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Thread: Float hunt?

  1. #1
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    Default Float hunt?

    For all of you guys that have been on a few float hunts, what seem to be the better float for success:


    Fly in and float out to a road system?

    Or fly in and float and then be picked up by air?

    I am assuming that the second one would be better due to expenses taking some of the hunters away, but can you be just as successful on the other float trip?

    And how many miles of river do you guys usually float on a 10 day hunt?
    Do you like to have a base camp for a few days and then float down one day and hunt for a few? Or do you prefer to float everyday and hunt from mostly the river?

    I am planning a moose/caribou hunt, with moose as my primary target and the caribou as a bonus, I am just looking for some info from the guys who have done this kind of hunt ( I am new to float hunting) Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Oh open door

    I would be suprised to find this does not get Mega repsonses. One thing you will have to remember it all comes down to personal preference and what has worked for some will not work for others.

    I am still a firm believer if you do your home work you can have a decent successful hunt going with a fly in and a take out to a road system however for some this is not the best option.

    10 days IMO does limit your hunting dependiing on the location of your fly in if in fact your coming out to a road system however as with anything options options options location location location.

    Combo hunts to start off with may not be your best option for an initial float hunt you might consider targeting one type of animal.

    I will use as an example River A. This year it had 21 groups total of float hunters taken in by a transporter. We were group number 2 and decided to hunt the Pre-hunt versus the full rut. Two reason one we could call animals in from afar, and two and this was the biggest reason of the 21 groups that floated 16 went in aftet the 15th of Sept and all took out at Mid River i.e. fly in and fly out. They were stacked up like cord wood waiting to get picked up mid river. We opted to float out to the road and saw no other hunters the entire time.

    We planned on 12 days ended up doing it in 10 but only becuase of a slight miscaculation in our river miles (100%) my fault BTW. You should consider hunting in each location depeding on your river 2-3 days and plan on covering again IMO no more than 35-50 miles on a ten day hunt and again that mightbe pushing it for an effective hunt considering you will be new to the area in question with limit experience.

    Mike this is a plug for your Book! I know I suck up so well! Mike Strahan's Book explains this in great detail and is worth the money and is an excellent source of this type of information. It is available via this forum.

    Last note - There are several rivers that offer a less expensive float hunt option all normally have heavy use but if hunted correctly you will have a chance a shooting your animal. If the route you decide to take is the less expenisvie route consider the following rivers - Chena River above the North Fork / East Fork, Birch Creek, Beaver Creek, Salcha above 80 mile, Wood (heavy hunting pressure) past three years, Yanert Fork of the Nenana.

    Moose's 28 cents worth.

    Best Wishes

    Blue Moose

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    From my friends that do this they float each day for only a few hours and then get out and see what the area looks like above the river banks. Once in a likely spot they set up a small camp and do some calling and see what shows up. Nothing in a day and they move on a few hours.

    On a lot of rivers you can not see anything from the river so you have to get off of it and up on the banks several feet above the water and see what is there.

    My friends fly in and fly out from their rivers. Once in a while they will take out on a road, but not often.

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Can't offer you much hunting info, but if you are new to float trips in general, I would be happy to share what I know with you. We take float trips each year, usually fall trips in arctic NW. Solitude and flyfishing is what motivates us, but I do plan on doing a cast and blast (dolly and bou) soon. We see them on every trip and the temptation is starting to get the best of me. Anyways, if you want to talk float trips, food/gear/etc.. just shoot me a PM. Happy to help if applicable.


    Dan


    Below are some pics from some recent float trips. Three in NW, one in SW, and a few pics from the Upper Kenai this Sept...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...27567944/show/
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  5. #5
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Fly in, fly out. My best float hunts tend to last in the neighborhood of 14 days give or take, and I like to pick a short section of promising looking water/terrain, say 40-50 miles and only make two or three camps. This allows me spend several days at each camp and not spend a ton of time floating. When I do float I'll plan it for the evening say from 4-10ish. Most of my float hunts are up north so getting off the river at 10 still leaves me enough light to make camp. I've never actually been fortunate enough to float around a bend and had whatever I'm after just standing on a gravel bar waiting to get shot, but I figure the evenings are a pretty good time for this scenario to play out, and if I do it enough I might just get lucky.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darkcloud View Post
    For all of you guys that have been on a few float hunts, what seem to be the better float for success:


    Fly in and float out to a road system?

    Or fly in and float and then be picked up by air?

    I am assuming that the second one would be better due to expenses taking some of the hunters away, but can you be just as successful on the other float trip?
    Lots of factors to consider on this. Budget, how much time you have, your desire to avoid other hunters, chances of success, etc. all weigh in here. I'm safe in saying that the main reason folks hunt the road-based streams is financial. Air charter expenses can be out of reach for some folks. That said, there are some fine hunts to be had from road-based streams. In most cases you just have to do your homework (but that's true on the other remote rivers too...). And don't forget the rivers where you have road access at one end, but have to fly in to the other. Those weed out some hunters too.

    And how many miles of river do you guys usually float on a 10 day hunt?
    Do you like to have a base camp for a few days and then float down one day and hunt for a few? Or do you prefer to float everyday and hunt from mostly the river?

    I am planning a moose/caribou hunt, with moose as my primary target and the caribou as a bonus, I am just looking for some info from the guys who have done this kind of hunt ( I am new to float hunting) Thanks for any help.
    The mileage question is highly variable, but on the rivers I hunt we are doing well if we float 10 miles, dead-drift (no outboard assist) in a day. Here are some tips on this:

    • Don't try to hunt the whole river (or portion). Focus your attention on a few pre-selected spots.

    • Consider using a small outboard. This will open some rivers to you that would otherwise be prohibitively long.

    • Get out of the boat! If you're floating all day, every day, you're not hunting. You're just camping with guns, or on an expensive rafting trip or something. You've got to get out and hunt.

    • Choose a primary species to hunt. You mentioned moose and caribou; which is most important to you? Choose an area where both may be present, but which favors the primary species of interest.


    I did write a book on this, as was mentioned. It is called, "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers", and you can find it in our bookstore on this site. It deals with this sort of thing in greater detail, and includes writeups on fifty river systems around the state, some of which are accessible by road.

    Lots more to say on this, but I'll leave some room for others-

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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