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  • New to AK / What Firearm to Look for..

    Hi All,

    I am brand-new to Alaska; I landed in Anchorage on Saturday. I'm looking for any advice for getting started hunting up here. I'm fresh out of school, so I'm thinking big game tags are out of the question for me until I can claim residency next year.

    Back in my home state I used hunt deer, turkey, coyote, bear, waterfowl, etc. Any tips on what the best route is to go until I can start chasing the big stuff up here? I've heard there are coyotes up here now and that's interested me a bit (I love knockin' down song dogs!). I also was thinking about waterfowl hunting..

    Are there any groups or people (other than this forum) that I should reach out to? I don't want to be a free-loader, but if there was anyone that could kind of show me the ropes I wouldn't complain! I normally hunt everyday during deer season, so I have the itch to hunt pretty bad..

    Also, I am looking to purchase a firearm of some sort up here soon. It will only be one for the time being (I need to buy a vehicle, rent a house, etc.). I guess it depends on what I'll be chasing, but what is a good all around caliber / firearm for up here?

    Thanks for your help,
    Tony

  • #2
    Here are some of the threads on which gun:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-rifle-concept

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-rifle-caliber

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...und-Alaska-Gun

    There's also a recent thread on which three guns to have, buy I can't locate it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Mike.

      How is the small game / waterfowl hunting up here? I never really though of it until I looked at the Fish and Game regs..

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post
        Thanks, Mike.

        How is the small game / waterfowl hunting up here? I never really though of it until I looked at the Fish and Game regs..
        Superb on both counts.
        "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

        Comment


        • #5
          Focus on small game over the next year, as that will scratch your hunting itch while also helping you learn the lay of the land. Grouse and ptarmigan hunting can be excellent. Hare hunting can be great at times, but we seem to be just past the low end of their population cycle. It doesn't hurt to get out and look, but don't expect much in the way of action if solely targeting hares. As for coyote, it's a different game up here. Very skilled hunters might only call in one every 10+ stands - expect nothing like the success rates you read of elsewhere. They're not the top of the food chain here, so they are very, very wary. Still, it's a fun way to get out during the winter, and you also have a chance of calling in a lynx, fox, or even a wolf (which you would have to pass on if you only had a small game license - not likely to bring one in, anyhow).

          I'd get a 12 gauge, 20 gauge, or a .22 to get started with small game, then save up for a 30-06 as an all-around big game rifle.

          Welcome aboard! Good luck in your new endeavors!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post
            Thanks, Mike.

            How is the small game / waterfowl hunting up here? I never really though of it until I looked at the Fish and Game regs..

            There are forums sections on both. Waterfowl is huge. Small game depends on shooting vs trapping.

            Definitely shooting for bunnies, grouse, ptarmigan, fox, and predators.

            Big game seasons for caribou, moose, bear. Blacktail deer in some locations (southeast, Price William Sound). Other more exotic and hard to find (or hard to get tags for) stuff like sheep, goats, musk ox, bison.

            Some people sound like they do it all, most people probably carve out a niche or two.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you can only afford one gun right now, go get a Rem 870 or Mossberg 500 12ga. buy a couple boxes of Brenneke slugs for bears and a box of #6 bird shot and start your scouting for next year NOW. While your scouting for next year you'll run across bunnies and grouse, should keep you busy until March!

              Comment


              • #8
                There's also a bunch of information in the website that runs this forum. Basic guides and what not.

                (And the guys running this site and forum know a ton, through both personal and professional pursuits.)

                http://www.alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know about the anchorage area as I'm about 300 miles west in the bush. My main guns are a 45/70, 30-30, .223, .22, and a 44.

                  The rabbits my way are great but I mostly snare them. Same with Wolves and wolverine I usually trap them. Grouse I generally go out just before dark when they go back into the trees and shoot them with a .17

                  If you plan on doing any brown bear hunting you will need a guide for non res.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would start with a 10/22 and a 12 ga. 500 or 870. When you come across a steal on a .308 or .30-06 I would pick up one of those as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It sounds like I should send my guns up from the states.. 870, 30-06, etc.

                      Question:

                      I know it doesn't happen often, but when hunting for small game is it super important to have something (pistol / revolver) for bears, too? I could bring slugs for the 12 but I won't swap loads fast enough..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also, thanks for the replies, everyone. Taking on hunting in any new place (especially AK) is a daunting task..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post
                          It sounds like I should send my guns up from the states.. 870, 30-06, etc.

                          Question:

                          I know it doesn't happen often, but when hunting for small game is it super important to have something (pistol / revolver) for bears, too? I could bring slugs for the 12 but I won't swap loads fast enough..
                          An 870 and a 30-06 will serve you well in Alaska for 90% of the game we have to hunt.

                          As for bears, don't stress it. Bears can be a risk, but your best defense is a cool and collected mind. I do carry a 44 magnum at times, but statistically speaking, bear spray is a more effective defense than a firearm. Learn some basics about bear behavior, then go enjoy yourself and do as much as exploring as possible.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post
                            It sounds like I should send my guns up from the states.. 870, 30-06, etc.
                            Yes.

                            is it super important to have something (pistol / revolver) for bears, too?
                            No.


                            .....
                            ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                            I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                            The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post
                              It sounds like I should send my guns up from the states.. 870, 30-06, etc.

                              Question:

                              I know it doesn't happen often, but when hunting for small game is it super important to have something (pistol / revolver) for bears, too? I could bring slugs for the 12 but I won't swap loads fast enough..
                              I think you'd be fine with your 870 and 06. You can mail them from yourself to yourself via usps. Mine made the journey from GA to here. I came up with just my 357. I eventually went to town and bought a cheap 12 ga and a 22 for smaller game and spring birds.
                              Bears...respect them. Though I'm wanting to get a handgun for this purpose, I don't carry any bear protection when bird or rabbit hunting.

                              Comment

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