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Thread: Moose Area DM770 access-North of Healy

  1. #1
    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Talking Moose Area DM770 access-North of Healy

    Wanting to access this hunt area with a Ranger S/S. Wondering about the rail road bridge at Walker Creek/Ferry? I know that there is a narrow walk way on the bridge, but told too narrow for my Ranger. Also told that people go across the railroad bridge, but don't know what kind of a problem this is, or legal. What kind of access is there up Healy creek and then north? Any one know how or where I can access this area with a Ranger? Thanks
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  2. #2

    Wink

    Rex Trail is always an option. or....
    Have you considered taking across in the winter and stashing it. I have seen quite a few rigs taken into places and left for the season. Then you can bring it back out next winter. It won't fit on the bridge at Ferry. I would drive it across the ice and stash it. Then walk in to it during the season.
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    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Talking

    Akres Yes I had though about and looked at the Rex Trail on the map, but I know nothing about the trail. Do you have any knowledge about the trail? I know that there is a few vehicles left on the far side of the river at Ferry, I think for the mines in the area. This would be good if I had an extra rig. Thanks
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    actually running the tracks across the RR ridge if caught is considered an act of Terrorism by the TSA

    your right your bike will not fit across the bridge and you need permit to cross the coal mine proporty some get it some dont.. that usually has several hundred people hunting over there any way... and NO.. i am not telling how i get in there...


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    The reason the walkway got put up is because too many people got hit on the bridge. When the ARR still belonged to the Feds, they'd actually put armed guards on it during hunting season.

    When you tried to run the bridge going in, you had to get on the tracks a long ways to the south of the bridge. Remember those were the days before side by sides, before four wheelers and before three wheelers - before cell phones too............ so the current ramp up to the tracks right before the bridge didn't exist except for a foot payt. So if you were in a Jeep or truck, because of the long approach way raising the track grade up to the height of the RR bridge, you had to get on the tracks a long way south of the bridge. There's a curve in the tracks right before the bridge - the tracks parallel the Nenana River and then have to turn to cross the river. Because of where you had to get on the track, a long ways from the bridge and around the track curve, you couldn't see if there was a train coming to the bridge and the sound of the river drowned out the train noise.

    Remember, the passenger trains may run on a schedule, the freight trains don't. I saw a Jeep that got hit on the south side just off of the bridge and saw the remains of a truck that got hit on the bridge hauling fuel into a mine. I heard the burning drums went floating down the river. A friend tried to cross it on his Honda 70 and along came a train. He got off of the Honda and pulled it over against one of the bridge uprights, closed his eyes and hung on to the upright with his other arm. After the train went by, the wind and noise stopped and the bridge quit shaking, he opened his eyes, all that was left was the handgrip in his hand. The train caught the Honda and flipped it over the side.

    And also because of when the bridge was built, it was plenty wide for the narrower snow machines of the day and the three wheelers.

    I wouldn't chance running the bridge anymore.

    Bill
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  6. #6

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    Anyone have any updates on what condition Rex has been in the past few yrs? The DNR website only posts pics from back in '07 & '08, which made it look pretty soupy. There was talk about it being worked on, but have not been able to locate any info on whether that came to pass or not.

    My wife drew DM768 and is hesitant about doing serious mud bogging in the Ranger, as she's still nursing a blown disc in her back.

    It's been quite a few yrs since I've been there, and back then it was mostly miners accessing the far reaches, and wasn't too bad, though most of it appeared to be based on what kind of previous winter and how dry the summer was as to how bad the trail was in Sept.

    Any input is appreciated.

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    All depends on the weather. Not terrible on a dry Year, nearly impassable during a wet year

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    Quote Originally Posted by bows4me View Post
    Anyone have any updates on what condition Rex has been in the past few yrs? The DNR website only posts pics from back in '07 & '08, which made it look pretty soupy. There was talk about it being worked on, but have not been able to locate any info on whether that came to pass or not.

    My wife drew DM768 and is hesitant about doing serious mud bogging in the Ranger, as she's still nursing a blown disc in her back.

    It's been quite a few yrs since I've been there, and back then it was mostly miners accessing the far reaches, and wasn't too bad, though most of it appeared to be based on what kind of previous winter and how dry the summer was as to how bad the trail was in Sept.

