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Thread: Seeking advice from the experts

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    Default Seeking advice from the experts

    All, I have been a long time lurker on this site and never posted anything. I have absorbed a wealth of information from all of the great folks on this site. It looks like my wife and I will be fulfilling a decade long dream of making a move to your great state in the not too distant future...probably to the Kenai Peninsula. I would consider myself a good fisherman and an average (at best) big game hunter. What I lack in skill I try to make up for in hard work. I have read a lot of the hunting books recommended by folks on the site. I love to hunt big game and intend to do as much as I can when we move. I am in my early thirties and in pretty good shape so hopefully I have a lot of good memories ahead. I have found as in most hobbies what you NEED vs. what you WANT are usually different and over time and with trial and error you find out what really works for you. My question is for those of you with a lot of experience hunting in Alaska how would you go about getting in the action as quickly as possible? I realize your state is vast and that there are all sorts of environments and species but I'd like to maximize my time and opportunities in the field without bankrupting myself. How would you do things differently if at all if you were starting over hunting in Alaska? What advice do you have for a rookie? Would you buy a salt boat, river boat, ATV, raft, charter planes, ect.? Would you simply gas up the truck park and walk, a lot? Something else? Any insights would be appreciated.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbound4 View Post
    Would you simply gas up the truck park and walk, a lot? Any insights would be appreciated.
    Yes.

    Time in the field kills critters and very little else will be a substitute for it. Even though I have a wheeler and have had boats, rafts, etc. there is no substitute for just lacing up your boots and getting after it...a lot. I still take the majority of my animals on foot less than 5mi from the truck.

    If I'd suggest anything outside of a good set of basic hunting gear (optics, boots, pack, tent, rain gear, etc.) it would be a decent canoe.
    "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
    Yes.

    Time in the field kills critters and very little else will be a substitute for it. Even though I have a wheeler and have had boats, rafts, etc. there is no substitute for just lacing up your boots and getting after it...a lot.
    So well said that it bears repeating. If a guy had the money for it, I think the perfect combination would be two fly-outs per year along with copious amounts of time spent hunting on foot from the truck. Fly-out hunts can be amazing, but nothing compares to time spent afield.

    If you end up on the Kenai Peninsula, I think one of the best hunts in the state is fall black bear in the alpine of the Kenai Mountains. Your odds for success will be reasonably high, you'll see plenty of animals, you'll develop mountain travel skills, and all for the cost of half a tank of gas.

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    Likewise, take your .22 and .44 mag and start rabbit/bird hunting ASAP, the time you spend chasing those animals is well spent scouting time for bigger animals.

    Feel free to substitute a larger caliber sidearm!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbound4 View Post
    My question is for those of you with a lot of experience hunting in Alaska how would you go about getting in the action as quickly as possible?
    Learn to fly.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    The quickest way to get into big game hunting in Alaska. Well, since you will be a nonresident for hunting purposes for one complete year, that should ne a consideration unless you have deep pockets. Besides the advice about getting into small game hunting, I would recommend black bear hunting. You said in the "not too distant future" which may, or may not, take you past fall black bear season. But black bears are numerous, you can hunt them by parking your truck and walking. If you get her in the fall, glass the hill sides and berry patches looking for bears and then try to stalk them. Spend the majority of your time glassing. Its a lot of fun and can be very rewarding. Put in for some draw hunts during the December application period, such as the DC001 caribou hunt. Of course timing is everything in whether you can apply as a nonresident or resident.

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    Thanks for all of the great reply's, I appreciate it. The black bear hunting on the K.P. like good experience and great fun. My exact timeline is a bit squishy with my work situation but that's evolving daily. Thank you all for your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Learn to fly.....
    4merguide, I am not sure if you are a pilot but being a former guide I am almost certain you have seen and worked with plenty. I have always been fascinated with aviation but haven't pulled the trigger on lessons. From many of the posts I have read on here most guys say that you should just fly to fly (not mainly to hunt as this is can be very dangerous). What amount of experience would you say you would need to be proficient enough to start to operate a plane safely for hunting in Alaska assuming that means either on floats or dirt strips and nothing too advanced (not SC landings on mountain tops) I understand that you need lots of ongoing practice and there's all sorts of costs involved but I don't want to learn any hard lessons in the air. I guess I just don't know enough about the availability of decent strips in relation to good hunting up there. Many stories you read and videos you see show professional pilots doing some incredible things with their airplanes. Short of being a pro I am wondering what opportunities look like...or if you aren't an excellent pilot are you relegated to situations not much different than you could find wearing out some leather? Flying is certainly not the "economical" alternative but is fun to think about.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    I moved here in 1975. Met an air taxi pilot and we became fast friends. nothing like a quick after dinner flight to catch grayling. Anyway, I really wanted to take lessons and get my own plane.

    My friend gave me solid advice. In the long run it will always be cheaper to charter than to own. being a BUSH pilot for just a couple weeks a year will get you killed. Most of your air time for 10 months a year will be flying from tar strip to another town, have coffee or lunch and return. Then Moose season opens and you think you can land on that gravel bar or small lake. I'm now in my mid '70's and God kept me healthly enough to have hunted hard and very successful. Don't forget when you do land and weather turns bad you will have the plane to worry about. I could go on and on but I think you can see my point.

    Drop some coin in a cookie jar EVERY week and by hunting season get flown in by an experienced and safe Bush pilot. You will never regret the move to Alaska. It's really GODS country. good luck with your plans.

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    Thanks everybody for the smart and sound advice!

