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Thread: Any info about Nenana??

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    Default Any info about Nenana??

    Hello I am into year number "3.5" of my 5 year plan to relocate to Alaska. So I have started looking for property. I have zero knowledge about Alaska other than what I have found reading on-line. I'd be interested in some info about the Nenana area. I have no specific reason for that area other than I found some property there that is within my budget. Would this be a decent place to start? I'm an avid outdoors man. I have hunted my entire life and travel quite a bit to hunt and fish. I'm pretty good with both a recurve and compound bow, shoot a little competitive pistol and do well with a rifle. I am a retired Professional Firefighter/Medic and also a Vet. I am open to any and all suggestions on the process needed to relocate and as stated before am not "locked" into any specific area. Really hoping to just find some advice from guys that are living the life and the pros and cons of starting out. I receive a monthly check from my Pension so not a guy "without a plan and a job, with only a dream" lol My main purpose is to just get away from the rat race and live my remaining days relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. Thanks in advance! BC

    Forgot to ask. Is it totally unheard of to fine a kind soul willing to help a fella out? Something like I help out with the work/chores, provide some money in exchange for staying a short period of time. Just to get a "taste" of what it takes to live up there and maybe be taught some necessary skills?

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    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!! I see this is your first thread of many I am sure. AK is awesome. The Nenana area is nice. I highly recommend you at least vist up here prior to just uprooting and moving. This place may as well be another country-it is nothing like the lower 48 except for maybe Anchorage. Narrow your search down to a few areas and then come visit. You may find someone willing to take you in for a bit. You also have to decide if you are looking for a place on the road system or off. There are numerous threads on this subect already on the forum. There are many ways to live in AK from apartments downtown Anchorage to living alone in a cabin off the road system in the middle of nowhere living off of the land. Either way AK is awesome and better than the lower 48 IMO.
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    Thank you for the response. I know for sure I don't wish to be in any "towns". I am looking for something that is remote enough that i can hunt and fish without running into a bunch of people. Does your screenname refer to "Duck hunting"? lol I LOVE to waterfowl! I have 2 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and a Yella Lab. The Lab and I brought home around 60 birds this year. Did pretty good for not being anywhere near a flyway. lol The property I found is what I guess you call "off the road system" The posting states the only way to get in there is by trail and atv. It appears to fit perfectly to what I am looking for. The main concern I have is what do I need to do about "permits" to hunt? I know down here everything is pretty regulated but how does it work up there? Is Nenana someplace that I could get supplies as needed? How does the mail system work? Also how would I go about cashing my retirement check if I am in the middle of no where? lol Sorry for all of the questions, but is is exciting to finally speak with someone living up there!

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Nenana is on the highway and an hours drive south of Fairbanks or an hour north of Healy. Get your checks electronically deposited or drive to town each month. First national Bank of Alaska is the closest bank to Nenana that I could quickly find.

    You will be wanting to drive to Fairbanks to get basic supplies.

    You can get a PO box in Nenana or one in Fairbanks if you don't want your mail too often. Also if you are closer to Anderson you can get a PO box there as well.

    For hunting permits once you are a resident at 12 months you will be able to get over the counter harvest tags for moose as well as be able to apply for antlerless moose tags for the various units up there. You will have more success with a jet powered river boat and a small canoe. If you already have a river boat with a mud motor bring it. In some areas they work better than jet boats.

    The duck hunting will be an issue up there. You are near the Minto Flats refuge and the ducks have so much habitat that when they have any pressure they move off and don't come back. Of course there are about a quarter million ducks hatched up there every season so if the first flock moves off then there will be a few more coming along shortly. You will want some early season decoys (hens) since the ducks are brown for most of the short season up there. Yes you have 107 days to hunt but once the ice is in come early October the ducks are mostly gone. There are stragglers hanging out along the river using the open sloughs and sand bars. To access Minto you will need a jet boat or a river boat with a mud motor. Minto can be really weedy and you might not get far in the jet and need to switch over to a smaller boat. If you can find a MoMarsh DP or one of the Carstens down there for the cheap bring it with you. You will never regret having a boat like that up here for ducks. Bring a few geese decoys for hunting specs and lessers along the river. They move through fast so plan on one to two weeks of goose hunting. Sometimes it can be just a day if they don't like the weather up north.

    I recommend going over to our waterfowl forum up the page and searching out some of the threads on Fairbanks. There are not a lot of duck hunters up there posting, but there are enough to get some insight from.

