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Thread: 2010 hunt

  1. #1
    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Default 2010 hunt

    Been lurking here for over a year now researching and preparing for a moose/caribou hunt for 2010. Can't tell everyone how helpful and enlightning this forum is. I really enjoy the stories, pictures, and videos.
    My primary target is moose, but will also purchase a caribou tag, and probably black bear, also. This will be an unguided trip. I am open to doing a drop camp style hunt, but would prefer a float hunt. I am now to the point of researching streams/areas. Any information that can be shared of the following streams would be greatly appreciated.

    Unit 25A - East or Middle Forks of the Chandalar

    Unit 24B - Alatna River

    Unit 21B - Sulatna or Lost Rivers, or drop hunt in the Mononite Hills

    Any info on floatability of these steams, native relations, transporters for these areas, ect. I have not excluded using Mike Strahan, or Larry Bartlett, but trying to do as much as I can on my own. I am very committed to making this trip happen, but have yet to get my hunting partner on board 100%. I will be driving from the lower 48, as it will be part of the adventure. Sorry for the long post, but I'm sure I'll have more questions later. Thanks in advance. Knute

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Knute - I don't have any specific info for you on those rivers, but wanted to make two notes. You might have already considered these, but just in case...

    1 - Consider buying Michael Strahan's Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers. It is the most comprehensive guide to float hunting available, and gives detailed info on many of the rivers that might be options for you.

    2 - If driving, make sure you read up on the laws concerning transporting guns through Canada. Again, you may already be aware of this, but it's an important part of the planning process for anyone making such a trip.

  3. #3

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    If your looking for caribou to hunt along with moose you might want to cross the middle fork of the Chandalar of your list. I have floated that river and we did not see a single caribou in 8 days of float hunting. Water levels were very good and we did little dragging with one moose on board.

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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Yeh, Brian, I have looked into the border regs. for transporting firearms.
    I have also purchased and read Barlett's "Float Hunting Alaska", and Confer's "Hunt Alaska Now". Both great reads, and I will get Mike's book.

    AkHunter45, thanks for your input. Any info on the moose density on the middle fork, and is a blackie possible? Thanks. Knute

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    There's no way your gonna get dropped on the Sulatna or Lost R. Too small. You won't like floating them either. Decent moose and blacks but not decent hunting streams. No or very very few caribou in 21B.
    I believe the best bou/moose opportunities exist on upper Unit 25 rivers. Colleen, Sheeenjek, Chandalar. Kirk Sweetsir of Yukon Air in Ft. Yukon would be a possible transporter.
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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Thanks Martentrapper. The Sheenjek and Coleen are rivers I have looked into, also. Was concerned about water levels in early Sept. Any thoughts on the fishing also, would be great. Thanks. Knute

  7. #7

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    Moose density's are fair i'd say, didn't see any black bears but i'd bet they are there. Watch out for grizzlies if you decide to float it, we had one run right through camp right at daybreak on our take out day but he got away before I could get a shot. MT gave you some good advice, i'd look into those areas for a combo hunt.

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    Default Spend lots of time cow calling

    Quote Originally Posted by Knute78 View Post
    Yeh, Brian, I have looked into the border regs. for transporting firearms.
    I have also purchased and read Barlett's "Float Hunting Alaska", and Confer's "Hunt Alaska Now". Both great reads, and I will get Mike's book.

    AkHunter45, thanks for your input. Any info on the moose density on the middle fork, and is a blackie possible? Thanks. Knute

    I have read all three of the books listed. They are all worth the money and really helped with my first ever moose float trip.

    The mistake we made was that we were more worried about making progress down river to our take out point than cow calling when we found major moose trails that crossed the river we were floating.

    We were new at float hunting. We were excited and wanted to keep moving in hopes of see Moose standing on the edge of the river. We did see moose just not the big one.

    When we got back we discoved that the people what were most successful stopped and cow called alot. We did some and my hunting partner call one in that came right in to me but we only called about 4 times in two weeks. We glassed and rushed down the river. The lessons I learned on that trip (last year) will help on the next trip.

    I can't wait! Good Luck

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    Knute,

    Where you driving from and how much time do you have.? Do you have a raft?

    Vern

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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Vern,
    I will be driving from central Kansas. Figure it will be a good 4-5 hard days of driving. I will allow for a day to rest after I get there. Might possibly have a non-hunting nephew with me just for the adventure, and to video and man a camera. He is a tuff young cowboy, and I hope I will need his backbone to help pack some meat. I will have or can bring most equipment needed, but I don't have a raft. Figured on renting one, plus any other equipment I don't bring. Will probably have a chest freezer in the pickup bed to haul meat home if I'm fortunate to score. I might look for hunting partner to go along also, which would mean 2 rafts I suppose.

