Advice to someone wanting to plan 1st Alaska moose self guided hunt?

Troutslayer2

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Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
450
I really want to do an unguided hunt in Alaska. I am willing to reserve now and wait years if need be. I really don’t know where to start it is so overwhelming. I’m happy to take any advice- I’m not looking to steal your secret transporter or anything. Where is a good place to start? Any recommended reading materials other than the hunting regs which I already have? Feel free to PM if you want I will take any help I can get, presently looking at some hunt planners and air services and trying to figure out what is right for us. Mostly I am just looking for words of wisdom from those who have done this before.
 

SeboCreek

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LRH Team Member
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Apr 24, 2019
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207
Location
Hill Country Texas
can put you in touch with booking agent (and friend) who had hunter kill 60 plus moose in self guided Alaskan hunt this year. My son went on guided hunt and passed on 55 plus. Let me know if interested and will pm details.
 

longestrange

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Dec 26, 2013
Messages
109
Some things you might want to consider. A bull moose weighs around 1200 pounds or so. If you wound it and it runs two miles down a steep canyon into dense alders it could become an issue. In any event you will have to quarter it and get it cooled down, then pack it out whilst carrying your rifle both ways because now you have a 'bait station' so to speak. Bear spray might work on a black bear but would you face down a brownie with it?
Also, if you bring a custom wildcat rifle and the ammo gets separated from it, don't think there is any way to ship replacements from the the lower 48 except by ferry.
The weather shouldn't be too bad during moose season, but hiking, hunting, and packing in pouring rain could be pretty miserable. Remember the old saying, God always forgives, man sometimes forgives, but mother nature never forgives.
So some possibilities:
1. Do a group hunt, preferably with some big, strong guys. If you shoot the same loads it will add some redundancy.
2. Start with something smaller to get your feet wet.
3. Do a 'self-guided' hunt with an outfitter that can fly you in/out, have shelter in place, haul/process the meat, and optionally provide a boat. Way cheaper than a fully guided hunt.

Another thing to consider is communications. Most good areas are going to require a sat phone. You're going to need it if things go south, or at least a buddy who can hike out for help.
One thing you can do anytime is collect resources such as various maps, hunting regulations, and etc. You will find most of the typical automotive GPS units to be almost useless in terms of logging roads, trails, etc.
 

BFD Guns

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Mar 2, 2020
Messages
249
Location
Illinois
My advice is don't do it alone until you've done it with others a couple times. Only then will you be able to capture all the aspects before you go it alone.
 

flyguy1

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Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
352
Location
Montana
Heck, a friend and I went with a crummy guide service and almost died. Poor tents porous to snow, no working stove or water filter. In the lower 48, you can generally walk out if you get in trouble, or send someone for help. Not so Alaska. Listen to post #4.
 

Ckgworks

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Mar 6, 2018
Messages
744
Location
Washington
I did a self guided, outfitted float trip a few years back with my brother.....best trip of my life, and I'd highly recommend it! Beware of "outfitters " we got screwed by ours, but bear in mind, it was still an awesome trip. We were supposed to have sat phones to communicate for them to pick up meat, No sat phone when we arrived, said "Sorry, but we'll see you on the river and pick up yourmeat", never saw them until the end.. This cost my brother a moose, as another moose on our raft would probably have sank it. We shipped about 750 pounds of boned out meat, plus the rack........I'd really hate to do it alone. Learn the gutless method for removing meat, even with 2 people, you won't be rolling it around to gut it, and if it drops wrong, we'll good luck! We were archery hunting, but had firearm back up, highly recommended. This outfitter is since out of business, but if I were to do it again, I'd go directly to some of the small town bush pilots and talk on the phone to them until I found one that I liked. The ones I met there were very helpful giving tips, and told us the above recommendation for the next time we came. Bring LOTS of food.....you burn a tremendous amount of calories on a trip like that, and rationing sucks! We supplemented our meals with fish and grouse, but I'd hate to plan on that. Good luck, I hope you can make it work! If I think of anything else I'll let you know. Feel free to PM me if you think I can be of any other assistance.
 

Troutslayer2

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Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
450
I am not altogether inexperienced in the backcountry. I drew a Shiras tag in MT and hunted for 21 days straight with only 1 trip out of the woods, solo. Shot a B&C by myself. I know, AK moose are bigger... But I kind of know what I’m getting myself into to some degree.

One of the hunts I am looking at would drop my buddy and I at a spot and then we would go down a small river in Alpaca rafts. That hunt sounds awesome, the only thing I do not like about it is that it’s a 10 day hunt with a long float, and that long float will likely come after we shoot a moose. There is no way to get the meat out other than floating for days with it. I am not so keen on having to live in the backcountry for a week both dealing with and defending our meat, floating down river, making a new camp all the while being a giant floating pile of delicious moose meat. How long is too long to stay in the backcountry with your meat at that time of year?
 

Ckgworks

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Mar 6, 2018
Messages
744
Location
Washington
Our hunt sounds about the same.....it was a 10 day float, I think I shot my moose on like day 3. It wasn't bad, there wasn't any trees to hang meat from, so we usually moved it off the raft, a little ways from camp and left a few articles of clothing around it for human sent. Nothing bothered it.....maybe we just got lucky, but I think most of these hunts are remote enough that the animals still fear human sent....? Just my opinion, I can't say for sure. Probably depends on the year as well.....plenty of food around, Probably not bothered, but on a bad year..........
 

sp6x6

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Dec 8, 2009
Messages
4,195
Location
NW MT
A HS buddy got flown in to a cabin.Guy my size,Im 5-9 170#. He was in school sports and wrestler. Hiked in shoot moose,packed out.All depends what your skill set is,Ive soloed dozens of elk and 2 moose.Another friend did Canada, where most guys drive in with built 4x4's,he hiked it and scored.
 

raamw

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
15
Location
Midwest
I have done a self guided Moose hunt several years ago with a guide out of Aniak Alaska. Only two type of individuals can provide a fly in service, a Guide who does both guided hunts and drop off hunts and a transporter. A guide can tell you where a good place to go but in reality they keep the best places for the guided Clients. A transporter can not tell you where the moose are but he can advise you where moose have been shot. When I went I kept bothering our guide I asked what location he planned on dropping us off and he was reluctant to tell me saying he wouldn't know till a few days before we would arrive. The place he dropped us had a lot of moose and my partner and I both got moose, but we were lucky we only lost 3 days of a 10 day hunt due to fog and heavy rain, some guys aren't so lucky.We also lost 3 days when the Moose got pushed out of the area by wolves. My advise is look for areas that have a fair amount of moose taken the prvious year AK DNR can help. Get topo maps and look for high point where you can spot and stalk. Our area that we hunted was flat and difficlt to see any distance other tha near the river. good luck
 

mikemo4032

Active Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
43
I lived and hunted in AK for 25 years. Going it alone will be a crap shoot for all the reasons posted previously. You could get lucky with weather and location and game or most likely you will become overwhelmed by the size and remoteness of the terrain. Alaska is great, but it is unforgiving and always trying to kill you.
 

raamw

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
15
Location
Midwest
I would advise don't do it alone, most guides that do drop off hunts would not deal with a single hunter as the guide we used. What are going to if you get injured? A moose is a huge animal, AK law states the last part of a moose to be packed out is the Antlers, now when I went my partner and I were within a 1/2 mile from the water which was 1 mile from camp. We packed everything straight line to the water, guide picked it up with his float plane. Also highly possible kill site will be looked at by the DNR making sure all meat was retrieved. We had a grizzly and a pack of wolves moving about in our area.
 

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