Alaska travel

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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Everyone scheduled to hunt is going to hunt....unless....

You test positive.
Contact tracing of someone with Covid-19 leads to your quarantine.
Alaska hardens the travel mandate restrictions.
The pandemic worsens and leads to lots more problems.
Your pilot or outfitter decides to cancel and reschedule.
Your pilot or outfitter tests positive.
Your pilot or outfitter gets quarantined.
Your bank account flat-lines due to economic impacts.
You hit your head and need intracranial surgery.

My point is there are always a hundred things which can keep us from hunting. Add Covid-19 to that list. Most of us don't focus (so much) on what can go wrong, but the pandemic has changed that. I suspect most of us are only thinking about what we must do to make a hunt happen....and forget that so many other key people can have Covid-related issues which end up keeping us at home, or in a hotel. One phone call or email is all it takes. That's the reality of hunting Alaska (and many other places) this year.
 

Whip

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Nov 28, 2015
Messages
289
So true Kevin. Just this week we recieved an email from the owner of a VRBO we had reserved and they pulled their property from the market due to Covid concerns. A minor inconvenience, but an example of how quickly plans can be affected.
Alaska travel restrictions or transporter issues have a high potential of scraping this year's hunt entirely. I'm keeping my hopes up, but know there is a very real chance this year's hunt could all fall apart at the last minute.
 

kwackkillncrew

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Joined
Jun 3, 2020
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39
Location
Eagle River, AK
No AK seafood for the world this year then? Those "dirty" cannery workers are from all over the world, and majority not even from the 48. I can understand being frustrated.... but people have to eat and make a living right? The show must go on, in my opinion.

have you ever worked at a cannery? The one i worked at i would say 60% of the people were from the washington/oregon area 30% were from alaska and the last 10% were Japanese people and they were only in the egg room grading sockeye eggs. Most of the fish we caught were not even staying in the states and were getting sent over seas.

If everyone in your neighborhood has the virus and your family in your house didnt would you want your neighbors coming into your house?
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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The current national rise in Covid-19 infections (40 out of 50 states) is probably going to present further challenges for hunters to make trips. Whip mentioned his VRBO rental was canceled. A couple days ago my (and partner) airline flight to Fairbanks was canceled. I've already re-booked on a different airline, but the message is clear: nothing is solid even if you want to think it is. My pilot is still in the game (communicated a couple days ago) but he's warning people they must meet the state's health mandate. I've been in touch with my practitioner about obtaining a test result within 72 hours of planned arrival and can make that happen. I scheduled my flight to arrive on a Saturday (instead of Sunday) thinking that would improve the chances of getting my test results before the weekend. I'm not buying license and tag until I arrive, in case I test positive or something else ends my trip.

Honestly....if I was a bush pilot....I don't know. I'd be very concerned about having all those traveling hunters sitting beside or behind me inside a very small space. I'm trying to imagine a Super Cub with some type of plastic between pilot and hunter.....not pleasant to consider.
 

AKBorn

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Aug 14, 2018
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Maryland
Hope your trip (and everyone else's) is able to happen this year Kevin. "Have a safe flight" has a whole new meaning this year, both for the trip up to AK and for the bush flight into the wilderness.
 

AKDoc

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May 16, 2015
Messages
401
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Alaska
The current national rise in Covid-19 infections (40 out of 50 states) is probably going to present further challenges for hunters to make trips. Whip mentioned his VRBO rental was canceled. A couple days ago my (and partner) airline flight to Fairbanks was canceled. I've already re-booked on a different airline, but the message is clear: nothing is solid even if you want to think it is. My pilot is still in the game (communicated a couple days ago) but he's warning people they must meet the state's health mandate. I've been in touch with my practitioner about obtaining a test result within 72 hours of planned arrival and can make that happen. I scheduled my flight to arrive on a Saturday (instead of Sunday) thinking that would improve the chances of getting my test results before the weekend. I'm not buying license and tag until I arrive, in case I test positive or something else ends my trip.

Honestly....if I was a bush pilot....I don't know. I'd be very concerned about having all those traveling hunters sitting beside or behind me inside a very small space. I'm trying to imagine a Super Cub with some type of plastic between pilot and hunter.....not pleasant to consider.

I think you've been making some excellent points in this thread KD...I appreciate your thoughtful and informed approach. The features of the Covid response topography have been an ever-changing landscape for all of us for sure, and it has challenged us to maintain our perspectives in life.

BTW...my two hunts this fall originate out of Bethel, and within the last week or so, and I was informed by my transporter that Bethel is apparently requiring and implementing essentially the same interstate travel requirements for all arriving travelers at their airport...both AK resident and nonresident.
 

mcseal2

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Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
2,089
I am hopeful my caribou hunt happens but understand if it does not. As much as I wish I was moose hunting again this year, this is a good year not to be hunting them I think. I waited 3 years from booking to go on my last one, I’d be more nervous if I was booked for moose. It’s harder to book and a lot more money involved. If caribou doesn’t happen this year it will be easier to re-book.
 

Farmerlentz

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Jun 29, 2018
Messages
729
I'm hopeful my sheep hunt is still a go in August but have to wonder if alaska will shut down nr again this fall with covid-19 exploding again. I can't blame them and understand if they do. Just hate not knowing for sure either way. Hope we all get to go on our hunts and get to share some stories this fall
 

AKBorn

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Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
380
Location
Maryland
I think you've been making some excellent points in this thread KD...I appreciate your thoughtful and informed approach. The features of the Covid response topography have been an ever-changing landscape for all of us for sure, and it has challenged us to maintain our perspectives in life.

