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Thread: Moose John River

  1. #1
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    Default Moose John River

    Came across a old magazine artical about bowhunting on the moose john river. Great story and got me excited. Trouble is...I have looked in the Alaska gazateer and done several searches and can not find a moose john river. Anyone know where it is ?

  2. #2

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    It's somewhere southeast of McGrath flowing through the Alaska Raneg, I have a large older map of Alaska and I wasn't able to find it on there either. You might want to try and call an air service that flies out of McGrath and see if they can tell you where it is.

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    Found your Moose John River, AK about 34miles SE of McGrath. Just type the name in Google Earth just like I have above and you will be there. If you zoom in, you will see someone posted a great sunset picture. Enjoy your trip

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Incorrect

    The location on Google Earth is incorrect, as it should be. Jay Massey, perhaps the author of the article you mentioned, took a lot of bowhunters to the "Moose John" over the years. It was no more special than anyone else's special place, but if it had something extra it was because of the caliber of people associated with Jay's guiding and outfitting operation. He was a unique breed; a one-of-a-kind. Though we didn't know each other well, I considered him a friend. He asked me to guide for him one year, but I couldn't make it. Turned out to be his last year in the field before cancer got him.

    Don't bother looking for the "Moose John" on a map; it's a fictitious name. It's symbolic of the best places; places learned only through years of intense research, superhuman effort, and plain hard work. I know the story and I know the area. Moose hunting is not nearly what it was on the "Moose John", but it is still one of the last special places, made so by Jay's memory. For my part, I'd like to leave it that way.

    -Mike
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  5. #5
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    Default one day

    Love to read Jay's stories and his bow building books. He hunted the hard way and work his butt off to hunt with the bow and arrow.
    I got a lucky break a few years ago and was able to squeeze the real name of the Moose John from another bow hunter. I have the hopes of one day hunting it with my longbow, even if the hunting is like it was his spirit will be there.
    He was a good man.

  6. #6

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    You know what, I think I need to dust off my Jay Massey books and enjoy another trip down the "Moose John" River. Good stuff.

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    AMEN Michael Strahan!

  8. #8
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Anyone who runs a guide biz needs permits. Probably plenty of records, both state and Fed that had Massey's location on them. A little digging would reveal some info.

    Last special place? Awful lot of folks with "special" places, Mike. Awful lot of places that deserve the title, "special".
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9
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    Default Very well said Michael

    My curiosty in the "moose John" was not so much as looking for an easy hunt or a "guaranteed" trophy. But as a sentimental way to add to the true pleasure of "The Hunt".....One of my favorite episodes of a archery show, Has dwight Shue and friend in the stopping grounds of Fred Bear. When they come across a old trappers cabin they find a arrow of 50's vintage. And speculate that it might have been one of Frerd Bears arrows....An adventure such as that would add to the greastest of my pleasures....My time in the Field

  10. #10

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    pc,

    when you go let me know if you need a partner. I have the osage stave, a snake skin for backing, hoping to scrounge up some moose sinew, I'd like to float this river also the way Jay did, moose or no moose. I also know the location of this hunt, though it sounds like there was more then one "moose john river" that he guided on......there is or from the writings I have read really only one in the trad community so revered. Of course I'll have my liberty bow as backup ....

    I've spent some time talking to Doug, kinda missed the opportunity to go stumping with him due to the work load and having to leave in a hurry. Great guy! Kinda sucks working a charter boat sometimes.

    There is some mags that Jay Doug and I can't remember the other fella, published years back the quality is crazy good, much better then todays 'stuff'. If you can find them you might pay a pretty penny, definatly worth it! Jay was selling some a couple years ago, I had to pick up a 'backup set' from Doug to the 4 I already had. (it's issues are only 4 mags).

  11. #11

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    cub, r u talking about the lil delta? If so those heads were freds and the gangs, along with a pair of boots (one in the fire pit one in the cabin).

    All the arrow shafts from those bh's were inside cabin. Some of those heads were experimental that never made it to market.

    We have a local with some video of Fred and the gang from his hunts up here....I need to find her again, kinda got out of things for a little bit. All original 35mm, and she's willing to let us watchm.

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