broadcast, its not very practical to jump into something like this without a lot more experience.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Following up on Bill's post, limits are going to curtail how much you can expect to rely on salmon as a food source. Some salmon runs are very short and most salmon fisheries have a daily limit of 2-3 fish. Let's say that the run is only fishable for 10 days - between the two of you you could put up a fair amount of fish, but not enough to get you through months of food needs. Know the regulations - it's not a free-for-all, even out there.

  11. #11
    Member tabmarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Just yards from the Big Su
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Another Florida boy chiming in. I am up here for the summer working and taking Alaska in a little at a time before making the
    big move.

    Take the advice of those on the Forum they know what they are tlking about.

    Non-res hunting can be expensive and fruitless without a guide or experience

    Supplies outside of the big cities can be$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Good luck alot of Floridians up here
    If we all agreed....this would be no fun

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    Thank you for the replies and concern. We have been going to the shooting range every week. We are both good shots. We have a shot gun,a 30-06, a weatherby 22lr,a compound bow....We are planning to have six months supply of food to start. We have wood stoves, solar panels, snow shoes, chaninsaws,...etc...we will have everything we need, we are just not experienced hunters....We have already taken a hunter safety course, and a survival course...We have purchased enough cold weather gear , including snowshoes, for a lifetime. We have traps, and fishing equipment...nets etc...and are both experienced fishermen. We know the terrain,and what the weather will be. We were told our lake has trout and salmon. We have read everything and downloaded every video we can on hunting,living in the Alaska bush field dressing...etc...yes we watched Into the Wild...I bought books on Alaska Wild edibles...Alaska's poisonous plants....We won't try to make friends with the grizzlys like the late Mr. Treadwell. I have read everything about bear proofing your cabin...building a cache, etc...We will be s tarting out with enough supplies to last us quite a while...


    Great come back goldiphlox! I think you will be fine! Your planning level sounds "very good". If you are that far along - don't waste your time starting out in Anchorage or Kenai trying to learn or "earn" your way to the main event. Won't happen... Just get right after it. You are WAY better prepared than the live-in-the-bus-dude. Most people that come to Alaska never do what you are going to do - they just never get to it.

    Get a trapping license and add beaver to your larder. That license will allow you to take beaver. They have nice fur too and they keep well frozen. Muskrat is delicious, better than rabbit or fox squirrel. I think porcupine are a tad greasy but you can try and parboil them and pour off the first water. Then stew them up. Cook all those critters slow but well done. Lynx I've heard are very good to eat, if there are hares around you will find lynx.

    I googled the area. From photos and descriptions, it appears you will have all the normal critters below timberline in SC Alaska. Looks like a lot of spruce and some birch etc. Your dry fire wood will be beetle killed spruce. Native trout are usually lakers in that area, but also maybe some native rainbows and burbot. Salmon will be seasonal and not much to eat starting mid September. Ptarmigan will come down out of the mountains in winter and inhabit the willow edges along creeks and muskeg. Spruce hens seem to leave the country after the snows hit but they are there, just up in the spruce. They don't taste very good when they eat only spruce needles. Check out the ice fishing forum on this site for excellent insight on how to fish for lake trout, rainbows etc.

    If you get there before ice up, don't forget your duck stamps and some steel shot for your shotgun. Ducks can-up nice and eat well - I skin and breast them and put them in a dutch oven to slow cook w/a little barbecue sauce. Most people that don't like duck - don't know how to cook them.

    I like your choice of firearms very much. Use premium bullets in the 30-06 that penetrate well. Keep a clean camp.

    Are you care-taking or tenting it?

    If you have 6 months of food - you should be fine. I used snow for water when I homesteaded for 5 years, I cooked, did laundry, and washed w/snow melt. A plastic 30 gallon trash can filled w/snow each morning and setting near the woodstove works just fine for making water. If you use surface water you will want a water purifier of some kind. The gravity feed one is best and some extra ceramic cartridges. Looks like there would be beaver around the lake and they are associated with giardia (beaver fever). You can get some medicine for it by prescription. Bring along lots of peroxide and finger bandages - a suture kit - an expedition first aid kit. Don't go nuts on that stuff...

    Definitely have an exit strategy. The "SPOT" is a very good suggestion. Figure out how you are going to leave quick if you have to. Also, have a tote or barrel cached outside away from your cabin or main tent that has extra warm gear in it in the event your place burns down. Put things in it you need to survive in case of a cabin fire, boots, coat, hat, mittens, lighter, extra glasses etc.

