Contributors to this thread:
Some of you already know the results, but a buddy and I went to Alaska last week moose hunting.
If you all want to hear the story, I’ll post it with lots of great pics.
It was a rifle hunt, so if that matters, let me know and I won’t post it.
Rifle or not... we want to see it. Post away.............................
Ok. Sounds like the majority wants to read about Alaska. We are in Seattle right now - 3pm Sept 17 - on a layover I’ll arrive in Denver about 11pm
This will take a couple days to complete as I need to upload videos so you all can get the full experience of an fly-in Alaskan moose hunt.
I went to Alaska back in 2016 on another fly-in Alaska moose hunt. I was fortunate to take a dandy 60”er
Last fall, a buddy mentioned he wanted to go to Alaska moose hunting. I told him I’m game and if he drew a tag, I’d take him.
Well, he drew. So the planning started. I called my pilot and reserved a 9 day slot.
There are so many steps and logistics to plan trip a like this.
My buddy was from western NY so he some planning to do on his part also
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I wanted to archery elk hunt before the Alaska trip so my son and my old HS buddy hunted the first week. On Tuesday evening Sept 7, I filled my archery tag on a nice cow. We packed her out that night
BTW - I’m not gonna spend a whole lot of time dicking around turning pics. Not my problem if they don’t load correctly
The next morning I packed up my camper and meat, came home, and repacked for Alaska as I only had one day turn around before I left again
Early Friday morning Sept 10 - Collin and I left for Alaska
We arrived in Anchorage mid-afternoon. Got out rental truck and started out 4-5 hr drive to the interior.
The fall colors were amazing
I called the pilot and talked to him about when we could fly out. He said if we could be at the lake at 9am he would take us Saturday, instead of Sunday.
WhoooHoooo! One day earlier!
We made the deadline
We arrived at the lake 9am Saturday morning. We separated our gear for each flight as we were going in on a SuperCub
The pilot was just warming up the plane when we arrived
It was decided that I would fly in first to start finding a camp spot.
It was Collin’s first time in Alaska and first time in a float plane
We flew in 25 miles over some great moose habitat. Saw several moose on way in and that was very encouraging
WTH is wrong with the pics loading sideways??!!!
i can turn my head keep em coming!!!
also can i please be your friend?
More spectacular views from the air
We arrive at our lake. Camp will be in the upper right of larger lake, near the neck of the smaller lake ( Or whatever lake you see when you turn your computer)
The landing on water is so perfect you don’t even realize you’re touching the water.
The pilot is a legend
Keep em rollin! Awesome adventure for sure.
The closer we got to the lake the more rain and fog there was. We cruised to shore and I hopped out and we unloaded my gear. I was hoping Collin could get in before the fog locked him out
The pilot quickly left and said if he’s not back in 1 hour, he’ll be back tomorrow with Collin…..
One hour later, here they come and the adventure was on.
The first order of business was to try and find a somewhat flat spot for the SeekOutside tipi. Luckily we found a decent spot in some tussucks. Man they suck
So I'm following this one! Moose are made for bowhunting!
And of course you can’t drink moose water. :)
After camp was set up, it was time to do some scouting/exploring. This was an completely different spot than where I hunted 5 years ago
Saw some fresh rubs and tracks. We were getting pretty stoked by now
Towards evening, I started raking and calling. We heard a bull grunt very near camp so we kinda kept quiet and waited until morning when we could hunt
Appreciate all the pics cnelk, even the gravity defying ones ! ;-)
Sunday morning before daylight we hear the bull thrashing very close to the tipi.
We waited until it got light and set up.
I was behind Collin - raking and grunting.
Collin looks back at me and points - whispers….. Bull….
The bull came in on a string. Walked right by us thru the neck of trees between the lakes. Not 60yds from the tipi.
Collin was closer to the bull than I was. He got a good look while I was taking pics/video
The bull had a distinct grunt, kinda a double grunt.
Being it was day 1 and wanted to look at the pics to confirm he was big enough, we let him walk.
Cool pic of the bull in the morning fog! Almost looks like a painting.
Great story telling and pictures.....even the crooked ones. Keep it coming.
We are about ready to board the plane in Seattle.
