DYI Alaska moose hunting ? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

Is it possible to have a good hunt in Alaska DYI by driving to a hunting location and not having to get flown back in by a bush pilot ?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 04:12 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

In my experience, you want the plane. Moose regs are really weird there. You can only shoot certain width antlers in certain areas. The biggest deal is realizing if you shoot one, you have to legally recover about 800 to 1000 lbs, of meat. For the plane thats two or three trips, without it its pure agony, a dozen or so round trips on foot to get the meat out. Usually, the cost of the plane comes out close to just going with an outfitter, then you can enjoy yourself more as all the work is his responsibility. If you just want your first moose I would consider Newfoundland. The bulls are not big, but its a great experience, and the outfitters are good for the most part. DIY in Alaska is a pretty serious endeavor, lots of things can go wrong, but if you are in good shape you should have no problems.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 04:33 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

Depends on your definition of "good". Getting a legal bull for meat is a possibility, getting a good trophy is a hope but unlikely. Having a good time is probably guaranteed unless you're not prepared for what is involved. Alaska has the most rigorous and strictly enforced of all game laws regarding meat and trophy salvage so you need to be acutely aware of them especially with a road hunt.

There are extremely few roads in Alaska and virtually ALL the residents hunt the roads for meat and almost all do it with atv's. The road system gets crowded and if you don't have an atv you will be passed daily by those that do. It is not unusual to drive down the road and see a huge pool of blood on the road, maybe a drag mark, but no animal, no skid marks, no car parts. Evidence somebody caught one standing on the road and probably loaded with a winch. So it is possible without an atv but don't have unrealistic expectations on a big trophy. Of course it is always possible. Backpacking far from the road for a 1500 pound animal really isn't realistic with the strict salvage requirements.

An alternative to flying but a common and VERY effective method for getting a trophy is float hunting. There are also different interpretations of "DIY". I can put you in touch with 2 outfits that will for a fee, outfit, help with planning, provide put-in and take-out, everything without guiding. Not sure if that meets your definition of diy. Or you can have a raft, motor, and gear, freighted up and handle all the logistics of handling the meat and trophy yourself.

People think of Alaska as a massive wilderness, but the truth about hunting is that it is just as difficult, maybe even harder than Pa, to get away from the crowds. It is VERY mechanized and there is always someone willing to go in just as far as you. 10 years ago I could go back in and not see another person for a week. I blame the internet but now that is very unlikely. Even flying in it is all but impossible to get away from everybody.

Was air dropped in a remote area on an island last year, I had my camp in the dense canopy and could tell the sound of a beaver making a slow flyover for an approach, I had to go out on the beach to wave him off as it was an outfitter about to drop off a load of hunters. Saw him later in the week in Ketchikan and we talked about it. 2009 I paid a lot to get into the most remote area possible, much farther than I usually go, a couple days in and for a couple days I could hear the rumble of a large diesel boat miles off over a ridge. I knew it couldn't get into the channels I was hunting but then a zodiac with a guide and 2 hunters motored right by my camp never seeing me or my tiny tent. Was talking to my air taxi pilot for a caribou hunt and he asked where I wanted to go, I told him and he said all the landing spots in that area are already taken. Was hunting on an air drop on POW a few years ago about a mile from my tent and watched a boat load of hunters unload right at my tent, was furious and started to run back, they got in the boat and left before I got there. I just don't know what that was all about. Hunted goat in a very remote area of Kodiak and was shocked to run into a pair of hunters as I was packing the goat back out to sea level. Listening to the radio the next day I heard them radio their boat they got one and missed one. I guess it's the last frontier but it gets crowded during hunting season.

Don't want to discourage you but it's going to be tough from the road competing with the well supported residents.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 04:42 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

If you hunt the road system, you will depend a great deal on luck. The road system in Alaska doesn't give access to the best moose hunting territories. Alaska residents who know the good areas generally push game back 10, 15 or even 20 miles from the roads. That makes recovering your meat almost impossible.

When I shot my AK moose, it took 10 backpack trips a mile up a mountain to where the plane could pick us up. The best packer can do it in "only" 7 trips. Think about what that means if you're 10 miles from the road -- that's 70 miles of packing 120 or more pounds on your back, plus 70 miles to go back and get more.

There are two ways to do a DIY hunt in Alaska. One is the way I did it. Contract with an air taxi to take you into the bush.

The other way is to float a river. That's usually easier, but you need more equipment. You can cover lots of territory that way, and stop intermittently when you find a promising area. If you shoot a moose, you may pack it only a quarter mile.

Neither are shoestring budget hunts, but both give you way, way better odds than a hunt from the road system.

The cheapest guided hunt is around $12,500, and that doesn't include license, tag, and a round-trip ticket to Alaska. So, you're looking at a minimum of $14,000 for a guided Alaska moose hunt.

You can probably do a DIY hunt for about half that. My advice is that it's too late to plan for the fall of 2012. The logistics of a DIY hunt and the research it takes means you should start planning now for 2013. One reason I say that is that it takes time to develop contacts in Alaska, but when you do they can be very valuable.

A DIY hunt in Alaska is not easy, but doable. Make sure you're in great shape, and know what you're getting into. Hunting Alaska is not a walk in the woods. Take nothing for granted -- uou don't want to tackle a job that you can't complete. But if you're prepared, even if you don't haul antlers home, you can have the experience of your life.

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"When you put a buck on your wall, it links you to those guys who painted the walls of caves." --Me.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 05:23 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

You should try a hunt outside of Fairbanks for the biggest moose..Get an air taxi operator in that area..It would be best to get a group together to go up because wherever there is moose there is grizlies not far away..The more people going with you can help haul each others meat back to the floatplane landing point.Its better to take a 338 caliber or bigger or at least some in your group have them..When hunting always hunt in groups of two or three people..Premium bullets such as Nosler partition or Barnes or Swift A-frame..Find which is most accurate in your rifle..
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

Thanks for your input guys , it sounds like getting flown in is the way to go.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 07:36 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

i don't care if it's alaska, montana, or pa, if theres road access it gets hunted hard. theres so few roads in alaska, it's hard to get away from everyone on foot.

i remember my first trip to alaska. we were going salmon fishing on the russian river and i'm thinking pristine water & scenery, in the wilds of alaska. just me & the fish on a wilderness river, with a few bears hanging around for excitement. we drove down from anchorage to the confluence of the russian & the kenai rivers & it looked like the nesshanock creek on the first day of trout season X 10. litterly hunderds of anglers along the banks in every direction. kids, dogs, guys with handguns & shotguns, campers, a small ferry taking folks across the river, really a circus type atmosphere. good roads made it easy for everyone to get there, and darn near everyone was there.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:38 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

Maybe if you lived there and knew the right areas...But as for an out of stater probably low...If you do some homework you may be able to get an outfitter that has spots like this, and for Moose guuides arent needed so some outfitter would have drop camps like HUNTS out west .. ALASKA is BRUTAL Ive been there on 3 hunts Haveing a guide is a plus up there .I do most of my hunts DIY but ALASKA is PAY TO PLAY for me ,
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:44 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

Another note My hunts in the field in ALASKA total 38 days and I NEVER saw another hunter all fly in hunts.....
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:46 PM
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Re: DYI Alaska moose hunting ?

I shot a Moose up there back in 95 we drove in the easterville road ,,it goes west from the trapper creek area ,just below denali park.there was several campers back that road hunting ,but the farther you drove back the less people we saw
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