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Thread: Rafting the big Sue and moose hunting, good combo?

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    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default Rafting the big Sue and moose hunting, good combo?

    I am new in terms of hunting Alaska. 2007 brings the promise of finally getting the chance to culminate my life's dream, to hunt in Alaska as a resident. Although new to Alaska, I have taken a Shiras (speling?) moose in Montana, two black bears, numerous mule/whitetail deer and my all time favorite, elk. I have 4 bulls over 385 with one almost hitting the magic 400 club. The Air Force has taken me all over this great nation, but I had to wait 19 years to finally get here. Well, GAME ON!! I just wanted to put some feelers out there to the rafting gurus to see if the combo raft/moose hunt is not only viable, but could it be successful?

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    The Big Sue gets alot of boat traffic you might do better to pick a river off the big Sue such as Deska Yetna and raft it. Also thanks for all that you do for our country I spent 12 year in the Air Force.

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    What would you recommend for put in/take out areas? I've been up on the Deska, but never floated it. I am probably a big dreamer, but I want a 60" bull and won't shoot anything smaller. I have been a rafting/catamaran guide for 4 years and grew up in Montana on plenty of rivers. I just need "stick time" up here and familiarize myself w/the area. BTW, thanks for the info...

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    I would fly out to a lake and then get pickup at the mouth. You can fly out to Alexander lake and float ALexander creek to the mouth. Dont know about the Deska. If your not going to shoot anything less than 60. Im not saying it cant happen but you stand a better chance some place like Dillingham or the Yukon. Chris

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    The Big Su does get a lot of traffic, but it is still hunted, and could be succesful. Not sure how many 60" racks are out there though.

    Other options are almost limitless, but many depend on the amount of money you are willing to invest in air travel. Low cost options are available though. One thoought is a float down Moose Creek, or even Croto Creek, to where they form the Deshka, and then on to the Big Su. Put in would be the Petersville Road, and take out could be anywhere along the way by plane or power boat. There are several local guides that will pick you up for a reasonable fee. I once floated out the end of the Big Su, and with the help of a small outboard, cought the tide back to Ship Creek in Anchorage. That's more doable than most people seem to think, but the whole combnation would be a long trip.

    Another low cost option that I don't think is hunted much is the Little Nelchina to Tazlina. Put in is a few miles past Eureka Lodge on the Glenn Highway, and take out is near Copper Center on the Richardson Highway.

    Wherever you go, you will need to camp and get off the river for most successful hunting. Hunting from the boat almost never works.

    The Alaska Sportsman Show is coming up in a couple months, and Michael Strahan, the moderator of this forum, does a great presentation on float hunting in Alaska as one of the show's annual features. Make sure you take that in.

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    I thought of another that isn't done much because of the whitewater involved, but if you're experienced with class IV stuff it makes a great hunt.

    The Talkeetna River from any of the usual put in options can be hunted pretty much all the way to where it ends at the town of Talkeetna. Put in requires chartering a small plane, but take out is on the highway system. I found that putting in at Murder Lake (just below Stephan Lake) with a float plane and floating Prairie Creek to the confluence with the Talkeetna to be the least cost. Putting in on Yellowjacket strip is a must if you're planing on hunting caribou, but otherwise a lower put in option might be better.

    Unless it rains hard the water is usually low, so the whitewater through the canyon would be more like a rough class III with a couple really nasty holes to avoid. I wouldn't do it with less than two boats though, and I don't like it when the water's up. Figure on $200-300 per person for air fare.

    Also, I would think the Culitna River from Broad Pass to the Big Su could be hunted fairly easily. That's road accessible on both ends. It's not far off the road, but covers some areas that are not often accessed.

    I have more info at http://paddling.jimstrutz.com

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    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Jim...

    That was a wealth of knowledge. I will have to take some time to research the areas you've mentioned. Your website is good too...

    MT Native

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Interior Options

    Montana,

    I sent you a PM a couple of day's ago. Won't spell it out on the Forum but you do have a couple of hardy man type float options between the Brooks and Alaskan Range. Most fo the rivers are not that difficult howver they do require time and a fly in.

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    Default Talkeetna Floats

    For those that are attempting to avoid the Class III and possible IV water can a person drop off and pick up via plane and still float hunt a decent stretch?

    Thanks

    BTW, I'm also a MT native (what part you from?)

    Dean

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Options on the Upper Susitna River

    You could float the Maclaren River from the Denali Highway bridge down into the Susitna, then down the Su to the Tyone River confluence. It's 50 miles. From there you could be picked up by powerboat through Lake Louise, or float the remaining 95 miles downstream to the Log Creek area, where you can take out via aircraft. Don't miss the Log Creek takeout unless you want to float Devil's Canyon.

    This area can produce moose, caribou and both kinds of bear, but remember that caribou are part of the Nelchina herd, and fall under permit guidelines. For moose it's spike-fork, 50" or four brow tines. Black and brown bear season never closes and the limit on blackies is three. You get one grizzly every year up there.

    Good luck!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Default Need a Partner?

    I'm new up here from Wyoming and this year will be my first year hunting Alaska. I have also been trying to plan a float involving the road system for either put in or take out. I would like at least a chance to see both Moose and Caribou.

    I bought a used 12 ft raft with frame and oars last summer to use for my first year of residency.

    I have been conisdering Alexander lake, the Dennison by Tok, and the McLaren. Let me know if you want to split some costs.

    hntr

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    Default Talkeetna put in options

    [quote=Dean Denter;55623]For those that are attempting to avoid the Class III and possible IV water can a person drop off and pick up via plane and still float hunt a decent stretch?

