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Thread: Too many choices....Help narrowing it down

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    Default Too many choices....Help narrowing it down

    So, I've built a list of possible areas and I need help from the experienced Alaskan crowd on narrowing the list down.

    A little about myself.

    Recently gained my "Residence" status, I have a 6x6 ranger and plenty of gear. I'm not afraid to get out and walk either. I have 6 days from Sept 16-21 to hunt. I'm looking at heading out on the 16th and get as far back in with the ranger as I can in a day. While meat is great reward its not my sole purpose of hunting my main goal is that I'm looking at getting a trophy moose (60"+). I passed up a mid 50" and a low 50" (maybe high 40") moose earlier in the week. I figure a family who needs the meat more than a single guy who makes plenty of $$$ would appreciate it.

    Petersville unit 16A - I just drove down the main road but this area looks promising. I saw plenty signs of moose but never saw any actual moose.

    Denali Hwy - Unit 13B - I found a great spot but all the bulls or at least the one that had a heard of cows with him just wasn't big enough. Then the other 2 bulls I saw roaming with each other were small as well. The area seems prime for a person that doesn't mind walking but no trophy moose apparent after a weekend of glassing.

    Denali Hwy Unit 13B - Dickey lake. Looking at the map it looks like this could be a good area. Not a lot people parked in general area either, maybe an indicator of no moose or its too rough to get back to for the main crowd.

    South of Eureka Unit 13D - Looks like some good moose area. I've glassed quite a few cows in this area but again not a lot of people.

    Unit 14B - I made my way over to Purches creek and saw quite a few cows and a really small bull. Would it worthwhile to go over one ridge to Peters creek?

    Tanana Unit 20F - People keep telling me to go up here but it's a drive for a weekend scouting trip. Therefore this maybe a stretch as I havent been able to get my eyes on the area. Is this worth investigating?

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    Thoughts? Which option would you choose in my shoes?

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    I shot a moose on the Cantwell side of the Denali Highway but I hear a lot of people tell me it's shot out so maybe I got lucky - be wary of native land if you go out that way because the Ahtnas don't typically let you hunt on their land unless you're one of them. 13B always seemed like it would be a pretty moosey area but I've never personally made it up there and I hear there are a lot of hunters around there.

    Petersville - my dad shot one there a couple years ago and I've seen a lot of moose there, but having hunted it a lot in years past, it always felt like a good early season destination, but they seem to move away from roads later on. This year there wasn't a lot of traffic but there was a two or three year period where it was like grand central station. It can be hard to hunt on foot especially early in the season. I've seen a lot of black bears in the past there. I don't think there are a lot of bigger moose in there - I mostly see the smaller 40 inch bulls in there when I hunt it and the ones that my friends and family have shot in the last 10 years there have mostly been legal on brow tines. Not to say there aren't big bulls in there, I spotted one that was like 3 miles away that there was no way I was going and getting that had to have been 60 inches. I could be wrong - just talking from personal experience.

    14B - good area but it's very thick brush in the areas that I hunt and I always see a lot of brown bears so be prepared and hunt with a partner, especially if you hunt near creeks or rivers. But there are large moose there, be aware of the local crowd. I have a lot of good friends in 14B but if you take a wrong turn into the wrong swamp be prepared to deal with some crackheads who think they own the swamp, even if they don't have any No Trespassing signs up and even if they actually don't own the swamp! If they outnumber you don't argue with them. Made a wrong turn with a few guys a couple years back and 6 guys hopped out of the woodwork when we got on a trail armed with rifles and told us to get the heck out of there. Be aware of no trespassing signs and make sure that the land you are going to hunt isn't owned before you hunt it. There's a lot of pressure in 14B but there are plenty of areas without any pressure. People don't understand the concept of public easements in 14B either so be prepared to contend with that. All in all, I know people in 14B who get moose every year but every year there are more and more people there and people will be your main problem in 14B. There used to be a lot of thievery in that neck of the woods and locals are very wary of new people, but friendly if you get to know some of them. Try not to step on toes!

    South of Eureka - I've heard there's a lot of hunting pressure there but I haven't hunted it in a long time. It always seemed like a good area and my dad shot one there back in the 80's.

    All in all anywhere along a highway at this point is going to have a lot of hunting pressure. I'm not real impressed with any of these Rangers, but if you put good tires on and a good winch you should be able to get into good areas. Hunting for a 60 inch bull is going to be tough but it's doable. Pick a good area and learn the area well, and you'll eventually get one.

