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Thread: Moose float hunt gear?

  1. #1
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    Default Moose float hunt gear?

    First, great forum!! I have been lurking hear for a while, going though the old stuff. Lot's of good info here.
    A friend and I are thinking about going on a moose float hunt and I am trying to figure all the gear we might need or have to buy. We are on a budget so not trying to break the bank, but I don't want to be cheap on something and be regreting it while in the middle of nowhere.

    These are some of the things I have come up with,
    Tent- Cableas alaskan guide 4 person

    Sleeping bag- not quite sure what to get here, maybe a Cabelas boundary waters bag. My friend had a Cabelas 3D bag that he likes.

    Pack Frame- We both have Kelty Cache hauler frames and they seem to work pretty good but have never put a moose quarter on them before. Will they be up to the task?

    Hunting pack- I have a few day packs but nothing very big. Is a big pack really needed on a float hunt?

    Stove- Have a small canister stove. What do you guys take?

    Rain gear- plan on buying some HH rain gear.

    Waders- I have some Simms stocking foot waders for fishing but I don't know how good they would be for hunting. My friend has some neoprene waders.

    Food- what do you guys take with you? Mountain house, that sort of thing or something else. We would eat moose if we can get one.

    Camera- I have a sony cybershot, p-41, I think. What would be a better water resistant digital camera?

    There are lots of things I don't have listed but these are the ones I was really wondering about. Tell me what you think. Any other suggestions will be appreciated, thanks alot, Jake.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Jake I always wear my daypack on a float trip. Up here you need to have your emergency gear with you at all times. If you just stay on the river hunting you will miss out on most of the good moose area. Where I hunt you have to get off of the river slightly, get up on the hills and glass glass glass. The most important thing that I didn't see on your list is a sat phone. You can rent one fairly cheap. Good luck. I've gone floating the last two years had a great time both times. Took an interior griz the first year and both of us got moose last year. Yummy.

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Ive hunted AK every yr for 20 plus yrs now but only twice have I float hunted. Almost always do fly out drop offs. After the first float I did I had to completely rethink allot of my gear. The best investment I ever made was my MSR outfitter wing tarp/shelter. It rolls up pretty small, and weighs around 10lbs. It has poles, and spreads out pretty huge. You can actually set your tent up underneath it, and have plenty of room around the sides. You can stand up underneath wich is nice, and it's a good way to keep all your stuff dry. It held up in 45mph winds for me just fine. Nothing worse than breaking camp to float every few days with a wet rainfly/, and wet tarps. It dry's fast when set up too. You can find em at trailspace.com, and im sure allot of other sites. Also a pair of waders, and back up waders along with knee high rubber boots. I never used my regular hunting boots on either float. Try to make sure all your bags are waterproof. Bring game saver for your meat, and extra game bags as loading, and unloading the meat can wear them out, and get dirty/bloody.
    Hang your meat at every stop for as long as possible. Your canister stove should be fine. Why are you using a 4 man tent? If you have the room it's fine but I use a 2 man or 3 max with 2 guys. Float hunting is a whole different ball game than a regular drop off. Remember to get off the river a ways when hunting as much as possible. Dont get caught up floating more than hunting. Good Luck.

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default wait

    I take that back I got the MSR Heptawing not the outfitter wing.

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    Thanks Casper50. I forgot to put the sat phone on the list. Do they come with some kind of waterproof case?

    So just a regular day pack and pack frame will be enough then? I had planned to take them both but didn't know if a larger pack would be better. I have started getting some emergency gear lined up, found quite a few good threads on that here.

    Do you take a spotting scope or just use binos? Thanks for the heads up on glassing from the hills. I planned on getting off the river and doing some hunting.

    How far do you get off the river and hunt? The reason I ask is I am wondering how far we could reasonably shoot a moose away from the river and get it packed back to the boat and still make it to the pick up point.

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    Thanks Lungshot, lots of good info there. I will check out the Heptawing. I don't have a tent right now, just was looking at one out of cabelas and 4 man was the smallest one in that model. What tent do you have or recommend?

    What kind of waders do you use? Stocking foot or the ones that have the boots on them? I have an old set of neoprene waders with the boots on them that I use for beaver trapping and they aren't the best to walk in.

    Sorry to sound dumb but what is Game Saver? I have never heard of it. What kind of game bags do you use? The Alaskan game bags are the only ones I have used?

    Thanks for the help, Jake

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    Default food for thought

    I bought the Olympus 770SW for our trip. It's waterproof and shockproof, and takes great pictures. We lived in hip boots the whole trip. Get Mike Strahan's new book, " Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" great starting pointand will answer alot of questions Another good book is "Hunt Alaska Now" by Dennis Confer, talks alot about budgeting. Those will get you started.

  8. #8

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    One thing I hoghly recommend is to bring real food, pre-cooked and frozen in a ziplock bag, i've done that on 2 different hunts and will never bring freeze dried again. Also, take a look at the Wiggy's sleeping bags, they are great bags and are guaranteed for life, you should be good in either a 0 or 20 degree bag. For cooking I brought a single burner propane stove and 2 cannisters, these are great for cooking meals but if your just heating water, you might look into the Jetboil stove as well. Bring plenty of game bags, at least 2 per animal so you always have a clean bag on your meat.

  9. #9

    Default Break the Bank?

    If you are on a really tight budget than the gear that you have listed will probably work. You might find other items work better but you should be able to get by with the gear you listed.

    The things I have learned from float hunting is #1 Bring a Come-a-Long and about 300' of rope. #2 Bring lots of game bags and change them out often to help dry the meat a bit.

