Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: Preparation for next year.

  1. #1
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Smile Preparation for next year.

    Hey guys! I have been a long time lurker around the forum and recently made an account. I am a life long Alaskan and I have decided to get serious and determined about big game hunting. Growing up here I have done my share of small game hunting, fishing and have been along on some very unsuccessful moose and one successful caribou hunt when I was a kid, I went with people who dint know what they really were doing. And I believe if I am going too eat meat, then I want to be part of the whole process. Not just grab a steak that's already packaged on a chilled shelf at the store.

    Over the last year I have been reading lots of books, on hunting and butchering as well watching shows such as MeatEater that are fairly educational as well as entertaining. On the weekends I have been loading up my pack with lots of gear and just going on hikes in the Girdwood area to get my body in shape and used to carrying heavy things since I dont have an ATV. Bought myself a new .338 WinMag with a 3x9x40 Nikon scope on it and a pair of Vortex 10x50 binos. And have all the gear I think I will need.

    So...I have many questions for you guys that have been doing this your whole lives up here... If you could go back and tell yourself one thing in the past, when you were starting out, that you would have done differently or maybe an essential piece of gear that you wouldn't live without now what would that be? What would be a good place to put in to draw a tag for my first time for moose or caribou on foot (and a rifle) with my best chance of success in 2016?

    I appreciate this resource here and thanks in advance! ~RaZe

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Over the past five or so years I've had the great pleasure of helping ~10 new hunters on their first hunts and successful harvests. For most of them we chose the Unit 13 Tier I caribou tag as their first hunt. There are a couple things that make it a perfect place to start for the new big game hunter. First of all, you're guaranteed a tag - if you apply for one, you will be awarded one. Second, there are usually plenty of opportunities to spot animals and practice your hunting skills. It's an accessible area, so no major expense is needed for accessing the area. Also, there are designated non-motorized areas in the hunt unit, so not having an ATV is a non-issue. The only drawback to the hunt is that you're restricted to hunting moose in Unit 13 only, but for a new hunter, that's usually a non-issue. Starting with "only" a caribou isn't a bad thing at all! Take a look at the Unit 13 caribou report thread - plenty of members are having great hunts this year, and many of those have been on foot.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gakona Ak
    Posts
    1,493

    Default

    Find a partner and get out there. Find a friend that has some toys and tag along. Learn form others but most importantly get out there. Time in the field is the best teacher. I made lots of mistakes along the way but became a more competent outdoorsman along the way.

    Shoot me a PM and I will send you some blogs that I have written mor my clients over the years.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters.
    Float Hunts and Drop Camps
    Unit 23-Kotzebue
    907-259-4290
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    A couple of points to consider....

    You don't need a lot of gear to be successful...sounds like you have it covered. Some things will make life better- good boots, good rain gear, a good tent.

    Practice with your rifle in the offseason and practice shooting fundamentals. A .22 is going to be better than a .338 for that.

    Get smart on field care of meat- EVERY new hunter I took out who shot one looked at a big dead carcass and thought- "Now what do I do?"

    Time in the field kills critters. Too many new hunters want to run out on a long weekend and score with a day left over. Maybe, but unlikely.

    Tier I is a great place to start. Good numbers of animals, good access that doesn't take a pile of $$$ or equipment to do. I hunt GMU13 almost exclusively and do so on foot.

    Finding a mentor- someone who really knows his or her stuff is going to save you a lot of frustration.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,904

    Default

    Go hunting with an old guy. One who has been successful over the years. We are often looking for a hunting partner since so many guys drop out as they get older. Hell, even many young guys aren't interested. They'd rather stay home and watch football or Nascar. Older guys have plenty of experience, and are usually pretty patient. We have the equipment, knowledge, etc. Just don't be afraid to say, "Hold on Gramps, let me get that."
    I recently returned from a successful goat hunt. If not for the 30 something year old young buck who encouraged me and helped me along the way, I would have never been able to get my 62 y.o. ass up there again. Likely my last goat hunt, and I am eternally grateful to him for going with me (taking me), and watching out for an old man.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  6. #6
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    My Grandpa was a great hunter, he passed though a few years ago and I never got to share any of his knowledge in the field. I am about to be 35 and I wish I would have even half of what he knew in my "tool box". I think you bring up a great point SmokeRoss and I would love to soak up any wisdom you or any of our more experience hunting veterans are willing to share and pass down.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,904

