Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Obviously Did Something Wrong

  1. #1
    Member germe1967's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    151

    Question Obviously Did Something Wrong

    Ok,

    I read a few books, got in pretty decent shape (my definition of "good" came from my days in the Marines, so I may be being hard on myself...so be it), and watched "Love, Thunder and Bull II".

    I've gone out hunting in two different areas where others had told me they saw moose or took moose in recent years. I saw sign in one area, the other looked like a field version of a 4 wheeler show. Now I haven't found a partner with experience. And admittedly, I took my son with me last year. He was a little young and his sighs and complaints did not help. I won't do that again.

    I've been looking through these forums and still have a LOT of blanks. Ergo this thread....
    This thread is for some instruction:

    1. Is it best to just pick a spot, learn it like the back of your hand and keep after it or should I look for areas that have more moose successes?

    2. I keep hearing about studying reports. But I guess I'm ignorant to how to use these reports and, more importantly which reports to study and how to find them.

    3. I've heard from people that if you go further than 1/4 mile from your vehicle, (in my case a pickup), then you are setting yourself up for failure because of the packing out the meat distance. Is this true? Or am I selling myself short by not going far enough?

    Some info on me:
    I'm over 6 feet tall.
    I'm a hard work type and I respond well to getting instruction.
    I do not drink or smoke.
    I am limited on the gear I have. Mainly because I'm leery of spending money on equipment and finding out some salesman just cleaned up on me because of my inexperience. Once again, knowledgeable and trusted person needed to give pointers in this department as well.
    I am not a trophy hunter. I am interested in providing meat for my family. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind getting a huge bull with a huge rack, but that's not the motivation.

    So if you have information and guidance. I'm listening.

  2. #2

    Default Time or Money

    You can break all of Alaskan hunting down to time or money. Some people have lots of time they can develop an understanding of several different areas that they scout and know well. They spent quite a bit of time out in the field.
    They are also likely to shoot a moose up to a mile from the road. Sounds like you could pack it out. A moose can be packed.

    You could also go money. This is ATV, Horse, Boat, or yikes the most expensive of all a plane. You might also find out from several of the forumites about drop off hunts. There are some in many different areas. 40 mile has a good one. It isn't cheap, insurance and airplane fuel aren't either.

    I wish you good luck. The experiences that you have when you don't have much money with your son- it really will be the best experiences that you will ever have.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by germe1967 View Post
    And admittedly, I took my son with me last year. He was a little young and his sighs and complaints did not help. I won't do that again.
    Once you get it figured out, I hope that you'll reconsider bringing your son along. I'm sure I sighed and complained as well, but I am incredibly grateful that my father raised me in the woods. I credit his efforts and time spent afield with me as a good portion of the reason that I turned out OK.

    Aside from that, here are a few thoughts:

    -Have you harvested other AK game yet? Finding success with moose, particularly off the road system, isn't always a high percentage game. Starting with black bear is often a better bet, as success rates are higher and getting one out of the field is a bit more reasonable the first time.

    -Time during the off-season counts for a lot. Spend time hiking, find areas you enjoy, and figure out what areas seem "moosey" based upon what you read and watch.

    -You're wise to limit the distance from the truck, but sticking to 1/4 mile might be a bit too strict of a limit. If you're in good shape by marines standards, a mile isn't unreasonable, or 2-3 miles if you have a solid trail or people to help you pack the moose out.

  4. #4
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    I agree w/ Brian. Get in the woods in the summer (or winter for that matter). For all the differences between moose and deer they are still deer! If you find an area that has multiple rubs that are obviously from different years then you are in an area that at least holds bulls during Sept. Oddly enough seeing moose isn't the most important thing in the summer. They frequently live in entirely different areas in June/July than late Aug-Oct. Brian is also spot on about the distance thing, 1/4 mile of swamp is misery but doable, 1/4 mile of swamp plus a mile of solid ground or trail and I would shoot that moose in a heart beat! I would shoot a moose up to 2 miles away if I had a good trail back. Each person needs to set his own limits but if you are in good shape then 1/4 mile is overly limiting. I have friends that consistently shot moose 5+ miles back into the mountains and hiked them out on foot year after year, some dandy bulls too!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by germe1967 View Post
    Ok,

    I read a few books, got in pretty decent shape (my definition of "good" came from my days in the Marines, so I may be being hard on myself...so be it), and watched "Love, Thunder and Bull II".

    I've gone out hunting in two different areas where others had told me they saw moose or took moose in recent years. I saw sign in one area, the other looked like a field version of a 4 wheeler show. Now I haven't found a partner with experience. And admittedly, I took my son with me last year. He was a little young and his sighs and complaints did not help. I won't do that again.

