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Thread: Hunting Opportunities in Alaska

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    Default Hunting Opportunities in Alaska

    How's it goin, everyone? My name's Barron, and I'll be graduating from the Air Force Academy soon. After I do, I'll be stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage for a few years, and I can't wait to take advantage of some of the amazing hunting and fishing opportunities that Alaska has to offer. I've taken a black bear on Kuiu Island and a nice bou somewhere near Lake Lliamna, but I'll be new to the Anchorage area, and I'm just looking for some feedback on hunting opportunities around there; anything from brown bear to mountain goats and salmon. Where should I go? What affordable guide services are there for non-resident military? Would I be well-advised to have a four-wheeler or a boat? Anything along those lines would be of great help to me. Thanks for reading, and a response will be appreciated even more. Good luck in your hunting, and I look forward to being a part of one of the wildest places left in the world!

    Barron

    PS - Here are a few pictures; I don't want to be the guy who asks you to read all of that and gives you nothing in return. Please feel free to add some pics of your own to the thread... I'd love to see them.



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    Any relation to Jack?

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    Yeah. He's my dad. Another question for anyone who might know the answer... When I get to Anchorage, I'll have my truck, but I know that automobiles are not the best way to get around AK. Unfortunately, I doubt if I'll have the funds to buy a Supercub. Anyway, is there any sort of boat or plane ferry service that makes it easy to get to some of the hunting areas? What I'm thinking of is sort of a Southwest Airlines-style service that provides short hops for cheap fares. If not, how do you suggest getting from Anchorage to some of the good hunting areas around AK? Thanks.

    Barron

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    Member akndres's Avatar
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    Wink Exploit your resources

    Better ask your dad. As a new officer, you must exploit the resources already at your disposal. He seems to have the good spots already figured out.... at least in his videos.

    Check the archives on this forum (throw in a point of interest, and I'm sure it's been talked about at one time or another), and enjoy your time up there, it goes by way too fast.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    A Brittingham living in Anchorage, Giddy Up! Up here there are lots of hunting opportunities. Pretty much possilble to get a guided or outfitted hunt for any animal you are interested in taking. One of the best investments you could make though would be a 4wheeler. While most of the state is untouchable without getting in the air there is still allot of oportunity within driving range. Boats are another good means of transportation as it not only opens up the hunting options but also gives you more options for fishing and seeing the great state. My theory is this: if you are after trophy animals best bet is to fly in to where they are. But if you are looking at just the oportunity to hunt and harvest a legal animal a 4wheeler or boat and all the right gear is all you need. I've personally never taken a guided trip in all my years up here yet I have still taken a 63" bull moose and a nice 6'4" black bear. Haven't taken a big brown bear yet but with my 4wheeler and boat I have the means to do so when I am ready. I have seen several 9' plus brown bears but the timing hasn't been right.

    Anyway not to make a long reply but the options are pretty much enless. Drop me a PM when you get into town....
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Default A Hearty Welcome!

    Barron,

    Allow me to be among the first to welcome you to Alaska, and to Outdoors Directory!

    I would be delighted to assist you in any way I can. I remember coming here when I was 27, and how difficult it was to get things figured out at first. Feel free to drop me a private message and let's get things rolling for you!

    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
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Barron, Let's see, the son of a world renowned big game hunter getting stationed at Elmendorf AFB, How did you swing that one? Hehehe, I'm Stationed at Eielson AFB, outside of Fairbanks and currently in Iraq, (be home in 60 or so days) I have friends that have spent their entire AF career trying to get there. Congrats, now you can become a resident of this great state! I have seen alot of your dads videos, some with you in it. Man, I'm telling you, your dad is holding out on you, unless he wants you to figure it out on your own like most dads do. Anyway, yes a four-wheeler is the way to go, you can access alot of remote areas with good aggressive tires on your ATV. Check out hunting military lands You can come up to hunt Ft. Wainwright for moose, I have seen 60+ inchers in full velvet, of course in the off-season. and it's accessable by ATV, Ft. Wainwright has vast majority of land around here, come up to Eielson and view the maps. Another means of accessing remote areas is by jet boat, however it seems like everyone has one on Eielson. Just look at the storage lot there at Elmendorf, it looks like the annual boat show. You could start out with a nice ATV, then get you a jet boat, until you have enough for the super cub...Welcome to Alaska!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Anyway, yes a four-wheeler is the way to go, you can access alot of remote areas with good aggressive tires on your ATV.
    I personally feel that is bad advice. No offense to kahahawai, but most of the military shares his same ideology. You will be competing with so much of the military and civilian community; shrugging your shoulders in camp wondering why you were only able to distance yourself a mile away from the next camp.

