If you haven’t hunted in Alaska or in a tundra environment, you should know before booking a moose hunt, there are a few things to consider.
Things To Know Before Booking a Moose Hunt
Float Hunts vs. Base Camp Hunts
Just know that float hunts are more difficult overall and a float hunt doesn’t allow a hunter to truly get to know an area. Many believe this is an easier way to go… But after the 2nd camp set up, you’ll realize the value and ease of staying in one place.
In our opinion, a base camp hunt with good scouting before you arrive is the key to success. This would lead you down the fully guided option in most cases. However, there are a few exceptional unguided options out there as well.
Proper Gear and Physical Conditioning
Gear wise, you will need, top of the line rain gear, good wind resistant outerwear and a layering system that will allow you comfort in varying conditions. Kenetrek or Hoffman Boots would be my boots of choice along with some tundra boots (hip waders) for the wet boggy conditions you will likely face. Maybe even some Muck boots. The temperatures that you will encounter in the month of September in Alaska will fluctuate wildly. Modern hunting gear is built for the conditions.
As far as physical condition, hiking in tundra is a humbling experience. It’s like walking in two feet of wet marshmallows all day long…it’s exhausting. You need to be in good shape for best success, even on a fully guided moose hunt. On the unguided hunt it is imperative to be at least a 8 out of 10, physically, because you will be packing out your bull, which can take 10-12 trips (for many hunters this is the hardest thing they will ever do).
Unguided vs. Guided Moose Hunts
In my opinion it’s all about budget and how important success is to you. Our guided moose hunts went 100% success last year on 61 inch average bulls. Year in and year out they go close to 90%. It’s not in everyone’s budget though.
An unguided moose hunt is much less expensive, but comes with a lower success rate. Success hovers around 75%, but our hunters maintain the same trophy quality of 61 inch average. Don’t even consider going the unguided route if you are not in top physical condition and ready for an adventure. The area is one of the best in the state of Alaska for moose density and quality. In fact, the Alaska Fish and Game are concerned about overpopulation. So they have extended the season in this unit to the last 10 days of September (peak of the rut) and will allow hunters to shoot any bull!