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Thread: Is there any left?

  1. #1

    Default Is there any left?

    Hi all, I read more than I post but do have a question for you AK residents. Reading many of these threads it sure seems like there is a lot of pressure for such big country. I live in the midwest and this Monster Whitetail thing is nuts/out of control. Do you find yourseld sharing with all the rest as well?

  2. #2
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Non-Resident

    I know you are looking for a response from residents but I can share my perspective. What some residents consider crowded, I consider wilderness. Any resemblance to the pressure on game in New York is lost on Alaskans. Even things like the Chicken Ridge Trail caribou hunt are not crowded by my standards.

    That is why I consider mature, northeastern whitetails as the most difficult animal to hunt - bar none.

    The biggest problem with game in Alaska is getting to it - either because of remoteness or because of regulations and/or ownership. Once you get to an Alaska animal - the rest is easy (I don't hunt sheep so I can't really comment on their wariness).

    Just my $.02 worth.

  3. #3

    Default

    Phil thanks for your thoughts. I have been bow hunting fo 35 years and have never seen so many hunters in the woods during the whitetail rut. Curious as to what others are experiencing.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    if it is accessable here it is getting the same way...fast...

    we still have lots of space to go... but the crowd soon follows.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  5. #5
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    Default The biggest difference

    is that there are way less animals per area...I grew up bow and gun hunting whitetails and it seemed no matter how many guys you put in the woods, there were still enough animals to fill a tag....not so up here....you need to be spread out just to encounter one, so a guy a quarter mile away on the other side of the meadow had best be your buddy or your down to 50 50 in that spot.

    I purposely hunt lower producticity areas for moose where I live...cuz it only takes one....and with 100 less numbnuts cruisin the river lookin for a swimmer....I can concentrate on actually hunting that animal, not winning the bullwinkle lottery, and my success rate is the same. I just don't see a lot of extras...oh yeah, and it's much quieter.

  6. #6
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    Default Perspective

    as phil stated, PERSPECTIVE plays a large role. alaska is/has been going through a variety changes that occured to outdoorsmen/women in the lower 48 many years ago. alaska has always been "behind the times" in many ways, and, in fact, that is part of what has always been appealing to many....living in a different time and place. you know..."the way it used to be"..."when i was younger"...."the good old days"..."the golden age of the outdoor enthusiast"...."my grandpa used to tell me stories"..etc you get the idea. there are those here who have lived it and now lost it/ or are seeing it change dramatically in a seemingly short period of time. it is troubling to see the world and your home change in ways you do not prefer or even agree with. that is why you sense some of the frustration from residents, especially old-timers.

    that is not to say all is completely lost. there is still hunting and fishing to be had here in the greatland that dwarfs what is available in most parts of the lower 48 and the world in general. but it is not easy. there is a myriad of complicating factors: weather, access, sheer geography/scope of landscape, concentration of game, politics, land ownership of private/state/federal, preparation and planning, and competition from others (not the least of which are guides and non-residents) etc.

    it is still the greatest place to live and recreate IMHO but it is changing.

    BTW i would at least have to debate phil on the northeast whitetail as the hardest north american game animal. i have not yet encountered an animal anywhere i've hunted (barring sheep) that is as difficult to hunt as the western oregon/washington public land rainforest dwelling mature columbia blacktail. that is actually a great thread. we should start that thread so this can continue as is. if it has not been put out there i will stoke those fires tonight when i get home from work. glad you called us out phil.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Catch It hit the nail on the head. There are fewer hunters here, but I'd bet in the most accessible areas that we have as many (if not more) hunters per legal animal as many whitetail locales. Crowds can be a real part of hunting in Alaska, but so can complete solitude. If you're willing to walk farther than anyone else, you can still be completely alone in Alaska. The same is true if you're willing to hunt harder to access areas or areas with lower densities of game/less desirable game. For instance, finding black bear hunting areas right next to the road with zero visible competition is simple. Finding sheep hunting areas off the road with zero competition is very, very difficult.

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Default

    I would hate to hunt the lower 48 if people are saying that Chicken Ridge is not crowded.

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    Default $$$$$

    It was cheaper for me to hunt/fish on average in the lower 48 than it is for me to hunt up here. Alot of that has to do with me living in Anchorage, and the rest of it is my desire to get away from people. There are places near Anchorage you can hunt/fish with little competition but not many. Because of that I have to drive a long ways. Back in Arkansas if I wanted to deer hunt it was a 15 minute drive down the road to the public land I hunted. I could be in my tree stand within a half hour of getting off work. Fishing was even closer.

    Sometimes I really miss the convience of a 15 minute drive to be chasing deer; but then down there you dont really get the option of outwalking people like you do up here. The area I deer hunted in was a 4,000 acer bow hunting only Wildlife Managment Area. If I walked too far I'd end up on private property. It is a lot harder to do that up here and I love the freedome that offers! (Even if I have to spend more money to have that option)
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    I would hate to hunt the lower 48 if people are saying that Chicken Ridge is not crowded.
    It's not all that bad....I really enjoyed bowhunting...started when I was 12 and have still shot way more animals with my bow than with a rifle. You just have to find ways around the pressure, hunt weekdays, check out CRP land, work the ol standard meet and greet with the farmer. My family gave up on gun season for whitetails...it's just not worth it, but when bowhunting, a guy only 200 yards away doesn't really hurt a thing. When living in big buck central in Southern Illinois, I shot more deer off of my buddie's twenty acres than the three hundred I had access to in the area. It's not pristine, it's not wilderness...heck, it's not really even that rugged, but it can be productive and whitetails are some pretty smart critters...especially the big ones. It's one of those when in Rome dealio's. My freezer was always full there too.

  11. #11

    Default

    Great comments everyone. I have fished AK several times, coolest place in the world for a fly fisherman and working on a AK bowhunt. As far as dealing with hunting pressure here. My sons and I have gone to small woodlots surounded by CRP grassland and has worked well.

  12. #12
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default Lifetime achievment

    This has been good reading...

    My life long goal was to move to Alaska. Granted, Montana was a great place to live & begin my hunting passions, but never filled the void to head north. Here's where the needle scratches accross the record (for you younger crowd, when your CD skips or for those fresh off mommas you know what, when your MP3 player needs reset) Did I just date myself? Anyway, back on-track; my life was about to change, dad said "Get out and get a real job!" Some past history (my sister ruined the college gig for me; something to do w/drinkin??) I had no where to go but into life head-on. I chose the Air Force. My whole career I tried like hell to get here. King Slamon, Galena, Shemya, Eileson, Clear, & Elmendorf. FINALLY, lady luck granted my wish and I got orders; 17 yrs later...north bound to AK.

    Alaska has continously proven herself to be tough, remote and unforgiving (just the way I like it). I recall hunting in Montana and never seeing another hunter for a 10 day hunt. In Alaska, you have to be willing to shell out some coin to get away from eveyone else (fly-in, boat-in, horses). Odds are, if you can drive in, 4-wheel in, or walk-in, someone else may be there with you. Even though Alaska is remote, what little road networks that are available are heavilly traveled in pursuit of game. From what I have found, pushing it just a bit harder will get you out there and away from the crowds, you just have to be willing/able to instill the mindset to accomplish the task.

    Some 5 plus yrs have flew by and my Alaskan adventure is still developing. I will retire soon and will claim my retirement check here in AK; I am not leaving anytime soon. I once lived in Arizona and the lottery system for hunting is NOT for me. Yes, Alaska has experienced its changes over the years, but remember, it is hunters who are paying for the conservation/preservation efforts and the tree huggers who always seem to come out ahead. Each year either loss of land access, or permit systems are on the rise. Hunters play a vital role in sound wildlife Mgt and as we committ to these vows, we inevitably fall short and loose something along the way. Please stay committed to keeping areas open, we're all in this together...
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

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