Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Packin' for moose

  1. #1
    Member Cody77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    142

    Default Packin' for moose

    Ok, I'm probably gonna have a bunch of people telling me I'm crazy or foolish, but I want to know about hunting moose on foot. I'm interested in talking to others that hike off road, out of the way of ATVs to harvest their trophy. Yeah....it's a lot of work, but it seems like that if you have a good hunting buddy, are in good shape, and are willing to work where others won't you'll find reasonable success. I'm interested in hiking off the Richardson and Elliot Highways this fall. Have just moved up to Alaska recently and have experience packing Elk out of mountains in the Cascades and Hells Canyon on Oregon/Idaho border.
    If anyone has any past experiences or good advice I have several questions. Thanks folks.

  2. #2

    Default

    enjoy the alders! they grow em thick up here.

  3. #3
    Member nibenza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    167

    Default Not crazy or foolish

    I grew up hunting around Fairbanks. Although we did most of our hunting running rivers I never missed a chance for a day or short weekend hunt with myself or best friend when we didn't have an extended hunt going on. We did get a couple throughout the years but none were any great pack. A couple of techniques we found succesfull were driving and calling. We called in a number of bulls from the valleys of Minto and Cleary Summit. We would drive to a spot, get out and walk a ways and then start calling. If we didn't get an answer we would drive to another spot. Hit 6 to 8 spots and then retrace our route back to town as sometimes bulls will take their sweet time in checking out a prospective fight/ love interest. The later in the season the better. Sometimes we walked a mile or 2 in. It was just a matter of getting lucky in locating one as they are busy wandering trying to find cows. PM me if you want some specific spots.

    Those were the days

  4. #4

    Default

    This will be the real test of the friendship, might want to let him shoot first, hoping he misses and then he is more commited in getting it out. My experience has been, when two good packers are involved: One full day of packing for every mile of terrain. Two miles-Two Days, etc. Done it lots. Ain't as much fun though as it is discussing it here.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,766

    Default It's all doable

    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    Ok, I'm probably gonna have a bunch of people telling me I'm crazy or foolish, but I want to know about hunting moose on foot. I'm interested in talking to others that hike off road, out of the way of ATVs to harvest their trophy. Yeah....it's a lot of work, but it seems like that if you have a good hunting buddy, are in good shape, and are willing to work where others won't you'll find reasonable success. I'm interested in hiking off the Richardson and Elliot Highways this fall. Have just moved up to Alaska recently and have experience packing Elk out of mountains in the Cascades and Hells Canyon on Oregon/Idaho border.
    If anyone has any past experiences or good advice I have several questions. Thanks folks.
    Cody,

    I think a lot of us started hunting Alaska exactly the way you are suggesting. I have done many moose hunts off the road system and so have many others here in the forums.

    What are your questions?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6
    Member Cody77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    142

    Default Questions.....

    Sir,
    Most of my question are in regards to hunting technique. Driving up the Elliot I notice a lot of moosey looking habitat. Marshy areas, open spots around water and lots of thick vegetation. Am I best suited to find a vantage point an glass or call. I haven't read any literature on calling yet, but think it's similar technique to bugling in an elk maybe? I noticed the elliot is slim on vantage points, not for lack of high places, but all the hill and ridgetops are covered with trees!! The best place I saw to glass in many cases was from the roadway.
    Is 2-3 miles off the roadway usually enough buffer to keep you away from road hunters and the larger crowds?
    Do moose like to frequent new growth in old forest fire burns?

    BTW thanks for the advice on watercraft. I'm now the owner of a new 18' AIRE Cataraft. I'd like to take as many float hunts as possible with it, but my budget keeps me anchored in my Ford. Thanks again to you and all others that may answer my questions.

    Cody

  7. #7

    Default Walk-in moose

    The best advise I can give you is this: Pass on even a world record if you have to shoot him in the water. The water up here is deadly cold even at the heighth of summer. I helped 2 guys take their moose out of ponds, and will never do it again without a winch!!!!

