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Thread: Lost on the draw

  1. #1

    Default Lost on the draw

    Well I've been through the draw supplement several times now and I'm still lost

    I moved up in January with high hopes of learning the area well, so this wouldn't be such a problem. That hasn't happened! I've been so busy chasing a dollar that I haven't had time for anything. I've got a different job with a waay better schedule now. But I haven't a clue what to put in for.
    I'm going to try and get my bow cirts tomorrow, but who knows if that will happen.
    I live in the valley, but don't mind traveling for good hunting.
    Can anyone help? I'm partial to quality hunts(with in my budget). Any tips would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Wow, this post cracks me up. Haven't had time to learn the area? Since January? Sir, I've been up here ten years and I still haven't had time to learn the area.
    Apply for hunts that are logistically feasible durring a time period that you can break free from your employment. Utilize the ADF&G website and pull up previous years harvest statistics and detailed unit/permit maps. Start talking with people your likely gonna hunt with.

    Alaska is big and just because you win a permit doesn't mean your ready to hunt it. Ask yourself in private, honestly, will I hunt it? Make your decisions from there. Beyond that.....your still living in a great state abundant opportunity above and beyond the drawing permit system.

    If you go to the very end of the supplement you'll see via number of applicants the more desirable tags.

    Welcome to AK and good luck in the draw.

  3. #3
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Here are a few suggestions. First get a general idea of what you want to do, hunt for, access, etc. Big difference if you're limited to hunting from the road compared to flying into the far corners of the state, accessing areas with a boat or 4 wheeler, etc.

    Next, you can check some of the areas that you're interested in at this link:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...ntingmaps.main

    Just put in the hunt number and check the map. Some of these areas are close to a road, have trails marked, etc. Should give you a little idea of what you might be dealing with if you win the permit. Some of the maps aren't too great, so you might need to check them out on a better map:
    http://mapper.acme.com/

    Try the topo version of that one...really good at checking things out. There is a search function in the lower left that can get you in the neighborhood of what you're looking for.

    Next, if you think you found something that might work for you, check this forum for any information. I like to search in google using their advanced search function. Once you get to the page, just enter "forums.outdoorsdirectory.com" into the domain section. It's best to enter search terms that are varied. Try searching for the hunt number as DM123 and DM 123, search for landmarks like river names, mountain names, etc. I like to search for things like the name of the river and the word moose. Here you'll find a bunch of posts where other guys are either reporting on hunts or asking specific questions about certain hunts. Here is the google advanced search link:
    https://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en&fg=1

    Not sure if you have seen it or not, but on the last page of the hunt supplement, there are the statistics for last year. So you might notice that while DS123 sounds like the perfect sheep hunt for you, that there is a less than 1% chance of drawing that permit. Odds are that if you apply for that for about 200 years, you'll win it once. Might be better to apply for something with higher odds like DS140 (bow hunt in 14C).

    If you really start getting focused onto a certain hunt, you can check the state harvest statistics for information on how likely you are to be successful:
    https://secure.wildlife.alaska.gov/i...g=harvest.main

    And of course you can ask specific questions here or call the area biologist.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    I've been up here ten years and I still haven't had time to learn the area.
    After 30 years I've barely scratched the surface.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  5. #5

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    If I draw I will utilize all available resources to hunt it. And focus all my efforts on that hunt.

    As far as partners.... I've hunted 20+ years on my own. I do enjoy camping with others and helping them, but one of the most appealing aspects of hunting is the solitude and self discovery you get from it.

  6. #6
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    Do not put all of your 'cards' on a draw hunt. Put in for what you think you can do, but have other plans as well. As far as 'learning' the area, what are you talking about? There are several different areas in Alaska and they are all different. Pick some areas close to where you live and plan on spending a lot of time in those areas. Like others I have been in Alaska for 45 years and there are areas that I have little knowledge of. There are areas close to where we live and play that we know well.
    As far as hunting alone, you might want to rethink that idea. I am not saying that it can not be done, I have done it in my younger days, but when you put a animal down that can weigh several hundred pounds, you could be overwhelmed. There is a lot of good info out there so take you time and go through it.
    Good luck, have fun and be safe!

