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Thread: Tips for getting through the Alders

  1. #1
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    Default Tips for getting through the Alders

    In my Onyx and Google Earth map studies, a few of my hunt locations involve stretches of 200- 400yards of what looks like alder thickets to get through before breaking into the alpine regions. Im expecting it to be slow going and difficult, and Ill have a pair of leather gloves for myself and my boys, that said

    1) have any other tips for getting through these thick hillsides?
    2) are we likely to encounter a grizzley in the thick alders—i cant imagine being quiet enough to spook one, but if that is where they like to bed, I suppose it could happen.


    Thanks for the help.

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    I find myself using a lot of four-letter words.

    In all seriousness, just grin and bear it. Gun placement can be key- if its not too steep carrying your gun/bow can be helpful.

    Try to link grass sections or easier ground. Monster shrubs can be worse than alderville.

    Persistence. You'll make it to alpine, and it will be glorious up there!

  3. #3
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    For sure one of those grin and bear it situations. No easy way to do it. If it's raining it's even harder.

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    Sometimes I switch my gun sling over to a safari gun sling so I can guide the barrel through the alders or other vegetation. Doesn't get hung up and easy access for deer or bears.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    You know that the alder patches are bad when you choose to go through the devils club instead.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Lay a track up with your GPS. If it was easy going up, come back that way. If it was a disaster, take another route down. I have also found that a staff, 4-5' or about can be handy as a walking stick or beating down Devils Cub and berry bushes.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    Remove top crossbar from frame pack. They catch a lot of brush. Internal frame pack goes through brush better but don’t handle being overloaded as well as frame pack. Trekking poles have straps they allow you to let go of pole to grab brush and still keep pole ready to use. Gun will drive you crazy no matter what you do with it. That is why I carry a short barreled encore. It fits on pack and doesn’t hang up on brush. Bliss. Brush is a mental game. Just push through. I don’t worry about bears, but bees can be bad.

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    IF you're going to an area that has a large black bear population, you most likely won't see many grizzly/brown bears. They tend not to "crowd" each other.

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    Expect to trip at least a few times from hidden ones you didn't see!

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    I use the D-8 with two barrel ripper.

  11. #11
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrb View Post
    Remove top crossbar from frame pack..
    Theres a reason the dudes at barneys calls it the "Alder Catcher"
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    In the Alaska Range they can be awful, one thing for sure what ever way you go up, go back down the same way. What looks good form above can turn into a bad situation trying to come back down. Once you get started it can be so steep you literally cannot go back up, so then you are committed. It can be hard to maintain footing or even see where the footing is.... Bears... they have enough sense to avoid the alders............!

    Essentially its easier to pick the best path from below than it is above, which is fortunate as I have always started from the bottom...LOL....
    “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"


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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    ...one thing for sure what ever way you go up, go back down the same way.
    Imo, that totally depends....if you almost killed yourself on the way up do you really wanna push your luck a second time taking that route back down? I know I haven't and I've been glad I changed route a number of times.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  14. #14

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    Wear safety glasses.

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    I discovered while packing a goat out through an alder patch that I can move pretty fast in those moments right after I have disturbed a hornets nest.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    It's always easier going down them, straight down, not diagonal. Compress your pack and tuck in straps as best you can.

  17. #17
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I've found that the Kifaru Gun Bearer is really nice when dealing with alder (or pretty much any thick brush for that matter). It keeps the rifle barrel up under your arm/arm pit, which allows you to continually visualize the end of the barrel and easily maneuver it, to keep it from hanging up in the thick stuff. Opt for an internal frame pack (Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, Exo, etc.), over a external frame, and if you can, stand back and observe the situation to pick the route of least resistance. Fortunately I've never encountered a bear while brush busting and occasionally, I'll intentionally use bear trails to get through it.

  18. #18
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Swim. Hands out front and roll thru. Stay low alders create a tunnel about 3’ off the ground, hit the weak branches that bend and flex rather than climbing thru the base of a Bush. Look ahead and plan 10-20 yards ahead, you’ll see little openings to shoot for. Have fun, tell jokes, keep it light. My gun goes in my hands while in alders. I don’t like the gun carriers that have the barrel in my face and I don’t like it on my pack. If you gotta hang it hang it upside down for alders. Tape your barrel.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  19. #19
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Always carry my rifle in my hands going through the alder jungle. Just point it the way you wanna go and weave your way through. Believe it or not, I found a spruce thicket that I decided to go through once that was so tight it was worse than any alders I've ever tried!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  20. #20

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    I cut a lot of alders for bike and skiing trails. If I'm roughing in/blazing trail my go to tools are a small Husky chainsaw and a SOGfari 18" machete. The chainsaw won't be viable for ya but the machete would be worth carrying. With alders the trick to cutting them quickly is to pull them downhill and hack them at the bend in their trunk. I can usually get through a 4" trunk in two or three swings if the machete is sharp. If you want to keep your trail on the downlow leave a section of alders in front of your trail and then clear the path behind. Happy hacking and good luck on your hunt.

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