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Thread: Too expensive to hunt?

  1. #1

    Default Too expensive to hunt?

    I will be moving to Anchorage early next year and have been watching the posts for several weeks on the forum. I am an avid hunter (military, currently stationed in Idaho) but I do not have the income to buy the latest and greatest toys. I am proud of all the animals that I have killed even though none of them would compare to the trophies that I see frequently posted on this site. Meat in the freezer and the outdoor experience is all I need to motivate me out of bed at 3 A.M. to hunt. Many of the posts that I read describe incredibly expensive hunts that involve air taxis and guides and I am beginning to wonder if I will be able to afford to hunt. I have always wanted to get to Alaska and the family and I will enjoy it whether I hunt or not. Can anyone give me some input on quality hunts that can be done on a budget? I am really enjoying this forum, the quality of information and advice is outstanding!

  2. #2
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Default

    Digdug, there are a lot of cheap to do hunts here. But, you need to really work hard at things to have a decent chance of success. There are some hunts on the bases for moose with bows and muzzleloaders. Stalking black bear around Anchorage and the Kenai peninsula. I did a float trip this year that between the two of us only cost us about $600 each. It sounds like alot but if you can get a raft cheap or borrow one it will lower the price. Idaho is a good place to buy used rafts and then let the military ship it up. I've seen them advertised for $600 for a good used one. I took a grizzly and saw another one on my hunt. There are lots of other options also. Look at the threads titled "Haul road", "Prince William or PW" and "Kodiak". Good luck. Mike

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It is a pervasive lie on on these forums that they only way to hunt is via expensive means like fly-in, atv, or remote float hunts. Of course those hunts can be great, but they are far from the only options. (OK, nobody says that they are the only way, but I see where you can get that idea from reading here.)

    There are lots of great hunts to be had on a budget. Before writing out a list, though, I'm curious as to what you consider a "quality" hunt to be. The reality of the situation is that if you want to hunt from the road system, you need to be willing to walk farther and work harder than your competition. There are few secrets on the road system, so hunting becomes an issue of scouting intensely, walking long miles, and packing heavy weights over rough terrain. Sound good? If so, then you can certainly enjoy some great hunts on a budget. There are some easier hunts to be had by the road system, such as archery caribou on the Haul Road and road hunting black bear on the Kenai Peninsula...but to be frequently successful you'll need to put in some time and effort.

    The last thing I'd note is that you won't be able to hunt as a resident until you've been here for a year. Think of this as a blessing, though, as it will allow you ample time to get out hiking in order to learn the terrain and the game populations. Take this first year seriously as a scouting opportunity, and then go get 'em!

    -Brian

  4. #4

    Default

    A quality hunt to me is getting away from work and enjoying nature. My goals for Alaska are to harvest a caribou and moose. Doesnt matter if they are bulls or not, if I have the opportunity to get a cow tag I will fill it. I will have four years (minimum) to enjoy the state so I'm not concerned with the 1 year wait. You are right, it will take me that long to get used to the country. Besides it will give me more time to fish!

  5. #5
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    Default ?

    Some of the best black bear hunting is less than an hour's drive from Anchorage. Check out previous posts and, with some gas money and boot leather, you'll have your blackie at the taxidermist before the first snow.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Smile Expeditions

    Yes the Expeditions usually cost a bunch. I like to do these because of the remote nature, and my desire to float different rivers, but a hunting trip does not have to be that expensive. When you get here, you will be amazed at how remote you can get and feel, just hiking a few miles or even less off of the road systems. Take for instance the Kenai National wildlife refuge. It has a huge area, that gets little pressure off of the road.
    their are hundreds of lakes that get visited very seldom. no real trails to some of them, and opportunity to take Moose and Black bear.
    I hiked into a lake this summer that was only 2 miles from the road, and found no sign of anyone being in there for years. no fire pits, not trash, no trail to it, it was a great little place and the lake had fish in it too..
    Alaska is a big place, and sometimes the places with the least amount of pressure are the ones right under our noses..
    Welcome to Alaska, and don't be afraid to ask for help and ideas.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Well, send me a PM when you get up here and at the very least I'll sit down with you over some coffee and discuss options and point you in a few directions to scout, hike, and fish. If our schedules align when next year's hunting season rolls around, I'm always up for a tag-along as well.

    -Brian

  8. #8

    Default Pretty Neat

    Just wanted to drop a line and say there are some definite good folks up here. Some of you guys on this forum really want the best for people and are more than willing to help new guys out. It's what it's all about, and I appreciate being part of it. I look forward to meeting and hunting with some of you in the future.
    Marc Theiler

  9. #9

    Default Hunting on the Cheap

    My partners and I take game every year, some really respectable animals too, all from the road system. Don't let the stories scare you. You'll have a great time up here. You can spend as little or as much as you want.

