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Thread: Hunting newbie

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting newbie

    Hey everyone. I just arrived to AK and am in the army. I have hunted in WI before but it was just whitetail deer and it was only 2 seasons. (Also, my dad cleaned it) I just bought a bow because, well, I am in Alaska and i wanted to get involved in some more outdoor activities.

    I am stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to hunt. I don't really care too much as long as it gets me outside and into the woods. I checked some regulations and I think i fall into the 20A region and that black bear, wolf, and some other small stuff is open right now. I understand that bear are probably hibernating and I'm not sure what hunting wolf even involves, so, any suggestions? Also, are there any good publications on cleaning the animal afterwards? Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The best thing you can do is devote the next year to learning as much as possible. I highly recommend that you do not just head into the woods and start hunting. There are numerous reasons for this suggestion, but the most important ones are as follows:

    -The regulations are very complex. Many new hunters end up getting a ticket because of an honest mistake - animal wasn't legal size, was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, failure to salvage all meat, etc.

    -Meat care is a learned skill. Especially for large animals like moose and caribou, most new hunters will waste some meat if they do not accompany a skilled and experienced hunter on a hunt first.

    -Alaska can be truly dangerous, and even the most experienced woodsmen sometimes find themselves in really bad situations.

    What I would do if I were in your shoes is offer myself as a packer to someone who is willing to show you the ropes. Go along on a few hunts and figure things out through experience. Take the bear baiting class offered by Fish and Game and then offer to help someone keep their bait site stocked (you can only legally carry bait to the site if you've taken the class). Offer to help pack out a moose (which is a HUGE job) if someone will show you how to effectively clean one.

    Your hunts will be much more enjoyable, successful, and safe if you learn as you go instead of just heading into the woods with your bow. There may even be fellas on here who would be happy to have a new soldier along for the ride. If I weren't 300 miles to the south, I'd offer as well.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Welcome!!!!
    As for books check out
    Hunt Alaska now
    Hunting in Alaska by Chris Batin
    Great books

    Study the regs in and out. This will save you griff and $$$$. they change from year to year. They also can be confusing at times. Sometimes I think you need a PHD to understand what they are trying to say.

    Just for your info

    Bow hunters- need Bow certifcation to hunt big game.

    Baiting bears- Need to take the course if you want to bait.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  4. #4
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    Default Small game

    Brian gives sound advice for large game, especially with your limited big game experience but there's no reason you can't go for an afternoon chasin bunnies, grouse or ptarmies and just get some fresh air. Use a compass, file a trip plan with friends, bring food and warm clothes, check the forecast and use your head and you'll be just fine. You may hear lots of boogie man stories but just keep your eyes open and make good decisions and you will be well on your way in getting into your new interest safely and ethically.

  5. #5
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    Several of us shoot our bows at the archery range near the intersection of Montgomery and Ketchum. At least when it warms up and some of the snow is gone. That's a good way to hook up with another bow hunter. It's also a good way to see who is serious about hunting and who is a "tire kicker." If you see anyone out there, stop by and introduce yourself.

    Just like others have said too, study the regs and maps. If you think you have a hunt in mind, plan it out and show it to someone with ALASKA hunting experience. I guarantee that your first attempt to plan a hunt will be full of holes and what if's not answered. I don't have much experience here, but I have some. More importantly, I listened to the old timers and came back safely everytime.

  6. #6
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Clarify on bow hunting

    Archery equipment can be used during any general open season. Special bowhunter certification is not required for these hunts.
    Bowhunter certification is required for any big game hunt restricted to “bow and arrow only” or “certified bowhunters only.”
    Alaska recognizes bowhunter certification cards from any state authorized program or the NBEF/IBEP card.
    Nonresidents applying for Archery only drawing permit hunts must enclose a photocopy of both sides of their card with their application.
    Alaska's bowhunter certification course requires passing a shooting skills course. Hunters with certification from another state or the NBEF/IBEP card do not have to pass Alaska's shooting skills test.
    Cross bows and other weapons are excluded from archery only hunts.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  7. #7
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I'm a retired 1sgt, and I live right out the back gate of Wainwright. I'm always looking for packers, I mean folks that I can mentor...LOL Drop me a line, Alaska has a lot of laws and can be a little dangerous. Many things to consider before you head out into the field. Have you been here a year yet to meet residency requirements ?, don't be tempted to cheap, they can, and do check. Several hunters were ticketed last year, you do need to get bow certified to hunt in bow only areas and you need the bear baiting class if you want to bait. EZ to get in trouble, however read the regs and try to hook up with someone to show you the ropes. Better to learn proper game care now than after you have several hundred pounds of game meat on the ground in front of you. Welcome to the addiction. PM me if I can help, I'm willing to show you my gear and answer what I can.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    If you have time attend the bear baiting clinic and take the bow cert course. It's a good place to meet people and get great info.

    It's always good to have them and not need them. Then Not have them and need them..

    this also will open more hunting opportunities to you.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  9. #9
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    AKARMY, you've got some good advice here. I'd take the time to meet stid, it could very well work out good for both of you. And by the way, "Thanks" for your service.

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