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Old 09-29-2021, 06:28 PM   #1
diamond10x
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Default **2021 AK Moose Hunt** DIY Float Trip

Figured Iíd give a write up of this trip like I did the last one. Here is the link for the last one if you never read it so you can get all caught up to speed.

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...ighlight=Moose

After the last trip we were stuck on how we could make it better. How could we top killing a bull of a lifetime, completely DIY, with so much adventure thrown in? Well, let the planning and dreaming begin once more. Since gear lists and most logistics were dialed in this left a lot of time to put into planning our actual hunting area and the hunt aspect itself. Over the years out west, in the lower 48, weíve hunted a lot of the same places and only venturing to new ones every so often. The past few years we have really gotten into hunting new places every year. Well, this would be no different. A new river, a new unit, and whole new adventure. The goal would be two moose and a bear. 45-95 river miles. 20 days in the field. I would also be documenting the whole trip by video camera not just running some video on my phone.

This time around I was in the drivers seat. I am up first to shoot. Should I just take my rifle? Should I just take my bow? Should I take both in case I canít get it done with my bow? These are questions that played over and over for the last two years. I finally decided on taking both but hoping I could get it done early and not have to worry about making a choice coming down to the wire.

Finally after two years all the anticipation was over, September was here and I was flying out to meet my dad and brother who had been up there fishing for the week prior. They had also picked up our new rafts and gotten them ready, as well as meeting up with our pilot to discuss some last minute things. Things such as possible meat haul locations and different pick up coordinates depending on how the hunting was going. Everything so far was seeming to line up perfectly and going smoothly like one could only wish for on a hunting trip 3000+ miles away from home. I landed in Alaska on the 1st so I would have time to double check gear and hopefully be able to get a little silver fishing in. Good thing I double checked gear once there because I ended up forgetting my long handled spork, personal water filter, and Nalgene bottle. After picking some new ones up we fished for silvers for a day and half before we headed out with absolutely zero luck. Oh well we werenít there to fish, or at least I wasnít. I was there, if the stars would align, for me to get a moose.

Day 1
We wake up early with anticipation. Itís finally here and the weather looks like itís going to be a good day to fly. Clear skies and calm winds, but our hunting area has some questionable fog that is holding us up. We get delayed on our bush flight a few hours (normal stuff during sept in AK). After loading the plane with gear and all our hopes and dreams, the anticipation breaks and we start the flight out at about 2pm. Itís a beautiful flight through some amazing country and touch down on a lake right at 4pm.




Just like last time our plan is to portage to a small feeder creek and take it down to the main river. After we get the plane unloaded and watch it disappear into the sky, we begin the process of figuring out what we want to do as far as portaging. We had each seen and noticed several obstacles in this creek coming in, and my brother had thought he saw a grizzly bear appearing to be bedded down on the creek bank chewing on a salmon. We make the call to stay and camp on the lake for the night as we have no idea how long it will take to get down this creek. The last thing we want to do is get caught on the creek at dark with salmon carcasses everywhere and already seeing a bear.


One of the rafts and rowing rig, weighs about 100lbs total

Backpacks w/ personal gear

We get camp set up and then spend the rest the afternoon/evening fishing for pike.
The fishing ended up being great, catching 8-10 fish in the 25-30Ē range and numerous smaller ones to boot.




To be continuedÖ


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Last edited by diamond10x; 09-29-2021 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:41 PM   #2
rut-ro
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In can’t wait for the full write up
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:45 PM   #3
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Your last trip was one of my all time favorite threads on TBH. I’m in!
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:45 PM   #4
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Tease…. Perfect!
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bklem View Post
Your last trip was one of my all time favorite threads on TBH. Iím in!
Yep. I sure appreciate him and all the other hunters that take the time to write up their adventures for our entertainment!
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Old 09-29-2021, 07:14 PM   #6
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Following
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Old 09-29-2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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In for sure.
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Old 09-29-2021, 07:46 PM   #8
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That last one was awesome, looking forward to reading this.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmTx View Post
Yep. I sure appreciate him and all the other hunters that take the time to write up their adventures for our entertainment!
X2, some great hunting adventures to be found here on TBH. Big thanks to those who post them.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:42 PM   #10
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YES!!!! Cannot wait to read all about this trip. A dream hunt of mine.


