Alaska
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Fuzzy 09-Feb-18
Buskill 09-Feb-18
Fuzzy 09-Feb-18
Cheesehead Mike 09-Feb-18
Owl 09-Feb-18
LKH 09-Feb-18
grubby 09-Feb-18
t-roy 09-Feb-18
Southern draw 09-Feb-18
cnelk 09-Feb-18
Steve H. 09-Feb-18
jjs 09-Feb-18
APauls 09-Feb-18
LKH 09-Feb-18
Inshart 09-Feb-18
AKHUNTER 09-Feb-18
Bowboy 09-Feb-18
ground hunter 09-Feb-18
BOWUNTR 09-Feb-18
'Ike' (Phone) 09-Feb-18
TEmbry 10-Feb-18
Nick Muche 12-Feb-18
Fuzzy 12-Feb-18
Fuzzy 12-Feb-18
South Farm 12-Feb-18
Nick Muche 12-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
Nick Muche 14-Feb-18
LKH 14-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
Nick Muche 14-Feb-18
TrapperKayak 14-Feb-18
Fuzzy 14-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
JayZ 14-Feb-18
cnelk 14-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
Fuzzy 14-Feb-18
Fuzzy 14-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
Frank Noska 14-Feb-18
Nick Muche 14-Feb-18
Treeline 14-Feb-18
Frank Noska 14-Feb-18
LKH 14-Feb-18
TrapperKayak 15-Feb-18
DB999 16-Feb-18
Treeline 16-Feb-18
Nick Muche 16-Feb-18
Scar Finga 16-Feb-18
Fuzzy 21-Feb-18
RyanT 21-Feb-18
Ron Niziolek 21-Feb-18
akbow 22-Feb-18
Treeline 22-Feb-18
HUNT MAN 22-Feb-18
Treeline 23-Feb-18
Hugh 23-Feb-18
Fuzzy 26-Feb-18
Treeline 26-Feb-18
Scoot 26-Feb-18
Mike Lawrence 26-Feb-18
LKH 26-Feb-18
Treeline 04-Mar-18
Treeline 04-Mar-18
Charlie Rehor 04-Mar-18
MarkU 04-Mar-18
TEmbry 04-Mar-18
Kurt 04-Mar-18
Treeline 04-Mar-18
glunker 04-Mar-18
Treeline 05-Mar-18
Pete In Fairbanks 05-Mar-18
TEmbry 05-Mar-18
JayZ 05-Mar-18
Treeline 05-Mar-18
Treeline 06-Mar-18
Steve H. 06-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
t-roy 28-Mar-18
Fuzzy 28-Mar-18
From: Fuzzy
09-Feb-18
So I am 54 years old, been working the same job for 30 years. My kids are grown, I'm single and my parents have passed on. I have a nice little home in the mountains of western VA, paid for, and I love to hunt and fish. My health is pretty decent for a guy my age, nothing crippling or debilitating. I applied for a job very similar to my current career, but in Alaska. How's the bow hunting up dere?

From: Buskill
09-Feb-18
Not sure where you applied but I’d say Southeast AK would be excellent . I’ve been there 5-6 times and there are plenty of opportunities for deer and bear. Obviously world class fishingas well .

From: Fuzzy
09-Feb-18
Honestly I'm not sure were the job with be home-based but there will be Statewide travel

09-Feb-18
About 11 years ago I was offered a Land Surveyor job with the Federal Government, Bureau of Land Management working out of Anchorage. I did a lot of soul searching and reached out to the Bowsite like you are doing now. I have a really good job that I have been at for 30 years and I decided to stay and I can retire in 1 year, although I kind of regret not taking the job in Alaska... Some of the advice that I got on Bowsite was to stick it out at my current job and I can spend all the time I want in Alaska after I retire.

Good luck with whatever you decide... I'm envious because like I said, I kind of regret not moving there...

From: Owl
09-Feb-18
Poop doesn't leach in Alaska; it freezes and becomes part of the fossil record!!

From: LKH
09-Feb-18
You need to check the cost of living where you are thinking of going. Rent can be staggering and if you aren't on the road system, everything is very expensive. I just left after 30 years up there.

I prefer the hunting in MT, WY, SD and MN. Everything you hunt in AK involves either a fly out or a ATV and then you will have lots of company. Check out where the roads are and you will see why this is true.

Also, except for deer you are pretty much done by the end of Sept.

