does alaska have quality big game hunting that is accessible by vehicle,hiking,atv etc. I have recently been offered a good job in anchorage and i am an avid hunter,but with three boys cannot afford expensive bush planes and boat fares.My dream has always been to move to alaska but from what ive read it seems hunting there can be very expensive.Im not looking for trophy quality animals just good hunting adventures where i dont run into other hunters every five minutes.
There are plenty of places to access the land. The only problem is that if you are on the road system there will be plenty of hunters around. Unlike the lower 48 everyone up here is a hunter! If it is accessible it is packed.
go for it...
If you think it is a good job that will last and the little woman is up for it then go for it. It takes a while for most new Alaskans to learn about the hunting up here. But, if you like wild country that is beautiful, stretches further then you will want to walk and the eye can see, then this is the place to be. Alaskas game is in "pockets". By that I mean some areas are better then others. A good area with few people is what all of us hunters want. But, if it is accessable to the average hunter then the animal population will drop and the competition will increase. There is not a moose or bear behind every tree. I guese I am mostly a moose hunter. My old 1998 Polaris Big Boss 6-wheeler and trailer has hauled many moose and caribou quaters. Caribou hunting from the road system has fallen on hard times. The Nelchina Caribou herd used to be the easy one to hunt. Those days are gone forever. So the best hunt for a family is the wonderful Alaskan moose. Big or small they are fun to hunt. Hundreds are shot close to the road system every year. A couple of ATV's and a good camp will open up big areas to you. You will see other hunters, its 2009. I am almost 60 and have had back and knee surgery. This next fall I plan on taking my wife, daughter, son-in-law, 7, 5, and 3 year old grandkids moose hunting. Even if we don't get a moose it will be fun. It beats dreaming about it and you only live once.
Depends on what you want to hunt. If you're looking for road system moose or carribou then you can expect company although avoiding trail systems for ATVs can reduce this surprisingly once you hike in a little.
That said- I've went small game hunting and predator calling surprisingly close to the road without seeing a soul.
You can also do a drop off hunt for quite reasonable if you shop around a bit. It does take a bit to learn the lay of the land though.
Best to you!
It is not true that if it is road accessible that you'll necessarily see other hunters. If you're willing to hike, you can often find solitude when hunting up here.
You only live once...
Go for it!
Brian M and .338 mag said what you need to know.....
Brian wrote..."if your willing to hike"...(I will add...as in are you a backpacker, or really able and available and willling to become one)...
.338 mag wrote..."you only live once."
Without using any other motorized transportation other than my Dodge pickup I have shot 14 rams, 3 mountain goats, brown/griz bears and black bears, and 2 bull moose. Opps, I used a 2.5 HP motor to push a canoe for the bears and moose.
But ya got to want it.
Ya got to be hungry.
Ya got to workout year-round.
Ya got to network and do a ton of research.
Ya really, really got to have a very, very tolerant and very, very patient wife and family.
...and you will need good boots!
Thats all it takes...simple as that!
Agree with ATA and Brian that you can get away from other hunters without spending a fortune.
In the last month I've been on two hunts (moose and caribou). Both easily road system accessible and both successful. I used snowmachines to get off the road and carried snowshoes for the foot part of the deal, which is pretty standard for winter hunting. I only saw one other hunter and he was on the trail back from an area 15 mi away.
Hunting weekdays, poor (or cold) weather, and getting off the established trails will thin the crowds to nothing in short order. It was -10 F when my partner shot the moose, and it blew hard all day the day I shot the caribou. Nothing too bad, but there wasn't anybody else out there either. Hiking has also worked very well for me over the years and I do one or two backpack hunts every year.
As mentioned it will take a few years to start finding the good producing places and you have to work for it. But if you are really an avid hunter that won't be a problem and you will have lots of adventure along the way. Lots of time in the field and those "good boots" ATA talks about and your freezer will never be empty.
The question is, are you going to dream about living in Alaska or are you going to do it?
You'd surprised how good some of the hunting is just off the road. Most guys on wheelers want to go waaaayyyyyyyyy back there and end up passing up a lot of good hunting country. I've done a few fly in hunts but 90% of my hunts have been accessed either by wheeler, boat or shoe leather express.
I'm not in Anchorage but I deer hunt a relatively high pressure island. The trick from me has been to hike a little farther than most folks want to hike but not far enough to warrant a boat ride. The same could be applied up north. If you hike a little farther than most hikers I bet you still haven't reached the areas that the atv's use.
is here if you get after it like mentioned...but I have never ever in my life hunted so little since I moved here to Anchorage. Mostly due to work.....but I also yearn for the times when i could get home from school or work and hunt - or better yet, hunt on my way home from school or work.
A guy could hunt after work here , but not too well. Even if you are sheep hunting the Chugach - doing it after work is tough. Take a few days though and bear and sheep are readily accessible if you are willing to wear out some boot leather.
Duck hunting is something that a guy could get away with taking half a day off work and maybe whacking a bird or two. In those same areas you could hunt coyote or wolf and black bear.
What really keeps me busy though is fishing. I have never had such good fishing as I have experienced here, and the last two years have sucked when compared to 'the good ole days'...or so I hear.
Next year.....if work doesn't get in my way.... I will punch a goat and a sheep and a griz tag - my top three to get here just in case I should ever have to head back to the "lower" to pan out a living.
Thanks for the info
I really appreciate all the replies,this will really help me make my decision.Im also an avid flyfisherman so even if i cant hunt as much as im currently used to maybe the excellent fishing Alaska offers will help fill the void.By the way the wife and kids are all for the move.
Don't worry about the cost everything is expensive in Alaska
I have to say, you guys are a good bunch. Many times a newcomer comes on to these sites and gets an onslaught of sarcastic replies to his question. Every one of you offered this person good, solid suggestions. What a pleasure to read these genuinely sincere and helpful comments.
For what its worth, here in Idaho we frequently see guys hunt a mile or so from the road, and the outfitters with strings of pack horses or planes hit the areas that are 10 miles or more from the trailheads. There is a bunch of land in between that holds game with few hunters. I would think the same would hold true in Alaska.
Good luck to all.