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Old 09-29-2021, 09:45 PM   #11
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Following
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:31 PM   #12
32drawlength
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Tagged
Heading into elk camp myself tomorrow morning & now I thinking about moose hunting
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:39 PM   #13
Mtltx
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Can you really top the first trip?? Can’t wait to find out!
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtltx View Post
Can you really top the first trip?? Canít wait to find out!
The exact thing I said to myself when I read the thread title. Canít wait for thsi one!!!! Now hurry up dang it
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Old 09-29-2021, 11:28 PM   #15
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I'm definitely in for this! I followed the last thread, so no doubt this one will be just as good!

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Old 09-30-2021, 08:30 AM   #16
junior
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awesome trip so far, can't wait for the hunt!
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:38 AM   #17
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Anticipation mounts strong my friend.....best of luck and following along.

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Old 09-30-2021, 09:15 AM   #18
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in
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:16 AM   #19
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subscribed
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:26 AM   #20
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**** it. I am now going to be checking my phone constantly for updates.

Very subscribed!
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:40 AM   #21
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Tagged!
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220swift View Post
**** it. I am now going to be checking my phone constantly for updates.

Very subscribed!

Same here.


Bring on the story my man.


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Old 09-30-2021, 09:50 AM   #23
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Tagged!

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Old 09-30-2021, 09:52 AM   #24
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YES!!!! Finally!
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:55 AM   #25
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In!
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Old 09-30-2021, 10:23 AM   #26
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in
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Old 09-30-2021, 10:26 AM   #27
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Following
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:00 AM   #28
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In like Flynn
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:02 AM   #29
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Oh boy!!! I am so excited to read what happens!!!
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:15 AM   #30
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Tagged!!!
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:26 AM   #31
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This is going to be EPIC
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:35 AM   #32
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Round 2. Im in for it!
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Old 09-30-2021, 12:05 PM   #33
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The last thread you did on this was my all time favorite. Can’t wait for this one
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Old 09-30-2021, 12:08 PM   #34
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last years thread reminded me of the show called "Dropped," with the Keefer brothers. i dont know if its still on but i remember at least 2 seasons and thought it was great.

i didnt even see last years thread until yesterday, and i read the whole thing. sadly, i saw this one today and will now have to wait for updates...lol
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:02 PM   #35
diamond10x
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Default **2021 AK Moose Hunt** DIY Float Trip

We didnít keep any Pike for dinner like we would have liked to for dinner as we were running a very minimal camp that night so we could get an early start in the morning to start the voyage. As darkness began to fall we enjoyed several homemade dehydrated meals for dinner only to retire to our bags soon after.

Day 2

Morning came after a good nights sleep and we get to packing our beds back into our packs. My brother and I soon finish to grab our rifles and saws to cut a trail to the creek. Dad stays behind to break down the tipi and get it all put away. If youíve ever been to Alaska and ventured off the beaten path youíll know why. In most areas unless youíre in a meadow or spruce thicket, the brush and everything else makes traversing a chore even with just a backpack. We had 2 rafts and rowing frames at ~100lbs each, our pack of just camping and shared gear items at ~65lbs, and food packs both combined for ~120-130lbs, then our each individual packs that are ~65lbs a piece. It doesnít take long and we find a decent game trail that doesnít require us to cut too much brush and is fairly direct to the creek without too difficult of terrain. We portage everything and in perfect timing dad has the tipi and everything all packed and his gear packed as weíre coming back from hauling the last load of gear to the creek.
Get over to the creek and decide weíre only going to inflate one raft for now as this will make a portage around an obstacle quicker and easier. We air the boat up, get it loaded and start making our way downstream. In the case youíre wondering right now about the 3 of us and gear all in one raft, itís much easier to just walk with the raft and steer it by hand than to actually ride in it in this small water.





Itís not long and weíre at our first strainer. This time around weíve each brought our own saws and make quick work of this tree. Much quicker than trying to portage. We then come to a second strainer/sweeper. Same as before, make quick work of that old spruce and keep on trucking. Donít make it 100 yards more and encounter another. At this point weíre beginning to wonder how many more there will be, and dang glad we decided to wait to do this with an entire days worth of time as itís now about 11:00 am. Get this one cut out but it takes a few more cuts than the last but none the less doesnít take more than 20-30 minutes. On we go. We come to a split in the creek about 500 yards down from the last place we had to cut a tree. I stay with the boat, dad and brother walk a ways down each arm to see which way would be best as both have a bit of a log jam right past where they start.



