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Thread: Moose In Raft

  1. #1

    Default Moose In Raft

    I'm planning to do a float out with my NRS E-140 for moose season with another guy. I was interested in what kind of experience you guys have in hauling moose in a similar type raft? What kind of water level would I be looking at drawing with say (2 moose) hanging in the raft? I'm planning to use two cargo nets (front & Back) to stack gear in lay meat above the gear. If the meat causes too much top weight, I'll shift it around to keep it lower, but would ideally like to keep it high and dry. Any ideas or recommendations preferred. Thanks a bunch.

  2. #2
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Two guys plus camp gear plus two moose is too much for 1 raft in most cases. I assume the 140 indicates a 14 footer. If so I also assume its rated for about 1,100 lbs

    Figure 500 lbs for hunters and their gear that leaves 600 lbs for moose.

    That's 1 adult moose or a couple of yearlings

  3. #3

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    Yes, it's a 14 footer. I can always pack the Pro-Pioneer and just shave weight on some of the gear. That was my backup plan, so I might be going that route it looks like. I was also thinking of loading up the gear and then filling a bunch of dry bags with water to simulate the weight of the meat to see how the raft does and how much water it will draft. I appreciate the information.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Raft load capacities

    Okay, so it sounds like you have a handle on the fact that the 14-footer is way too small for two guys and a moose. That's a huge step in the right direction.

    What concerns me is your comment about using a cargo net to suspend your meat off the floor. I hope you're talking about a cargo platform. These are designed to sit just off the floor, which puts your center of gravity way down in the boat where you want it. I have seen some hunters who should know better strapping a cargo net across the top of the tubes, straight across, and putting meat on that. That's a very dangerous thing to do, as it puts a lot of weight high in the boat. If you broach against an obstacle in the river, the boat will flip over. Use the cargo net over the entire load, to strap it into the boat so nothing is lost if you overturn. The cargo net also keeps a tarp in place, in case you need to tarp your load.

    You mentioned the PP. Will you be using it for overflow then? Your remarks were a little unclear on that boat. What is your plan now that you know the 14-footer is too small?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  5. #5

    Default

    Mike,
    Yes, I meant a cargo platform, not the actual cargo nets, sorry for the confustion. I actually never use the cargo nets, I just clip all the dry bags onto the frame or stitch it all together with NRS straps. My plan now is to lighten up some of the gear and take the 14' along with the PP for overflow. I can carry the PP in the 14' up until the point and if we get a second moose. At that time, I'll transfer overflow into the PP and distribute the weight as best possible so both rafts aren't overloaded. Thanks for the question and input, every little bit helps.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Another question

    Are you running Oar Saddles on either boat? I highly recommend them; Kent Rotchy is a class act and he makes an excellent product. Of course you will need to glue eight more D-rings to your boat to anchor the saddles in, but the weight savings over a conventional frame are worth the hassle.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  7. #7
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    Default

    Another consideration is the difficulty of the water you will be accessing for your hunt. If it's a very easy river to float with no sudden or technical moves required, like the Copper, you can load up a boat fairly heavy and still be somewhat safe. But if you were planning on hunting the upper Talkeetna and dragging it all back down the canyon, you really wouldn't want to do that.

    BTW, Aire rates their 14' boats at 1600 to 1800 lbs depending on the model. Most other 14 footers are in that same ball park, but I think this is a rating for easy water. I just got off the Chitina with 5 and 6 people (average to small) and gear in each of two 14' self-bailers (about 1200 to 1400 lbs in each boat), and we were far from overloaded for the conditions, but it was near impossible to move quickly if you needed to.

    I usually figure each adult at 200 lbs, plus 100 lbs for gear if packing light. (Add another 100 lbs each if not packing light.) So 600 to 800 lbs for the two of you. Another 800 lbs for one moose will push you right near the limit of most 14' boats on easy water. Way too much if the water is not easy.

  8. #8

    Default

    Sound like you need a Levititor...It will haul the load.

    http://www.pristineventures.com/cgi/...c,m=1185849874

  9. #9
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Levitator!!!!

    Lev with a Moose and Bou. Hope to have another picture here in a few weeks. This raft will haul two guys, gear and two moose on class I and II rivers EZ and probably even in rougher water although you would get some splash.

    Steve

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by akhuntnut View Post
    Sound like you need a Levititor...It will haul the load.

    http://www.pristineventures.com/cgi/...c,m=1185849874
    Hi Huntnut,

    Not to disagree too sharply, but this boat has no bow or stern rise, and that's why it floats a big load better than other boats of similar length. It's just simple physics.