    Not that I'm aware of, at least not via airplane. However you can access the whole river via power boat up to the bottom of the canyon. The last several miles of this does have some minor whitewater (class II perhaps), but even airboats run it. Mahay's Riverboat Service would drop you and your raft off there, but I'm not sure what this would accomplish if other power boaters are in the area too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Montana,

    I sent you a PM a couple of day's ago. Won't spell it out on the Forum but you do have a couple of hardy man type float options between the Brooks and Alaskan Range. Most fo the rivers are not that difficult howver they do require time and a fly in.
    Never got your PM, try again..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    You could float the Maclaren River from the Denali Highway bridge down into the Susitna, then down the Su to the Tyone River confluence. It's 50 miles. From there you could be picked up by powerboat through Lake Louise, or float the remaining 95 miles downstream to the Log Creek area, where you can take out via aircraft. Don't miss the Log Creek takeout unless you want to float Devil's Canyon.
    -Mike
    From the Maclaren to the Tyrone confluence, 50 miles... Based upon average gpm of water, how long of a float would that be? Lake Louise powerboats, anyone utilize them? I'm concerned about costs, it seems I wasted a bunch of $$$ repairing my quad, buying a new Kimber 325 WSM w/Zeiss conquest scope and a Zeiss 20x60x80 spotting scope, NO, my wife is NOT happy with me. I'm just trying to keep costs to a minimum at this point.

    I really appreciate all your comments, if I had enough beer to go round, you'd all be sippin suds right now! Good on ya!

  15. #15
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Maclaren River

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Native View Post
    From the Maclaren to the Tyrone confluence, 50 miles... Based upon average gpm of water, how long of a float would that be? Lake Louise powerboats, anyone utilize them? I'm concerned about costs, it seems I wasted a bunch of $$$ repairing my quad, buying a new Kimber 325 WSM w/Zeiss conquest scope and a Zeiss 20x60x80 spotting scope, NO, my wife is NOT happy with me. I'm just trying to keep costs to a minimum at this point.

    I really appreciate all your comments, if I had enough beer to go round, you'd all be sippin suds right now! Good on ya!
    Montaaaana-

    If it were me, I'd plan on a week to hunt the Maclaren-Tyone section. As to the powerboat pickup, I don't know of any commercial operators that do it. If I were a bettin' man, I'd bet that if you slip a few Ben Franklins for gas money to one of the guys here in the forums (obviously somebody with a boat), you could find someone reliable to pick you up. Post a question in the powerboating forum. This is actually one of the cheaper hunts that can get you into some decent country.

    -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.
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    Correct me if I am wrong, but I hear from the Denali HWY on up you cannot use any powered motors??? That is what I have been told, any truth or more into this? So again, provided the Tyone/Maclaren trip does pan out where would you put in, Denali Highway bridge? I have a partner with an airboat who may pick me up. I don't have a topo, but the river dumps directly into L. Louise, correct?

  17. #17
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Native View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I hear from the Denali HWY on up you cannot use any powered motors??? That is what I have been told, any truth or more into this? So again, provided the Tyone/Maclaren trip does pan out where would you put in, Denali Highway bridge? I have a partner with an airboat who may pick me up. I don't have a topo, but the river dumps directly into L. Louise, correct?
    Montana,

    I'm not sure what you're saying. You're not going upriver from the Denali Highway bridge on the Maclaren. Even if you could, it would be a very short run to the headwaters. The Maclaren flows DOWN from the bridge (yes, this is where you put in) to the Susitna confluence. From there you float DOWN to the Tyone River, which comes in on river left.

    And no, the Susitna does NOT flow into Lake Louise. Neither does the Tyone. The Tyone River is the outflow of Tyone Lake, which itself is the outflow of Susitna Lake, which in turn is the outflow of Lake Louise. Lake Louise is road accessible off of the Glenn Highway, and it has a large boat ramp.

    You really need to grab the Alaska Atlas and Gazetteer; it's one of the first research tools you need for planning hunting and fishing trips in Alaska. The best twenty bucks you'll spend on your hunts. It is clear from your post that you have not looked closely at the lay of the land out there yet.

    No problem; we all have to start somewhere. But the beginning point for you is a good map book. The Atlas will do the trick, and it's available on this website.

    For reference, I am not aware of any motor restrictions on the lake system I mentioned, or on the Tyone River itself. If there is, it would have to be a very recent development. I think you are thinking of the motorized restriction north of the Denali Highway, which is, in this case, irrelevant.

    Regards,

    -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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    Ok -- dug this thread up off the internet. I want to focus my question the Mclaren Float with a 16 foot NRS CAT. I really want to float this area. Fell in love with the Tangle lake area this summer and going back next summer and want to incude a float Maclaren in the mix. I hear there is a rock garden half way.

    Question are:

    What is the general Class of the river? Would be helpful to compare it to the Kenai flow and portions with rapids as not all class I II and III are created equal.

    Rock Garden: How is this area.

    Overall I am a beginner rafter. Not poor but beginner. Will brush up several times on the kenai before going.


    Also might try to go back in the fall and do a float hunt. Thoughts?

    Thanks

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    In regards to floating the Talkeetna river moose hunting; I would say donít.

    I live on the Talkeetna River, a few miles from the nearest road. The problem with floating the Talkeetna is there arenít any moose during moose hunting season. They all are on top of the mountains. My guess is that the salmon runs attract bear and the bear push the moose out of the river valley.

    For several years now Iíve run both the Talkeetna and Sheep rivers in my jet boat during hunting season hoping to lucky, (after all I live on the river). Not only do I not see moose, I donít see any track on the sand bars either. Other hunters Iíve seen on the river say the same thing.

    Kinds of sucks living remote on the Talkeetna and having to go someplace different to hunt moose, but Iím not wasting my time this year.

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    Check your PM's. Good job on those Elk! Sounds like you harvested some real fine bulls

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