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Thread: tustumena lake

  1. #1
    Member ken210's Avatar
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    Default tustumena lake

    Hey everyone im heading down to tustumena lake to do a fall moose hunt. Any words on how the hunting is down there? thanks -Ken210

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default when and where?

    I was just up there scouting it out this weekend. Shoot me a PM and let me know when you are heading out and what parts. I covered a lot of ground, looked more for sign than I did spotting. Also spent some time south of there. Haven't been up to Moose River area, but might be an option too.
    -Buck

  3. #3

    Default

    I was there today. Saw one cow. And some jackasses shooting at something from their boat a few hundred yards from the launch. Am going back to hunt this weekend with a group. But saw no bulls from the water.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Permit areas

    Just a reminder that part of that tustumena lake shoreline is a draw only hunting area! Knowing where you are at all times could save you big bucks.
    Frank
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins
    www.wildroselodge.com

  5. #5

    Default

    Spent two days there this past weekend.....didn't see any moose at all. Brown bears is another issue....they were everywhere.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I've done the southside harvest tag hunt there twice. Never did get a bull on either hunt.
    It's thick. There's plenty of brownies there too. Watch the wind (especially in the afternoon) because it'll turn that lake into something nasty, quick... Are you hunting the south side? You didn't mention if you had a permit so I'm assuming your going with a harvest tag. Lots of ground to cover and did I mention that it was thick? Good luck....

  7. #7
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    I've spent nearly every weekend there for the last month or more and have yet to see a moose. (havent looked as hard as I could have) Saw lots of bear poop, lots of bear tracks, some spruce hen, a huge Grizz and a very nice black bear. I've seen alot of boats "road" hunting, and the parking lot has been packed the last few weekends.

    That said, I plan to spend the last week of moose season there in an effort to tag a moose. I've never moose hunted there before but I'm thinking its as good a place as any.

    As mentioned above, the lake can go from glass smooth to scary in a matter of a few minutes. At 6 miles wide and 22 miles long its no joke and can kill without warning. There are lower unit eating rocks up to several hundred yards from shore.
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  8. #8

    Default 2 questions

    I have only been out there once and plan on going again this weekend. Not wanting to die, I have two questions. First, can you safely camp on Caribou Island without worry of bear or do they go over there anyways (it doesn't seem hard as the island is only an island because of 2 feet of water). Has anyone seen a bear on the Island? Second, with regard to the wind. Everyone tells me that you can DIE out there. If you stick close to shore (I mean within 50 feet), even if you burn more fuel, won't you be okay if the wind picks up? Is there a way to go out there safely and be okay? I have a jet boat so can go shallower if need be.

  9. #9
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Few hidie holes

    Quote Originally Posted by btadams1 View Post
    Not wanting to die... if you stick close to shore (I mean within 50 feet), even if you burn more fuel, won't you be okay if the wind picks up? Is there a way to go out there safely and be okay? I have a jet boat so can go shallower if need be.
    Tustumena has few places to hide. The beaches have boulders and even if you pull your boat up, big waves can fill it with water and rocks. Not only that, but as bgreen stated, there are rocks under the surface even a ways off shore. Due to the glacial silt, you can't see them. Unless you are familiar with the lake, or are with someone who is, it is a risky place. I never relax on that lake like I do on K-bay for instance, where you can see into the water and sense a rise in the wind.

    Having said all that, people have navigated it for years, and I see boats of all sizes up there, from ski boats to large saltwater boats. You just have to hope for the best and be prepared (as much as possible) for the worst.

    It would be interesting to know how many people have lost their lives on that lake and Skilak.