    The problem is that a flat bow and stern creates a wetter ride on rough water, whether you're talking Class II-III (conditions found on many float hunting rivers), or just wind-driven waves. There are other negative performance factors with this type of design that have been discussed here many times before. I realize that a lot of folks like this boat, and I have endorsed it for certain types of rivers. But the application is relatively narrow. Check around and I don't think you will find a single boat on the market, by a reputable company, that has a flat bow and stern. There's a good reason for that.

    Not stirring anything up here, just making the point that a boat with a minimum of six inches of kick at both ends will have a much broader use for float huntiing.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  11. #11

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    Mike,

    ...and you know this how? Do you own a Lev or have you been in one? I hauled many loads in mine including two moose over 70 miles in class one, two, and three. The lack of bow rise was never a problem nor was wave splash. I have also had as high as four guys in it and gear for a ten day hunt plus three bears. If you have only been in boats with rise then how do you know? Also...I agree that in big water...class four and five it may make a difference as far as performance...but who hunts that planning to haul two moose. The people who are loyal to the lev are those who own it. I am not some kid...22 years in the military and counting. I owe noone loyalty but God, family, and country. I posted here because I know for a fact that this raft will do what he asks about in his post. Also...SOAR isn't a reputable company? Also, just because noone has done it doesn't make it bad. That's pretty narrow minded thinking. I hope you new book has more to offer than that line of thinking. He doesn't have to take my word...you are the big man around here. The problem with a lot of bow rise...not enough room or weight carrying capacity. The meat ends up low on the floor...as he said...and then it does get wet and spoiled. Everyone here knows you have an axe to grind with Larry and his products. You view is always biased on these things. I think it really hurts your credibility. Also, how come you are the only one bashing these things. Let's here from those who have experienced the porblems you are talking about first hand. If you have...please post here!

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default To Steve-

    Quote Originally Posted by akhuntnut View Post
    Mike,

    ...and you know this how? Do you own a Lev or have you been in one? I hauled many loads in mine including two moose over 70 miles in class one, two, and three. The lack of bow rise was never a problem nor was wave splash. I have also had as high as four guys in it and gear for a ten day hunt plus three bears. If you have only been in boats with rise then how do you know? Also...I agree that in big water...class four and five it may make a difference as far as performance...but who hunts that planning to haul two moose. The people who are loyal to the lev are those who own it. I am not some kid...22 years in the military and counting. I owe noone loyalty but God, family, and country. I posted here because I know for a fact that this raft will do what he asks about in his post. Also...SOAR isn't a reputable company? Also, just because noone has done it doesn't make it bad. That's pretty narrow minded thinking. I hope you new book has more to offer than that line of thinking. He doesn't have to take my word...you are the big man around here. The problem with a lot of bow rise...not enough room or weight carrying capacity. The meat ends up low on the floor...as he said...and then it does get wet and spoiled. Everyone here knows you have an axe to grind with Larry and his products. You view is always biased on these things. I think it really hurts your credibility. Also, how come you are the only one bashing these things. Let's here from those who have experienced the porblems you are talking about first hand. If you have...please post here!
    Steve,

    I am not going to get dragged into combat over a boat. I have posted positive and negative attributes of this boat and many others in the past, but the over-reaction that comes whenever this brand is mentioned sometimes borders on the absurd. The fact is that it's an unconventional design. There is only one company in the entire rafting business making ONE boat like this. That's not a complete negative, but the truth is that this boat, like ALL others, has certain limitations. You have said so yourself.

    As to my credentials, I have no delusions that my twenty years of Alaska float hunting experience, or my experience as an Alaska float hunting guide for over a decade make me anything more than an educated user. There are some who think I am more than that, and some who think I am less. Truth is, public opinion is like the wind, it's here one day and gone the next. Ultimately it's not about you or I; it's about providing solid information that helps folks. That's what you and I are doing here.

    As to the "don't knock it til you've tried it" approach, in my opinion there are few (if any) of us who actually practice that. Otherwise none of us would learn from the mistakes of others, and we would all own a garage full of failed junk gear. Of course we make our decisions based on our experiences. But we combine those experiences with the experiences and perspectives of others we trust, the reputations of the companies involved, and a host of other factors too numerous to mention here. We do this every time we buy something, whether it is a car or a box of cereal at the grocery store. You don't have to own a particular item to venture a reasonably educated view on it.

