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Thread: Chain Saws?

  1. #1
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default Chain Saws?

    Do any of you pack gas axes with you on your float hunts for dealing with log jams/sweepers? If so, how do you pack it? Or do just keep it simple with a saw and axe?
    Picked up an almost new Levitator over here in Canada, pretty stoked.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
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  2. #2

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    If you know you won't be cutting a lot of jams or sweepers then it may be worthwhile to take a large folding saw like the Katanaboy 650 made by Silky. By large I mean LARGE. This is the largest folding saw made in the world today as far as I know. It is not as fast as a chain saw but it will certainly cut through any sized log up here in Alaska with minimal effort for a handsaw. If interested you can do a YouTube search for the katanaboy 650 and you can see several reviews of the saw, including mine. You could probably cut wood all day with this saw without getting wore out too bad but it still is not as fast as a chainsaw.

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    I have packed them with me on floats. I put my 180 styhl chainsaw in an old Homelite case that I had. It covers the saw entirely. ( I did have to make a minor adjustment to its design with some cuts in a place or two to make the styhl fit.)
    one thing I would caution u on... When clearing jams, it is REALLY easy to get your saw wedged permenently in a cut. The forces of the water on the logs make them bend and twist like u can't believe. Make sure u have some sort of hand saw at minimum to free up a stuck saw or u risk leaving it behind. Ideally, two chainsaws should be brought along if possible.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    I always bring an axe and a bow saw. I have used both a number of times. I have brought my spare chainsaw a couple times but have yet to use it. I store the chain saw high on the boat so there is minimal risk of it taking on water.

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    I take one every time. If nothing else it makes getting firewood way, Way easier. Have a couple of smaller Stihl saws. Always bring an extra chain and a couple of tools. You can get one of the small premixed cans of gas and a small thing of bar oil and you are ready to go. I never bring a case for mine just a bar protector. I have also just taken the bar and chain off and it all fits in a small tote.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I have carried Chain Saws, Bow Saws and Axes that being said if I am flying remote and weight is a concern as well as potentially hazardous cargo a Camp Bow Saw and an old Thompson Camp Axe double blade is my preferred choice. Concerning the Bow saw 24 inch Min that breaks down and has Multiple blades i.e. wood, metal, etc. I prefer Bahco Bow Saws. Concerning axes they do not make my ancient Thompson double bit anymore thing is like 80 years old min. You can look at what is called a Michigan Ax 36 inches in length but it would be a tough camp for little things however is double bit. Nice little mid ax double bit would be a Thunder Bay however it is only about 20 inches. If you decide to go with Ax and Bow Saw this site will help with picking an Ax:

    http://www.orionn49.com/choosing_an_axe.htm

    As with anything it all comes down to preference i.e. would you prefer. However nothing says your screwed like have mechanicals break down in the field i.e. chain saw!

  7. #7
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I remember back on my 2013 hunt, I was about 40 miles up this little braided river. On the way back downriver with moose meat, the river went into six different braids of equal flow. I chose the braid that looked the deepest, and boy was that a mistake. The chute was about 10 ft wide, and a foot deep in the middle. It went into a heavy forest of tall white spruce. All of the sudden, I came around a slight bend and there was a 2 ft diameter white spruce across the entire chute, 1 ft above the water. To the left was a massive pile up of spintered wood combined with a deep cut bank hole that was over 10 feett deep. The wood was sharp, filled the cut bank, and was like a spiderweb of death.

    Granted the canoe was 18 ft long, I instantly got down low in the canoe full of moose meat. I locked my motor full turn, both the bow and the motor was plowing into the gravel and rocks on both ends. I held on tight, and throttled the motor for all it was worth against the fast current. I literally drove the boat up onto a 3 ft gravel bank, about three feet from the death trap.

    To climb up on that wood pile to cut the log, it took me holding another guy by his life jacket, and him extending his arm out far as he could, to cut that log. That was a weird situation, and I wouldn't have succeeded with a hand saw. Small chainsaw weighs all of 8 lbs?! Husqy cost all of $178 at AIH?! Chainsaw all the way...........

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I bring a small chainsaw on rivers with a lot of wood. Spare chain, tools, wedges, extra bar oil, etc. Cod is correct on how easy it is to get a saw wedged. There's a lot of hydraulic pressure on a jam. I only work on it with the saw as a last resort before portaging. We use it mostly to cut trees out that have bridged the channel, the ends of sweepers just so we can clear them, etc. Really handy to have along.

