I promise you, Alaska is not what you think. TV shows about Alaska have given people a fairy tale view that just isn't reality. Start small, get a feel for the true Alaska. The size and rugged environment can overwhelm you, it's NOT Wisconsin, especially northern AK. That being said, this is the most beautiful place I've ever lived. I've hunted, camped, fished, and hiked all over this great state. I'm still amazed on every adventure. A lot of planning and preparation takes place in advance, that alone can make or break a hunt. Gear matters more here than most places. Follow your dream of AK, but be measured and calculated with your choices, you won't regret it.
This is pretty much what I was going to type, just was too lazy.Ok I've tried to leave it alone, but here goes my best try at advice from a Nebraska native. . . (So take this with a huge grain of salt)
I just returned from 8 days with my wife, in Alaska and it was my best vacation of my life. In no small part because of many of the same forum members that are talking to you OP, sharing info! I loved every minute of Alaska and if I didn't have 3 kids, solid jobs, and crazy low cost of living where I'm at. . . I'd be job hunting and packing my bags. Not that I've thought about it at all, but if it was me heading to Alaska to live the "dream" these would be my year 1 steps. . .
#1 Find a job that can cover rent and food for year 1 in a place that I think I'd like to live. Doesn't need to be a dream job just something to take care of me year 1.
#2 sell all non essential items to avoid the cost of moving them and move to Alaska, plan to repurchase some items but live pretty minimalistic in year 1.
#3 make the actual move to Alaska in December or January. . . I want to know how bad the suck of winter is before knowing how sweet the honey of summer is!
#4 forget hunting year 1 as a non resident and focus on fishing and exploring what you can. Also visit lots of towns to decide for sure where I want to be located.
#5. Spend year one making friends and helping people out so they trust me and maybe one day invite me on a hunt, even if I don't have a tag
#6 spend year one also looking for a job I can enjoy and that allows me to spend time doing the things I moves to Alaska to be able to do!
#7 make sure I'm still married and she's still happy! (doesn't sound like it applies to you but if it does make sure the lady loves it as much as you)
#8 congrats you made it a year, now sign up for resident tags somewhere you can make it to, sign up for the permanent fund, and live the dream!
I wouldn't worry about what gun to take, or this and that, they have Cabela's and sportsman's warehouse, along with private gun dealers. Take half your shit to your mom's house and move up there. . . If you decide you need it you can come back for it or but something new up there!
Best of luck.
P.s. the real step one would be to get a pm or phone number from some of these AK guys and start some long convos!
I had the Alaska life & hunting dream. Went up there for a couple weeks about 10 years ago. Took a ship to Seward then rented a 4x4 Z71 pick-up and did a loop from Anchorage - Valdez - Fairbanks - Denali & back. The thing that surprised me was the vastness & how unattainable access was, it seemed that it was either so thick you couldn't penetrate the forest or was a swamp. In the lower 48 we tend to hunt for recreation, in Alaska it's subsistence or part of the life style. I would have a pilots license and funds for a plane before I moved there for the hunting.
You may be able to kill a moose with a 223, but you wont stop one. You need a bolt action rifle in an appropriate caliber. AFAIK, you have to live in AK for one year straight through before you can get a license to hunt solo without a guide.I plan on going next summer to camp on blm or other public lands, as well as hit every hunting season I can. Probably stay in Fairbanks when necessary.
I've never been to Alaska and it's always been a dream of mine. I'm from a northern state and am used to cold weather hunting and camping. I want as much out of the experience as possible. A moose is on the bucket list.
I'm trying to understand the laws and areas/lands open to both hunting and camping for as much of the year as possible. I think I'm looking at unit 25. Places like BLM lands that allow dispersed camping for 14+ days at a time, etc to keep a camp in a desired area.
I'm going alone as far as I know. If anybody local to there wants to meet for food and possibly hunting, shooting, or showing me around, that'd be great. Until I meet people there, I have a few questions.
1) are there public areas north of Fairbanks that allow dispersed camping and various hunting opportunities? Also open to other areas. Year round with no seasonal closure would be ideal.
2) what should I know as a nonresident hunter? If it's very restrictive I may look for a small piece of land and become a resident.
3) what kind of equipment regulations am I to know on various public hunting lands?
4) I don't want to pack too much so I want to take one gun for all game. Thinking AR-15 in 223 with 64gr speer gold dots. I can take a lot more ammo with me per lb and it's what I have stacked.. We've seen on this forum that the caliber is perfectly lethal on moose. But I could only then hunt in areas where the caliber is legal.
5) hunting advice? I've only ever hunted whitetail deer and prefer to still hunt. Never hunted moose, caribou, etc so could use some pointers.
6) Can you recommend ideal places? Any do's/don'ts? General advice about the state?
7) It's a lifelong dream. I could probably die satisfied after that. So please don't recommend another state or tell me it's a dumb idea.