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Thread: 1St timer coming to Alaska with a few questions.

  1. #1

    Default 1St timer coming to Alaska with a few questions.

    I know you guys that live in Alaska are the luckiest guys ever. I feel very fortunate to be able to get the chance of a lifetime to come and hunt in your backyard. The best part is that I get to do this with my best friend and father in law. I can not wait to just experience it all. The main question I have is what bare essentials do I need. I'm coming from Atlanta Ga and have been hunting all my life. But hunting here and up there are two completely different things. I want to be as prepared as possible for anything but, I can't bring everything with me. Any and all help would be GREATLY appreciated. We'll be hunting caribou in unit 23 in late Aug to 1st of Sept.
    Thanks and great hunting everyone!!!!

    PS Yes Moose has been my nickname for about 17 years. That maybe a cut down to those big beautiful ones up there!!! LOL

  2. #2

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    Hey Moose,

    If you send me a PM (private message) with your email address, I'll send your a generic gear list I use for hunting Alaska, just to help get you started.

  3. #3
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Sat Phone

    Don't bring a satellite phone from home BUT make sure your father-in-law rents one for you while you are out hunting. I've done several hunts in Alaska and wouldn't be out someplace in the wilderness now without one. They can literally save your life.

    I might also note that Alaska is very unforgiving - what is just a minor inconvenience at home becomes life-threatening when the weather prevents your bush pilot from picking you up for several days. I'm not trying to scare you, Alaska is a great place to experience a wilderness hunt - just trying to make sure you understand.

    While it ranks several steps below a sat phone, bear fence is something to consider if you are doing a drop camp in brown bear country. Read the posts about using bear fence. We also own one as well as renting a sat phone.

  4. #4
    Member AK DUX's Avatar
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    Default

    Some may disagree,but don't bring a down sleeping bag (or down anything). When it gets wet from sweat or rain...it looses it's insulation value. I warned my brother not to but he didn't believe me. After getting in the bag wet after an all day driving rain...his bag got wet and he froze. I had to let him use mine so he didn't go hypo...which ticked me off.
    Also I don't wear anything cotton for the same reason. Clothes and other things that are great down there can kill you here.
    For caribou and moose...I wear knee high Lacrosse boots (ankle fit). You don't need hiking boots, etc.
    I'm sure you'll get a lot more good info.
    Good luck on your trip.

  5. #5
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default

    Biggest factors in a successful Alaskan hunt are common sense, committment and a positive attitude. The weather can be worse, the terrain can be worse, the distances can be longer, the location WILL be more remote than anything you are used to. As long as you realize all of this and are mentally and physically prepared to go the distance, then you will already be on your way to a great hunt.

    I grew up deer hunting in Indiana, where you just walk from the truck to the treestand. It took me awhile to develop the right mindset to hunt in Alaska.

  6. #6

    Default just my thoughts

    What you wear will be important. You will probably have a weight restriction when flying, so know how you have weighs. Quality tent with rain protection. A pad to put below your sleeping bag---first time I used one I couldnt believe how much a difference it could make. Quality first aid kit. Good binos/spotting scope---save you a lot of walking. Quality tools for once the bou is down. A good back pack for getting the meat back to camp. A great digital camera---because you never know when you will be back.

  7. #7
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Have you gone through the Hunt Planning Sticky yet?

    Read the sticky and then ask your questions. It will save time for you and those providing answers to more specific questions.

  8. #8
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    In my experience, first time people hunting up here bring too much non essential stuff and not the right essentials. The advice above is good. No cotton! Good raingear and not necessarily Gortex because it leaks after prolonged exposure. You don't ask if it will rain during your hunt, only how much for how long. The tent needs to be of good quality that can withstand the wind and rain. Weather can change abruptly from one extreme to the other. I also have a gear list that has been modified and cut down over the last 10 years.

  9. #9
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    If cotton is in the label, DON'T bring it. Plan for wet weather and wet ground. If you get wool wet, it gets heavy, but you stay warm...start with wool socks. More expensive, but lighter weight is fleece that has not had Fabric Softener used on it. Depending on where you are going, a good pair of knee high or hip waders are a must. BTW, if you did not know, do not bring anything with cotton on the label...that includes socks, underwear, and T shirts IMHO.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  10. #10

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    Thanks guys very much for the info. I just found this website today and have not had much time to get all in the threads. I figure I have about 2 months before I head that way so hopefully I'll have alot of it figured out. I didn't even think about the cotton clothes and I know its gonna be a whole new world for me.
    GREAT HUNTING EVERYONE!!!!!

  11. #11
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Caribou hunting in unit 23, will most likely involve lots of walking. Crossing rivers and streams. I would recommend Alone Across Alaska DVD~ 1000 miles of Wilderness by Buck Nelson, it is available for purchase from this site.
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=345
    Buck travels through GMU 23 and it will give you a great idea on what to see in that part of the country. Buck Nelson also has a great gear list on his site.

