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Thread: Tustamena Fly in

  1. #1
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    Default Tustamena Fly in

    I'm looking for some referrals for an air charter for a drop off/pick up on the backside of tustamena lake. I've heard of float planes landing on Green lake off the NE shore.


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    You could try high adventure air based out of longmere lake in Soldotna. I've never flown with them but see their planes out on the lake there. Im not sure what your hunting for, but if your hunting for moose the best way to hunt for them is find someone with horses, so you can cover more area, and then have a way to pack out the meat when you get one.

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    Default Hunt

    I'll be going in on a Caribou/black bear hunt. Me and horses...dont exactly get along!


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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default High Adventure

    I have flown with them, they are a great outfit. They do both Hunting and fishing drop offs.

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    Default $

    What kind of prices were you getting. It looks like its only about 33 miles as the crow fly's between longmere and tustamena.


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    I think you are going to pay for a minimum of 1 hr for any flight. If they took you & dropped you, & then cam & picked you up, you are probably looking at being billed for 2 hrs.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Default Vance is

    correct. I flew in to the mouth of Bear Ck in 2008. 1 hr minimum charge each way for 15 min of fly time (Tust is basically "over the ridge" from Longmere). High Adventure was fine to work with.
    Gary

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default

    Have heard good things and bad about high adventure.
    As for Tustumena hunting it won't be long before you wish you had horses.At least for the pack put.
    My dad drew a Caribou permit a few years back. Thank God his neighbor has horses and agreed to take us. The caribou that year were 15 miles past tree line. we saw a few scattered inbetween but at over 500 yards each time.
    I don't think we would have ever been able to do it without the horses.
    I don't like horses either but on this trip they saved the hunt.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  9. #9
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin262 View Post
    I'll be going in on a Caribou/black bear hunt. Me and horses...dont exactly get along!
    Agree with others. You won't be able to do those hunts without horses. While you can take Doc Pollard's trail to T-lake, most folks enter the area from the north side via Skilak. If you haven't been to this area down by T, you are in for a rude awakening. It is extremely rough and difficult terrain to get through. It would be absolutely miserable on foot.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    You can do those hunt without Horses.

    High Adventure in Soldotna. Call and talk to Mark. 650$/ flight Hour for the beaver

    Talon Air in Soldotna.

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    It's unreasonable to say I can not do the hunt without horses. Surely not everyone who's had a successful Caribou hunt in DC608 has been on horse. Yes, it may take a lot of extra work, but I'm willing to do it. I have been to this area, but havn't ventured more than a mile inland.


  12. #12

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    If you can get there on a horse than you can get there by foot. And the best part of that is you don't have to worry about the horses.

    Good luck on your hunt!!!

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    Smile

    Justin:
    I know people who have walked in for Caribou off Tustamena and like everyone is saying its a long pull but can be done. The good news is its mostly downhill on the way out!! High adventure would do fine as would trail lake air in Moose Pass.

    I thought I was the only one who didnt like horses. I went on a sheep hunt and the horse kept stumbling along the cliffs and the tried to sweep me off the cliff with a low hanging branch. I finally got off and walked all the rest of the trip. I never did get back on that mangy beast. Too funny!!!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  14. #14
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default Horses on Tustumena hunt.

    I am in no way saying you NEED horses to do this hunt but packing a caribou 15 miles or more could be a challenge if you ended up having to pack one out on foot.
    When we did it we boated to moose creek trail. Then we loaded our gear on my dads neighbors horses and hiked 3 1/2+ hours to basecamp. from there it was 45 minute hike to treeline. The Caribou in previous years ( so we were told by those in the know) had been around this treeline area but they were not there when we went.After two unsuccesssfull days on foot the people we were hunting with who owned the horses had scouted out the caribou. The next day we rode 15 miles one way to find the Caribou and my dad got his Caribou and that went well.
    When we were loading my dads Caribou it was getting later in the afternoon and out of nowhere here comes this guy toting a packframe and gun. He had shot a aribou in the same area and was packing it out in stages to his basecamp at Browns lake some 10-15 miles away. He had asked If we could pack his Caribou out but we did not have time.
    There is at least one horse packer from Ninilchick who I believe still packs game out for people. Get above treeline and you sometimes get cell coverage. If you have made prior arrangements he will come to your GPS coordinates to pack your animal out. JUST A SUGGESTION.
    Hiking this area is doable especially above treeline where the Caribou should be. Packing out a full size Caribou is a whole other story.
    BTW these horses hopped over 3' fallen logs on the trail without a second thought. They went through tall grass and brush with relative ease. all this while toting heavy packs. It was interesting to watch. they also moved much faster than us while doing it.
    I am not a horse fan either but that is Why I have not put in for any Tustumena hunting permits. I also know I am too out of shape to even think of packing an animal out of there on foot. But there are plenty of you out there who probably can.
    Good luck with your hunt.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    If the trails coming off Tustamena are like the trails from the road system, they would primitive at best. These completely unmaintained by the Refuge people. The fallen beetle kill spruce makes these trails very challenging. Once you make tree line you only have to deal with holes, humucks and tusicks with no trails. If you could fly in to one of the lakes on top you might be much better off. You really appreciate a good horse in that country.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Default Flight

    Anyone know of any other air charters to take two people to a lake on the backside of tustamena or far side of skilak? Maybe a private pilot that may take us?
    So far...

    High Adventure Air ~ 1350$ (not sure on weight but we'd be taking a 7 passenger beaver so...alot)

    Trail Lakes ~ 950$ (800 lb limit)


  17. #17
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity I looked up and printed the refuge maps on witch lakes were open to float planes. Not a lot of options up that way.
    I know George Pollard(Master guide who retired years ago from hunting this area) told me some stories of caribou right on one of the lakeshores one year.But I was thinking it was Emma Lake witch is closed at this time to floatplanes but it could have been Green lake I might have to stop by and Talk to him again sometime.I usually bring him some Halibut every year and talk to him awhile.
    If you could arrange it I would consider flying over this area a week or so prior to your hunt to try and spot where the caribou are at as it does change somewhat from year to year from what I was told by those who hunt it every year.
    That does sound expensive for such a short flight. Wish I could help you find a pilot but all the private pilots I know don't like to fly strangers around.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin262 View Post

    High Adventure Air ~ 1350$ (not sure on weight but we'd be taking a 7 passenger beaver so...alot)
    Weight limit 1300#

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