View Full Version : 2009 Alaska hunt planning

walt maslen
April 13, 2009, 06:53 PM
Up here in NW Alaska it can be very expensive due to the high price of Jet-A and AVA Gas. We are currently paying $7.35 at the pump and the flight services are expecting to charge $600-$650 and hour for 185-206 air craft this fall. That price should come down as our gas prices are based upon last falls barge delivery price and it is expected to come way down by first barge about July 3rd. (we hope!) I have been advising my clients to expect to $550-$600 an hour for flights.

Most of the groups I work with are flying a little farther out than the majority hunters we see. This translates into about 1.5 hours each way so that’s equal to 3 hours of fly time per trip. To give you an idea of costs 2 hunters can expect 1 flight out and 2 flights back due to meat and horn. So it works out to 3 trips x 3 hours fly time x $600 and hour =$3,600 divided by 2 hunters = $1,800 per hunter.

I mostly work with flight services that charge by the hour but there are some that offer package drop hunts and they run between $1,900 and 2,200 per hunter. You can expect there type pf package drop hunts to put you down fairly close to town often times less than 30 air minutes from town. There areas tent to be hunted harder and will place you in close proximity of other hunting groups. This does not mean you will not have a successful hunt as the caribou will walk right through a camp full of hunters just as quickly as a high mountain pass with only a single hunter. Always get involved with choosing the drop area. Yes the pilot is in charge of choosing a safe drop site but you the hunter can have a lot of influence as where you will hunt. Ask the pilot to make a pass around the area before you land. This will allow you a chance to see the land, find possible glassing points, passes and other camps. If there are other groups in that area don’t be shy about saying no I would rather put down in a area less traveled. It is always a good idea to share your goals of the hunt with the pilot before the wheels are up also. If he knows you are interested in a more remote/less traveled hunting experience the chances are better that’s what you get!

Hunters who are actively involved in their hunt will have a better hunting experience than the guy who says “Put me in front of the migration!” Lazy hunters always get me!

Well I hope this helps you in your 2009 hunting planning. It is coming up faster than you think! Flight services are booked and its time to get your head in the hunt!

Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
Kotzebue, AK
33 miles north of the Arctic Circle

April 13, 2009, 07:37 PM
Not that I can afford it but do you have any moose up there in your neck of the State? I dream of finding a 60" plus moose someday up in AK.

April 14, 2009, 06:03 AM
Sounds like some words to live by.

walt maslen
April 14, 2009, 11:27 AM
Yes we do. Our moose hunting for out of staters is a draw hunt and the moose needs to have 4 brow tines or be 50+ inches.

I have taken 2 moose in the past few years and about 50% of the guys who apply get tags. Most guys will layer a moose hunmt over a caribou hunt.We have 3-4 great float rivers that will put you in good moose and great caribou country.

This is my moose from 3 years ago.

Drop me an e-mail

April 14, 2009, 02:46 PM
Shucks, That seals the deal... I won't be getting to hunt Alaska....:mad:
Will just stick to meat huntin' Florida...

April 14, 2009, 02:54 PM
After Africa ,Alaska is going to be my next trip. I see a lot of dead moose in the water. That has to be a pain and I bet the water ain't warm. But if I come up there is only 1 thing for me. Grizz!! You would probably have the smaller barren ground grizzy where you are. 700 lb range? Hunt every chance you can, my brother of 52 went to the doctor not feeling well, and was dead of cancer in6 months. Got a trip planned, do it. You just never know

walt maslen
April 14, 2009, 03:42 PM
800 is a good sized Griz up here. We see them in the 7.5-8 foot range. It is just starting to mels and the bears will be out soon! Come up here, hit the trifecta! Bou, Moose and bear!


April 15, 2009, 05:31 AM
I have all my hunts planned, caribou next week, grizzly next month, black bear all summer, sheep in August, Moose in September, Caribou in October.

April 15, 2009, 08:13 AM

That looks like a heck of a moose, just a bear to get out of the water I'm sure. I always heard you wanted them to drop on land and not in the water!:D I'm planning a moose hunt for my retirement present and since that is still over 20-24 years away I'm hoping by then I can afford it. I'd love to do a float hunt, guided of course so I can do Grizz and Moose together if possible.

I've tried to get jobs up there withe the Fed as I'm already an employee but no luck yet. I still keep trying as you are living my dream by being up there. I got to go to SE AK in 07 to hunt spring black bear and tagged out a 19.25" skull on my first day of hunting.


walt maslen
April 16, 2009, 11:44 AM

Don’t wait until your retired! You will be too old to really enjoy the work you will have to put into t moose hunt. I have taken 3 in 9 years and packing moose back to a boat is the hardest thing you will ever do! Each hind ¼ is in the 160-180 pound range and fronts are about 125. No easy to pack a moose!

Enjoy life man!