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Thread: Planning First Alaska Hunt Need Advice!

  1. #1

    Default Planning First Alaska Hunt Need Advice!

    I am planning an Alaska hunt for 2009. I have read some books and watched this site daily to get as much info as I can. First of all what animal? My first thought was moose at first now I think maybe caribou would be better. I am planning a do it yourself hunt with one other person. We are both in good shape and experinced lower 48 back pack hunters but I realize Alaska is a different environment and kind of want a "get your feet wet" hunt. Any thoughts on animals and an area? We will be going on a budget of say less than $3,000 a piece. Also, is a 300 WSM adequate for Alaska? I see a post from the state website saying Magnums are not worth it and some here saying to bring a .338 or larger. What gives? Also, I will be in Alaska for a week this summer bumming around with my wife anything I can do in that week to help my planning? Thanks for the help!!

  2. #2
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Depending on where you are going to hunt you can stop by the air service and talk to them. This will help in which one to use. This is if you choose to fly out to the Mulchatna herd. I would stay away from the mulchatna herd. Head north to Kotzebue. If you haven't read Hunt Alaska now get it. It's the best book in my opinon. Your 300 would be enough for caribou.

    Summer time bring your fishing rod. FISH ON!!!!!
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  3. #3
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    Tag
    I am also planning my first Alaska hunt this year. What I have found is it to be mind boggling, all the information that you have to sort through. I finally decided to get some help. I contacted Pristine Ventures and contracted with him for this years hunt. Everything I have heard about Larry at Pristine has been very good. I have talked with a few hunters that have used Larry in the past and nothing but good comments about him.

    As for the 300 WSM it will perform well on either Moose or caribou. What I think the people are talking about on the 338 mag is a bear rifle and they really like 375's for them. I would say camp bear smart, food away from camp, game away from camp. I would also suggest a bear fence, I am going to try one when I hunt in Alaska this year. In fact I will use 2 of them, one for camp and one for meat storage area. You can build one of these for around $60.00 and it ways about 3 pounds. There are several threads on bear fence also. Hope this helps.

  4. #4

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    there is a heap of info in the archives on this one, your gun is enough, your price, if it includes airfare from the lower 48 is gonna limit you alot on moose. are you going to float or drop camp? do you need to rent gear? do your research and you will be able to weed out a lot of junk that is not alaska grade, remember good gear keeps you happy, junk gets you killed.

    dennis confer's hunt alaska now book could save you some coin

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some Next Steps-

    Quote Originally Posted by Tag View Post
    I am planning an Alaska hunt for 2009. I have read some books and watched this site daily to get as much info as I can. First of all what animal? My first thought was moose at first now I think maybe caribou would be better. I am planning a do it yourself hunt with one other person. We are both in good shape and experinced lower 48 back pack hunters but I realize Alaska is a different environment and kind of want a "get your feet wet" hunt. Any thoughts on animals and an area? We will be going on a budget of say less than $3,000 a piece. Also, is a 300 WSM adequate for Alaska? I see a post from the state website saying Magnums are not worth it and some here saying to bring a .338 or larger. What gives? Also, I will be in Alaska for a week this summer bumming around with my wife anything I can do in that week to help my planning? Thanks for the help!!
    Tag,

    Welcome to Outdoors Directory! You are in the right place if you're trying to put your first Alaska hunt together; this website contains a wealth of credible information that will put you way ahead of the curve.

    The "which species" question is one of the first questions you need to resolve. I could go into a bunch of details on this, but the short story is that if you're thinking of moose at all, I'd go with that for your first hunt. Our moose numbers are dropping nearly everywhere, due to heavy predation by bears and wolves. So if present trends continue, moose numbers will be lower five years from now than they are presently. Go for moose first. That of course assumes you have the physical capabilities of moving one, piece by piece, from the kill site to camp.

    I would be happy to assist you directly if you are looking for something like that; I've been assisting hunters in this way for fourteen years. It has been my experience that seasoned hunters often just need a little help in one or two areas and they're on their way. In other cases they need full-blown hunt consultation; area selection, air charter selection, advice on gear, menus / food lists, packaging and shipping instruction, and even hands-on logistical support. In some cases they prefer some level of direct support in the field as well. Drop me a private message and let's talk about where you are on these things, or contact me through my website.

    Either way, you're in the right place, so keep those questions coming!

    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
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6

    Default Good gear

    Buy and learn how to use the best gear you can. For example, if you go and buy one of those new space-age backpack stoves, make SURE you understand it and know how it functions. I've seen folks in remote camps literally opening their gear for the first time and don't even know how it works, let alone if it even does. If you fly in somewhere, you are there until you get picked up, and whatever you bring in has to support you for the duration of your hunt.

    If your budget makes you decide between buying the best gear or buying mediocre and adding nicities such as rangefinders, go without the rangefinder. It is an outstanding piece of equipment, but people hunted for thousands of years without them, and good gear is a requirement up here.

    You don't need the latest whizbang fancy-name exotic caliber expensive rifles and scopes here, but you do need a sturdy, reliable set-up. The most important thing is to weatherproof the rifle and have a quality scope that won't fog or break easily. Cheap scopes will leave you stranded. By cheap, I mean cheap quality, not cheap price.
    If you have a wood stocked rifle you want to use, bring it. But, free float the barrel, waterproof it, and be prepared to clean it daily, even multiple times a day if in the coastal regions and it it wet, as it normally is. Personally, I would recommend buying an inexpensive synthetic stock for it. Whatever you decide on, practice, practice, practice.

    Buy the best quality clothing you can. Wool or gore-tex types are the best to use up here. You want to avoid cotton at all cost if you can, because if it gets wet it has no insulation qualities and you can get into serious trouble.

    Last, but by absolutely no means the least, make SURE the footwear you will hunt in is well broken in, good quality, waterproof, and comfortable. Multiple sock changes help, but if your feet are sore, uncomfortable or the boots don't fit properly will cause a trip of a lifetime to be miserable, and there is no sense in that. Your footwear will take a beating in most areas up here, and cheap boots may leave you barefooted. Not a good thing......

    Most of all, come and enjoy this great land, but do it smartly and safely.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    welcome to the site tag, remember that you can't do TO MUCH Research! your about to blow a big wad of cash and time on this trip, the phone and interet can't be used to much before hand.

    If you've never hunted ak before i'd say stick with the caribou its a good eye opener and a great way to start getting your feet wet in alaska, not always as easy as some make it out to be either, so you'll still have all the challenges of alaska, great trophies without the broken back of packing out your first moose. i dont know you..mabye you've done it before else where. but in case you don't know a hind quarter of a healthy moose will weight between 120-175lbs, without the lower leg.

    Someone posted above about wool and gor-tex, some guys have had great luck with these and swear by them. Fleece is the clothes i tell all my clients to bring and rain gear thats waterPROOF as in, water can't go either way thru it!! if you can haul water and store it in your rain gear, its waterproof, if it "breathes" its water resistant...big difference. Helly hansen impertec is great stuff, rubber rainware that strecthes lightweight and tough as nails. (figure of speech) i personally steer clear of wool and gortex, but like say, my experiences with it haven't been good. other guys like the poster above may have had great success with it.

    Like alot of folks are saying i'd go north for the caribou, not west. the Board of Game meeting discuessed some of the mulchatna herd issues and the numbers they have are WAYYY down from what they used to be, figuring around 40,000 compared to the western arctic herd (north herd) that has 500,000...be a no brainer for me.
    good luck
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  8. #8

    Default Fleece

    GOOD fleece is also excellent for Alaska. I have a hunting jacket made if fleece with a gore-tex barrier that is he best I have had yet. It is my main go-to jacket here. Should have included that in my other post. I use wool, too, but it does depend on what and where I am hunting, and rarely on the coast. The best thing about wool is it can get soaking wet and keep you warm. The bad thing about wool is it gets very heavy when it gets wet.

    However, I have the luxury to live here and the many years of experience to know what to wear and when. Hunters coming from Outside don't unless they have family, friends or ask a guide or outfitter for the area they are going to.

    Another critical choice is your undergarmets. Again, cotton just doesn't work well. It gets wet and stays wet, chilling you. Good polypropolene or equivilent layer materials wick the moisture away from the skin and keep you dry and warm. Important to ward off hypothermia.

    Another thing some neglect is to get in shape!!!! Alaska is not like hunting whitetails in Kansas or turkey in Missouri. There is a post on the forum recently from a guy that went on a bear hunt on Kodiak. He had a blast, but he thought he was in shape. He found out the hard way he wasn't for Alaska and had a bad time a couple of days because of it. As was stated, packing these large animals is nothing like dragging a 150 pound whole deer to the road to get picked up. If you fly in, you have to hike and carry every ounce you take down, sometimes for miles in very inhospitable terrain. A good size moose exceeds 1000 pounds, some nearly double that.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  9. #9
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    Default Swap

    Bartering is still a good way to go. Not sure where you live, but someone here on this forum might be willing to take you on a hunt in swap of a hunt from you neck-of-the-woods. Both parites win!

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