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Planning an Alaskan hunt
Morning Bowsiter's, I am in need of some advice on planning a once in a lifetime Alaskan adventure. My best friend and I are trying to set up a month long hunting trip to Alaska in 2023. We are both looking for a hunt that will include moose, brown bear, and mountain goat. Initially I was looking at doing a moose/coastal brown bear combo hunt with some extra days and then move to an area for the mountain goat hunt. We are trying to maximize our time in Alaska as it will probably be our only chance to go. Please let me know of the best outfitters to be able to accomplish our goal. I will say that we may use a rifle for these hunts. I know this is sacrilegious for Bowsite but, I am looking for a broad knowledge base of good people to help me, and Bowsite offers the best place to find some answers. Thanks, Scott
To do AK justice and to do it right, that’s three once in a lifetime hunts. I’ve hunted AK a bunch and honestly don’t know where you can do all three of those on one hunt and do it justice.
Have you ever hunted for a month straight, anywhere?
A month long, hunting all those animals with an outfitter. Do you have that kind of money first off. Second you mentioned a rifle. Do understand that a lot of these elite bow hunters on here would piss on you if you where dying on the ground with a rifle in your hand. Good Luck.
From what I have heard BC would be a better destination......
Nothing wrong with hunting with a rifle, but there’s better forums to ask your questions. Try 24 hour campfire.com, or Accuratereloading.com
Is your heart set on Alaska, or would BC or the Yukon be an option as well? Also, I would agree with KB and Kota, a month is looong time! BC wouldn’t be an option for the bear, plus it would be a grizzly instead of a brown bear in the Yukon. Totally disagree with Slate’s ignorant comment, though. There are ton of great guys on here that have offered to help fellow hunters out over the years, with info, tips, suggestions, etc.
I hope the budget is big!
I am of no help here other than to say that I would indeed piss on you if you were on fire, but then again I am not an elite bowhunter :) This sounds like an awesome adventure and I hope you and your buddy figure out a plan. Personally I would plan 3 separate trips for these species over the course of maybe a decade to savor each experience but that's just how I roll.
Yep, probably looking at 35-40k i would think to do all 3 for a month. BC would be less money but they are not allowed to shoot grizz nowadays.
Shawn Raymond at Yukon Big Game Outfitters would be my pick.
Troy sarcastic humor but, it’s cool if you go with ignorant.
Trust me I know the cost of these hunts. When I said a month, I'm not expecting to be hunting the entire month. We just set aside a month of time to be in Alaska . Most likely we would end up doing two 10-day hunts. My biggest question is which outfitters to look at for each hunt. Who would you guys recommend for moose/brown bear combo and then a separate outfitter for the mountain goat hunt.
Honestly if I were looking at that I would (1) use a rifle, and (2) include sheep. What the heck. It's a one time thing, you are spending a ton of money and time, and you want to full plate experience. Just do it and get the four species and relish the experience and success.
One does not simply go to Alaska once. Might as well break it up and start planning your second trip now. Divert a portion of the costs and increase your success and fun.
Nick Muche might have some ideas for you. In fact, he probably knows your best option. If you've got the time and money...go for it. It would be a hell of an adventure.
A hunt for each of these species can be done out of one camp. The outfitter I have in mind is well respected and known for taking quality animals. PM me if you'd like more details, happy to help.
Stan parkerson would be my first call if I had those plans. Had two amazing moose hunts with him and I know he also puts guys on grizzlies as well. Denali hunts.
I have hunted with stan twice for grizzly and he’s great. He is bow only so keep that in mind
Second on Stan There you could get a moose and grizzly bear. Another good choice could be Sam Fejes or Dennis Zadra Both have a great places for bear, moose and mountain goat.
Other alternative could be ULKBC, they are now running the former Gus Lamoureux¨s outfitting business. He use to had a great place in Kodiak for brown bear and goat and a great place in the peninsula for bear and moose. I don't think you will find a single place for the 3 animals that you are looking for. I assume that the budget is not an issue jajajaja
Another vote for Stan with Denali Hunts. I believe he still offers a grizzly/moose combo hunt.
Like Bou stated above, he is exclusively archery only, so you need to keep that in mind on your decision.
Are you planning to drive to AK?
Personally I would go for a Mt. Goat in either SE AK or BC. That's the classic terrain and largest goats. Are you going for Horns or Hide? Just thinking about which hunt to do first-
The Moose/Bear combo would be best later September when the rut is in. So you could hunt Goats before, or after that. Early Goats will have shorter hair, but still nice in Sept. possibly better weather as well and more goats. If you go for Goats late Sept into Oct the hair will be better, but possibly colder and worse weather.
Ultimately it will depend on the outfitters and what dates are available etc. If this is your only trip to AK then don't forget about the fishing!
Sounds like a good trip and lots of fun. I can pm some outfitters to look at as well.
If you can afford to take a month off and do 3 animals guided, why would you want to fit them all into one trip in one year? I'm sorry for asking, but do you or your hunting partner have a terminal illness or are you planning on being a submarine captain for the next 20 years or something else that might prevent you from taking long hunts/vacations in the future?
And I'll ask what someone else asked above: Have you ever hunted out-of-state for a month straight for multiple species? I have, and let me tell you, it starts to burn you out after a few weeks. Most guys will want a break and/or want to be with their families. Guys go home from hunts early all the time. A big Alaskan hunt is incredibly rewarding, but they are also (generally) physically and emotionally draining. Consider the fact that near the end of it, you may be so miserable from the isolation, missing your family, and being exposed to miserable weather for days and days, that you may start to question why you're doing this to yourself.
It's not like flying to AK is like flying to Greenland. It's a $700-$1000 round trip ticket from most of the country which is a fraction of the cost of what you're looking at for this trip.
As someone who lives in AK and hunts these animals, I'd encourage you to break your goals up into two years and also realize that once you've done a couple of these hunts, you're going to want to go back too. Once-in-a-lifetime is only that until you've done it. Then you want it to be twice-in-a-lifetime and on and on.
Contact Jack Atcheson Jr.
Yeah, Once-in-a-lifetime in Alaska has become my LIFE!!
see what I mean on last years hunts :)
Freelance Outdoor Adventures
If I had the money and the time, I'd be doing what Scott wants to do every single year. A 30 day hunt in Alaska for those species, with the right people, would be absolutely fantastic. Huge antlers, giant bears and high mountains....with plenty of great meat to bring home.
With the wrong outfitters, yes, it would be a complete nightmare.
I agree with breaking it up to two years. Maybe you travel enough and hunt that much already, but I’d make 3 trips out of it personally.
Here's some of the back story as to why we are trying to accomplish this hunt. My friend and I are in our early 40's. I decided 3 years ago to go college and get an engineering degree. I'm currently a Senior with a year and a half to go before I graduate at the end of 2022. My friend is an entrepreneur, he always has his hand in about 3 different businesses at one time. Last year his dad passed away, and it really got us looking at mortality and thinking we need to do our dream hunt sooner than later, as we never know what the future holds. As a Michigander, we grew up listening to Ted Nugent "Fred Bear" prior to every hunting season. We watched all the public access hunting shows and read outdoor life magazine dreaming of Alaska. I would love to break up this into several years of adventures but, there are a lot of unknowns that drive us want to ensure one great adventure to "The Last Frontier" state. The reasoning of me posting the question on here is, I've followed along with so many awesome hunting stories and adventures from Bowsite members over the years, this has become my place to escape the day to day monotony. The helpfulness of the members on this site is well documented and gives me the confidence to get an honest assessment of my goals for this hunt. Thanks for all of you responses. I talked with Nick Muche last night and he has recommended several options. I will be contacting several outfitters today to see how this will all play out.
Some good advice here. I had a 10 day sheep hunt that we were not weathered in 4 days and they were not consecutive days. On the flight out the plane was 3 days late. So consider this when trying to pack too much into your schedule.
I could hunt for a month straight out of state. In state, In the Yukon, anywhere there is wilderness, some fishing if desired, and stuff to kill. I could do it yearly. And, I’d do it all year. With my wife along when she wanted to come.
Honestly, after I win the lottery, I’m going to give God his part first, saint judes a good sized part, set aside enough for me and my wife to live the life we desire, then spend every minute I’m not hunting or fishing, helping those that deserve it with what’s left.
I’m planning on starting the next time the power ball hits $700,000,000. :^)
I'm not trying to discourage you. I'm just trying to help you see some potential pitfalls that could derail your plans.
Are you married? Do you have kids?
If so, what's the longest period of time you've been away from them?
Have you spent much time in the wilderness without the benefit of a cabin?
If so, what's the longest number of consecutive days that you spent in a tent in the wilderness?
What's the longest stretch of days that you've hunted without returning to a cabin or your own home?
Again, I'm not trying to call you out or embarrass you.
Good luck Scott, I hope you have a great hunt.
Here's another thought:
Have you ever had a back-country hunt partner cancel on you at the last minute? I've had this happen to me. It changes the dynamic. You say your friend is a busy guy with lots of responsibilities and businesses.
Life is management of one catastrophe to the next. What if the SHTF with his business days before your month-long hunt and he backs out? What then? The magnitude of that would be very different if it were one hunt as opposed to 3 over a month.
You only have control over yourself. You have zero control over what happens with him or what decisions he makes.
There are several outfitters in the Yukon that offer experiences like you're after. You may have to substitute a sheep for a goat and a grizzley for a Brown Bear. Arctic Red River offers a 21 day hunt for multiple species. I've considered this hunt as well but haven't pulled the trigger...yet
I don't have any helpful advice, just a request that you post the hunt recap. Sounds like an epic hunt and adventure!
I took some Bowsite advice to heart a few years ago and have enjoyed it ever since that advice was to “Take a -once-in-a-lifetime hunt EVERY YEAR!”
If you do take that advice you may end up like me living in AK! I just finished the recap of 2020 my family had, did you get a chance to read it?
Some people may see that as once in a lifetime hunt multiple times PER YEAR!
Nick is a great guy to definitely talk you into a hunt!!!
I travel to Alaska and hunt every year....all diy stuff. A few things I’ve learned:
Time passes both quickly and slowly. A week in camp can go by in a flash when hunting is good. It can last an eternity when the weather is bad or animals absent.
If you’ve never done it there, you’re asking an awful lot to think you’ll enjoy the company (and directives) of a guy or guys you’ve never even spent a day with....let alone a full month.
It’s not unheard of for best friends to have difficulties getting along for 10 days. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you guys have done something similar (time) before.
How much of a gratuity do you provide someone for an entire month of service?
Be realistic. It’s great to have lofty goals and dreams, but put yourself on a weekly reality check. Don’t go with stars in your eyes. Be ready to deal with plenty of “This isn’t how I envisioned it” realizations.
Have a big-enough bankroll to easily cover the anticipated costs and then another 20% just in case. Problems in Alaska typically are solved through the application of hundred dollar bills....sometimes many.
There is ‘acting a bit crazy’.....usually r/t enthusiasm or optimism, and there’s ‘making really crazy decisions’....often tied to inexperience and unreasonable expectations. It’s up to you to know which is which in yourself. I speak from experience.