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Thread: Retiring Teaching wanting to retire and hunt Alaska - Help

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    Default Retiring Teaching wanting to retire and hunt Alaska - Help

    Hey everyone! Great information on all the various forums...I could spend a lifetime reading up and researching everything. Anyway, I will be 55 in February and can retire from 31 years of teaching after this school year. I have been teaching in the same district for 31 years in Moline Illinois - home of the John Deere tractor. Even though I am not even close to be "burned out" or tired of teaching, I may do so because I have been waiting my entire adult life waiting to leave the hot humid summers of Illinois and get somewhere with true wilderness and beauty. Because of the heat, I have spent the entire summers in Idaho in the upper panhandle near Canada. The wolf population have really did a number on the elk and deer in that part of Idaho. I really have a great passion for hunting with both bow and gun. I have shot several P&Y whitetails but I really really want to be able to hunt Moose and Bear every year. I have hunted for bears several times in Canada. As far as teaching, I am certified in Special Education and there seems to be several jobs open each year (in SPED) throughout Alaska. In fact, there are a few advertising right now for August 2014. So teaching may to be a possibility (although not a deal breaker) and/or being a sub. I will have a much earned pension that I have been paying into for 31 years to live off of as well. My wife is 10 years younger than me and she is a Nurse (RN). She has worked in many various aspects of nursing as an RN. My kids are grown and live throughout the US, so schools do not need to play into where we live. We would have to rent for a year as it may take time for my wife to get everything settled and real estate sold. I would like to start venturing my way there around June 1, 2014 ...... We have two labs that are excellent, well trained, and well behaved. In fact, they are both Therapy Dogs as I used them for working with Special Needs Kids with anxiety issues and my wife uses them for marketing with Nursing homes and assisted living... So, we are looking for suggestions on great towns to live and get to moose hunting and bear hunting. Yeah, Yeah..... I have researched and heard that many feel its nearly impossible to get to good hunting without boat or air....but I have also heard it can be done with hard work....I am a driven type person and a great team player in terms of joining someone or others for hunting .... So, some great suggestions please... I want to live the dream.....Jerry

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Jerry! Or...should I say welcome home? It looks like you've got a pretty good setup for making the move north. If you want to still teach or sub, you will have no problem at all finding a job. Those with SPED certification are always in demand. The same is true for RNs, so between you and your wife you should have lots of options for where to live.

    As for hunting, don't buy into the notion that one must have access to air or water travel to get into good hunting. It helps, no doubt, but there is great hunting to be had on the road system for someone willing to walk, work, and be patient.

    With regards to bear, are you specifically thinking brown/grizzly bear, or would you enjoy black bear hunting equally well? There is a load of excellent black bear hunting on the road system. From Fairbanks down to Valdez and over to Anchorage, your options are many. As for brown bears, they can be a bit more difficult to find (at times), but there are plenty of places to hunt them where the seasons are long and their harvest is encouraged.

    Moose can be a tougher nut to crack, but we have plenty of members who get a moose every year along the road system. The key there is going to be patience and time spent afield learning areas, moose habits, and such. It can be done, but yes, air travel can only help.

    That said, where to live may be more of a question of climate, access to road system, size of town, and more. If you want good hunting but you also want access by road to a reasonable size town, that narrows the list. If you love hunting but you also would like to fish salmon regularly in the summer, that also would narrow the list. If it's only about hunting and nothing else, look off the road system - but there are loads of options that can put you into decent to excellent moose and bear hunting.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Jerry,
    you've obviously been reading a lot of the various Hunting forums, so your probably pretty well up to date in that area. However, based on your questions about "Great Towns to live in" you probably haven't looked at the Relocating to Alaska forum http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ting-to-Alaska

    Just about every argument for and against most of the major towns (villages) or cities in Alaska has already been made.
    and it also has been said time and time again, but I'll repeat it in case you missed it. It would be to your benefit to come up on a vacation
    spend some time in as many of the towns/villages/cities as you have time (and money) for, before you make a hard and fast decision.