  7. #7
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcatcher541 View Post
    As far as partners.... I've hunted 20+ years on my own. I do enjoy camping with others and helping them, but one of the most appealing aspects of hunting is the solitude and self discovery you get from it.
    Most of us here understand, and appreciate that. A lot of us do, in fact, hunt alone from time to time. But be advised, when things go bad up here they can go REAL bad in a big hurry. Nothing wrong with hunting with a good friend that can potentially save your life.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Most of us here understand, and appreciate that. A lot of us do, in fact, hunt alone from time to time. But be advised, when things go bad up here they can go REAL bad in a big hurry. Nothing wrong with hunting with a good friend that can potentially save your life.....
    I hear that! I had a pneumothorax a few years back while hunting. Luckily I was only 1.5mi from the truck when it happened and I had one bar of cell coverage.
    When I wasn't passed out I surely did think I was going to die out there. I did manage to stager back to the truck and make it 18 miles to pavement before help arrived.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcatcher541 View Post
    I hear that! I had a pneumothorax a few years back while hunting. Luckily I was only 1.5mi from the truck when it happened and I had one bar of cell coverage.
    When I wasn't passed out I surely did think I was going to die out there. I did manage to stager back to the truck and make it 18 miles to pavement before help arrived.
    Just keep in mind that up here, more often than not, you won't have any cell coverage at all anywhere near where you might be hunting. If you are planning to hunt alone, something I do frequently myself, seriously consider getting a sat phone or other similar thing (SPOT, etc...) to at least give you the chance to call or signal for help if necessary. When you get near the end of the season in an area, there are really good odds that you will be the last one in that area until the next spring, so not likely someone will come along a day or two later or even next week to find you.

    As far as the draw, I think the others have said it pretty well. First thing is to decide what type of thing you are looking to hunt. Moose? Caribou? Bear? Elk? Any or all of the above? Once you have that decided, then look in more detail at the options available. Seach on here for those hunt numbers or just general searches for the areas like they have suggested to see if there is more detailed information about that specific hunt or area. Consider what you have available to you for access since that will rule in/out various hunts. Do you have the money/access for a fly in hunt? Do you have ATV's? Are you planning to rely on ATV access? Are you willing to hike a distance to get access or looking closer to road access? Do you have a boat? If you do, what kind so you know what kind of areas it can get you to?

    When it comes down to it, the guys in the ADF&G office are usually a pretty good resource as well. If you have the chance, you could swing in there for a bit and talk to them and they might be able to point you in the right direction.

    It's good that you are looking at this now and not a few days before the draw application deadline. You have given yourself a good amount of time to at least start to get an idea of what you are looking at. After 10 or 15 years, you might start to think you have it all figured, but even those of us who have been doing this for 20+ years keep learning new things all the time. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Just remember too that if you don't draw a tag, you can still put together an affordable hunt with an acceptable chance of success. It might take a little more work (ie research, scouting etc etc) to decide what, where and when you'll hunt, but it is certainly doable. Having a canoe, raft, boat, atv etc also opens up more options as well, but if your limited to road accessible hunting on foot, don't let that discourage you too much. It might also take a year or two or three, but eventually you'll hopefully learn an area well enough that you can always have that in your back pocket if you don't draw your chosen tags in a particular year. Just because it is a drawing tag doesn't mean it is anything special.

    Also, in my observation on here, the more specific of questions you ask, the more likely it is you'll get good answers. Good luck!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcatcher541 View Post
    Well I've been through the draw supplement several times now and I'm still lost

    I moved up in January with high hopes of learning the area well, so this wouldn't be such a problem. That hasn't happened! I've been so busy chasing a dollar that I haven't had time for anything. I've got a different job with a waay better schedule now. But I haven't a clue what to put in for.
    I'm going to try and get my bow cirts tomorrow, but who knows if that will happen.
    I live in the valley, but don't mind traveling for good hunting.
    Can anyone help? I'm partial to quality hunts(with in my budget). Any tips would be appreciated.
    Let's try and narrow down your parameters a little. Then maybe the rest of us can offer you some help.

