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Thread: Unit 20 Fairbanks direction

  1. #1

    Default Unit 20 Fairbanks direction

    Moose hunters or Lookers,

    Can anyone give me updates or information on this area? I have an option to bowhunt (IBEP certified) or rifle hunt during the upcoming season. I have all my gear in order (well almost!) and now I'm looking for a location direction.

    I would prefer to bowhunt. My options are open, but I plan to hike with my hunting partner and go for 17 days. I have hunted with a bow for quite a few years and have been successful, but not in this area.

    If you can't give me any insight as where to go, can you let me know what the terrain is like. Will hiking boots be effecient or should I bring hips or rubber boots?

    I have been reading quite a bit on this site, but I couldn't find any information with the direct question with this area. I know the area is huge, but maybe you can express a good creek/valley or an area that you have seen moose before (legal bulls 50").

    Fellow hunters may smirk at this question. Who wants to tell another hunter where to go!!? Well, maybe you need some young bucks to help pack your animal out? Or conversation about the days hunt for strategies for tomorrow? We will have a Satellite phone and GPS. Low impact hunters with a very sensable approach.

    Thanks for your time and hopeing for a response.

    Cedar

  2. #2
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    You have asked for information in a very large area that covers a wide variety of terrain, from flat land to rolling hills to large mountains. Some of it is very thick with cover and some not. Some of it is very wet. There are alot of areas up that way that are only open for 2 weeks and there are several areas that are open for any bull. Its hard to give you much with such a general question.

  3. #3

    Smile Unit 20

    I'm not a real experienced unit 20 hunter. I am a very experienced unit 6 moose hunter.Here is what I've heard from other people.
    Tanana Flats has a high moose density(hard to get to). Steese Highway has any bull, and some hikable trails by the highway. Fairbanks game management has bowhunting,good moose density, but not much of a
    outdoor experience for 17 days. I'd try the Steese, bring rubber and hiking boots, and have some fun.
    Good Luck, Riverlover

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Elliot moose

    Go north of Fairbanks up the Elliot highway, there's some great moose hunting up that way and if your walking this might be the best option for you. With 17 days to burn you have plenty of time to search for a nice bull. Find a spot that looks moosey and go check it out. I would bring hip waders and a good pair of hunting boots to match the terrain you'll be hunting. If your hunting the latter part of the season take a call along and try calling/raking. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your hunt!! Good luck!

  5. #5

    Default Unit 20....

    Thank you all for the info. I understand that the area is huge. My hunting partner and I will be walking with backpacks and going in at least 6miles (hopefully!). We have all the gear to be safe and comfortable.

    We both will be bow hunting and we will be up there from the 13-29 of September. Hopefully we will be able to call a bull in.


    I would like to bag a trophy but it's not really vital. I would much rather have the meat. Well, lets be honest...I wouldn't pass up a big boy!

    Also, the terrain I prefer is more open than dense, dense. I don't mind hunting thicker stuff, but I like to see at least 40-50 yrds and have 100-200 yard veiwing areas. I prefer not to be to swampy. I would love to have knee high boots but I can also handle wearing hip waders.


    Thanks So much for the information. Any more would make our trip that much more cheerful. I have never heard a moose and can't wait for my hair to stand up on my neck when I do! If you have a specific trail or a river that we can use as a destination, that would be AWESOME!!

  6. #6
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Wow, its a good thing you have 17 days to hunt, especially if your going in 6 miles. That's going to take you a while to pack out a moose. I would never consider doing such a thing but then again I've been told that I'm a lazy hunter. Fortunately I have never taken a moose I couldn't get a wheeler to. I don't care for packing, I would do it, but no more than 1/2 mile.

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    Just a question, where did you get the 6 miles distance thing from? Is that to a specific place your going, or what exactly. You couldn't pay me enough to pack a bull 6 miles. Have killed a fair share myself and dozens of others that buddies have shot. Are you sure you know what yor doing????? I am almost thinking your post is a joke or something. No offense if you are actually serious.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm one who LOVES hunting on foot and packing out animals, but I've got to say that packing out a moose 6 miles borders on insanity. I'm no stranger to long packs, having packed a caribou out 10+ miles by myself, but until you get a large bull moose down miles from the road, you really can't have a clue as to what's involved. I would venture no more than 2-3 miles on foot, and preferably no more than 1. It's not even an issue of pain or stamina, but really one of caring for the meat as a responsible hunter. Getting a moose out 6 miles would take multiple days, thus increasing the risk of losing the meat to spoilage or scavengers. You might want to scale back your plans just a bit...