From: grubby
09-Feb-18
you can always come back

From: t-roy
09-Feb-18
Given your situation, I’d jump on it in a heartbeat. I almost had a chance to head up there in 1979, just out of high school, with a friend that drove up there, but he took off 2 days before I got back from a Canada fishing trip. I often think “what if”.

I’d PM guys like TEmbry and Nick Muche, who did make the move up there. Although it seems they rarely kill anything, they seem to be having some fun up there ;-)

09-Feb-18
The only place a guy can go and after becoming a resident ( 1 year) be allowed to hunt sheep without a guide except the unlimited areas in MT and Canada. Don't know if sheep are high on your list but there are several threads each year about hunting sheep without all the costs.

From: cnelk
09-Feb-18
My buddy that lives in Anchorage is jealous of all the hunting I get to do after September.

He tells me after his Sept moose hunt, he spends his time preparing for the long winter

From: Steve H.
09-Feb-18
The hunting varies a LOT. The better hunting opportunities are quite expensive and that doesn't guarantee a miss-selection in the area or the week. I have has hunts planned a full year out and basically had them ruined due to weather--can't hunt f you can't see!

I've also had opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I'd have stayed down south. I'd say the brown bear/grizzly hunting at this moment in time is exceptional; black bear can be really good too but less so for many coastal opportunities; deer up and down with winter kill conditions; caribou from hit and miss to very good; moose hit and miss but much better than 15 years ago due to heavier handed predator control efforts; Dall's sheep poor; mountain goat excellent in many areas.

If you want a beautiful spot on the Kenai with good access give me a shout as Wifey and I are putting our house on the market, after 17-18 years we are headed to Wyoming to dry out!

From: jjs
09-Feb-18
You should have a plane if you want to get off the beaten road, big country and long winter nights along with long summer days, just keep your legs strong and you'll be fine.

From: APauls
09-Feb-18
Living in Manitoba I imagine Alaska is equally as cold? You also need to determine if you are cut out for the long winters. They are LONG. When snow is on the ground mid November and doesn't leave till end of March it takes till June for summer to arrive. Little things like boiling heads off in the winter in -20, changing your oil, everything is just cold. All the time.

I was just in BC for a week snowboarding in Fernie and couldn't believe how mid their winters are. Seemed like heaven. I could go BBQ in a t-shirt cause it was hardly below freezing. Winters get to a lot of people, and I can't blame them. Not like I exactly love it either. But some people go straight-up batsh$t crazy cause of it. I imagine daylight hours are limited there in winter as well like they are here. It's crazy cold, sun going down at 4:30, but the summers are the opposite. Super awesome, just too short!

From: LKH
09-Feb-18
Without knowing where in AK you will be it's really impossible to tell you what to expect. I lived 10 years in a place where the all time record low was 9 above. As for darkness, you won't know how much you have without knowing the latitude of the place.

From: Inshart
09-Feb-18
A couple different times I've watched programs on TV about the high suicide rate due in part to the looooong sunless winters. I know I couldn't handle that.

From: AKHUNTER
09-Feb-18
Like some others have said it all depends on where you relocate to. Hunting up here can be as expensive or as cheap as you would like. If you are budget minded take a 4 wheeler or boat and start exploring. Expect a lot of company anywhere within a couple hours of anchorage.

If you plan ahead and save you can get into some really good fly out hunting within an hour of Anchorage. But that means a minimum of $2k eveytime you want to go fly out hunting. Even with your own plane a quick weekend trip costs several hundred $.

But where else can you hunt Black Bear, Brown Bear, Grizzly, Mt Goat, Dall Sheep, Bison, Muskox, Caribou, Moose, Deer, Elk, and Wolf all in the same season?

From: Bowboy
09-Feb-18
It sucks:)

09-Feb-18
Why not just go,,,,, you can hunt that now, that your still young in years, and can always move, back, if you do not like it,,,,, life is short, so try it,,,, I lived in the west, its nice, prefer the UP,,,, Alaska is an adventure, go for it, like I said, you have nothing holding you down

From: BOWUNTR
09-Feb-18
This would be a no brainer for me... Ed F

09-Feb-18
I wouldn’t think twice, color me gone...What a place!

From: TEmbry
10-Feb-18
It wasn't even a question for me. I planned my entire college/career path around a move to Alaska, and I hit the road less than 72 hours after graduation. The hunting is expensive, and there is a steep learning curve to figure out the logistics, but it truly is a one of a kind place. If the job has a flexible schedule (i.e. you can take off significant time) then jump on it. If you are moving up in hopes of stacking up critters on 2 day weekends, a reality check is in store.

The winters are somewhat of a bore, especially moving up from the South and not having any exposure growing up to winter hobbies. I've adapted well though. Between riding snow machines, trapping, ice fishing, and the occasional netflix binge the winters pass fast (especially throwing in the fact that winter is travel season). I annually hunt OTC brown bear, black bear, grizzly bear, dall sheep, mountain goat, blacktail deer, moose, caribou... I miss the weekend hunt back in L48, but I don't know any weekend warriors chasing all these critters either.

From: Nick Muche
12-Feb-18
I've taken Brown Bear, Black Bear, Caribou, Dall Sheep, Wolf and Moose all either after work on a weekday or on a weekend :) and a bison on a 3 day weekend. No planes, ATV's or Boats involved, just a beat up Tacoma and some boots. It can be done! haha

I plan most of my big ticket hunts for a week or more, but from May through October I am hunting or fishing (July) most every weekend, somewhere for something. That's the perk to living in Fairbanks I guess, there aren't many others aside from having guys like Pete close by.

Anymore when I head to or through the L48, I find myself much more anxious than I should be, the traffic is horrible, so many people... it's much different than Alaska.

If you have a job offer that allows time off and a decent enough wage to get out and do some hunting, you'll enjoy your time in Alaska. Good luck with your choice.

From: Fuzzy
12-Feb-18
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm not sure I'll even get an interview, but if I do, I'll keep y'all posted on how it develops.

Honestly it's exciting to even TRY for something like this.

From: Fuzzy
12-Feb-18
Nick Muche, compared to Stateside salaries the pay looks amazing, but I know cost of living up there is steep. They're posting a starting salary of $6,500/month gross

From: South Farm
12-Feb-18
When I think of or imagine Alaska the image that comes to mind is the month of September, Autumn in it's finest glory, and rutting bull moose. I can't see living somewhere 11 months just for the splendor of one. As they say, it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

From: Nick Muche
12-Feb-18
South Farm, there are endless things to do in Alaska, moose hunting only takes up a few weeks.

I understand what you mean though, if a person doesn't take the initiative to search out the many other opportunities, Alaska would be a rough place to live. Couple that with the cold/dark winter, it would drive most insane.

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
Just had an interview with a company up in Alaska. Would be a rotation gig - either 2/1 or 4/2.

If they make an offer, I will likely go. I think the rotation is to Anchorage. not a big deal to jump another plane from there and back to Colorado.

Would likely look to find a place a ways out of town (Wasilla, Willow, etc) and keep the place in Colorado for a while as the wife has a good job here.

For me - endless awesome options in Alaska. Have Takoma, will travel:) Also have a couple buddies with planes:) For the wife - she may get really uptight in the winter...

From: Nick Muche
14-Feb-18
Good luck Tavis, hope it works out for you! That would be a pretty good deal, with the rotational job. Plenty of time to hunt.

From: LKH
14-Feb-18
You should go make the Wasilla/Palmer to Anchorage for a week in December. Preferably during some of the snow/rain periods. Won't take you long to learn what the term "ditch diver" means. Just my observation but 80% are four wheel drive.

The darkness was one of the things I don't miss.

Wasilla/Palmer area really doesn't get you into what you would consider great hunting.

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
Understand that LKH. After living in the mountains in CO for many years, I have had to put up with a pretty good amount of crappy mountain/winter driving. The dark will be a tough one coming from the SW. Figure I'll spend some time looking around before pulling the trigger. Have buddies in Palmer/Wasilla area. Might end up down on the Kenai for a little more daylight and all the fishing.

From: Nick Muche
14-Feb-18
If you don't mind driving 3 hours or so (I certainly don't mind it) you can be into plenty of good walk-in hunting from Wasilla/Palmer. If you have buddies with planes, you'll be just fine as well.

From: TrapperKayak
14-Feb-18
Me, in that situation, I'm gone. at least for a while and I always adapt to new areas. I'd be fine. So would you.

From: Fuzzy
14-Feb-18
thanks guys, I've not heard anything yet. hoping at least for an interview

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
Good luck, Fuzzy!

I see from the vest thread that you are already working on your "cold weather gear":)

From: JayZ
14-Feb-18
Fuzzy, $6500/month gross might leave you a little light up here. Kind of depends on how you want to live and what you want to do, but Alaska will be zero fun if you are living pay check to pay check.

As Nick and Trevor have alluded to, hunting expeditions can be expensive. Living in the Anchorage area really sucks for any decent weekend type hunting. You've got to be willing to travel quite a ways to get away from people. Fairbanks is different, and Nick is willing to drive eight hours one way to hunt caribou on the weekends....lol.

From what I can see being a resident has two major advantages. You can hunt brown bear, sheep and goat without a guide; and the tags are free. Beyond that remote hunts are going to cost the same for non residents and residents.

From: cnelk
14-Feb-18
Treeline I think you'd miss all the Colorado sunshine :)

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
Possibly...

From: Fuzzy
14-Feb-18
treeline, "vest thread"?? I disremember that one... I'll have to look and see what's going on.

From: Fuzzy
14-Feb-18
Treeline, found it, I didn't post on that one. That's "Fuzz", not "Fuzzy" ...lol

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
Sorry!

From: Frank Noska
14-Feb-18
FYI, there are no big game animals left up here in Alaska to bow hunt......(-; Frank

From: Nick Muche
14-Feb-18
Frank posting here is proof that the real bowhunters in the world DO read Bowsite. He's right, we have no animals left!

From: Treeline
14-Feb-18
I know, Frank! You killed ‘me all!

From: Frank Noska
14-Feb-18
I haven't killed em all yet Tav, but I'm trying!

From: LKH
14-Feb-18
Okay, made the final move to MT this year. Had a place here for 19 years. Nearest neighbor 1.5 miles. Right now we are snowed in. County road blocked by a 75 ft drift from fence to fence over 3 feet deep. Can walk on it. May not get cleared for a few days.

God I miss Alaska.

From: TrapperKayak
15-Feb-18
Its been colder here in NY most of the winter than even in the North slope of AK. Many days I've compared Westmoreland, NY with Utgiagvik, AK, and it was colder here. Minus 20 three weekends in a row early Jan. AK can't be all that much more difficult if you have the gear and the grit. And I'd like the fishing better. I know, it rarely gets 45 below in NY, but this year must be mild up there or something.

From: DB999
16-Feb-18
I would jump at it if I was in your situation. Been a dream of mine. No way I can talk the wife into it though.

From: Treeline
16-Feb-18
Lookin' up. Got a call that they want me to come up for an on-site interview...

From: Nick Muche
16-Feb-18
Congrats Tavis!

From: Scar Finga
16-Feb-18
Go get it man! Good Luck!

From: Fuzzy
21-Feb-18
Great!

From: RyanT
21-Feb-18
Lots of caribou up north. Hunted the north slope of the Brooks' Range in 2015, and bagged a nice one. Pretty much nobody gets skunked up there though--bow or rifle.

From: Ron Niziolek
21-Feb-18
Good luck Tavis!

From: akbow
22-Feb-18
Hey guys--I'm late seeing this as I was just outside AK trying to find some sun. If you guys need anything when you are up in Anchorage on your interviews let me know--place to stay or anything. I know the Colorado guys were pretty forthcoming with information and help when I came to hunt there and I would gladly return the favor. Just pm me...

From: Treeline
22-Feb-18
Appreciate it, Ken. Think they have me pretty set. Will be in Anchorage overnight Sunday -out on Monday and back thru Wednesday night. Red eye back to Colorado. Will pm you.

From: HUNT MAN
22-Feb-18
Good luck Tavis!!

From: Treeline
23-Feb-18
Thanks for all the well wishes, guys! Have a number of interviews going on in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and Alaska. Job market is definitely moving in the right direction.

From: Hugh
23-Feb-18
Let me offer this up in addition to whats' been posted above. Im 52, moved here 5 years ago with my wife and young kids. They are 10 and 4 respectively now. I have some mobility issues due to back surgeries but still get out there. Ive hunted black and brown bears, moose, deer and caribou. Ive been invited to go on other hunts, but haven't been able to go do to job or family commitments. I can drive from where I live in Palmer and hunt moose and both bears fairly close and inexpensively. For many of the other animals, you will need to draw (not easy), registration hunt (too much to type) or fly out(can be expensive). All that being said, I wish I had moved here sooner. I came from Michigan so I was used to the snow and cold, but the darkness is wearying at times. The salary you proposed is what I would consider bare minimum to be able to afford a home in a nicer area with money left over for a few excursions. Do some work on Craiglist and Realtor.com before committing. Good luck. Hugh

From: Fuzzy
26-Feb-18
Thanks Hugh, that's great info.

