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Thread: Kotz Float Moose Hunt 2010

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Kotz Float Moose Hunt 2010

    Big 27 and I met through a mutual friend and ended up deciding to plan a sheep hunt together by me PMing him about a partner. Over the last year we have become friends and have enjoyed 3 of the best hunts I have ever had. We originally planned to hunt sheep and to do a float hunt north of Kotz. However, the results of the permits hunts changed our plan. Tim drew a trophy tag for the early Koyukuk hunt and after a lot of talking about options we decided to mutually support each other and to do both hunts. This proved to be a tall order indeed. We had about 4 days to get ready after we returned from Timís hunt. I had to ship our gear to Kotz before we left for the Koyukuk and trying to keep it all straight was like herding cats.

    Well the time to fly came and I met Tim at the Fairbanks airport and we headed off on our adventure. Northwest Aviation did a great job and picked us up at the airport and took us to their hanger where our other gear was waiting, We sorted and weighed our gear and I loaded up in the truck with the first load and headed for the float lagoon.

    They quickly loaded the plane and we were headed north. We flew along the river and I enjoyed the spectacular view. Mr. Jim circled the takeouts and let me see them form the air. A short time later we were down on a lake and I was alone on the shore alone with our gear.


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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The weather cleared while I waited and we had bird blue skies to start our hunt. Before I knew it I heard the plane and met Tim at the lake and we portaged the rest of our gear to the river and got ready to start floating. I could see good moose sign in the area and decided to float down to a high spot so we could glass the area. After a short float we stopped for the nigh and made camp. We headed off the bed early both tired from the days activities.

    The first morning was cold and a hard frost covered the ground. I was up before dawn and headed along the river to make my way to the high ground. As I crept along the river I heard a bull on my side of the river trashing brush and grunting. I stopped and grunted back and beat the brush with my home made call. I immediately heard another bull on the other side of the river and he was coming hard . I called more softly to him and soon got my first glimpse of him. OMG he looked huge, he was however in thick cover. I was not comfortable with the shot offered and moved and called again to try to draw him out. It worked and he came into the open and was looking right in my direction. There was no way I wanted him in the river, deep cold river, steep bank and a small come-along. I settled the crosshairs of my scope on his neck, as he turned giving me a quartering shot I fired my 325WSM and shot him with a 200 grain Accubond. The massive bulls back legs folded under his weight and he almost flipped over backwards. He hit the ground and never moved again.

    I turned and headed back to camp to get the raft to go see him. As I neared camp Tim was headed my way, he asked what I got and I said ďFredís dead lets go have a look at him.Ē I named him Fred for no good reason other than it rhymed with dead. We rowed over to where he was and tied off the raft. We approached him carefully, however he was quite dead. We gave each other some man hugs and high fives and prepared him for some photos. After the photos we got to the task at hand and started getting him cut up and hung to cool. The day was getting warm so I decided to hang him and let the night air chill him before we started floating for the takeout 3 to 4 days away.





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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    After Fred was safety in the tree and a tarp put up to keep him in the shade we loaded up the raft and headed back to camp. We had to stay light for this hunt so I was limited on cooking supplies, but I did have, spices and a stick. So moose on a stick was for dinner.

    After dinner Tim tried some fishing and caught some nice Grayling. My fishing gear was too large, so we shared his pole and caught a few nice ones. As the evening approached we heard another bull and moved downriver to see if we could call him in.

    We set up and started calling, before long a nice bull started working his way to us and soon emerged for the brush. He was really ticked-off and kept his cow safety behind him. I named him Bill, because Bill is still on the hill. After getting some video we headed back to camp to get some sleep.



    Last edited by stid2677; 09-25-2010 at 08:41.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    We got up early and loaded up the raft making sure to keep the nicely chilled meat covered. We used a tarp to slide the quarters right to the raft. Loaded up we headed for the take-out 75 river miles away.

    The heavy summer rains had the river running deep so we did little to no dragging. About noon Tim spotted a nice bull high on a ridge and we stopped the raft to see if we could call him in. A few grunts and scrapes had him on his feet and moving towards us. He closed the half mile or so in no time and entered a stand of spruce. I continued to call and we soon heard him coming through the trees. He emerged from the timber and we were thrilled to see him in all his glory. He was a fine bull and would be on his way back to Fairbanks had Fred not already been in the raft.




    We called him in the within 25 yards and finally floated off after taking photos and video and left him looking at us from the bank to live another day. I truly enjoyed this experience almost as much as taking my bull. The weather continued to be picture perfect, 30s into nights and high 40s on the afternoon and not a cloud to be seen.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    As we neared the end of our second day of floating we started to see large fish cutting through the water. We pulled into a nice gravel bar to camp for the night and got out our fishing gear to try our luck.



    Tim quickly scored first with a nice Sheefish and I soon followed suit. We had a blast catching Sheefish in the 40 inch range until dark. We stoked a huge fire and enjoyed the sunset and northern lights. We headed off to sleep eager to continue our adventure. I was up at dawn to watch the sunrise and to catch a few more fish. The water had gotten dirty during the nigh, but the bite was still on. I caught several large Sheefish before I put my rod away to get ready for the days float.