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    ACG515,
    Thank you for the info! I really wanted to get on a fly out hunt to increase my odds but I couldn't find a partner that had the resources. My other issue was that everyone I knew in the L48 wanted to come up this summer so I wasn't able to do as much scouting as I wanted. So many choices and so much area to cover! I'm used to back home were it just depends on how much you want to spend on a lease.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken_Duncan View Post
    While meat is great reward its not my sole purpose of hunting my main goal is that I'm looking at getting a trophy moose (60"+).
    It's statements like this that infuriate me, so you are guy who makes a decent living who enjoys just killing animals for the trophy value. Where did you move here from? And when can you move back? I doubt to many of the people on here will give you pointers on where to go kill a 60" moose for its trophy value. Big horns should be an added bonus, go back to wherever you came from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickwilly30 View Post
    It's statements like this that infuriate me, so you are guy who makes a decent living who enjoys just killing animals for the trophy value. Where did you move here from? And when can you move back? I doubt to many of the people on here will give you pointers on where to go kill a 60" moose for its trophy value.
    What infuriates me is the people who don't need the meat but they mow down anything and everything. I would much rather pass up a bunch of legal bulls for families that actually NEED the meat! Can you tell me the success rate for subsistence hunters? Its rather dismal every year I look at its been under 50%. So what does that tell you? We have a bunch of people blasting every single legal moose and taking away opportunities for others that actually do NEED it to survive.

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    So your a concerned citizen just looking out for the unsuccessful subsistence hunters. Please.... your a horn hunter looking for a way to justify killing an animal for its trophy value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickwilly30 View Post
    So your a concerned citizen just looking out for the unsuccessful subsistence hunters. Please.... your a horn hunter looking for a way to justify killing an animal for its trophy value.

    So whats your answer? I just shouldn't hunt? I should just mow down the first legal bull I see? I have no problem eating the meat and can come on here spouting how my freezer is full. What does that solve?

    or

    I could take the conservation of moose to an extreme. I could seek out the small majority of mature moose and thus increase the odds for others. I understand that by doing what I'm doing I greatly reduce my odds. You want to blame horn hunters but horn hunters are greatly more about conservation than a majority of the population hunting here. How many sublegal bulls have been shot and left to rot?

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    We all hunt for different reasons. So long as it's legal, why should one get to decide that THEIR reason is better than any other reason?

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    I used to hunt 13B south of the Denali Hwy and gave up on that when my camp was getting overrun by wheelers. That was 10 years ago and I doubt there are any fewer guys out riding the area. You've got a trail from Swede Lake and a trail from the Richardson Highway to put pressure on the Middle Fork of the Gulkana. I have no clue how many guys push it all the way to Dickey Lake but you've got to anticipate there will be some. To get your bull you're going to have to either ride fuurther than the other guy or walk where the wheelers don't. If I were hunting that area I would stay in the W&SR corridor, where ATV use is only allowed on the posted trail. Plan on walking to where your bull is.

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    I appreciateDuncan’s honesty. it doesn't sound like he's out there trying to shoot a ton ofanimals for only their trophy value he simply wants to shoot a big bull mooseand is willing to pass up on others to do that.

    Trophy hunters annoy me too, in a since its the guy that shoots a large moose, caribou,sheep, bear every year can't eat nearly all of it so either keeps it in thefreezer until its burned or just gives most of it away (I'm not against givingmeat away but when you are giving 90% of what you shoot every year away I wouldsay you need to cut down on your hunting).

    Lastly Duncan,
    I think if you're seeing moose I would say that you know what you’re doing Ifigure just make a choice and stick with it

  12. #12

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    As this is about to turn into (if not already) the much heated debate of Trophy vs Meat hunting I will end my portion of it now. I too would, having the choice shoot the mature larger animal if given the opportunity to do so. I have never left the house saying to myself I don't need the meat and the freezer is full but lets go kill a trophy bull. I have always shot the first legal bull I can find as I need the meat and consider it to be a privilege and a blessing to have put meat in the freezer. Like fssks17 said we all have are reasons, mine is to fill the freezer and if the horns are big than great. Yours is the exact opposite and to each their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken_Duncan View Post
    So, I've built a list of possible areas and I need help from the experienced Alaskan crowd on narrowing the list down.

    A little about myself.

    Recently gained my "Residence" status, I have a 6x6 ranger and plenty of gear. I'm not afraid to get out and walk either. I have 6 days from Sept 16-21 to hunt. I'm looking at heading out on the 16th and get as far back in with the ranger as I can in a day. While meat is great reward its not my sole purpose of hunting my main goal is that I'm looking at getting a trophy moose (60"+). I passed up a mid 50" and a low 50" (maybe high 40") moose earlier in the week. I figure a family who needs the meat more than a single guy who makes plenty of $$$ would appreciate it.

