I thought a thread on hunt planning might be helpful; we're getting some more folks here who are just trying to get pointed in the right direction. Some of them are new and don't even know about the archives here, or other resources that might be academic to many of us. So here goes... feel free to chime in on anything you feel might be helpful to someone trying to put an Alaska hunt together for the first time.
Here are a few ideas to get us started:
RESOURCES YOU MUST HAVE
1. Chris Batin's "Hunting in Alaska" book
2. Delorme Mapping's "Alaska Atlas and Gazeteer"
3. ADFG DVD "Field Care of Game Meat"
4. ADFG DVD "Is This Moose Legal?" (moose hunts)
5. Current copy of the ADFG Hunting Regulations
6. Wayne Kubat's DVD "Love, Thunder and Bull" (moose calling)
7. ADFG DVD "Bear ID; Take a Closer Look" (bear hunts)
8. Good maps of the hunt area.
9. Hunt Planning Timeline
10. ADF&G Management Reports
11. Hunt Planning Resources (who to talk to and what questions to ask)
OPTIONAL RESOURCES (good to have, but not essential)
1. "Wild Mammals of North America" (biological and behavioral data)
2. "Medicine for Mountaineering" (mountain first aid)
3. Dennis Confer's "Hunt Alaska Now"
4. Boone and Crockett's "Records of North American Big Game"
5. Bartlett's DVD "Wilderness Taxidermy"
6. "Mountaineering; Freedom of the Hills" (hunts for mountain game)
FOR FLOAT HUNTS
1. Karen Jettmar's "Alaska River Guide"
2. Strahan's "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" by far the most comprehensive manual ever written on float hunting.
3. McGinnis "Whitewater Rafting"
4. DVD "Let's Get Wet" (basic rafting and hazard avoidance)
5. "Whitewater Rescue Manual"
6. Our Rivers Page. The list on the bottom of the page contains references on over 400 rivers in Alaska.
7. Our Float Hunting Page. Click the links on the left of the page to navigate this section.
8. Pages on Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers. These are taken from my seminars on float hunting in Alaska. Click the links on the left to navigate.
FINDING A PLACE TO HUNT
Visit our page on Location Selection. Lots of details there to help you find a place to hunt.
1. Decide on a primary species
2. Decide on trophy expectations
3. Determine what area of the state to focus on
4. Locate a primary and secondary river (float hunts)
5. Determine dates of hunt (generally)
6. Check hunting regulations to determine season dates, bag limits, etc.
7. Contact ADFG area biologist for preliminaries (pressure, bull / cow ratios, herd strength & trends, etc.)
8. Post a few questions on Outdoors Directory to confirm and refine plans
9. Purchase 1:63,360 series topo maps (or similar)
10. View BLM high altitude CIR images, if available
11. Locate specific hunting areas and make plan
12. Second call to ADFG biologist (confirm hunt plan, etc)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
1. Gear selection
2. Transportation arrangements
3. Menu and food planning
4. Gear expediting / shipping arrangements
5. Lodging arrangements
HUNT PLANNING RESOURCES ON OUTDOORS DIRECTORY
We have a special section on hunt planning on this site, that is of immense help to people of all experience levels. Check it out, and be sure to click on the links on the left-hand side of the page; they take you to entire new areas of the site that contain vital information!
1. Hunting in Alaska
2. Alaska Hunt Planning
3. Float Hunting
4. Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers
5. River Selection
6. Boat Selection
7. Hunting Gear
8. Hunt Planning Library
9. Species Pages (this lands on our main hunting page, but contains links to our species on the left side)
HUNT PLANNING SERVICE
If you need assistance in planning your hunt, we offer a hunt planning service. We work personally with you to construct a hunt that meets your needs and requirements. We expect our hunters to be actively involved in the planning process as we provide coaching and direction. This is a fee-based service, but once you are in the program, we work with you on additional hunts at no charge. Read more about it on our HUNT PLANNING SERVICES page.
There's a LOT more to this, but it should be interesting to see what others have to contribute.
Hope it helps someone out there!