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Thread: What its really like

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    Default What its really like

    My name is Frank Osborne and I am an actor currently training at the CENTRAL School of Speech and Drama.

    I hope that I do not put any one through anyone through any kind of annoyance by posting this new topic

    I am currently researching for a show I am going to start when I return to university in October, the show is about Christopher Johnson McCandless whom I know you have heard. I am researching Moose hunting, but more specifically Moose Hunting in Alaska.

    I would like to ask if you could help me soruce some infirmation about what it is really like to hunt in Alaska, any personal accounts of what it's like to be a Moose hunter; the weapons, guns and preperation needed for the hunt, what it takes to be a moose hunter, wether it's a touch and go experience, does it have its ups and down or is it a 100% love for hunting experience.

    I understand that there has been a page posted about preperation for hunting, but more personal and insightful stories and experiences are what I am more looking for if any one is willing to share

    If you could possibly help in any way I will keep everythign I recieve in the greatest respect and confidence

    Regards

    Frank Osborne

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    Default Too broad...

    There are so many different types of hunters out there it depends on what angle you're wanting to take. There's the old mountain dweller that kills the first (legal or not) moose they see in order to survive, there's the hunter that never leaves their 4-wheeler or truck, there's the guided moose hunter that has saved for years for their hunt of a lifetime, there's the reluctant moose hunter that nearly cries after they see the size of the 1400 pound animal they just so ruthlessly murdered, and the list goes on...

    I hunt because I've never known anything other than moose meat as our staple protein source. I actually prefer to hunt other game, so moose hunting is more work than those other hunts for me, simply because I don't enjoy it as much. However, I harvest a moose every fall because that's what my family and I choose to survive on.

    I don't like beating the brush as much as glassing for sheep, I prefer wide open space to less than 100 yards visibility in the brush. I prefer the challenge of hiking mountains to staying near the cabin and bringing the moose to me (by calling).

    For me, moose hunting is about necessity brought on by my choice to feed my family some of the healthiest and plentiful (sheep never seems to last) game meat available more than a pure love for the giant ungulates, although they are kind of cute in a giant, akward sort of way.

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    go hunt and find out. that would be the best research.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Frank, Adam gives good advise. Why fake unknown emotions/abilities when you can experience the real thing to draw inspiration from. It doesn't have to be a moose hunt that you go on. The emotions and most of the abilities, (except for needing a very strong back for moose), crosses over from other hunting. Find a friend or relative that will take you hunting. Experience is the best teacher. Good luck.

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    what it is really like
    You could always work for a guide as a packer. You will get your fill of moose hunting in one season.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    You could always work for a guide as a packer. You will get your fill of moose hunting in one season.

    Excellent advice!

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    Member JamesMac's Avatar
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    I agree with Adam and Casper - just go out and do it. This way you will have a personal understanding of the total experience. Who knows you might discover a new passion in life?

    However I do remember reading Into the Wild years ago and you need to keep in mind that McCandless had no previous hunting experience.
    If I remember correctly I think he even shoot his moose with a .22, additionally he lost most if not all the meat.

    Maybe you would be better off not having any hunting experience? For your role that is……

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    The Central school he attends in in London so he may be a nonresident alien and would need a guide.
    Regardless, sockeye is right that there are a lot of different reasons people hunt and ways it is done. Personally I hunt for the meat and the experience. I don't usually hunt moose because I don't want to carry the thing any distance. But that's just me. I am taking my two brothers on a moose hunt this year. I told them to be ready for the work of buthering and hauling.

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    Member terbear747's Avatar
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    I hunt just for the love of being in the outdoors. Taking home meat is just a plus to being there. I used to follow my dad around the woods in Maine when I was 6 years old hunting deer. Am 51 now and still get out as often as I can. There is nothing more exciting then calling a big ole moose to within ten yards (and then not be a shooter ) but that is something you would have to experience yourself. I just have fun out there.....bring something home or not!

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    Default McCandless killed a Caribou not a Moose

    I read that McCandless mistakenly took a Caribou for a moose. So your concern with moose hunting with respect to McCandless may be misled. I'm with the other people posting here. You cannot accurately write about hunting until you have actually experienced it, particularly big game hunting. Spending countless hours afield waiting for a particular animal to appear yields a myriad of feelings, from amazement to triumph. In order to accurately depict something its often necessary to participate in it yourself.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Real Moose Hunting

    Real Moose Hunting in alaska can take many forms depending on the area, chosen weapon, and method of accessing that area.