    Save your $7K and spend it on getting away from the bulk of hunters...via air taxi service. If spent wisely you could get 5 to 6 (maybe more) drop offs into the back country. You figure you have 3 to 4 years straight of living in Alaska. That is 2 - 3 years of hunting seasons. 2 - 3 hunts per year, which is about what your leave will afford annually.

    An inflatable would be a wiser choice of toys IMO.

    If you do decide to pony up and buy a wheeler, do it in the lower 48. They'll rape you even more in AK on a new (even used) purchase.

    Take your first (non-res) hunting season there and tag along with somebody on a hunt. Find something you are really interested in; whether it be sheep, moose, bear, etc. Ask to tag along and be camp b!@#h or something. I personally feel you Zoomies make the best sherpas. When your first legal resident season rolls around you'll already have some of those wickets.

    Welcome to Alaska and Elmo. What career field?

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    Talking

    does your father have his own hunting t.v. show?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    A guy just out of the academy is going to be in the best shape of his life, right? Well, if that's the case, you don't need an atv. As someone else pointed out, you'll almost never be alone while hunting on an atv trail. I do it from time to time, but my preferred method is hunting on foot. You'd be amazed at how much good hunting there is right off our road system for those willing to hike long and hard. Get yourself a really good pack (Barney's, preferably) and then hit the mountains in May, June, and July for your first two summers. By the 2nd August you should have an idea of where to go to find some animals and some solitude.

    -Brian

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    akndres - I most definitely have asked my dad for his inputs on hunting Alaska, and he has some great ones, but, regardless of how much hunting he's done up there, he's not a local, and I know that y'all have lots of good information to offer. Thanks for the reply.

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    First, I want to thank all of you for your inputs. That info definitely helps out.


    DMan - Thanks for the support! I'll make sure to keep myself current on this forum until I move up there around the first of August (earlier if I decide to spend some of my summer leave there before I report to Elmendorf.) Your reply, along with others, reinforces my thoughts of buying a four-wheeler and a boat. I'll send you a PM when it's getting closer to moving time.

    Mike - Thanks to you, also. I like your quote... it reminds me of one of my dad's favorites: "The 7 P's - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance." Take care.

    Kahahawai - First, thanks for everything you're doing in Iraq. I'm sure I'll be over there sooner or later. As for Elmendorf, I guess I just got lucky, very lucky. Dad's not holding out on me, but like I told Akndres, I want to get all the info I can, and I know y'all have some good stuff. Good luck in the nest 60 days!

    Jimmy - Thanks for the inputs on the air taxi hunting. A question for you: How does this work? I figured it'd go something like this: Pay a few grand, get dropped off at an upper spot on some river, float or hike down and get picked up a week later, hopefully with a trophy. Are there any particular air taxi companies that you recommend? Also, if I do get an ATV, I'll make sure to buy it down here. Also, I'm almost positive that I'm going to get an inflatable with a small outboard. Any brands or models you recommend? While I like the idea of tagging along with someone who knows where they're going, I definitely plan to do some hunting in my first year. Non-resident military rates are still pretty good. Also, when I get to Elmo, I'll be a Contracting officer.

    Cold Zero - Yes, it's called Jack Brittingham's World of Hunting Videos. It was on the Outdoor Channel, but I think it's been switched to the Men's Channel. Not positive, though. We don't get those channels here at school. If you go to www.jackbrittingham.com, you can find all the info there.

    Brian - While I don't claim to be in great shape, by any means, I do love the idea of being as far away from civilization as possible, so thanks for your input. I still haven't decided whether I'll get a four-wheeler, but I don't mind hiking long distances to get to good hunting country, and, whether I have a four-wheeler or not, I'll certainly be making use of this method while I'm there. Thanks again.

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    Default 4-wheeler

    Now a question for anyone who wants to answer:

    If I do decide to get a 4-wheeler, I probably going to go with a Japanese brand... seems to me that you can't really buy a bad Japanese bike. I'm debating between the Yamaha Grizzly 700 4X4 and the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4X4. It seems that the Yamaha is slightly more expensive and less powerful with less towing/carrying capacity and only about 1.5 inches more of ground clearance. I'm leaning toward the Kawasaki... are there any factors that I'm overlooking which may influence my decision? Thanks.