    Any input is appreciated.
    A friend and I moose hunted out the Rex Trail last fall. We each winched a few times getting to camp which I believe was 15-20 miles out the Rex It was soooo muddy going in that we were kind of like what did we get ourselves into. We tagged a bull on the 19th by which time the trail had seen much more traffic. The ruts get deeper with every passing machine! Coming out heavy with a moose we winched countless times, we were covered head to toe in rubber gear and we were covered in mud as of course was all of our gear. Although we filled a tag we have no intention of going back. We both used to love mudding when were teenagers, but that was 25-30 years ago! We talked to a lot of regulars that don't seem to mind and seem to enjoy the challenge of the mud. We were also told that the trail was much drier last fall than in years past - ugh. You had better have tall mud tires, be prepared to winch countless times, have a snatch block, extra straps, dress head-to-toe in rubber gear, be ready to deal with radiators plugged with mud and overheating, etc. The hard core Polaris guys brought extra axles and were prepared to swap them out as they broke and broke they did. Anyway, it WILL be serious mud bogging in your Ranger, you can count on that. I hope you fill the tag.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the heads up. I guess I'll do the 'no rain' dance to the weather gods for the first 3 weeks of Sept. I'll also be looking on craigslist for a couple of full neoprene wet suits, just in case...

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    Default 2015 moose hunt on the Rex Trail

    I posted a trip report about our 2015 moose hunt on the Rex Trail about a week ago. I put Rex Trail in the search and it didn't come up - I put in Nodwell and it did come up. So put Nodwell in the search function and you'll see about our hunt.

    It was muddy enough on the trail last year that there was absolutely no one camped at the first river when we went in on about the 15th, or when we came out about the 22nd. River water came in the cab, which is four feet off of the ground, where the trail hit the river. You might have found a place to cross upriver.

    If you're unsure about crossing that river or any other, the best way to do it is to hook a winch line from one ATV to another. Years ago, (12 -15 years) you could never cross even with the Nodwells where the trail hit the river. You always had to go up river. One year there was a lot more rain than usual. We went upstream as usual with two Nodwells. I'd enter the river first with the winch line from my brother hooked up to my rear hitch. He would already have his Nodwell in reverse with the clutch in. I'd pull him with me as we went into the river. When I'd start drowning out, the person on top of the cab would wave to him, he'd let out the clutch and start pulling me out backwards.

    After doing this five or six times we gave up and went back to where the trail crosses the river. We were sitting there eating a sandwich and looking at the river. After about an hour of that, we decided to try crossing it right there. Low and behold, the water was only abut three feet deep and no problem. What had apparently happened because of the rains and fast moving current, is the river pushed gravel down from where we usually crossed to where the trail crossed the river, filling the hole in there and making it crossable. Ever since then, we've been able to cross where the trail hits the river.

    Have two rigs and hook up a winch line if there's any doubts. Nothing like getting your four wheeler rolled down the river and the engine filled with water so you have to tow it out in that mud. If that happens, let me give you a suggestion - put it out in the trees someplace, take the seat with you so the squirrels don't get it and ride out with someone else. Come back in February when the trail if frozen with a truck and chains. Load up the drowned four wheeler in the truck and haul it out.

    I used to play with my modified Jeep back on the trail. I didn't have to worry about being stuck because when my brother caught up to me with the Nodwell, he'd yank me out to the next dry spot and I'd take off again. One time back at the second river, I tore out the Jeep's tie-rods, so we just left it at the cabin. Came back in Feb. with a car trailer, loaded up the Jeep and out we went.



    Bill
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I hunt that trail every year. Yeah just as Jpost said. It's darn nasty. And be prepared to break stuff. That trail is getting worse every year. The river crossing is almost impossible now after last years flood. It's fast moving and deep now. We never made it across and I heard of one nodwell that went way downstream. Not sure if it ever made it or not.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I hunt that trail every year. Yeah just as Jpost said. It's darn nasty. And be prepared to break stuff. That trail is getting worse every year. The river crossing is almost impossible now after last years flood. It's fast moving and deep now. We never made it across and I heard of one nodwell that went way downstream. Not sure if it ever made it or not.


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    I don't think it was a Nodwell, but rather a Thiokol that was back there. I talked to the Thiokol operator who said when they went into the 1st river, they had the up river passenger window down. Being a shorter rig than a 110 Nodwell, they had water coming in the window. That large of a wall of water pushing against the light Thiokol would have easily pushed it down river. It could have also been a Haaglund since they float. If it was OD Green, it was either the Thiokol or a Haaglund.

    The River depth wouldn't have bothered the Nodwell 110s, 240 or Chiefton that was back there. I don't think there were any smaller Nodwell 60s back there, but I could be wrong.

    Bill
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