We pick the one with the easiest one to cut which ends up also being the path with no more jams or trees to cut til it joins back up with the other arm of the creek. Once it joins to the other arm the creek starts to get a little deep and in several areas we have to hop on the raft and float through.
We notice the more we go the higher this creek is getting, flooding the timber, and really slowing down in flow. We all kind of look at each other from across each side of the raft and think ďoh no, weíre about to probably have to portage again but itís going to have to be a long ways and go strait to the main riverĒ. We decide weíll float on and let the creek decide what we have to do before we jump to any conclusions. No sooner do we come up on a beaver dam. This thing stretches from bank to bank and well above the normal water line. We have to tie the raft off to one bank and I am on the back holding the other end of the raft to a tree by hand as this bank is fairly steep. The water is also well above all of our heads and about 6.5í deep (measure by sticking a paddle to the bottom). After inspecting the dam, there is absolutely no way of cutting it out without taking too much time and getting washed away with it. Dad and brother unload the raft and leave a few last things for me to grab as Iím getting out before we pull the raft up. As I climb out and sit down on the bank to reach over and grab the last few things, I feel something warm on my butt that doesnít feel right and a smell that isnít pleasant. I pull the gear out, set it on the bank and stand up real quick. To my surprise and everyone elseís entertainment, I sat in a pile of minutes old grizzly crap. As the laughter wears off we begin to realize the more seriousness and reality of the situation. There was just a bear here and there is probably who knows how many salmon stacked up below this beaver dam just waiting to be caught and eaten by a bear.



We calm ourselves down and keep our heads on swivels as we have to cut another path through the brush to portage through. The whole way thereís bear dump piles, salmon carcasses, bear beds, tracks, you name it. There has been numerous bears here, and VERY recently. This is probably the one time Iíve been pretty nervous being in bear country, even though Iíve had more big bear encounters than I care to count. I quickly get my waders cleaned off and get to cutting brush. To say we hustled getting that trail cut, boat and gear portaged, is about right. Itís now 4:00 pm and we are really glad we waited to do this today and not yesterday. We get back on track and start floating down again. The water level now seems normal, and according to onX we are getting close to reaching the river. We make the river by 5:00 pm and pull over to air up the other raft. Taking a small break , to eat a bit, before we decide to head on down the river looking for moose sign. We make about 10 miles and come across our first fresh bull tracks on a sandbar with a nearby lake. Thereís also fresh cow and calf tracks. Before hiking all over we decide letís get camp set up as itís about 8:00 pm and then with a little bit of light we can call and maybe find a little more sign. We do this and nothing eventful happens other than finding some wolf tracks. We notice something a bit odd compared to our list trip though. Thereís zero raked trees around here with bull tracks and obvious signs of a cow in the area. Over dinner we decide weíll hunt the lake in the morning and see what happens than come back to the tent for lunch as itís only about a 100 yard walk through the brush.


Day 3

To be continuedÖ


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Last edited by diamond10x; 09-30-2021 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:39 PM   #36
DBLHKUP
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Very well written, can just picture the adventure. In for day 3 write up tomorrow.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:54 PM   #37
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This is awesome!! Thank you for sharing with us
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:56 PM   #38
Mtltx
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Man that’s crazy. Sounds like a tough day
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:10 PM   #39
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sounding good so far!! keep it coming!
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:25 PM   #40
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That is so cool!
Congratulations
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:35 PM   #41
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Awesome!!
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:43 PM   #42
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In for this
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:22 PM   #43
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Love this thread....assuming it's even close to the last one. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 10-01-2021, 07:40 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtltx View Post
Can you really top the first trip?? Canít wait to find out!
No chit!!

Not only does he do this trip once, he doing it again!!!

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Old 10-01-2021, 10:30 AM   #45
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Tagged...
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Old 10-01-2021, 11:05 AM   #46
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In on this one for sure!
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:02 PM   #47
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:15 PM   #48
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In!
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:27 PM   #49
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over here just watching too
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:56 PM   #50
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In like Flynn
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