    As has been said a couple of times here, I also am one that began my Alaska hunting in the Fairbanks area on foot. Packing a moose is by far the most physically demanding thing you will do here, unless you do sheep and mountain goat hunts. An average moose will require 2 packers to make many trips, even if each carries 100 or more pounds out each trip. A big moose can weigh 1,500 pounds, and even though that is a very big moose, even an average one will feel like that after the second or third pack trip. You will have half to 2/3rd of that weight in meat if you take it all, which is required in Alaska. Don't forget that you can't bring out the antlers until the last trip, too. Avoid the tussocks if at all possible!! Walking through them with no load is a challenge, with a pack full of meat is nearly impossible, and the chance of falling and breaking something is very real.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,766

    Default Moose tactics for road-based hunts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    Sir,
    Most of my question are in regards to hunting technique. Driving up the Elliot I notice a lot of moosey looking habitat. Marshy areas, open spots around water and lots of thick vegetation. Am I best suited to find a vantage point an glass or call. I haven't read any literature on calling yet, but think it's similar technique to bugling in an elk maybe? I noticed the elliot is slim on vantage points, not for lack of high places, but all the hill and ridgetops are covered with trees!! The best place I saw to glass in many cases was from the roadway.
    Is 2-3 miles off the roadway usually enough buffer to keep you away from road hunters and the larger crowds?
    Do moose like to frequent new growth in old forest fire burns?

    BTW thanks for the advice on watercraft. I'm now the owner of a new 18' AIRE Cataraft. I'd like to take as many float hunts as possible with it, but my budget keeps me anchored in my Ford. Thanks again to you and all others that may answer my questions.

    Cody
    Cody,

    To be successful on any walk-in hunt off the road system anywhere you usually have to pull a few tricks others either donít know about or are unwilling / unable to try. This is particularly true in Alaska. Here are some ideas that have worked for me.

    1. Learn about the critter. One of the best investments youíll make is time spent on research. Youíre hunting moose, so I would hit the books on moose habits, habitat requirements, and natural history. Pick up a copy of ďWild Mammals of North AmericaĒ from the Johns Hopkins University Press; it contains a wealth of solid biological information for all Alaska big-game species, and you will use it a lot. You can pick up a copy on E-Bay for substantially less than the $175 cover price.

    2. Learn how to call moose. Best tool I know of is Wayn Kubatís ďLove, Thunder and BullĒ video. Itís not difficult to call moose, but you do need to know how. Wayne is a great teacher and has probably taught more folks how to do this than anyone alive. You can get the tape here on this website.

    3. Look for areas that appear to be bypassed. There are numerous pockets of ideal hunting located right next to some of our most well-traveled roads. Some time ago we had such a spot we called ďThe Moose PatchĒ. It was just off the Glenn Highway, and you could hear cars going by right from camp, but our vehicle was hidden and nobody knew we were there. We hunted it for years and always took a moose in there. In fact, my wife shot her first bull there. Most of our hunts in the moose patch were weekend events. I think the farthest we packed a bull out of there was a mile and a half, all downhill on a good trail. Interestingly, we could see other hunters on ATVs from the moose patch, but because there were no ATV trails in there, and we were bordered on two sides by deep gullies, we never had their company.

    4. Donít put all your eggs in the ďglassingĒ basket. Glassing is by far our most popular hunting tactic for moose, but can become a crutch to mask poor hunting methods. Most anyone can see a moose from a hill, but put the same guy out in a timbered flat and heís at a complete loss. Success rate goes right down the tubes. Learn to glass, but learn other methods too. I have successfully still-hunted moose in the timber or in thick brush; you just have to know the animal and how to read the signs. Thatís where your research gives you the edge.

    5. Stick with what you know. Once you get this reasonably dialed in, keep doing what has worked before. I canít tell you how many times Iíve convinced myself to deviate from known successful methods simply because I wasnít seeing game or getting the results I thought I should get. To use a fishing analogy, youíre looking for the battle-scarred lure that has caught hundreds of fish. The guy who ties on a new lure every five minutes ends up becoming a great knot-tyer, but doesnít catch many fish.