    Barron

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Barron, I have the Grizzly 660 and absolutly love it. My Hunting buddy just got the new Grizzly 700 last summer and loves it too. The only thing about the 700 is that is doesn't have a big brush guard like te 660 but my understanding is there are some nice aftermarket ones coming out. I have ridden the 700 and I have to say the power steering is real nice and starting it with that EFI when it is 0 degress outside and not needing to choke is great. Starts like a champ. As far as power, the 700 is going to be plenty. It has High and Low gearing, push button 2wd, 4wd, Differential Lock. I have hauled some loads with my 660. I put IPT Mut Lites on my machine for some extra traction and if used correctly will get you out of sticky situations rather than into them.

    Anyway, I have a Grizzly and love it so that gets my vote.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Barron - Post a seperate thread over on the ATV forum and you'll get lots of educated advice about your choice of ATVs. I find that if you keep each thread focused on one topic you'll get better quality responses.

    -Brian

  16. #16

    Default Yamaha

    Yamaha all the way!!! You won't regret it at all.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Barron, go with the Yamaha 700, I currently have an '05 Kodiak, great machine, but I'm going to upgrade to the 700 when I get back, one thing I do regret is the 400cc Kodiak doesn't have 4WD LOCK, where the bigger machines do. Believe me it will be the best $8000 you will spend, despite what Jimmy Urban says, I got a snow plow for mine and use it alot, I also use it to pull stuff around the yard for work and stuff, I can even hook up a tiller to it, I like to hike in and walk too, but think of the time you save covering alot of ground, also,you can pull a meat wagon to haul out that huge brown bear like your dads #1(in the world) pope and young class, that was great footage of that hunt too....Any way take care...K

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Believe me it will be the best $8000 you will spend, despite what Jimmy Urban says, I got a snow plow for mine and use it alot, I also use it to pull stuff around the yard for work and stuff, I can even hook up a tiller to it, I like to hike in and walk too, but think of the time you save covering alot of ground,
    I highly doubt it will be the best $8K you will spend. Besides, unless you pay cash it will be much more than the $8K. Kahahawai, are you getting tired of making those payments yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    also,you can pull a meat wagon to haul out that huge brown bear like your dads #1(in the world) pope and young class, that was great footage of that hunt too
    Are you kidding me? Hey bubba, lets you and me hop on our quads and ride on down to the Alaska Peninsula this weekend. We can shoot some big ass bears and hauls em back to Anchorage in our meat wagon.

    Let's be real here. ATVs with regard to hunting are good for bear baiting, moose hunting and a very limited amount of caribou hunting. As I said before, you'll be hard pressed to get away from the crowds during a moose hunt. The capacity of bear baiters around Anchorage makes it tough to distance yourself, so unless you are willing to travel you are faced with the same problem. You can in some areas start out on a wheeler to get into sheep country and even less areas for goat, which would include much more logistics.

    Think long and hard before you make the plunge.

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    DMan - Thanks for the 4-wheeler info. From the start, my gut told me to go with Yamaha, but I was leaning toward Kawasaki on performance specs alone. I know, however, that there is no better advertising than word of mouth, and it sounds like Yamaha customers are extremely happy with their products.

    Brian - Thanks... I'll do that, but it'll take a bit of an argument to sway my opinion away from Yamaha now.

    Hawken - Thanks to you, too. Sounds like Kawasaki is out. Also, about your quote, I'm from Texas, and I know exactly what you mean. I speak mediocre Spanish, but, more and more, you'll be driving down the highway and the billboards will be written in Spanish FIRST! Irritates the hell out of me.

    Kaha - While actually buying the 4-wheeler is still a decision I have to make, your input just reinforces my gut feeling that Yamaha is a better brand. Thanks.

    Jimmy - Thanks for playing devil's advocate. It's good to have an argument before one goes and spends $8K. While I absolutely know the value of hiking into good country on foot to get away from other hunters, I also see the value in getting as far in as I can on an ATV to save me those extra miles of carrying 90lbs of meat on my back. Fortunately, I've been saving up, and I do have the $8k to spend so that I'm not looking at the extra money for a financing plan. And, about carrying out the entire bear in a "meat wagon", I don't mind making a few trips, especially since the meat wagon can carry more than I can and it's a hell of a lot less work for me. Still haven't made the decision yet, though. Thanks for the advice.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Jimmy Urban, for your information I pay cash for everything, including my home down in Jackson, wyoming...stop by and look me up sometime, I'll be be there from time to time once I get back from Iraq, so no payments there, and that includes all my toys, I could send you pics if you'd like ....K

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