Moose – Tactics – Training

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8 Tips for Moose Hunting

The leaves are growing in Alaska much like the moose and their antlers. Spring turns to summer and fall quickly approaches, the smell of deciduous trees and yellow leaves will soon follow…MOOSE Season(will soon be here). Here are 8 tips and tactics to help bring home that monster Alaska Bull moose you’ve always dreamed of.

1) Physical and Mental Fitness
This is the most underrated portion of any hunt in Alaska. The physical aspect of lugging around 90 -120 pounds of dead weight in the backcountry is incredibly tough. Not only do you have to be physically strong, but mentally fit as well. The weather, the bugs, and the terrain will push anyone to their breaking point. This is where the mental toughness/fitness kicks in, just cause you have the strength doesn’t mean you’ll have the mental tenacity to deal with the elements. Digging deep is an individual decision to persevere, and overcome. That being said, a moose hunt will test your physical and mental fitness before you pull the trigger. Here is a 6 week strength and training program provided by Nate Svedin(Physical Strength and Mental Toughness Guro) that focuses on core weight lifting to get you strong for the hunt of a lifetime. As Nate says, “Be Savage. Stay Savage.”

2) First 10 Last 10 Rule:
A wise old moose hunter once told me that if you’re not prepared to stay overnight with your moose in the field, your not prepared to kill a moose. Ok, this grizzled old dude was hardcore by most standards hunting with an osage orange stickbow, so you have to imagine this guy was tuff – that’s right – t-u-f-f – heavy on the F. I have shot moose at all times of the day, but most of them have occurred in the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of the day. This is critical, you have to find yourself in that juicey little swamp at dark in both the morning and the evening. Back strap over an open fire will prepare you for a cozy evening under a blue tarp. Having the right gear in your pockets at all times helps. Talk about building mental toughness!

3) Gear – What to have in your pockets at all times.
The moose love the peanut butter. No, not the food but more so a description of where they live. The alder and willow choked banks on Alaska’s rivers and swamps are thicker than a bowl of oatmeal. The moose can hide in plain site right off the edge of the river and you won’t see them. Carrying a back pack through the alder jungle gym can be a pain. So, I like to leave the pack frame in the boat and go light bringing just the essentials. Chest Waiters – Rain Jacket – Rifle (12 rounds of ammo some for the moose others for bear protection and some extra just to be safe) – binoculars – bic lighter (fire starters) – sharp knife – knife sharpener – head lamp – 100ft of 550 paracord – and three tree climbing screws to get you in a tree above the swamps.

Season Moose Vet

4) Knowing how to Judge moose
Spend time on Alaska Department of Fish and Games Website. They have so much information on moose hunting it will make your head spin. Point is, many people come back from the hunt of a lifetime with a similar story. “We had a big bull come into camp, but I couldn’t tell if he was 50 inches wide or not.” The more moose you look at, the easier snap judging one in the field will be. Follow the hashtag #moosehunting to get an idea of what big bulls look like. Check out these links for more information.

Is this moose legal? Video
https://vimeo.com/277697408

Moose Hunting Orientation
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=quiz.moose_identification_intro

5) Pack Raft and Water Sources
Throw a small raft in your kit such as an Alpacka Pack Raft. Having a light weight raft will extend the viable range of the dreaded pack out. I’ve used rafts to cut a 2 mile pack out into a half mile pack out, using water sources such as beaver dams and slow moving creeks. Save your back and use water to your advantage.

Forager By Alpacka Rafts

6) Rifle and Ammunition Selection
300 Calibers are a preferred using nothing less than a 180GR solid bullet. I have been using a 300WSM XPR with 190r Expedition Big Game Long Range the last few season with great success. You can get a way with less gun and less bullet, but in all reality there won’t be much meat loss from larger caliber rifles on an Alaskan Yukon Moose. Knock down power and reliable expansion is what you need, tracking moose through swamps and thick cover can be about as hard as tracking a hog in a brush row. Shoot till you watch the moose go down. I’ve seen moose eat up a 200 grain bullet, fall down, and pop up minutes later headed for the Canadian border.