The story will be paused for awhile
Nice Brad & Collin
Dang good reading and pix,
beautiful country. Looks like yal had an awesome trip
Awesome pics and story Brad! Keep em coming. Glad you'll be back home......maybe you can come help pack out in 49 if I get lucky:-)
I’ve been waiting for this story. Thanks for sharing
Backing up just a bit, here is a video of landing on the lake coming into the camp spot - smooth as silk
Collin never quit smiling. It was his first Supercub ride and his first trip to Alaska
As usual this looking to be another great write up with awesome pictures. Looking forward to the rest! I was doing the exact same thing as you on Sept. 7 with my first ever cow elk!
Here's a video of our tipi setup - man, that thing is awesome
This is the smaller lake - we ended up naming it 'Echo Lake' as sound would carry across and echo back - so cool.
I made a small paddle and brought that for raking - also cut out the bottom of a bleach jug for raking and calling
Both worked great
Okay - back to the hunt.
The bull walked west in between the lakes. We decided to not go over there until later.
We hiked along the lake shore to the south to check that area out. A cow moose came out and swam across the lake heading to where the bull went
We were definitely in the moose
Beautiful setting at that lake! Curious about dealing with the tussocks in your camp. Did you find a big enough open area to set your tipi up without having to deal with them, or did you just kinda work around them? Totally agree with your assessment of them…They definitely suck!
Love the pics!!!! and the story.
Luckily there was a spot mostly clear of the tussocks, and just enough space for the tipi - there was actually an active bull rut pit there too - but we had no other choice.
If we had gotten a bunch of rain, it woulda been bad news as it was kinda low - but then EVERYTHING is damp in that country
When we were at the south end of the lake, we did some more calling/raking. That must have fired up another lonely cow as she started to moan A LOT!
She wasnt that far away from us and Collin thought was pretty neat to hear - basically a old barn cow bellering
We made our way back to camp, had some lunch and went over to Echo Lake and called there again.
It was nap time - so on on way back to the tipi, we saw another cow in the big lake - maybe it was the cow that was moaning earlier, but she was just out feeding - cool stuff
Back at the tipi, lounging and hanging out, we reviewed the pics and video of the bull from the morning hunt. Based on the ear and head calculations, we determined the bull was indeed a legal bull - 50"+ / 4 brow tines - we knew he didnt have 4 brow tines, but he was plenty over 50"
We decided that if he gave us another opportunity, we would take him
Echo Lake was hard not to spend time at. It was just so beautiful and for nice calling and raking.
Here is Collin - Sunday evening about 7pm at Echo Lake
Brad, Thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. Great video and pics. Did you have any bears wander into camp?
After about an hour of raking and glassing, we were both hungry and decided to go to the tipi and make some Mtn House - after all the tipi was only 80yds away
We were about halfway thru our Mtn Houses and we heard the distinct double 'Gluck gluck'......
We looked at each other and said "Its him - he's at Echo Lake"
The Echo Lake Moose. " Its him". Classic, exciting,. Great story.
Collin grabbed his rifle - which I lent him to use for the trip - a 340 Weatherby Mag.
I grabbed my binos and we snuck back over to Echo Lake edge.
It was before dark but the moose was across the lake standing in some shadows. We didn’t see him right away but then he took a couple steps and stopped and look in our direction. Standing broadside.
I told Collin - aim straight up the front leg - center mass.
Boom. The shot echoed across and I heard the bullet smack meat.
The distance was 300yds. Hit looked good.
The bull turned and slowly walked into the trees.
We looked at each other and both said “WTH just happened?!”
About 20 seconds later we heard a moan from the bull’s location.
As I mentioned earlier, we hadn’t crossed to that side of Echo Lake yet. It was marshy and wet.
Due to the unknowns, we decided to just let the bull be until morning. Definitely didn’t want to go over there bump the bull
The temps were chilly. 30s
We went back to camp and finished our cold Mtn House supper.
Monday morning dawned with cold cloudy skies, a spattering of rain.
We waited for it to get plenty light, put our hip boots on and started over to cross the marsh.
We both had rifles. We made a bit of noise and as we neared the bull’s last location, the safeties were off and we moved slowly along.
The area we were hunting has lots of grizz - and we sure didn’t want to surprise one
We didn’t have to search much. The bull only made it a few steps into the woods and fell over
As he lay
Awesome sight! Beautiful bull!
I’ve only walked up to 2 AlaskanYukon moose. The sheer size is incredible.
Collin’s eyes were as big as saucers.
After a few minutes of taking pics, it was time to butcher.
I told Collin earlier that it’s best that only one person runs the knife and the other guy holds legs and pulls hide. It was his choice on what he wanted to do.
He thought it best for me to run the knife and he will hold/pull hide.
