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Thread: Solo hunts?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Solo hunts?

    Thought it might be interesting to see how many of us have hunted Alaska solo? I'm not talking just about weekend trips close to the road system, but float hunts, flyout hunts involving multiple days and such.

    If so, what are some of the pros and cons, from your perspective? Would you do it again?

    -Mike
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  2. #2
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Solo

    Did it .done it...I love solo hunts, especially when you can't sleep because every noise you hear you think its a bear.

  3. #3
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default Argh

    It's a love hate kinda thing.... I love the solitude but hate the risk. I did SAR here in Ak for more years than I care to admit and having the extra person has saved more people than not....

    The wife hated it when I did any solo trips, and after I got hurt on a solo trip (a quick day trip to grab a caribou on the tundra no less) she put the brakes on that one.... I was able to self rescue but it was close and could have turned out bad.

    Greg

  4. #4

    Default enjoy it

    I enjoy it, and am well aware of the dangers. I have noticed I watch each step more closely, while hunting alone. IMO, a satellite phone is a complete neccesity.

  5. #5
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    Default solo

    Set at home or go hunting. Go hunting solo over setting at home any day. My wife does not agree with it but she and others have location I am hunting and times that I am to return. She would rather see me getting ready to hunting by myself and be happy than stay at home complaining about those who always plans to go with and cancel at the last minute. I have been on serveral solo hunts sheep, moose, and caribou. Quarting up a moose solo is an experience in its self but I will do it every chance I get as long as I am hunting!

  6. #6
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Default

    I did a solo out of Dillingham a few years ago. Everything went fine but there's always Murphy. I found it rewarding but not nearly as fun as having someone to share the experience with. When I shot my bear I took quite awhile before I went up to it. There were no rocks or anything out on the tundra to throw at it to make sure it was dead.

  7. #7

    Default Solo Hunts

    Solo hunts in my opinion are the best, you really get a chance to take in the stillness that surrounds you and inside you. It's very awareness based, no conversation, only what's there. Absolutely top notch. I have two completely solo hunts this year and wish I could do more.
    Marc Theiler

  8. #8
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    i have done solo deer, sheep and goat hunts. never as much fun and worries crap out of my wife but when there is no one to go i will go. bears concern me more than injury.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
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  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I do somewhere between half and 3/4 of my hunts solo. Of course, most of these are of the 2-3 day variety. I've rarely had the opportunity to do a longer hunt (7+ days) solo or not, so I can't comment on that.

    I took my first sheep on a solo hunt, and it is one of my most treasured memories. I was 19 years old at the time and found a toughness in myself that I didn't realize existed. There were moments of misery, and two moments where I scared myself a bit, but man...I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. That being said, I know that I need to change my approach a bit now that I have a wife and a kid on the way. I am no longer responsible only for myself, but also for the two lives that are so closely tied to mine. I still hunt solo, but take more precautions. I've never carried a sat phone in the past, but will likely do so in the future at times. Also, I'm more careful about backcountry skiing and will be so with floating when I get my packraft. Having a family changes things...but I'll still head into the mountains alone from time to time.

    God met men in the wilderness on many occasions in the bible. I find the same to be true in my own experiences.

  10. #10

    Default 1st year

    The first year I came up to Alaska I spent around 40 days out in the bush without a gun while working for an outfitter and had three major bear encounters with one being a full on charge and one came into camp just after dinner while laying down to snooze.
    Marc Theiler

  11. #11
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Default

    I've done a ten day solo sheep hunt and have hunted deer in the Sound solo. I love it ... my wife, I'll just say that she's not really a fan.

    Personally, I think it's less dangerous than commuting from the Valley to Anchorage for any length of time, and I did that for eight years.

    You just have to do your homework and get as well prepared as you can before you wave good bye to the family. And be honest about your individual condition (mentally and physically) and the condition of your gear before you commit. Four days into a 12 day hunt is not the time to realize that you really weren't prepared.

    I enjoy hunting solo. I find that it's very theraputic for me. I get to unplug from work and all the other stresses of daily living and decompress for a while.

    Besides, you really get to figure out just what exactly you know about hunting (and plenty of other things) when it's just you and the wilderness.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  12. #12
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Solo Hunts continued...

    The real deal about solo hunting and i'm sure many can vouch for this is that its hard to find someone to go. Seems like everyone is busy nowdays. I have had several hunts planned in the past and had partners back out, and believe me i'm not going to back out on a hunt even though I'm by myself.With that being said, I have told my wife many times I was hunting with someone and really wasn't. She had caught on to it after a while, so she bought me an Iridium phone, and have me check in once i got to the huntin' site, and every morning to make sure i made it thru the night.

