Sitka Mountain Gear
Which unit for DIY Moose? NR
Alaska
Contributors to this thread:
Florida Mike 19-Oct-10
LadynAK 06-Jan-11
Florida Mike 09-Jan-11
Cliff Diver 11-Jan-11
Florida Mike 11-Jan-11
Steve H. 12-Jan-11
Florida Mike 13-Jan-11
standswittaknife 14-Jan-11
Milo 16-Jan-11
Cliff Diver 21-Jan-11
Pete In Fairbanks 24-Jan-11
Florida Mike 24-Jan-11
Pete In Fairbanks 25-Jan-11
Non Typical 13-Feb-11
cubbies77 21-Feb-11
Mike Turner 04-Mar-11
Alaska Jim 05-Mar-11
DonVathome 06-Mar-11
Pete In Fairbanks 08-Mar-11
Florida Mike 09-May-11
standswittaknife 09-May-11
DonVathome 22-Dec-11
Rovingarcher 24-Dec-11
Pete In Fairbanks 26-Dec-11
Maverick940 27-Dec-11
South Farm 27-Jan-12
hunter2216 02-Feb-12
Whitebear 30-May-14
standswittaknife 05-Aug-14
elmer@laptop 09-Aug-14
elmer@laptop 09-Aug-14
John/Alaska 11-Aug-14
elmer@laptop 14-Aug-14
MDW 14-Aug-14
Florida Mike 09-Oct-14
redwillow 01-Apr-15
DonVathome 07-Aug-15
DonVathome 07-Aug-15
From: Florida Mike
19-Oct-10
I'm looking for a transporter to do a moose hunt. I want to know who you would use again. If it matters I want something close to P&Y minimums, thanks, Mike

From: LadynAK
06-Jan-11
go to www.wildlife.alaska.gov there are 20 something Units, I know you can moose hunt in 9, 16 and 17 as a non-resident. Check High Adventure Air on their moose hunt. They're pretty stable and honest.

From: Florida Mike
09-Jan-11
Thanks Lady! I'm grateful for your help. I'm kinda surprised nobody else has tried to help me but maybe I'm missing something maybe nobody wants to give up their secret transporter, LOL. Mike

From: Cliff Diver
11-Jan-11
We've been successful in unit 21. We've taken two 60" A 64" and a 71" bulls from there. We like Magnusen air in McGrath. Very good service and good prices. We will never use Willow air again. Incompetent,overpriced lost and broke our gear.

From: Florida Mike
11-Jan-11
Thanks Cliff diver, although with a name like "Cliff diver" I'm not sure my heart could stand a hunt you've recomended,LOL. Seriously thanks for trying to help.

If anyone wants to PM me thats OK too. Mike

From: Steve H.
12-Jan-11
F-Mike: I think the problem, being honest here, is it appears you didn't do ANY research and wanted info handed to you. Our moose hunting is suk-e and spotty at best and your expectations are unreasonable without extreme luck falling into your lap. Once again, just being HONEST.

From: Florida Mike
13-Jan-11
Thanks Steve H. for being honest. I'm kinda curious what I said that lead you to believe I've not done any research? So far I only have 26 hours of research invested, so as you can see I'm just getting started. The units I am looking at (2) are huge. The one thing I keep coming back too in my research is the transporter, hence the thread title. I also keep hearing that I should steer clear of outfitters in whatever area I want to be dropped off in. The only way I can know if the area I want be dropped off in has an outfitter nearby is to trust the transporter. Hence the thread title and the need for someone to recommend a honest, reliable transporter. Mike

14-Jan-11
I'm headed with Joe Shuster of Sportsman's Air Service out of Galena.

From: Milo
16-Jan-11
Here's the reality - Success rates for general season moose hunts averaged 20-23% per year in the last decade. This is people that reported that they actually did hunt, not just license holders. It includes both resident and non-residents, rifle hunters and bow hunters. Now factor in that you are a non resident and hunting with a bow and looking for P&Y minimum -- You are setting yourself up to be disappointed.

If I could tell you where to get a P&Y moose, I'd either shoot it myself or be working for a guide.

From: Cliff Diver
21-Jan-11
Floridamike. Most transporters are going to drop you in an area that has a water source. Usually it will be a windng meandering river. You and your buds will use the river for your main source of transport. The moose use the river too and thats where you'll see most activity. follow the river banks looking for moose tracks. At some spots of the river bends there will be ox bow lakes that have alot of moose activity. As far as transporters. Try going to one of the big sportsman shows and spend time talking to each guy. Check references BUT NOT the ones the guy gives out. ask to talk to some unsuccessful clients. An unsuccessful hunter that still gives a good review is worth its weight in gold. On the other hand the biggest moose I ever took was awesome yet I wouldnt use that transporter again if it were free. That clown lied, didnt show, gave bad info and broke our gear.

24-Jan-11
Cliffdiver gives VERY good advice on checking references. Take heed and follow it!

I would however, take issue with the idea that the moose are hanging out primarily along the rivers. That may be true in areas where the only willows are in those riparian areas, but along the heavily hunted rivers where the transporters are dropping off hundreds of DIY hunters, a lot of the moose have learned to stay back off the rivers.

You will need to take the time to get back off the river, find good vantage places, glass a lot, and be willing to pack your animal back to the river.

Otherwise, get ready to enjoy your "armed camping trip!"

From: Florida Mike
24-Jan-11
Thanks for the info, I think? I still need a Transporter if anyone knows a good one. I know most guys won't give up there secret spot so that's why I asked about transporters. Any advice is appreciated.

25-Jan-11
My general reccommendation would be to narrow your search to smaller air taxiis in smaller communities. The big outfits in Anchorage and on the Kenai haul hundreds of hunters and as a rule, saturate the areas they utilize.

You would do better finding a small operator in Fairbanks (as opposed to Anchorage) despite the fact that you would likely end up closer to MY chosen hotspots!

Good luck.

Pete

From: Non Typical
13-Feb-11
The big problem you have is 1) by air they have to drop you off at their camp site or you bring your own. 2) using a campsite already there means more than you have been there. 3)I packed out only one that I shot, the rest I was able to drive up within 100yds or so. Not fun when it takes several trips to and from. Because of this a lot of guys take to the water with a float trip. If you use a float plane, you might have a long haul in and out.

From: cubbies77
21-Feb-11
I'm heading out in 2012 with Joe Schuster of Sportsmen's Air Service also. His references were very good to talk to.

Standswittaknife, you will have to post how you do this year!!

From: Mike Turner
04-Mar-11
Mike, I think you may be doing this backwards. You need to figure out where you want to go and then pick a transporter. Research an area that looks good, and make sure to make a plan B and C. Things rarely go as planned in AK, especially with the weather. Call fish and game. You can get moose numbers, calf numbers, bull to cow ratios, etc. Get a good indication of the area your hunting. Moose have been down for some time in AK, and your area you pick is the most important thing you can do for yourself. I would never think of just picking a guy and letting him drop me with the "army" Pete is talking about. Good luck, Mike

From: Alaska Jim
05-Mar-11
These do it yourself hunts are not very productive. Yeah, you might get lucky as, Steve H. says but most of the time you'll just get a lot of exercise. Most of the air charters guys do a good job of dropping you off in some remote areas which may or may not have any moose. Really, they just have to many hunters to handle to put every one on good moose numbers. I've lived on the Kenai Peninsula now for over 30 years and to be honest with you I don't even know where I would hunt presently to get a legal moose. Keep in mind that a lot of areas are drawing permits so that limits your chances considerably. I gather that you are prepared to spend several thousand dollars by the time you factor in all the expenses so you know that up front. It can be a great hunt of a life time but if it were me I think I would head for Wyoming, Montana or Idaho. You'll see more game there in two weeks then you will in five years hunting in Alaska (migrating caribou excepted) and a whole lot cheaper two. Alaska Jim

From: DonVathome
06-Mar-11
I have been researching my AK moose hunt (DIY) for about 6 or 7 years, at least 100 hours a year, likely a lot more.

I have narrowed it down to a few draw hunts or paying the $4,500 per person for some of the above mentioned transporters. I am not going to pay $9,000 for transport only for a hunt.

Long story short, it is extremely difficult to find a good area, with good moose populations and legal bulls to hunt. Very very hard.

There is a reason the good outfitters cost $18,000

Not to be rude but 100 hours of research will be about enough to learn how hard it really is and that you need to do a lot more if you want a legitament chance at success.

I have read all moose reports for the past decade (literally over 1 thousand pages) as well as studied maps, collected data from successfull and unsuccessful hunters, followed the forums here, the AK forums, and the Pristine forums for a long time.

My condensed notes to AK moose alone are over 30 pages in microsoft word, with small type and narrow margins!

Good luck and know that bar getting lucky 95% of AK moose hunts will take 5 or 6 trips to get a P&Y moose - and that is assuming you do a lot of research, hunt HARD, shoot well, learn everything you can about moose and still get lucky.

08-Mar-11
It just simply does not seem fair that I was able to arrow a young bull from off of my front porch last Sept 1, does it Don?!!!!!!!

Good luck on your quest...

Pete

From: Florida Mike
09-May-11
Ok guys thanks for all the info. I would try to explain that I enjoy hunting and research and etc, but I know I'm beating a dead horse trying to convince some of you that I don't have to kill something to enjoy the hunt. By the way, I would not shoot a dink after flying 5000 miles and then have to carry the 800 lbs of meat 3 miles through knee deep bogs back to camp, thats not my idea of a good time. Anyway, thanks to the PMs from a few positive woodsmen that offered helpful advice. I am using that advice and have narrowed my search down to 3 transporters who service an area thats huge.

