Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Denali Advice

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    50

    Default Denali Advice

    I have finally just told the wife that I am going hunting by myself and she is just going to have to live with it. Hell, I have hunted by myself for all of my life anyways. So I am wanting to head up to Denali in the middle of May and try my luck for a quick weekend hunt. What I am asking for is any advice? I would like to take my 4 wheeler and get in a bit and set up camp and then just go out during the day and glass. Will this work or will there still be to much snow? Also were along the Denali highway should I think about going in? I don't want an exact location of were to go but, just a genral idea. Hope everyone is having a good Monday.

    Chris

  2. #2

    Default

    Might still be a pile of snow in mid May but i'd stay in contact with Claude at Alpine Creek Lodge for updates. You can drive the highway and there are many 4 wheeler trails to choose from, you just need to know where the private land is. Most if not all of Ahtna's land is posted.

  3. #3
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson
    Posts
    1,556

    Default Hunt and snow

    The snow is nearly gone up on the highway. You can't quite ride wheelers, and snow machines are questionable at best. The hiking is decent up high. There are some great trails you can take to the South around the Susitna for setting up camp. They should be good and open by then, but might be slimy, but not impassable, at least according to my experience thus far. There is also the Valdez Mine road, but that may be full of miners by that time or some of the other roads in the area. Anywhere will be good hunting. Just find a comfortable spot and get the glass out and relax. The private land is all marked to my knowledge, and it only extends to about 20 miles from Cantwell, other then smaller private parcels such as what I own.

    As far as your wife, spend the $49 bucks for a spot, program it so that you can hit the 'OK' button and depending on how nevous she is, you can hit it every five minutes, or every couple of hours, or every day, and she can click on the link that comes to her email and it will show her exactly where your at. Don't pack it into a bar and accidently hit the button! heh heh!

    Good Luck!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  4. #4
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,443

    Default solo's the way to go

    Solo hunts are really nice.....don't have to rely on anyone. Iridium phone is the best way to keep in touch with civilization....

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,175

    Default Planning on heading up May 7-9

    If anyone goes up this weekend post some updates. From what I've read so far should be decent for wheelers by the time I go, but updates are appreciated. Wondering if the creeks are open yet? Want to do some grayling fishing. Never been up that way this early. If I see a bear we'll do our best to blast it.

  6. #6
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson
    Posts
    1,556

    Default Update

    Report from the lodge as of yesterday is that the snow is still going away at a fast rate. There is no snow left at my place, and hasn't been for two weeks. Temps have been in the 60's in the afternoon. The road has been open for two weeks at least from Cantwell to past the lodge at mile 68. I haven't confirmed yet that it's open all the way, but I'm guessing it is. Road is in excellent shape! Probably the best I've seen it. Travel at this time via snow machine is limited at best, and I took the wheelers out last weekend up there. A little snow on the trails but if you travel early in the day, it has been set up okay.

    By May 7th, it should be full on easy wheeler riding unless the temps drop and some snow falls. One never knows up there. I watched 6" of snow fall on June 1st three years ago. It doesn't stay long at that time of year.

    I'll be making my weekly trek this weekend again with supplies, so will have a better report upon my return on Sunday night.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,175

    Default Good news

    Thanks for the update. I can't wait. Haven't been out to do anything since Feb. We're going as far as the Big SU from Cantwell side, but we might try and stop in to say Hey and check your place out.

  8. #8
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson
    Posts
    1,556

    Default Great!

    Good deal! Looking forward to your visit, if you can make it! At least have some free coffee and check it out. We are 11.3 miles East of the Big Su bridge.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Well my trip is not looking good. I need to get my wife over bearphobia! Any ideas? I have a lot of people that I work with that want to hunt but, as soon as you mention that it will take a lot of hicking and setting up camp and tent sleeping, they quickly change their mind I tell you, I just don't get it.

  10. #10
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    947

    Default I have hunted.

    South of Gracious for almost 12 years (Tom's camp which is just past Fred's Camp) all the way to Wantana Creek.

    We have done overnight trips to 21 day long trips. In that time we have seen hundreds of bears, black and brown, and have never had a problem with them.

    It is a awesome area to hunt and to just camp in (well once the flying Bloodsuckers are gone)
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
    5.0 Mercruiser Alpha 1

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gristec View Post
    I need to get my wife over bearphobia! Any ideas?
    Have her talk to one of us or someone else who has spent lots of time in the woods. Like the previous poster, I have seen many hundreds of bears in the woods, and have never felt like my life was threatened. You're safer in the woods with bears than you are driving on the roads of Anchorage.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    fishhook, ak
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    was going to say basically the same brian.

    driving on the roads every day is far more dangerous than being out in the woods, especially in denali highway country (and other shrub tundra where visibility is good).


    and, statistically, the most successful (and easiest to use) bear deterrent (after common sense, which works virtually every time) is pepper spray.

  13. #13
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gristec View Post
    Well my trip is not looking good. I need to get my wife over bearphobia! Any ideas? I have a lot of people that I work with that want to hunt but, as soon as you mention that it will take a lot of hicking and setting up camp and tent sleeping, they quickly change their mind I tell you, I just don't get it.

    Remember that these are modern Americans you are working with. Comfort and easy are how they were raised.


    As for the bearphobia it can sometimes be over come with statistics.

    More people die in Alaska from car accidents than bear maulings.

    More people in Alaska are injured riding bikes than are injured by bears.

    More people in Alaska are killed by people they know than are killed by bears.

    Every year there are over 1 million "man days" of trips into Alaska bear country and the average of fatal bear attacks is at less than one per year.

