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Thread: Swanson River August Moose

  1. #1
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    Default Swanson River August Moose

    I am interested in finding a pretty cheap and accessible area to moose hunt this fall. I have been reading on the forum about the Swanson River and saw that it was very easy to get to. Is it over hunted??

    I don't have a bunch of money to spend having someone air taxi me out so if Swanson has too many hunters does anyone have an idea that may be easy to get to but with fewer hunters? I am willing to use a canoe or a raft. I am not looking for a record book kill, just want to get out away from the crowd with the possibility of putting meat in the freezer.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    swanson gets pounded... but you never know, you could get lucky....
    pretty level terrain, hard to see very far from the water and tough to get around on shore.
    when i find a place with not too many hunters and a decent chance at meat that's where i'll be found in the fall
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  3. #3
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    I sencond HD. There is a steady stream of trucks hunting the road system to the launch every day. Once on the river you will see people. There is usually a steady stream of people, so if something goes wrong there should be company on the way.

  4. #4
    Member Bigrob's Avatar
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    Default Swanson

    And don't forget about the growing brown bear population.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Area population of moose

    I wish it weren't true, but the population of Moose is not like it used to be.
    Almost 50 years ago there were some great fires that pretty much burned up the old forest in the area of the swan lakes, swanson river area, and more..
    The new growth of vegatation that Moose love is the first to come back after such a fire, Birch and willow etc.... For many years the food that moose love made for some fantastic Moose living conditions, add to that very low populations of predators...
    Now over 40 or 50 years later the landscape has changed, and the moose food along with it.. we also have many more Bears due to the changing of the forest.
    Moose are here though, and are kinda at a static level ...
    every year we have some nice moose taken in the swanson and swan lakes areas..
    Yes it is a road system, and there are quite a few that roll the roads...
    We have had success with just getting back in off the roads a mile or so..
    the Swanson river itself does get pounded and it will continue to get lots of traffic during moose season.. the reason?
    lots of the local talent love to take the trip... Yes,, they bring along the gun, and yes they hope for a Moose, but many do the trip on an annual basis just because...
    One of my friends and I flew the Swanson last year one day during the last week of the Moose hunt, We really looked hard for Moose...
    Within 1 mile or so of the river, we saw 12 moose, 11 were cows and calves, and one was a mid sized bull not legal..
    On the river itself, we saw 6 canoes, and 3 camps.
    That of course is just one day of flying down it once and up it once..
    so its less than the real story..
    We did though find some moose bunch of cows and calves and some legal bigger bulls ( 2 ) in an area towards the east between the canoe trails and the Mystery creek area... between Swan lake and the gas pipeline
    That is an area that would require walking thru some tough stuff, swamps etc. but around the last week of the hunt, you may be able to call up something..
    due to the forest areas that eyes can't see into from the plane, We may have missed a ton of animals...
    one thing for sure though.. a good map and a canoe or inflatable ...you can find plenty of water to paddle an explore looking for moose in this area of the state..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Get off the beaten path a bit and you can do some good. There is no substitute for taking a summer weekend or two and learning the lay of the land away from the lakes and the trails that connect them. GPS/compass/map/terraserver are your most trusted allies - if I remember right, google earth doesn't show high resolution for that area.

  7. #7

    Default A few years ago...

    Good friends of ours who live in Sterling went on a serious moose hunting trip on the Yukon; as in trailering a 26' Hewes to wherever they put in, lots of gas, food, etc. Can't remember how far they went, but their son, who had to work during this time and couldn't go on that trip, went out one morning and bagged himself a big 'ole bull pretty dang close to Swanson river road while the Yukon gang came back empty-handed. Sounds like one of those "gotta be in the right place..." deals. It seems like the place is crawling with moose earlier in the year when you're not really trying to look for them.
    Jim

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    Default Subsistence

    I know it's getting hunted earlier with rifles now as there is a subsistence hunt for unit 15. I believe Seldovia and Port Gram qualify. I don't know all of the details but I do know a group from Seldovia has been hunting the river with rifles earlier than August 20th.

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    Thanks for getting back to me with your helpful information. If I decide to make the trip happen, or at least a fishing float in early summer, I will be contacting you for assistance.

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    Are there any issues with hunting near the oil rigs along the river? Obviously you need to be smart hunting near developed areas, but do you need a permit or anything to get out and walk around?

  11. #11
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    You are allowed to walk in on the road, but you are not allowed to use any type of vehicle to get past the gate, and of course you are not allowed to shoot from the road.

  12. #12
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    You are allowed to walk in on the road, but you are not allowed to use any type of vehicle to get past the gate, and of course you are not allowed to shoot from the road.
    What about bicycles on the pump roads? I've often wondered about that.

  13. #13
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    Nothing with a wheel on the oil field service roads, not even a wheelbarrow.
    As far as the facilities near the river, no permits needed, just stay off the pads, etc.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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