The moose above, while not a monster, is very typical of what you can expect to see as far as moose in the "interior" of Alaska. This then is home for the largest of the deer family. The largest moose in the world live in the "interior" of Alaska.
Many hunters dream of coming to Alaska for the "hunt of a lifetime". I consider myself very fortunate to be able to live that dream any time I choose. On this page you will find some photos of some hunts I have been on, as well as hunts that friends of mine have had. Unfortunately, for many years I had no desire to take photos of the hunts I have been on, so the photos are few in number. The lifestyle I have chosen is one of "subsistence", not in the true sense, but simply put, I hunt to supplement my income by putting meat in the freezer. I am a meat hunter and there has never been a time that I would consider hunting simply for trophy.
This great land is so immense that it is hard for those who do not live here to grasp the distances. While it is true that the numbers of each specie are great, it is also true that they are confined to a very limited area. Sometimes this area is many miles from any road, in which case, it is necessary to fly in, in a bush plane. Prey species, like moose and caribou are almost wholly dependent on the available food supply. If the number of animals competing for the available food is too great, they either die off or move to new ground. Consequently, the predator species that depend on a healthy prey population are forced to move also.
Many hunters like to go out and stalk quietly through the woods hoping to jump a moose from it's bed. This does work at times, but the more likely scenario is that the moose will hear you coming and quietly move off. They have exceptional hearing and sense of smell, and rely on those senses for their survival. The hunter that consistently brings home moose, is the one who will patiently sit for hours, or even days in a good moose feeding area. This is the way I like to hunt, (age may have something to do with this) and it has been very productive for me. There is another effective way of doing it, which is to quietly float down a river, keeping all noise to a minimum. This can be very effective, especially if you stop along the way to check out ponds and sloughs as you float.
My hunting camp is set up on a prime moose feeding route....(need I say more)? Ahhh! But you know that I will. You can't keep a hunter from talking about hunting, and I do have a captive audience, because if you are here, you are a hunter too and cannot bear to click the "back button" until you have heard the whole story.
Photo on the left is my main means of transportation for hunting, 16'airboat w/455 ci. buick engine. Photo on the right is a view from my hunting camp. This slough is situated just off the river and is part of an interconnecting series of sloughs that run for quite some distance. Directly across the river from this slough is a high rock bluff that comes right down to the river. It effectively funnels game up my side of the river and through this slough. The result of this situation is that every moose that moves up the river has to pass through this slough, or make a big detour around it.....most choose to come through it. This hunting camp is situated 20 miles from the nearest road, in a small valley with no other means of access, other than the river. Most years I never see another person once I am in camp, the river is far too shallow to be navigated by anything other than an airboat. The other thing that makes this an ideal situation is, that this is one of only four feeder sloughs on the river, and by far the best situated.
Below, on the left, is a photo of my hunting partner, James Trickey. This was a moose that he shot in 1996. Photo on the right shows the rack without velvet, it measured 471/2". This was a one shot kill for James, not bad....even if he was in his underwear when he shot it. James has a habit of sleeping late and, nice guy that I am, I woke him so he would be able to have the honors. It was a one hundred and fifty yard shot from camp to where you see him.
We are able to float the moose to the shore and hoist it up a tree by the head, this makes for easy gutting. It is also nice for quartering, you can simply drop the quarters into the canoe, no lifting involved. At my age this is a definite plus, not to mention having a young partner.
This is an example of what you don't want to see when you are in hunting camp, unless you are hunting grizzly of course. But even then, I would much rather see another attitude and a lot more distance. heh heh
Grizzly Bears in the Interior of Alaska are generally small, any where from 200 - 500 lbs. But occasionally they can grow quite large, like the one pictured here. In the valley where I hunt there are three bears that I know of that are very large bears. They tend to keep to themselves and out of the way of any people. They are king here.
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