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Thread: Best hunting locale

  1. #1
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    Default Best hunting locale

    This is my 1st post on this forum but i've been around awhile. Love looking at all the AK big game pics. I was just wondering what everyone's opinion was on the better city to live in as far as being closer to quality hunting, Fairbanks or Anchorage. I may have the option to move to either city within the next couple years for my job. My #1 animal to take would be moose, everything thing else (goat, bear, sheep), would be secondary. Also, how does the Alaskan Dept. of Wildlife give out permits? Is it like the states where only certain areas are on a draw and others can be hunted every year? And do the draw areas require a bunch of points or no? Thanks for any input!

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    Fbks gets the nod for moose/caribou and Anch for black bear, sheep and goat.

    As far as the tags go you have over the counter harvest tags, drawing permits, registration permits, tier ll sub and Federal sub.

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    Backpacker,

    Just like there's an urban/rural divide among many in this state, there's also an Anchorage/Fairbanks antimosity. For many, it's a fun thing to play with. For others, it's a serious feud (sad but true), so I think Grizzly1 gave a very diplomatic and accurate response to your first question.

    As for the second, I'd only add that our hunting regs are very complicated, and you should download them from ADF&G and have a look for yourself because there are many different options ranging from no closed season and 5 free caribou per day in certain areas, to one brown bear every four regulatory years if you buy a $25 tag. There are options for harvest tags, registration tags, drawing tags, and no tags. There are also teir II hunts were your community of residence and historical use of the resource influence whether or not you're able to hunt a particular herd. Here's the link:
    http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/regs/dept_regs.php

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Fairbanks definitely has more huntable land closer to town, but, in time you might want to do something else like saltwater fishing etc.

    I always considered Anchorage to be a pretty good base camp. You can travel either way out of town and be in two completely different worlds depending on which way you went in roughly the same amount of time.

    Other factors that might become considerations are temperatures, the cost of goods, and employment opportunities.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  5. #5
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Talking Regulations

    I would have to second what Cazador said. Get a copy of the regs and know them, they can be pretty complicated. If you're not sure and you ask Fish & Game for an interpretation of something you don't understand, make sure you get the name of whoever gives you an answer in case you meet a Trooper with a different interpretation than theirs.

    Also, you will want to know the regulations to keep yourself legal. (story follows...) I have a friend who just moved up here. He became a resident and decided to go hunt caribou up the haul road. Well, he went to a local sporting goods store to buy his license and tags. I told him he needed a non-resident license and tag because he's only been here a month. Well, the salesperson at the store told him he was fine and gave him the resident license and harvest tickets. That was all well and good until he hiked in 5 1/2 miles, shot his 'bou, and was gutting it when the State Trooper pulled up in a quad... and wrote him a ticket for not having the correct license and tags, and made him salvage all the meat and pack it out, and then took it. I'll let you know about his fines and other penalties when he goes to court. The moral to the story is - you have to know the rules and play by them.

    For me, I just like the Fairbanks area in general based on my personal preferences. Good luck on picking and your eventual move, and happy hunting!

    Fuse

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    Default

    Thanks for all the good info, much obliged.

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    Member AKRDGRUNNER's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Always the best advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazador View Post
    Backpacker,

    Just like there's an urban/rural divide among many in this state, there's also an Anchorage/Fairbanks antimosity. For many, it's a fun thing to play with. For others, it's a serious feud (sad but true), so I think Grizzly1 gave a very diplomatic and accurate response to your first question.

    As for the second, I'd only add that our hunting regs are very complicated, and you should download them from ADF&G and have a look for yourself because there are many different options ranging from no closed season and 5 free caribou per day in certain areas, to one brown bear every four regulatory years if you buy a $25 tag. There are options for harvest tags, registration tags, drawing tags, and no tags. There are also teir II hunts were your community of residence and historical use of the resource influence whether or not you're able to hunt a particular herd. Here's the link:
    http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/regs/dept_regs.php
    I agree....Fishing regs too....rules change from stream to stream

  8. #8
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Know the regs

    not to hijack the thread, but I overheard a guy at the counter at a license vendor chewing a lady out for selling him a non-res caribou tag and never gave him the locking tag. The lady swore that there was never a requirement for the locking tag to accompany the $300.00 tag for the animal and the store never had the locking tags to begin with. The guy luckily harvested a bou and did not get checked. The individual did have the yellow copy saying he paid for the non-res tag. I wonder what fish and game would have done?

