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Thread: Moving to Alaska

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    Default Moving to Alaska

    i have order to Alaska, i should be around this summer. a good time to get set up and meet people in the Fairbanks area that like to hunt. what are some of the things i need to know before i make it up about hunting. i have never been hunting before i am ready to learn and venture out into a new culture of life. i want to do my research before i get there so i know a good deal about rules, laws, regulations etc. which sites should i visit, which post should i read.

    also im christmas is coming up and im look to do a lot of hunting gear this gear any recommendations and what do i really need to look for in for gear in that area.

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    Where you coming from?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Regarding gear, do you have basic outdoors gear yet? If not, your first purchases should be quality boots, rain gear, and tent. There are lots of nice-to-haves, but getting wet and sore feet have stopped more hunts than darn near anything else. Forget the camo or other techno gadgets you might see advertised - think good boots, staying dry, and layering your clothing. As for base layers, get any merino wool shirts and pants that you can.

    As for what you need to learn, go to hunt.alaska.gov and read the hunting regulations. They are LONG and you don't need to read every page, but go through all of the sections prior to the unit-specific stuff. It'll take time, but it sounds like you have that. Other than that, spend hours and hours here reading. Follow the hunting, small game, predator hunting, and gear forums in particular - that will help answer some of your questions.

    Welcome aboard!

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    Good place to start is here.. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/

    Brian is very spot on with his suggestions and I'll add that hunting Alaska is a very humbling experience and rewarding at the same time. Just be aware that a person can get themselves in trouble very quickly. Make sure you are careful who you hunt with. I made a very bad choice the first season I hunted up here and it almost and I mean almost cost me my life. If you wouldn't trust your life to the person you head out with then don't go. Same holds true for the other person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Regarding gear, do you have basic outdoors gear yet? If not, your first purchases should be quality boots, rain gear, and tent. There are lots of nice-to-haves, but getting wet and sore feet have stopped more hunts than darn near anything else. Forget the camo or other techno gadgets you might see advertised - think good boots, staying dry, and layering your clothing.
    Good point, get good hh or grundens rain gear, extra tuffs ext if you want to say dry and comfortable although not recommended for heavy hiking.

    Camo isn't necessary IMO and I have heard that you could be accused of being a "townie" if you wear it haha. Good luck man

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    There are varying opinions, but my wife and I both feel better when I go on adventures and I have my SPOT.

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    If military much of your issue gear is good enough.Get a 30-06 and your good to go.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Schedule yourself into a hunter safety course after you're here. Even if you're too old to need it or if you already have a lower 48 certification that renders it optional (other than that it is required for all).

    Yes you'll be surrounded by new hunters here like yourself, but also there will be their family/friends that hunt, and instructors, all of which will know more about Alaska hunting than you know now. In addition to good information, its also a good place/time to network with other Alaskan hunters.

    Most newcomers don't hunt their first year or even two here due to the large cost of non res fees. Don't let this slow you down from going hunting; that law merely prevents you from pulling the trigger on game until you're officially a resident. The great majority of what you'll need to learn first hand can be very well learned by accompanying other hunters with a tag. And it is a commonplace for good hunt helpers to get bit of the meat too, though that's a bonus and should not be assumed.

    About gear, yes it wouldn't hurt to start buying now, but after you're afield here you may gain new perspective about what is needed to maintain comfort (and also to maintain life and limb).

    Don't choose too small of a caliber. If you only need a bullet so large for your game of choice, remember here we are not always at the top of the food chain. While we hunt game afield, it isn't uncommon for the hunter to become hunted himself by some of our larger creatures.

    P.S. I just noticed that was your first post. Welcome to the forums and to Alaska. Do know that here most people a a very welcoming people, so long as you don't go on and on about where you came from.

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    Alright a lot of good info on my first post thanks for the sites and links. to answer a few questions. i already have a .308, I'm coming from Dyess in Texas. My home state. I got a Tent its probably big to be packing around to find a spot to set up base but i was looking to set a single sleeper thats lights. really on other gear i dont have anything i dont have a BackPack, nothing for extreme cold weather. im not looking to go over aboard but here in town all i have is academy and wal-mart for selection mainly. some of the other big name stores are in dallas which would be the closest place for Bass Pro or Cabales.

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    I would wait to buy gear until you get to Alaska. Just bring lots of $$$$ and find out what you need as you go. You will be limited on your hunting until you became a resident and that takes a year and gives you time to decide what you want and to try to find used gear if money is tight.

