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Discussion Starter #1
I want to find a few airports that are within backpacking distance of good/decent blacktail and moose hunting areas in SE. The catch is that my plane is a plastic speedster rather than a more bush capable bird. I need a hard surface runway at least 2500x40, and 3000x50 would reduce the PF.

I am a native Alaskan in long term exile in California so SE is the most reasonably accessable area for a fly myself trip in flight time, but I know to be cautious of weather in the region. Before you wonder why I do not know more about Alaska myself, I have to mention that my parents thought that Alaska (at least 1963 Alaska) did not offer the opportunities of education and experience that they wanted to provide children, and we moved when I was an infant. Neither of them either hunts or flies, so they can provide little information. If they did they might have seen what Alaska could offer to a son that would grow-up to do both.

Thanks,
Fireplug
 

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Fireplug,
I'm not real familiar with SE Alaska, but would imagine that Yakutat is your best best for moose with the runway you describe.  I don't think there are deer in the Yakutat area though, but could very well be wrong about that.  More often than not in Alaska, moose and deer do not co-exist.  The Cordova area in Southcentral is the only place I know that has huntable populations of both species on the same ground.  Like I said though, I'm not very familiar with Southeast.  A good bet is a deer/bear combo or moose/caribou/bear hunt.  Some places like Afognak Island have the opportunity to do deer/elk/bear if the stars and planets align just perfectly and you are able to draw the right tags.  In this Alaska part of the Beartooth forum there is a link to the Alaska hunting regulations.  If you can find a unit where deer and moose seasons overlap and are plentiful enough to hunt, contact Alaska Fish and Game and get the skinny on the airports/airstrips in the area.

If you can fly over to Yakutat for moose, then over to Admiralty for deer that would work.  Kodiak and Afognak are close enough to mainland Alaska to make a short jump to good moose country.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but good luck and hopefully it will work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
alyeska338,

The site went down, causing this to be a very belated thank you for your responce to my fly in hunting question. Thanks.

Rather than being a negative the need to fly to a second site would be a bonus, since I would hope to do some aerial sightseeing anyway. The only downside might be the legal requirement of not hunting on the day you fly. I would use up that time hiking in and setting up camp though.

I plan to continue the research and hope to make the trip next year.

Thanks,
Fireplug
 

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Fireplug,
That does open up more opportunities for you, but the runway requirements are still limiting. Basically it looks like you'll have to fly into a fairly populated place. There aren't many runways of the type you described that are maintained away from population centers. If you can fly to Cordova, then take a charter (either boat or floatplane) into the Sound, that would really be to your advantage. Then, you could hunt the Prince William Sound for Deer then to the Gulf Coast for moose, or Kodiak and Afognak for deer and the Peninsula for moose. Generally speaking, all the deer and moose areas mentioned here have huntable brown bear populations, so that may be a bonus for you, also. Another moose/caribou/bear area worth considering and within 1/2 day flying distance of good deer hunting is the Wood-Tikchik area or the Revelation Mountains. You aren't limited if you don't mind flying to seperate destinations for moose and deer, except for the runway requirements. Dillingham has a fairly good sized runway near Wood-Tikchik, but the better hunting spots are north of there and would require a boat or bushplane of some type to get you there. Fall hunts, especially in the Prince William Sound or along the coast tend to be pretty wet. You may end up staying at one destination a little longer than planned, so that is another thing to be aware of. Be safe, the mountains and weather can be killers.
 

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Just to wet your whistle...
 

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338 - What an awesome sight. That moose looks so big he might be in 2 management zones at once. What's your estimate on his spread? I know that if his eyes are about 10" apart, then his spread has to be TOO wide, unless there's some kind of optical illusion involved. WOW.
 

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Wow! No expert on moose hunting but if I saw him & had a tag he might end up with a serious case of lead poisoning.

By the way moose meat is excellent (better be with a critter that size!).
 

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That particular moose is no longer with us. Biologist Vic VanValenburg (sp?) studied this old boy for several years near Denali National Park. I think he discovered the carcass last year (died of natural causes). I'm sure the old monarch passed his genes along for several years though. I can't remember the exact measurements, but do remember this photo was taken well past the moose's prime. Vic had said the antler mass had decreased considerably from previous years.

While not as impressive, here's another photo of a moose that would make any hunter's heart pick up the pace a bit.
 

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Fireplug, I am a pilot for Alaska Airlines and can give you some good info if you are still interested. Start looking at Ketchikan, Annette Isl., Wrangle and petersburg. And buy a survival suit to fly in. That plan makes me think you will need it up here! :) What is it anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
FA18CUB,

Make your offer of information and advice advisedly, because I may bug you with some question in more detail as planning proceeds. I know real airports are rarer up there and that the weather can stink, but I am a bit confused about your post. If some buffer time, a cautious approach to Alaska weather, and my same safe approach to the mountain flying ( they are taller here than coastal Canada or Alaska ) is taken I can not see any extreme risk to the trip. My plane does need a hard surfaced runway of adequate size, but I know that I need to stay away from the gravel bars you people use.

My plane is a modification of a KR-2S, and with the modifications can best be compared to a two seat version of the formula one race planes. At ten to twelve I cruise a bit over 200 and have a range of 800, if I take it down to 185 I can make 1000 or rather the plane can.

I am not being defensive, but I just do not see the problem if the pilot (me) has decent judgement. I do carry survival gear even now (there is some pretty wild country left in parts of the mountain west) and would adjust as needed for Alaska If I simply do not know enough about flying conditions there to be appropriately concerned, tell me your area of concern.


Fireplug
 

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The main problem with flying were you want to go will be weather causing IFR approaches with no close alternates and the chances of VFR scud running low to none. Your only option will be to have good weather . That can be tough to find this time of year. You can probably get rides or planes out of any of the towns I mentioned for hunting. Do you have the IFR charts and approaches for SE Alaska yet? How is your plane equiped?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
FA18CUB,

I have checked in to weather records for VFR days in the region, and have been watching the Alaska weather cams. I have to agree that CAVU days are rarer than three antlered moose in SE, but there appear to be VFR windows. My assumption was that IFR approaches would be rare anyway for the small airports near enough huntable country, and it would simply be a case of getting the weather window needed. One point that makes this more practical is that the area that suffers from the frequent visability and ceiling issues seems to be very narrow along the coast, which should allow a flight in or out to be short thus limiting the weather window needed and providing a ready route back to VFR conditions.

Actual IFR is not an option in this plane, since it is frankly too small to hold an IFR panel and to agile for stable IFR. My plane like most of the little composite sport planes (Glassairs, Lancairs, Pulsars, Europas, etc.) is really more at home as a VFR fun travel, crosscountry race, and sport aerbatic plane, but if weather and runway condition needs are allowed for they make fast and fun transport. One part of the interest here is to do the trip myself and in this plane knowing that it is not the ideal Alaska machine, and even if that means settling for second best in hunting area and/or loosing some time to weather. I may go another time more conventionally where the hunting is the only priority but this time the flying and kind of flying is equally important to the hunting.

The only charts I have this early on are WACs for planning, but of course will get sectionals when needed, since I am too chicken to trust the GPS alone like many do these days.

Sorry to the hunters and shooters if the flying topic is taking up too much space.

Fireplug

PS: A Maule partnership may be on the horizon so you Alaskan pilots may only have to put up with the weird little plastic plane a little.
 

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I have looed at maules they are ok! Good way to go. If you build though... nothing can compete with a Murphy Super Rebel with the Russian Radial. Twice the load of a Maule at 1/2 to 2/3 the cost.
 
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