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Thread: September 2015 drop camp moose out of Bethel

  1. #1
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    Default September 2015 drop camp moose out of Bethel

    A friend and I took our first hunting trip to Alaska this September. This was a lifelong dream come true for me. We did a drop camp out of Bethel with Renfro. His areas have lots of moose. We both killed bulls in the high 40's (any bull area). There were larger animals around, but the ones we shot were called to a really convenient spot and we were perfectly happy with their size.

    My brief advice:
    Get to know your waders. You're going to live in them if you go where we went, and you won't have any control over where you go. Hip boots would not have worked.
    Take a great hatchet. We used a little Gerber I had sharpened and added grip tape to the handle. It was excellent.
    Take a great bone saw. We used a Wyoming Saw which was fantastic.
    Bring no less than 4 extra tarps, and make them the same size so the holes match up and you can join them with paracord to make a roof and/or a wall in front of your tent.
    Wetfire was a miracle fire starter. Take some.
    Get yourself in shape. I trained for 18 months and was ready for the job. Note that you're not just training to carry the moose. You may be making long trips to get firewood and water every day.
    I took 100' of paracord and wish I'd had more.
    Bushnell solar charger did not work well. Partially because there wasn't a lot of sun. I also think it is a cheap design, so a better solar charger might have done the job. I couldn't keep my phone charged enough to make notes at the end of each day, even keeping it off while I was not using it. Cold weather kills batteries.
    I wish I'd had a little shovel for leveling camp beneath the tent.
    Stock up on patience. We had delays getting into and out of camp.

    Here is a video my partner put together of us breaking down my moose:


    We'd like to do a drop camp for caribou next. If anyone has experience to share on that, I'd love to hear it. I am particularly interested to hear about your camp. Was it on dry ground with cover and firewood nearby?

    Thanks to the site and members for the copious information we used in preparing for our trip.

  2. #2
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    Great job on the moose and nice video! Went on our first drop off caribou hunt here in the Yukon this year. We went to a high alpine lake in scrub brush with very little fire wood and very few flat spots to set up the tent. There were very small stands of spruce scattered about with very little dead wood. Rather than waste time collecting firewood we relied on our two Optimus 111 T's. A small shovel might have been a good idea, but we like to do the leave no trace thing so we made do with the flattest spot we could find close to the lake for water and between two ridges to stay out of the wind. There were flatter spots on the top of the ridges but I wanted some cover from wind.

    If I was to do it again I would pick a lake with closer contour lines as it took us two-three hours to get high enough to be out of the scrub alder every day. Might have been better to be in steeper country. In any case your comment about fitness is a good one, hard to be too fit for a remote wilderness hunt.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Nice. What's the name of the hooks you used to pull back the skin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casper50 View Post
    Nice. What's the name of the hooks you used to pull back the skin?
    They look like meat/boning hooks to me. The hooks work great for moving the quarters and pulling the skin like they were doing. These are what I use and they look just like the ones in the video. http://knives.dexter1818.com/shop/pr...ers-hooks.html. Be sure to get the round handled ones. The flat handled ones are good for boning, but they cut into your hands a little more when carrying heavy quarters.

  5. #5
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Thanks Hoss. At those prices I'll buy some steel rod and weld a couple up. Wrap the handles with racket wrap.

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    My partner brought the hooks from his meat market. I bought some for myself when we got back. I think these are the same:
    http://www.amazon.com/UltraSource-44...rds=meat+hooks

  7. #7
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    Great video and write up.

  8. #8
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    Killer! A few questions: what video camera did you use? How many trips to get all that meat out?!? Looks like you did a European mount with the head. Thanks for sharing, hope to pull that off someday.

  9. #9
    Charterboat Operator
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    dang!! you guys are fast at cleaning!!!
    awsome vidio and nice butchering job, keaping the meat clean !!!

  10. #10
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    The butchering video was taken with a GoPro, not sure which model but at least a year or two old so not a 4 and probably not a 3. The plane video was taken with an Olympus point and shoot camera I believe.

    I think it was 9 trips per moose including one man hauling our butchering gear and guns out on the last trip. So 7 loads of meat, 1 load of antlers, and one load of gear to clear the area. I'll add that we originally bought cheap Alps packs but came to realize they weren't a great choice and upgraded to Barney Freighter Frames. That was a good call. We did take the wings off our Alps packs and mount them on the Barney frames which was also a good call that made securing loads a quick and simple process...right up until a buckle exploded when I leaned forward to lift my antlers...but that's another story.

    Yes we are doing European mounts.

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    Default Right before the Alps buckle broke...

    The meat was already packed out so this was going to be the last load, and I was feeling pretty cocky...which is usually about when things go south...and they did! Pretty funny then and now actually. I was back online in short order with an extra strap I had brought.

    P1010129 (Medium).jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Default Pre-cocky phase...

    At this point I was not entirely sure we were going to get the whole moose out in one afternoon like we did the first one. But we did!
    P1010122 (Medium).jpg

  13. #13
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Congrats on a dream come true! Good info also you shared!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  14. #14
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    Congrats on the bulls, looks like an awesome hunt. I'm doing the same hunt this year and can't wait. Mobilefamily, shoot me a pm/email if you can as I've got a few questions for your about your trip if you don't mind. For some reason it won't let me send you one.

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