7) Technology and Research
Knowing where you are is critical, with modern topographic and satellite technology getting lost in Alaska is becoming more difficult. OnxMaps offline feature allows you to save maps to prevent using all your cell phone battery. Know where you’re at, increase your odds. Real hot tip…. Check out Alaska’s Moose Management Reports and see what harvest objectives are for the area you are hunting, this will give you a good idea of moose abundance in the area your hunting.

8) Calling Techniques
I’m a big believer in not trying to be as quite as you can. Moose have satellite dishes that carry sound into their giant ears. When they hear silence and creeping, they think predator. Walk hard and act like a bull moose, I act like a teenager moose that just started lifting weights. Threatening enough, but small enough for a bigger bull to want to lay down the law and show him who’s boss. Scraping – raking. The entire season scraping works and it’s a technique that doesn’t involve moaning like you have kidney stones and a hernia. Save your self some money on the fancy calls and make a birch bark call in the field, or use an old milk jug with the bottom cut out. When the moose are ready to come in, trust me they come.

The only way to bag a bullwinkle is to find yourself with a tag in your pocket, plenty of OTC opportunity for a wild man adventure in Alaska’s back country. Good luck and hunt hard.

First Moose: Jordan’s Bull

alaska, camping, DIY hunting, hunting, moose

This is Jordan’s first Alaskan big game harvest, she lucked out with the moose of a lifetime.  Join along with the crew on an unforgettable float hunt in remote Alaska.

North Slope Moose Hunting 2014

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Anyone planning to moose hunt in the Brookes Range please be advised, there will be area closures and changes coming in the near future according to this Anchorage Daily News article.   Please read further to see if this affects your hunting plans this fall.  MOOSE Hunters:  Alaska is HUGE and contains a large number of moose around the state.  There are so many different mountain ranges, endless rivers to float, and ground to cover to find the bull of your dreams in Alaska.  This probably doesn’t affect many of the hunters in the south central region of the state, so hunt on!

http://www.adn.com/2014/06/01/3497319/north-slope-moose-hunts-axed-with.html?sp=%2F99%2F100%2F&ihp=1

North Slope moose hunts axed with steep decline of numbers

Arctic SounderJune 1, 2014 

As of last week, moose hunts on the North Slope were scaled back, or canceled altogether, for the fall and winter, due to a steep decline in population.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced drawing permits for moose in game management units 26A and 26B will not be issued, as the number of moose in the two North Slope regions dropped by 50 percent.

Hunters who had drawn permits will receive letters explaining the closure.

Further, the recently extended general season for subsistence hunters will be shortened by two weeks in 26A, said area biologist Geoff Carroll from Barrow last week, while the general hunt in 26B will be closed.

According to Fish and Game, part of the decline is a result of poor nutrition related to a late spring in 2013, and poor conditions during the following summer.

“These are the most northern moose in America, and they’re way up on the ragged edge of habitable range,” Carroll said.

In a good year, they have a very short window to feed on plants between green-up and freeze-up, but the winter is prolonged, it makes conditions even more challenging.

“On top of that, you’ve got a certain number of wolves and bears and so when you have a sudden drop in the population of moose for other reasons, all of a sudden the ratio of predators to moose changes,” Carroll said.

“What we’re doing now is trying to encourage more wolf and bear hunting in that area, while at the same time reducing the moose harvest.”

All nonresident hunting has been axed, while locals will have a shortened season. The general season was extended by a 5-2 vote at a January Board of Game meeting, with the amendment that Fish and Game could cut back the number of days if the population dropped, which it did.

“The reason that the people of Nuiqsut requested the longer season was because of the warmer fall temperatures, which makes it harder to keep your meat in good shape,” Carroll said.

“However, we need to cut back on harvesting. But they didn’t really lose much, they just didn’t gain that extra two weeks.”

The scheduled winter hunt from mid-February to mid-April has also been canceled for 2015.

As with any animal, moose populations fluctuate from year to year. And when there is a decrease, and thus no excess for hunting, hunts are restricted, said Fairbanks Fish and Game biologist Cathie Harms.