    My only experience was a fly in trip in Unit 20E (or maybe it was 20A?). The hunt itself was anticipated for a year. I am an avid hunter and have been since I was 4 years old (am now 38). My passion is archery elk hunting and as such I chose to attempt a moose with a bow but carry a rifle for backup for bear and in case I couldn't get close enough to a moose I would use the rifle.

    Logistics, logistics, logistics - and a whole lot of pre-planning went into my trip. I already knew how to hunt, skin, butcher, and in general care for meat. My uncle who was an alaska resident was hunting with me and handled the pre-scouting. Being a resident - made this hunt a Grizzly Bear hunt for him in addition to the moose.

    Knowing how and where to set up camp came in pretty handy....flight logistics was relatively easily handled as my uncle's friend was doing the flying and had it all figured out.

    Patience played a big role - as weather and smoke delayed our inbound trip a couple days. Anticipation was very high when I got into the plane hoping to make base camp.

    Watching the plane leave left a great sense of emptiness within me - and a sense of "do it yourself" hunting that I had never felt in 25 years of DIY hunting.

    My uncle rifle shot a very nice bull .5 hours into the first morning hunt. I shot my bull with a rifle 10 very hard days later the day before I scheduled departure. We saw 17 Griz. We spent a total of 23 hours packing meat - 1/2 of that was with 140 to 160 pound packs on our backs.

    We cut our wood with a hand saw, cooked our own meals, and had a wonderful time in a true wilderness environment. We also took home a year's supply of great meat for our families and friends.

    What your "show" may depict and what Mr. Candless actually did is nothing like "real" hunting in Alaska. He wasn't hunting, he had no logistics planned, he wasn't remote, and IMNSHO - he was an idiot that died of his own doing because he was ignorant in the ways of the wild.

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    What your "show" may depict and what Mr. Candless actually did is nothing like "real" hunting in Alaska. He wasn't hunting, he had no logistics planned, he wasn't remote, and IMNSHO - he was an idiot that died of his own doing because he was ignorant in the ways of the wild.
    Could not have said it better.

    Perhaps you would be better off doing a show on real hunters, not some guy who had no idea what he was doing and no business being in the wilds of Alaska. You will find that most Alaskans think McCandless was noting more than a fool who died because of his ignorance.

    Hunting is knowing your prey and being prepared to properly and humanely kill and care for the animal you harvest. Hauling a moose out of the bush is a major amount of work and not to be taken lightly. Last one I got was over a mile hike each way to get the meat out. Took me several trips to get it all out and this little fat guy was nothing more than a puddle of sweat and quivering muscles by the time I was done.

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    Default i also agree

    bullkiller hit the nail on the head. Mcandless had nothing to do with hunting at all...

    but the show, at least for what it had of Alaska i think was pretty realistic with one big exception, they didn't show the real killers up here; the mosquitos....

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    My god, how much more publicity are people going to give to this Mcandless, fool. People always try to make a hero out of a nitwit.

    If you so choose to "glorify" this person anymore then he has already tried to be, then that's your deal.

    MOOSE HUNTING 101: Fly out to Donkey Lake and strap on 100lbs of gear and hike to the top of Mt. Yenlo, make camp, shoot a moose then pack everything back down to the lake. That! My friend is moose hunting, been there done that.

    130lbs. quarter on your back + 3 nasty swamps + about 3-4miles of hiking= some serious moose hunting.

    P.S. We shot 2 moose up there, that was INSANE!

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    Talking depicting mcandless...

    the less you know the more accurately you will be portraying him. <GRIN>
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    What about the let downs? With gas like it is the cost of hunting is going up. Now I love hunting just for the good times, and never once expect to get anything, but it does ever so slightly "suck" that I- we didn't get anything after spending so much time and money. But none the less the fun factor is always there, and if it was not none of us would ever go. That feeling however can never be told or explained it MUST be experienced to understand. Good time with good friends over a good fire after a crappy rainy day without seeing one animal..... PRICELESS..... It is and always will be about the personnel feeling you get in the field.

    To all others on this site... Good luck this fall and have fun.

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    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Question

    Mr. Osborne,

    It would help to know a little more about just what you need.

    If you're playing Chris McCandless, you're probably looking for help informing your responses to shooting a big game animal - and later losing most of the meat.

