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Thread: Getting Ready for Moose

  1. #1

    Default Getting Ready for Moose

    I'm getting all my final gear ready for 17B moose fly in trip to one of the Tikchick lakes. Myself, a buddy and a boat. Should be a blast. Have two days pre-season to scout/fish. A couple of last minute questions:
    Most important - Any tips on "field judging" a 50" 'er? (I know that 4 brows is the best way to know if a 'borderline' bull is legal, and I'm also certain that when a 60"-ish or better is close enough for a shot, I'll know). I'd really like to have a good set of tips/tricks for the bull that we glass at a mile - to decide wether or not to pursue him, or move on. The best I've heard is that a moose's shoulders are about 24" when viewed head-on. Any others?
    2nd - Waders. Do you recommend full chests, or would a pair of stockingfoot hip be enough? I can't imagine that a pair of neoprene chest's would be comfortable hiking all day, day after day in. I did try on a pair of Cabbelas Three Forks stockingfooot waders and found that if I drop a pair of socks, I can get 'em in my hunt boots comfortably. Plus, they'll be easy to stuff in my backpack when we're up the side hills glassing. Any recommendations?
    3rd- Bear Boxes. Do you all use them at your camps? Aside from Mountainhouse meals and a few canned hams, I'd like to pack in some veggies and maybe a few pounds of lunchmeat, couple steaks and some fresh sausage/bacon, etc. I've always used bear boxes on pack-ins in griz country in the lower 48s. They're heavy and I've never heard an AK's using them. On my sheep / griz hunt we never used them, just always kept the food away from the tent and hung high, in the shade (frozen meats, wrapped in newspaper, stuffed in a medium size cooler). What do you suggest?
    Thanks for the help.
    Ed

  2. #2
    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    I'll give you might opinions, but don't take these as gosple since I've only been moose hunting one time, last season.

    Judging antler sizes. While the width of the shoulders might be a reference, that would only be helpful if the bull was facing directly at you. I would use the distance between the tips of his ears as a reference. I don't recall what the distance is, but take a few measurements off of some mounts of both the ears and the spreads and you can get a better feel for judging sizes.

    Waders - I would recommend waders over hip boots for a boat type hunt. My rational would be that could eliminate rain pants and still keep dry. If you're sitting in a boat, you can bet that you'll end up with a wet butt if you skip the rain pants and wear only hippers and a jacket. Gortex wadrs would be better than neoprene... you'll bake in the neoprene if you hike around in them. Been there, done that... Once I switched to gortex waders, I decided I would never go back to anything else. Hippers are another story.

    Bear Boxes - On my trip last fall we didn't use them. Not to say that we probably should have. Just an observation. We woke up one morning with bear tracks 20 feet from the tent. I'd say use them, better safe than sorry.

    Hope this helps. I am sure you'll get better information from the veterans who live there and do this on a regulare basis. Just my $.02.

    Good luck....

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by edpre View Post
    ... A couple of last minute questions:

    Most important - Any tips on "field judging" a 50" 'er? ...Any others?

    2nd - Waders. Do you recommend full chests, ...

    3rd- Bear Boxes... Ed
    Antlers? I lived in southeast Alaska for many years and the most common method of judging antlers (around Petersburg) was shoot him then measure. If he was too small, keep hunting. (I'm not joking!)

    Measure your gun. How long is it? Use a walking stick? Measure it.

    Waders? Hip! Chest waders too hot!

    Bear boxes? Nah.

  4. #4

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    Interesting, but I'd like to come back to Alaska some day,........so,........no, but thanks!

  5. #5
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    edpre,

    Waders depend on the terrain. I usually just use hip waders myself.

    One thing I have found helpful in judging anterler size is watching videos. Helps you get a feel for the relation in size of antlers to the head etc. On videos they usually tell you what they think the size of the bull is.