    The hunter was in the wrong for not reading the regs himself. The lady behind the gun counter did not know what a automatic shotgun was either. When I asked her, she said they just got these new ones in and she pointed at a 5.56 M-4 look alike.

    Point again: Know the regs. I read the regs numerous times, before I hunt and I normally take a copy in a waterproof case with me on the hunt.

    Just remember that everything is 4 hours away from where you live reguardless of where your hat hangs. Alaska is a huge state and I always find myself driving to the next mountain range to explore instead of hunting in the back yard.

  9. #9
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    Default Dont forget the south east

    Juneau has good hunting too, black and brown bear, goat and dear hunting(some moose). Most of which you can get to in a decent skiff. Great fishing and crabbing as a bonus. Its a big state, just depends what you want to do.

    Terry

  10. #10

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    If you are thinking long term then consider you're wife's dispostion first. Fairbanks is much colder and has less organized social life. I've met many over the years that have had to pack it in and move because the wife hated the Fairbanks winters. You will only go big game hunting several times a year at best and making a few longer drives is acceptable. I would base my place of residence around the rest of life's activities and do whatever extra it takes to hunt where you want.

  11. #11

    Default Fairbanks

    Well said, mstumpe. Fairbanks is the best place for a lot of folks, but the winters are brutal. I lived in Fairbanks for nearly 18 years before coming down to the Anchorage area because of my job. My wife loves Alaska nearly as much as I do, but just hated the Fairbanks winters. I was used to them, but they were getting longer for me every year. I did get out as much as possible on snowmobiles and snowshoes just to get out of the house when the weather was mild enough (-20 or so and warmer. I got severe frostbite one day while out at -55)) but a lot of time is spent indoors for long periods of time.

    I actually prefer the Fairbanks winters for driving and daily living, as it gets and stays cold enough that the roads are not the skating rinks they are down here in the Anchorage area, and the road spray is really non-existant most of the time. I HATE the slush, idiot drivers and slick roads down here in the winter.

    As far as the hunting/outdoors stuff goes, each has it's own "betters". Fairbanks is still small enough and open enough where you can still drive a snowmobile in town (but not on the roads). You cannot do that down here. In 10 to 20 minutes in any direction, you are in the "bush", and hunting abounds. There is fishing, but the best is down in the Southeast/ Southcentral areas. The main problem down here is it is crowded and the tourists overrun the area in the summer months. There are outstanding fishing and bear hunting places still around, but you had better know where they are yourself, because if it is a "locals secret place", these danged tour guides and bus companies are making a mint telling and taking tourists to them. That part really stinks, but it is life now in this tourist economy.

    Fairbanks has world-class grayling fishing right in town and just outside of town.

    I miss Fairbanks, but am stuck down here. The wife really likes the choices we have here versus Fairbanks, but Fairbanks is growing and getting a lot of the same shopping centers we have here.
    Last edited by Hawken54; 10-27-2007 at 13:51. Reason: Fat fingered the keyboard
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  12. #12
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    Fairbanks I would say. Then maybe somewhere out in the bush like. Bethel
    or maybe Dillingham
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Cool Best City??

    Neither!

    If you want the best hunting you need to move to the Bush. To even ask which is better is like asking which is better Salt Lake City or Denver. The both allow you access to the resource but I don’t think that you can hunt in either city!

    Move to the local that will allow you to make a living and then you can hire a plane to take you to where the hunting is. It is pricy up here so where can you make a living? Remember that there are plenty of places in “Bush” Alaska where you can earn a good living ifyou have a skill or talent that is needed and then you hunt right out of your back door!

