Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Trying to Learn

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    37

    Default Trying to Learn

    Someone school me up on moose and AK hunting.
    Resources at hand: a gun that I am intimate with, somedecent glass, every map of Alaska that I can find, boots that don’t suck andbasic pack and camping equipment. Planning on adding an atv, canoe, and snowmachine.
    This summer I plan on scouting while I fish, hike and smallgame hunt as much as I can to learn the ropes.
    I came from the lower 48. I am looking at possibly being inAlaska for the next 5 years and plan on establishing myself there to come backwhen I am done with the Army. Back home I can look at topo maps and googleearth and for the most part know what the deer or turkeys are going to be doingbefore I get into an area. I want to try to get to this level of knowledge for habitatin AK as I did back in the motherland.
    What am I looking for when scouting “moosey” areas? I wouldlike to know what should stand out. Good habitat in the past seems to be afactor in consistently having animals in an area year after year regardless ofpressure. I don’t want to be that jackas* that plows through the good habitatwhile someone who knows what they are doing is cussing me from the hillsidewatching that area.
    How far off the road? In the past while deer and turkeyhunting public land I have had success in sight of the roads and as far back asit is possible to get from roads on foot. Is there a consistent distance fromroads to get with an atv to separate you from the circus?
    What mistakes have you made in the past that cost you mooseand you wish you knew starting out? I ask this because I never really felt likeI knew everything about hunting but more about seeing stupid things that I wasdoing sooner that cost me animals in the past.
    What snow machine and ATV would you recommend? I wantsomething that is rock solid reliable and that I can use to navigate Alaska. Iwas looking at the 500cc Hondas for a quad and the Skidoo tunda LT sled.
    P.S. If anyone has questions about doing a hunt in the Midwesternpart of the US send me a message and I can get you pointed in the right direction.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mile 102 Glenn Highway
    Posts
    335

    Default

    (Is there a consistent distance from roads to get with an atv to separate you from the circus?)
    Once you get an ATV you have joined the circus.
    But I do not think you can go wrong with the Honda ATV's

  3. #3
    Member JuliW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    1,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier06 View Post
    What am I looking for when scouting “moosey” areas? I wouldlike to know what should stand out. Good habitat in the past seems to be afactor in consistently having animals in an area year after year regardless ofpressure. I don’t want to be that jackas* that plows through the good habitatwhile someone who knows what they are doing is cussing me from the hillsidewatching that area.
    Ha, this reminds me of my son's hunting trip this fall... He and his hunting group were camped a distance away from a very good moose area (with multiple bulls and cows in it) and another group of hunters came through their camp and continued right thru the middle of the mooses' living room and set up their camp...at which time every moose in the valley left.

    Generally, it is best to get yourself high... find where the moose are from a distance, set up camp and hunt from there. not always easy, and it takes time to learn an area. (multiple seasons).
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Welcome to Alaska and good luck hunting the sacred cow!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier06 View Post
    This summer I plan on scouting while I fish, hike and small game hunt as much as I can to learn the ropes.
    If you do that, you'll probably know more than the average hunter.



    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier06 View Post
    I came from the lower 48. I am looking at possibly being in Alaska for the next 5 years and plan on establishing myself there to come back when I am done with the Army. Back home I can look at topo maps and google earth and for the most part know what the deer or turkeys are going to be doing before I get into an area. I want to try to get to this level of knowledge for habitat in AK as I did back in the motherland.
    Familiarize yourself with management unit boundaries and land ownership.