    An axe is a great supplemental tool to have along as well, and it can be used to free your wedged chainsaw. I prefer a single-bit axe so I can drive my wedges if needed. My personal preference is an Estwing Camper's Axe. Integrated steel handle with rubber grip. I prefer that one to the ones with a wooden handle. Less moving parts, and I have never had a failure. The Camper's Axe is somewhere between a hatchet and an axe in overall length. It's great for a lot of things, and it's wicked fast for removing moose antlers from skull plates.

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  9. #9

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    Assuming a chain saw is currently illegal in designated wilderness (?), a SCOTUS ruling favoring Sturgeon should legitimize it below the ordinary high water mark?

  10. #10
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    I always take my small saw in the jet boat and on fly in trips, but never having used a larger raft (Alpackas don't count) I was a bit hesitant to take one, sharp bits and rubber never seem to get along. Does gas react with PVC?
    Never wrestle with a pig.
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  11. #11

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    no not that ive ever seen. but i've never immersed a swathe in gasoline to observe effects. PVC certainly withstands the occasional contact with gas from outboards. Oil stains might be another story. I've had bear blood stain PVC boat fabric, though unrelated to OP context.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    We found our chainsaw to be very useful this year. Shot a moose 150 yards from a feeder creek, half mile from main river. We used up a quart of bar oil and a gallon of gas clearing the stream. A hand saw would have been all day. A lot of what we cleared was overhanging brush and trees, but there were several substantial jams. I think it took us two hours. So two hours of lining a raft upstream and clearing brush and jams to turn 8 or 9 miles of packing into less than 2. I've carried the saw on 3 floats and this is the first time using it. Well worth the dead weight to have it when i needed it!

  13. #13
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Husqvarna 16" saws run about $220 now at AIH in Wasilla.

  14. #14

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    Interesting saw..Katanaboy 650. I carry an axe, and three different hand saws... only one of which was worth a crap. I am thinking of including a small chainsaw... other than a chainsaw, has anyone found an easy horn removal tool/technique? I dread that job.... always seems like an hour or two of grunt, and grind... I'd imagine this Katanaboy or a chainsaw would make quick work of it... I've never tried a hatchet as Mike suggested.

    Also.. chainsaw winches seem pretty handy... I carry a rope come along as I hunt alone... this year without out it, rolling my moose would have been a chore.

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    Taking the skull plate off a moose is pretty simple with a Milwaukee lithium powered sawzall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Taking the skull plate off a moose is pretty simple with a Milwaukee lithium powered sawzall.
    We've always used an axe; whack, whack, whack done.
    think I might go pick up one of the small arborist saws from Husky or Stihl. Nice and small, easy to handle with one hand if you have to reach out and take out a sweeper or two.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    Interesting saw..Katanaboy 650. I carry an axe, and three different hand saws... only one of which was worth a crap. I am thinking of including a small chainsaw... other than a chainsaw, has anyone found an easy horn removal tool/technique? I dread that job.... always seems like an hour or two of grunt, and grind... I'd imagine this Katanaboy or a chainsaw would make quick work of it... I've never tried a hatchet as Mike suggested.

    Also.. chainsaw winches seem pretty handy... I carry a rope come along as I hunt alone... this year without out it, rolling my moose would have been a chore.
    I think the katanaboy 650 would be way overkill for removing antlers personally.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain joe View Post
    I think the katanaboy 650 would be way overkill for removing antlers personally.

    haha! Yea, I was rambling. I was thinking of carrying the saw mostly for log jams, trees crossing the river... firewood... but figured it might make short work of the horn removal...

    thanks..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    We've always used an axe; whack, whack, whack done.
    think I might go pick up one of the small arborist saws from Husky or Stihl. Nice and small, easy to handle with one hand if you have to reach out and take out a sweeper or two.
    I've been taking the top part of the skull with the horns attached and making European type skull mounts (instead of the complete skull). Wouldn't work very well with an axe.

  20. #20
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    I have limited experience, but last year we used the silky big boy for stove wood http://www.silkysaws.com/Silky_Saws/....jCltCVlM.dpbs and it worked great. removed skull cap pretty easy. this year I am trying out this saw with two battery packs http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCS387B.../dp/B00ODN0S70
    Last year and this year the river we are floating is not too remote, so generally don't have to worry about sweepers or jams as we are not the first down the river.
    the last two moose we shot we tried popping the rib bones off the spine, which was difficult and took a while. I am hoping that the Dewalt saw will make quick work of the ribs and work well for stove wood. it has great reviews.
    I thought of getting the small Stihl electric chainsaw, but they are pretty spendy http://www.stihlusa.com/products/cha...aws/msa160cbq/

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