Float hunters: how do you load your raft?

Johnboy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
526
Howdy, folks. I'm heading back to the Brooks in September for my third float hunt. My buddy and I killed a big bull in 2016, but we only took it another 8 miles down the river before take-out. We cut some evergreens, cleaned them up so as not to poke any holes in the raft (Levitator), placed them across the raft so the weight was on the main tubes rather than the raft floor, and loaded the moose meat onto them. It worked ok, but it was big load. No getting around that!

Just wondering what you guys normally do for loading your raft. What's the method to your madness regarding load distribution, what goes where, tarping/securing, etc? Any tips/tricks or things to avoid?
 

diamond10x

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
274
Location
Alaska
Exactly how you did it. All our gear then goes under it or we sit on it. In Larry Bartlett’s books and videos he shows how he does it. We cut a few extra saplings and leave one side with limbs still on to lay on the meat and lay a tarp over in case of rain.

just make sure the meat is spread out evenly. Hams on one end, shoulders on another, neck meat on one end rib on the other, etc.
 

alaska80

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
12
Howdy, folks. I'm heading back to the Brooks in September for my third float hunt. My buddy and I killed a big bull in 2016, but we only took it another 8 miles down the river before take-out. We cut some evergreens, cleaned them up so as not to poke any holes in the raft (Levitator), placed them across the raft so the weight was on the main tubes rather than the raft floor, and loaded the moose meat onto them. It worked ok, but it was big load. No getting around that!

Just wondering what you guys normally do for loading your raft. What's the method to your madness regarding load distribution, what goes where, tarping/securing, etc? Any tips/tricks or things to avoid?
Your method is fine. Load the tubes not the floor. The biggest thing to pay attention to is to evenly distribute the weight between the front and the back and if you mess it up, it is better to err on too much weight in the front. Greater weight in the back will cause the raft to want to constantly rotate the heavier end to the downstream side and you will be fighting it all day. Too much weight in the front will keep the raft straight, but you could possibly drag more depending on the depth of the river. I personally am not a fan of spruce, it will sap and flavor your meat if in contact. I would use willow or alder. You can never have too many straps either, they are indispensable for managing loads, I usually carry about 8 per raft on any given trip, total weight is maybe 1.5lbs.
 

Larry Bartlett

Well Known Rokslider
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Messages
1,218
I designed the Levitator to hold 3,000 lbs, which puts it 51% underwater. The bow and stern sections of the Lev and other models taper to a larger diam. I did this to allow the bow and stern to be load carriers of heavy hind quarters. Utilizing the tops of the tubes and lashing/strapping a 150+lbs to each end will open up load carriage and steady your vessel configuration.

Once the bow and stern top-tubes are heavy with hinds (no the raft wont be tippy), load the neck meat bags at each end atop the cargo platforms. Lay some dry shore debris (that you didn't burn the night before) atop those meat bags and add a front leg to each end to sandwich the dry logs (airflow secured). Add trim and ribs wherever, but leave your B/S and Tendies hangin in a tree and just text me the coordinates...no need to burden your raft with all that extra scrap meat...

pack your gear bags around all that and you're ready to double the load downstream...just keeping piling it on and it'll hold it.

dont tarp meat unless you have to, and if you do make it lose and lofty for airflow. Flippy floppy those meat bags every 2-3 hours on the go.

Everything else you stated as your routine is spot on, Ray
 
OP
Johnboy

Johnboy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
526
Appreciate the feedback, gents. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to refine my techniques this year.
 

Latest posts

Featured Video

Stats

Threads
257,205
Messages
2,657,173
Members
62,349
Latest member
Cat fish
Top