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Thread: Behind the power curve

  1. #1

    Default Behind the power curve

    O.K., so I've lived up here for about 5 years now and have become a good self-taught Alaskan angler. I fill the freezer every Summer. I thought that was a pretty easy thing to learn. Now I want to start the hunting adventure. There is soooo much information to wade through on the internet and in the book stores that it is overwhelming.

    I have a good selection of rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders to use. I have my bear baiting certificate, working on AK muzzleloader certification, and will purchase my hunting license soon.

    I am all about subsistance. I have 8 people in my immediate family to feed. This year I would like to put a small black bear or a moose or both in my freezer. I am not interested in trophies, just want a good experience and plenty of meat for the family. That pretty much narrows it down, so now what? I do not want your secrets. I just want to be pointed in the right direction to be sucessfull this year. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    If you're in the Anchorage/Eagle River area, I'd be happy to sit down with you over a coffee or a beer and discuss some options. Really, the first thing you need to do is become intimately familiar with the hunting regulations. They are very, very specific from area to area and species to species. What is legal in one area might not be legal even a few miles away, depending on the area and time of year. It's complex at first, but once you learn how to read the regs and the maps, it's not too tough to make sure that what you're planning is above board.

    A few thoughts:

    -Black bear is a good first target species. There are lots of bears, not a ton of competition in most places, and they're a reasonable sized animal for learning the butchering and meat care process. In the fall you can consistently find bears above treeline in the Kenai Mountains, Talkeetna Mountains, and Chugach Mountains in road-accessible areas. Do some searches here on the forums for those terms + black bear and you'll find some ideas.

    -In a week the spring drawing permit application period will open. Consider putting in for three moose drawing permits. Your best bets will likely be cow moose in road accessible areas. They're not easy permits to win, but if you get one, they're generally very easy permits to fill. It'll be $15 to apply for three moose permits (maximum of three applications per species), so it's not an expensive gamble.

    -Assuming you don't win a permit, finding a legal bull moose on the road system can be tough. There is lots of competition, and folks are understandably tight-lipped about productive areas. The best I can tell you is to spend as much time in the woods as possible. Hike around in June, July, and August looking for good moose habitat. Spend every moment in the woods during hunting season that you can. Buy the video from Fish and Game about judging legal moose (I think it's called "Is This Moose Legal?"), and watch it again and again. Learn by doing. Don't plan on being successful your first few seasons, but be prepared in case lightning strikes.

    -Read. Buy a few books, and spend a lot of time here reading through the archives of posts on bear and moose hunting. There is a lot of wisdom here, so make use of it.

  3. #3
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Brian has provided you some excellent initial advice. It goes without saying that you should strive to go hunting with some fellow hunters - preferably not all neophytes. Frequently when a single moose is shot between several hunters the moose is shared...but this should be "negotiated" prior to pulling the trigger, probably best at the start of the hunt! Good luck.

  4. #4
    Member BearSlayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    North Pole Alaska

    Default What area

    What area are you in?

  5. #5

    Thumbs up

    Don't overlook the 20A Any Bull permits this year, make this your first choice in the draw. If you luck out on one of these permits, you will be in tall cotton. The Delta Area is the best road accessible area in the state for moose. They have thinned down the wolves and bears in the region and thus now are reaping the rewards for doing so.
    For black bear, you need to let us know where you want to hunt.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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