    And as the others stated, get some reference points. I measure my rifle to use it as a comparison. In the end, if in doubt, don't shoot. I pretty much always go off brow tines just to be safe.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  6. #6
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    50"- if the rack is "V" shaped it is under 50". If the beams appear to grow outward, then down a bit and they come back up, he's worth a closer look. I also look at brow tines, not just the number but the shape and length. Most 50+ moose I've shot only had 2 or 3 brow tines but they were monster tines-12-15" in length and in some cases starting to look like it was developing into a brow palm.
    ADF&G has a video called "Is this moose legal" and "Field care of big game meat" that's worth looking at.
    http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index...dfg=pubs.video

    I don't think neoprene waders wouldn't be too comfy either. I don't know about stocking foot hip waders, but it would be nice to be hiking in hunting boots. I agree with Franky...for a boat based hunt the chest waders would be better at least for that part of the trip.

    What's a bear box? They sound bulky. Maybe a bear fence would be nice but that's more $. If your a resident you can shoot bears in that unit.

    Tim

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    Default 10" btweeen the antler bases

    That's the distance between the bases of the antlers

    So if you get to see him facing you head on (which is the only way you can really judge him OR count brow tines)

    you need 2 base widths on each side from that base (10" in the middle plus 2 widths on each side = 50")

    If it's close you better start counting brow tines

    As you pointed out a 60 incher will be readily apparent, but keep in mind that sometimes you get a tine or two on each side that sticks several inches out there which can add 7 or 8" to an otherwise marginal rack

    Not sure what the terrain is like "out there" but I like to hunt in good gortex 10" boots and rubber hip boots when I need em. Some people I know are going to some waist high breatable waders with good wader boots but I think it'd still be pretty hot when walking.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the info. Keep it coming.
    I'm NR so griz is off limits, but black bear is a go for us. Terrain where I'm hunting looks to be shorline to a mile of pretty flat willowy-marshy mix and mountains from lake level (315') to about 2000'. I'll probably use some high vantage points to glass, as the closest web photos I've seen of the lake seem to show alot of growth interspersed by open areas. I think hiking and glassing an area like that will pay off. I'll know better when I get there! I also think (at least from what I've read) that 1st week of Sept. is not the "prime time" to work the call.
    I definitely think I may do the "hip wader in my boots" option. I'll always pack the rain gear at least for the boatride.
    Thanks for the info- keep more coming!
    Ed

  9. #9
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    Default Moose Rack

    Ok here is my 2 cents. I have only shot a few moose so my input will not as valuable as the other more experienced guys. The animals we see up here in unit 23 NW Alaska are in timber most of the time and getting a clear look can be tough. Brow tines are the best bet. Last year I took a animal in the mid 40ís who had a massive body and what looked like a non-V shaped rack. Lucky for me that I am allowed to shoot a bull under 50 but I would have rather taken a larger one. I am still learning to read and measure.

    Boots: I have gone a different rout. I travel in hip boots which helps land the boat and allows me to make a quick exit when spotting game in the sloppy drainages, but my hunting boots are Extra-Tuff insulated Neopreams. They allow mw to hunt most wet areas and stay dry and they do a reasonably good job when covering open tundra when we are making a stalk on caribou. Some guys think that Extra Tuff boots a re too sloppy for open hiking but I find them a good choice especially for NW Alaska where we have lots of wet tundra to cross and many small streams.

    Bear boxes:

    Just shoot the **** bear!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
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    Your best choice in Rafts and Camp rentals for your best float hunting experience.
    www.northwestalaska.com

  10. #10

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    if you have breathable waders you can always just roll them down and use a wading belt to keep them from falling down and at the same time you won't get hot...but if you need to go thru deeper water then you can do that too....or some waders out there have waist mounted shoulder straps so you can roll the waders down and still have support on your shoulders...those are the ones I have...they're patagonia and I swear by them...I've given them hell and they're still awesome.

    Richie

  11. #11
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default Follow Cheese

    AKCHEESE brought you advice directly from ADF&G. I've seen the videos and agree 100% with both the general measurements, and the ability to count the brow tines.

    17B is a wet region. Lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps. High ground might be 400 feet where you're heading. I'd think in terms of waders and good binoculars or a spotting scope.

