Solo Moose Hunting Out of Fairbanks--Worthwhile? Tips?

csteeny

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I'm on an internship in Fairbanks (aka I'm a law student) and I'm wondering how much are my chances decreased without an ATV? I'll have about two weekends in the middle of Sept to hunt. I'm basically wondering if it's worth it to shell out the cash for the nonresident tag and a truck rental--and the ATV if necessary. If there is a decent shot, any tips on where to go, what to do?

Or maybe it would it be better to go for Caribou?

And of course, if anyone needs a partner or has an open spot, I'd gladly help out with all the supplies to learn the tricks of the trade.
 

Brian M

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I don't know the Fairbanks area well as it pertains to moose, but in general I think a hunter's odds remain the same or actually go up slightly without an ATV as long as they hunt in areas that don't contain ATV trails. ATVs tend to concentrate hunters into areas that have lots of pressure, whereas going on foot allows you to explore areas with little to no competition. Of course, what becomes much harder is meat recovery. If you're willing to put in the work, though, you can have great hunts on foot.
 

Bushwhack Jack

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I'm on an internship in Fairbanks (aka I'm a law student) and I'm wondering how much are my chances decreased without an ATV? I'll have about two weekends in the middle of Sept to hunt. I'm basically wondering if it's worth it to shell out the cash for the nonresident tag and a truck rental--and the ATV if necessary. If there is a decent shot, any tips on where to go, what to do?

Or maybe it would it be better to go for Caribou?

And of course, if anyone needs a partner or has an open spot, I'd gladly help out with all the supplies to learn the tricks of the trade.

Can't help you out with the area, but if you are planning on solo hunting for moose, make sure you bring a come-a-long with you. I did that one time and I told myself I would never intentionally do that again. It was a real big moose and it was a beast butchering that thing by myself. I will take packing out a moose over butchering a moose by myself any day. If I didn't have a come-a-long I don't know what I would have done.
 

limon32

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If your going it alone please keep in mind what a moose quarter weighs.

I suspect your odds of success would be higher on a haul road caribou hunt, but that's anecdotal at best.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mainer_in_ak

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being a law stundent, asking if you know the regs, may be asking the obvious. Have you read them? If not, get a copy here:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/wildliferegulations/pdfs/regulations_complete.pdf

Your hunt will be much easier if you use some sort of liquid trail. Try to sell some things, and gather the money for a 16-17 ft paddling canoe. AK river guides, ak gazeteer, usgs maps, and hard copy of the regs are swell. Jack london make for good readin too when thing are slow. Line the canoe 10-20 miles UP a creek. Bring a saw and clear wood as you go. Early season, you won't spook a moose if you take a limb off a sweeper here n there. You'll be surprised at the lack of ATV traffic, and moose sign you'll see along the way. FYI, some of us have never needed an ATV to fill the freezer. Honestly, I've never hunted from one, and probably never will. Float back down to the spot within that 10-20 mile stretch, where you saw the best moose sign. Start calling from there. Stay PUT, be patient, something may come in. If you get a moose, you'll be happy the liquid trail is there to help you back to the road. Moose in a canoe, is much easier to walk back to the road with the help of a stream, than one quarter on your back at a time.

bushwack jack brings up a good point, get a "rope-along". darn good tool when butchering, moving animal by yourself. I use it to hold legs steady as I work over a dinosaur sized ungulate by myself, as I've done this solo, three times. still hard on the back, but at least you don't have to accomodate somebody else's schedule, and/or flakiness. A carpenter's saw with course teeth works well too, and is light weight. RAVEN brand gloves are your friend, get them at Napa Paint dept. toughest ones around.

step three: don't ask me for specific spots. It will pss me off. ask someone else for specific spots.
 

walk-in

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mainer has good advice. I've done most of my moose hunting from a canoe for the last several years. Best to find sloughs or creeks that are too small for power boats. You'll earn your moose getting up there, though.

I've quartered up moose by myself without a come-along. I'd never do it again if I could possibly avoid it. Of course, I've also said that I'd never kill a moose by myself again, but I keep hunting solo.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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I'm on an internship in Fairbanks (aka I'm a law student) and I'm wondering how much are my chances decreased without an ATV? I'll have about two weekends in the middle of Sept to hunt. I'm basically wondering if it's worth it to shell out the cash for the nonresident tag and a truck rental--and the ATV if necessary. If there is a decent shot, any tips on where to go, what to do?

Or maybe it would it be better to go for Caribou?

And of course, if anyone needs a partner or has an open spot, I'd gladly help out with all the supplies to learn the tricks of the trade.


Have you ever packed a moose out? Not sure of the unit there in fbnks but here a nonres is required to hunt with a guide.
I plan on doing a little solo hunting this year but will be using a canoe. I hope to drop a moose close to the slough. Those bad boys weigh quite a bit. My kit contains a come a long a lot of rope and 2 saws. I thought about getting a chainsaw winch but the come a long was recommended by a frind because they are so much more affordable.

should have read whole thread first.
 

protaxidermy

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There are ALOT of areas around Fairbanks that you can hunt from a truck.

There are roads like Fairbanks Creek off the Steese Hyway, Standard Creek road off the Old Nenana up here by my place,
& all of the roads on both sides of the parks between Fairbanks & Nenana .

There are ALOT of moose around here you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

Several are taken within 100 yards of the roads every year, allowing Easy access to getting them out.

Go get a Delorme Alaska Gazzeteer & look it over to the west of Fairbanks .

You don't have to spend a lot of Money to get a moose around here but sometimes it does take a LOT of Driving & patience.

ALSO remember in unit 20 B we can shoot ANY BULL. No counting brow tines or guessing width of antlers.

Good luck Hunting

RJ Simington
PRO Taxidermy Fairbanks www.protaxidermy.com
 

sambuck12

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Keeping in mind the 50" nonresident requirement. Do you know what a 50" moose looks like? Of the 5 moose I've shot around fairbanks only 1 of em were over 50".. I'd be scared to do it alone.
 

martentrapper

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Have you ever packed a moose out? Not sure of the unit there in fbnks but here a nonres is required to hunt with a guide.
There are only 3 species that require a guide, Yukon. Sheep, goat, griz/brown bear. What unit are you in that you think a guide is required for non-res moose?
 

Catch It

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Stick with the road.......oftentimes so many folks are trying to get to the backcountry that they ignore all the territory right in front of them they are travelling through. Heck, even walking the atv trails could work,.....most guys are hell bent on the far ridge or hollow where they always start hunting.

Some of the best spots I've ever hunted in roaded areas (or heavily boated) are juuuuuuust past how far you can see from the water/road.

Be prepared to get one, have a couple knives, game bags, a pack or sled, some rope and a good headlamp and a couple tarps. BUT, even if you just see one, the adrenaline difference between seeing a moose on a hike versus seeing one with a tag in your pocket is exponentially different. Compared to other hunts in your home state, it's gonna cost some cash just to go with the tag and all, but you are in a good spot to do it (as some folks have already mentioned)......and your already here, so go and have an experience.

When it comes to solo moose hunting, Don't pull a Rumsfeld......make sure you have an extraction plan before you pull the trigger. In rough country, a half mile can be brutal if the footing is soft, or full of brush or windfall. But, if you can circumvent this in some way to walk even twice the distance out, you will thank yourself. But, this is something you need to think of before shooting. I always walk through the woods evaluating each place I am hunting as to how to get it out. If a place is plain nasty....don't do it.

The canoe stuff sounds fun, but for your timeline and budget you are more likely to find a piece of woods to yourself just by walking a half mile into the woods instead of winging it in a canoe that concentrates all the other canoers.
 

Snyd

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Well I've killed 4 of them solo and I won't do it unless I can get a machine to them. In fact I don't really want to deal with another one alone. Major work and unless it's a morning bull you'll be doing most of it at night. And, not to try to instill fear... but there are a LOT of grizzlies around here. And in places you wouldn't expect. That adds another dynamic to be aware of when your skinning a moose in the dark alone. I've done it three times at night.

You can road hunt around Fairbanks and might get a shot at one. But unless you connect with the CNS and anchor them, they may end up where you really don't want to be. A lung shot moose doesn't even act like he's hit and can travel quite a ways before BP drops and he stops and finally falls over. One more thing. We have a LOT more standing water around here this year than in years past so chances are very good you might end up with a splash moose. Oh, and READ THE REGS about shooting from the road...

I'd suggest asking around everyone that you know and see if you can at least find someone to tag along with you, even if they aren't going to be shooting. You need to be aware of what you are getting into when you get one down. The more muscle the better. Get a friend, a couple pack frames, 6 large game bags, a tarp, hip boots, maybe a canoe or raft, come along could be handy. If you don't know how to do it already, read up on how to clean the bull using the gutless method. I've done about 20+ that way and the first step is.... Don't gut the bull!

good luck

ps, one year we killed a 50 and 60 incher off the road system north of Fairbanks. It happens! Oh, and a bull like that can weigh 1300-1800lbs on the hoof depending.
 

mlshore

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Stick with the road.......oftentimes so many folks are trying to get to the backcountry that they ignore all the territory right in front of them they are travelling through. Heck, even walking the atv trails could work,.....most guys are hell bent on the far ridge or hollow where they always start hunting.

Some of the best spots I've ever hunted in roaded areas (or heavily boated) are juuuuuuust past how far you can see from the water/road.

Well ... the pressure in Fairbanks is considerable, and if you drive up to the rec area you'll see folks camping across from or next to every slough and pond. You'll also see gut piles and sometimes capes at plenty of pullouts, too, so it looks like a lot of people of a d-bag inclination are having some success. We're also seeing big crowds in Two Rivers outside of the rec area, as well. So it may or may not be productive but if you stay close to the road, at least out CHSR, Murphy Dome or Old Murphy Dome, etc., you'll have a LOT of company.
 

mainer_in_ak

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Well ... the pressure in Fairbanks is considerable, and if you drive up to the rec area you'll see folks camping across from or next to every slough and pond. You'll also see gut piles and sometimes capes at plenty of pullouts, too, so it looks like a lot of people of a d-bag inclination are having some success. We're also seeing big crowds in Two Rivers outside of the rec area, as well. So it may or may not be productive but if you stay close to the road, at least out CHSR, Murphy Dome or Old Murphy Dome, etc., you'll have a LOT of company.

haha! flippin road-rats. rep points in bound.
 

Catch It

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Eitherway mlshore, if it came down to this guy getting to hunt on the road, walking around with a gun and having a chance at all,VS, everyone telling hiim it's not worth his time unless he buys a canoe, or flies out, or goes with a buddy........and then he doesn't go.....that would be shame of it all. I don't believe you can buy a moose tag over the counter anywhere else in this country so I'd rather see the guy go give it a shot than make it seem he like it isn't worth it at all. Finding a spot, ideally not surrounded by people, (but probably not alone), certainly sounds worth a shot.

The rest of the country hunts within earshot of a highway all the time and still enjoy themselves, I say if the guy wants to hunt, do something helpful and encourage him to do it. Which I am.

ps, to the OP if you don't do one solo, you can never truly know much it sucks, or how satisfying it is either. My first two were solos, and while I'd rather not do it again, it's good to know that I can within limits do it, and, do a great job with the meat and safety aspects.
 

thunder chicken1

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The section of road between the haul road and the village of Minto is known as " moose alley " for a reason, although I never hunted off the road I know a few folks who had success driving it early in the morning and in the evening.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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There are only 3 species that require a guide, Yukon. Sheep, goat, griz/brown bear. What unit are you in that you think a guide is required for non-res moose?

21e but while I was reading regs last night I didn't see it. So could that have been from 2 years ago? Or possibly that is just what I was told my non resident year so I wouldn't hunt? Lol.


or it it could have been my unfamiliarity with the regulation layout. Top line mentioned nonresident needing guide (for grizzley) and I just assumed it meant all hunting. However I was told that I needed a guide my first year from a local.
 

aknative1987

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Give it a go, just be prepared for the suck. People shoot bulls, even great bulls, from the road every year. May not be the same people every year, but it happens every year. I tried for years out of the truck, on a 4 wheeler, didn't connect until I got into a canoe. I'm sold on the canoe/boat, and would have a plane if I could afford it.
 
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