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Thread: protocol question regarding launch areas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    seabeck, washington

    Default protocol question regarding launch areas

    I will be doing another float hunt this year, this time based off of the road system. I have a question regarding the proper protocol when you get to your launch spot on the river and there is someone starting their float the same day?
    do you discuss your "hunt plan" with them to determine where they are looking to camp the first day? additionally, what is a good distance between camps on the river? I will have a hunt plan for my river with the "moosey" spots predetermined with the idea of spending several days in that area. just don't know how far down river is the ethical distance to set up camp if someone is already on "my" spot?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Southcentral Alaska


    Of course, it's good to discuss your plans so that you can stay away from each other. Especially if you have multiple plans. I don't know about what the ethical distance is, but practically you would both be happiest if you are camped at least a mile away from each other.

    That said, if you have one place you really want to hunt, there's nothing unethical about keeping you mouth shut and racing him down the river.

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska


    This is a great question! It's always good to make an effort to avoid hunting on top of someone else, and if you've done your homework on the river ahead of time, you should have your own little "string of pearls"; hotspots that you've pre-identified and marked on your maps. This gives you a way to deviate from your initial plan if necessary, to avoid hunting on top of another party.

    As far as the distance between groups, at least 2-3 miles is good, but keep in mind that those are miles "as the raven flies", not river miles. River miles are measured around the curve of course. One year we had a group that ended up on top of us. We offered to share the gravel bar with them, but it was still early in the evening and they opted to make a long pull downstream. Next morning, we climbed up on a spotting hill and were surprised to see their camp only 1/4 mile downstream of us! They had traveled about 10 miles downstream of us, taking probably half the night, but the river bent back on itself and they ended up much closer to us than they thought. We lost a moose because of that (long story, but we called it in, and he smelled their camp and boogied out of there).

    On fly-out hunts where other parties will be on the river, we go for three or four day's separation between groups. Most groups float at about the same rate, so this usually keeps them out of each other's hair.

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