    I vote for the “Bush”!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Backcountry Rentals
    Your best bet in Rafts and camp rentals
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    Kotzebue, Alaska
    33 miles north of the Arctic Circle
    Last edited by Gulkana Rafting; 10-27-2007 at 15:15. Reason: spelling

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    Actually I'm in the Air Force, so those 2 cities are my only option for right now but if I can make it up there I might consider getting out and maybe working at an airport (currently work on fighter jets).

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    Default How about Glennallen....

    as a possibility. I am not sure although as far as the employment would go. But it is close to having about all the hunting elements and opportunities for getting the tags and permits.

  16. #16
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    Default Go with Eielson

    Pick Eielson A.F.B., I loved it. P.M. if you want any details

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    Anchorage, Fairbanks, etc. should be good places. It makes no difference, since you will have to travel by air or automobile to reach the hunting grounds. Most folks here will tell you that Fairbanks is the place, but I can tell you from personal experience that within 200 miles from Fairbanks on the Elliott or as far as you can go on Steese Highway, there will be hunters all around you. I have posted my hunting experiences on the Elliott Highway before.

    If you are in the Air Force and have a family, Elmendorf is the best place. I haven't seen any other place like Eielson when it comes to exercises and TDY's. You will hardly have any time for hunting. Elmendorf is right on the city of Anchorage, and a short drive can take you to several shopping centers, or anything else you want. Their BX is the largest of all military stores in Alaska. Eielson is approximately ten miles from the nearest supermarket, in North Pole. The BX is just a tiny store, but the commissary is not too bad, although much smaller than the one at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks. In other words, you are isolated in Eielson relating to shopping and such: you either buy what you can at the BX, and for the rest you will have to drive 20 miles or so to Fairbanks. There is one road and gate coming into Eielson, not so in Elmendorf. Also, Elmendorf is paradise while the temperature in Eielson is around -65.

  18. #18

    Default Go North

    If you are going to live on the road system I would look at the Fairbanks area. I live in Kenai for a number of reasons and moose hunting is not the main one. I have shot a lot of small moose down here though. The BIG MOOSE hunting is better in the interior. You can reach sheep, caribou and griz from there also. Go North young man, go North!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    If you are going to live on the road system I would look at the Fairbanks area. I live in Kenai for a number of reasons and moose hunting is not the main one. I have shot a lot of small moose down here though. The BIG MOOSE hunting is better in the interior. You can reach sheep, caribou and griz from there also. Go North young man, go North!
    I see...you'r trying to drive them to Fairbanks, while i am trying the opposite

    I have been stationed at both places (Elmendorf and Eielson).

  20. #20
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    Default Yep

    This is a good thread :-) If Moose is your number one option then the city should not matter in my opinion. Ample Moose hunting is available in both location yes maybe you have to travel two extra hours from Anchor town some times but that is not to say that Fairbanks is not becoming what Anchroage is and that is populated.

    Over all options for the harvesting of Animals and Fish close to home Anchorage offers all five species of Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dollies, Halibut etc... all with in two hours. Fairbanks has King Salmon and Chum Salmon with Grayling and Pike. Yes Fairbanks offers more prodcutive Moose hunting over all however does that outway the needs of your family and what social life you may be use to.

    Example I am a Yopper i.e. from the U.P. of Michigan back in the day. You can have Anchorage I will take slightly Remote for the most part with less people however I like to chase Rainbow Trout which means 4 hours of driving :-(

    Instead of making your priority to harvest a Moose first base your choice on what it is you wish to accomplish overall in the state and use that as your base line for your PCS move. Hunting Moose can be done just about any place from Anchorage to Cold Foot the same could be said about Sheep in certain areas betwen Anchorage and Cantwell depending on permits, draws etc...

    I hate to say it but it's about one half dozen of the other when it comes down to brass tacks. If you like weather conditions that are mild 30 above to 10 below with downhill sking, hunting, fishing, and slippery roads go the Elmo. If you like winter conditions that start in Mid Oct from -10 to -50 and like to hunt, fish, snow machining and drive on not so slippery roads go to Eielson. If you like real remote living apply for a 169th ANG job at Clear AFS near Anderson you will be smack dab in the middle of the Moose Hunting although you wife might hate you in two years.

    Bets of luck.

    Any Who! Hope I did not ramble to long!

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