    While float hunting I have ran into 2 different types of people, the ones that have a monster 18' raft and everything including the kitchen sink. And the ones that bring just a fork and a couple of extra bullets. Ideally you want to be somewhere in the middle.

    AK

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    I second the come-a-long. Mine pulled my moose out of a 4 foot deep beaver pond last year. I put my sat phone in a ziplock bag. I only use my bino's. But, the area that I hunt is an any bull and I don't have to count brow tines from 1/2 a mile away. The river that I hunt has hills usually 1/4 to 1/2 a mile from the water. I only had to pack my bull 100 yrds across good ground. It's bad over tundra/muskeg. How far you can pack one depends on terrain, physical condition and weight of moose.

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    You can get the small pelican cases for cameras and other essintials. The little ones like the 1010 case are perfect for the modern small digital cameras.

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    What tent do you have or recommend?

    What kind of waders do you use? Stocking foot or the ones that have the boots on them? I have an old set of neoprene waders with the boots on them that I use for beaver trapping and they aren't the best to walk in.

    Sorry to sound dumb but what is Game Saver?


    - I dont really have any up to date recommendations for tents. Im still using my Eureka from 6 yrs ago


    I use a pair of Patagonia waders similar to what you have I think.(stocking foot ones). Mine however are fine for hiking, and when floating I lived in them.

    Game saver is a powder that you mix with water, and spray on your meat to help prevent spoilage, and protect against fly's. You can find it at almost any outdoors store in AK. You can buy it online at Indianvalleymeats.com, and probably other sites.

  13. #13

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    I took a big tent on my float hunt last year, it had something like 8-10 poles and was a real pia to set up but once it was up, a hurricane couldn't blow it over. I would recommend the Eureka Assault Outfitter 4, very easy to set up and very, very sturdy. Or you can spend some big coin and get a Hilleberg Allak or an Exped Venus III or a Cabela's XWT tent, I think you get the idea.

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    Default Real food

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    One thing I hoghly recommend is to bring real food, pre-cooked and frozen in a ziplock bag, i've done that on 2 different hunts and will never bring freeze dried again. Also, take a look at the Wiggy's sleeping bags, they are great bags and are guaranteed for life, you should be good in either a 0 or 20 degree bag. For cooking I brought a single burner propane stove and 2 cannisters, these are great for cooking meals but if your just heating water, you might look into the Jetboil stove as well. Bring plenty of game bags, at least 2 per animal so you always have a clean bag on your meat.
    I agree on the real food! We usually bring along a 48 quart cooler with our frozen foods, and perhaps a smaller one with perishables like salads, yogurt, and so forth. Here are some other tips for you:

    1. Toss any excess food packaging. It just creates a trash problem in the field. For example, if you bring the instant oatmeal packets, toss the cardboard box and put the packets in a two-gallon ziplock bag.

    2. Group your breakfast, lunch and dinner foods into three separate piles before packing them. By keeping them separate you make it easier to find things in the field.

    3. Pack lunch snacks before the hunt, in large ziplock bags. Once you're in the field, all you have to do for lunch prep is make a sandwich and toss it in one of your lunch bags. It saves a lot of time. A typical lunch bag might have jerky, nuts, dried fruit, candy bar or granola bar, and rice crackers, in addition to the sandwich. A mix of salty and sweet snacks give you variety.

    4. Bring powdered drink mixes for your water bottle.

    5. Bring charcoal to grill meats and fish. Most of our wood up here burns all the way down to ash and doesn't offer good coals for long. Charcoal is much faster.

    Great topic!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Thanks everyone I am getting a ton of really good ideas here. Bringing real food sounds like a very good idea. I have ate some mountain house before but wasn't looking forward to living off it for 7 or 10 days. Thanks for all the great ideas on food everyone.

    Tboehm, I looked at the olympus 770sw and the price doesn't look too bad, might pick on up thanks.

    Are you guys talking about just a regular come-a-long cause the ones I have are pretty heavy, I am worried about going over the weight limit on the bush planes. Sounds like a very handy items though. I was trying to think of a light-weight block and tackle or something too take but maybe will just take a come-a-long.

    I will check out the Eureka tent AKHunter45 thanks.

    Good tips on the game bags. I have been a little worried about meat spoiling and getting a fine. So I will be sure to bring enough bags and will look into the gamesaver also.

    One other question, what does all your gear weigh when all said and done?

    Thanks for the great ideas, keep them coming.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Ross I use a cable come-a-long. It doesn't have the length of pull as a regular one but it is light and only $9.95 at the local Ace store. It will only pull about 6-8 feet at a time.

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    Default wading boots

    ross---since you are familiar with Cabela's--look at their BackCountry Wading Boots---have used them with waders on 2 brown bear hunts and they are excellent----whatever you end up with,get a real HUNTING tpye sole--not studs or felt---PS---my guess is that you will live in your waders

  18. #18
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    On my last two float hunts I only used waders while on the river floating. I used my regular hunting boots while away from the river.

  19. #19

    Default weight

    You mentioned something about how much everything weighed. Personaly I somehow manage to throw in more stuff or less stuff and weigh in just under the max payload of the plane. It always happens, I could be 100lbs shy of max and then at the last minute I decide I need a few more items.

    Thats the good thing about float hunting, if you know a little about the river you are going you can get by with more weight. But if your not sure and you think you might have to portage or drag then I would try to get by with min amount of weight.

    AK

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    Thanks for all the great info everyone. It looks like I will have to go out and spend a little money and get some more stuff, but thats why I started this thread. I hope to get a trip planned in the next year or two. I can't wait to come up and see what you guys enjoy every year. Thanks again.

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