    Choose a camp site with good visibility, and a cook/storage site away from it... also with good visibility... you might want to move your cook site if the wind is overrunning you.

    Stay off of the salmon streams, and don't shoot a moose that is standing chest deep in water.

    It looks like you have a good hunt coming up to me.

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    Default Me Too!

    Me and one of my friends are moose hunting the Tikchiks this September also. We are flying in on the 5th and staying till seasons end. It worked out that way with the flight schedule but its ok cause I would rather be there at the closing bell and have to give a little up in the beginning. We also will have the ability to find out where everyone is camped and not have to worry as much about someone being dropped in on us. I am taking a pair of Cabela's Bog Buster hippers. They are extremely light and fairly comfortable. The only problem I can see is they don't have much of a shank and I am sure walking long distances could really beat the heck out of your feet. Another reason to shoot one close to where you can get him with the boat! What air taxi are you using? We are flying out of Dillingham with Tikchik Airventures (Rick and Denise Grant). We have one main spot in mind with a several backup plans. Are you guys locked in on a spot? Just curious if we will end up on the same lake.

  13. #13

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    We're flying in with Bay Air and have a boat & motor when we get there. I guess we're locked into the lake, but not the camp area. Already have that spot picked out, gives us close access two 20 or so square miles (more if we boat farther and spike out) of really moosie looking terrain - everything from low boggy looking stuff to some mountainsides. We're flying in on the second- gives us a day to set up a good camp and two days pre-season scouting and fishing. We're seven lakes north of the Wood River- you near there?

    Ed

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    Ed, we talked to Bay Air also, heard a lot of good stuff about them as well. We are going to Lake Chauekuktuli. I wasn't sure if you were counting Lake Nerka as one or two, so I wasn't sure on the seven lake count. Even if that is the same one you are planning on, it is a HUGE lake, plenty of room for a few groups. It is a small world isn't it? Do you have all your bases covered as far as rentals for satellite phones, camping equipment, meat handling and such? If not I have some good contacts and I might be able to help you out. This is my first trip to AK so I want tomake sure I do it right. We are taking a boat and motor also, although I could do without the noise, it will be nice to be mobile. I am praying for good weather, and counting down the days!

    Talk to you soon.

    Caleb

  15. #15

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    Wow, small world is right. Same lake. I haven't yet got the small details covered, still working that out, so contacts that you've used would be great. If you want, shoot me an e-mail @ edpre@aol.com.
    Ed

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    Ed, I will drop you a note tommorow when I can get to my home computer.

    Later,
    Caleb

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    I went on a guided moose hunt in 2003. I shot a respectable moose. It measured 54 inches, but when I first looked at it and shot it I would've sworn up and down that it was well over 60 inches until my guide pulled out a tape measure. I've been told moose are HUGE, but until I saw one up close and personal, I did not fully comprehend what HUGE meant.

    I've gone back to Alaska each year since and they no longer look as huge but boy they still are BIG. Unfortunately, I will not make it back this year. I promised to take a bunch of local Boy Scouts backpacking in Northern New Mexico. I agreed before they told me that I would not be allowed to pack a rifle. 8-)

  18. #18
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    Unhappy Moose Hunt in 17B

    I, too, am hunting moose in Unit 17B with www.westwindguideservice.com . This time I'm doing a late hunt from Sept. 10-20. Two years ago was the worst weather in 25 years, according to our outfitter. Two hunting days out of 10. It was a rainy, windy camping trip! Hopefully, this year will be better. Good luck on your hunt.

    Bill Hefner
    St. Petersburg, FL

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    Cool Moose Hunt in 17B

    I, too, am hunting moose in Unit 17B with www.westwindguideservice.com this September 10-20. Two years ago was the worst weather in 25 years, according to the outfitter. We hunted 2 days out of 10. It was a rainy, windy camping trip. Got lots of sleep!!! Hopefully, this year will be better. But two year before I got a 58-1/2" bull. Also I missed a monster black bear and saw lots of grizzlies. Good luck on your hunt.

    Bill Hefner
    St. Petersburg, FL

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