It took a solid 2 hours to quarter up and get meat ready to transport. There was a steady cold light rain the whole time. We didn’t know how wet were until we started packing the meat.
We decided to shuttle the meat about 100yds from the carcass.
Once all the meat was shuttled 100yds away, we then reloaded our packs and trudged thru the woods and marsh 300yds to the big lake where the plane could land.
I truly believe everyone should strap on a Alaska moose quarter and hike 300-400yds thru the shit with hip boots on to get the full Alaska moose hunting experience
Just to back up a little.
The shot placement was perfect. The 225gr bullet pushed by 90gr of powder never slowed down thru the moose. Amazing damage
Congratulations to Collin! Hunt of a lifetime for sure!
Looks like you still got it hauling a leg that's bigger than you Brad! Definately good to have friends that will help out with that kind of a job!
There were 8 game bags plus the head to pack to the lake. I think we were done about 2pm.
We were exhausted
Next was construct a meat pole and hang the meat
Wheels up to Fairbanks right now for caribou. Looking forward to reading through this one!
Good luck Christian!
I’m going to take a break. Lots more pics about the moose hunt to share.
Brad they took you all in one at a time. How many trips to get a moose flown out?
John. No only one person and some gear plus the pilot can ride in a SuperCub
The next series of photos will go into detail about flying a moose out of the bush
So we finally got back to camp, washed up a bit and then sat down and smoked a Black&Mild cigar to celebrate.
It’s the finer things in life
Monday evening I sent an InReach message to the pilot letting him know we had a moose - all quartered up and hung at the lake - and when extraction could take place
We got a reply Tuesday morning that we could be flown out Wednesday or Thursday - Wx permitting
We had to wait for the message of when.
So we hung out and waited. The message came Tuesday evening that the pilot would arrive at 930am Wednesday morning as he had a cancellation
We started to pack up camp
930am Wednesday morning we heard the faint hum of the plane coming. We slogged our way over to the meat and started loading the plane
The pilot is very experienced. He took over half the moose on the first trip out.
It’s quite a feat to put a moose quarter on your shoulder, stand on the pontoon and shove it into the plane.
After the first load of meat left, Collin stayed at the meat pole, and I went back over to the camp to finish packing up and taking all the gear to the lake shore.
Here is Collin over at the meat pole loading the 2nd load and antlers. I’m standing at camp
It took an hour for each round trip.
So, 2 loads of meat, and one trip each for me and Collin.
We were all out by 2pm
I’ll skip some of the next days details and show what we looked like going thru the airport
We gave the pilot some meat and also a relative I have up the that area.
350lbs of meat plus head
So that’s the story. If you ever think about going to Alaska, do it man. It’s just there waiting for you
Awesome story!!!! Thanks for the write up!!! And super round that 340 wby is!!!!
Brad, after just killing and field processing a bull elk the other day, and then seeing that moose on the ground, my back started to hurt again and I almost got up and took a few Alieve. I could feel your pain packing out. Nicely done. Paul
What an adventure Brad. Thanks for the recap. Can’t imagine packing those quarters across that terrain.
Epic adventure Brad! Thanks for sharing!
Great write up, Brad. Any plans of going back again in the next few years, if the tag is applied for and drawn?
Sounds like an awesome trip enjoyed to photos too.
Been waiting for this!! Definitely worth it!! Thanks for sharing Brad!
Congrats and great story! Headed to AK in a week for my first time to chase Brown Bear.
Thanks for sharing. Incredible! Great pics and story. Makes me wish I was in moose country right now, I’m not, but my brother is as we speak!
Super adventure and experience. Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great trophy !!
Really great story and pics, Brad. Thanks for taking time!
Monday when we were packing the quarters, I swore that is was gonna be my last time. Definitely a young mans game
Collin says it won’t be my last time :).
I weigh 170lbs. The hind quarters probably weigh 125+, fronts 100lbs or more. Hell, just the neck meat weighed 80lbs. And that was just a big ball of jello. Totally sucky.
We didn’t see any bears, or have any bear encounters. Very fortunate for that. Especially when we had meat hanging 100yds from camp and a carcass 300yds from camp
Beauty Bull! And you're a good man to allow yourself to be used and abused like that, all for friendship and adventure!!
The pic of the tipi with smoke rising straight up, set against the spruce and tussocks, really sets the mind wandering to adventure.
Great write up Brad. Really enjoyed it!
Brad, Are you required to provide the latitude and longitude of the carcass, in case the authorities want to inspect for "wanton waste"? Great adventure....thanks for sharing. What caliber was your sidearm?
The HT [Harvest Ticket] is required to be submitted within 10 days of kill. The completed HT has all that info.
I carried a 357 mag with Buffalo Bore hard cast bullets. I was originally going to take my 44mag Super Blackhawk, but it was just too heavy/cumbersome
See link for the AF&G website for any info you may be interested in to hunt Alaska. So much info, to sift thru
Thanks for sharing all this hunt with us Brad and Collin
So freakin' kool,
In case anyone is interested in the gear list - here it is
Clothes for Moose Hunt
As far as cost... DIY all the way
As a non-hunter, my cost was under $3000. Door to Door.
Collin's is more than that [meat flights, misc] but we havent tallied up the final figures but we stayed within our proposed budget of less than $5000 for a successful hunter
Congrats on a great hunt and an awesome bull!! Made memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing.
Really good stuff from start to finish Brad. Congratulations to you both on a great moose and a heck of an adventure. Loved the pics and story. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share. Really cool!
Great recap. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
I would like to do the same thing Brad
I don’t need to shoot another moose. But would love to go and help others. As long as they do the packing :^)))
On my last trip. We struggled to find moose so ended up killing my friends bull 1.5 miles from the lake.
We had to just block the pain and keep going. After that bull we set new rules for hunting distance from the lake:^)))
Mine was only 200 from the lake.
Awesome adventure and story. Thanks for the write up.
Great recap man. Love the story, pics & video. You do suck thou, makes me want to go more than ever!
Great bull. Better adventure. Well done
Thanks for sharing! Great adventure and write up.
Awesome story, Brad. You scored again! Making memories.
Great job Brad!! Any tips for flying antlers home for airlines? Flying meat home for airlines? Costs? Thanks.
Great recap and congrats to both of you!! Thanks for sharing.
I dug up an old Bowsite thread that still has lots of good info about going to Alaska. See link
You need to pack up any antlers according to the Airlines.
This is what we did. Foam tubing over antler tips, cardboard around the rack, and then shrink wrap it up.
You could also split the skull or cut off an antler to reduce size
Great adventure and write up! Really enjoyed the pictures and all of the information. I'd be tempted to try it if I had a friend like you! Awesome bull too, congratulations to you both!
Totally spectacular! Thanks for the write up! This one gets saved for sure!
Great adventure hunt! Congrats on your success!
Congrats ! Enjoyed the recap!
Looks delicious, but what’s with those sissy corncob holders??! ;-)
Awesome recap Brad! Thanks for writing this up.
Just got out of camp and back into Fairbanks today. Nice story Brad. Good to see a young man with his first Alaska moose. Thanks. KD
Congrats on a nice bull! Thanks for sharing
Awesome Brad! Congrats. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing! Who is your pilot? Looking for one. Thanks
Great adventure, congrats!
Nice write up! And you're one heck of a guide!
Great work up there, Brad. Nice to see the video, and read the fine details of your adventure! You're a good dude, for taking Collin up there, and showing him the ropes!
Hope we get to swap stories again in person, someday soon ;^)
That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing.
A great story and bull. We were up there at the same time and I connected with a smaller 40” 3 brow Bull with my 300wm. The pack loads are no joke and you know they are big but when you walk up on one they are huge. 8 loads of meat and the head here also for 1/2 mile. We are planning to do it again. I was afraid of the unknown about going to AK. We have learned a lot with our 3 trips and with research you can do this for $4500 and have a great adventure.
The back straps on the Treager tonight were better than elk back straps
Nice hunt Brad. Glad I know you personally. Always helpful and give great yard parties. my best Paul
Paul: Old guys know how to party! lol.......
I only hang out with Brad for the homemade margs and smoked wings. :-)
Great story Great pics. I can't help but opine on the pic taken as you drove down the highway. I can't say where that pic was actually snapped, but I can assure you, I have been on that road at that precise location. Again, great adventure.
Very nice congratulations!!
Good stuff! Thanks for posting
Yes sir. Awesome as usual Brad!!
Congratulations to you and your friend Brad! Great story as always, and pics & video's! After getting a taste of moose hunting this year here in Colorado, moose in Alaska is now on my list along with Caribou.
Figured Id bring this to the top of the list too - especially since the deadline for applying in Alaska is in 2 weeks :)
Hell, Brad, you volunteering for moose guide/packer???
^^^^ Hmmmm.... dunno know yet! Calling my pilot in the next week or so and see what he saw for November moose counts he does for the AFG