    -Brian

  9. #9

    Default I'm not crazy...

    I would walk in 6 miles and set up camp. From there we would hunt around camp. If we got a moose down I would call (satellite phone) a friend with packing horses to get the meat out.

    No offenses taken...



    Is there a valley or an area that you know we could venture too?

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    Akwild, wasn't trying to rip on you or anything with my previous post, its just that what you are planning is nothing like the norm. Is there a place that I would hike 6 miles in to moose hunt, no ,not really. There are many valleys along the entire road system which encompass Unit 20. Your best bet is to drive north or south along the Rich and parks Highways and pick a spot that doesn't have ATV trails. Most places that those of us could point you in are going to have tons of 4 wheeler/Track Rig, and airboat activity. (I dont think you truly understand how many people will be afield in motorized combobulations seeking moose in Unit 20). The valleys are extremely wet, would require hip boots to get around the swampy stuff and not sure your ready to hike 6 miles in hip boots with your camp on your back,(have you done something like this before?). I hope you know how to use a GPS and use it well. If your not hiking on ATV trails the stuff you are calling thick is much thicker than you are imagining. its extremely easy to get turned around in a large black spruce flat, trust me and with no defined trail to get back to, well ?. I wish you luck , just not sure why you are going about this venture the way you are. If you've got pack horses available then why not take them in? I am an avid backpack hunter when it comes to sheep but I wouldn't consider what you are doing for one second. If you had a tag for the Dalton Highway corridor I might understand what your doing but hunting moose on foot with camp on your back during general season in unfamiliar country miles from an unfamiliar road system isn't the best recipe for success! I dont now what to tell you brother, but your plan aint a good one, or your deceiving us in your true agenda and plans that are already established. Either way, good luck! By the way where are you from?

  11. #11

    Default Plans reconsidered!

    Thanks for the honesty. Plans have changed. I haven't done a whole lot of moose hunting but I've done a lot of elk hunting and have been successful.

    My hunting partner is from Soldotna. I'm from WA.

    This type of hunting has been done and done ethical (elk). I didn't think moose were that much of a step above. My eye's will be opened I'm sure.

    Cedar

  12. #12

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    Cedar,

    I don't know if you all ready have decised on a location. If not and you have access to a boat or are willing to shell out the bucks for a plane, 20A (more specifically the Wood River Drainage) is pretty tough to beat. 20A currently has an above average moose population and 50"+ bulls are abundant. I reccomend packing your hiking boots as well a quality pair of ankle fit hip boots. Depending on the rut, they may still be in the low hills or in hip boot country chasing cows. I hope that this info is of help.

  13. #13
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Cedar,
    I don't think anyone that posted here meant anything negative towards you, just shocked with your plans. People seriously under estimate Alaska's outdoors. The outdoors here are very much different than in most of the states. Doesn't matter if your talking about bears, weather, terrain, etc. you won't know what to expect or appreciate in the wild here until you have experienced it. Running off in the woods after a moose in an unkown area, planning on putting on a few miles just isn't the best plan I ever heard. I am glad that you have taken to heart what has been said. I would hate to read about you in the paper.

    Nobody was questioning you whether or not your plans were ethical. We were all just trying to open your eyes to what you were about to do knowing that you didn't fully realize what you were saying. Had you said you had horses and where wanting to go down a particular trail etc. this would have been a totally different story.

    My hunting partner moved up here from Colorado. He has been an avid bow and rifle hunter for many years. The first trip we took together (his 1st in AK) I tried to take him somewhere that I wouldn't be concerned with his experience in the outdoors. I know that may sound funny but I had good reason. As it ended up I almost had to make the call and have a helo medivac him out. It was one of the scariest days I ever had in the woods. After this event he told me that he now realized why I asked him so many questions, repeatedly. I guarantee you he now has a different respect for the land.

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    Akwild, I am glad you came to reason, just like Bighorn said, none of us questioned ethics at all but I had a good feeling that you werent from up here just by your plans. I respect your drive, but like Bighorn said Ft. Wainwrights' meddac unit stays very busy rescuing hunters in late August and September, I'd hate to see you get a free ride on a UH-60 if we could prevent it. Good luck in whatever you do

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