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Thread: on military leave and roadtripping up for first alakan adventure

  1. #1
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    Question on military leave and roadtripping up for first alakan adventure

    Basically I am looking for information on everything. I am on military leave till Oct. and will be in Alaska on no time schedule for about a month and a half.

    I am looking to do some hunting for caribou on the haul road, moose if possible, bear if I see one I can get on and deer if I have the time. I will hunt with both bow and rifle, hopefully more bow than rifle, and all hunts will be DIY on foot. I am willing to drive anywhere needed. SO, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for someones first trip up north, I am all ears, and like I said I have no schedule to go by. I will arrive in about 2 weeks and stay till the end of Sept. I have read posts where guys are doing hunts that look like weekend trips and have room for one more person and I would be interested to tag along and learn whatever I can. I can pull my own weight.

    I am also going to fish, see the sites, and take alot of photos while I am there.

    Just looking for a good Alaskan experience overall and not sure when or if I will be able to do this again.

  2. #2
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default Tall order

    Quote Originally Posted by wayneo View Post
    Basically I am looking for information on everything. I am on military leave till Oct. and will be in Alaska on no time schedule for about a month and a half.

    I am looking to do some hunting for caribou on the haul road, moose if possible, bear if I see one I can get on and deer if I have the time. I will hunt with both bow and rifle, hopefully more bow than rifle, and all hunts will be DIY on foot. I am willing to drive anywhere needed. SO, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for someones first trip up north, I am all ears, and like I said I have no schedule to go by. I will arrive in about 2 weeks and stay till the end of Sept. I have read posts where guys are doing hunts that look like weekend trips and have room for one more person and I would be interested to tag along and learn whatever I can. I can pull my own weight.

    I am also going to fish, see the sites, and take alot of photos while I am there.

    Just looking for a good Alaskan experience overall and not sure when or if I will be able to do this again.
    My Brother in Arms,
    Congratulations on the hard earned leave and I hope you have a great time up here in Alaska. That being said, you have a tall order on your hands. Unfortunately, a lot of people have the mis perception that Alaska has animals everywhere that are just dying for you to drive or walk up to and shoot. With the month and a half that you have, I would recommend that you begin by looking at the hunting regulations for many of the requirements that you may have to meet depending on what you finally decide to do. (http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...ations.hunting).

    Assuming that you are a non-resident since you have never been up here, and are not stationed up here for over a year, you will need a non-resident license ($85) and tags ($325 for 1 caribou tag) as well as an IBEP course for your haul road hunt (assuming you are using a bow and not planning to hike 5+ miles). If you are interested in a brown bear hunt you are required to have a guide, but black bears you could still try DIY with a non-resident tag ($225).

    My suggestion would be to look at who you might be hunting with and when the season is, and focus your efforts on that one hunt if you are planning on DIY. If you hire a fly out or guide, you may have better chances at multiple species but plan on bad weather, lots of hard work, and at least a little bit of luck no matter what you decide.

    I know this is pretty general and is only intended to help get you started in the right direction. Please let me know if you have more specific questions I can help with. If nothing else, you have started in the right direction, there are a lot of experienced people on the forum who are more than willing to at least let you know what has worked for them in the past, or at least help give you a vector to keep you safe in what can be a very unforgiving wilderness. Good luck, safe trip, and Happy Hunting!

    Fuse

  3. #3
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Moose/Caribou

    Since you are heading toward the Haul Road, you will be in the Fairbanks area.

    My suggestion is to buy a moose license (which allows you to harvest a caribou), a registration permit for the Steese Highway (It may be #460 but I'm not sure) and drive the Steese Highway (early morning and late evening are the best although I have seen moose in the middle of the day).

    Yes, you will have lots of company but you probably will no matter where you drive or walk. There is a VERY SMALL chance that you will see caribou but you never know and you will have the registration permit. There are no antler restrictions on moose in the area so that makes shooting a legal moose less of a hassle. There are several trails leading from the highway that you could walk. Talk to the biologist at the Fairbanks F & G office.

