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Thread: Ocean boat on Tustumena for moose hunt?

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    Default Ocean boat on Tustumena for moose hunt?

    Relatively new member having focused mainly on boating and fishing on the salt. Apologize if I'm going over old hat here--I'll continue to search the forum for existing info, but I'm wondering what you can tell me about taking my 22' Hewes on Tustumena lake for a moose hunt. I've never taken the boat on fresh water and would be curious about whether it'd be advisable to launch on the lake and scope across in search of moose. Wondering about where to put in, any risky areas or times of day (I'm used to the afternoon wind and tide changes), tips about where a good place to land might be, and anything else related to staying safe on the lake and making for a good potential hunt. Broad question I know--thanks for any info you have!


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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    First off do you have a draw tag for moose there?
    Otherwise you ate limited in where you can hunt.
    Second what's your boat draft?
    My dad is on the lake today but his boat is 20' with a hydraulic jack plate to get over the sandbar easier.
    There is only one place to put in.
    At slack water on the upper Kasilof.
    Boat upriver ~1 mile to the lake.
    Early in the year the sandbar is often only 18" deep.
    But should be much deeper come moose season.
    Rain dependant of course.
    The south side of the lake is not hikeable.
    Dead falls and tall tall grass/weeds make it impassable and dangerous to hike in.
    I've tried it a few times in different places without success.
    When traveling up or down the lake stay close enough to shore you can beach your boat quickly if you need to.
    There are always plenty of boaters there come moose season hunting the lake shore.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Some guys with smaller boats carry or use rollers (ABS pipe or something) to get their boats out of the water if camping or hunting for long. That way if it blows up you don't have to worry about swampage... Your hewes would be too heavy to do that - I'd make sure you have a way to anchor up offshore. Either a dinghy or pot line and anchors/pulleys...

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    The south side of the lake is not hikeable.
    Dead falls and tall tall grass/weeds make it impassable and dangerous to hike in..
    Sorry Chris, but I know people that hike in and kill moose almost every year. Yes, it can be thick, but if you know where you're going it can be done.

    To the op, other than a short span on the west end of the lake before you move around to the north and get to the permit area, you are only allowed to hunt the south side of the lake without a permit. This year I was up on the lake first part of July and the water was up and not a problem. Even was able to go through the pass at Caribou Is. without letting all my passengers out. I still always lift the motor up a bit and have passengers moose forward, but water will be even deeper now. The only place to put in is at the end of Tustumena Lake road. At the far (east) end of the lake there are a couple creeks that come into the lake where a person can sometimes nose the boat up into a little ways. Other than that you'll probably want to anchor off shore. Usually the best times to travel the lake is early morning and later on towards evening. Winds come up off the glacier and blow down the lake in the afternoon most all the time. Not to worry though as I've seen some pretty big boats up on the lake. Water is usually way up by the time moose season rolls in. Oh and don't travel too close to Caribou Is....as in a few hundred yards too close as there are some big hidden rocks lurking out there.

    Good luck...
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  5. #5
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Sorry Chris, but I know people that hike in and kill moose almost every year. Yes, it can be thick, but if you know where you're going it can be done.
    Last time we tried we hit half a dozen spots or more.
    We never made it more than a couple hundred yards in from any of them.
    Between the deadfall beetlekill and grass hiding it all we just had to give up.We knew that it would take hours to make it 1 mile in and getting a moose out would be way too difficult. It was like a game of pickup sticks with dead spruce trees then imagine that covered in tall grass that hid the deadfalls and their branches.
    Granted there were plenty of other groups out there and we didn't stop where they were out of courtesy to other hunters. So maybe those areas were a way in?
    Others I have talked to have had similar results to us.
    Dad did say he had 8' of water crossing the bar the last couple of days.
    He also said the water was flat calm,medium and white capping yesterday so be aware it can change quickly.
    I love that area for sure. Even did a horseback caribou hunt their once with good success.
    But do go in expecting plenty of other boat hunters and some challenges hiking the south side.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    It was like a game of pickup sticks with dead spruce trees side.
    Ha..!!! Other than me you are the only other one that I have ever heard explain it that way....lol.

    Yes, it can be pretty much a no go for a lot of areas on the south side......especially in the burn. But it just depends on where you want to go. There are some places towards the east end that aren't too bad.

    When you went in on horses did you go in via Pollards or Funny river? Bet that was a great time. Always did want to draw the moose tag and go up on the bench on horses. Then again, that was when there were trophy moose standing behind every tree up there. Boy the stories I've heard....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I have traveled the lake a few times in a 24' set net skiff. Went up there to hunt goats and bears. Pulled the boat into the outlet of Clear Creek and tied up there. Used to be a likable trail up to alpine near the creek. Last I heard it was impassable. I have always thought it would be nice if the State and Feds managed some primitive trails that helped with access to our resources. It sure is easy enough for tourists to get off the road system with maintained trails, but not much for hunters on State land. Could spread out some of the hunting pressure. Oh well. Never happen. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but foot prints.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  8. #8
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post

    When you went in on horses did you go in via Pollards or Funny river? Bet that was a great time. Always did want to draw the moose tag and go up on the bench on horses. Then again, that was when there were trophy moose standing behind every tree up there. Boy the stories I've heard....
    Neither one.
    We went up by boat and met the owner of the horses (my dads neighbor) loaded our gear on pack horses and hiked up to base camp. Which was one of George pollards old base camp spots.
    My dad had drawn the permit.
    Hunted on foot for 2-3 days.
    But couldn't get close enough to the few we saw.
    Then the rest of the group who was scouting by horse found the main heard 15 miles back or so.
    We mounted up the next morning and rode back close to where they had been spotted the day before.
    While some of us waited with the horses my dad and 2 other guys went around this hill to spot some caribou.
    We then saw an OK looking bull walking their direction who was oblivious to us standing behind the horses.
    He walked around the hill then we heard the shots.
    That's the one my dad shot.
    I'm not a big horse person.
    I was sore for 2 weeks afterwards.
    The owner of the horses leaves from his house in Kasilof and heads up the doc Pollard trail as its real close to his house.
    He has a cabin at bear creek so he stashes extra supplies there (by horse or sometimes preseason by boat). Then heads to wherever the planned hunting area is.
    He has all his friends and family put in for tags so most years they get a couple tags up that way.
    He sure has a nice mess of racks on his shed wall.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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