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Thread: Moving to AK

  1. #1
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    Default Moving to AK

    I've got a job offer on the table that would take me from OK to AK. We don't have many animals roaming about that are known to kill people, although someone did spot a mountain lion the other day. I was wondering what is typical in AK in regard to carrying handguns when fishing, hiking, etc.? Are there specific regulations related to carrying? My wife has been reading some articles about wolves following people who are walking their dogs. They are carrying pepper spray??? I'd rather have something a little more potent if I got in a jam. Any comments or insights would be appreciated. I'll broach the topic of "which handgun to carry" later as I'm sure that will result in a more heated debate.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Carry

    It is very common to see poeple carry handguns when enjoying the outdoors. I carry my .44 when out fishing/camping/hiking, sometime a shotgun when it is easy to bring with. It makes you feel a lot more confident when in the woods.

    Often times I have found myself close to bears and wildlife without a gun, because I don't carry everytime I step outside or walk my dogs in my nieghborhood.

    Congrats, on the offer, my only regret about moving up to AK, is I should have done it sooner. I was use to winters, moving from MN, but don't kid yourself its a 8-9 month winter up here. But I love the winter here and I could write whole thread on the reasons.

  3. #3
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    Default Check it out

    Duckman,

    How exciting.....That's a big move and a big decision for you. Best of luck with that. If you can, bring the family up and take some time checking things out. It's an expensive move so I hope they are offering you a healthy relocation package.

    Don't worry about the handgun issue. Like irishlord stated, it's not unusual to see people carrying.

  4. #4

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    We are an open carry state, where you don't need a permit to carry a firearm. These wolves this year are a bit of a fluke, as they normally aren't that bold. Those women wer on military land where you do need a permit to carry. She did have pepper spray, but didn't know how to use it, and is dammed lucky thewolves were only after their dogs.

    I am a firm believer that pepper spray is fine for muggers, but a confrontation with these critters we have here demands a lead response. You have a better chance of being hit by lightning than you do of getting killed by a bear up here, but maulings are fairly common. You need to carry just to be on the safe side, as the possibility sure is there. If you want to carry a handgun up here, which is highly advisable, I would recommend nothing smaller than a .41 or .44 Magnum. Personally, I carry a .454 Casull everywhere I go in the bush.

    Alaska is still fairly wild, and up here you will not be the top of the food chain. Coming from Oklahoma, I would advise that as soon as you get here, get with a co-worker or neighbor to learn the ways and particulars of living in Alaska. You will have to wait a full year before you can get a resident hunting/fishing licenseand this is the perfect time to learn the ropes. It is a lot different that it is in Oklahoma. I came from Arkansas, so I am fully aware of what you are facing. If you are like I was, you will never look back and wish you had moved a lot sooner.

    BTW, where are you looking to move up here? That also determines a few things, as this is a H-U-G-E state, and living in Fairbanks is different than living in Anchorage, and living down in the Southeast is even more different.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  5. #5

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    If you like the outdoors, AK is the place to be. Most people pack something when outside urban areas, and as far as I know there are no permits required. I don't remember precisely what the legalities are concerning carry, but you do have to avoid carrying a gun at the usual places like establishments that serve alcohol. I've heard of people carrying pepper spray but have never seen it, and I suppose it would be a good thing for those people who aren't proficient in guns.

    Stories about wolves are largely folklore... in reality, they tend to be skittish. I wouldn't worry about them, but don't rule them completely out of mind - even though they look like dogs they are still wild animals. I've seen or heard them on several occasions, but have never had any reason to be afraid. Keeping dogs leashed up is still a good idea though, not so much for protection from wolves as from bears; I've heard that a bear will sometimes follow a dog back to its owner, or sometimes kill it. It's also good to keep dogs leashed so they won't turn wild: I've run across one pack of wild dogs and they put me much more on edge than wolves due to their lack of fear for humans.

    Wild animals really aren't something to lose sleep about. You become more aware of things like daylight, weather, fresher seafood, clean air... where I grew up we'd sometimes lose electricity for a day or so, but that's no biggie. Animals are something that you respect, but they're sort of in the background of life. At least for me.

  6. #6

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    Wolfeye is right. This current phenomenon of wolves chasing and killing dogs in their yards and on the trails is a fluke. The latest attacks were behind my house off Artillary Road in Eagle River. My neighbors and I are not panicking, but are aware the threat is there and are taking precautions. This is the norm with living in Alaska.

    We have had a very small snow accumulation, and most moose can get away from the wolves in this condidtion, so the wolves are forced to go for easier prey, in this case, dogs. It is happening in Eagle River, Fairbanks, in some villages, so it is going on all over the state. Normally, though, they keep well away from humans. Your biggest threat is bears and moose. A pissed off moose will stomp you to death, so give them a wide berth.

    There is no permit required to carry either open or concealed, but some establishments are off limits, such as bars, hospitals, court houses, etc.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  7. #7
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    Default Thanks...

