1st Moose Float
I have experience in all the areas that this hunt will involve with the exception of rowing any white water. I have been on a whitewater trip, several driftboat trips, navigated big water and big wind muskie fishing in my lund. Where do I start with preparation? Are books and videos enough? I don't want my limited experience rowing to minimize my opportunity or safety. Any direction here would be appreciated?
What class rapids does the river you wish to float have? I would find out, and then do some rivers close to home that have the same rapid ratings. If possible find someone near you that will at least answer questions and give you some pointers, maybe even take you on a day trip.
Mike Strahan (of this forum) teaches a raft hunters class at the Anchorage Sportsman Show every year. It's a good class, and deals with many topics that pertain to both hunting and rafting. His book new book is also a great source of material.
Kinik Canoers and Kayakers (http://www.kck.org) has a raft class that they teach every year. It consists of two 3 hour classroom sessions, and a 1-2 day practicum on the Matanuska, where you will get to ride and pilot with several different instructors and their different rafts. It's a great experience. I believe their annual free safety class (April) is a mandatory prerequisite. Their not-so-free raft class is in Mid May, but usually fills up early, so you might want to look for their schedule if it's already posted.
And there is talk around here about a possible "rafting forum get together and boat tryout" on the Kenai this year. Might be a good place to get advice and experience with several different boat types. Should be fun either way.