  10. #10
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    actually he CAN hunt up here and pay a reduced price. Still has to pay the full hunting lisc but only HALF the tag fees. And he can hunt on base with no tag at all (YTA Moose!) That is of course unless things have changed.

  11. #11
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    i don't kniw about military, But out of staters can also get a small game tag that covers grouse ptarmigan bunnies ect for only $20 bucks. There should be plenty of hunting oppertunities within an hours drive of wherever you are stationed.
    justin
    Justin

  12. #12

    Default

    The friends in question have since moved, so I don't feel too bad about revealing their road system secret. They studied the maps and ID'ed areas with no access by boat or plane. Foot only. Then they packed slim camps on their mountain bikes and headed out to reach areas to far for casual walk-in hunters. The bikes let them cover incredible distances, while providing lots of help for hauling the weight of a camp and game even on stretches they had to walk the bikes rather than ride. Bear, moose, even caribou. They did it all while spending almost nothing.

    And if you knew them well enough they would eventually tell the story of trying to ride downhill with a whole moose split between the saddlebags on their two bikes. Yikes!!!!! They survived and so did the bikes, but learned quickly that bike brakes are not intended to slow over 500 pounds.

    Rule #1: WALK the heavy loads downhill!

  13. #13
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Another Novice over here!

    First off digdug, thanks for serving our country and welcome. For the rest of you fellas, remember that tomorrow is Veterans Day, please thank a vet.

    I currently reside in Michigan, but my fiance and I will be moving to Fairbanks August 2007. I am a huntin/fishin fool and plan to fulfill some lifelong dreams in a short amount of time. I am all about the hunt and the fixins on the table when I get home. I'd be happy to do some scouting with you or for you when I get up there...can't gaurentee it'd be worth much more than a cup of coffee by the campfire when it came to fillin the freezer, but we could give it a shot!

  14. #14
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    My partners and I take game every year, some really respectable animals too, all from the road system. Don't let the stories scare you. You'll have a great time up here. You can spend as little or as much as you want.
    As with this statement I think you get the idea. However I don't know what your budget allows but something not mentioned yet is that a four wheeler can be a very useful tool to get you away from the road. You don't have to buy a new one or one with a huge motor to get the job done. Yes there are alot of people here that have them as well and there are alot of trails that get used. You can still get to some really good places to hunt if you do some homework that don't have tons of people to compete with. A wheeler can also plow the snow, get you to fishing holes or simply provide for a good trail ride in the off seasons.

  15. #15
    Member fnd1734's Avatar
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    Digdug

    OK, use the first year as a scouting & a get out and enjoy AK year...
    The state is soo big it will overwhelm you, I may suggest that you concentrate on one maybe two animals the first year. Put in time, scouting and walking/hiking the trails from the road or boat. Since you are Military, they have boats, ATV's, snowmachines, campers and just about everything you could imagine for rent on the base. The good thing is they are cheap! I work with a guy whom rents from the base all the time and it is amazing. It may not cost as much as you think utilizing their rentals. Also use this forum! it is very helpful because someone has been there and done that in the forums. Learn from their mistakes
    Good Luck

  16. #16
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Yes it can cost allot to hunt up here, but there are was to make hunting cheap here. If you have time to do reseach you can find some air taxi that are resonable. Some Taxi offer residents rates and and can charge you hourly rate instead of a flat rate. Permits are another way to hunt cheap , but you will need a lucky rabbits foot.
    Example the haul rd. can run some $$$ but I go with 3 other people to split the cost and this help allot with $$$$
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  17. #17
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    I am retired USAF. Congratulations on your assignment! This was the BEST one in my 21 years for location, work was OK. So good that when we retired out of Seymour-Johnson and could go anywhere, we picked Anchorage. we have been here 6 years and do not regret our decision.

    I suggest fishing and exploring your first year. Its cheaper than hunting the first year and very fulfilling. During this time gather the tools and information to set yourself up for a 2nd year of hunting. This site has oogles of great information and some very helpful people to assist you in your journey. I run a river boat and ATV's to get to my fishing spots. I fish for lake trout, grayling, pike and salmon.

    Please feel free to PM me with any questions relating to your move. What AFSC and Squadron are you assigned to?

  18. #18
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    What is your AFAC? I was stationed there from 94-99 and now i'm at Kulis part time.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  19. #19
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    The first year I went moose hunting here in Alaska my buddy and I got a 50 and a 60 inch bull off the Elliot hwy the same day. and I mean just off the hwy. I have also got them floating the Chena river close town and 25+ miles off the hwy on atv's, wall tent, wood stove and a week. Lots of different ways to hunt. Don't worry about. If your a hunter you can do it!
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  20. #20
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    best thing you can do is find a good partner, without one you'll be peeing in the wind!

    I've lost all of mine and now rarely hunt anymore to the point I ate a chugach sheep tag and kodiak goat tag!

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