    6. Innovate. This sounds like the opposite of sticking to the plan, and in some ways guess it is. Stick to what you know, but donít be afraid to try a well-thought-out plan that deviates from the norm on occasion. For example, you donít hear about a lot of tree-stand hunting for moose, but in some areas it can be deadly. Think of new methods and try them occasionally. Most of them will fail, but you will come up with some new ideas that work too.

    7. Hunt. Sounds obvious, but you will learn a lot just by doing it. Learn all you can ahead of time, and put it in practice in the field. There are many things you can only learn by experience.

    8. Area-specific details. I have not given you many details about the two areas you mentioned. Each area is different, and you will have to experience what works best in those areas for yourself. Generally you donít want to track your scent all over the area. Go in to a prime spot and stay there. Bring a folding stool and a good paperback book to read. Do some calling, and scan the area now and again with a good binocular. Resist the temptation to hike all over the area; often all youíll do is push moose out of the area for a while. Make your stand as comfortable as possible and youíll stay there longer. Most of the moose kills Iíve been involved with happened between 9 and 11am, and 5pm until dark. This is when most moose are up and about. If you find rut pits, concentrate your efforts there. Moose will use these same rut pits every year. Lots more to say on this stuff, but Iíll leave room for others to chime in.

    9. Stay off the beaten path. If you hunt where everyone else is, youíll likely get the same results they get. Often the difference is just a half mile in another direction. Explore the side roads, hike in off the turnouts, etc. Study maps of the area, and check out Google Earth. Once you know the habitat requirements of moose, you will find lots of places that are not pressured much.

    10. Use your cataraft. There are several bridge-to-bridge hunts you can do with your cataraft that will keep the hunt costs down. Look at your maps (by all means get an Alaska Atlas if you don't already have one), and you'll find many of these areas.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  9. #9
    Member Cody77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    142

    Default Solid Gold

    Sir,
    That was all solid gold. Great advice, I appreciate the help and the time it took to type all that out. I'll take it all to heart quickly, do my homework and report back to you on my success. Thanks!

    Cody

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,766

    Default More info on DIY moose hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    Sir,
    That was all solid gold. Great advice, I appreciate the help and the time it took to type all that out. I'll take it all to heart quickly, do my homework and report back to you on my success. Thanks!

    Cody
    Cody,

    Thanks for the kind words- but most of the credit goes to folks who taught me. Here are some more ideas to consider:

    1. Stay away from black spruce forests. Unless you've got some willow or other deciduous growth in there, a black spruce forest isn't gonna hold moose for long. Yes, they will eat spruce (I have photos to prove it), but they prefer willow. Look for timbered areas edged by birch and willow, with some standing water.

    2. Timing is everything. The pre-rut activity kicks in on the 10th of September. Calling after the 10th will yield much better results than calling in the early part of the month. By the end of September, most of the big bulls will have cows with them and you will probably not pull them away with calling. Breeding takes place in early to mid October. If I were calling later in the season, to bulls with cows, I would use bull calls to locate animals and then try to sneak in for a shot. You have to work around those cows, but sometimes it works. A bull that's with a cow will move about 40 yards or so, but not much further. So you have to go to them.

    3. Glass for parts of moose. Anyone can see a moose standing broadside in a meadow, but it takes practice to find moose in cover. Look for the tops of antlers, or antler tines, sticking up above the grass. We shot a bull over on the Stony one year that we had located in his bed. All we saw was part of an antler while we were glassing down into the timber. Don't expect to see an entire animal

    4. Patience is the key. Moose don't keep appointment books, so when you're calling give them plenty of time to come in. A mature bull will come in from over two miles, to the exact spot where you're standing. But you have to give him time. Ideally you'll remain on stand the entire day. But for sure don't move off stand until two hours after a calling sequence. I will frequently do some calling before turning in at night, and many times have found bulls hanging around the area of our camp by morning. It takes time- most hunters don't have the patience for it, but those who do are usually more successful.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •