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Thread: Moose hunting on Tustumena Lake...DM538/539

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    Default Moose hunting on Tustumena Lake...DM538/539

    I amazingly enough drew a permit for DM 538/539. It's located on the north shore of Tustumens Lake on the Kenai Penninsula in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. I reserved Pipe Creek cabin for the week.

    I never hunted moose before but I am going with some experienced hunters who are familiar the area. I was hoping I could solicit some advise from anyone out there who has seen or hunted the area. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Also, I was told that my Ruger stainless steel/composit .270 is no good and I have to borrow at least a 30-06. I would rather not borrow somebody else's rifle. I like to use my own gear. Any advise?

    KUB-AIR

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Leave the 270 at home. 180gr boat tail, 30-06 is what you need to knock down the big deer! Congrads and good luck. remember to share some pics.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    Way to go! My buddy and I drew that same hunt a few years back, on our first try, that was too good! Talk with the ADFW game biologist in Soldotna Field Office. We met with Ted Spraker, who was the game biologist stationed in the Soldotna Office when we drew, but is now retired. He provided us a wealth of information; including gear, packers and even areas he knew to hold large moose. I think Ted is still active in the wildlife/hunting arena, he is or was serving on the Alaska Board of Game so he may still be a viable information source.

    We hunted the north side right at treeline, don't know how well a cabin on the lake would have worked. We didn't see any bulls untill it started getting cold at night. After the first frost, after hunting hard seven or eight days, the rut was on. I called in three bulls that first morning. I used an old scapula bone and raked the brush as hard as I could for a minute or two then waited. The bulls were very responsive to the raking technique, we had two moose down within an hour of each other. Then it was work time! - We cut and packed moose to hang it in the trees untill 3:00 AM the next morning. We had hired a packer to pack out our meat if successful. Way too much meat to pack to the lake on your back, at least for me.

    I would want more rifle than a 270 Win. Yes it'll kill one, but how far do you want to trail one before it dies. As a minimun I would want a 7-mag with 175 grain premium bullets or better yet, a 300 Win Mag with 200 grain slugs. Yet, even a better choice I think, is the venerable 338 Win Mag with 250 grainers. This is what I used and had great results too. Swift Bullets are my current favorite big game bullet. These on top of a max load of IMR 4831 is excellent on moose. I also used it to anchor my buddys bull that he shot three times with 180 grain slugs from a 300 Win Mag. If I get another shot at trophy moose I may go with a 358 Norma Mag pushing 250-270 bullets, oh the fun!

    As for other gear; good rain gear, 100% DEET, a head net for white socs when working on downed game, good boots with good support if packing meat or gear. Good optics (8-10 power binos and a spotting scope), I used a 2.5-8 power riflescope and felt it was a good compromise; enough power for a long shot if needed and low power enough to provide a good field-of-view in case we ran into any griz along the way. We did bump into a sow grizzly on our way in. See was feeding on salmon in the stream and once she realized her cub was by her side she decided to go back to scarfing down salmon, much to my relief. Well I've rambled enough, email me if you would like any additional specifics. Good Luck.

    Woody

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    Default '06 vs .270

    If you think a boat tail is good medicine for a moose, please tell me what is wrong with a .270 in, say 150 or 160 grain partitions?

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    I would leave the .270 at home. I have a partner that hunts with a 270 and we trail moose about 95% of the time. And he puts good shots on them.

    Plus you always have the bear scenario. Maybe not when hunting but when you hike back to your kill site for round 2 or 3 of packing.

    I think a 30 caliber minimum is what I would want.

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    Default Thanks!

    That's great info. I think I my have to borrow a higher caliber from a friend. I really don't want to have to pack a long way. I think we generally want to stay with in 1/4 mile of the lake.

    Also, I'll stop in at the Soldotna office. Thanks! Keep it coming.

    KUB-AIR

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    A friend of mine used to use a 30-30 to knock down moose for several years with no problem he swore that bullet placement was all you needed. One day he had a significant encounter with a bear. He now carries a .300 winnie mag (and still is a great shot), but will only use the bigger gun because of bears. I think that he may be on to something.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Good luck on your hunt.

    Your 270 will be just fine. Get a 140 or 150 premium or any 150 load and it will be fine.

    Familiarity with your rifle will can do more than magnumitis.

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    Ditto what RMiller said.
    61" last year with a Remington 700 .270 150 gr nossler ( I think)
    Animal dropped without a single step taken. Pics are in the 2006 hunting pic thread if you want to look.
    Good luck and have fun.

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    Default Ditto ......the .270 is fine

    Moose are not hard to kill

    If you can place the bullet properly it's plenty of gun

    If you can't place the bullet properly a .338 is not near enough

    I personally like 30 cal rifles (.308, 30-06, 300 win) and carry a .375 myself

    But if I wound up guiding a guy with a .270 for moose I wouldn't even raise an eyebrow

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    I agree with the above post. The ability to kill the moose are not the real issue. If one ends up with a pi$$ed of brownie, a .270 is just not enough.JMO

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    ummm theres like 40 brown bears on the entire kenai penninsula and most of them are at the russian river getting spray painted... I'd bring pepper spray in close quarters pepper spray is more likely to be accurate than a rifle shot... But thats my personal opinion do what you feel comfortable with
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I would hunt around Green Lake. That way, you can pack the meat to the lake and have it flown out. That area is some of the best fall habitat for the moose. Go high up and shoot one close to a take out point.

  14. #14

    Default listen to the good advice here...

    bring a larger rifle just for the bear factor alone. There is NO DOUBT that a .270 can kill a moose, but holding that in your hands when a brown bear is pissed off will be like holding a red rider bb gun! Screw the pepper spray, all that is is "seasoning" for the meat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    ummm theres like 40 brown bears on the entire kenai penninsula and most of them are at the russian river getting spray painted...
    It's more like 250 (I've seen the estimate as high as 320). The annual mortality is 10 - 13 bears:

    ….With the current estimated population being 250 bears, the allowable annual harvest is approximately 14 bears……
    They're apparently quite testy, too. There were bear mauling fatalities on the Kenai in 1998 and 1999.

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    There are way more than 40 Brown Bears on the penn. We hunted Tustumena last year and saw plenty of brownies and were stalked by one.

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    Smile take a bigger gun

    Yes, you may luck out and find one near the lake but most of the browse and therefore moose are up at treeline. And people are right about the .270 and the risk of bear encounter. Of all the bear maulings and deaths on the Kenai most of them occur in that area. There are a lot of brownies there and some are predatory. Read the Al Thompson story in bear tales if you want your hair to stand on end. Or the Cates story. Or the Bagley story. Etc...
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    Yes, you may luck out and find one near the lake but most of the browse and therefore moose are up at treeline. And people are right about the .270 and the risk of bear encounter. Of all the bear maulings and deaths on the Kenai most of them occur in that area. There are a lot of brownies there and some are predatory. Read the Al Thompson story in bear tales if you want your hair to stand on end. Or the Cates story. Or the Bagley story. Etc...
    Sounds like a perfect excuse to buy a new 375 Ruger Alaskan.

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    Default pipe creek cabin

    Hi i have stayed at pipe creek cabin many times! And i have had brown bear incounters there each time i have been there! they feed in the stream! so be beary aware! good luck on your hunt! Stormy!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    I would hunt around Green Lake. That way, you can pack the meat to the lake and have it flown out. That area is some of the best fall habitat for the moose. Go high up and shoot one close to a take out point.
    AkRes-

    I know this post is old, but have you or anyone you know hunted around Green Lake by Tustumena for Moose? I'm not sure if you are recommending it because it's one of the only lakes you can land a plane on in that permit area, or because you know of or have heard of some good moose up there. On the map it doesn't look like there's much cover up there. Is it above treeline? Anyone else have any info on moose hunting in this permit area around Green Lake, or in general about the area? Thanks!

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