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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    ...having yourself a better than average year!?!

    dennis

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    Way pushed on down fishing a few holes that held large fish, we made the first takeout about 2 hours before dark and checked it out. We decided to raft on down to the next takeout to take advantage of the longer lake because we wanted to try to get out in 2 loads.



    We really only had a shotgun grid for the takeout and it sure looked different from the river and at dark. We tried in vain to find the trail and finally gave up for the night and made camp on the sand bar. We were exhausted and quickly made camp and collapsed into our bags for the night.

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    I was up at dawn and bushed wacked my way over to the lake and walked the shore until I found the trail and followed it back to the lake. The trail had been unused for years and was hard to find. With the trail blazed we gathered up our gear and started the task of getting it all to the takeout.





    We called the transporter and he said that it would be the next day before we got out. Since we had the time we took our time and took the entire day to get everything in place for the flight out.

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    With all the work done we finally got to relax and just camp. We made a nice fire and I used a wire cook rack I found at the takeout to cook up some parmesan moose steaks. We devoured the first batch and I made another. They were eat your fingers good, added some MH mac and cheese and blueberry cheesecake for desert.

    We enjoyed the evening and campfire swapping lies into the night. With full bellies we headed off to bed. I was up again at dawn to watch the sunrise over the lake. The bugs were the only thing that bothered me on both these hunts. They were horrible during the heat of the day. One bit me on the eye lid and my eye almost swelled shut. This made me really enjoy the cold bug free mornings.





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    We called and got the news that it would be the late after noon before we would get picked up. Tim had to get back for work so I told him he could take the first flight back. We got all the gear in place and waited for the plane. I cooked up some more moose for lunch and we sat and reflected back on our incredible season. We were truly blessed this year and both took the time to talk about it. We soon heard a plane and headed for the lake.

    Tim loaded up with a pile of moose meat and the heavy plane taxied off for their takeoff run. Within minutes I was again alone to enjoy the last few hours by myself.
    I made sure to clean up the area and got the rest of the gear and meat ready. After a couple hours I heard a plane and he soon taxied up to the shore and we stuffed the remaining gear and meat into the plane. I said a prayer and we blasted off down the lake. The heavy plane ever so slowly lifted off the lake and Mr. Jim turned south and headed for Kotz.. As we flew along I could see hundreds of Caribou and just took in the awe inspiring sights. We made Kotz just as the sun was getting low.

    Back in Kotz I got our gear stored in the hanger and headed for the B&B and a hot meal at the Bayside. It took a couple showers to wash off the weeks worth of funk and to start to smell like a human.


    I was up early the last morning and turned in my lower jaw to F&G and made arrangements to get me and our gear back. Had a few issues with tickets and broken planes, but it all worked out and I was able to get back to Fairbanks.

    Tim and I had an amazing time chasing Swamp Donkeys this year and both got the harvest a couple really nice bulls. I would like to thank Mr Tim for helping me and being a great partner.



    Here is a youtube video I made of the trip.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlrKSTzgbg


    Steve
    Last edited by stid2677; 10-01-2010 at 19:51.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    One heck of a trip, congrats to both of you. ( nice pics, thanks for sharing)

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    Steve, another great account of another great hunt! This has been a great year for you and your hunt partners, congrats to all of you and thanks for sharing the story and pics. Looks like you had great weather as well, and great fishing! Can I ask what kind of game bags you used?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdhunter View Post
    Steve, another great account of another great hunt! This has been a great year for you and your hunt partners, congrats to all of you and thanks for sharing the story and pics. Looks like you had great weather as well, and great fishing! Can I ask what kind of game bags you used?
    I used TAG bags, I had both the old style ones and the new ones with rip stop. The new ones were better. Enjoyed the best weather I have ever seen. Clear blue every single day, light winds and cool nights....

    Steve

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip Steve, glad you were successful. We didn't get a chance to fly with Jim up there but his operation was top notch, I can't wait to get back up to Kotz for another hunt. Great pictures and congrats on your success.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Just watched the vid "superman" lol, ( grins) your new name. Good job on the vid.

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    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    way cool guys,congrats
    I ♥ Big Sheep

  17. #17

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    Simply awesome Steve!!!

    Your pics are always top notch. And your account of the hunts are always a joy to read. 2 weeks until we start to look for Dale your goat in the Shale Hope ya bring your cameras along for that trip as well. Plus some good seasonings wouldn't hurt.

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    Man those youtube videos start getting out and you really are going to be in production next thing you know. Awesome! How big is the spread on that guy?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58D View Post
    Man those youtube videos start getting out and you really are going to be in production next thing you know. Awesome! How big is the spread on that guy?
    To be honest I don't really know. I only had a 60 inch tape and he was 2 to 3 inches wider than that. Should have the rack back Monday.
    My best guess is 62.

    Steve

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    Member BrentC's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Steve! Outstanding year for sure.

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