Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dall Sheep Hunting in Alaska

When it comes to hunting in Alaska there is nothing more grueling yet more rewarding than dall sheep hunts.

If you are planning on doing one of these hunts make certain you draw your application to get your tag before December preceding the spring or summer you want to go out. You can do this by going in to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A "sheep tag" will cost a couple hundred dollars.

Most of the best hunts for Dall sheep are in the Chugach Mountains. All of the big trophy Dall sheep are found here. Because there is a permit system in place now the quality and size of these animals have gone substantially up over the last decade.

Keep in mind that a very limited amount of hunters can do this. Two friends of mine who are excellent gamesmen had to stop after a day because it was too much and theses guys have been hunting since they could talk.

Hunting this kind of animal at high altitudes is very physically demanding. While there is nothing like hunting Dall sheep or Mountain Goats in Alaska I cannot stress to you enough that you have to be in peak physical condition or you will not be able to complete it. Many people start to cramp up after several hours of walking uphill. The elevations can reach seven thousands feet and you are constantly climbing over rocks with a heavy pack attached to you.

Its best to bring a light shooting rifle or bow (if you are skilled at one) on these types of hunts. Every extra pound you pack matters in this situation.

Weather Conditions in Alaska

If you go dall sheep hunting between June and August expect temperatures anywhere from 40-70 degrees but Alaska is very rainy during these months. August is usually dry and is considered the best month to go. September can be nice for the first two weeks but afterward expect ice and possible snow.

The Actual Hunt

It barely gets dark so you will not have to worry too much about light. It may take days to find the sheep you actually want. Expect long days of climbing, glassing, and reconnaissance. You will be doing all this while carrying a twenty-five pound pack on your back with your food, binoculars, and rain gear. Bring the lightest backpack hunting gear you can find!

At minimum you will need:

waterproof duffel bag
gun cleaning kit with synthetic lubricant
sleeping gag
sunscreen lotion
insect (mosquito) repellent
chapstick (gets very dry)
hunting Boots
sun glasses
rain gear
warm cap
light jacket
hunting gloves
two wool shirts
well insulated hunting pants
four pair of wool socks and polypropylene liners
change of underwear
toiletry kit
water bottles
first aid kit
GPS compass

Be ready to spend 10-14 hours tracking down your dall sheep. The better condition you are in physically the better your chances.

This is one of the hardest yet rewarding hunts though. The meat tastes great! You can get 80 lbs of tasty and suculant meat from one kill. Its some of the most delicious wild game you will ever taste and once your try it you will be addicted.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fly Fishing for King Salmon

Fishing in Alaska can be a challenge on the road system. But if you keep your eyes open and look beyond the obvious crowds there are fishing holes where you can cash in on your king.

Keep your eyes on the fishing regulations as well b/c some areas are closed some areas have an annual bag limit and other areas don't have an annual bag limit. For the most part you can keep one king per day.

One of my favorite spots in the Kasilof River. Not many people know about early season king salmon fishing in this drainage. The early run peaks in the last week in May and the first week of June. Just before the last week in May I find is the best time to go fishing. You'll find yourself mainly alone along the shallow river banks where the walking is very easy. You can cover a lot of ground and water essential for fly fishing in Alaska.

One time i found myself at the crocked creek confluence where it meets the Kasilof. i was watching the current very closely. After about 10 minutes watching the same spot a very subtle yet distinct dorsal fin of a king salmon sliced thru the surface of the water. I quietly edged up river so i could backdrift my hand tied polar shrimp fly in front of the king salmon. After it seemed like 100 casts i saw that same dorsel fin slice through the surface and i thought to myself how am I missing this fish b/c i was bouncing my weight along the bottom just fine. But then again, was I?

I then regathered ny thoughts and put on a #1 slitshot and a bead in front of my fly. I also extended my leader by about 5 inches making it around 30 inches sinker to fly. I then did the same backdrift and it was an immediate hook-up! So excited I was to hook up with my first king on the fly I yelled out "fish on." Then I realized I was the only one on the river.

