Help with pack for moose Kifaru vs Eberlestock or Kuiu?

su35-5

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Jul 30, 2022
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Northern AZ
I leave in 3.5 weeks for Alaskan Moose. Kind of a last minute hunt invite.

It’s a boat/river hunt with some friends. Outside King Salmon. I know almost nothing about the area. I'm so unprepared.

I hunt a lot, but, I don't do much backpack hunting. Most of my hunting is done outside the USA or with day packs and road access close enough that a good pack isn’t as important. Aoudad, Mule Deer, Whitetail and Pronghorn all on private land. I don’t do much on public land other than a couple Elk and drop camp Caribou.

I need a good pack mainly because my back isn't great, but I can manage. Looking at Kifaru or Eberlestock? Which one and why one over the other?

Does Kifaru put more weight on your hips rather than shoulders? Or are they about even?
Eberlestock is not even in the same league as the others. I've blown them out hauling.
 

Sockeye66

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Can't help with a pack and I'm sure you've been advised already to bring bug repellent, Iv'e spent a good chunk of my life in the Bristol Bay region and when the wind dies, the bugs swarm. I use Buguard from Avon (got laughed at by a native and now that's all he uses). The other comments about hip boots are spot on, hope you get the right pack and have a great hunt.
 

comfisherman

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Spent some patches over my youths in and out of the Bristol Bay watershed, king salmon was the main stop off point to my village. Seems like every time I've fiddled around on the North side of the peninsula my Xtra tuffs were waaay to short. Do the pilot point, to king salmon flight and it will make Minnesotas land of ten thousand lakes seem like rookie numbers... whole top side is a big sponge until you get north of Dillingham.

It's been mentioned before, ak requires bone in field processing. While the big 70inch monsters my grandfather saw in the 50s are rare, they are still some big bodied critters. Packing a quarter out can be as awkward as it is heavy, a feature worth keeping in mind when selecting features.


Side note

It's been an abnormal weather year, winter was intense and long. Summer roared in with July like heat in May and June. Half way through July it switched to October, only consistent has been wind. Normally the systems pick a side and roll either north or south, this year its felt like the crawled up the peninsula making both sides miserable. Think this is my record for days lost due to weather, if ever there was a year to toss in an extra base layer a few extra socks and a second rain jacket this is it.

Hope it's a good trip, reading this has brought back some fun memories...
 
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Buffalobwana

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Spent some patches over my youths in and out of the Bristol Bay watershed, king salmon was the main stop off point to my village. Seems like every time I've fiddled around on the North side of the peninsula my Xtra tuffs were waaay to short. Do the pilot point, to king salmon flight and it will make Minnesotas land of ten thousand lakes seem like rookie numbers... whole top side is a big sponge until you get north of Dillingham.

It's been mentioned before, ak requires bone in field processing. While the big 70inch monsters my grandfather saw in the 50s are rare, they are still some big bodied critters. Packing a quarter out can be as awkward as it is heavy, a feature worth keeping in mind when selecting features.


Side note

It's been an abnormal weather year, winter was intense and long. Summer roared in with July like heat in May and June. Half way through July it switched to October, only consistent has been wind. Normally the systems pick a side and roll either north or south, this year its felt like the crawled up the peninsula making both sides miserable. Think this is my record for days lost due to weather, if ever there was a year to toss in an extra base layer a few extra socks and a second rain jacket this is it.

Hope it's a good trip, reading this has brought back some fun memories...
That’s some good advice. I asked my friend what range of temps to expect. He said “Who knows!!!” He too said the water is high this year.

Can't help with a pack and I'm sure you've been advised already to bring bug repellent, Iv'e spent a good chunk of my life in the Bristol Bay region and when the wind dies, the bugs swarm. I use Buguard from Avon (got laughed at by a native and now that's all he uses). The other comments about hip boots are spot on, hope you get the right pack and have a great hunt.
I wonder if it’s a similar formula to Avon Skin so Soft? That stuff was serious bug juice! And, you smelled pretty. I have used it in Africa.
 

Buffalobwana

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I wish you guys would stop telling me Kifaru! I don’t like wanting what I can’t get! But, I do appreciate the advice.

I ordered a Kuiu yesterday and I will order an EXO today. Talked to Jake at EXO yesterday and he (and many guys here) sold me on their packs.

If I can’t get a Kifaru, I’m pretty sure the EXO or maybe a Kuiu will will suffice. One of them is bound to fit me.
 

Buffalobwana

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Also thanks for the other tips on things I might forget or discount, like extra warm clothing and trekking poles.

I have some older Cabelas breathable stocking foot waders I wore last time I hunted out of Kotzebu. They worked well for the terrain there. I'm thinking they should still be fine. We don't wear waders down here in TX much, other than the occasional winter trip to the coast.

Is that sufficient? Or are hip boots a better choice? I have heard to bring both.
 

Buffalobwana

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Since we are on the subject of what to take.

My rifle. I’m struggling with a choice. All of them are accurate.

* 7 Rem Mag, McMillan stock, Omega can, 175 or 165 Nos Accubond (its long and the heaviest)

*308 McMillan stock, Omega can, 165 Game Kings (short, even w can, it’s plenty light enough)

* Henry X 45-70 w Hybrid 45 can, 325 Hornady FTX (it’s 1.5” gun and it’s new so I want to play w it. But, It’s not at the top of the list)

* Mod 700 Mountain Rifle 30-06 with wood stock, 180 Nosler Partitions. (super light, but wood stock and no can)

I want to take a can. I have found game just doesn’t react the same to guns w cans ... when you miss. Hey, sometimes it happens on longer shots or shots w no rest.

The 308 is leading the pack bc of weight and length. But, I’m concerned about the abilities of the 308, esp at my max yardage that I would shoot a Moose.
 

comfisherman

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Kodiak
Grandad put a tremendous amount of Moose meat on the table with his beloved 244. Remember he was a subsistence hunter in a village before power water and indoor plumbing. Story always went he went thirteen for thirteen with the 14th requiring a box, the 244 was retired from Moose duty. Moral of the story that's true of a lot of wild critters, a calm shot animal dies easier than a spooked one.

What's getting up to 20 years ago we lost some good sense and chased a decent bull a few hrs from the beach (poor life choice) he was eventually anchored with winchester fail safe handload in a 7 stw. Made me a believer in sectional density and controlled expansion. I'd probably err towards the 7 mag and heavy accubonds.

Waders>hip boots. Unless you tip over in the current a lot....
 
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Ol' Red

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Also thanks for the other tips on things I might forget or discount, like extra warm clothing and trekking poles.

I have some older Cabelas breathable stocking foot waders I wore last time I hunted out of Kotzebu. They worked well for the terrain there. I'm thinking they should still be fine. We don't wear waders down here in TX much, other than the occasional winter trip to the coast.

Is that sufficient? Or are hip boots a better choice? I have heard to bring both.
I moved south in 1995, but when I lived and hunted Alaska, ankle fit hip waders were the outdoor footwear. Good hiking boots were good in camp or some drier areas. I sure don't remember many dry areas where I did not have to wade water to reach.
 

Ol' Red

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Since we are on the subject of what to take.

My rifle. I’m struggling with a choice. All of them are accurate.

* 7 Rem Mag, McMillan stock, Omega can, 175 or 165 Nos Accubond (its long and the heaviest)

*308 McMillan stock, Omega can, 165 Game Kings (short, even w can, it’s plenty light enough)

* Henry X 45-70 w Hybrid 45 can, 325 Hornady FTX (it’s 1.5” gun and it’s new so I want to play w it. But, It’s not at the top of the list)

* Mod 700 Mountain Rifle 30-06 with wood stock, 180 Nosler Partitions. (super light, but wood stock and no can)

I want to take a can. I have found game just doesn’t react the same to guns w cans ... when you miss. Hey, sometimes it happens on longer shots or shots w no rest.

The 308 is leading the pack bc of weight and length. But, I’m concerned about the abilities of the 308, esp at my max yardage that I would shoot a Moose.
I personally would lean toward the 7MM or the 30-06. Of course I am not the one packing it. The .308 will do the job, just get a little closer. Don't be afraid to put more than one round in a moose. I am excited for your trip. Keep us informed.
 

Buffalobwana

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178
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Don't be afraid to put more than one round in a moose. I am excited for your trip. Keep us informed.
Thank you. I’m excited as well. I’m looking forward to the hunt and meeting new friends. A Moose will be a great bonus.

As for extra rounds, I have no problem pumping rounds into an animal, even if it’s down and I’m not confident of the first shot.

Just last week, a quick follow up saved me from a disappointing end to a Mouflon hunt in The Czech Republic. My nephew wasn’t as lucky. Great initial shot, by all accounts, but no chance at a follow up.

Those are tough sheep for their size.
 

LRNut

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Dec 4, 2004
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Arizona/Colorado
I would definitely do the waders/hunting boot combo. When I lived in AK I tried any number of ankle fit boots and always had blisters. On my last hunt on the Penn, Phil Shoemaker told me his daughter Tia (a guide as well) doesn't even bother with the boots; she just uses an old pair of running shoes.
 

Sockeye66

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Mar 24, 2020
Messages
647
Location
East Helena, Mt
Since we are on the subject of what to take.

My rifle. I’m struggling with a choice. All of them are accurate.

* 7 Rem Mag, McMillan stock, Omega can, 175 or 165 Nos Accubond (its long and the heaviest)

*308 McMillan stock, Omega can, 165 Game Kings (short, even w can, it’s plenty light enough)

* Henry X 45-70 w Hybrid 45 can, 325 Hornady FTX (it’s 1.5” gun and it’s new so I want to play w it. But, It’s not at the top of the list)

* Mod 700 Mountain Rifle 30-06 with wood stock, 180 Nosler Partitions. (super light, but wood stock and no can)

I want to take a can. I have found game just doesn’t react the same to guns w cans ... when you miss. Hey, sometimes it happens on longer shots or shots w no rest.

The 308 is leading the pack bc of weight and length. But, I’m concerned about the abilities of the 308, esp at my max yardage that I would shoot a Moose.
Keep in mind that you're hunting in a high brown bear area and the rifle you choose should be a great defense gun as well.
 
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