I don't normally do this sort of thing, but I thought I would post a little travelogue of this fall's moose hunt. There are a lot of different aspects to it that might be of interest, so here goes, photos and all.
This fall I was guiding for Mike "Buck" Bowden, who owns Hidden Alaska Guides and Outfitters, and was joined by another guide I had never met, Steve Unfried. Turned out to be a really good guide, and it was a privilege getting to know Steve. Our hunters were Raymond Dyer (he was my hunter, and my nickname for him was "My main man Ray", from "the Bucket List". Helped me to remember his name. The other hunter, the one Steve guided, was Raymond's hunting partner, Brian Aguillard. Both men are from the Baton Rouge area. They were good hunters, who understood that moose hunting is no guarantee. They worked very hard on this hunt, and while nobody actually "deserves" to kill another creature, they were rewarded for their efforts in many ways, as you will see.
The flight out to the field was stunning, as usual. Hard to remember sometimes how special Alaska is, when you see it every day. But the look of wonder on our hunter's faces was a great reminder of just how good we Alaskans have it here.
Steve was delayed on another hunt, and the rain kept him out of camp for the first hunt day. But Ramond, Brian and I got the camp set up, and hunted together the next day. Steve arrived, and he and I discussed our plan for hunting this area. My philosophy about float hunting is to look at a float hunt as a collection of drop camps connected by a river. Sorta communicates the idea that we're not there to hunt the entire river. This is a tactic that has paid off well for me over the years. Focus your efforts on a few prime locations, and in between, it's just a boat ride.
The scenery was so beautiful, and the surrounding mountains so compelling, "my main man Ray" just couldn't stop glassing the mountains. The problem with glassing tall mountains, is that you eventually spot game way up there and then you are obligated to go after it. Thankfully, Brian had dealt with heavy alder thickets on previous Alaska hunts, and he talked Raymond into the wise idea of hunting closer to the river. I've met many hunters who punched through those alder thickets ONCE. Not many of those come back for seconds!
So the alternative to climbing the mountains is to hike the valley, locate a good glassing place and park yourself until you see game moving. That's what we did on this hunt.