    I appreciate the input. If we make this move, which it looks like we will, I think it'll be an awesome experience. I don't currently own a handgun, as I have directed my "hunting/gun" budget into other areas. Looks like I have a good reason to pick up a couple of new guns!

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    Default Welcome to AK

    Duckman-

    Since you are coming up from OK I assume you are in the oil business - forgive me if you are in a more noble line of work.

    I've move up here twice- first time in the 80s up and back out on SOHIO's dime and more recently with the US Govt to help oversee parts of the oil business.

    If you are in the oil business and I can help you PM me with your phone number and I'll give you a call.

    One important thing to remember in buying a gun to bring to AK - we have no sales tax here so you can possibly save some bucks on a new expensive gun. On the other hand used large caliber guns are usually cheaper in the lower 48 while the smaller calibers aren't much in demand up here.

  9. #9
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    Default Whatever, ya do son.

    Don't rent a basement apartment, and leave your wifey in there whilst you go to work long hours. She will learn to hate Alaska.

    Nooo, I didn't do that, but others have, and it wasn't pretty.

    Hawken54 gives good advice once in a while, and today is your lucky day.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  10. #10
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    Since you are coming up from OK I assume you are in the oil business - forgive me if you are in a more noble line of work.
    Yep. Work in the oil business. Will be working on the Slope...1 week on/1 week off.

    Don't rent a basement apartment, and leave your wifey in there whilst you go to work long hours. She will learn to hate Alaska.
    Don't worry about that! If we are in an apartment, it won't be for long. Just long enough to find us a place we like. Since I'll be on the Slope, we've been looking at the Wasilla and Palmer areas online. Looks like they are growing communities and the home prices are a little better. You guys have any insights on those areas?

  11. #11
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    Default

    one more thing, you will NOT be able to bring a hand gun thru Canada. so you will either have to buy here or ship it.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  12. #12
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    I live in the Wasilla area. I prefer it to the beeg town, where I spent most of my working life. Land is getting pretty scarce in Anchorage, nowadays, and the community of interest is moving thisaway.

    However, since you are new to Alaska, and driving the winter highways, it might be better to live in Anchorage for a while. ?????? That's just a thought. What is a big issue to me, may not be, to you.

    You're talking a little over an hour from Anchorage, depending. We always allow at least 1.5 hours to get to the Anchorage INAP. If you encounter bad weather, or something else, it could take much longer. The roads are much better now than they used to be, all over South Central.

    Alaska drivers go too fast, regardless of conditions. One time when it was snowing, my wife and I counted 15 cars off the road between Anchorage and Wasilla.

    Palmer is more like the Old Alaska, and it's more scenic. There is farming there. I think the wind is worse than in Wasilla.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  13. #13
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    Just remember that Anchorage/Eagle River/Wasilla/Palmer are pretty much one spread.

    I lived there from '81 to '88 and it was a pretty nice place. Now it's just like the rest of Amerika: a toilet.

    Fairbanks is nice. If you have gills, don't mind not seeing the sun for months at a time, enjoy feeling like you just got out of a shower, but cannot seem to get dry, like cold hard driving rain at a constant 43*F, then Southeast is ok. I hear the fishing is ok there, but the existence of Juneau kind of ruins everything. Ketchikan is ok.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  14. #14
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    While you make the SE sound compelling, I have to be in the vicinity of Anchorage.

  15. #15
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    Default Kenai

    The peninsula could an option. It’s reasonable to take one of the commuter flights from Kenai to ANC.

  16. #16

    Default North/South of Anchorage

    Anchorage Area isn't quite a toilet as described by one poster (you can certainly find areas that are tiolet like, but can also find really nice areas), but it is a "big" city by Alaskan standards, has chain stores, ect., feels like any other US city in ways.

    You have to drive 1+hour to hunt small game and trap decently (but not to fish), so if those are a priority, stay at least an hour outside the city. If you like to fish Kenai Pennisala the mecca, more big game hunting north of the city and still decent river fishing, palmer wasilla, willow, will get you closer to hunting bigger game.

    If I were on your rotation, I would move to somewhere in the Kenai area or somewhere just northwest of Palmer.

    If moving to Anchorage, the areas I would stay out of are Mountain View & Fairview, if you can afford it. Move to the South side of the city.

    Good Luck

  17. #17
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    I'm not sure what the definition of "toilet" is, but having lived in Anchorage for 35 years, I wouldn't describe Anchorage as a toilet. It's a very clean city actually. It's just crowded.

    There are numerous parks and bike trails, Sports Complexes. The Parks and Rec. people are great and provide many opportunities for outdoor activities, including the Mayor's Marathon.

    There is Cambell Tract, accesses to Chugach State Park, Maps, Dog Trails, Ski Trails, etc. The list is endless. I lived on the east side of town, and since I was a runner, I covered most of it, from the Mountains to the Inlet.