    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier06 View Post
    What am I looking for when scouting “moosey” areas?
    After a winter and summer, let us know if you learn of areas that are more "moosey" than where you are at.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Willow/Moose Creek
    Posts
    473

    Default

    It took me four years until i got a moose. Couple mistakes: I passed on the first legal moose I saw because I thought I could do better. I didn't get one that year. Next--big moose are huge! It's very difficult to quarter a large moose by yourself. My first was totally exhausting mentally and physically. Plan accordingly--have a way to care for and get the meat home. If you get way back on an atv and then hike, you might kill a moose, but now what? I had to go get help and it was an ordeal. Moose move around for the seasons, so if you see them at one time of year they might not be there later. Study the sat and aerial photos to ID the trees and their age. My moose like a mature mixed forest with undergrowth to browse on. Moose browse, not graze. Look for moose rubs on trees, look for trimmed brush where the moose have been eating. Look for trails etc.f Good luck and have fun

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Never shoot one more than a half mile from transportation if your by yourself, 1 mile if you have help and never shoot one in the water.

    Find food and you find moose, now finding a legal one is the real challenge!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,690

    Default

    housier06, thanks for your service and welcome to this site. It will pay dividends to do some research, ask questions and pay attention to the advice given (don't shoot a Moose in the lake )

  8. #8
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Never shoot one more than a half mile from transportation if your by yourself,
    If I followed that rule I never would have killed one......lol.

    What you say kinda depends on how physically fit a guy is. The op might be 10 foot tall and bullet proof. But if he's a 98 pound weakling he better listen to you.

    But I agree.....never shoot one in the water.....or deep swamp. I've let a couple nice bulls go because of that. I refuse to shoot one there unless I have a full proof way of pulling them out....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    If I followed that rule I never would have killed one......lol.

    What you say kinda depends on how physically fit a guy is. The op might be 10 foot tall and bullet proof. But if he's a 98 pound weakling he better listen to you.

    But I agree.....never shoot one in the water.....or deep swamp. I've let a couple nice bulls go because of that. I refuse to shoot one there unless I have a full proof way of pulling them out....
    No doubt some are capable of more or less, but those are the rules of thumb that I was given when I first got here and after spending some time in the field it would take some special circumstances for ME to break them!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    No doubt some are capable of more or less, but those are the rules of thumb that I was given when I first got here and after spending some time in the field it would take some special circumstances for ME to break them!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Oh yes, I heard the same "rule of thumb" as well. But back then I also REALLY wanted a moose in my freezer.......lol.

    The last moose I packed out by myself I told the old lady that I didn't know how much longer I'd be able to do it. We got a 4wheeler a couple years ago and I have yet to use it to pack one out. But I'm still hoping the day will come......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    37

    Default

    "Couple mistakes: I passed on the first legal moose I saw because I thought I could do better. I didn't get one that year." I plan on focusing on any bull areas as much as I can if the sign looks promising. I am going to poke a hole in the first one that is legal.

    "Study the sat and aerial photos to ID the trees and their age. My moose like a mature mixed forest with undergrowth to browse on. Moose browse, not graze. Look for moose rubs on trees, look for trimmed brush where the moose have been eating. Look for trails etc" This is the type of info I am looking for to cut the learning curve down. Can you attach a aerial photo of an example of such areas? (location doesn't have to be included)

    I have been studying some terrain features that I think might act as giant funnels in a few areas. Do moose typically follow the bottle necks if it is easier travel or do they wander like nomads?

    In the past hunting pressured deer on public land that don't act anything like a unpressured animal on private holdings. In these situations I found areas I knew they would funnel through or close to where I knew they were holed up and let patience work in my favor even if people were tromping everywhere. In this case with moose do you hang tight to the good area and wait for one to show up or do you keep moving until you find them?