“Populations of wildlife are never stable,” Harms said. “Right now that population doesn’t have a surplus and so we dramatically reduced hunting, and now we just have to wait and see what effect it has.”

Harms noted most of the hunting is for bull moose, but a rebound on the population will depend on higher calf-survival rates.

This year, few 10-month-old calves were observed, signifying most of last year’s young ones did not survive. Predation by wolves on weakened moose may have also contributed, according to a release from Fish and Game.

The North Slope moose population was stable through the ’70s and ’80s, Carroll said. In the early 1990s the population was up to just more than 1,500 moose. But the numbers took a nosedive shortly after and dropped to about 300.

“They clawed their way out and we had pretty steady growth and they got back up to about 1,200 by 2008,” Carroll said.

The numbers dropped again and the population started to climb until last year.

“It looked like they were going to recover again but instead, this last year, we had another drop of about 50 percent.”

Currently the population on the North Slope is at about 280-300 moose — as low as the population has ever been, Carroll said.

With nonresident moose hunting opportunities closed on the North Slope, the general season for residents will be open in Unit 26A from Aug. 1 through Sept. 14.

Harms said she has heard from two hunters who drew permits to hunt moose up North, and while they were disappointed, they obviously understand the reasons for the closure.

“Hunters being the original conservationists anyway, don’t want to hunt if the population can’t stand a harvest,” she said.

Hunters with questions about the hunt can call Fish and Game offices in Barrow or Fairbanks.

This story first appeared in The Arctic Sounder and is republished here with permission.

 

Cubby’s Marketplace New Additions: Mission Alaska Wall

arrows, big game hunting, bow and arrows, DIY hunting, Hunting Culture, Hunting with Camera, meat, moose, public land, Rifles, Survival, The next generation, traditional archery, unguided hunting

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For those of you heading North to Alaska, Cubby’s Market place is a must see destination.  A truly authentic Alaskan grocery store located near the intersection of the Parks Highway and the Talkeetna Spur Road, they provide goods to locals who live here year round as well as the busy summer recreationists who come to play in the surrounding Talkeetna Mountains.  This store was opened by entrepreneurial spirited family who roots were started from the Alaskan dream. Greg and Lisa Pearson (2nd generation Alaskans) started this business from the ground up with help from their children Derek, Chris, Ashlynn, and many other family members and dedicated friends.

photo 3Cubby’s is more than a grocery store, it’s an experience.  You enter through the doors into a modern-rustic Alaskan grocery store, where animal mounts and the AK lifestyle is displayed proudly.  Being one of the Pearson’s “other children”, I am proud to say I helped out during the building process of Cubby’s.  Greg has been filling his grocery store with impressive species of Alaskan game mounts since the store opened, and I am lucky enough to have several of my mounts inside.

The entire store is covered in game mounts from animals harvested around the state, if you head to the dairy section you will notice a small section dedicated to the animals harvest by team Mission Alaska.  photo 2-2Here is owners and 3rd generation Alaskan’s Derek and Chris Pearson hanging the moose on Cubby’s Wall.  This moose was from Austin Manelick’s and Vince Pokryfki’s 2013 moose hunt.  Pretty fascinating story of how this moose found his way onto the Cubby’s wall.  Team work makes the dream work, and with this moose it was no different.
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From the river to the wall….

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For any of you adventures north, make sure you stop in and see the beautiful Cubby’s Marketplace!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cubbys-Marketplace

 

Archery Moose Hunt Video

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Came across this video on youtube, if you like moose hunting then you’ll really enjoy this video.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Really cool double paddle bull harvested with a compound bow.

Why Do You Hunt?

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People hunt for many different reasons, some for the meat, some for the antlers or horns, and some for the pure benefit of challenging themselves.  Rifle, muzzleloader, bow, spear, if it’s legal don’t discourage the method.  We all enjoy the sport, tradition, and culture of hunting in different ways by different methods.   For whatever reason you are hunting, please do it safe, responsibly, and ethically and ensure our culture of being stewards of the land as sportsmen sticks around for generations to come.

