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Thread: Moose Float Hunt - Help?

  1. #1
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Moose Float Hunt - Help?

    I have always dreamed of a float trip / hunt in Alaska and now at 51 its time to see if I can get it done. I would appreciate any inputs that may help steer me in the best direction. I would like safe water, decent odds, and a reputable outfitter that would supply me with good gear and location.
    I know some parts of Alaska have spread minimums - perhaps all of Alaska? Anyway I would like a chance at a decnt bull but does not have to be a monster - I have taken one small bull in Canada and called in some others so I have some knowledge of moose hunting.
    I am looking at an unguided hunt for cost savings so that is a factor for me - definetly below $4000.00 range is a must.
    Thanks for any help!
    Sincerely,
    Randy

  2. #2

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    Do a search, this has been posted countless times and you should be able to find all the info you could ever need. Good luck!

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions

    In addition to doing a search (as was suggested), I would add contacting Mike Strahan (Lost Creek) or Larry Bartlett (Pristine Ventures). Either will do a great job of setting you up.

    The $4000 limit is going to be tough - especially if you include air fare. I used to think $3000 for a typical Alaskan DIY hunt but lately it has been creeping up to around $4000 and we own all our gear.

    If you get stuck - send me a PM

    ps. If you do something in the Fairbanks area you could contact Blue Moose (who also posts on this forum). I would also mention Walt at Northwest Alaska Adventures (I think) but going out of Kotzebue is definitely going to push you costs over you limit.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys - I am new to the site and appreciate the tips - tons of info here for sure...
    What, if anything special, do you guys do to help preserve your meat on a several day float trip?
    Randy

  5. #5

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    I like to bring along 2 sets of game bags and some big plastic contractor bags. I swap out the meat from 1 set of game bags into the clean ones', wash the dirty ones then swap out again as needed. On those warm days you can put the meat in the plastic bags to help keep the meat cool. I did this on an 8 day float hunt for moose, less the plastic bags, and it worked great as I didn't lose an ounce of meat. Some people like to bring along citric acid but i have never used it myself. Also, I used the TAG bags instead of the regulat game bags you buy at the store and they were the ticket.

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    Member terbear747's Avatar
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    Must be something about the age 51 thing here. I to am doing a flyin float hunt this fall for the first time. Using Tikchik Airventures out of Dillingham. Quote seemed reasonable and my hunting bud has used them before. Might give them a try depending on where you planned on hunting. Good luck and happy hunting

  7. #7

    Default just my thoughts

    If you aren't stuck on a float hunt, then wright air charters out of fairbanks might make it affordable, they have several areas that they drop off camps at.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Terbear 747 - Thanks for the lead - was your buddy hunting moose and has he had success I assume?
    My son and I hunted in Ontario in 2004 for moose - had a great fly in to a nice lake that had several portages - we each took young bulls and had a dandy stop about 2 steps from his demise and turn around but the ultimate dream and alure of Alaska is still burning strong. Probably lots of closer moose to be had but not the same experience!

    Also, AKHunter - not familiar with a TAG bag - can you give me more detail? Also, are you taking hide off or leaving it on the legs for transport?
    I know Alaska is sticky on meat retrival but what does a hunter do if it would spoil inb the bush - do you have to bring it out anyway?

  9. #9

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    The hide comes off and all meat comes out, no matter if it is spoiled or not. TAG bags are synthetic game bag that are super lighweight and strong, they've received mixed reviews here but I like them and will continue to use them on all my hunts. You can buy them at several locations here in Alaska, Wiggys Alaska! has them and so does the Archers Den in Eagle River.

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Arrow Missing phrase

    I think there's a phrase missing from one of those posts. I think it was supposed to read:

    ... On those warm days you can put the meat in the plastic bags in the river to help keep the meat cool. ...
    Meat in plastic, without refrigeration, will spoil faster.

    There's been some debate around here about whether the plastic/submersion idea is a good one or not. I honestly don't know. I think the debate centers around the risk of condensation and moist meat when it emerges from the plastic vs. a dry crust on meat that's just hung in game bags without benefit of refrigeration.

    But I'm certain that the warm, moist, anaerobic environment of meat covered in plastic on a warm day will spoil your game faster than just about anything else.

  11. #11

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    Yeah sorry, I just assumed he knew what I was trying to say and along those lines....leave the meat in the gamebags when you put them in the plastic bag as well, should you spring a leak it will help keep the dirt off it.

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    Default good float hunt book

    You might want to buy a book from tonyruss.com called Hunt Alaska by dennis Confer. It tells a lot about float hunts in Alaska and there is a lot of great info on the entire hunt. I have read several books for info and that in my opinion is the best I have found. Hope this may help you a little.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Some of the best moose hunting around is in unit 18 in western alaska. Unit 20A south of Fairbanks also has alot of moose. A 4000 buck limit is gonna be tight.
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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Float hunt planning - if I could start over...