    The bottom line is that the boat in question does have some design limitations and will get meat, gear and passengers wetter than other designs in certain conditions. You said so yourself in your original post. This is nothing new, it is well known among the user group, and it does not constitute a personal attack on anyone. It's simply an observation about a boat.

    Let's take the personalities out of it and keep the discussion focused on boats; I think it will be a more productive exercise.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13
    Member Sheepshooter's Avatar
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    Default Hunt Alaska Now

    Take a look at the book Hunt Alaska Now if you get a chance. It is a complete guide to successfully float hunting Alaska's Rivers for moose. He has numerous photos of two hunters fully loaded with gear and and two moose in 12' rafts. Granted the rafts are riding a bit low in the water, but this can be done on class I and II rivers with no problems.

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Confer's book

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepshooter View Post
    Take a look at the book Hunt Alaska Now if you get a chance. It is a complete guide to successfully float hunting Alaska's Rivers for moose. He has numerous photos of two hunters fully loaded with gear and and two moose in 12' rafts. Granted the rafts are riding a bit low in the water, but this can be done on class I and II rivers with no problems.
    Thanks for posting this- I believe Dennis Confer wrote the first book that really had much to do with float hunting in Alaska, and I'm pleased that he re-printed it. It has been in high demand at times, and when it was out of print I saw used copies going for ridiculous prices. I even sent mine to a guy in Louisiana who wanted just to borrow it for a while.

    I don't agree with everything he wrote in there, especially his urgings to shoot a moose in the river, but it's a good reference. I like the layout of the new version better than the original, too.

    I want to reiterate that the type of boat you choose is driven by the kinds of rivers you float. If you're floating the lower Innoko, Dishna, or Iditarod, for example, you could probably do it on two inner tubes under a sheet of plywood (I'm exaggerating), but if you're going to take on the upper Kobuk, the Koktuli, the Aniak or the Swift, you're going to want something more bullet-proof and designed to tackle water up to Class III. Sometimes hunters make a mistake early on and choose a boat that limits them to Class I, not knowing that later they may want to tackle a river with a short section of whitewater. I don't prefer rivers over Class III for hunting, but if you are willing to educate yourself on running at least some whitewater, you can get away from the crowds of hunters who are not ready for those conditions yet. Just one more trick in the book. On the opposite end of the scale, you could just go with an inflatable canoe and exploit slow narrow tributaries or headwater areas too small for conventional boats. This also gets you away from most other folks. A lot of other hunters are doing this and it's working for them.

    No boat fits every situation. Choose one that can keep up with you as your skills grow.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  15. #15

    Default

    Guys,
    I appreciate all the info on rafts, I didn't intend to start a controversy on rafts. I've rowed quite a few rafts, but never the Levitator. It does look like an interesting raft, but probably not something I can run out and purchase before this season's hunt. The river I'm going to float is fairly small Class I and II. My main concern will be water levels and sweepers, so I'll feel safer going with the E-140 and the PP, because I can keep the PP lighter and float ahead of the heavier E-140 and alert to any sweepers or potential dangers. Also, I don't want to be dragging the E-140 half my life. I've looked at the Levitator and it's an interesting looking raft, but I think I can get by with the PP and E-140.
    Mike,
    I don't have the oar saddles for the E-140, but would like to add those to the setup. I'm going to call around and see if I can get them before I leave. Thanks everybody for all of the information and input.

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default More info-

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    Guys,
    I appreciate all the info on rafts, I didn't intend to start a controversy on rafts. I've rowed quite a few rafts, but never the Levitator. It does look like an interesting raft, but probably not something I can run out and purchase before this season's hunt. The river I'm going to float is fairly small Class I and II. My main concern will be water levels and sweepers, so I'll feel safer going with the E-140 and the PP, because I can keep the PP lighter and float ahead of the heavier E-140 and alert to any sweepers or potential dangers. Also, I don't want to be dragging the E-140 half my life. I've looked at the Levitator and it's an interesting looking raft, but I think I can get by with the PP and E-140.
    Mike,
    I don't have the oar saddles for the E-140, but would like to add those to the setup. I'm going to call around and see if I can get them before I leave. Thanks everybody for all of the information and input.
    Snow,

    No worries; you haven't started anything at all- this has been going on for a while.