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RaZe View Post
    My Grandpa was a great hunter, he passed though a few years ago and I never got to share any of his knowledge in the field. I am about to be 35 and I wish I would have even half of what he knew in my "tool box". I think you bring up a great point SmokeRoss and I would love to soak up any wisdom you or any of our more experience hunting veterans are willing to share and pass down.
    Find a veteran hunter near you and cultivate a friendship. Just don't bring a bunch of new guys into his coveted hunting areas.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  8. #8
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    Just don't bring a bunch of new guys into his coveted hunting areas.
    I am pretty much a loner for the most part and I have far to much respect to treat someones favorite hunting grounds like they are not special or shouldn't remain a secret.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    My grandpa taught me to spend as much time in the field alone as you can. He challenged me to fine a critter and practice getting so close you can try to grab it or poke it for big stuff. He taught me that you should be able to take game with in a hundred yards of camp if you pick the right place to camp and then set for the game to show up. If you have to carry game up hill to camp you didn't use you brain. Even when hunting with life long friend often best to have your own tent/shelter for sleeping.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  10. #10
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    My grandpa taught me to spend as much time in the field alone as you can. He challenged me to fine a critter and practice getting so close you can try to grab it or poke it for big stuff. He taught me that you should be able to take game with in a hundred yards of camp if you pick the right place to camp and then set for the game to show up. If you have to carry game up hill to camp you didn't use you brain. Even when hunting with life long friend often best to have your own tent/shelter for sleeping.
    Sounds like he taught you well and valuable tools to take with you. I am getting a little late start at it, but I hope that I can pick up as much as I can along my way. Thanks Amigo Will.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Maybe a silly question, but with the equipment and desire already in place, why are you waiting for next year? Some hikes into the alpine in the Kenai Mountains could potentially produce a blueberry-laden black bear. That is some mighty good eating and would be another great approach to getting started with big game hunting. At the very least, it would add to the time afield that many have noted as so critical.

  12. #12
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Funny you mentioned that Brian. On my hiking around Girdwood area, I saw a TOAD of a black bear right close to the end of crow creek mine road. That got me to thinkin' about maybe going back to visit him, but I quickly was discouraged by the amount of private property and not wanting to risk anything (have to be 1/2 mile from the road). I have heard that black bears that have been sitting on blue berries were delicious as well, so I actually drove out to Palmer creek road in Hope and was going to poke around there, since I ran into a few of them last year out there. But there were so many people out there and in Hope itself that weekend that I just ended up spending the first night sleeping in the car and drove out to Tenderfoot campground and just made a normal camping trip out of it. So as much as I would love to go on a bear hunt this fall, I dont really know where I could go.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default Preparation for next year.

    Hope has bears for sure, but like you said, it has plenty of people. I'll send you a message later today with a couple of ideas. Really, any access point that will get you above the alders will do - but some areas will be more lonely than others.

  14. #14
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Hope has bears for sure, but like you said, it has plenty of people. I'll send you a message later today with a couple of ideas. Really, any access point that will get you above the alders will do - but some areas will be more lonely than others.
    I am not sure I will get it, I tried to send a message to SmokeRoss earlier but not sure if it sent due to new account restrictions.

  15. #15
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RaZe View Post
    I am not sure I will get it, I tried to send a message to SmokeRoss earlier but not sure if it sent due to new account restrictions.
    We no longer restrict the private messages of new members. Should work just fine.

  16. #16
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    been able to send a couple messages since then, can confirm its working fine

  17. #17
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage/Soldotna
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    If I were you I'd drive the Denali Highway the next few weekends to get the lay of the land and put in for the Unit 13 Tier I Caribou permit in November for next fall.

  18. #18
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RaZe View Post
    So...I have many questions for you guys that have been doing this your whole lives up here... If you could go back and tell yourself one thing in the past, when you were starting out, that you would have done differently or maybe an essential piece of gear that you wouldn't live without now what would that be? What would be a good place to put in to draw a tag for my first time for moose or caribou on foot (and a rifle) with my best chance of success in 2016?

    I appreciate this resource here and thanks in advance! ~RaZe
    Drawing tags for moose are typically special areas, gender, or weapons. Unless you want to bow/muzzle loader hunt for moose, or take a cow/any bull, drawing moose hunts are not something to focus on. Some cow hunts in the Valley are worth applying for if you know the area, or have a canoe. As already recommended, the Tier II caribou is a great way to get your feet wet. And with a huge non-motorized area to work with its a perfect walk in situation.

    The one thing my now self would tell my younger self is go sheep hunting as often as possible. Your fear of heights is not relevant to most sheep hunting situations.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    You didn't mention what's on your feet but a quality pair of boots will make mountain hunting much more enjoyable. Price is a pretty good dictator in quality boots, like $300 and up.

    The other thing I'd tell myself 8 years ago is stay in shape!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Member RaZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    You didn't mention what's on your feet but a quality pair of boots will make mountain hunting much more enjoyable. Price is a pretty good dictator in quality boots, like $300 and up.

    The other thing I'd tell myself 8 years ago is stay in shape!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the reply, I have a very basic pair of boots right now, and I am saving up for these http://www.schnees.com/product/Schne...Mountain-Boot/ and working on getting in better shape myself every day.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •