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Thread: jet ranger for float hunting

  1. #1
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default jet ranger for float hunting

    This last September I decided to take my Alaska seried Jet ranger with the heavy duty oar locks and 8 ft sawyer oars.. and see how it did as a float hunting raft.
    The technique I decided to try was to drive the boat up a very small tributary stream as far as I could go and then drift down with the motor raised up out of the water and oar out just like a regular raft would down a narrow winding river.
    The Stream I tried this on was about 40 ft across at the wide spots and usually 12 feet or less wide on most of its route.
    the map and sat pictures showed it to be about 40 miles long to the head waters, and I thought that if I could make it 20 miles up river that would be more than enough.. the fish and game biologist told me that no one had been up that stream more than 5 miles in his 17 years working the area, so It was my challenge to see if I could pull this off.
    He said that there were no places to land a plane anywhere up stream as it had no gravel bars or open flat places within many miles for someone to land a plane on this little river valley.
    He did say that a trapper did work it during winter from his sno-go for fur animals and it was a stream with beaver and otter and such, but that no boat had been on it in his years..
    I made the first 5 miles up river finding lots of very shallow places of 2 inches of water etc. I was able to stay on step and blow right over those.. then I got into the sweepers and strainers and log jams.. I brought my chain saw and started cutting out places as I went up river, the first day I made the 18 miles according to my gps bread crumb trail.
    the next day I made it 7 more miles. and I could have gone up further but decided it was moose country where I was.
    One trick I used coming up river was to put out scent along the river about every mile or two. I would stop and tie the scent to a little willow and spray the cow in heat at one location and then at the next, dominant bull scent on the next. so every mile or so I had some scent blowing in the breeze.
    I would drift down using the oars and it worked very well. I would call every mile or so and set up for a while and see if we could coax a bull to the stream edge.
    I was able to see on this trip in 3 days 7 bull moose.
    I found a few moose on the exact area I had some scent put out, but I did not remember if it was cow scent or bull scent at those locations,so I do not know which scent was working ..
    We took a nice bull the first day floating down, and spent the afternoon taking care of meat.
    I fired up the boat motor and hauled 400 lbs of moose and my partner and me down river to the main river. then motor back up camped overnight and then took out the remainder of meat and the cape and antlers.
    This type of float hunting has changed me forever, as I was able to go where no one else was, and was able to go fast when needed and yet drift and float like a standard raft when that was needed or desired.
    The water in this stream was fast enough that it had a few rapids along its way and very sharp turns and tree's in the water, so an airboat or metal boat would not have been able to come down river and not get into trouble . the inflatable made it all work safely and was able to haul about 850 lbs in the boat and still be on step and cross over those areas of 2 inch or less water..
    I did have a spot or two I did have to drag out, but that was because I was not up to speed when I got to those spots..
    anyway..
    This was a fun and new type of float hunting for me and was a great success.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Very Nice... Thanks for sharing.../John

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    Awesome man!!! I look forward to doing similar trips w/ my jet ranger setup in the future. Thanks for sharing.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    That is awesome, use mine to do the same type thing for bear hunting. Need another Ranger to come along with ya next year.
    I even thought about hauling my Levitator with me and I could load the Ranger, Motor and a Moose in it and float back down.

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  5. #5

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    Good to hear, thats kinda what I had been thinking. Definitely going to go with a Jet Ranger. Thanks

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    What is the weight and how well does that jet ranger roll up for travel in a plane?

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    A lot of work in the research and planning there. Congratulations on your successful hunt and proving the concept, Alaskacanoe.
    As population/competition grows, access is the name of the game, isn't it?
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. #8
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    What is the weight and how well does that jet ranger roll up for travel in a plane?
    The rubber will fold up small enough to get in a Cub, about 145lbs for the raft and parts and 120lbs for the 25HP jet.
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    Alaskacanoe,
    Did you do the trip solo or with company? Either way you may of discovered another way to access even more remote area's.
    Congrats
    Alaska.........need so many boats with so little time to use them all.
    Tennessee

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    What is the weight and how well does that jet ranger roll up for travel in a plane?
    the Ranger weighs a total of 175 lbs and rolls up about the size of a standard 14 ft inflatable white water raft. the weight is in the transom and the heavy bottom that is really heavy duty so it can run up on gravel bars and beaver dams and such.
    I have hauled it in a 206 airplane before and it worked fine. its just heavy enough though that it takes two people to lift it into the airplane.
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    That is awesome, use mine to do the same type thing for bear hunting. Need another Ranger to come along with ya next year.
    I even thought about hauling my Levitator with me and I could load the Ranger, Motor and a Moose in it and float back down.
    I was in a draw area for last years last trip, but I am looking at some new places to take it this year.
    That idea is a great one for taking along anouther raft as a float out. just roll it up and throw it in the ranger going upstream and then blowing it up and floating out with the game would be a great idea.
    the reason I did have to make two trips upstream was due to the shallow stream I was in and I knew that I would be dragging alot coming out with the extra weight, so I did have to do the extra round trip.
    with an extra boat on board,, you could just drift out in one load on a skinny stream like that..
    good Idea...
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Did you do the trip solo or with company?
    I had my good friend with me, he is in the picture.. he is 74 years young and did well... He was very worried about his age being a factor, but we just took it easy and did not get crazy. took our time and made deliberate decisions throughout the trip.
    As we motored up river and When we came to a place that looked like it might be a problem coming down floating, I would just bust out the chainsaw and take the time to make it safer and more open for us.
    One thing that made this trip fun, was that my friend was very much convinced that this ranger would not do as i told him it would.
    he said many times before we actually went up the stream, that it was not going to make it.. the Fish and game bio had told us that the river had never seen or heard of a boat up river more than the 5 miles he talked about , and he also had told us he had tried to get up river in a jet before and had not made it either.. my friend was totally amazed as we just kept making our way up river.. blowing over those first couple of beaver dams he was in full panic mode and holding on to the side ropes as we jumped the little raft and got airborn.
    After we made it like 10 miles up river, he said.. " Max there has never been a modern motor boat on this stream before us".
    I said,, well as far as we know you are right..
    I never did ever,, see one sign of any cut tree's, or old camps, or any other human activity old or new and it was just fun to be in a place that we did not even have to be concerned about any visitors other than wild ones..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    The rubber will fold up small enough to get in a Cub, about 145lbs for the raft and parts and 120lbs for the 25HP jet.
    Steve, can you still buy a 25 2-stroke w/ a jet? If so where how and what? Please





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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Steve, can you still buy a 25 2-stroke w/ a jet? If so where how and what? Please
    You can't buy any new ones. However, there are several around still and a Want to buy add will most likely get you one. Worst case you can still buy a 2 stroke prop and buy the jet seperate.

    Or You can get me to give you a test ride in mine, I'm sure we could find a spot to hunt something.

    I think one would excell on the Copper Delta, in the shallow braids. I have wanted to take mine over there but need a copilot with a strong back.


    I fold it up and haul it around in my boat, when I get to where I'm hunting I deploy the Ranger and remove the Jet from the pony motor bracket on my Wolly. The Jet pulls double duty, as a spare and trolling motor for the Wolly and the main engine on the raft. I made a tow harness and tow it around making sure to keep some weight in the tow when towing.



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    Member Jackson's Dad's Avatar
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    Max, Stid, or anyone else who has one, what kind of range can you get with one of those setups? How far do you think you could reasonably go in freshwater on a tank, with the usual gear along? Just wondering about ballpark numbers.

    Thanks,
    Jay
    “The mountains are calling and I must go.” - John Muir

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have gone about 35 to 40 miles on 6 gals with a decent load. Mine seems to burn 2 to 2.5 gals an hour. Have not really did but one long range trip and that was from The Chena Pump road ramp up Salchaket Slough and back.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    You can't buy any new ones. However, there are several around still and a Want to buy add will most likely get you one. Worst case you can still buy a 2 stroke prop and buy the jet seperate.
    That is what I ended up doing. Ran me about $2200 all said and done. Not too shabby and the raft was $3100 brand new. But still its $5K that I haven't used YET, but I will, just gotta quit packrafting so much.

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    Member M's Avatar
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    stid2677, I'm offically nominating you for the 2011 MTA, (most toys award). It's not just that you have them but you also USE them, hats off to you.
    M

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post

    Or You can get me to give you a test ride in mine, I'm sure we could find a spot to hunt something.

    I think one would excell on the Copper Delta, in the shallow braids. I have wanted to take mine over there but need a copilot with a strong back.
    Heck yeah we can do a Bering River hunt in sept. Steve! No strong back needed, we shoot the moose, drive the jet ranger to the moose and tow said moose to my gillnetter and go get another one! coho and cutthroat fishing is mighty fine too. twodux can come too





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    i have found the range to be about 30 miles on a 6 gallon tank at WOT and a little more at 3/4. one can reasonably haul about 60 gallons in 4 15 gallons drums and the 6 gallon tank along with spike camp gear and one other person.

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