    I've been looking through these forums and still have a LOT of blanks. Ergo this thread....
    This thread is for some instruction:

    1. Is it best to just pick a spot, learn it like the back of your hand and keep after it or should I look for areas that have more moose successes?

    2. I keep hearing about studying reports. But I guess I'm ignorant to how to use these reports and, more importantly which reports to study and how to find them.

    3. I've heard from people that if you go further than 1/4 mile from your vehicle, (in my case a pickup), then you are setting yourself up for failure because of the packing out the meat distance. Is this true? Or am I selling myself short by not going far enough?

    Some info on me:
    I'm over 6 feet tall.
    I'm a hard work type and I respond well to getting instruction.
    I do not drink or smoke.
    I am limited on the gear I have. Mainly because I'm leery of spending money on equipment and finding out some salesman just cleaned up on me because of my inexperience. Once again, knowledgeable and trusted person needed to give pointers in this department as well.
    I am not a trophy hunter. I am interested in providing meat for my family. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind getting a huge bull with a huge rack, but that's not the motivation.

    So if you have information and guidance. I'm listening.
    Not certain anything was done "wrong". Takes time to find a place - then time learning how to hunt it. Curve "flattens out" the more one hunts an area or species.
    I'm not real big on reports. Probably better off going to different areas an looking at what sign is present. With moose habitat usage usually changes in early fall to mid fall. Some areas (eastern Brooks Range) animals move from lower elevations to above timberline, other areas move the alpine down. Also remember that when their feed changes to willows or other "woody" feed their droppings change.
    "Reasonable" distance to pack one depends on terrain. A couple of miles through a nice stand of birch, with a gentle down hill slope is a lot easier than quarter mile through some tussek covered bog hole where you have to lift your ankles above your ears with every step.
    With longer packs helps to pack the loads to some mid point then bring the last load in. Each day the distance becomes shorter. Also helps to use two packs (one at a time!). Pack the first until a rest is required the walk back and get the second.
    Last but not least - TAKE YOUR SON WITH YOU. Just pick the weather and make certain it circumstances are such that it will be fun. Plenty of time for "misery" after he's hooked on just how enjoyable hunting and being out can be.
    Good Luck
    Joe (Ak)
    (Another Marine - "old Corps" - email me if I can be of any help)

  6. #6
    Member akshrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Pole, AK
    Posts
    448

    Default

    I am no hunting brain trust, but I think just being out there is a huge benefit. I have seen more moose while fishing than I ever had while hunting. Besides Murphy messing with me, the real difference is the time spent in one area. While I am fishing, I am often pretty still and in one place for long periods of time. I have to admit, when I am hunting, I often put the moose on my schedule; I sit for a few hours then move on. It is something to think about anyway.

  7. #7

    Default

    Don't let the "no more than a 1/4 mile" saying deter you. Most moose I have packed have been a mile from the boat/camp, I never felt it was too far and I am willing to pack moose farther. Keep in mind though, that the trail/terrain conditions do play a role in what I am willing to do.

    On average one is looking at 8 pack trips for a moose to get the meat out, 1 more for the antlers, and another for the hide if desired. Pack weight 80-150lbs each time. Being physically fit is a must when dealing with the field care and packing of such a large animal; in fact I find the field dressing to be more demanding than the actual packing at times.

    To learn more about moose habitat and behavior I suggest picking up the book " Ecology and Management of the North American Moose ". It has more info than you need .

    A basic rule for hunting; find an area that provides food , shelter and water for the animal you are pursuing. With moose water is never far away, or is it with water a moose is never far away . The shelter they favor tends to the nastiest, thickest, noisiest, anklebreakeness, mosquito infested, alder/willow/spruce choked mess around . At least it sure seems that way some times .

    Most importantly, please share hunting with your son. Maybe now is not yet the time to take him moose hunting but, small game hunting grouse or hare may be just the ticket until he develops the patience for big game pursuit.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    today-Idaho
    Posts
    394

    Default the boy

    I am sure you meant you would prepare the boy,and yourself, better before the two of you go out again. The way it reads is the boy is not invited again. If you truely want to enjoy life and hunting, take the boy and leave the permits at home instead. that is the only way to ensure you can spend next weekend with him again. friends, cars and girls will soon erode those times you have together.
    Maybe apply for some cow permits in easier areas?
    The state hunting website has a huge volume of searchable information you can taylor to your specific needs-SOMEONE POST A LINK PLEASE!
    i have grown jaded to some of the places I hunted near my house and have moved on to other more exotic places. I freely give information on these places to hunters with youths involved. Call the area biologists, the biologists i have spoken to won't give you GPS co-ordinates but they will name rivers and drainages.
    Never miss an opportunity to take your child with you! Good luck

  9. #9
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    The animals my son and my daughter have now killed, and the time in the field with them getting to that point are worth far more than any animal I have killed.

