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Thread: fly-in questions

  1. #1
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default fly-in questions

    All, I just booked my fly-in sheep hunt in the Wrangells. I will be coming in from the lower 48 (I am an AK resident in the military, stationed in the lower 48). My question is, for those who have flown in from out of state, how many days before and after the actual hunt should I buy airline tickets for? I just want to make sure I won't encounter any problems. On the front end, I'm trying to factor in delayed baggage; buying license, stove fuel, etc.; picking up sat phone; getting from the airport to the air taxi service location, and whatever else you all can think of. On the back end of the actual hunt, I'm trying to anticipate weather socking us in, sealing the ram, driving back to airport, maybe a shower thrown in there somewhere, etc. I do plan to buy the kind of airline tickets that you can change, but I also need to plan how many days of leave to take, etc. Any advice? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default

    Also forgot to mention caring for the meat/cape on the trip out. I understand Alaska Airlines has a freezer that can be used for this. Is that correct?

  3. #3
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    Default Your answer...enough days.

    The first thing you can do is buy your license online (AKDF&G website) to save a bit of time and piece of mind. Number of days on the way in depends on where you are flying through; if you are connecting through an Airport notorious for losing luggage (i.e., ATL) you may want to consider adding time, but I would think a full day in Anchorage, plus some change would be adequate. That, of course, depends on what day of the week you are arriving, will all the places you need to visit be open?

    You may want to consider the flexibility of your ticket when purchasing it as well, as different airlines approaching shifting a reservation differently. It may be worth paying a bit more for a ticket to get an airline and booking class that is more flexible. For leave, I would take more than you need, then adjust your days if you return early...don't be AWOL!

    If you have a satellite phone, you may want to call your air taxi a couple days prior to your takeout to get an idea of the weather. If they see a storm approaching for your scheduled takeout day, maybe they would come snag you early.

    My overall advice is a full day and change prior to heading to your air taxi, then schedule several days after your scheduled takeout day to take care of things. If things are rushed at the end, you may end the trip with a sour taste in your mouth. Besides, the Anchorage area isn't the worst area to be stuck for a few days...you have all your gear, go check out the Chugach.

    Bryan

  4. #4
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Wrangell weather

    I think you will only need one day at the front of your hunt, prior to yoaur departure toward Chitina.

    At the end, following your arrival back in Anchorage (I assume), you will need one, possible two days.

    Weather on the south side of the Wrangells can, of course, be bad. But it is usually very flyable up and down the Chitina River. I only worked there twice and I did experience quite a bit of rain. But rain falls straight down. I saw none of that horizontal hurricane type weather so common in western Ak and on the AK Pen. The outfitter, even in the remote mountain camps, did not even tie down his aircraft when it was raining. He simply was not concerned with the winds. In west Ak or on the AK Pen every aircraft gets tied down even on the sunny days and even if the plane will be left for only 15 minutes.

    Perhaps another poster can contribute with more Wrangell experience and more weather related caution.

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

  5. #5
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default

    If I have a commercial flight to my take-off point, I always arrive early the day before my planned fly-out and schedule an afternoon fly-out. That gives me the time to hopefully get any delayed baggage before flying out.

    I also always schedule my return trip for one week more than I think I'll need and just anticipate paying a change fee for my airline ticket. Being in the military, I prefer to return earlier than expected rather than later and have some administrative issues to deal with.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default

    I would plan on 2 days on the front side. If your bags are lost by the airlines it usually takes me a day or 2 for them to catch up with me. Has happened at least twice and both times was during hunting season and we had to wait for bags to leave to the field. Also be aware that if you are bringing a canister type stove that most of the stores sell out of fuel during hunting season, because everyone flying in buys it all up every year.

    Check with the airline about the cape and horns, some special rules apply.

    Special Government Regulations (from Alaska Airlines website)

    The Federal Lacey Act requires labeling on all seafood or game shipped across state lines. We stock labels at our ticket counters which must be completed with your name and address, the commodity as fish or wildlife, the specific species, and the weight of each container. The State of Alaska requires special labeling for the following items leaving the state: un-mounted antlers and horns, raw capes from big game, and bear hide. This requirement may be met by completing and attaching a "Big Game Trophy Export" tag (obtained from the State of Alaska, Fish & Game, Wildlife Division) or by marking the outside of the container with the information.

    If it were me I would have a taxidermist here in Alaska take care of your cape, have it fleshed and tanned and then you can have it sent anywhere you want. I would hate to loose my cape because it got lost or damaged. Capes can have the hair slip
    very quickly if not properly cared for or stored in plastic bags.

    I use a soft cooler bag to transport my meat, freeze it hard and take it home on the airplane with me. You can ship your gear back USPS, check with the airline, they let military on orders travel with 3 oversized bags. Ask it might work, use your ID and leave form, all they can say is no.

    Take the time to enjoy your hunt, being rushed will cause you to overlook something.

    Good Luck, hope to see the photos next fall.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  7. #7
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Default Driving

    Quote Originally Posted by c04hoosier View Post
    All, I just booked my fly-in sheep hunt in the Wrangells. I will be coming in from the lower 48 (I am an AK resident in the military, stationed in the lower 48). My question is, for those who have flown in from out of state, how many days before and after the actual hunt should I buy airline tickets for? I just want to make sure I won't encounter any problems. On the front end, I'm trying to factor in delayed baggage; buying license, stove fuel, etc.; picking up sat phone; getting from the airport to the air taxi service location, and whatever else you all can think of. On the back end of the actual hunt, I'm trying to anticipate weather socking us in, sealing the ram, driving back to airport, maybe a shower thrown in there somewhere, etc. I do plan to buy the kind of airline tickets that you can change, but I also need to plan how many days of leave to take, etc. Any advice? Thanks.
    Are you planning on flying into Fairbanks or Anchorage? I can drive you to Glennallen which can save you money on rental cars. I will be in Fairbanks in early August. I will probably have to come back to Eagle River to get the rest of my gear. We'll see how it all works out.
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  8. #8
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default

    Grayling, I was planning to fly into Anchorage, but I can do either depending on your schedule. I'll probably buy the tickets before too long, hoping the price will be a little lower this far out. If you find out for sure where you'll be, let me know. If need be, I don't mind renting a car, but car pooling makes sense if possible.

  9. #9
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default 2 days

    I have alway used 2 days prior and 2 days after. On the front side it allows for lost bags and getting supplies as well as maybe going in early if the weather is going to change and the pilot has time to get you in. On the back side it gives you some breathing room for bad weather on the takeout and or time for freezing meat, the taxidermist of what ever. On another not it works to send your gear ahead of you and then using the postal serivce on the back side as well.

  10. #10

    Default

    CO4 Hoosier,

    I am a retired Warrant Officer and I live in AK. My daughter and I are flying into the Wrangells (see my son pg. 13 hunt Regs) on the 8th of Aug. PM me, I am curious about your transporter, Army assignments and maybe we could have a drink together. Iraq/Afgahnistan Vet?

  11. #11
    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Default

    Well if your coming into Glennallen let me know... We'll catch a drink at the lodge or something..

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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