    My basic hunting setup would be slightly different depending on how I was hunting, you did not say if you are doing a drop camp or float. Each would be a little different. I start with good boots, I use Danners for flat land and Lowas Tibet Pro GTX for the high country. Dress in layers, no cotton. It can be cold in the mornings and warm later. Bring high quality rain gear. Keep it in your pack always. Wear stuff that will dry quickly, donít bring too many clothes. Plan on wearing one set with one extra set. Most people bring way too many clothes. Have some street clothes to wear if you are going into the villages. Be prepared for wide open country, you will need a good pair of binos, a quality range finder. Remember that a range finder is rated by its max on a good day. Shots can be 300 to 400 yards. Practice at these ranges. Caribou donít stop if you grunt like a deer, they never seem to stop. You canít out run them, many have tried. Most times you kill one they are miles from camp. Have everything with you to make the first trip count. A quality pack back that will haul over 100 lbs. The average caribou with meat and cape is 2 heavy loads. You will also need a small tarp, games bags, knife, camera of course. Donít forget a bug net thin gloves, and deet. The bugs can at times break your spirit. A tripod and spotting scope are handy but you can live without it. Have the pages from the regs for the area you are hunting with you, read the entire regulation book cover to cover. Be aware of wanton waste. Know how to care for your meat and have a plan ahead of time to get it out. Shipping out can be a problem with everyone trying to leave at the same time. Come prepared and have a great hunt, take good pictures we will be waiting to see them.

    Be Safe

    Steve

  12. #12

    Default

    Well we will be driving up from Anchorage with my best friend who is stationed there. Then we'll take his boat from where ever we put in. This is his first year hunting he has been there for a year. I'm the type that likes to get lots of info and go from there. Not that I don't trust him but, he is learning all this also. I know he is up there with a bunch of good guys. I just don't wanna be the guy that shows up with a lot of junk to only need a few good things. I don't have alot of the equipment needed to hunt there so I have to purchase a lot before I get there. I don't have the money to waste on things that will be no good to me there. I also have a 1 year old I want to come home to in one piece. So thank you to all the guys that hand down good info for me to go by.

    HAPPY HUNTING!!!

  13. #13
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and please continue to research. I don't know how you are getting into GMU 23 with a boat from the road system. Be advised that boating up that way is NOT for beginners. Water levels drop very quickly that time of the year and many of the water ways have native land issues along them. If by chance you are heading to the Ivishak it drops like crazy that time of year as well and is in another GMU. I was on it last year. I have a feeling you guys are heading up the Haul Road. If that is the case do a search using Haul Road or Dalton Hwy.

    Brooks Range last year.


    Be careful, and have a great hunt.

    Steve

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    While I have not hunted that GMU, I can tell you that time of year is wet. Water proof bags, keeping dry and don't forget the bug dope are a must on your list. Prepare to walk a lot so break in your boots well. Gore-tex socks and comfortable insoles are always good advice.

  15. #15
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    No roads to this GM, thank God.

    Except for snowgo's in winter, nobody drives here, to GM23, from Anchorage or any other place...

    Maby your gonna fly to Kotzebue and launch there?
    Then the world of Caribou is at your feet.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  16. #16

    Default A long trip

    One could pull a boat from Anchorage up to Fairbanks and then put in on the Yukon. Down to St. Michael, around the Seward Peninsula and over to Kotzebue. Then you're in Unit 23. A couple guys from Kotz did that last year with a riverboat. Took them a couple weeks if I remember correctly.

  17. #17

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    My buddy told me we were going up haul rd. I don't know anything about it. I'll have my GPS so I can atleast find my way back if need be. As far as the water levels he has one of the Phantom sport jon boats. With that jet drive it should be able to run in pretty shallow water. That is if the river is big enough for the boat. I'm just gonna leave all that up to him and worry about my gear. Everyone has been talking about NO COTTON and I think thats about all I have. Its looks like BASS PRO here I come. I'm so freakin excited and can't wait to go but, its still almost 2 months away. I know it will get here quick enough. I'm just REALLY jealous of all you guys that get to experience Alaska all the time. Thanks for al ya'lls info and I will definately post our pics when we get back.

    HAPPY HUNTING AND BE SAFE!!!

  18. #18
    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    Default Welcome to the forum!

    Hello Moose,

    First off, hopefully your friend is aware of the haul road conditions. For example; You'll need extra spare tires, gas, I always have a CB radio, be very curtiouse to the truckers, pull over as far as you can and slow down, do not forget the rearview mirror I see guys rubber necking caribou and a trucker nearly runs them over. I have a few friends that drive the haul road for a living, let me tell you they have some stories! It may be 65* in the day then 30* and snow the same night. Some of the thickest fog you have ever seen will engulf you without warning. I could go on and on, but those are a few pointers for the drive up there. Good luck
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

  19. #19
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Bass Pro has cheesy so called water proof stuff. Save your money and get Gortex the first time around.

    All of my Bass Pro water proof gear was soaked last year. 6 straight days of rain in unit 17, I froze my rear off and it wasn't even cold out, go figure.

  20. #20
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    That sounds very "doable", just not GMunit 23 there.

    Ive been reading here that guys have luck up that way, and so should you.

    Helly Hanson makes the BEST rain gear Ive ever used.

    Dont forget a good tent to stay under , and maby a Fly to put up and make your gear "area" as well as a place to dry up stuff and use as a kitchen a bit away from where you sleep
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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