    Hunting solo becomes a psychological challenge (IMO) alot of things go through your mind once your out there. I know Alaska is no Africa, but to me, once the sun sets you tend to drop down on the food chain even more. I have been caught (by poor planning) hours away from camp at dusk, where I've had to hunker down and spend the night in rocks above the timberline. Just so I have psychological peace of mind. I have seen alot, my worst was probably fishing for grayling in "piledriver" slough in early May when I fell through the ice with hip waders on in about 6 foot of water, I really thought I was done!...of course I was by myself. Hunting Solo is no Joke, Its rewarding doing it alone...and most of the time you will see and experience more when your alone and without camera. Its a big Risk.

    One last note from experience: I'll never go Moose hunting alone, again!

  13. #13
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Default

    I just got the word that my late April Kodiak bear hunt will most likely be a solo hunt. My partner's divorce hearing is now scheduled during the hunt.

  14. #14
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Wives

    It seems that most wives do not like us going on solo hunts. I've never hunted Alaska solo but I would like to give it a try (with a sat phone, of course). For an easterner, I think most of the challenge would be psychological.

    My wife is just like the others - she flips if I say the word "solo" so most of my hunts will be with friends. One thing (good) about hunting with friends is that you learn what they (and you) are made of.

  15. #15

    Default Solo Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Casper50 View Post
    I just got the word that my late April Kodiak bear hunt will most likely be a solo hunt. My partner's divorce hearing is now scheduled during the hunt.
    That's one thing I would NOT do solo. When the critters bite back I want somebody to have my back!
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  16. #16
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Wink Want will want you to solo hunt--

    There is a good way to have your wife insist you take more solo hunts--increase your life insurance to a couple mil.


    Subject line should say "Wife will want you to solo hunt."
    Last edited by kingfisherktn; 03-07-2008 at 07:50. Reason: clarified

  17. #17

    Default Solo Bear Hunt

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfoot View Post
    That's one thing I would NOT do solo. When the critters bite back I want somebody to have my back!

    Yeah, I have a solo brown bear hunt this spring across the west side of Cook Inlet, bringing both the bow and the gun.
    Marc Theiler

  18. #18
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    Default Solo Hunting

    I have hunted whitetail deer many times solo and found it very enjoyable. I agree with the oneness with nature. You're not talking to anyone and become absorbed by your surroundings. The noises you will hear that you never hear. A small tweetie birds wings make a lot of noise when you are sitting and quiet. Your own heartbeat can sound like a freight train when the buck is in your sights. I haven't done a solo hunt in Alaska. Too many variables and the family would not allow it. I envy doing a solo sheep hunt and testing the mind and body without anyone else around.

  19. #19
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    Default

    Too Each his own. Sorry Solo over a long period is not for me - that being 3+ days in the field. Done it, not gunnado it, again.

    Those of you Solo Sheep or Goat Hunting - if you have kids, a wife etc, and you are the main bread winner of the family - think about someone other than yourself. Same thing goes for Bears or any other hunt that you can get into a sitution in whereas the Calvary AINT comin in time to save yer sorry arse. Accidents happen.

    To the one going to Kodiak Solo Bear - you won't be the first, and you won't be the last - be smart and safe - you twist yer ankle down there out of camp - the weather will get you long before the bears do. Of Course an easy meal to them is one that can't run away.

  20. #20
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    With my time off and regular hunting partners being on different shifts ( and different goals at times) i frequently need partner to bowhunt with. this year will be same i'm sure as i'm planning at least 4 separate 1-2 week hunts for goats....only a few folks want to hunt those and if i do not score early weather is going to be brutal by nov-dec.
    people are available to go on most hunts esp. with this great site to locate others ......but that said there are times i would rather go alone than invite someone i do not know, for certain hunts esp. if more than 2-3 days and i do few of those. my worst hunt was with friend i thought i knew from work......walk in sheep hunt 25-30 miles and he almost shot me ( ear rang for 4 days 2-3 feet from muzzle and in front of it), had poor gear and worse attitude.
    with some people you are safer and it is more enjoyable to be alone.
    I still invite new folks out and will be taking at least 2 out this spring for black bear. usually works out fine but sheep, goat or brown bear hunts are not the time to see how folks do.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

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