    If you decided on a float or fly-in, drop camp - there are several people who come to mind - Blue Moose, Michael Strahan, & Larry Bartlett. Blue Moose is in the Fairbanks area & rents equipment. All have excellent reputations.

    I'm sure some will pan this recommendation as too crowded but it works for me (as a non-resident) and probably will for you.

  4. #4

    Default just a thought

    You didn't say where you were going to be stationed, or if you were just coming up on leave--if you are being stationed there, then keep a copy of your orders, you can hunt on post for much cheaper. Also if you are just coming up on leave, you still have to pay the full price for the license, but the tags are half price--I did that my first year, I ended up putting a black bear on my moose tag--so I didn't go empty handed.

    I would also figure out what you want to harvest, what area you will focus on, because deer on primarily accessed by boat, and some animals you need a guide for if you are a non resident

  5. #5
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    Default leave??

    I'm pretty sure you have to be stationed here in Ak to get tags @ 1/2 price.

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    Default Wayneo

    If you get to Homer/Seldovia area I'll throw in a free charter fishing trip for for your adventure. I have a boy in the Army now. PM me and I'll tell you what times I have open. Tom

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    If you get to Homer/Seldovia area I'll throw in a free charter fishing trip for for your adventure. I have a boy in the Army now. PM me and I'll tell you what times I have open. Tom
    Tom that is so cool! my ahts off to you bud.Man that's Cool!

  8. #8
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gobblinfool View Post
    You didn't say where you were going to be stationed, or if you were just coming up on leave--if you are being stationed there, then keep a copy of your orders, you can hunt on post for much cheaper. Also if you are just coming up on leave, you still have to pay the full price for the license, but the tags are half price--I did that my first year, I ended up putting a black bear on my moose tag--so I didn't go empty handed.

    I would also figure out what you want to harvest, what area you will focus on, because deer on primarily accessed by boat, and some animals you need a guide for if you are a non resident
    The half price tags are actually for nonresident military personnel hunting off military land if they have been stationed here for more than 30 days and less than 12 months. If you're here on leave, you still pay full price. (Page 11 of the regulations). Be forewarned - both Wainwright and Eielson will sell you whatever you want, even if it is in violation of the regulations (like the resident license to someone here TDY who didn't know any better and got caught). It's up to you to know the regulations and follow them.

    Fuse

  9. #9
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    Fuse - way good (and timely) advice - "ignorance of the law is not an acceptable excuse"

  10. #10
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    Smile Thanks to all

    Hey guys, first I would like to say thanks to all the replys and info. I apologize for not replying sooner but the striped bass are running good in the rivers and I had a hard time leaving them! The catfishing in between has been good also.

    For a little more clarification:

    I talked to the Fairbanks dept of fish and wildlife a couple of weeks back and they suggested to pick one animal and concentrate on hunting that animal, if I get lucky, then I can turn my attention towards another animal. So, I picked the caribou on the haul road because I have always wanted to see the migration and just think this would be a really fun hunt. Other than bou, I will just tour around taking pics, fishing, camping and seeing the sights and if I get the opportunity to chase other animals then that will be a bonus.

    I don't intend to use a guide due to cost, so the animals that require a guide I am not even looking at them.

    Kentucky does not require the Bowhunter Saftey Card but, they do have a few classes and are willing to work with me to get one. I did the online Alaska portion and an instructor here is going to do the field day for me.

    Tags, I have read the regs over and over and it does look like I will have to pay full non-res price because I will be on leave from the military in the lower 48 and visiting Alaska. I have no problem with this at all and plan to buy a bou tag and a moose tag, then I can harvest one of these animals and/or any animal of lesser tag value.

    algonquin/Tom I will be PMing you about the fishing trip, it sounds awesome and I really appreciate the offer. I must warn you, when I get out on the ocean I tend to "chum" the water while fishing, but I never quite fishing. I guess I am just meant to be a land lover! I don't see a problem being down in your area, heck after a 4000 mile trip up, what's a 300-500 mile trip across state to have the opportunity to do something I have never done before and not sure when I will again.

    Thanks again for all the help.

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