    What species do you want to hunt? And don't say all of them. If so, then you aren't being realistic.

    Are you looking for a trophy or are you just trying to fill the freezer?

    How much are you willing to spend? What is your budget?

    How far are you willing to travel to achieve your goals?

    After you clarify what you are looking for, other people will probably chime in on how to help. However, don't be surprised if people hold back. By giving someone else advice on what hunts to put in for, that only adds another person to the pot and decreases their chances to draw.

  12. #12

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    Any suggestions who to talk to in Fish and game concerning an issue I have with my tag from last year?

    I drew DM773 first time I've ever entered the draw having lived here since 1979. 100%.. not bad eh?

    Anyway, I left town to work on my bat in early April,and returned just in time for hunting season. I realized a locking tag had been introduced, and I never received it. The solution offered to me from Fairbanks was come on up, and we'll get you one..(600 miles away).. with limited time I just went and did the registration hunt in 20E.

    Now I am ineligible for that same hunt.. never got to hunt it due to what I am sure was their mistake. Don Young(biologist) was helpful, even tried to send the tag to Delta.. but that was Sept 21, and I had run out of hunting partners.

    I am asked to comply with many regulations.. many of which are fairly difficult. When Fish and Game fails to comply with their own rules and send me the new tag in a timely manner.. then they need to make it right.

    Fairbanks office has not given me the answers I am looking for.. possible future solutions.. who next?? I am honestly looking for reasonable answers. Why couldn't I have gotten that tag, or some alternate of it at my local office?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    Any suggestions who to talk to in Fish and game concerning an issue I have with my tag from last year?

    I drew DM773 first time I've ever entered the draw having lived here since 1979. 100%.. not bad eh?

    Anyway, I left town to work on my bat in early April,and returned just in time for hunting season. I realized a locking tag had been introduced, and I never received it. The solution offered to me from Fairbanks was come on up, and we'll get you one..(600 miles away).. with limited time I just went and did the registration hunt in 20E.

    Now I am ineligible for that same hunt.. never got to hunt it due to what I am sure was their mistake. Don Young(biologist) was helpful, even tried to send the tag to Delta.. but that was Sept 21, and I had run out of hunting partners.

    I am asked to comply with many regulations.. many of which are fairly difficult. When Fish and Game fails to comply with their own rules and send me the new tag in a timely manner.. then they need to make it right.

    Fairbanks office has not given me the answers I am looking for.. possible future solutions.. who next?? I am honestly looking for reasonable answers. Why couldn't I have gotten that tag, or some alternate of it at my local office?
    I guess part of my question would be the reason why you didn't get the locking tag in the first place or know when you applied that a locking tag was necessary and it would have to be picked up in the Fairbanks office. Most hunts like that seem to make it clear up front that an extra step will be necessary if you are a winner of the permit. I don't know in your case though if that was the issue. Beyond that, if the Fairbanks office didn't give you the answer you were looking for, I guess you could call the main Anchorage office. Other than that, I would suggest you just work your way up the ladder (supervisors) if you still aren't happy. You may not get anywhere with it, but I don't think there are really any other options beyond a legal challenge which is likely beyond any level you are looking to push things.

  14. #14
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I called the Raspberry office in Anchorage last year with a permit problem. For that I was given the name and number of a lady in Juneau. Very helpful for my problem. Can't remember the number, but I'm sure if you called they could get it to you.

    As Anchskier pointed out, you're probably on your own with this one. I think you're only ineligible for this year. You should be good to go applying for the other 20A any bull hunts.

    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    Any suggestions who to talk to in Fish and game concerning an issue I have with my tag from last year?

    I drew DM773 first time I've ever entered the draw having lived here since 1979. 100%.. not bad eh?

    Anyway, I left town to work on my bat in early April,and returned just in time for hunting season. I realized a locking tag had been introduced, and I never received it. The solution offered to me from Fairbanks was come on up, and we'll get you one..(600 miles away).. with limited time I just went and did the registration hunt in 20E.