    In the course of my job, I drove all over Hillside, and through most of the subdivisions. I believe I was in each and every school at one time or another, too, so I think I know what I'm talking about.

    They have just expanded the museum, There is a Native Heritige Center also, and there is so much Native Art in the the New Native Hospital that tourists go there just to see it.

    Nowadays, the community of interest is moving towards the valley, and that is increasing the same kinds of opportunities there. There are newer and nicer homes being built all the time.

    Sure, there are some messy places in Anchorage, but nothing to compare with the dumps, and junky neighborhoods, you find outside the beeg town.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a country boy myself, but IMO, and IME, and by MY definition, there are more "Toilets" in the Rural areas.

    I've not been impressed by what I've seen in places OFF the road system, "toilet" wise, either.

    I think that with most of us, we live where we can support ourselves.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  18. #18
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    Default Transporting Guns to AK

    I don't usually give good advice to OU fans (just kidding). You can bring your handgun through canada but you will want to get a premit before you do. I moved up a year ago from South Dakota. I drove through canada and brought my long guns and had no problem. I went on line and got all the forms for canadian customs filled out in advance. It was not a real big issue and had no problem going through customs. I did ship my handguns up but I found a gun dealer that did it for free. Most wanted $50 a gun. Guns are just as cheap up here for the hassle. If your flying up or someone you know is that is the easy way. Get plenty of money for the move, the last two people that moved up here for my company ran out (b/c of canadian gas prices) 3/4 of the way up (bad planing on their part). Good Luck! GO HUSKERS!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cool_husker View Post
    I don't usually give good advice to OU fans (just kidding). You can bring your handgun through canada but you will want to get a premit before you do. I moved up a year ago from South Dakota. I drove through canada and brought my long guns and had no problem. I went on line and got all the forms for canadian customs filled out in advance. It was not a real big issue and had no problem going through customs. I did ship my handguns up but I found a gun dealer that did it for free. Most wanted $50 a gun. Guns are just as cheap up here for the hassle. If your flying up or someone you know is that is the easy way. Get plenty of money for the move, the last two people that moved up here for my company ran out (b/c of canadian gas prices) 3/4 of the way up (bad planing on their part). Good Luck! GO HUSKERS!!!
    Are you 100% sure about this? I too brought long guns through Canada but handguns have always been a no-no. It you can now transport a handgun through Canada it is a new development. I would contact Canadian Border Services Agency. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

    Here is a website that has some Canadian Customs info lined out nice and neat:
    http://www.abhunting.com/customs.asp

    Here's an excerpt about firearms.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Restrictions on Bringing Firearms Into Canada

    Canada has strict laws governing the cross-border movement, possession, and use of firearms. All goods, including firearms must be declared to Revenue Canada Customs at the first point of entry.

    A visitor may import a non-restricted firearm, such as a sporting rifle and shotgun, ONLY for the following purposes:

    sporting or hunting use while in Canada;
    bona fide competition use;
    transport through Canada to another country;
    protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada (excluding National Parks) if the Customs Officer is satisfied that the circumstances warrant the firearm's importation.
    No special documentation is currently required to import non-restricted firearms. Only non-restricted firearms may be brought in for hunting purposes. These non-restricted firearms are sporting rifles and shotguns that are at least 660 mm (approximately 26 inches) long, have barrels that are at least 470 mm (approximately 18.5 inches) long, and do not otherwise fall into a restricted or prohibited category.
    Most handguns are classed as restricted firearms and may be imported only for use at approved shooting competitions. An Authorization to Transport is required. The form may be obtained by calling toll-free (800) 731-4000.

    Requests for an Authorization to Transport restricted firearms (e.g. most handguns) through Canada to other parts of the US, including Alaska, or another country are normally denied. Before leaving for Canada, visitors who require an Authorization to Transport should discuss their options with a firearms officer for the Canadian province you intend to enter.

    Certain handguns and all automatic weapons are classed as Prohibited firearms and are banned from entering Canada. Severe penalties and confiscation apply to the possession of illegal firearms in Canada.

    The Government of Canada is actively reviewing possible changes to the rules for the importation of firearms. Before importing a firearm, you should check with a Firearms Officer. For more information, call (800) 731-4000 or click here for information transporting firearms to Canada

    For further information on current procedures regarding the entry of firearms, you may write to:

    Revenue Canada
    Interdepartmental Programs, Section A
    Connaught Building, 5th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario
    CANADA K1A 0L5
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again

  20. #20

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    I moved up from Missouri last September. If you'd like to talk about anything P.M. me and I'll give you my number. I live in Wasilla and commute to Anchorage. I love the Valley. Good schools if you have kids. There are some wonderful people up here but there are a lot of thieves as well. The good far out way the bad. If my family lets me I'll not leave, if I do leave it will be kicking and screaming, and prolly tears involved as well. In any case good luck.

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