    Petersville unit 16A - I just drove down the main road but this area looks promising. I saw plenty signs of moose but never saw any actual moose.

    Denali Hwy - Unit 13B - I found a great spot but all the bulls or at least the one that had a heard of cows with him just wasn't big enough. Then the other 2 bulls I saw roaming with each other were small as well. The area seems prime for a person that doesn't mind walking but no trophy moose apparent after a weekend of glassing.

    Denali Hwy Unit 13B - Dickey lake. Looking at the map it looks like this could be a good area. Not a lot people parked in general area either, maybe an indicator of no moose or its too rough to get back to for the main crowd.

    South of Eureka Unit 13D - Looks like some good moose area. I've glassed quite a few cows in this area but again not a lot of people.

    Unit 14B - I made my way over to Purches creek and saw quite a few cows and a really small bull. Would it worthwhile to go over one ridge to Peters creek?

    Tanana Unit 20F - People keep telling me to go up here but it's a drive for a weekend scouting trip. Therefore this maybe a stretch as I havent been able to get my eyes on the area. Is this worth investigating?
    thanks for leaving the shooters for guys like me!! But really, I have never seen a trophy moose off of the road system.... I have flown a lot around the bush and have seen a couple in 10+ years.. so I don't know if they exist off the road...

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    slickwilly30, so fare your the only one trying to turn this one into a trophy vs meat hunter debate. I really don't mind the average trophy hunter I do mind when it turns into a money game, when rich people think they can buy a certain animal.

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    slickwilly sounds a bit jealous. Good on him if he wants to hold out for a stud bull, seems to me like its gonna get eaten the same way as if it was "just" a legal bull. I wish I had some info for you. Good luck at any rate.

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    So I think we can all agree the guys shooting sublegal moose and letting them rot or the guys shooting trophy moose and just cutting the antlers off should do us all a favor and go somewhere else.

    As far as places go it sounds like I'm in for alot of pain to find what I'm looking for this season. I might just call this season a learning experience and focus on an area to explore. Thanks everyone for your comments and a few have swayed my future scouting areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken_Duncan View Post
    I might just call this season a learning experience and focus on an area to explore.
    That right there is probably the best tactic you could ever employ. Generally, the bottom line is that moose are where you find them.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Duncan- I've hunted extensively in 3 of the areas you mentioned and I wouldn't go there looking for a 60"er. Just too much pressure for one to ever get that big. A lot of 13B has Fed tags and CHP "any bull" tags run the whole of 13....good numbers but they get shot little.

    If you want a true 60" bull, your best bet is to get on a plane.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken_Duncan View Post
    So, I've built a list of possible areas and I need help from the experienced Alaskan crowd on narrowing the list down.

    A little about myself.

    Recently gained my "Residence" status, I have a 6x6 ranger and plenty of gear. I'm not afraid to get out and walk either. I have 6 days from Sept 16-21 to hunt. I'm looking at heading out on the 16th and get as far back in with the ranger as I can in a day. While meat is great reward its not my sole purpose of hunting my main goal is that I'm looking at getting a trophy moose (60"+). I passed up a mid 50" and a low 50" (maybe high 40") moose earlier in the week. I figure a family who needs the meat more than a single guy who makes plenty of $$$ would appreciate it.

    Petersville unit 16A - I just drove down the main road but this area looks promising. I saw plenty signs of moose but never saw any actual moose.

    Denali Hwy - Unit 13B - I found a great spot but all the bulls or at least the one that had a heard of cows with him just wasn't big enough. Then the other 2 bulls I saw roaming with each other were small as well. The area seems prime for a person that doesn't mind walking but no trophy moose apparent after a weekend of glassing.

    Denali Hwy Unit 13B - Dickey lake. Looking at the map it looks like this could be a good area. Not a lot people parked in general area either, maybe an indicator of no moose or its too rough to get back to for the main crowd.

    South of Eureka Unit 13D - Looks like some good moose area. I've glassed quite a few cows in this area but again not a lot of people.

    Unit 14B - I made my way over to Purches creek and saw quite a few cows and a really small bull. Would it worthwhile to go over one ridge to Peters creek?

    Tanana Unit 20F - People keep telling me to go up here but it's a drive for a weekend scouting trip. Therefore this maybe a stretch as I havent been able to get my eyes on the area. Is this worth investigating?
    None of the above.

  20. #20
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    None of the above.
    This. Get on a plane.

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