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Tips for planning a hunting trip to Alaska

October 24, 2010

 

Hunting in Alaska is a dream many hunters spend a lifetime thinking, plotting and planning for. These daydreams have kept you working towards your goal of bagging a huge bull moose, a Dahl ram, or a magnificent caribou, whichever animal your dreams have conjured, you want to make it a reality.

The key to a successful hunt in Alaska is all in the planning and a little bit of luck. As all hunters know, we have to get lucky. Hunting in Alaska is a bit different from the usual hunt in the lower-48. The animals are usually bigger, and we are not familiar with their habitat. Reading everything you can get your hands on about Alaska and the particular animal you plan to pursue is a good beginning.

One important fact you need to know is hunting in Alaska is expensive. The cost of a non-resident license is $85.00 but you will need a permit for each animal you choose to hunt.

Brown/Grizzle Bear-$500.00

Dahl Sheep-$425.00

Moose-$400.00

Cari bou-$325.00

Hiring a reputable guide is highly recommended for a successful hunt. Guiding is big business in Alaska and there are numerous guides advertising on the inter-net. It’s a good idea to research these guides and get feedback from other hunters that have used their service before selecting one. If you are lucky enough to know another hunter that lives in Alaska, they can be a big help in deciding where to go and with which guide to use. This is a costly decision, so research, research, and research.

Which gun to take with you? You may have a favorite caliber for hunting at home, but make sure it is adequate for the animals you are going after in Alaska. Don’t forget that just because your favorite gun is good for caribou, will it bring down a grizzle bear if needed? It’s important to do some practice shooting before you leave home. Make sure your gun is sighted in and you’re comfortable with it. You may only get one shot, so you want to be dead on.

Alaska weather can change at any moment. The clothing you take with you may save your life. Good footwear is essential, both socks and boots. Break those new boots in before you leave home and take along several pairs of good thermal socks. Sore feet have kept many a good hunter in camp for a day to mend. Rain gear is a must and having several layers of clothing is a smart decision. Even if you disregard all other advice do not leave home without mosquito spray and netting. Mosquitoes and a nasty little fly called white-socks are the number one misery to sportsmen in Alaska.

After you have succeeded in your dream hunt, what are you going to do with your animal? Make sure you know what it takes to preserve the hide for a taxidermist if that is your plan. What about the meat? Check with your guide to make sure they will handle it for shipping home.

Oh,yes one more thing, don’t forget your camera and lots of film. You want to be able to show off to your friends, just a little bit.

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