    You might consider renting a few times before you spend a lot of money on a new boat. Jerry Sisemore of Alaska Downstream will treat you right, and I think he might rent some of the boats we're talking about. I don't know if they carry the Lev, but they do have the PP and a bunch of SOTAR boats for rent. Personally I consider the SOTAR lexatron boats to be among the best on the market for Alaska float hunting. They're very light and tough.

    Good luck on your hunt!

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17

    Default

    Thanks for the info. Mike, I appreciate it. When I used to guide I rowed several of the SOTAR's and really liked them. Tough and light boats. I'm in Fairbanks and just put in my order for the Oar Saddles for the E-140, so I should be all set for weight and rafts for this two guy moose hunt. Now, I just have to make sure that all of it will fit into (volumewise) a 207.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default levitator in light rapids

    Naptown rapids on the Kenai ( below Bings landing) was used as a test for the levitator this summer.
    4 people in it with minimal fishing gear.
    Rowing frame and 9 foot oars. Old style Big horn frame was used...
    I inflated the raft to just under 3 lbs.
    From Skilak lake to Bings landing the raft worked great. Flat water all the way, easy to move around in and pretty much standard float and fish on the lower kenai. This is a class one from Skilak to Bings landing. below Bings landing is the Naptown Rapids, this is a very short class II to Class III depending on the water levels.
    It was not easy to move the raft lateraly accross the river without turning the boat side ways in the current.
    I was attempting to hit all the waves I could to see how it went over them, but was not able to move the boat accross the river to catch them all.
    I did hit the one I wanted though, and was straight going in and coming out.
    As I got on the top of the water covered Rock, the raft flexed dramatically longways, as I rolled into the trough it flexed to the shape of the valley we were in and then punched through the crest wave as it came out of the trough.
    The frame stayed rigid, and helped keep the shape of the raft even though the ends flexed to the bench seats.
    We all got wet... The front 2 guys on the front bench seat took a good shot , me in the rowing seat, and some spray to the guy sitting on the tube behind me. guy in the back also got some back splash in the trough.
    Although this boat had 4 guys averaging about 200 lbs each,(800 lbs total load) it is not in the slightest a test for a loaded expedition raft, but I wanted to see how it did going over 3 footers..
    In my opinion, the raft is going to be great for the class I to Class II rivers, its narrow and long. It is light weight and great for short portages.
    Also looks good for narrow streams and rivers. It floats in very little water due to its displacement with all tubes in the water at all times.
    If I would have had a few more hours with the boat on land, I would have given the raft a spine test, ( Similar to what we do with our wood shaft arrows) I would have put a hook in each end of the raft and with a spring scale would have put the come-along on the loops and then bent the raft both inward and then outward in separate test to see how many lbs of force it takes to flex the raft, this would give a good idea as to how much energy it takes to fold the boat in half.
    As far as taking water over the front and back in white water, it is not surprising that it will splash over if the wave or spray is any taller than the 12 inch's or so it has to overcome to get into the boat.
    My test was just to see how much flex the boat had and how it paddles.
    It has great displacement due to its surface area, and so you need to realize its not going to respond like a cataraft or a boat with less surface in the water, such as an upturned style raft.
    To me its straight forward and does just like it looks it should.
    Its a good boat for certain conditions, and will be very well recieved in those places and conditions.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  19. #19

    Default

    Max,
    Great testing and feedback on the Levitator in a variety of watertypes, I appreciate the information. My E-140 is the "family" raft. I rowed this model when guiding and it did everything I ever needed, so I purchased my own. I can see where the Levitator could easily fit in for my moose hunting needs on the Class I/II waters with lots of weight. This year will give me a good idea if I need the Levitator for next season or if the E-140 / Pro-Pioneer combo is better suited for my needs. The E-140 is a heavy raft, but I plan on dragging in lots of the waters I float and wanted that extra insurance and long wear with the extra armor on the bottom. I've had it 4 years now and it's still going strong without any problems. I think the Oar Saddles will be a nice option to have with the E-140 and can also be used if I get the Levitator one day.

  20. #20

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    Mike,

    The absurd thing is your statement in your post that the levitator will only keep your load dry in class 1 water. That is inaccurate and all of your experience doesn't give you the right to post it. It's not about personality...it's about your negative comments every time the boat is mentioned. You said yourself...all rafts have negative features...yet you usually only bring them up when you talk about the levitator. Why is that? It's not about personality...it's about the truth. It can set you free Mike... ;-)

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