BTW...my two hunts this fall originate out of Bethel, and within the last week or so, and I was informed by my transporter that Bethel is apparently requiring and implementing essentially the same interstate travel requirements for all arriving travelers at their airport...both AK resident and nonresident.

My Brother in Law is commercial fishing out of Dillingham, they flew up in early June, I think they had to do the same thing as you ae describing Doc. Best of luck on your 2 adventures! Are you staying up in Bethel in the 7-8 days in between, or flying back out of the villages?
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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2,535
Hope your trip (and everyone else's) is able to happen this year Kevin. "Have a safe flight" has a whole new meaning this year, both for the trip up to AK and for the bush flight into the wilderness.

You are surely right about that. I’m basically certain every flight I take will be with a mask on my face....and that’s by my own preference under the current circumstances.

My wife told me that friends of ours just reached a decision to cancel a vacation to Alaska. Though nothing was preventing them from going, they were disappointed to learn about closed campgrounds, restricted access to certain places, and a general feeling of caution or even gloom. Not a good feeling to have prior to a great trip....so they canned their plans. I almost assuredly would do the same thing if vacationing, but a hunt is quite different.
 

VernAK

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Dec 24, 2012
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Delta Jct, Alaska
I talked with Jimmy [Golden Eagle Outfitters] yesterday and asked if he was getting hunt cancellations. He says quite the contrary as he's still getting calls from hunters wanting to book a fly-in.
 

AKBorn

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Aug 14, 2018
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Maryland
You are surely right about that. I’m basically certain every flight I take will be with a mask on my face....and that’s by my own preference under the current circumstances.

My wife told me that friends of ours just reached a decision to cancel a vacation to Alaska. Though nothing was preventing them from going, they were disappointed to learn about closed campgrounds, restricted access to certain places, and a general feeling of caution or even gloom. Not a good feeling to have prior to a great trip....so they canned their plans. I almost assuredly would do the same thing if vacationing, but a hunt is quite different.

Yea Kevin, my girlfriend and I were planning to be in AK from June 11-25, but cancelled in May as everything was still on semi lockdown. Several of the Denali Park lodges stayed closed for the season, feel bad for everyone that had to cancel their plans, as well as so many of the staff who come from other countries to work in Alaska.
 

AKBorn

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Aug 14, 2018
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Maryland
I talked with Jimmy [Golden Eagle Outfitters] yesterday and asked if he was getting hunt cancellations. He says quite the contrary as he's still getting calls from hunters wanting to book a fly-in.
Vern, I did a flyout with Jim one year when I made a last-minute call to hunt AK, and 40 Mile was all booked. My hunt partner and I were fortunate enough to swing by his home when we flew out of the bush. He's got some really nice animals on display in his house!
 

AKDoc

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May 16, 2015
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Alaska
My Brother in Law is commercial fishing out of Dillingham, they flew up in early June, I think they had to do the same thing as you ae describing Doc. Best of luck on your 2 adventures! Are you staying up in Bethel in the 7-8 days in between, or flying back out of the villages?
Thanks AKBorn...we are coming back to ANC between trips. The first is ten-day, hundred-mile pack-raft float that is primarily fly-fishing, but we will have caribou harvest tickets with us. My son got his first grizzly on that float last year. The second is a two-week drop for moose. It’s nice to be home for a bit between the two. We’ve done them back to back for a few years, but it’s a bit of butt kicker!
 

Popx5

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Sep 25, 2018
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Ca.
Curious how many have had a test and were able to get their results within 72 hours. Where was it done?
 
Joined
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I was able to get it done in 24 hrs but had gotten hooked up with a company that does pre surgical testing. I know my dad's nursing home in Texas is running 5 days between test and results through the county health contractor. Flight out of DFW was depressing still people not wearing masks, including people working working in the airport. ( depressing because I have co workers in freising which is where a lot of the Munich airport employees live and several lost family members when it burned through there in 1st quarter ) landed anc... goat rodeo... everyone crowded together trying to get resting paperwork turned in.
 

Popx5

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I have a trip to Hawaii next month and have called private testing places in So. Cal and everyone is 5-10 days. Hawaii really enforces their quarantine with un announced checks. If you are not following the rules they arrest you. I know Alaska is not as strict as Hawaii.
 

abbrown

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Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
37
Goat/bear trip planned for September, would normally purchase my locking tag ahead of time but with things up in the air like they are I'd prefer to wait till I get there to ensure it's actually happening. But my flight lands on a Saturday, so for those of you with experience - are ADFG locations open on Saturdays/Sundays to be able to purchase those things? Thanks.
 

VernAK

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Dec 24, 2012
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Delta Jct, Alaska
Most of the major towns have a sport shop or outfitter that can sell licenses and tags but call ahead as they usually have a limited supply.
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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Most of the major towns have a sport shop or outfitter that can sell licenses and tags but call ahead as they usually have a limited supply.

To further amplify Vern's advice: I have seen retail shops NOT have a specific tag or NR license when I went to purchase them. So a strong suggestion: Do a search and locate all possible retail shops which might sell license and tags in the town you'll be in. Make a list with phone numbers and carry it with you, perhaps as a photo or email in your phone. After arrival, use that list to quickly run down the place which has what you need....then go there and buy it.
 
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