    Regards, John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbear2 View Post
    .... I have researched and heard that many feel its nearly impossible to get to good hunting without boat or air....but I have also heard it can be done with hard work....I am a driven type person and a great team player in terms of joining someone or others for hunting .... So, some great suggestions please... I want to live the dream.....Jerry
    You can get into good hunting with air or boat transports and you can do it from the road as well. Each present their own set of challenges.

    Hiring transport takes cash and time doing research and finding good road accessible areas takes time and boot leather…take your pick. I pretty much stick to areas I can hike into from the road system and get 50+ days in the field a year for the price of gas money.

    Your situation sounds like your wife and you can pretty much live or work anywhere with a school or clinic. If hunting is a real passion I'd look outside of the major cities and larger towns… you'll do the same work in either but bigger towns are farther from decent hunting. Life in smaller towns can be a little more difficult and/or expensive.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Jerry, I too am a SPED teacher (Now a transition specialist) and I live in Georgia. I had the privledge and honor of living in Alaska years ago courtesy of the US Army. Moose season is short and during the school year (something to consider). Alaska is a HUGE state and there's not a moose behind every tree! Not trying to discourage you just facing the reality of it. I tried to talk my wife into returning to AK when I retired from the Army (HINT: I'm still in Gorgia....)
    Have you looked at Africa for a hunt? I'm going in July (winter there), something to consider.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    kotz or dlg would be hunting pardise for you. get a boat, get a snow go........and you are livin large. move to anchorage or the valley.......you will be failing yourself, and your dreams.

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    Sorry.......whats Kotz or Dlg

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    Kotzebou or Dillingham (probably mis-spelled) I lloked at SE AK, not Moose area, but I'v ealways wanted to visit wrangell and Petersburg.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    It pretty much looks like anywhere you go, you and your wife's skills will be in demand. So what you really what to ask yourself is weather or not you want to live on, or off the road system.....meaning.....no access to the "larger" cities without a boat or plane....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoughNut View Post
    Kotzebou or Dillingham (probably mis-spelled) I lloked at SE AK, not Moose area, but I'v ealways wanted to visit wrangell and Petersburg.
    For the number of hunters I figure its fairly good.
    http://www.kstk.org/2013/10/11/moose...tersburg-area/
    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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    I stand corrected Amigo

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think the final number was 96 this year with enough illegals to help feed the old folks. You will be welcome here anytime.
    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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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Either get a job lined up before you move and then learn how to hunt the area after you get there.............................or, pick an area you think meets your hunting desires and then look for jobs.
    There is plenty of good hunting in many places.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    If I was starting fresh and wanted to be in a diverse, game-rich environment, I believe I might give serious consideration to parts of Canada.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    If I was starting fresh and wanted to be in a diverse, game-rich environment, I believe I might give serious consideration to parts of Canada.
    With Wrangell and Petersburg you get both with the Stikeen
    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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    An experienced, skilled teacher paired up with an experienced, skilled RN can go to work in any area of the state that they want. Take some time to examine where you want to go. Nome has everything you want if you can do the winters. Anchorage, the Mat Su Valley, Southeast... The skills this couple have are desirable in every region that has a school system or medical facility.

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    Sped teachers and nurses can get a job anywhere up here. I would consider subbing to allow yourself to have the time you want to hunt. It can be very tough as a teacher to hunt on the weekends. Many of the hunts required a long drive to reach the trail are difficult too impossible to do on a weekend. I usually burn up all my personal leave on one hunt a year. I look forward to the year when I can have the time to get out a lot more in the fall. Pretty much anywhere you land on the road system you are within a days drive(sometimes a long day)of tons of hunting opportunity.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i might chime in and say maybe spend a summer/fall traveling to some different places around the state to see what strikes your fancy. i wouldnt relocate to the bush too hastily until you find out all the finer points of the jobs,cost of living, actual access and ease of hunting. I cant speak for dilligham but if you come to kotzebue and dont have transportation (boat,plane,snowgo) you wont be doing much of anything unless you pay to have someone take you out. if you have any questions pertaining to kotz feel free to pm me.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    if you have any questions pertaining to kotz feel free to pm me.
    Yeah, I gotta question......... Can I just come and spend the whole hunting season with you next year...??? ........lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    next year heck...the caribou are coming right past town right now...why wait. lots of stragglers this year. seeing people with sled loads coming in. too bad the bulls are all funky.

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