    If you're the dramaturg for the production, you'll need info on others he encountered during his Alaska travels, and help costuming and informing the hunters who found his remains at the bus.

    Take with a grain of salt some of the responses to date - few people really believe you can't know about moose hunting 'till you've done it. Darned few actors in the recent spate of WWII films that got rave reviews over in the General Discussion forums actually stormed Omaha Beach.

    Use the 'search' function on these forums to find people's hunt stories. Look over the photos and read what each hunter - or hunting party member - chose to emphasize when retelling the tale for fellow hunters. Keep in mind that these may or may not be the same sorts of things we emphasize when speaking to wives or co-workers who don't hunt.

    Then come back and ask exactly what you want to know (e.g.: What went through your head after you killed your first big game animal? or How does it feel to get completely skunked moose hunting?). Of course, if you're looking for details on which guns Alaskans use to hunt moose, the search function will find a great deal already out there. The gear forum can tell you a lot about packs and boots and tents and...

  18. #18

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    Buy a few moose hunting videos off the internet, that'll give you most of what you seek. My sympathies that you have to act as Christopher Johnson McCandless, he was a confused idiot, how'd you get stuck with that part?....grin

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default sorry to be so harsh but

    "supertramp" was nothin but a psycho idiot! Too bad he had to pass, but it was cuz of his own stupidity. I am so sick of people making this kid out to be a hero or some kind of "pioneer". There are plenty of other long-time alaskans out here that live(or have lived) off the land(for the most part anyway); and for more than a couple months at that. Why don't you portray one of them instead of some "free spirit", unprepared, ignorant fool. Those guys are the true outdoorsmen.

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    Default My First Moose...this may help

    Frank,

    In some ways, my coming to the Alaska wilderness was similar to McCandless' idealistic notions. Prior to moving to the Alaska bush, I'd never hunted at all, never killed any big game. But I had a year in Fbks first to talk with others and learn, and got some pointers from some other bushrats as well.

    Having said that, though, I don't know how much that info helped, cuz I was still pretty clueless. I shot my first moose and first ever big game animal in mid september and he walked into the river and died and floated down until hanging up at the next riffle, in about thigh deep water. I didn't have waders and didn't know what I was doing. The bull was (of course) bigger than expected...this is generally the first thing newbie moose hunters will tell you, it's just a huge animal.

    Trying to figure out how to skin and butcher the moose, in the water, was frustrating, but I'd likely have felt the same frustration were it on land. After about two hours I completely lost it, broke down and cried whilst sitting atop the moose pounding on it and cursing. I was 23 years old at the time. Took about ten minutes to regain a semblance of composure, walked back to bonfire on shore, sat down and warmed up and rethought things. Decided to move forward; it had to be done. This was supposed to be what was going to get my wife and I through the winter ahead. Took seven long hours but I got it all done.

    Anyway, I think were I to portray a scene like McCandless getting his first moose, it would be somewhat similar. Of course, he did get a moose according to the journal, but later lost the meat because he didn't know how to take care of it in warm weather. Not surprising really. I imagine at first there was much joy...then the frustration trying to skin and butcher, amazement of size and labor involved and moving the meat pieces, enveloped in blood and gore and likely tears. Thinking "I'm saved," then only to lose the meat rather quickly because of lack of knowledge and common sense on how to save it (he could have jerked the whole thing). I did see the Penn flick, thought he did a fairly good job of depicting some of that scene inre the losing of the meat.

    Things differ greatly from what you may read here in hunting stories or see on hunt videos etc. For one thing, I think McCandless shot the moose with a .22, his only weapon. Must of shot it several times in the lungs I'd imagine. Likely would not have died for a bit. I've read the book but don't recall what details Krakauer provided on that. Or envisioned. Another thing was that McCandless was very hungry and worried greatly about procuring a large amount of meat. I've also been very hungry out here in the bush and one hunts and acts differently when they are truly depending on this for their survival.

    Best of luck to you; you may find some useful info in books like Coming Into the Country by John McPhee that describe some of what it's like to be a newcomer in the bush.

    And for those others reading this, writers and media tend to romanticize those who tried and failed over those who tried and succeeded. I agree it's a bit frustrating what is going on with the McCandless story and it's cult-like following. I also wrote about a guy who came to the bush but didn't make it <grin>. And included a bit of why some make it and some don't. If interested, you can read that piece here:
    http://www.backcountryhunters.org/in...den_of_a_ghost

    Cheers,

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