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    be good to your wife.....the rest will fall into place. had great walk in hunts, great fly in hunts, great rafting hunts, great salt water boat hunts, great atv hunts.
    But for me hands down the wifes blessing will make any trip all the better. But that aside, money is what you'll need. then you can charter a boat or a plane or rent an atv or whatever you feel like doing that year. don't anchor yourself down by owning transportation until you know you'll use it to death.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    I moved here in 1975. Met an air taxi pilot and we became fast friends. nothing like a quick after dinner flight to catch grayling. Anyway, I really wanted to take lessons and get my own plane.

    My friend gave me solid advice. In the long run it will always be cheaper to charter than to own. being a BUSH pilot for just a couple weeks a year will get you killed. Most of your air time for 10 months a year will be flying from tar strip to another town, have coffee or lunch and return. Then Moose season opens and you think you can land on that gravel bar or small lake. I'm now in my mid '70's and God kept me healthly enough to have hunted hard and very successful. Don't forget when you do land and weather turns bad you will have the plane to worry about. I could go on and on but I think you can see my point.

    Drop some coin in a cookie jar EVERY week and by hunting season get flown in by an experienced and safe Bush pilot. You will never regret the move to Alaska. It's really GODS country. good luck with your plans.
    Sage advice. Couldn't agree more.
    I cherry picked a couple of your comments that I think could be repeated. I agree with both, though they are contradictory. A guy has to pick which path is right for him:

    "nothing like a quick after dinner flight to catch grayling"
    vs.
    "In the long run it will always be cheaper to charter than to own. being a BUSH pilot for just a couple weeks a year will get you killed"


    I do know an airplane isn't a replacement for hunting skills but with both, a guy can have a pretty good time.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    AK HUNT, just to clarify, the friend who gave me the advice about chartering IS ALSO THE GUY WHO WOULD TAKE ME FISHING. He was a licensed pilot, air taxi operator and guide / outfitter. I'm glad I took his advice and gratefull he took me Grayling fishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    be good to your wife.....the rest will fall into place. had great walk in hunts, great fly in hunts, great rafting hunts, great salt water boat hunts, great atv hunts.
    But for me hands down the wifes blessing will make any trip all the better. But that aside, money is what you'll need. then you can charter a boat or a plane or rent an atv or whatever you feel like doing that year. don't anchor yourself down by owning transportation until you know you'll use it to death.
    Very well said man....can't rep ya but very true!

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    I was here for 3 months before I tackled my first hunt... Here's a link to the story if you're interested.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ou-hunt!/page2

    In my opinion, save your money and plan a fly out or two every year. Don't buy a plane, you could do fly outs every year for 20 years or more for what a plane and all the maintenance would cost. Make a list of what you want to do before you leave and do it. Depending on how long you're here for, time can go fast. Seasons are short and lumped on top of each other so sometimes you have to pick and choose what you want to do. Sheep was what I really wanted to do and that has been priority one, but I haven't taken a moose or brown bear yet. I wish now that I made more time for that.

    I personally wouldn't put a lot of effort into road system hunts. You'll see a lot of people and sparse game. Black bear being the exception. Although I do really like the haul road hunt. For the extra cost of a fly out, it's worth it for the experience. But that's just me.

    Oh, and like someone else said, be good to your wife. Alaska is a tough place in the winter and it may be hard to get through initially. I've involved my wife in most my hunts and she picked it up to spend more time together. It's been great and she's taken a few critters herself. It will help you when you want to spend 2k or more on a fly out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    be good to your wife.....the rest will fall into place.
    That's probably the best advice I have heard in a long time...I always say "a happy wife is a happy life."...and lucky for me I have a fantastic wife...Followed by:

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    ...don't anchor yourself down by owning transportation until you know you'll use it to death.
    I am seriously re-thinking my giant list of junk that I thought I might need and honing in on focusing on some limited good gear because ultimately what I am after is not stuff but experience. Once I get my feet on the ground and figure out what I/we really want to focus on we can decide what (if any) toys we "need."

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    All you needs is two feet and appropriate boots for the mission. The rest is for sissy'men..................

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    I agree two feet and appropriate boots. I'm not in half the shape I was 10 years ago but the road system can work just fine if you go where you and everyone else doesn't want to be. Half the people fly in and half the people ride 4 wheelers around from noon to 4 pm with their head in the clouds. Wheelers and boats can be great access/packing tools but many won't get off/out of them and should probably just hunt fred meyers. It is alaska but it is also hunting

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    Boats planes & women; It is cheaper to rent than own

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    I moved here in 1975. Met an air taxi pilot and we became fast friends. nothing like a quick after dinner flight to catch grayling. Anyway, I really wanted to take lessons and get my own plane.

    My friend gave me solid advice. In the long run it will always be cheaper to charter than to own. being a BUSH pilot for just a couple weeks a year will get you killed. Most of your air time for 10 months a year will be flying from tar strip to another town, have coffee or lunch and return. Then Moose season opens and you think you can land on that gravel bar or small lake. I'm now in my mid '70's and God kept me healthly enough to have hunted hard and very successful. Don't forget when you do land and weather turns bad you will have the plane to worry about. I could go on and on but I think you can see my point.

    Drop some coin in a cookie jar EVERY week and by hunting season get flown in by an experienced and safe Bush pilot. You will never regret the move to Alaska. It's really GODS country. good luck with your plans.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by akpolaris View Post
    Boats planes & women; It is cheaper to rent than own
    Even if you like to get yours wet a lot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Even if you like to get yours wet a lot?
    especially then

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