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Thread: Pre-flying a hunt

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    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Default Pre-flying a hunt

    Looking to do some scouting for my moose hunt this year. Obviously I don't know any pilots personally, so my question is where would one go to find a pilot to help out? I thought about calling some charters but I figure they're swamped as it is... Could be wrong but just curious if anyone has any pointers.

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    Where at? Big state you know.

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    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Out of Fairbanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak_Predator View Post
    Out of Fairbanks
    Go to a close flight school and ask one of the CFI's.

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    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Lots of problems connected with doing that. First of all expense, you will easily run up 2-3 hundred dollars to look around. IF you do find moose out in the open during the flight, you must consider that airplanes can fly out over areas that have no good access by any other method except horses maybe. Even then, if you can get back in there you most likely will not be able to find the moose that you saw from the air. When I had a super cub years ago I used to scout around a lot but it never did me any good. Just had fun flying though at relatively low cost with my own plane. Best to pick an area that you can get into and has known moose population and just go for it.

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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    I have known people to do this with success, but it is not a silver bullet that is going to make or break your hunt. Scoping out potential hunting areas has other benefits, too: getting a bird's eye perspective of an area shows you features you would likely not be able to find on the ground if you didn't know they were there. My advice is to go to a flight school and start taking lessons. CFIs (in my experience) have no problem at all letting you log hours scoping out game. You should count on at least 10 hours training of the basics in flying before being able to just go scouting though. And yes, bring your checkbook / billfold / first born child... -Gr
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    It sounds like a good idea. Say you pay $$$ to have someone fly you around and you find the super spot for your chosen game. Who owns that information you paid for? You get to YOUR spot opening day and there's 30 other camps there with the story their friend found this spot while just flying around and told them about it.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak_Predator View Post
    Looking to do some scouting for my moose hunt this year. Obviously I don't know any pilots personally, so my question is where would one go to find a pilot to help out? I thought about calling some charters but I figure they're swamped as it is... Could be wrong but just curious if anyone has any pointers.
    Don't be discouraged. There are a lot of wise asses on here. Put an ad on craigslist saying you are looking for a flying friend who would be interested in splitting the cost of flying occasionally. Try alaskaslist too. Know the basic laws for sharing expenses on a flight too. If it was me, I would gladly pay a couple hundreds bucks to ride in a magical flying machine over Alaska scenery and get some scouting and lay-of-the-land knowledge under my belt, regardless of pinpointing animals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    Don't be discouraged. There are a lot of wise asses on here. Put an ad on craigslist saying you are looking for a flying friend who would be interested in splitting the cost of flying occasionally. Try alaskaslist too. Know the basic laws for sharing expenses on a flight too. If it was me, I would gladly pay a couple hundreds bucks to ride in a magical flying machine over Alaska scenery and get some scouting and lay-of-the-land knowledge under my belt, regardless of pinpointing animals.
    And you're in Anchorage? PM me. I have a pilots license but no plane so it would involve splitting rent at land and sea.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    if you want to see quality or distribution of bulls in your area you may want to fly close to the season opener. i wouldn't waste your money before september/late august. they can move around a ton especially once the rut starts. bulls you see soon may be in a different region altogether once sept hits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    if you want to see quality or distribution of bulls in your area you may want to fly close to the season opener. i wouldn't waste your money before september/late august. they can move around a ton especially once the rut starts. bulls you see soon may be in a different region altogether once sept hits.
    I totally agree. The later the better....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement PacWest. I'm not too concerned with others getting into my hunting grounds. Plan on few people being out there but not many as there's some serious work getting into it.

    I was thinking of flying over the area around 24/25 August as I'll be pushing out on my hunt a few days later.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    021.jpgFirst, My guess is it will cost you at least a 300 dollar bill, based on flying time.
    Second, Having overflown a lot of hunting areas prior to the season, you can be deluded into thinking the area is a lot flatter and a lot less wet than it really is. Case in point 2 years ago we overflew the ABC hills in DM 333. The trails sure looked nice and dry to us. Piece of cake...mistake. The Gulkana crossing looks real nice and shallow and dry.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Lots of pilots/aircraft owners are willing to split fuel cost to go "look around"... Wait until you are close to heading out hunting. You are going to be calling bulls in, look for good areas to call from. Seeing where the bulls are is a huge advantage before you hit the ground hunting. Make sure you don't hunt the same day airborne. Looking for bulls the evening before the day you hunt is preferable and legal.

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    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Lots of pilots/aircraft owners are willing to split fuel cost to go "look around"... Wait until you are close to heading out hunting. You are going to be calling bulls in, look for good areas to call from. Seeing where the bulls are is a huge advantage before you hit the ground hunting. Make sure you don't hunt the same day airborne. Looking for bulls the evening before the day you hunt is preferable and legal.
    I like what you said here about looking for good areas. That's my plan here. Whether your floating, boating, or ATVing into an area you only get the ground eye view. I'm looking for the birds eye view of the land to mark good glassing/calling areas. If I fly over a 60"er, awesome but not my expectations.

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