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Willow/Moose Creek
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Go to a big patch of black spruce and gps it, then pure birch, then cottonwood, then mixed (both young and mature.) Go back and look at that location on your mapping service. Find which one you like and look for more. It doesn't have to be a big patch. I like mixed birch, spruce with grass and browse between the trees. I think many folks go to wide open areas and glass. I hunt more mature forest and tend to keep moving, listening, moving. Moose make a fair amount of noise when the season is right. They call a lot and break a lot of brush. The first rut pits I saw, I thought they were from bears and the place seemed to be loaded with "bears." Later in the season, I'll smell moose before I hear or see them.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Some good questions. I think many on here would agree to do your homework and put your time in. I prefer not to use motorized transport when I go out hunting.
    Don't partner up with a person or group that thinks hunting season is just another excuse to get drunk away from the wife and kids. My first year here I went with some guys who were going to show me how to hunt moose in Alaska. Ha! Worst mistake I ever made and I will not repeat it.
    Take a good long look at your gear from the lower 48... quite a bit of it doesn't work well up here. (at least for me) I came from the Rockies which was high altitude and dry and so my gear reflected that. I sold or gave most of it away after the first year. Expect to hunt in a torrential downpour for days... it happens quite a bit up here.
    Some good info from the people in the forums, but you need to get out and do your time. Watching moose in the winter, spring or summer may not be indicative of their behavior in the fall. Just an FYI

    Have fun be safe and treat the land well.

    Mountaintrekker

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Proving an update for my first moose season
    I took almost two weeks of vacation to give myself the bestopportunity to get a moose. I was able to get a bull on day 5 after passing on2 nice bulls that were not quite legal and seeing about 20 cows. It was thefirst legal bull I could get a shot at. I told myself I was taking the first one I could and be picky later andunfortunately for my bull he had a broken antler that put him into the spikecategory. My M77 338 win with hand loaded 225 gr ttsx worked awesome. I willdefinitely be using this for a long time.
    It was surreal having a 1200 pound animal down. I spent afew minutes just looking at it and taking in that I just downed a small car withlegs. I still cant believe how much meat is on these things. I think I have 8ftby 10 inches of backstrap in the freezer.
    I have some pictures from the bulls I seen and the one I tookas well as autopsy photos of the ttsx wound channel. I wont post them on aforum(I don’t like posting photos online). I can send pics and other detailsvia pm but don’t ask where I went the spot is too good to divulge.
    I learned a lot the first time around. Those are as follows:
    1. Never shoot a moose near water.
    2. Bring enough game bags.
    3. Have a lot of rope.
    4. Bring a come along and a pulley.
    5. A hatchet is good but a saw would have beenbetter for bones and skull cap.
    6. Hip boots were a life saver when wading into alake.
    7. Good optics are a must. Ill be upgrading myvortex binos to good glass next year. My vortex spotting scope was invaluablethough.
    8. Don’t use a big knife like the Alaskan bush campI carried. My hands will hate me forever.
    9. Bring multiple tarps if able.
    10. Skin the moose stomach first then you can rollhim into his own skin to keep grass off meat.
    11. Plan 2 extra days at the tail end of the huntfor unloading and dealing with meat and cleaning all your crap.
    12. Buy all items like freezer paper before seasonso you are not driving to 5 different stores.
    13. Having two bulls on the ground at oncesucks.(hunting partner hammered one as well)
    14. Have a hunting partner who is motivated as youare. I had spent a few days alone and that would have been a rough time if I downeda bull on those days.
    15. Scout other people as well as moose. I spent thefirst half day riding around until I knew where most of the camps and hunterswere going then I went the opposite way.
    16. Google maps and a gps helped me get into theedge of a no hunting area where everyone else was overlooking.
    17. Use a walking stick or hiking pole so you don’t steponto what looks like a sandbar and get sucked up to your thighs in muck andspend 20 minutes digging yourself out.
    18. Practice judging moose. I had to pass up two45-48 inch bulls that didn’t have enough brow tines. I could see how someone wouldhammer one thinking it was legal. It was **** hard watching an animal that bigand not being able to poke a hole in it.

  15. #15
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier06 View Post
    I had spent a few days alone and that would have been a rough time if I downeda bull on those days.

    Everybody need to do up a whole moose by themselves at least once in their life. Just so you can say that you did.

    It ain't easy, but it can be done.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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
  •