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    Knute,
    I'll PM you shortly....Vern

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    I don't have any info on the rivers, but a little advice about the drive.

    Be very careful driving at night north of Dawson Creek. I have driven it twice and tried to "drive hard" both times. Both times I had a collision with an animal. They are extremely numerous at night. I won't drive that stretch of road at night again. Here is a story my buddy wrote as to how it worked out last time.

    http://pensacolafishingforum.com/fis...63343-3-1.aspx

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Common issue-

    Quote Originally Posted by AKFISHNHUNT View Post
    ...The mistake we made was that we were more worried about making progress down river to our take out point than cow calling when we found major moose trails that crossed the river we were floating. ...
    AK,

    You're in good company here; this is probably the most common mistake float hunters make. Regardless of whether you're floating 20 miles or a hundred, you have to focus your efforts on previously-identified "prime zones". If you try to hunt the whole river, you're gonna spend all of your time setting camp, breaking camp, and drifting the river. On trips like this you're not really hunting, you're just camping with guns. To be successful, you have to get into the "road hunting" mentality. Look at the river as a road, a way to access the country. But it's not reasonable to assume that all of the country you're accessing holds game. You must identify the best spots months in advance, and study these areas in detail. Mark these areas on your maps, and focus your efforts on those areas. In the field, spend at least a couple of days hunting each of these locations; in between them it's just a boat ride. Learning how to identify these "prime zones" in advance is an acquired skill requiring an intimate knowledge of the species you are hunting, population trends in the area, migration patterns and much more. That's a topic for another thread!

    On unknown rivers I will often prospect for fresh sign along the way, but this takes lots of time and I don't do too much of it on longer rivers, unless I'm using an outboard to increase my drift speed. This buys me tons of time for prospecting. But even then, a much more effective tactic is to plan the entire hunt around three or four prime locations along the way.

    Finally, pre-mark your maps with the river mileage. This makes tracking your progress on the river much easier. Knowing how many river miles you are floating in a day allows you to more accurately budget your time, which allows you to focus on the best locations. Hunters who do a poor job of tracking their drift rate either panic and end up at the take-out too early, or linger too long and end up late. Either way, you've compromised your hunt, and reduced your chances of success.

    There are many other things you can do to boost your odds of a successful outcome, but these are some of the basics that really make a difference.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
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    Default Other rivers

    I would look hard at the smaller rivers in NW Alaska. The Kug, Kelly, Wrench Creek, Wulik and the Nimmi are all great optinons with good caribou and moose.

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska

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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Walt,
    It looks like those rivers would be draw permit only for me, as I am a non-resident. I had done some research on the Kelly awhile back, and it did look like a good choice if I could draw a tag. If this scenario came to be, do I fly from Fairbanks or Anchorage to Kotzebue?

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    Default Unit 23

    Ues on the draw, % is high and you could fly out of either but Anchorage is a better bet with Alaska Air.

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    So walt, your saying the success rate for a unit 23 moose draw permit is high? If so then definitely put in for that one, Knute. Places Walt mentioned are probably better combo rivers. Better than unit 25. Advantage to unit 25 is no draw for either species.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska View Post

    I would look hard at the smaller rivers in NW Alaska. The Kug, Kelly, Wrench Creek, Wulik and the Nimmi are all great optinons with good caribou

    What Walt said.

    Only one suggestion, consider flying in to Kotz and paying to have your meat shipped back to Kansas. Weigh out your options good before deciding to drive up. You can fly with your core gear and guns easily and rent a raft from Walt in Kotzebue. I have floated the Kelly, Kug, and Wulik. Great rivers with very high potential for caribou hunting and fishing for dollies and grayling. NW Alaska is a special place and everyone owes it to themselves to visit it at least once. It may very well not be your last trip up there. I will continue going back as often as I can as it is just an amazing place. Walt can rent you all the gear you need of course.

    Below are a few pics from NW Alaska...










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    Member Knute78's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone that has posted or sent a PM. You guys have a nack for keeping me stoked about my trip to AK. The moose draw period for Unit 23 shows a spring draw for now, but do I understand right, that it will go to a winter draw for 2010 and after? I would think a winter draw would give more time to secure a transporter, where as a spring draw would probably be to late, especialy for a non-res. Knute

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