Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Looking to get a moose this season

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    13

    Default Looking to get a moose this season

    I have been in Fairbanks for a few years now and have finally decided I'm just going to go for it and try and get a moose. I have some experience hunting sitka blacktails in kodiak but I have been hesitant to go for a moose because the hunt seems like a whole new challenge and I felt I would have little confidence in what I was doing. I am tired of waiting for some nonexistent opportunity and am going to go for it.

    I am hoping to get some info on spots to check out and scout on the 4-wheeler. I am also planning on talking with fish and game to get any info I can. Does anyone else have any good resources for information? or spots that might be worth investigating? (I understand if you'd rather not divulge that info) I originally was hoping to tag along on a hunt or two first but I think I am going to go for it. Any tips for someone who's never tackled such a huge animal before?

    Thanks for any advice. If nothing else I am just going to take a few trails and see what happens.

  2. #2
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexofalaska View Post
    ...I originally was hoping to tag along on a hunt or two first but I think I am going to go for it. Any tips for someone who's never tackled such a huge animal before?
    I wish you every success, but you'd better have a pretty good plan for taking care of your moose once he's down. The actual work is not unlike processing a deer, but its just 10 times as big. I've known a couple first time moose hunters to end up with a hefty fine because they were able to locate and harvest their moose, but were unable to get the meat out of the field without significant waste. IMO you cannot over plan that aspect of your hunt. One person can get a moose out of the field with some work and planning, but I recommend you have a strategy before you get him down.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Yeah, that is definitely the most intimidating aspect. I am hoping the 4 wheeler can help me with that so I don't have to pack it too far. Also, I am planning on talking with adfg about it. I hear they have a video with a useful dressing tactic and I want to make sure I am covered as far as what is legal, what is not and making sure I don't get in over my head. I have been looking into different dressing techniques and I know not to shoot one too late in the evening or too far from transportation. I figure I'll give myself at least 3-4 hrs to dress it.

  4. #4

    Default

    If you are hunting solo and are somewhat new to dealing with a moose, 3-4 hours would be pretty fast to have it dressed. Having said that, you don't necessarily need to be extremely worried about working into the night, you just need to be prepared. Make sure you have lots of light available. Flashlights, lanterns, headlamps (most important), etc...

    If you end up getting one late in the day and don't have the time to complete the dressing of it, have a plan for what you are going to do. Leaving human scent all around the kill site makes a big difference. Move the main carcass away from the gut pile a small distance if you can. If you can't haul out all of it that night, but have it quartered, move the quarters a distance away from the rest of the kill site. Urinate frequently around the perimeter of the area while dressing (if you plan ahead, you can cover a lot of the area). Leave sweaty underclothes draped over the carcass or hanging in branches right next to it. Don't be stingy about leaving your special undershirt behind, it could very well cost your your moose. If given the chance, a bear will avoid the human scent and go for the parts not "contaminated". Research the hunt area as far as bears are concerned. Know if you are in a higher or lower risk area and make your choices about when you feel comfortable to hunt around that information as well as other factors. If it is known to be a high risk bear area, you probably want to avoid evening hunting altogether, especially solo, but if there is only minimal risk, you can get away with it most of the time (still be cautious for sure, but the odds are more in your favor).

    For many people, 1 mile is about the outter limit for how far they are willing to pack a moose, many won't go that far. It's really easy to get carried away when you are hiking light while hunting and get 2-3 or more miles away from transportation or you spot a moose and start to follow it further away. It's a whole different story when you have 100+ lbs on your back for multiple loads and navigating rough terrain. Use a GPS to mark your start point and to locate places you can get to with your quad or other transportation. Check it while hunting to make sure you are still within your allowable distance.

    Make sure you have a number of knives or at least a good sharpening set with you. You can hack your way through a moose with a dull knife eventually, but it will be many times faster if you can keep using a sharp edge throughout by either switching out knives or doing a quick sharpening mid way through.

    MAKE SURE OTHERS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AND WHEN YOU SHOULD BE RETURNING!!! Maybe consider having a satalite phone with you for emergency contact, but realize that you probably won't have it on your all the time and you could get hurt away from it without the ability to use it. You want others to at least know the area to start searching if you don't show up on schedule.

  5. #5
    Member Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,334

    Default Packer

    Alex,
    You may not be able to line up a hunting partner but you may very well be able to line up a packer helper! Offer part of the meat or some pay - whatever works for you, but it may well be worth the effort - especially on your first one, to line up some help BEFORE you kill one to help get it out.
    Its pretty easy to hurt a leg on a fall when packing heavy game. Use a walking stick to help maintain your balance - its simple and effective....
    Go slow on the dressing task also, a cut hand or injury from a leg flopping around or whatever can really add to the task after a careless move...
    Invest in a good pack frame.... or two!
    Good Luck!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    13

    Default

    No kidding? wow that is quite a while. What would you say I am looking at? closer to 6 hours? multiple knives seems like good advice and something I hadn't considered. I have a few good lights so I should be set there but I still would rather work my first one in the daylight if possible. I would probably try and call it quits around 1300. I try and let people know when to expect me back, definitely good advice and sometimes easy to forget.

    I was hoping to drag my girlfriend along to help out. She wouldn't be much for packing or probably cleaning either but the company is great and an extra set of hands is always useful. Unfortunately, I could see 6 hours of dressing ruining the trip for her.

    A packer helper huh? sounds like a great idea but I don't know too many people who would be interested. I would be more than willing to trade some meat for help though. I had trouble finding someone interested in having me tag along as a packer helper for free. A walking stick is a great idea. another thing that is too easy to overlook.

    Thanks for the advice guys! I'm getting excited while also realizing I will have my work cut out for me. As far as locations, will adfg have any advice for trails to cruise? or information on bear activity?

  7. #7

    Default

    Dealing with an animal this size makes the process much more complicated being alone versus having even one other "helper". With small animals like deer, as you are surely aware, you can just about pick up a hind quarter with one arm while you cut with the other to separate it from the rest of the deer. With a moose, that isn't possible. If you are solo, you end up having to tie legs off to trees or other fixed opjects just to hold them out of your way. Just trying to roll the animal over to work on the other side is a big task. These kind of things add a lot of time to the process. If you have another person there, like maybe your girlfriend, it can cut your time in half or at least close to it. Just having someone who you can say "hey, hold this while I cut down here" can make a big difference. They don't even necessarily need to get "bloody" all that much if that is something they aren't interested in. Holding legs, pulling back the hide, etc... are all pretty clean aspects to the field dressing, yet can make the rest of the job a lot easier and quicker. Even just having someone help hold the game bag or hold the piece in place while you tie it down to the pack frame can be a big help.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Somewhere between lucky and extremely lucky
    Posts
    592

    Default HUH?

    Okay...I read these posts, maybe its late and I'm feeling sarcastic, but really? I realize its a thread asking for help and people have been replying with good intentions, but it seems a bit...delicate.

    Here's the deal: moose are large, but it really depends; a spike can be the size of a decent bull caribou, a 40" bull can be larger than anything you've ever seen, and the body size of a 65" bull in his prime can blow the mind of even the most experienced moose hunter.

    I've packed moose on my back 3 miles and I've not packed them at all (lifted them from meat bag to 4-wheeler), bottom line; they're bigger and tougher to gut, breakdown and pack but they're not some mythical beast that are impossible- the sheer size of even the largest bulls are no reason for panic or wanton waste- anyone that gets busted for wanton waste and uses the excuse of 'well, the animal was just too big' should have their hunting privileges revoked.

    Handling a moose solo is tough duty to be sure, but as long as you're prepared and up to the task, go for it. As far as knives go, they get dull as you skin, gut, cape, de-bone anything. Have a stone with you, or go the havalon route and you'll be fine. They aren't any tougher to process than any other big game, they're just bigger in most cases.

    Previous posters are accurate- it is much easier with another person, both to help break down and help pack (not to mention the process that ocurrs when you get it home) but as long as you plan accordingly, you'll be fine.

    Additional items I include with me when moose hunting solo:

    w/ no 4-wheeler:
    - Small block and tackle (that's how I know it by name), but it is basically a rope come-a-long that is fantastic for holding legs/head)
    - Extra rope
    - Dewalt sawzall (with the new lithium batteries that are like a third of the weight!)
    - Liquid courage (after all, you've got a lot of work ahead of you)

    w/ wheeler:
    - Come-a-long
    - Small chainsaw
    - Dewalt sawzall (don't want to saw by hand if you don't have to)
    - Lots of liquid courage (after all you have the room)
    - You may want to bring your entire camp and sleep over as you may be in poor condition due to the above suggestion

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexofalaska View Post
    As far as locations, will adfg have any advice for trails to cruise? or information on bear activity?
    Just a note on trails: I'm not familiar with the Fairbanks area, but I wouldn't advise that you "cruise" trails in hopes of finding a legal moose. While folks do indeed get lucky, the vast majority of successful moose hunters are those who get off the trails. An ATV can be helpful in getting off the road a ways, but when you're actually hunting you should get off the machine and get on your feet. You'll increase the # of moose you see pretty quickly if you stop riding and start glassing/walking once you find good habitat.

  10. #10
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    ...You'll increase the # of moose you see pretty quickly if you stop riding and start glassing/walking once you find good habitat.
    What he said.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Hey alex, I tried to send you a PM but you cant receive them. Anyhow, I would be willing to help you out in the event you got a moose down. I dont know where you plan on hunting around FBKS. Do you hunt with a bow? Anything in the FMA is bow only. There are a few spots I know of that are in relative short distance to FBKS that you can use a rifle and if you get out and work you will find your moose. If you want some data send me a msg. Good luck!!

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    13

    Default

    anchskier - that is a very good point and one I will have to take into consideration. I am hoping i can get someone to provide a bit of a helping hand but I do want to be prepared in case I wind up going out on my own. I hadn't really considered the fact that with a moose I wouldn't be able to do things like pull a leg out of the way and cut safely at the same time. That makes a lot more sense as to why it would take so long.

    sockeye - I can see where you are coming from but as someone who has never hunted moose before I want to understand a little bit more of the task for which I am to prepare. Maybe a bit delicate but I appreciate the advice. a block and tackle is a great idea and I think I have one that is the perfect size for dealing with anything up to a couple hundred pounds.

    Brian - Definitely not planning on shooting one from the wheeler. I get what you mean but don't worry I'm hoping to hike a fair bit. Most of my hunting experience is stalking and packing distances of 2-3 miles minimum. This will be the first time I have hunted with the assist of a recreational vehicle. I am excited for the extended range it will give me but I am not using it to replace my hiking boots. I do want to be careful about getting too far from the wheeler and having to pack a bunch of meat back and forth.

    ga2akwild - I can't seem to send PM's either, try sending me an email. I think that should work. I am planning on using a rifle and I am prepared to drive a bit to get to a good spot.

    Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all the advice I can get and I am willing to bet there are others who will use it as well.

  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    If the girlfriend is an AK girl you will probably be fine with just her. My wife had no trouble assisting with our first moose together. In fact she even shot it. One key to keeping a helper that is not thrilled with the butchering process is to NOT GUT THE ANIMAL!! The guts STINK, they are slimy and massive. I pull the hide back from one side, remove the quarters and back strap, neck roast. Then wrap the hide back around the animal and roll it onto the other side and repeat the process. Once all 4 quarters, straps, neck roasts are off I make an incision along the spine below (behind?) the ribs and remove the loin from the upper side. It is a good idea to send away anyone who may be affected by smells as once cutting into the gut there will be gas released and it will stink. At that point depending on how it is laying I usually say screw it slice the belly and dump the guts out since I am almost done. Then break out the sawzall and hack off the ribs both along the sternum and the spine. Grab your favorite internal organs bag them up and horse (moose?) it over onto the other side, collect the other loin then ribs and you leave behind nothing but a head attached to a spinal column and a pile of hide and guts fror the ravens.

    **** If you are not immediately butchering the animal then the no-gut method goes out the window. If it is going to sit a while then immediately gut it and prop the cavity open to start the cooling process.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexofalaska View Post
    I have been in Fairbanks for a few years now and have finally decided I'm just going to go for it and try and get a moose. I have some experience hunting sitka blacktails in kodiak but I have been hesitant to go for a moose because the hunt seems like a whole new challenge and I felt I would have little confidence in what I was doing. I am tired of waiting for some nonexistent opportunity and am going to go for it.

    I am hoping to get some info on spots to check out and scout on the 4-wheeler. I am also planning on talking with fish and game to get any info I can. Does anyone else have any good resources for information? or spots that might be worth investigating? (I understand if you'd rather not divulge that info) I originally was hoping to tag along on a hunt or two first but I think I am going to go for it. Any tips for someone who's never tackled such a huge animal before?

    Thanks for any advice. If nothing else I am just going to take a few trails and see what happens.

    Dude all the moose are down by anchorage, don't waste your time her in fairbanks!!!

  15. #15
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    1,060

    Default

    I tried to send an email let me know if you got it. I will be more than happy to give a hand come september,

  16. #16
    Member AK-Sniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Alex,

    I sent you an email too. If you get it let me know. I will definitely give you a hand too!!
    Diamond Marquis

  17. #17

    Default

    I will narrow my hunting spot down for you here.........the Steese highway LOL!!!
    thats as close as you'll get. Really though hunting spots are not a real big secret. There are honeyholes, but more importantly is how you hunt. Here's how I learned, and got 5 moose in 5 years going on 6 IN THE SAME SPOT!
    STAY PUT! Camp near, if not right on the spot where you plan to hunt. I camp right below a hill where I hunt. Being quiet in the evenings and mornings is a must. Nothing irks me more than having people riding down the trail at 6-8 in the mornings, during magic hour, in their trucks, radios blaring, coffee cup in hand, or on 4-wheelers, in mobs of 12-15 at a time just hoping to see something. Doing this, reduces your chances of success I would estimate 60-70%. Be where you need to be, when you need to be, without disturbing the natural occurrences. I startle birds sometimes cause they don't know I was there.

    Moose bed down low in the night. Usually in the creeks beds. You likely won't see them bedding down, but voila, in the morning if your still, and up high, when it gets light you'll start seeing things that weren't there the night before. Usually a cow.

    Bulls are timid early on. They will follow cows around though. If you see a cow, there is likely a bull lurking in the bushes nearby, usually a small one. Meat is meat to me, and no antler restrictions in 20b. Just WAIT! Later though, prolly the 12th an on, they will be responding to anything that sounds like a moose.

    The key to hunting areas is coverage. Most trails follow a creek bed which is ideal if you watch the whole creek bed. I sit up high and wait. When I see him I use the trail to my advantage and sneak up perpendicular using the silence of the trail. When I found, "my spot", it was purely coincidence. I thought I was just settling for a spot. Glad I did. Got tired of driving and driving around and not seeing anything. Do you ever think, the moose are there, I'm just not seeing them? Well, it's true, and your not going to if your driving around. Last year, sitting in the same spot, I saw over 30 cows before I saw my bull. If your seeing cows, it may be frustrating, but feel confident that your doing something right.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by N2AK View Post
    I will narrow my hunting spot down for you here.........the Steese highway LOL!!!
    thats as close as you'll get. Really though hunting spots are not a real big secret. There are honeyholes, but more importantly is how you hunt. Here's how I learned, and got 5 moose in 5 years going on 6 IN THE SAME SPOT!
    STAY PUT! Camp near, if not right on the spot where you plan to hunt. I camp right below a hill where I hunt. Being quiet in the evenings and mornings is a must. Nothing irks me more than having people riding down the trail at 6-8 in the mornings, during magic hour, in their trucks, radios blaring, coffee cup in hand, or on 4-wheelers, in mobs of 12-15 at a time just hoping to see something. Doing this, reduces your chances of success I would estimate 60-70%. Be where you need to be, when you need to be, without disturbing the natural occurrences. I startle birds sometimes cause they don't know I was there.

    Moose bed down low in the night. Usually in the creeks beds. You likely won't see them bedding down, but voila, in the morning if your still, and up high, when it gets light you'll start seeing things that weren't there the night before. Usually a cow.

    Bulls are timid early on. They will follow cows around though. If you see a cow, there is likely a bull lurking in the bushes nearby, usually a small one. Meat is meat to me, and no antler restrictions in 20b. Just WAIT! Later though, prolly the 12th an on, they will be responding to anything that sounds like a moose.

    The key to hunting areas is coverage. Most trails follow a creek bed which is ideal if you watch the whole creek bed. I sit up high and wait. When I see him I use the trail to my advantage and sneak up perpendicular using the silence of the trail. When I found, "my spot", it was purely coincidence. I thought I was just settling for a spot. Glad I did. Got tired of driving and driving around and not seeing anything. Do you ever think, the moose are there, I'm just not seeing them? Well, it's true, and your not going to if your driving around. Last year, sitting in the same spot, I saw over 30 cows before I saw my bull. If your seeing cows, it may be frustrating, but feel confident that your doing something right.


    Wow!!
    Someone that knows how to hunt moose, what a refreshing post. There a lot of very good information in this post if you’re smart enough to find it.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by N2AK View Post
    I will narrow my hunting spot down for you here.........the Steese highway LOL!!!
    thats as close as you'll get. Really though hunting spots are not a real big secret. There are honeyholes, but more importantly is how you hunt. Here's how I learned, and got 5 moose in 5 years going on 6 IN THE SAME SPOT!
    STAY PUT! Camp near, if not right on the spot where you plan to hunt. I camp right below a hill where I hunt. Being quiet in the evenings and mornings is a must. Nothing irks me more than having people riding down the trail at 6-8 in the mornings, during magic hour, in their trucks, radios blaring, coffee cup in hand, or on 4-wheelers, in mobs of 12-15 at a time just hoping to see something. Doing this, reduces your chances of success I would estimate 60-70%. Be where you need to be, when you need to be, without disturbing the natural occurrences. I startle birds sometimes cause they don't know I was there.

    Moose bed down low in the night. Usually in the creeks beds. You likely won't see them bedding down, but voila, in the morning if your still, and up high, when it gets light you'll start seeing things that weren't there the night before. Usually a cow.

    Bulls are timid early on. They will follow cows around though. If you see a cow, there is likely a bull lurking in the bushes nearby, usually a small one. Meat is meat to me, and no antler restrictions in 20b. Just WAIT! Later though, prolly the 12th an on, they will be responding to anything that sounds like a moose.

    The key to hunting areas is coverage. Most trails follow a creek bed which is ideal if you watch the whole creek bed. I sit up high and wait. When I see him I use the trail to my advantage and sneak up perpendicular using the silence of the trail. When I found, "my spot", it was purely coincidence. I thought I was just settling for a spot. Glad I did. Got tired of driving and driving around and not seeing anything. Do you ever think, the moose are there, I'm just not seeing them? Well, it's true, and your not going to if your driving around. Last year, sitting in the same spot, I saw over 30 cows before I saw my bull. If your seeing cows, it may be frustrating, but feel confident that your doing something right.
    As he pointed out, the bottom line is patience!!! Just like if you were in a treestand hunting whitetail. You see doe after doe and then bam, out comes mr wall hanger.. I had a hunting partner that lasted a half a hunt because he refused to sit in one spot and there was moose sign all over it.

  20. #20

    Default

    Patience will get you very far with moose hunting. Moose are territorial but their range covers many miles. Any where you go in Alaska, if you just wait, there will be moose sooner or later. The first 4 years in my spot it only took 3-4 days to get a moose, then last year I sat there 10 whole days, seeing cow after cow, after cow, upwards of 30. Then in the evening I went to the creek to shave and wash my hands, on the way back, ridin on the wheeler out he pops right in front of me on the trail. EVERY SINGLE person I have taken out there has been unable to sit still for longer than about 4-5 hours. They'll get up and move to some other spot. They also go home empty handed. Imagine that, I don't, that should tell you something.
    The only time I would personally recommend moving spot to spot, is in the heat of the day. There is a caution with it though. You had better be ready to shoot long distances. Just like last years moose for me. They aren't interested in messing around in the daytime and they will spook at just about ANYTHING! I was lucky to ride up on him so quick and he was in a full sprint when I put lead in him. They don't mess around when it's hot. If they are down low in the creeks you'll only see them if they are running from something, or you spook them out of bed. Most of them move up in the hills, mostly green draws. Look for those heavily vegetated draws way up on the side of hills. They like the quietness. Then comes you trying to sneak up on them. I just can't, I've tried many times and can't do it effectively. What I can do though is comfortably shoot out to about 600yds. at a moose size target. This style requires alot of walking and planning though. I'll drive to the base of the draw, dismount, and walk up one side, the least green side. Then I'll sit there glassing the draw all day long planning to shoot across the draw at any game. Watch the wind, it is tricky and changes direction with temperature. This is the only time I ever see moose in the heat of the day. Cows aren't afraid to comeout and feed, but they disappear quickly. This is technically Alpine hunting and different rules apply. Basically meaning, no matter what time of year it is, they will scram at any sound of you. They are their to eat, and only to eat. You had better stay out of sight and out of mind or you won't ever see them again. In the lowlands and creekbeds you can probably get them to come out during the rut with a good call.
    I really enjoy the morning hunts though. Getting up at 0430, while it's still dark and 20 degrees. Theres something special about sitting on that little hill, freezing my tush off, after studying the terrain the night before, and guessing and second guessing about what that little black spot is that wasn't there the night before. When "it" clambors up from bed and starts moving, your heart starts beating faster, and the uncontrollable shivering starts from a mix of adrenaline and cold. Then that steady aim you practiced for so long REALLY gets tested.

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
  •