After a few long runs up and down river I realized this was no ordinary king. I saw only his back at one point and it looked like a suitecase. He then decided to take one last run down river that i couldn't keep up with. Maybe i should have brought my ten weight. So ends my fishing trip in Alaska.

Best Hunting Dog

I've been thinking about getting a hunting dog. I thinking about going peasant hunting in south dakota and it would be nice to have one not just for that but other hunts.

My grandpa has a yellow lab and hes pretty good. My uncle has a chocolate lab. I've seen some German shorthair dogs b/c of their performance but they are not as friendly as a lab it seems. Somebody tell me what you think.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bought some More Hunting Stock

I just picked up some Cabella hunting stock today. I played them off and on in the past. Made a lot of money in the past with them. Lost my shorts several months ago when my computer crashed and I wasn't able to sell those call options in March. Oh well, I had fun with it. I'm going to hold my 300 shares and see if I can sell em' when Cabella goes back to $15.00 Then I will most likely go to the nearest store I can find down in the states and spend all my gains buying some new hunting gear. Happy Hunting. Sometimes the best hunting you can do is on the internet. HA HA

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hunt in North Dakota

Me and a friend went to North Dakota on a hunting trip. I was amazed that there wasn't any trees and how wide open it was. It made it a little difficult to find the bedding areas essential for this hunt. I found out that the key to hunting this area is finding the drainages off the farmland which is usually discarded by farming equipment which helps undergrowth and cover essential for bedding areas.

If you can find interconnecting drainages you have found a natural travel corridor. You should be able to find good deer sign in these areas not to mention big buck sign. Be sure to hunt on the east side of these bedding areas b/c that's the prevailing wind. Always hunt the wind. Deer have unbelievable smell:)

If you are lucky enough to find good buck sign hang a pourable tree stand or ground blind on the east side of that sign. Make sure that you are in bow range! Since the area is so open it is hard to judge distance. If you use objects such as fence lines, dirt clumps, trees, or tall grass you can eliminate the guess work. I'm also a fan of buying the best hunting binoculars that I can find to make my life a little easier.

The final key to this hunt I found out is to hunt any given spot no more that two days in a row for scent control. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. If your scent is in the area for more than a few days plan on burning your North Dakota buck tag:)

The best time to hunt is late October, early November. Remember the bucks are only stupid for two days out of the year. Get out there.

Kodiak Brown Bear Hunt

A great place for a deer hunt in Alaska is found on Kodiak island. The deer are plentiful and really have no natural preditors. The limit is two. A good contact to make your hunt a bit easier is to contact Andrew's Air to fly you out to the forest service cabins that are availiable. Again, you want to sign up for them well in advance. You can do this online.

In addition to your hunt there there is year round fishing of halibut, salmon, and dolly varden. Once you shoot a deer you really need to be aware that once your take a shoot and kill a deer its like ringing a diner bell for a bear. They know that there is a gut pile for desert that they can snack on nearby. In the state of Alaska you can shoot a bear in self defense but you have to skin it and give the hide to the state DNR:)

Good Place to Hunt in Alaska

The hunt is on an island just off the coast of Seward, AK. Its called Montague Island. Its an excellent place to hunt. You can get a plane ride over there from Anchorage for around $800.00 There are several outfitters that can make the hunt more accessible and enjoyable by boat or air. There is deer all over the area. They are sort of small, about 150lbs, but you can shootof them. The terrain is very difficult but you can shoot them out of a boat. There are several state forest cabins out there that you can rent but you have to sign up for them well in advance. You can do that online. You can hunt out there up til' the end of December. What makes it even better is that the bears are hibernating right now so you won't have to worry about them. They can be a pest so beware.

A buddy of mine went there the other day. I going over his house today to get some fresh vinison steaks. If you are a person who loves to deer hunt, this is the place to go.