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Thread: Solo Moose Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Solo Moose Hunt

    I am planning a moose hunt and all my buddies are backing out(money,time,ect). I would like to here any ideas about flying out alone.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    i'm not sure you'll find many air charters who'd drop you off alone...some might though. shooting a moose by yourself if you've never done it before is a big bite to chew...your looking at about 7-9 trips to pack him out, of loads upwards and over 100lbs. depends if your still a navy seal or not i guess....it can be done, not really advised though.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Even before you start packing, simply skinning and quartering a moose alone is a very tough proposition. I've done it, but it was one heck of a struggle. You might want to post some messages on here looking for a partner willing to split costs (and the work) instead. Moose hunting solo is not the way to go unless you've got a lot of experience with moose and are sure you are up to it.

    -Brian

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    I have boned out an entire moose myself. No big deal, just like other things it takes more time.
    Some of the most enjoyable hunts I have ever been on have been solo's.
    Go for it! Just bring a SAT phone.
    Tennessee

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default solo hunting

    I do a lot of hunting alone because of my work schedule and the fact that sometimes I decide to go on the spur of the moment and nobody else can get away on such short notice. I have not done a drop hunt alone, and I'm not sure I would want to. 99 times out of 100 it would probably be just fine, but there are some situations you just can't predict when it would be nice not to be all on your own waiting for the airplane to come back.
    As far as moose hunting alone in general goes......like others have said, if you are prepared for the extra work it takes to pack a moose by yourself it can be done. You may decide you never want to do it again after you try it, but at least you'll have a story to tell.

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    Member AK145's Avatar
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    Default I'm not...

    against solo hunting at all, in fact I believe the solitude can be very beneficial for your mental health away from the busy world we live in...as long as you don't get sick of yourself! LOL

    But...I for one would not go on a solo moose hunt. Caribou or sheep sure, but just as stated above that is a lot of work to do by yourself. I suppose it would be easier if you have dressed and packed lots of moose in the past and really know what you're doing but I'm not sure of your level of knowledge there. I agree with BM (I think it was him) that you can also post on this forum asking for a hunting partner if you need one. And as also stated above, some air taxies will not take you out solo. If you do go solo, best of luck to you and be sure you bring a sat phone...a little extra weight that can save your life.

  7. #7

    Default A Big job, but worht it

    I hunt solo a lot. The last moose hunt I was solo. Ended up shooting a 60+" 3 1/2 mile from the strip. 3 days of packing. 6 trips in all. Could've probably done it in 5, but made it 6. Had a great time and was worth it and would do it again, but having a buddy with is also great, so it will be up to what you decide.

  8. #8
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    Default Solo Hunt

    I agree with the big bite theory. I have solo hunted up here in unit 23 and we make sure that what ever you shot, weather its Boo or Moose you think about that boat and how far it is just before you squeeze that trigger! Moose is not bad when you can share the work but just cutting him up is a tough job when you’re doing it alone. For some reason 1,200 pounds of dead weight does not roll over by its self!

    I would think this hunt through for a while before a hired a pilot!

    Walt
    www.northwestalaska.com

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    I was solo on the last moose I shot. It's a lot of work but it sure feels good when the work's done. If you have the skills and physical ability to do it alone, and assuming you've actually done a moose before and know what you're getting into, go for it.

    Of course, as I was dealing with that moose all by lonesome, I repeatedly asked myself "what the *%&$ was I thinking?"

  10. #10
    Member AK145's Avatar
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    Default Exactly.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I was solo on the last moose I shot. It's a lot of work but it sure feels good when the work's done. If you have the skills and physical ability to do it alone, and assuming you've actually done a moose before and know what you're getting into, go for it.

    Of course, as I was dealing with that moose all by lonesome, I repeatedly asked myself "what the *%&$ was I thinking?"

    WELL SAID!

  11. #11
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    Bob,
    Don't know where your from or how much experience you have in Alaska bush. There is alot to learn about being on your own. You can do it if you are young , strong , have a good work ethic, have good equipment: hvy duty frame pack, good quality tent, good clothing and good raingear, have some good outdoor skills to draw on and build on. Don't know if you have ever had a moose down, If not the first one is intimidating. As mr.Pid said, you will think you made a mistake when you first start realizing the job ahead of you.

    That said, a fly in- drop off is a great way to hunt some of Alaska's best country. Look for a high lake to land on. Once your on your own, Climb to 500' feet overlooking a long, broad valley. Start using your eyes and good binoculars. This is spot and stalk hunting. High country bulls are real fun huntin'.
    Les

  12. #12
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Solo

    I feel like should chime in here. I have done 3 flyouts/rafting trips, 2 of those solo for moose. If you are comfortable alone & are real sure of it, then buy all means go enjoy yourself! There are a lot of variables to be considered though. If you are set on doing it I would be happy to share some of the right (& wrong) things I have learned. Just ask

    jeff

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    Red face solo moose

    One thing that you have to keep in mind on a solo moose hunt especially is how to protect your meat at both ends of the pack. If you are flying out you will be mostly concerned about bears stealing it cause one guy cannot watch both ends of the pack, see? If you are hunting higher there arent big trees to put your meat in, and in lower country there are more bears and its hard to get moose meat up into a tree. I know of two parties already who had this problem here on the Kenai. One group of three hunters all packed out together and returned to find out a bear had taken most of their choice cuts. (smart bear) Another group packed one trip to return and find a bear buried the moose. They got help from FG to retrieve the meat. Does anyone have any solutions to these issues on a solo hunt?
    “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
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    Default Dont take extra chances

    I have taken several moose on my own and any solo hunt is in itself a very gratifying trip. A lot of sheep hunters partake in just this type of adventure, albeit sheep way 1/10th of a moose the solitude is the same. The only advice I would give is don't take the extra chances. Don't jump over that log if you can go around. Dont walk on the tussocks if you can skirt them. Make sure you always use your knive away from you. Just remember a minor injury can be very large handicap if your by yourself. A broken leg with a partner can be a great inconvience, a broken leg on you own is deadly.

  15. #15
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default It's doable

    You've gotten some great words of wisdom from these old Alaska hunting veterans. A solo moose hunt isn't for most people, but it's definitely doable for one guy with enough experience, the right attitude, and good judgment, although it will be a huge amount of work if you're successful, more than many folks realize.

    Plan ahead. Definitely bring a Sat phone. Be extra cautious. Have fun!

  16. #16
    Member M's Avatar
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    Default Solo Moose hunt

    I have done a solo flyout moose hunt, it is WORK. I killed a very nice 65" bull, and glad I did it, great hunt. With that said, I do find I enjoy a campfire much more with a good friend or my lab.

    M

  17. #17
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    I too have "been there" when it comes to taking care of a down moose alone.
    If you've never butchered a moose before it's hard to picture the task before you.
    I spend most of my time hunting alone, but thankfully I'm not very successful :-)
    It can be done, but I'm not sure I would want it to be my 1st moose experience.
    Or my 1st remote Alaska experience.
    That's a whole lot of "alone" when you are in the middle of nowhere hearing things go bump in the night & you are still 7 days from your flight out.
    There's also nothing quite like solo hunting .....
    My recomendation would be to find someone on the boards here that would be willing to go with you the 1st time.
    Besides, as you probably already figured out the cost of your hunt just doubled when you found out you are doing it alone.
    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."

  18. #18
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Not much to add-

    Lotsa good advice here. I might add a couple of things.

    There's a false sense of bravado that's hard to distinguish from genuine ability. I know because I've had both on solo hunts in Alaska. Be honest enough to know if you're up to the task, then go for it if you are. Solo hunts are very rewarding, in ways impossible on hunts with others along. I've noticed that people tend to rely on each other on group hunts, and influence each other in subtle ways that prevent you from really knowing what you could do without them. You could do group hunts your entire life and never know what your capabilities are for sure, because you're psychologically and even physically dependant on your companions in ways you don't even see. There is a testing of one's abilities that is only possible when it's all up to you. Hard to explain, but those who have done it know this.

    To Northway, I'm gonna stop short of saying that your statement of being able to pack out a 60" moose in five loads is an exaggeration, but I will say that you've either got incredible physical ability or it was a very small bodied moose! The best I've done is eight loads. I leave all the bones in though. I don't know what those loads weighed, but I do know that one hindquarter was 165#, because I tossed it on the scale to see. That was from a 60" bull with very short palms. I have packed entire caribou, sheep, and goats out in one load, but they were killer loads and smaller-bodied animals. Five loads on a moose is a major accomplishment, and my hat's off to you, friend. I don't know how else to say this, but do you... ah.... walk bow-legged? I can't imagine!

    As to the satphone, I'd carry it in your pack the entire hunt. A phone in camp won't do you a lot of good if you fall with a heavy load and break your leg, impale yourself on a beaver punji stick, etc. Carry it with you.

    -Mike
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  19. #19

    Default Some Additional Metrics

    Bob,

    Not sure where you're from....I was born in Alaska, but now live on the East Coast.

    I shot a 56" bull this year, hunting with one other person. I shot him about 1/2 mile from camp. Field dressing him (skinning, removing four quarters with bone in, bagging the neck meat, rib meat, backstraps, etc) took the two of us four hours, and we weren't fooling around, as we started at 7 PM and finished around 11 with headlamps. We left the four quarters covered with branches, took two loads of bagged meat, and got back to camp about 11:30 that night, bushed. Supper and to bed.

    The next day, after breakfast we went back down and boned out the four quarters, bagged the meat up, separated the hide from the carcass, removed the antlers and skull, and packed all of the meat loads back to camp - 5 loads of boned-out meat for each of us, and then the antlers and skull last. All of that took 5 hours, in addition to the 4 hours the night before. I went through two knives and my back was killing me by the time we were done, from so much time bending over and skinning/deboning.

    Just wanted to give you an idea of what TWO of us went through to take care of one moose! We had great weather, no rain, no bear trouble, not too bad a pack for the 1/2 mile uphill, no bugs to mention, and someone to hold the quarters up while we were carving them off the main carcass....if I had been alone, I'm guessig it qwould have taken me 2-3 full days to do the job right. And if you hunt in a Unit where you have to keep the meat on the bone until you leave the field, you'll have four REALLY big loads to pack, as well as 2-3 smaller loads.

    Not trying to discourage you, just want you to be able to see the effort in your mind to help you make the best decision you can. Good luck, whatever you decide! There's nothing like seeing a moose down, there's just no way to describe how big they are until you walk up next to it.

    Michael

  20. #20
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    Default

    I wouldn't want these posts to your question keep you from a solo moose, but this is a serious question. You need to be real honest with yourself about your abilities. I made my first solo fly in moose hunt 35 yrs ago into Green Lake above Tustemena. My circumstances concerning my partner was the same as yours. I didn't have a clue what I was in for at that time. I didn't have good gear or clothing. I was young with lots of Marine Corps instilled will and determination and thats what I needed to survive that first trip. I shot a Bull about two miles from the lake which turned out two be a three day pack. This was followed with four days of miserable weather that kept the pilot off my pick up day for two extra days. I was glad when this ordeal was over. But within a couple weeks I was ready to go again. I was filled with memories, both good and bad, that I wouldn't trade for anything. That first experience has led to many solo hunts.

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