    First off, I am new at this. Invited to float hunt with buddy this Fall, we're still going, but the hunt has evolved into a different sort of hunt, altered by a string of unanticipated realities.

    I also started with Dennis Confer's book, a great starting point, but in addition to higher fuel costs for air charters, there have been all sorts of delays in planning. It's probably the sort of bungling-and-blind-alley story most novices encounter and we have both met and found good sources for advice along the way, but looking back at "lessons learned", so far these are my notes:

    1. Most of the people you might contact for planning will return your call, but some weeks later and some not at all. Often there are good reasons; many contacts have other jobs occupying them and some travel seasonally.

    2. A conversation won't seal the deal, but a deposit will.

    3. The comments on this and other forums, about reputable outfitters/transporters/air charters are very helpful, but don't put all your eggs in one basket. Work as many lines of information as you can muster.

    4. Air charters have increased their prices this year, and seem likely to do so again as fuel prices have continued to rise. Boat transporters too. But keep in mind that the cost still is maybe 1/3 or 1/4 what you'd pay for a once-in-a-lifetime guided hunt in Alaska.

    5. There's so much to learn about logistics and planning that for a first hunt, I would call a hunt planning service. Larry Bartlett/Pristine Ventures maybe.

    6. Keep your options open. The main thing is to do a hunt. Depending on timing, game availability, transportation and meat shipping costs, a different kind of hunt might make more sense, at least for now. Once guys get their feet wet and learn the ropes (and a few reliable contacts) it seems to get easier.

    7. The meat care write-up in this forum by Doug Drum is good: (http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/magazine/meatcare.htm)

    Best of luck on your hunt.

  15. #15
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default

    Martentrapper,
    Thanks for the tips, much appreciated for sure!
    How bad can I expect the bugs to be? I've learned to make sure to have a spare headnet or two as a couple hunts in Canada turned warmer than usual and wow - here come the flies!
    Do most river hunters for moose use calling primarily or are there some decent area's to get out and use some high ground for glassing? I realize a bit of a loaded question depending on the river system you end up on...
    I assume you have done some martin trapping ? I used to love to trap mostly fox, coyote, coon, m'rat and mink - some beaver - IL, used to love to read fur fish game stories of northern trappers snowshoeing long lines - time is erasing many old ways for sure...
    Randy

  16. #16
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    6X -
    Definetly words of wisdom ! One additional challenge I have found over 35 years of hunting was to make sure you pick your traveling partners wisely! I had a couple hunts that were tainted by whiney friends that didn't either know what they were in for or just plain didn't pull their weight. I have found 1 or 2 companions is usually plenty!
    Thanks again to all that have contributed - as in the past I have found the planning to be a lot of fun and a big part of the total enjoyment!
    Randy

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    We do float hunts every other year. We place the meat in cotton bags and make a frame of willows to keep the meat off the floor of the raft. This way air can circulate around it. We hang it at night to cool it off then put it back on the frame in the morning, and continue. Depending on the temp as to how long we stay in the field once a Moose is shot. If it's hot we call Wright Air to come and get us, within a day or two. If it's cool we stay longer. Weather is the factor. Once you have a Moose on the rafts, going down stream is a good way to find predators (ie Bears and wolves). The smell of the meat is a good attractor.

    All meat has to be salvaged and removed from the field.
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  18. #18

    Default Got a Pic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
    We do float hunts every other year. We place the meat in cotton bags and make a frame of willows to keep the meat off the floor of the raft. This way air can circulate around it. We hang it at night to cool it off then put it back on the frame in the morning, and continue. Depending on the temp as to how long we stay in the field once a Moose is shot. If it's hot we call Wright Air to come and get us, within a day or two. If it's cool we stay longer. Weather is the factor. Once you have a Moose on the rafts, going down stream is a good way to find predators (ie Bears and wolves). The smell of the meat is a good attractor.

    All meat has to be salvaged and removed from the field.
    hey graybeard - any chance you have a pic of the willow frame in the raft? that would be a great tip for people to see....

  19. #19
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Hunt Planners

    I would suggest giving Mike Strahan of Lost Creek or Marc Taylor, Both are on this forum and easy to get in touch with. Mike may be booked out by this point but worth the call. Marc Taylor is an old Jarhead and I'm sure that his level of detail would be outstanding.

  20. #20
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.Leo View Post
    You might want to buy a book from tonyruss.com called Hunt Alaska by dennis Confer. It tells a lot about float hunts in Alaska and there is a lot of great info on the entire hunt. I have read several books for info and that in my opinion is the best I have found. Hope this may help you a little.
    Tony is good guy, but...this very forum probably has that book in our ODD library.

    Keep your coin here to further appreciate this great and free information resource!

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