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    I actually have a 1648 princecraft with a 24 hp (i'm getting around 28) Mudbuddy hyperdrive surface mudmotor. I wasn't sure if it would be something I could use up there. Sounds like I should hang on to it. I just sold a Carsten Pintail and switched to a canoe. It is starting to sound like Nenana is just what I'm looking for. I liked the idea of not being about to get into me by road and only by atv. As a bonus it sounds like I'm still able to get to supplies and banking pretty easy as needed. How is the hunting around that area? I usually get at least 4 Whitetails per season down here along with upland and waterfowl to get me through without having to purchase meat from a store. I also fish quite a bit for the freezer. How does moose hunting compare to whitetail? From what I have read, I certainly don't need as many critters to come up with enough meat to get by on.lol What other animals make good table fare that I could find in that area? Is there public land around there or do you knock on doors like down here for permission to hunt private land? Thanks, BC

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    I would definately hang on to your mud buddy, those are very handy here.
    I can't tell from your post, but it sounds as if you are thinking about purchasing a place before you come up. I would advise against this, it would be way better to come up and stay a few months before purchasing a place. There is a lot of land advertised that is basically useless especially during breakup. As far as table fare there is moose, caribou and black bear, then there is also small game. Hunting your first year will be pretty expensive, until you are considered a resident, but not as bad as some states.

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    I was wondering how to go about this. I was hoping I could find a cheap place to rent in the area. Give me a chance to check things out and actually look at a place before purchase. Is there a on line source that I could use to try to find a rental in the area? Is that the norm, to stay up there awhile before deciding? I'm not locked into any specific area but would prefer to not be around any real populated areas. Something within a few hours drive for supplies would be ideal.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You absolutely positively have to come up and see whatever land you are interested in before purchasing it. I'd say spending a year or two renting a place and traveling around the state is money very well spent.

    There are many, many factors to consider when purchasing land. Land price is but a small factor, you need to consider where you'll get building suppies, and how you'll get them to the building site, how you are going to heat the cabin, and how hard it is to get to game to hunt. As big as Alaska is, the population of game isn't that big, and anywhere there is big game, there will be competition to get it. Anywhere that a plane can be legally and physically landed, if there is game there, you'll be competing against hunters from the larger populations in the state, as well as the lower 48. If there is a river or 4-wheeler trail, then you'll be competing against those folks as well.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I posted this on another website where somebody asked about coming up and doing a self guided moose hunt. Hopefully this will help get your mind right about the reality of hunting Alaska:

    The one thing that never gets properly stressed in the hunt Alaska books is that hunting in Alaska is an expedition, where you happen to be hunting. If you take the same mindset you would for making an expedition to the Amazon, or any other remote area where you need to bring in everything you'll need for clothing, housing, cooking, medical and repairing your equipment, then you'll have a much better grasp of what a DIY Alaska hunt involves. This is likely vastly different from how you currently hunt. Not to mention shipping all that gear through multiple airports, with every one of them a potential for some of your gear to get way layed. Once you get dropped off at your final destination, you will be all on your own until that small plane comes to pick you up, and there are good odds the day you expect to be picked up and the day you are actually picked up won't co-incide due to weather.

    The finding and shooting of the game is only a small part of the Alaskan hunt.

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    One moose a year is just more than 4 average whitetails after processing. Unless you are talking about those huge corn fed Ohio beasts. Corn fed whitetail is hard to beat for flavor. You can also take a black bear or three in the spring depending on the unit.

    Upland in that area will be poor compared to Ohio. Bring a sling shot for the spruce hens in the trees. Squirrels up here are dog food and some dogs won't eat them. There will be snow shoe hares depending the food and predators. If you trap you will have a good time.

    The community of Healy just north of the Park might have the best option for rentals, but the competition could be huge due to the tourist business workers down in the Park. There might also be places in Anderson or Nenana. There is a Fairbanks craigslist that you can review and look for rentals in the area. Fairbanks has more rentals and rural places like Gold Stream valley that you can spend some time in while kicking tires on some land.

    As for land buying. Don't do it with out walking it. The areas around Nenana and Anderson are gigantic swamps. You may only be able to get an ATV into it in the winter and a few times in the summer it is not raining. You will also need to think about water. A lot of the swamps don't have a drinking water source in them. Streams are swamp water with beaver poo. If you have a dry cabin you will need to determine your heat source and how far and just plain how you will be hauling water jugs. Hundreds of people are in this situation in that region.

    You also need to know how close you are to Federal and State lands as well as Native corporation lands. It would suck to buy a property and not be able to step over the properly line with out trespassing. It would be best to come up and go to the various public lands records offices at the BLM or State DNR in Fairbanks or Anchorage and check things out.

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    It does seem to be a lot of "swamp" in the area I was looking. I also didn't realize that there would be hunting pressure. I guess I always looked at Alaska as plenty of game and few hunters for some reason. Not very realistic I know. I guess I will have to broaden my search for property.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigchessie View Post
    I guess I always looked at Alaska as plenty of game and few hunters for some reason.
    Turn that around a little to "Alaska has plenty of game and few hunters per capita, but has very limited EASY access to hunting country."

    It is the limited EASY access that Paul was trying to convey.

    There are a lot of animals up here. Millions of caribou way up north in the Arctic. Not so many down south where most the people live.
    With a state population of over 600,000 there are less than 100,000 hunting licenses sold each year. Keep in mind that kids under 16 don't need one so there are more than 100,000 hunters. Keep in mind as well that most of those hunters live on the road system. Ohio has more miles of road than Alaska.

    Unless you have the money to finance the use of a super cub or other bush capable plane you will be hunting on the road system with an ATV, or near the road system using a boat, along with several thousand of your neighbors.

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