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Prepare for AK Unguided Moose Hunting
Most important thing if you’re not hunting solo is have a solid partner.
That’s a lesson I learned the hard way.
That bringing a small Jimmy Tarp to sit under during the day makes a huge difference in your quality of life.
I spent lots of time watching every calling video I could get my hands on, bought a Bull Magnet call and practiced with it prior to the hunt while also hiking daily with a heavy pack to get in shape for the pack out. The most surprising thing I found was how easy it was to call bulls in once the rut was in full swing.
Spent years trying to get others to join me for a hunt, most years everyone except me backed out, so I did not go. Finally in 1985 it all came together and 4 of us went, flew in above artic circle and killed 3 big Bulls 53", 58 1/2" and 62", should have had a fourth but one guy had problems hitting them.
We were well prepared and I do not recall anything we forgot or wished we would have had or prepared for.
Generally people that take on these hunts have it in them. It means they have the where-with-all to do the proper research. People that don't have that skill-set don't tackle it. Preparation is half the fun.
^^ What Mule said. I went expecting the alders to be bad.. they were absolutely terrible where we were!!
As for how long we spent preparing.. I think we booked @ year and half ahead which was good as it gave us time to finalize gear lists, upgrade gear and find better deals on stuff. We were limited to 75 pounds a piece so it took more careful planning.
The absolute silence...it’s tough judging the 50” on the tweener bulls, the 72” my cousin killed was a no brainer.
I didn't prepare.....I just moved here and went the first fall...solo. went unsuccessfully. Next year I went with friends, learned to call, and got my first bull, with a 64 inch width rack Biggest of any bull I have shot in my 30+ years here. I went with friends, but I was on my own the day I shot this big bull.
My biggest surprise was that once I got it back to my car, somehow that big bull fit into the back of a Subaru station wagon....and that somehow the front tires still touched the ground...barely!!
What elkmo said! You can’t look at enough pictures of bulls or watch enough video of bulls of known sizes to be ready to judge moose. If you shoot a bull 50-53 you’re a risk taker for sure. Determining that a bull has 1 more inch per side to make the cut is tough.
Preparation should include praying every night that you see a bull with the number of brow tines required for the unit you’re hunting in!
As far as weight goes..... ask your transporter if he’ll be going into camp (if it’s a drop camp hunt) or flying by the area you’ll be landing at before season. If so see if you can ship gear early and have him drop it off. If so you can practically double the amount of stuff going in compared to a 70 or 80 pound limit. Our pilot loves doing that because it also saves him time during hunting season when we arrive. I’ll ship everything except weapon, Jetboil fuel, and some clothes.
Have several methods of judging antler spread already figured out, then hope for brow tines.
The one thing I can't say enough is to know your limits. Don't go chasing a moose 2 miles away (or even 1 mile for that matter). Be patient and bring the moose to you. You will be happy you did.
My buddy and I are doing this trip in 2021. 18 months to prep...
Don't hunt the SE...we hunted around Gustavus (back side of Glacier NP)...waded swamps in the rain for 7 Days straight. Saw a couple of "marginal" bulls, and only one shooter (surrounded by hunters, on the run)...except for several legal bulls chewing their cud, right off the road on the Protected Park side.
Some dude shot a 48 1/2 inch bull near the beach, and was cited...weapons confiscated, etc...
What was the ONE most surprising thing you found out on your Unguided Alaska Moose Hunt
1) After packing 525lbs of meat to camp, thru willows wearing hip boots, the last trip with a 60" rack and head on a old beat up frame pack about did me in.
I found a dead head 50+" bull pushing bush deer hunting in Sask one year. Carried if for 3/4 mile through willows with no pack. I was ready to suck-start my 7mm before I was done.
Few things to consider that we learned on our trip. Buy the best rain gear, tarp for glassing under, and prepare for rain every single day. We had a blast and killed 2 great bulls, looking forward to doing the trip again even if it means the same weather forecast!
The first couple of trips we spent roughly a year and a half planning. Not nearly as long now as we sort of have our system and gear list down now. The most surprising thing to me is the sheer magnitude of that country. There is a lot of game but don't expect a moose, caribou or bear behind every tree. You have to hunt for them. Success may come when you very least expect it. I consider all my hunts to be a success whether or not we bring home a critter.
bring an extra tarp for camp and cordage, check your gear there before loading into plane to make sure its all there and asked to be dropped in an any bull area and be ready even if your sitting in camp chopping wood they'll walk right in on you, and of course E trax because a lot of the areas are flat and it all looks the same 2015 drop camp was successful for me and my brother, we flew out of Bethel ..look up Alex guethrows videos have fun be safe
extra tarp or two and your big boy panties. Approach the pack out like you would an elk hunt. They are big animals and sucks if they die in muddy water but they break down in the same way to their smaller cousins. Just have a sturdy pack and take it one trip at a time back to camp.
Prepare for a lot of boredom during mid day lulls. Kodiak Deer, September Moose, and Spring Bear Baiting are the three hunts I will absolutely never miss for any reason every year I live here.