My original question was which transporter would you recommend. I know its near impossible to kill a P&Y moose DIY in Alaska. But I won't enjoy my "armed camping trip" near as much if I have to worry with a loser transporter. Mike

09-May-11
Mike, I drew my tag and will be happy to let you know how the hunt went this fall.

From: DonVathome
22-Dec-11
Pete yes I am jealous!

From: Rovingarcher
24-Dec-11
C'mon Pete, now be honest with him.You as a resident are not restricted to 4 brow tines or 50".Hence the "Young Bull".Hope all is well on your end Pete.

26-Dec-11
There are lots of units where residents ARE subjected to antler restrictions.

Not in my garden though!

From: Maverick940
27-Dec-11
Agreed. Since there's only x-amount of moose in the state and since we humans also compete with four-legged predators for the x-number of moose available, antler restrictions throughout most of the state - for both resident and non-resident hunters - seems to be the norm these days.

From: South Farm
27-Jan-12
I can't tell you where the best spot in Alaska for moose is, but I can tell you life is short. You can sit on the sidelines doing "research" trying to find that alces shangrila until you turn blue in the face, or you can take a chance, plop some money down, and go hunting! Nobody ever killed a moose studying maps, reading reports, or talking on the phone with biologists. Like the NIKE ad says...JUST DO IT! My regret was not learning that sooner in life.

From: hunter2216
02-Feb-12
x2 south farm

From: Whitebear
30-May-14
@Cliff Diver - If the guy gave bad info and didn't show, how did you manage to get the biggest moose you ever got?

05-Aug-14
I booked with Papa Bear Adventures for 2016... Can't wait...

From: elmer@laptop
09-Aug-14
Check out 40 mile air out of glenallen. I have a friend, a resident of Alaska that uses them every 2 years. He goes on a combination moose/caribou hunt with them.

Like many others have said, even for residents like me, finding a legal bull, even in units where we can hunt spike/fork bulls is getting tougher and tougher. The populations are down in many areas. Had a spot that for 15 years between me and my best friend and his wife, one of the 3 of us would get a bull every year, and sometimes 2 in a year with many over 50 inches, and one 64 incher. We have stopped hunting the area because, in the last two years we hunted the area, the first of those years we saw only 1 bull, and the second saw NO bulls. this is an area that we would see or call bulls in EVERY day for the first 10 years. In many years we could call in up to 1/2 dozen a day. One year, in a two day span I called in 15 different bulls. Now, we see zero.

That said, if you are good with calling, in most areas I can call bulls in any day. Trouble is that with antler restrictions, and using a bow, it can still be difficult to locate a legal bull.

The key is to make sure your transporter is not taking lots of people to where they are taking you!! And if it is on a river where lots of people float or take boats, everyone I know says, and I agree.....get at least 1/2 mile from the river and you will see more moose than those who stay close to the rivers.

From: elmer@laptop
09-Aug-14

From: John/Alaska
11-Aug-14
40 Mile Air is out of Tok

From: elmer@laptop
14-Aug-14
Oops. Sorry..meant Tok, not glenallen.

From: MDW
14-Aug-14
Have to agree with Elmer, it is getting tougher every year.

Used to hunt up around Coldfoot and no trouble seeing legal bulls most every day. The last year we went, we saw one legal bull in a weeks hunting.

Now, from what I was told, it's been turned into a draw area with one permit south of Coldfoot and one permit north of Coldfoot.

From: Florida Mike
09-Oct-14
So I did a sheep hunt in the Chugach in August. I saw dozens of Moose, some were massive. I glassed them for 6 days while sheep hunting so trust me they were way big! The only reason I didn't chase them was they were in hell holes that would have taken 3 or 4 days to pack the meat out to the air strip. That may not seem like a good enough reason for some guys but for a 67 year old guide and a 53 year old hunter with a small tear in my achilles it was more than enough. The only reason I'm posting this is to let anyone that is thinking about an Alaska moose hunt to not believe that there are no moose. They may be in a hell hole but they are there. Mike

From: redwillow
01-Apr-15
So, road hunting for legal moose is out? What about caribou? The haul roads no good anymore or what? I'm planning on going to Alaska next spring to do so over the road semi truck driving, this all means I won't be dogging any animals all over the roads at all? Just wondering!

From: DonVathome
07-Aug-15
Price, good transporters with good legal moose cost 2x as much or more.

Finding a legal moose is a lot harder then it first seems FYI.

From: DonVathome
07-Aug-15
Price, good transporters with good legal moose cost 2x as much or more.

Finding a legal moose is a lot harder then it first seems FYI.

  • Sitka Gear