I personally hunt, as always, to fill my families freezer and eat the most healthy organic meat known to man.  I also hunt for the adventure, its a great way to personally challenge myself.  Harvesting a big bull moose will provide our family with many meals, the true value is not placed on the antlers but the several hundred pounds of red meat for the dinner table.  Don’t get me wrong, a big bull moose looks great on the shed but you definitely cannot eat their antlers.

Cheers to a good hunting season this year.

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-Mission Alaska

Dreaming of big bulls and hunting season.

Photos courtesy MA of Google Images.

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Alaska Hunting: Wildman Lake Lodge  The “Rose Bull” 81 inches wide.

http://www.wildalaskahunting.com/view.php?area=&id=59

 

Russia Moose and Sheep Hunting: Warning…Epic

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This is a video recently sent in to me by Vince P, if you like seeing big bull moose then this video is for you. This video is from the Kamchatka Peninsula and features several big bull moose and snow sheep rams being hunted. This is definitely a dream hunt for many outdoorsmen, a dream of mine to some day venture. Check this epic video out.

-Mission Alaska

Moose Hunting Report 2013

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, antler, antler hunting, archery hunting, arrows, big game hunting, bow and arrows, Camera, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, Go-Pro, hunting, Hunting Culture, meat, moose, pack rafting, public land, Rifles, shed hunting, Survival, The next generation, traditional archery, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, wildlife

Year of the moose… It seems like this year bull moose were abundant in many parts of the state.  Sorry it has taken so long to make a new post, however team Mission Alaska has been out making new content for our readers to enjoy.   The Mission Alaska adventure was, again, one for the ages.   Here are a few pictures to tide you over until the stories accompanying these pictures are tapped out and made whole.

Feeling mooseeee.

Bridgers harvest 2013 MOOSE Bridgers moose 2 and the BOSS TANK 20130925-173558.jpg20130925-173410.jpg 20130925-173350.jpgHere are a few of the brutes that fell to the Mission Alaska team this year.   Be prepared for a few of the stories, lots of work indeed.

Cheers to the beautiful bull moose who roam these lands year round.  We as hunters thank you.

My First Moose: “67.5” Aniak Alaska Monster.

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Who would have thought my first moose would be the pinnacle of my hunting career, reaching my peak at 12 years old… My father took me for my first moose in the most wild of places, Aniak Alaska.  No place for a 12 year old, at least with out a rifle.

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Make no mistake, my small Colony Middle School body was athletic and ready to shoulder a 350 Remington Magnum lobbying 225 Barnes X bombshells toward massive targets.   I still have the Barnes X bullet that harvested that moose, still in the same condition (a perfect X) as the day we recovered the bullet from the bulls opposite shoulder.

I still remember the experience as if it was yesterday.  It was literally the last hour, of the last day, of the last minute we could be hunting.  I had to travel back to Palmer Alaska via bush plane for a middle school football game, and of course the 6th grade.  I had already harvesedt a beautiful mountain caribou and was happy to go home when my dad Greg spotted bull.

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He came to the tent and told me to put on my chest waders and rain jacket, he spotted a big bull.  I threw on my warm hunting garb and jumped out the tent.  We traveled around one mile down from our base camp into a willow thicket.  My father scaped the stock of his 416 Remington Guide Special on a spruce tree, then moaned like he had kidney stones….. The bull emerged out of the willows as if he was attracted to the light like insects to bug zappers.  I turned down the power of the scope just as my father had taught me, the bull walked directly at us closing to an uncomfortable distance.  I knew the moment was upon me, I shouldered quickly and delivered decisively.  The moose would run only thirty yards before jumping directly into a mud bog.  I packed out the back straps as dad packed out the hind quarter.  We ate happily that night and I left for school the next day with serious bragging rights.  Dad stayed for 4 more days to pack the shoulders, the neck, the other hind quarter, and the lastley the the monster moose rack out.  Thanks DAD!

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This is why I love the outdoors, everyone from age 12-70 years old can have the same luck and enjoy the experience all the same.  Bottom line, enjoy the outdoors!  Memories like this are out there, you just have to go get them.  Best of luck hunting and always cherish what the woods has given you, even if your 12 years old.  I’m still smiling 12 years later…..