From: Treeline
26-Feb-18
Hey, Fuzzy - sitting in Anchorage now. Actually a lot warmer here than back home for me. Will see how things work out for this interview.

Good luck on your end!

From: Scoot
26-Feb-18
Just saw this for the first time-- good luck Tavis! Fuzzy, good luck with your decision too.

26-Feb-18
Before taking a job at any salary, i highly recommend looking at housing very thoroughly. And that doesn't mean just browsing a couple websites. Housing is expensive and everyone's idea of acceptable is different. Don't assume that just getting a middle of the road priced house/apartment will do you okay, particularly in the Anchorage area. Crime (theft) is very high in many areas, and this becomes a major issue if you have a lot of good hunting equipment, atvs, snowmobiles etc. Everyone's tolerance to this is different, but I wouldn't want someone taking a salary thinking they are fine, and end up begin bogged down by rent/house payments to get in an area that is acceptable. One thing to check out is utilities particularly in the winter months, there are some very poorly built/insulated homes that can easily cost you a few extra thousand dollars a year to heat. Depending on your exact location it is likely you will be using heat 10 to 12 months out of the year to at least some degree.

From: LKH
26-Feb-18
Listen to Mike. In the 80's a contractor build and sold a bunch of homes then disappeared. That winter they found out that their homes had zero, that's right, 000.000 insulation. Very expensive fix. Some areas have homes that were built with almost no code. The banks have gotten smart and try to make sure you don't get a lemon but it still falls on you.

From: Treeline
04-Mar-18
Man! Gotta luv Alaska! Lost a day going out due to weather, so got to site a day late. Got weathered out and they wouldn’t fly in for three days. Finally get back to Anchorage and on standby for the flight back to Denver and get bumped. Sleep in the airport. Next flight to Denver is Sunday night at 11:40pm - overbooked and on standby for that one! At this rate I may be a resident before I get out of here:)

From: Treeline
04-Mar-18
4 days behind and counting...

04-Mar-18
Rough country for sure in many ways. Safe travels!

From: MarkU
04-Mar-18
I used to always sleep behind the polar bear, but can't remember which concourse it was on. Always took my sleeping bag as a carry on.

From: TEmbry
04-Mar-18
Anyone ever stuck in anchorage is welcome to message me. I’m a quick $15 cab ride from the airport and have a spare bedroom/shower for bowsiters :).

Hope it works out for you either way on your decision. I know moving here was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

From: Kurt
04-Mar-18
Good luck getting home Tavis! My recent 13 flight journey was painless by comparison....one 3 hour delay that was of no consequence!

From: Treeline
04-Mar-18
Thanks, guys! Got out of the airport for the day with Akbow. Hoping to get out tonight!

From: glunker
04-Mar-18
Reminds me of a '98 hunt that I was delayed coming out on a bush flight to Sitka and when I get to the Anchorage Airport I miss the red eye home when the and pushes off 4 min early and I get to sleep on a short couch. Had some explaining to do to my wife.

From: Treeline
05-Mar-18
Another day in paradise...

At least it sounds like I can get out tomorrow.

05-Mar-18
So would you prefer to be stuck in, say, NJ?!!!!!

From: TEmbry
05-Mar-18
I'm confused on how you have been stuck in Anchorage for so long? There are dozens of flights a day leaving here for Seattle and other L48 destinations, can they not reroute you? Must be frustrating.

From: JayZ
05-Mar-18
Maybe trying to take the direct flight to Denver through United? I think that only flies once per day.

From: Treeline
05-Mar-18
I was originally set up to fly out last week on Wednesday.

Got weathered out at the camp up in north west Alaska for several days and finally got back to Anchorage Saturday night.

United had overbooked and I was standby Saturday night. Got bumped to standby last night.

Talked to Alaska Airlines yesterday and they were all full flights due to the ididerod.

I was first on the standby list last night but didn’t make it out. United is really limited for flights out of Anchorage.

From: Treeline
06-Mar-18
Whew! Finally made it home, only 5 days late!

From: Steve H.
06-Mar-18
Dang, should have just stayed!

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Dang. Just got word that they went with another candidate.

Really a bummer.

From: t-roy
28-Mar-18
That sucks! :-( Disappointing news. Feel for ya, man!

From: Fuzzy
28-Mar-18
I'm sorry buddy. At least you got an interview! (I didn't)

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