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Thread: First hunt for a younger hunter suggestions

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Default First hunt for a younger hunter suggestions

    Howdy all,

    My 14 YO nephew passed his hunters safety down iun NV recently and my sister would like him to come up for a hunt with his uncle. Do to his school schedule the only time he can hunt is the first week of August. Right now I am looking into either a drop cam on the slope for bou or maybe an easier float hunt out of the Brooks. I am also thinking about maybe heading to POW for a DIY road system deer hunt or potentially an air taxi drop somewhere in the Tongass for deer. I would like to here folks opinions on these ideas. I have all the equipment for two for all options. I haven't hunted much with kids especially ones who are not experienced. I realize timing is early regardless of the hunt but it's the reality I have to work with.

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    I think both of your ideas are good ones. Caribou on the slope and deer on Kodiak are my favorite hunts in all of Alaska and in my opinion they are also the best suited to young hunters. Lots of game to see, animals are reasonable in size and not hard to deal with, etc. given the early August time frame, I would opt for the caribou on the slope option if it was me. Good luck. I am sure it will be a good trip whatever you decide and our nephew will remember the trip the rest of his life.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'd say it depends on the kid- I'd be wary of a true wilderness type drop or float hunt with a kid unless you know for a fact that he can hack it. Those are all adventures that you just can't leave right away once it stops being fun. They all sound great if the kid has wilderness/backpacking/hiking type experience and you're just adding the hunting in on top of that experience. With a kid who can handle it a caribou on slope sounds awesome- very good chances of success for a first big game hunt and near guaranteed of seeing plenty of critters.

    If the kid hasn't even slept in a tent I'd probably opt for DIY road system deer- plenty of hiking and glassing, plenty of bugs, and good odds of seeing a critter on the ground while keeping him in contact with some semblance of civilization.
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    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    Deer in August are going to be up in the alpine which could be a tough hunt ( i think I did my first one at 16) I like slope for bou, I think you have the best chance at seeing animals there which is good for young hunters (or old hunters) also you know the slope will also be a unique experience.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    You said yourself that the kid is not experienced, so why plan on taking him on huge adventure hunts? Why not set him up to learn hunting basics first?Maybe I am old school, but I think a kid is better served learning in steps, not potentially getting in over their head or feeling pressure to perform a task they are not really trained for. I have learned one thing being around my teenage nephews, they are better at imitating adults than they are being adults. But, what do I know?

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    You said yourself that the kid is not experienced, so why plan on taking him on huge adventure hunts? Why not set him up to learn hunting basics first, like a black bear hunt where you can see multiple animals and make stalks on them? Maybe I am old school, but I think a kid is better served learning in steps, not potentially getting in over their head or feeling pressure to perform a task they are not really trained for. I have learned one thing being around my teenage nephews, they are better at imitating adults than they are being adults.
    I have thought about bears but I have never had much luck finding them until early September. I want to have a reasonable expectation of success. I can afford it and want to make it memorable. Killing an animal is never the end all be all but I want opportunity to teach him the basics. I do appreciate your response.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    I would go for a comfy drop camp for caribou, maybe you could even find a lodge or tent-camp based outfit that can boat you around?


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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Might be too late to find an air charter to fly you out that early in the Brooks. I'm waiting on a call back from a couple of them, but the rest said they are booked.

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    What about Adak? It's definitely early and you'd have to do some hiking, but take a shotgun and let him shoot birds too, cold bay goose hunt would be really cool too!


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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    What I'd do is bop around the south side of Kachemak Bay; hike to the glacier and scramble around....spot and stalk for black bears.....camp on the beach and explore at the head of Sadie Cove...snag for reds at Tutka Lagoon, and wet a line for halibut and cod....Take him back to town and get him a shower, burger, and some video games every few days. Keep it light, fun, non-linear, non-goal-oriented. Practice firestarting, map reading, plant I.D., tracking....think of it like teaching swimming...I never seen a swim teacher throw a kid into the deep end of the pool right from the get-go....
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I think I'd have to go with "hodgeman" on this one for the reasons he said as well......a deer hunt. I really think deer is the classic animal to break a boy into big game hunting. My first big game was deer, as I'm sure it was for many here.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    I have a friend that did a blacktail/waterfowl hunt on what I believe was Sitkinak Island SW of Kodiak. Went with Andrew Air. Lots of deer, no bears, lots of waterfowl. They camped on the beach. After the hunt, they went fishing out of Kodiak.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    What about a spring bear hunt? That is how I got my oldest on his first animal. I cut my teeth on Aug caribou and that first hunt is one of my fondest childhood memories. You really can't go wrong as long as you set out to have fun.

  14. #14

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    You can probably nix POW deer from your options. The majority of POW is Tongass National Forest. Federal regs prohibit non-locals from hunting until August 16th. You could hop-scotch around to the few state lands spots but the deer hunting on those few small places isn't as good as alpine that time of year. Plus it's an easy way to get in trouble if you aren't familiar with the land status. Not the best plan for a kids first hunt. If you could convince his mom he needs to take a week off school, then you could bring him here in November. That would be a great first time hunt.

    If you choose caribou I'd opt for a drop camp over a float this time. Floating adds a whole differnet level of adventure that your nephew might not be experienced enough for yet.

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    Caribou would be my choice. Deer in the alpine is a tough game for a motivated man much less a new to hunting youngun. Plus, with the caribou, as long as they are around you can help him work at making good decisions on distance and shot placement etc. due to their nature and the terrain. With deer it all happens pretty quick.

    Drop camp for sure, there are likely birds around to be chased with a shotgun there as well. Pick a spot with some kind of fishing and you should have his interests and attention span covered.

  16. #16
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Thanksgiving break was always my favorite time to hunt deer on Kodiak. If that's an option, deer would be cool. That said, I would go for caribou. Either on the slope or out of Kotz or Nome. There are some great drop camp options and also floats. Floats offer terrific fishing, extra hazards too, from being on and near flowing water. Caribou hunts are very uniquely Alaskan; people dream of being on the open tundra or up in the Alpine lichens glassing for huge antlered caribou. To a down south deer hunter, a cow caribou has huge antlers. There are wide maturity ranges in teenagers; treat him as a man, give him the responsibilities of a man, while understanding that he is a YOUNG man, and if he's got character he'll not disappoint you, and will treasure the experience for life.

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