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    You will be surprised what's available from people PCSing back to the lower 48 or elsewhere. I picked up a lot of gear, hunting and fishing from people leaving. The tent you have probably will not work in Alaska weather. I've seen people, one being my cousin who didn't listen, bring tents marked "Extreme Expedition" that got completely wasted in a storm out hunting. My cousin spent the last two night in my tent after being awake all night trying to keep his intact with out success. A .308 will work on most things you will hunt such as caribou, moose and black bear. You get a break on license fees the first year you are here but still cannot hunt goats, dall sheep and grizzly/brown bears without a guide. After a full 12 months here you will be able to if desired. As Brian said, good boots, good raingear and a good tent and the rest of his advice is spot on. Your military gortex raingear will not work in a wind driven rain storm for very long, I know from experience. Good optics are a must. You don't have to get stupid about it but get good quality optics because you will use them a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    You will be surprised what's available from people PCSing back to the lower 48 or elsewhere. I picked up a lot of gear, hunting and fishing from people leaving. The tent you have probably will not work in Alaska weather. I've seen people, one being my cousin who didn't listen, bring tents marked "Extreme Expedition" that got completely wasted in a storm out hunting. My cousin spent the last two night in my tent after being awake all night trying to keep his intact with out success. A .308 will work on most things you will hunt such as caribou, moose and black bear. You get a break on license fees the first year you are here but still cannot hunt goats, dall sheep and grizzly/brown bears without a guide. After a full 12 months here you will be able to if desired. As Brian said, good boots, good raingear and a good tent and the rest of his advice is spot on. Your military gortex raingear will not work in a wind driven rain storm for very long, I know from experience. Good optics are a must. You don't have to get stupid about it but get good quality optics because you will use them a lot.
    ++ what BillS said... I'd wait until you get here and have a chance to check out all your options. Rather than buying up a bunch of stuff you "Think" you'll want/need. You can grab up some terrific bargains from people on PCS orders.. As well as Yard/garage/moving sales. Even at gun shows.. You can't find what you want at all these options, there is always mail order from Bass pro or Cabelas.. (or you could check out their stores on your way through Anchorage to fish on the kenai Peninsula...) and that 308 you have is good for any game you can legally shoot in Alaska. If your into small game hunting, Grouse, Ptarmigan, Snow Shoe Hare, you couldn't go wrong with a good 22 and a nice shotgun.

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    Like everyone else is saying wait till you get here to figure out what you actually need verse what you think you need. The cold weather and wet weather gear you will be issued by the airforce is good quality gear and will help you out big time and save you money. Tents will depend on what you are going to hunt and how you plan on getting to the hunting grounds as well as if you will be hunting with other people.

    Get your feet on the ground, meet other people up here that hunt and are successful and then start making a game plan on gear purchases.

    Good luck on your move!

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I think I will do a combination of both. Buying a lot of small stuff like tools probably a scope and some general camping stuff. Where do most of you'll live? I'm gonna be around the Fairbanks area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by royderjd View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys, I think I will do a combination of both. Buying a lot of small stuff like tools probably a scope and some general camping stuff. Where do most of you'll live? I'm gonna be around the Fairbanks area.
    Are you going to be stationed at Eielson AFB or Wainwright? Thats going to be the deciding factor on where you end up living since the two are a ways apart.

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    Lots of polypro or wool if you can stand it. I almost don't go outside any time of year without some polypro on, but we don't get the warm summers you'll get up north.

    If you hand load, that .308 is fine for everything you'll encounter, even factory loaded ammo you'll be ok.

    Get yourself a good frame pack, a cheap and effective one is the Kelty Cache Hauler, a havalon knife is now a must have in my opinion, several pairs of wool gloves and knit hats of various weights. Bring any ammo you can, slim pickins up here still.

    If your going to get a pack tent, make sure its a 4 seasons tent and I would recommend a 2 person at minimum so you can keep your gear dry too. Cabela's XPG tents look legitimate, I got a good report from a buddy of mine that took one on a sheep hunt.

    Once your up here, Amazon will become your friend, you can get many/most things shipped here for free through them. Cabelas has reasonable shipping up here too.

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    I'm going to be stationed at Eielson, so mainly the fairbanks/north pole area if im not mistaken.

    Limon32 thanks for the good advice, I don't currently hand load my rounds but i have been looking into its for a while now. i like your gear suggestions, i was thinking the same things about gear and clothing really.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Most people either live on post or in North Pole if stationed at Eielson. Moose Creek and Salcha are other options as is Fairbanks if you don't mind the drive.

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    Welcome....

    It's been covered here- get a good pair of boots, good rain gear (Helly Hansens) and a good tent. Pick up a decent pack after you get here. Your .308 is plenty for most big game but bring a decent .22 and a shotgun before you look to go bigger on a centerfire.

    Your first year is non-res so that's a great opportunity to hunt small game, fish and get the lay of the land as well as meet some potential hunting partners. Finding a good partner is one of the more significant hurdles...more so than gear in my opinion so keep your options open there. Some of us go solo from time to time and it's an option, but not something I'd suggest right out of the gate.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Welcome....

    It's been covered here- get a good pair of boots, good rain gear (Helly Hansens) and a good tent. Pick up a decent pack after you get here. Your .308 is plenty for most big game but bring a decent .22 and a shotgun before you look to go bigger on a centerfire.

    Your first year is non-res so that's a great opportunity to hunt small game, fish and get the lay of the land as well as meet some potential hunting partners. Finding a good partner is one of the more significant hurdles...more so than gear in my opinion so keep your options open there. Some of us go solo from time to time and it's an option, but not something I'd suggest right out of the gate.
    Great point on the smaller caliber guns, I think one of those new take down 10/22 is almost a must have for an Alaska outdoorsman! My .410/22 Savage sees more field time than any other gun I own, except perhaps my .44mag.

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