    If she was actually concerned about her family's safety she would not let anyone drive a car or ride a bike, but demand that they spend every day out in the woods. You will be safer - the numbers don't lie.

    If she is worried that you are going to have to go into the brush after a wounded bear tell her you won't. If I was hunting alone I wouldn't go in after one and would just wait it out. It will either leave after a day and night or it will be dead. Just be prepared to sit on an alder patch over night.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,175

    Default Bear aware

    My wife and I hardly ever see bears unless we are glassing them from miles away. Why? Because we are loud as crap. Talking, clapping, "Hey Bear." Guns, Pepper Spray are good, but making the animals aware of your presence before you know they were even in the area is the best IMO. Now, when I'm hunting a different set of tactics are involved, but my wife is deathly afraid of bears from a standpoint that people are afraid of spiders. Doesn't deter her from going out and enjoying the AK outdoors, but it does make her a bit annoying when every 30 seconds she is yelling "Hey Bear." But, we've never had an encounter on any trail we've been on, whether its hillside Anchorage, Ptarmigan Lake, McCugh Creek, Gull Rock, McCarthy, whereever.

    Also, the Denali Hwy in particular is a plethora of gravel pits or pull-offs where one can camp and requires no hiking to get to the camp. Once you pass the Bruskana (coming in from Cantwell) you're pretty much into open public land. Most pull-offs or gravel pits have trails leading out of them that are easily enough hiked just to get "away" from camp and at that point on the hwy your above tree line so its not like your blindly walking around in a dense forest.

    Not sure if you have a wheeler or wheelers but those would be helpful too.

    IMO, if you're dead set on the Denali Hwy, get your wife to go, and get the mindset for yourself that if you never leave camp you've at least taken the first step in introducing her to the outdoors. A small hike down some wheeler trail will be a good introduction.

    Heading out on some 10 mile wheeler ride into the wilderness, setting up camp, etc. might be too much.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Thanks for all the advice. I am defiantly going to drop those statistics on her. I have already tried to get her to come with me and she want. My wife loves the outdoors. We camp out frequently (tents). She just does not want to hunt. Her hang up is that she is deafly afraid of me going out by myself here. I will keep working on it

    Chris

  16. #16
    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Usually somewhere I don't want to be.
    Posts
    408

    Default

    I mostly hunt and fish by myself nowadays as well. My wife will go along on fishing trips from time to time. She mostly sits on the bank and reads, but she can weild a fly rod pretty well too. While I cannot say she was afraid of me hunting alone she did have a slight aversion to bears. So, I took her out looking for them. You may not have enough time to introduce her before your planned hunt, but if you get started now, next year may be easier to sell her on the idea. It works well, now my wife chases them away when we are fishing, sleeps in a tent without worry and does not even raise an eyebrow when a big brownie jumps in the water next to us. Take your wife out and introduce her to the bears. Apply for a permit at McNeil if you want a really good place to see a pile of them. In the long run you'll both be better off.

  17. #17
    Member SperBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    114

    Default Denali

    Not intending to hijack the thread so it's back on the original theme or anything, but I plan to hunt the Denali with a buddy or 2 next week. Not exactly sure where to go, planning on finding good glassing areas,or hiking mountains relatively close to the road and glassing from them. Otherwise, he has 4 wheelers so we may try some random trails...Not sure where to head for bears in that area!
    If anyone has any specific advice or suggestions PLEASE PM Me and I will happily give you the full report when we return.
    Thanks in advance.

  18. #18
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    UPDATE

    I made a supply run for Claude yesterday and drove out this morning(4/30). The road is smooth and dry (read dusty) but it was snowing this morning so that should knock the dust down some. DOT is doing some roadwork around MP120 so watch for belly dumps and graders.

    The south facing slopes are almost completely free of snow but there's still a good bit on north facing slopes and in the shady ravines and in the woods.

    The Big Su, as seen from the bridge, is sloppy with the main channel open enough to run a jet boat on (12-15 ft). It's going to let go any day now.

    Moose everywhere, and the Parka Squirrels are out too.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  19. #19
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Wives can stick together

    On your wife's Bearphobia, I'd suggest not giving her statistics but get her in touch with the wife of another solo hunter, maybe Brian M's would be good for her to try to email or something

    My wife has twice over the years recieved a call in the middle of the night, once from myself on Sat phone from a rescueing freighter after a crewman fell asleep at the wheel and drove our new fishing vessel onto rocks, middle of nowhere in January, and once from USCG that my EPIRB was going off in November, "we have no idea where he is..." having been blown down by williwaw off Peninsula while solo commercial fishing!

    Yet, somehow, she has no problem with my continueing to go out by myself Fishing and Hunting, something about knowing I am well prepared and "Prep is the Key" and honoring her by letting her know how much attention I pay to that, very much like you are doing now, knowing you are prepped will help her immensely,

    Point being, other wives who have lived up here long will have tips for her and they understand things differently. Sounds like that SPOT thing works well, and if you can spring it even renting a Sat Phone is pretty hard to beat, Can be bad if the reception is bad though, like west of Sandpoint offshore it never is reliable and we both realized that was worse than not knowing anything,

    Good Hunting

    You can PM me as to my wife's opinion but she's pretty intense, (born and raised Kodiak), and she might start talking to her about "releasing fear and control" and stuff. Probably don't know you guys well enough for that (smile)
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  20. #20
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    If it would help, you're welcome to borrow my SPOT for a weekend. We can set it up so your wife gets the messages. It'll possibly put her mind a little at ease and help you decide if it's something you want to purchase. There are some weekends I'll need it, but most of the time it's just sitting on my desk. Just let me know.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •