If your dream is to bag that biggest-of-all North American game, you should consider moose hunting in Alaska. The state that is twice the size of Texas, where dog mushing is the official state sport and that produces much of the crab, herring, halibut and salmon in the US also boasts the highest concentration of moose next to Maine. Those having experienced moose hunting in Alaska all agree on one thing to remember – moose are huge animals.
When Is the Best Time for Hunting?
Moose hunting in Alaska is a regulated sport by the Department of Fish and Game. The season runs from September 5 to September 15 in one area and September 20 in another. Even a resident, but especially a non-resident, will benefit from the services of a guide.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Guide?
Killing a moose is just the beginning of the hunt. Once you have your kill, all that meat must be quartered and packed out – at least 700 pounds in general. For this reason, most experienced moose hunters will tell you not to kill a moose more than a mile away from any sort of vehicle. While that is good advice, it seriously limits your range. With a guide to take you moose hunting in Alaska, you will be flown out, often to very remote areas. Not only does this get you away from areas where there may be many other hunters, but guides will often provide one packer for each hunter. A guide will take you to places where you have the best chance of getting your meat and your trophy bull.
What to Look for In a Guide
You want someone with experience in Alaska. A good guide will have established camps and know the best areas for getting that trophy rack. Moose hunting in Alaska is not an inexpensive sport, so you want a well-run organization with an established support network and a solid reputation for delivering what is promised.
What to Pack
You need to be thinking “pack light”, meaning not necessarily light weight, but gear that will all fit into one super-cub duffel bag. Think about practical gear, such as a flashlight, insect repellant, sun glasses, water bottle (with filter) and sunscreen. You’ll be doing a LOT of walking, so you’ll be happy to have moleskin for those inevitable blisters. Binoculars, a day pack and extra batteries will also come in handy. And of course, your rifle and camera.
Clothing to considerincludes wool boot socks, waterproof boots that are already broken in, waders, long underwear of medium weight and gloves that allow finger dexterity. You’ll want insulated outer wear that has camouflage coloring. Having choices of water proof outwear will save you many hours of potential cold and misery. You’re in the artic north, so ask your guide for additional recommendations.
For some, moose hunting in Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Plan carefully. Prepare well, and have an experienced guide to ensure your memories are good ones and you’ll have amazing stories to tell upon your return.