    Work together on this adventure - put aside all the stupid gender roles - go for it - carefully. Let us know how much fun you are having!
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Florida/Alaska
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thank you Alaskan Woodsman for the positive and informative reply. That is why I joined the forum. To get tips from the people who have been there and done that. When we first get there we will build a temporary shelter surrounded by an electric fence. I will either get the spot , or the in reach....haven't decided yet. I like that the in-reach has two way communication. We will not be going into the wild with a 10 lb bag of rice....that's for sure.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    253

    Default

    I just thought i would mention that the winters here are nothing like the winters in the lower 48. Temperatures in the -20 degrees with 70+mph winds are not uncommon around the inlet. And if you were serious about hunting animals you will want some sort of transportation in the winter such as a snowmachine or on the lower tech a set of cross country skis to be able to cover a lot of ground. The best advice anyone can give you is try it out where you are at in florida. Go live in the field for a month with no cell service and no outside help. You will learn real quick what you forgot or what else you might need. Then you will be able to apply that up here when it is negative 20 out and you have to go 30 yards away from your cabin to use the outhouse.

  15. #15
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    1,060

    Default

    Is there an existing cabin on the property you bought? If no buying land sight unseen is about the stupidest thing you can do in Alaska. Sure you can get an idea from Google earth if it is semi solid depending on if there are hardwoods growing on it but you never know until you are on the ground and can see it. We learned this the hard way bought 5 acres of "recreation" property at a "good" price without seeing it. When we were finally able to access it the only recreation you were doing there was wading chest high in muck and being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Long story short you may not even be able to build on the land. And like mentioned above at the MINIMUM you will need skis and snowshoes for winter travel without those forget about doing any kind of winter hunting unless you like post holing in feet of snow and using all of your energy to travel 3 feet. Should also invest in a good UHMW type sled to drag supplies / down game.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Plus 1 on the dry goods recommendation. A bag of rice and a dream will take you far.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Another ^%&^(%& from Florida coming to Alaska to die. Take my word for it, from one Floridian to another, it's a very different environment up here. I grew up fishing in FL my whole life, but I had to re-learn everything when I came to AK. Many, if not most, of your skills from FL won't be applicable here. You can spend all the money you want on gear and equipment, but if you don't know how to use it, it's just extra weight to carry. Being a good shot is about 10% of what you need to hunt for survival up here. You're getting in over your head. Come to AK, live in town (living in Anchorage is not unlike any other city), get yourself a recreational cabin and learn the AK way of life one weekend at a time. In 10 years or so, you'll be ready.


    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    Thank you for the replies and concern. We have been going to the shooting range every week. We are both good shots. We have a shot gun,a 30-06, a weatherby 22lr,a compound bow....We are planning to have six months supply of food to start. We have wood stoves, solar panels, snow shoes, chaninsaws,...etc...we will have everything we need, we are just not experienced hunters....We have already taken a hunter safety course, and a survival course...We have purchased enough cold weather gear , including snowshoes, for a lifetime. We have traps, and fishing equipment...nets etc...and are both experienced fishermen. We know the terrain,and what the weather will be. We were told our lake has trout and salmon. We have read everything and downloaded every video we can on hunting,living in the Alaska bush field dressing...etc...yes we watched Into the Wild...I bought books on Alaska Wild edibles...Alaska's poisonous plants....We won't try to make friends with the grizzlys like the late Mr. Treadwell. I have read everything about bear proofing your cabin...building a cache, etc...We will be s tarting out with enough supplies to last us quite a while...

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Florida/Alaska
    Posts
    17

    Default

    What exactly does ^%&^(%& mean? Perhaps I am smarter than you, and it will only take me 5 years to learn!

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexander Creek
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    What exactly does ^%&^(%& mean? Perhaps I am smarter than you, and it will only take me 5 years to learn!
    It also means it would be good to grow a thick skin on this forum. Just read between the lines and do what ever you want. Alaska is full of people who took a chance and made it or didn't. There are members on this forum that are more than glad to give you advice, and there are some members here that think they know it all and are more than happy to tell you! I live remote and it is a blast, wouldn't trade it for the world. Follow your dreams and the rest will either work out or it wont, simple as that.

  20. #20
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    I just wanted to clarify my original post, goldiphlox. If you are coming to AK to live a remote lifestyle and are dedicated to serious physical toil, are prepared to endure hardships, and have an open mind about how things get done up here, then I applaud your spirit of adventure, wish you the best and would give any advice I have that is helpful.

    If, on the other hand, you think Alaska is some paradise Utopia where you can literally and readily live off the land, you are mistaken and are in for some heartbreak at the least. Based on the types of questions asked, I took the OP as the latter case, if I am mistaken, I apologize.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •