Utah or Alaska

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Fitz, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    Well, it is looking like I'm going to be medically discharged from the Air Force. Now I have to decide where I want to live. I have family in both Alaska and Utah. I plan on attending a college to earn a Microbiology degree and head to Physician Assistant school. I'm able to achieve this goal in both states.

    Now enough about "business" and on to the important part. Which state would you choose, between Alaska and Utah, for the outdoorsman?

    Each state have pluses and minuses. Utah for example, has great mule deer and elk hunting. With the wide open areas, I will have no problem find my goal of taking an elk at 1,000 yards. The downside, moose is a one a lifetime hunt and is hard to pull a tag. Not to mention the mormons, I apologize if you are LDS. I lived there for 20 years and was hounded for my beliefs. Utah also has some of the best fly fishing for trout! great mountain streams!

    Now Alaska... My mother lives up there and I am technically an Alaska resident, for tax purposes. I love the fishing up there. I can't count how many times my mother yelled at me for staying out in the stream for over 20 hours fishing for silvers. Another plus, the length of the hunting season. If I do not pull my moose for a year, I shouldn't be allowed to hold a gun! The downside to Alaska, the winter. I am used to not seeing the light for months on end, due to my job in a building without windows. But I believe the April-September seasons make up for it.

    So... What is your opinion?
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Neither they are both too cold.:) Seriously, if it were me I would probably consider a braoder specrum of things ie-What are the 10 most important things to you(and any significant others) in life and how do these two states stackup against that.

    Another approach might be to pretend for a moment that fishing and hunting wasn't of interest to you...but, you could only live in these 2 states which would you choose. You may be surprised at how quickly you picked a state and why you did...the why you did will be all the pros and cons that maybe your not even considering because you may be so focused on the sport. I hope this helps even though I didn't pick a state...only you and yours can decide. Good luck and let us know what your decision was. Thank you for your service.
     
  3. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    I am currently living in UT, although I came here for a job and stayed for three years, I will likely soon be transferred elsewhere within the year.

    I am also a non offended Mormon/LDS:)

    I would choose Alaska and find a way to deal with the winters.

    I grew up in the east where it is green most of the time.

    I miss that the most.

    Alaska has always been a goal and someday I will at least visit/hunt there.

    The Draw system for hunting here in UT is less desirable than it could be.

    Not just for Moose but for Elk etc as well.

    JMHO
     
  4. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Aldon, I'm not Mormon either but, what is LDS? Just curious.
     
  5. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    latter Day Saints i.e. Mormon...
     
  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    LDS- oh well, although it didn't make me laugh...thanks anyway. Darn and I was getting set for a good laugh thinking it may have meant Liberal Democratic Sh*$#.:D
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Why not both? Spend 3 or 4 years in AK and do some hunting there. Get a couple of Brownies and Griz, moose and caribou, sheep and goat and then move to Utah. I've been to AK and it's a great state but not easy to get around. And like you said, winters are dark, long and cold. I like it here in MT where there's deer, elk and trout and some places in UT are like that. Wouldn't want to live anywhere near Salt Lake though.

    Living a few years in AK would be a great opportunity to hunt a few critters that would cost the rest of us multiple thousands to hunt. It would still be spendy as res to do it there, although not near what it would cost a non-res.

    You didn't mention if you were married and if you are, that would be your top prority. But it sounds like you're single which would give you a lot more flexabilpity. You need to figure out your short term and long term priorities.

    If I could wind the clock back, I would like to spend about 5 years or so in AK and get my fill of that and then settle permenantly in MT.

    Just my tow cents :)
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, I am single. I have been required to move around the world the every two years. So far, I have lived in the UK, South Carolina, Korea, Maryland and might as well add Iraq for how much I spent there. Between deployments and training, I have never had time to unpack my boxes. I'm looking forward to being in one place for more than 2 years.

    Being a resident of Alaska has many benefits. The biggest being I'm not required to usea guide to go hunting! If I choose public land, I am able to hunt on my own and save about $10K. That is worth moving up there alone. Since I will be going to school, it would be good not to have so many distractions during the winter semesters. This last semester almost killed me between bow hunting whitetails, working full time and school.

    I have to agree with many others, Alaska is the last frontier. I have been leaning towards moving up there. I wouldn't mind being a mountain man rather than a physician assistant.
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about the hounding. I thought most here had "chilled" a bit from that. I know how frustrating that can be (being LDS and living in the bible belt next to southern Baptists gets the same effect) but don't let that sway your decision. Just smile and be proud to be different! Find common ground and you'll soon fit right in. And that shouldn't be hard if you like to hunt or fish. Utahns love these activities as you already know.


    I think I could live in AK too for a time but it would be tough. No sunshine for weeks on end would do me in I think. We're talking about weeks and weeks without SHOOTING! It can't be done by this boy. Not to mention I'm a desert rat and AK is kinda short on deserts! Once you walk amongst the redrock deserts, you can't live without them. Did you know Utah has more national parks then any other state including AK. They don't make national parks around ugly country!
     
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Sorry about the hounding........ That's just dumb..........

    In either state you time is going to be quite full for the next several years. The PA designation is the priority. I'd go for the best program, then choose the state that had it.

    Both States have thier pluses and minuses. SAD is a big problem for me, especially this year. Just went through a gut wrenching organ removal that will have me on the light duty list for a couple more weeks. Long periods of grey or dark tend to dampen ones spirits.

    BTW, the PA that assisted on the team was a life saver. When this perky 16 yr old girl girl popped into the room and informed me that she was going to to the presurgery physical, I was at a loss for how to act. So I just did as she directed.

    Keep your priorities straight and things will work out well for you.
     
  11. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Not moving to AK when I had the chance when I was single is one of my few regrets in life. I had a summer job lined up and after that I was going to be a flunky for a guide but I got talked out of it by a girlfriend, I regretted missing out on an AK adventure and regretted that girlfriend ever since, I didn't even marry her after all that. Good luck!!!
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Keep at your PA and be a good one. You'll need a good job to pay for your hunting habit. I think AK would be a good place to start. Like others have said, the long periods of darkness can wear on you but if you keep yourself busy studying and working it would help.
     
  13. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

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    If I was single - yeah, I'd be hitting Alaska. No question there.
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    The number of alcoholics is pretty high in Alaska and Alaska leads the country in suicides...do you think this could be linked to long dark winters+weather wise it's just a tough place to live...which maybe can cause depression. Any thoughts?

    I remember watching a documentary maybe 5-10 years ago where they talked about the suicide rates are higher generally across the country in winter and some study or studies had shown that there's a chemical or something produced in the brain either more or less based on the amount of sunlight. As an experiment they exposed patients to artificail sunlight for 8 hours a day and noted depression rates declined amongst that group.

    As a footnote Utah ranked 7th highest in suicides...so who knows.