View Full Version : Alaska: Where to Hunt

August 21, 2001, 10:33 PM
I'm planning on moving to Alaska, and I know many TFL members plan on hunting (or fishing) there at some point.

What parts of Alaska offer the best hunting for...?

Which parts are most accessible?

Which areas are most temperate?

I appreciate all input from those who live or have been in Alaska.
Thanks in advance!

August 22, 2001, 04:08 AM
Sir, I think you are about to live my dream. (Unless, of course, you're moving there to take a job as a guard in a womens prison:D )

Keith Rogan
August 22, 2001, 11:19 AM
There are really three Alaska's with different climates and different game animals.
SE Alaska is temperate rain forests with deer, black and brown bear, wolves and goats. Warm winters with generally little or no snow at sea level. No roads, just isolated towns connected by ferry. I include Kodiak as part of this, even though geographically it's separate.
Western and northern Alaska are true arctic country. Again, there are no roads. Caribou, moose, mountain grizzly, dall sheep (in the Brooks Range), wolves.
Then there is central Alaska which is essentially the road system between Anchorage, Kenai, Fairbanks, Tok. The southern part of this (south of the Alaska range - Anchorage and Kenai) has a climate much like the northern midwest. Hunting opportunities here are not much different than some of the lower 48. 90% of the population lives on this road system and by Alaska standards it's crowded. There is no really great hunting accessible by car. You can do OK but you're not going to see the great herds of caribou or bust a 70" moose on the road system. A lot of the game here is by drawing, etc. You'll find yourself chartering planes to hunt, but as a local you'll soon get to know people and find some great deals on that.

For my money, Kodiak or some of the small towns in SE are the best as far as hunting opportunity goes. With a skiff I can access some of the best deer hunting in the world, some fair elk hunting, goats and of course brown bear. As a resident I can hunt brown bear within the unit I live with an across-the-counter tag. And I don't freeze my @ss off during the winter.

Ketchikan is another neat little town. From Ketch you can catch a 30 minute ferry to Prince Of Wales (P.O.W.) Island and access about 1500 miles of logging road through some great deer hunting and the BEST black bear hunting on the planet. If you can't spot a dozen bears a day from the road during spring you are blind. You can also ferry up to the "ABC" islands (Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof) and get brown bear hunting rivaling Kodiak. There are also goats available without a drawing in most of SE Alaska. Ketch has the same climate as Seattle, not too bad.

I haven't addressed any practical considerations like job opportunities or cost of living. Maybe you're "set" and don't need to worry or have a trade in great demand everywhere. The best job market and the lowest cost of living is in the Anchorage area. The cost of living is much higher off the road system and the further out you get the higher it goes, but generally wages are also higher. There is no state tax in Alaska and the revenues come from investments bought up by the state back in the windfall profits days of the big oil rush. Alaska residents are considered stockholders in these investments and you get an annual dividend per person of $1500-2000 a year which in my case is "guns and hunting charter" money.

May I ask what you do for a living? I may be able to steer you to something if that's a consideration.

August 22, 2001, 03:13 PM

As always, the info is appreciated.

I've been working for a cell company for the last 4 1/2 years. I plan on moving in about six months. While not "set", I'm going to raid my 401K, which should fund my moving expenses, and a few months before finding a decent job. In the interim, I may hire on as security, as I have several years experience there, as well.

As an Southern boy (Alabama, now Georgia), I would prefer the warmer regions of the state. I do understand "warmer" is relative! :D

I plan on buying either a good canoe or kayak at some point.

SE Alaska does sound like a good place to be!
Dean, I can only handle so much fun! :D

Keith Rogan
August 23, 2001, 01:12 PM

Consider Kodiak. It's not technically southeast but the climate is the same. I'll introduce you to my friend Kurt, a WWII firearms enthustiast and operator of the local cell phone company.

If you have some vacation time, a good and economical way to see a lot of Alaska is to take the ferry from Bremerton WA to Skagway. It's a big thing like a cruise ship and you can see all the small towns in the SE that you'd never get a look at otherwise. Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangel, Sitka, Ketch - all beautiful places. From Skagway you can access the Alaska Highway and take a short drive through Canada to see the interior.

As a matter of fact - thinking out loud here - Skagway might the perfect place for you. It has a (relatively) mild climate and you can access the ferry system to the whole southeast with the added bonus that you can drive out to the rest of the state without too much trouble... hhmmmm.

August 23, 2001, 04:14 PM
Thanks for all the advice, Keith. Guess I'll start searching the classifieds! :-)

August 23, 2001, 07:58 PM

August 25, 2001, 05:58 AM
Spectre: Should I get Castcore's or Corbons for the 41 for Xmas? [Figure I owe you for giving me a "reason" to get a 375 or 416, I'll "need" it when I visit :D] Lions, Tigers, & Bears oh my!

Keith: Does the CCW or other gun climate change much in the various parts of Alaska? I would guess Anchorage like most bigger cities would be the most anti gun or lease pro gun part of the state? Do you see open carry much anywhere besides "in the woods"?

Keith Rogan
August 25, 2001, 11:24 AM

You hit the nail right on the head. In fact, Anchorage is the only place that prohibits open carry of a firearm.
But I've never seen a sign anywhere (even in Anchorage)prohibiting firearms like I've heard are appearing in some CCW states down below. I have a CCW and normally carry, so I would notice.

August 26, 2001, 01:50 AM

After I move, you can consider the welcome mat unrolled for ya, buddy. (and Brad, too) Castcores will do nicely, thanks!

I was pleased to note that Alaska will accept a FL concealed carry license, at least for the first 120 days after you move in-state. I've already received the paperwork from FL to get my CCL.

In Alaska, one is required to ask a homeowner before entering with a concealed weapon!

Keith Rogan
August 26, 2001, 02:12 PM
I'd say that when carrying a gun in someones house it would just be courtesy to ask about it.
Hey, the Alaska ferry system falls under the same regs as airports - it's "federal" if you carry on the ferry or in the terminal. Thought you might need to know that.

August 27, 2001, 02:27 AM

I have decided I'm definitely going to get my dan ranking before I move, but my timeline is about 6 months.

Any suggestions on what sized boat is most useful? What about land transportation?

Keith Rogan
August 27, 2001, 12:04 PM
Jeez, I dunno! You'd be better off waiting until you settle somewhere and buying a boat suitable for the conditions in a specific area. Remember too, the ferry price is based on space, you'll double the cost if you drag a boat along.
One thing to keep in mind is that Alaska has tides up to 15-20 vertical feet in some places. A boat that you can't pull above the tide line means you might have a long wait when you get back for the tide to come back in. Or conversely, get one big enough to anchor way out with a small skiff to ferry you back and forth to shore.
Kayaks are real popular of course, but you don't want the expensive kevlar jobs. Get the cheaper plastic hull so you can just shave or burn off the curls caused by rocky landings. Expensive kayaks don't last long around here, or you spend a fortune resurfacing them - not worth it just to save a few pounds in hull weight.

You WILL need a 4WD drive vehicle anywhere you go in Alaska.

September 2, 2001, 10:06 AM
Spectre: Check out Rifle's "Hunting" annual that is on newstands now. Read "Alaska: The Great Land" by Phil Shoemaker on page 18. Might want to read Seyfried's blip on Traxter XL ATV. Seyfried still guides and he uses ATV's in place of pack horses. The Traxter XL he mentions would make packing Moose out of your back 40 a lot easier IMHO.

BTW I would suggest at least one pair if not two pairs of quality snow/mud chains. A Hi Lift jack and a More Power Puller [a manual come along for when you get stuck]. A fullsize spare or two and a tire patch kit, plus a portable air compressor are good ideas also.

Oh yeah, you will NEED an engine heater also and a battery warmer is probably a good idea (and maybe an oil pan heater) for lots of places also.