The complete wimps guide to Alaska moose hunting...

Yellowknife

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Fairbanks, Alaska
After seeing the incredible feats of moose recovery on this site (see thread "Who's Tougher" http://www.rokslide.com/forums/showthread.php?3405-Who-s-Tougher&highlight=tougher) I came to the realization that I'm just a big wimp. Of course being a wimp isn't going to stop me from moose hunting, so I have come up with other ways of getting it done.

I know there probably aren't any wimps on this site, but thought I would but together this step by step guide to moose hunting the easy way, just in case anybody is interested in "alternative" methods.

Pictures are from yesterday.

STEP 1

HUNT IN THE WINTER!

coldface.jpg


Seriously. Who wants to hunt in the fall? All that daylight means you have to beat through the brush for 15 hrs a day, and don't get much sleep. Yesterday, I got up in the morning, ate breakfast, made myself a cup of coffee, fixed the wiring on my trailer, swung by the office to pick up my GPS, stopped for gas and groceries, then drove an hour and a half outside of town and STILL was at the trailhead before daylight. A much more reasonable schedule I say. The official length of the day here (Fairbanks, AK) is about 5 hrs, so that helps

STEP 2

SHOOT A SMALL MOOSE

Bull moose are HUGE! Why would anybody shoot one of those? Way too much work! A cow moose is about 2/3 the size, and much more reasonable to handle. Especially when hunting solo like I was. Every tried to handle a dead moose by yourself? You need all the help you can get.

moose.jpg


My advise to other moose hunting wimps is cheat every way you can, and that includes shooting the smallest moose you can find.

STEP 3

LIGHTEN IT UP

Removing the guts is worth about 100 lbs, and makes them much easier to deal with. Unfortunately, when it's cold it became critical to keep the meat from freezing, which usually means you have to leave the hide on as insulation. Backwards from what most of you are used to I'm sure, but it does save having to skin them in the field. Yesterday was cold enough that the hide stayed on.

-23.png


Of course, then the question is what to do with a whole moose when you are on a solo hunt, 6 miles from the truck, and darkness is coming at 3:30 pm? That leads us to...

STEP 4

WALK OUT...

...to your ski-doo you thoughtfully staged a little closer. Winter solo hunts are no time for heroics.

skidoo.jpg



sledmoose.jpg


STEP 5

HEAD FOR HOME

headedhome.jpg


Of course, even that can be a little tricky. Just because I got the moose back to the truck, doesn't mean I can lift an entire moose (even a smaller cow moose) into the bed of the truck with my shrimpy arms. To overcome my generally lack of manliness, I use mechanical advantage. Before going hunting, I had located a snow ramp and of course I always carry a come-a-long, rope, pulleys, etc with me. The moose stays on the the sled and the whole thing gets winched onto the trailer. Note the rope running to the truck rack.

loadingup.jpg


STEP 6

SKIN and HANG IT

It really helps if you can find half a dozen young men to help you with this chore.... really takes most of the work out of it. Since I'm actively avoiding work when dealing with a moose, I managed to find this bunch of guys whose wife's/girlfriends where making them watch "Princess Bride" after a dinner party on Sunday night. Apparently skinning moose sounded like more fun, and it was hanging in short order. I supervised.

teamwork.jpg


And that friends, is the "other" way of getting a moose. Less hernia. More frostbite.

Yk
 

Becca

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Ha ha, priceless YellowKnife! I have had a sneaking suspicion that I was going about this all wrong, and it looks like I was correct! Glad to know i can exert much less effort in the future :)

Thanks for showing us how to get it done...bet that cow will be great eating!
 

luke moffat

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GREAT STUFF YK!!! That was hilarous and awesome. Congrats on filling the freeze indeed. Draw tag or RM768/RM 764
 

swat8888

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That looked like WAY too much work. Next time just put the sled out in the willows and shoot the moose so it falls right on the sled.
 
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Yellowknife

Yellowknife

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work smarter, not harder ;)

.... and use good tools and mechanical advantage. When I'm winter hunting, I usually have a sharp axe, mini chainsaw, climbing rope, climbing pulleys, come-a-long, and an avalanche shovel tied to the ski-doo. Hunting in the serious cold is something that needs to be done carefully, as even small injuries or gear failures have big consequences. I take it easy, and try not to do anything dumb.

GREAT STUFF YK!!! That was hilarous and awesome. Congrats on filling the freeze indeed. Draw tag or RM768/RM 764

It was an RM hunt Luke.

Yk
 

Shrek

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Hilliard Florida
Looks like how I hunt deer down here in the south.. except for that -23* thing and its a four wheeler. Haha ! That looked like fun !
 

Matt Cashell

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A couple of things I learned about moose in Alaska:

1. Alaskan Yukon moose are stupid-big.

2. Make sure your ATV has at least one winch, but two is better.

DSC_0931.jpg
 
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Yellowknife

Yellowknife

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Glad you guys like the story. It's not backpack hunting, but it is fun :)

A couple of things I learned about moose in Alaska:

1. Alaskan Yukon moose are stupid-big.

2. Make sure your ATV has at least one winch, but two is better.

You aren't jokin' about either of those things. For scale, the sled that I use to haul moose out with is 4 x 12 ft and even a cow pretty well fills it up. A mature Alaska bull is a couple of notches bigger. I've handled quite a few, and am always looking for ways to make dealing with them a little easier. Truth is, it took a couple winter moose before I really got the hang of even just getting a sled under them.

I like winter hunting because it requires such a completely different skill set than other types of hunting. The actual "hunting" part is usually easier, but being able to effectively function in the environment and be able to deal with downed animals once killed can be challenging. This time of year, I'm always fighting the extremely short daylight hours and an animal that starts to freeze as soon as it hits the snow. Lack of snow, too much snow, dicey creek crossings, poor weather, etc, etc usually make winter hunts an adventure and I carry all the gear I do because of lessons learned the hard way. My goal is always to have things go as smoothly as they did this year, and I'm starting to get a little better at that.

This year I was hunting in an area new to me, so I was exploring and hunting at the same time. Worked out good all things considered.

Yk
 

jls

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Aug 24, 2012
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You could have easily titled this thread "The complete genius's guide to Alaska moose hunting"

That right there is brain power at work! My buddy's dad always said that the difference between "venison" and "deer meat" was that "venison" came from deer you dropped really close to a road, and "deer meat" you had to drag or pack out a really long way to get it loaded up.

Good work Yellowknife
 

AZ Vince

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This thread has given me the gumption to try a winter elk hunt next year.
I hope I can come off as easy as you did Yellowknife. Want to bring your Skidoo thing down to AZ? :)
 
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Yellowknife

Yellowknife

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The 2013 update....



It's another year, and another moose on the ground. In 2013 I foolishly shot a bull in the fall so had to find somebody else to come along on the winter hunt to do the shooting. Since the rule is "he who shoots, has to gut..." It worked out even better this year. hehe.

Also as it turns out, having a partner or two makes it just a little easier to handle something the size of a dead moose. I will remember that on future hunts!

Yk
 
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