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Tips for getting through the Alders

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  • #16
    It's always easier going down them, straight down, not diagonal. Compress your pack and tuck in straps as best you can.

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    • #17
      I've found that the Kifaru Gun Bearer is really nice when dealing with alder (or pretty much any thick brush for that matter). It keeps the rifle barrel up under your arm/arm pit, which allows you to continually visualize the end of the barrel and easily maneuver it, to keep it from hanging up in the thick stuff. Opt for an internal frame pack (Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, Exo, etc.), over a external frame, and if you can, stand back and observe the situation to pick the route of least resistance. Fortunately I've never encountered a bear while brush busting and occasionally, I'll intentionally use bear trails to get through it.

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      • #18
        Swim. Hands out front and roll thru. Stay low alders create a tunnel about 3í off the ground, hit the weak branches that bend and flex rather than climbing thru the base of a Bush. Look ahead and plan 10-20 yards ahead, youíll see little openings to shoot for. Have fun, tell jokes, keep it light. My gun goes in my hands while in alders. I donít like the gun carriers that have the barrel in my face and I donít like it on my pack. If you gotta hang it hang it upside down for alders. Tape your barrel.
        Www.blackriverhunting.com
        Master guide 212

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        • #19
          Always carry my rifle in my hands going through the alder jungle. Just point it the way you wanna go and weave your way through. Believe it or not, I found a spruce thicket that I decided to go through once that was so tight it was worse than any alders I've ever tried!
          Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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          • #20
            I cut a lot of alders for bike and skiing trails. If I'm roughing in/blazing trail my go to tools are a small Husky chainsaw and a SOGfari 18" machete. The chainsaw won't be viable for ya but the machete would be worth carrying. With alders the trick to cutting them quickly is to pull them downhill and hack them at the bend in their trunk. I can usually get through a 4" trunk in two or three swings if the machete is sharp. If you want to keep your trail on the downlow leave a section of alders in front of your trail and then clear the path behind. Happy hacking and good luck on your hunt.

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            • #21
              The Stihl large and mid size loppers work very well and is what I use for clearing them. Actually faster than a chainsaw for all but the thickest since they are springy buggers.

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              • #22
                Can't add much to the navigating tips. Yes, patient determination is the formula.
                I will second the advice to tape your barrel. I also liked to use the bikini-style scope covers. They do a good job of keeping water out and won't get broken by the regular beatings from the alder branches. Some guys don't use them 'cause they will also hold water in, seems like any good cover would though, right? They are also practically disposable cheap, so I like that!
                Bears love to travel through the spaces under the branches, depending on your size and height, that may be the best way to go.

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                • #23
                  The best item I have found for clearing a path through alders is the sandvik tool. As long as they are green/alive it will slice through the biggest ones like butter with a good swing. Clearing a path is a lot of work unless it is a place you plan to return to over the years. You also might want to find an entry point that is identifiable to you and go a good distance in before clearing your path so it will be less obvious to others, keeping it your "private" trail.

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