    Now I am ineligible for that same hunt.. never got to hunt it due to what I am sure was their mistake. Don Young(biologist) was helpful, even tried to send the tag to Delta.. but that was Sept 21, and I had run out of hunting partners.

    I am asked to comply with many regulations.. many of which are fairly difficult. When Fish and Game fails to comply with their own rules and send me the new tag in a timely manner.. then they need to make it right.

    Fairbanks office has not given me the answers I am looking for.. possible future solutions.. who next?? I am honestly looking for reasonable answers. Why couldn't I have gotten that tag, or some alternate of it at my local office?

  15. #15
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bairdi View Post
    but if your limited to road accessible hunting on foot, don't let that discourage you too much.
    So very true..... I believe Alaska is filled with little "hot spots" all over the place. It's just that many won't take the time to go find them. Personally I "had" a hot spot for quite awhile and it was only 2 miles from my house. It still rarely gets hunted, but unfortunately it's not so "hot" anymore....

    Quote Originally Posted by bairdi View Post
    Just because it is a drawing tag doesn't mean it is anything special.
    That one I'll have to disagree with to a point.... The way I see it, it totally depends on the tag. Some permits for sure, but some.....say where they only give out 2, or 5, or even 15 for the whole state, well........those can be pretty special....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post

    That one I'll have to disagree with to a point.... The way I see it, it totally depends on the tag. Some permits for sure, but some.....say where they only give out 2, or 5, or even 15 for the whole state, well........those can be pretty special....
    I think that is what he was trying to say. Not that no permits were "special", but that just the fact of it being a permit does not necessarily make it "special". Some are, some aren't.

  17. #17
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Im no expert but there is some good info contained here. I bounced my hopes and dreams off the maps and areas I have some albeit very little experience in knowing that if I do draw them I know at the very least how to get in and out of there and where I have spotted game in the past. Fingers crossed Ill get a tag, I put in for several that have high chances of a draw and a few that don't, and Im gonna work my butt off to connect.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  18. #18

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    Haven't read all responses, but this post is indicative of the problem I have with draw hunts. Like many, instead of desiring to harvest a particular species of animal and researching areas(both draw and open), many hunters just apply for permits willynilly hoping todraw- thinking if it is a permit, it must be good. I really believe this could actually bring more pressure to an area- e.g. some of the Kenai goat areas- and in a lot of cases, the hunter realizes that for some reason, logistics or timing, etc. he decides not to use the permit.
    I would advise the o.p. to choose an animal he wants to hunt, and research thoroughly the areas they inhabit along with accessibility and go from there. In my opinion, if you limit your hunting areas to permit draw areas only, you might as well move south.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    I think that is what he was trying to say. Not that no permits were "special", but that just the fact of it being a permit does not necessarily make it "special". Some are, some aren't.
    Yes that was what I was shooting for. Yes 4mer is absolutely correct that there certainly are "special" tags out there such as a TMA sheep or a Kodiak bear tag. My point was mearly that just because it is a drawing tag, it is not ones only opportunity to have a quality hunt with good chances of success for that particular species ( with the exception of the few species that are only available to hunt through a drawing tag).

  20. #20

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    Thanks for everyone's input and views on the topic

    I do have a atv , but I don't have a suitable boat yet! I plan on buying a 17'-18' flat bottom with a pump in the spring.

    My number one priority is sheep. I will be flying out with Meekins Air Service for 7-10 days in August.
    But Alaska has a lot more to offer then just sheep.

    I am a trophy hunter at hart. I don't mind passing up legal animals to get a mature one.
    But That's subjective to the condition of my freezer too!

    I just want the chance to experience Alaska before I'm too old to get the places I want to go and for the animals I want to kill.

    As for what I want to hunt.... The answer is everything! As unrealistic as that my sound, it's true!
    I will wait and see if I'm lucky enough to pull a draw tag, if I do then obviously all of my efforts will be focused on that one animal.

    I was mostly curious about quality hunts for a guy that's on his own, without an airplane within reasonable distance of the valley. Sorry I should've been a little more specific. I do appreciate all the input!

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