    Last season on Kodiak I was seriously limited in country I could cover by having my son along with me. However, I swallowed that fairly bitter pill and let him make the decisions. He ended up shooting a nice deer and he says it was the greatest experience of his life so far. He's only 12 and we are already preparing for this season.

    Some kids may just never take to it, but you have to give them the chance.

    My best success for moose has always been to find a high spot and glass. Sometimes it takes glassing for days. Moving around too much just spreads your scent and lets the moose know you are in the woods. To be frank, my best moose hunting success has been way off the beaten path. I saved my pennies and bought a fly-in hunt. My buddy shot a very nice 63" bull on that trip. I honestly have not had any success on walk-ins other than a spike/fork a few years ago locally.

    If somebody gives you advice that there are moose in an area you can virtually guarantee that over 100 people already know about it. Wasilla is surrounded by pockets of forest and swamp that are in between ATV trails, subdivisions and roads. Most of these will hold spike/fork moose. While my success on bulls in my local area has been poor, I have called in a dozen 40" or so bulls in pockets the ATV guys go right past. It's a bunch of fun and allows you to fine tune your calling skills.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  10. #10

    Default microhabitats

    The first thing you need to do is to figure out where the moose are. Most of Alaska has an extremely low density of big game animals. Most of the game like moose, live in specific locations. You might drive around your general hunting area or even walk around the areas you think might be active.

    You should find certain areas that have many more moose than other areas.
    Sometimes it works out that it is an area that has a great deal of visibility.

    You need to find five or six of these areas and learn them extremely well.

    Now is the time to do it.

    You should also try to figure out an area that is not as developed as others.

    The other mat-su members will probably give you some clues.

    The other thing of note is that moose are generally diurnal. This means that they are most active in the early dawn hours and evening during last light.

    Finally the last days of the season are generally the best for movement and by then many hunters either have their moose or they are out of the field.

    Remember that this is a start and continue to take the kid.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas

  11. #11
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Willow, AK
    Posts
    3,365

    Default

    Apply for permits. Specifically, cow and any bull permits. Its usually not too tough seeing moose while hunting an area that has moose in it. What's tough is finding one thats legal to shoot, and getting a solid look at it to make sure it's legal.

    Why are you jonesing bout not shooting a moose your first time out? ADF&G stats show about a 10% success rate. Thats right, one moose every 10 years. So any better than that, and you're above average. You've got 9 years of skunks left before you're below average.

    Seriously look into the delta area and Cantwell hunts. Antlerless and any bull. There is a good moose population (i know, I harvested the 8th one I saw in a morning with my truck), and a large area to hunt.

    Take the kid, and make it his time. Count killing a moose as pure bonus, not the goal of the hunt. You sound like a goal driven guy. Just adjust the goal, and you can achieve it and give your son a lifetime good memory.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,175

    Default Sit tight

    "Why are you jonesing bout not shooting a moose your first time out? ADF&G stats show about a 10% success rate. Thats right, one moose every 10 years. So any better than that, and you're above average. You've got 9 years of skunks left before you're below average."

    He is right, I've lived in Alaska for 10 years and seriously hunted moose for 4 and finally got my first moose last year, after seeing my hunting buddies basicall have to shoot the moose off of themselves. Same area, same gear, same everything, just wasn't in the cards for me until last year.

    I can GUARANTEE you increase your chances 100% of seeing a legal moose just by being out in the woods vs. at your house, any other gurantee than that and you should be suspicious.

    As far as technique, you can spend hours and hours reading this forum and there is a lot of good information. What worked for me was picking a spot and sticking with it. And by spot I mean first a GMU, then an area within that GMU, and then a vantage point that you can glass. The first 3 years that I was seriously moose hunting I spent buzzing up and down the trails and glassing for 40-60 minutes and then moving on. What worked for me last year was picking my spot and "owning it." I sat there for two whole days (morning hunt, evening hunt) and finally on the evening of the second day I shot my moose.

    I have a 6 year old son, and I'm taking him into an "early" moose camp but the goal is not to shoot a moose. The goal is start getting him accustomed to glassing for animals, camp set-up, camp chores, etc. If a shot presents itself all the better, but I have to mentally tell myself that the early hunt is about him and making it fun for him, not me. If that means glassing for 30 mintues and going back to camp then that is what we'll do.

    I'll go back towards the end of the season for a real hunt.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •