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Thread: 2011 Float hunt bou/moose

  1. #1
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    Default 2011 Float hunt bou/moose

    I wanted to start off by saying what a great resource this forum is and that I appreciate all the info people post.

    I am in the early stages of planning a float hunt next year and was hoping to get some info to get the ball rolling.

    I am hoping to do a road to road float or a fly in drive out hunt for caribou. I realize the the overall price of the trip dramatically goes up when you add in air transportation, and that is a major concern for me and my hunting partners. That being said however being successful is even more important and we are willing to do what we have to, to have a great hunt. Does anyone have suggestions for possible rivers to hunt that meet these parameters? I am also interested in possibly going for moose and was hoping to find a river that would hold the possibility of taking one as well as having a good shot at bou.

    I have a very basic question on moose hunting in AK that I hope no one beats me up on. Are moose tags by draw only? From what I have been reading it seems that way but I thought I should just ask the experts.

    Also I will be traveling from GA and will plan on renting float equipment. Does anyone have suggestions for good companies to rent gear from.

    Thanks in advance for the info

  2. #2
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. A good place to start your general planning is to buy Michael Strahan's book "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=400. This will give you an overall idea of the logistics involved and provide many rivers to choose from for your selected area. Mike also provides "Hunt Planning" for Do-It-Yourselfers if you want somebody to work out all of the details for you.

    I just completed a Brooks Range trip that cost me about $500 in gas for the roundtrip drive from Anchorage and $1500 total for 2 flights to drop off people and gear. This is about the minimum cost for a fly-in trip with rafting gear.

    For renting gear in Anchorage I would check with Alaska Raft & Kayak (forum sponsor) http://alaskaraftandkayak.com/ or Alaska Raft Connection http://www.alaskaraftconnection.com/ In Fairbanks check with Pristine Ventures http://www.pristineventures.com/home.html There are other options, but these are the ones that come to mind immediately.

    Hopefully you have some rafting experience. Day trip experience would be a bare minimum and overnight trips would be ideal. If you don't have any rafting experience, try and get with a rafting company near home to gain some experience on a raft with oars. Whitewater experience probably (hopefully) won't be required on your chosen river. My family and I usually plan several multi-day float trips each summer. I have yet to go on a float trip that was "easy" all of them are alot of work and adding hunting into the mix complicates them even more with the required chores of meat care.

    The forum is a wealth of good info and I'm sure others will chime in.

  3. #3
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Don't forget BlueMoose Rafting out of Fairbanks. I'm using his rafts and camping equipment this year for my float hunt and he is excellent to work with.

    www.bluemooserafting.com/

    Tell Richard “Moose” Moussea, kingfisherktn sent you.

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    I do have some rafting experience but by no means am an expert. I completed a 10 day road to road float in 09. It was a trip of a life time but the hunt was unsuccessful. Even though I didn't bag a bear (we were hunting black bear) I would still call the trip a huge success. We were able to float for ten days with no issues and saw some of the most beautiful country in the world.

    Thanks for the pointer on the book. I just ordered it and am anxiously waiting to get it so I can post some more educated and specific questions.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    ...Mike also provides "Hunt Planning" for Do-It-Yourselfers if you want somebody to work out all of the details for you...
    Thanks for the recommendation! The trip planning service is as detailed as I can make it, and I try to make a point of providing my sources for information, while at the same time educating the hunter on how to do this themselves. Hopefully by the time we are finished working together on their hunt plan, they have a good enough idea of where to get info, what questions to ask, and how to interpret the data, that they don't need a guy like me the next time.

    If anyone is interested, the URL to my website is listed in my signature line. I'm in the middle of updating it, but have encountered a technical difficulty. Thanks for your patience!

    Note to the OP: your book order goes out in today's mail. Give a shout if you require additional assistance!

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    I second King Fisher's recommendation. If you are jumping off from Fairbanks you will not find a better source for your rafting needs or a better person than Blue Moose. He is an A+++ when it comes to honesty and integrity.
    Best of luck with your trip planning!

  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Get Mike's book asap. Great resource and I wish I had it years ago when I first started doing float trips. For renting gear, check out Goo Vogt of Alaska Wildwater in Anchorage. A stand up guy that will ship high quality Sotar rafts, rowing frame, etc.. anywhere in Alaska for you. If going out of Fairbanks, Bluemoose is your guy for sure. Otherwise, check with the bush pilot you may hire as many rent rafts as well. Lots of options. Pick trip timing, pick river, pick pilot, then worry about the details. Mike's book will be of great use to you in answering many of these questions.


    -Dan


    Alaska Wildwater
    Attn: Goo Vogt
    PO Box 110615
    Anchorage, AK 99511

    Phone: 1-907-345-4308
    Email: sotaralaska@yahoo.com
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    you guys beat me to it, so +1 for the book, it's a must. I would also use Mike for the planning if this is you first rodeo.

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    Thanks everyone that has spoke up on my post. As I said before I have another question I hope I can get some input on.

    What air services have people used and recommend for a fly in float hunt. I realize this part of the trip planning can make or break the entire trip. In addition to suggested companies what kind of rates can I expect to pay. I just want a rough estimate for budgeting purposes.

    Thanks

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK new guy View Post
    Thanks everyone that has spoke up on my post. As I said before I have another question I hope I can get some input on.

    What air services have people used and recommend for a fly in float hunt. I realize this part of the trip planning can make or break the entire trip. In addition to suggested companies what kind of rates can I expect to pay. I just want a rough estimate for budgeting purposes.

    Thanks

    What you'll pay depends on where you are flying from and where are you flying to. How much stuff are you bringing in will also help dictate the size of plane you'll have to use......so...a little more info is needed.

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    My apologies on the lack of background info. For the trip we will require transportation for three adults in addition to a raft and all other necessary equipment for a 10 day float. I'm still in the very early stages of planning so where we would fly out of or even what river exactly we will float is still in the works.

    I know I'm missing tons of essential info but after reading the previous posts about air travel I thought I'd start getting an idea of good companies and hopefully a price range other people have experienced.

  12. #12
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK new guy View Post
    My apologies on the lack of background info. For the trip we will require transportation for three adults in addition to a raft and all other necessary equipment for a 10 day float. I'm still in the very early stages of planning so where we would fly out of or even what river exactly we will float is still in the works.

    I know I'm missing tons of essential info but after reading the previous posts about air travel I thought I'd start getting an idea of good companies and hopefully a price range other people have experienced.

    Sent you an email.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK new guy View Post
    My apologies on the lack of background info. For the trip we will require transportation for three adults in addition to a raft and all other necessary equipment for a 10 day float. I'm still in the very early stages of planning so where we would fly out of or even what river exactly we will float is still in the works.

    I know I'm missing tons of essential info but after reading the previous posts about air travel I thought I'd start getting an idea of good companies and hopefully a price range other people have experienced.
    There is a sequence to all of this. One reason some hunts fail, or some hunters end up with unpleasant and unexpected financial surprises at the end is because they do not follow a systematic approach. I outlined one approach in the thread "A Hunt Planning Primer". Take a look in there and you will see a pretty solid game plan laid out for you.

    I think at this point questions about air charters are premature. You need to identify and think through a ton of other details before you're ready to deal with the air services.

    There are a lot of considerations when it comes to air charters, but each situation is different, so in my experience it has worked well to look at individual companies once I've selected the area and make a decision based on that.

    Others simply find what they consider to be a "good" charter and let them make the decision on the hunting area. I avoid this like the plague. It sounds good on the surface, because, after all, those are the guys who pulled successful clients out of the field last time (so they should know, right?). And then if you are unsuccessful you get to blame the air service for dropping you in a dead zone, an overcrowded place, etc. Better to do your homework! Find a productive area first, then find someone to give you a ride.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    I have been looking at some maps in addition to books and videos (great book Mike) and from what it looks like on the GPS softwear I have there is possible road access to the Toolik river around happy valley. Is this correct? If there are are roads what is the possibility of doing a road to road hunt? I did a search looking for info but came up short. This makes me think its not doable. I was hoping to get some info from the experts. Thanks everyone.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a moose/caribou combo you might be better off looking south of the Brooks Range. Although there are moose on the north side, their densities are lower. I believe the area you mention is draw only for moose?

    I believe most of the area around Toolik lake is under restricted access due to all of the research taking place in the area from the U of A facility at the lake.

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    If you're looking for a moose/caribou combo you might be better off looking south of the Brooks Range. Although there are moose on the north side, their densities are lower. I believe the area you mention is draw only for moose?

    I believe most of the area around Toolik lake is under restricted access due to all of the research taking place in the area from the U of A facility at the lake.
    With respect to low relative densities of moose in the Arctic (I think we're averaging around .25 moose / square mile or thereabouts), I'm not too concerned about that in many areas. Consider that ideal moose habitat is mostly concentrated right in the river corridor, giving way to open tundra beyond (which is very poor moose habitat). So... though the unit-wide density might be low, densities in the actual available habitat could actually be higher than it is in some timbered or heavily-vegetated areas with higher densities. Just a consideration...

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    I'm the same as AK new guy and am soaking up all the info I can, right now my brother a buddy and myself are in the talking stages of a 2011 float moose/bou combo trip. I ordered M Strahans book 2 days ago and am really looking forward to tearing into it.
    Guys, PLEASE keep the advice coming.

  18. #18
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Research, planning...

    Quote Originally Posted by AK new guy View Post
    ...I am in the early stages of planning a float hunt next year and was hoping to get some info to get the ball rolling.

    I am hoping to do a road to road float or a fly in drive out hunt for caribou. I realize the the overall price of the trip dramatically goes up when you add in air transportation, and that is a major concern for me and my hunting partners. That being said however being successful is even more important and we are willing to do what we have to, to have a great hunt. Does anyone have suggestions for possible rivers to hunt that meet these parameters? I am also interested in possibly going for moose and was hoping to find a river that would hold the possibility of taking one as well as having a good shot at bou.

    I have a very basic question on moose hunting in AK that I hope no one beats me up on. Are moose tags by draw only? From what I have been reading it seems that way but I thought I should just ask the experts.

    Also I will be traveling from GA and will plan on renting float equipment. Does anyone have suggestions for good companies to rent gear from.

    Thanks in advance for the info
    These forums can be a gold mine for information, providing additional info and maybe contacts useful to you in your planning:
    1. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt
    2. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt
    3. This hunt, with 40-Mile Air, involves some work, but 40-Mile offers some trips (float to road) that might be within your range of options: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt.
    4. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt
    5. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt
    6. An open season sometimes closes: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt
    7. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=caribou+hunt

    Good luck, with your hunt and with figuring out the Search function. I'm using "Advanced Search", then selecting "Posts" and "Search titles only". I think some are just using Google to search AOD/OSA. Best wishes in your planning.

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