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Thread: 20a Antlerless moose hunt!

  1. #1
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    Default 20a Antlerless moose hunt!

    has anyone been across the Tanana River? or know about the time it freezes over for wheelers to get across?

  2. #2
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    Default still too warm

    We have not had enough cold wx to freeze up across the channel. The Chena is not even frozen solid. You won't make it across around FAI until it has been sub zero for more than a week. Once we get a cold spell it will freeze fast, but be careful, that river does not care who it kills.
    Call me chicken, but even though I live on the Chena, I never go first. I am more than willing to let somebody else prove it is safe.

  3. #3
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    I am with you AK River Rat, I grew up in Fairbanks and made sure plenty of people tested the ice bridge by Pikes and the one going across the Tanana to Blair Lakes before I went on them.

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    Default Too many rescues

    I was walking across the Tanana several winters ago to predator call. It was early morning and flat light to boot. I got in a spot that just did not feel right. Suddenly I realized that the ice was not cracking, it was flexing under me. I spun and threw myself flat just as my leg broke through the ice. Fortunately the ice held and I crawled back to thick ice. If I went through I was a goner. I had lots of clothes on, a backpack, and the water was just rolling through that spot.
    I have also been on several water rescues of vehicles that went through the ice. One was a track rig that went down in 12' of water. The driver did not get out until after it hit bottom. One of the people that had managed to get out on the ice was able to grab on to him just as he surfaced and was heading back under the ice.
    We have pulled numerous snowmachines out of the water too, mainly on the Chena. I am not afraid to be on the ice, but I am cautious. Besides thin ice, there are also overflow issues that can crop up and catch a guy.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Good ice / bad ice.

    Good ice, is ice that you can see with your eyes 5 feet above the surface.

    Bad ice is ice you are looking at, at eye level.

    Moving water is almost always, bad ice.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  6. #6
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    Default

    I used to be in charge of building the ice bridge across the Tanana everyyear to Blair Lakes. We never started before Mid January. I don't cross the Tanana on snow machines ever anymore. I've had enough of that.

    twelve years ago I was crossing the Totatlanika on foot. I was following a band of Caribou. Suddenly I realized the ice was flexing, so I turned around and headed back. I took two steps and broke through. Water was running pretty fast under the ice, and I went downstream under it. Even thou the water was only three feet deep I was under the ice. I then spoted a bright spot above me. I managed to get my feet against a rock and stop my movement. I then drove my head against the bright spot as hard as I could. My head broke through. I then broke ice with my fist till it was too hard, and I felt it would support me. I jumped up on the ice on my belly then rolled to the bank. I was 300 yards from a cabin luckily, I headed for the cabin, it was 30 below at the time. I got to the cabin stripped and wrapped my self with a wool blanket that the owner left there for emergencies. My fingers were too cold to strike a match. Lucky for me my partner (Chuck Wattier from Eagle River) showed up and started a fire. I now stay off river ice.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I have had several friends hunting the Tanana Flats (drawing hunts) this summer, and none saw any cows. Then today there is a letter on the Daily News Miner of a hunter who is extremely critical of F&G for allows antlerless hunts in that area. I have no comments against it or for it, just pointing out those facts, although I have been thinking of getting one of those permits a couple of times.

    I agree with others here that you must wait awhile before you venture on that ice.

  8. #8
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    Default perspective

    Great perspective Dave. Never thought about it quite like that.
    Graybeard, I hope to never have to be as lucky as you were ever again.

  9. #9
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    Default Tanana Flats in winter....

    My good friend Jim, who has lived 200' from the Tanana for the last 30 years, told me that the river can usually be crossed safely sometime after Thanksgiving, if there have been some cold snaps....-10 to -20 degree nights. If the weather stays mild like it has been this month, then it would be much later. When the ice is running in the river at freeze-up, it will jam up in some places before the river freezes....those places have a rough surface to them that can be seen later in the winter....the ice is usually safer there. Check with guys who trap in the Flats or dog mushers who train out there...they can give you a primer on how to "read the ice." Personally, I wouldn't use my 4wheeler on the river or in the Flats this time of year or in winter. Sno-gos (or dogteams, if you have one) are much safer and more comfortable.

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