  10. #10
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by btadams1 View Post
    I have only been out there once and plan on going again this weekend. Not wanting to die, I have two questions. First, can you safely camp on Caribou Island without worry of bear or do they go over there anyways (it doesn't seem hard as the island is only an island because of 2 feet of water). Has anyone seen a bear on the Island? Second, with regard to the wind. Everyone tells me that you can DIE out there. If you stick close to shore (I mean within 50 feet), even if you burn more fuel, won't you be okay if the wind picks up? Is there a way to go out there safely and be okay? I have a jet boat so can go shallower if need be.
    I've camped on the Island once and the point closest to the Island once, neither time did I see any bear sign. Im sure they pass through or even spend time eating berries on the island, but I dont think its any more issue there than anywhere else in Alaska. (no salmon, not all that many berries, and no garbadge)

    There is a nice camp spot in the western most point of Caribou Island.

    There are a BUNCH of rocks around the eastern most point of Caribou Island and back toward Nikolai Bay. There are also some well hidden, yet quite dangerous rocks along the Islands northern most shore. If you decide to pass through the gap between the Island and the mainland, you should be able to do that on step no problem right now, even with a prop. Just be carefull, there is a big rock just to the south of the gap, and all along the Nikolai Bay shore. At low water there appears to be a couple big rocks on the west side of the gap, but I think the water would have to be extremely low and you'd have to have a big heavy boat to hit them.

    This picture is of my 18' jet boat sitting along the mainland side of the "gap" at a very nice camping spot (so long as there isnt a heavy wind coming off the glacier). This was two months ago, right now you just about step out of your boat onto the grass.
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  11. #11
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    I would be real careful any time, no matter where on Tustumena, while traveling close to shore. A co-worker lost his out-drive and a bunch of teeth while quite some distance from the northern side of Caribou Island. There are places on the south shore to get shelter, but they are far and few between. Caribou Island/Nikolai Bay provide some shelter depending on winds, and so can Fox Bay and Big Bay, and even Devils bay, but it all depends on the wind. The problem with the south shore is that from Nikolai Bay to Fox Bay (6 possibly very rough miles) the shore is a bit of sand and rocks then pretty much high bluff above that. No "good" places to get out of the wind or even to pull your boat up. Also, if the water is rough, you could have trouble with rocks that you might pass right over on a calm day. Once you get to Big Bay the shoreline is much more conducive to beaching the boat and getting a warm fire going. From Big Bay clear into Devils bay you should be able to find shelter fairly easy, and lots of dry wood to burn.

    The north shore is hard to find a place to pull in and find shelter, but it is much easier to get off the bank and back into the trees. Just be careful of rocks, there are several that are still sticking out of the water even now, but in the wind or fog they would be very hard to see. The advantage to this side of the lake is that there are a few cabins that you could shelter in if you had to, and a greater likelihood of finding another human should you need assistance. The KNWR has at least two cabins near the shore, and one more 3 miles up at Emma Lake. Most of the cabins are private.
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  12. #12

    Default

    If you are ever going out and want to show someone the ropes in exchange for some gas, please PM me. That'd be great.

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    Default curious

    just wondering WHY with so many bears on the Ken. penn. why No season? (for browns anyway) thanks Brent

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    Default Reasons why browns are closed on the Kenai

    See attached pdf from Fish & Game emergency orders page

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/regul...7/02-03-07.pdf
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    Member ken210's Avatar
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    Default just got back

    Well just got back and got a lot of nothing. The first 2 1/2 days great weather then the winds kicked up back in devils bay. Did not see anything no bears or moose.

  16. #16
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    Where did you hunt?
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

  17. #17

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    I tried to go out on Friday night. The water was so rough we didn't make it out more than a few hundred yards from the river. We weren't the only one: another boat passed me, went out onto the lake and turned around. Just too rough.

  18. #18
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Spent 4 days on the lake, not a single moose. Looked hard. Tried raking, calling, spotting, etc, etc, etc. Saw three nice grizz on the glacier. Never saw a single pile of "summer" moose sign. The burn areas are real butt kickers, making it impossible to get a moose out if one did find one, IMO. We finally gave up on the lake all together after after putting nearly 100 miles on the boat looking at other places to hunt. I think the only area that might be worth hunting moose would be up near the high country south east of devils bay. Im told its a 6 hour hike to get up there via the clear creek trail, not my idea of a good moose packing distance.
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