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Thread: Taking advice and doing pre-Alaskan hunting research...

  1. #1

    Default Taking advice and doing pre-Alaskan hunting research...

    I've been reading over and over again that most people from the lower 48 going to AK to live or hunt really don't understand the effort and planning it takes to pull off a hunt, so I decided to start my research now before our move to the Palmer/Wasilla area at the end of July.

    One of the books I've been hearing is a must read for lots of initial information is the comprehensive hunting guide by Chirstopher Batin, but I can't figure out if his 4th edition (originally printed in 1985, and most recent reprinting in 2002) or his comprehensive guide printed in 1994 has the most up to date info. I know the dates are obvious, but I've realized over my college career that most of the revised editions of the textbooks I've been exposed to have almost imperceptible alterations. Anybody read both or just know which is the latest? Definitely won't say no to other suggestions but I'm pretty set on buying this book as well.

    Sorry if this is a repeat post, but I couldn't find anything other than book suggestions on the forum (which I plan on using to beef up my library)

    Thanks much!


  2. #2
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Woodland, Washington


    If it's any help, I didn't think the book was all that informative on places to hunt. It was a quick runover for every huntable species in AK and all the information is atleast 15 years old if not older. It's an ok read but not all that helpful. You'd be better off reading the forums, looking at the Alaska fish and game webpage at harvest/hunter statistics, game populations, maps, etc. Then asking specific questions here. People are apt to give you a hand if you've shown that you've put some effort and thought into doing the research on your own.

    I just moved to Anchorage a week and a half ago and am learning a lot just being here. When you get here, you'll find that a lot of people will be ready to lend you a hand and help any way they can. People here are really friendly and willing to give advice. I bought a bunch of books but they really didn't tell me that much. I have learned more from reading the archives on this forum and the Alaska fish and game web pages.

  3. #3


    EVERYTHING is a help lol. I've been pouring through these forums everyday since I discovered it and it has def helped, I didn't even consider looking at the F&G website but that does make a lot of sense... I'm hoping that the people on this forum are not the exception to the rule and I can stumble across a few helpful outdoors men/women in person willing to pass along a piece of their experience.

    Haven't found one for a good price so unless I hear otherwise, I'll probably take your advice and start printing off maps and F&G stats. Glad to hear the newer hunters aren't getting chased off or discouraged by the locals, which is what is happening here.


  4. #4
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Check the game laws then make some friend when you get here. Books can only say how it was and nothing about how it is.

  5. #5
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006



    Kudos for thinking ahead!

    The single biggest factor a new resident has to learn to cope with is logistics. Yes, the regs are thick and a bit daunting but most of their bulk goes to two or three pages on each of the 26 Game Management Units.

    As you may have already figured out, Alaska is huge with the bulk of its relatively small population concentrated around its limited road system. Typically, the areas with game, and road access, get hit hard during the various seasons. Or, those areas have some sort of restrictions such as bow only, or subsistance only, or they're accessible only by limited entry tags known here as Drawing Permits.

    The trick to getting into the Alaska that dreams and magazine articles are made of ATVs, boats, airplanes. If you're not buying them then you're usually renting them or hiring someone who uses them to drop you off. Like it or not, except for baiting black bear in the spring, and a few antlerless moose hunts near towns, there really isn't much opportunity to hunt on weekends or "after work."

    Most hunts take weeks, sometimes months, of planning, and in many cases saving. Time off from work, getting stuff at home squared away, then the hunt itself...fuel, food, supplies, and spare parts (because where you're going is usually faaar from the nearest road or town).

    As far as books go there are several good ones out there. The owner of this site, Mike Strahan, has a great source book out, granted it's geared toward float hunting, but it covers the logistics aspect of planning very well. Pick up a copy, you won't be disappointed.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  6. #6


    I'm beginning to get the impression that unless you found a hidden treasure or are blackmailing a leprechaun, there is only enough time and resources for most Alaska hunters to take a few trips out all year - if luck prevails. Nevertheless I am glad many of you have found ways of making trips affordable AND are passing that knowledge along.

    I am most excited about passing this reference to toys on to my wife! I am a staunch advocate of simplicity which means that I am morally bound to only get ONE ATV, and ONE snowmobile... for each of us of course lol (otherwise we all know I’d be the one walking anyway )

    I’ll have to spend some time making friends after moving up there, so if anyone in Wasilla or Palmer wants a free drink that’s probably the time to get it haha. I’ll be the wide eyed kid with the “deer in the headlights” look.

    Again, thanks for all the advice guys... literally ANYTHING is greatly appreciated.



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