When you are planning a hunting trip of a lifetime, make sure you allow an extra day or two on the front and back end of your trip. Getting to Alaska takes a full day and normally several stops and plane changes. When I am going to Alaska I like a long time between connections. You want to make sure you make the next plane along with all your gear. I like 2 hrs. or more between flights if possible. Adding an extra night and day is going to cost you little compared to the overall costs. On the way back, you never know what the weather is going to do in Alaska, so allow a day or two in case you can’t fly out of the bush. If everything runs smoothly, this gives some extra time to do some sightseeing. Alaska Airlines seems to be the logical airline to use. They offer a media player for $8 or $10 (depending on length of flight) that is well worth it. The player has many movies, tv shows, and games to keep you entertained on the long flight there. At the time of this blog, Alaska Airlines charged $20 for extra baggage. Another option is to ship some of your gear home but it will be more expensive. If you want to take meat home the cheapest way is to take it with you on the plane and ship some of your gear home. You may also want to talk to your outfitter about shipping some things in advance so it does not take up so much room (sleeping bag, etc.).
Things You Must Do To Be Successful in Alaska
Get in shape! – It amazes me how many people I have met who are not in shape for Alaska. Make it your goal to be in the best shape of your life. My goal is always to be in as good as shape as my guide. I don’t want to be the one that holds me back. Being in good shape WILL increase your odds for success.
When getting in shape for your hunt, train with the same equipment and gear that you will be using in Alaska. Running on a treadmill for 30-60 minutes is fine, but you also need to walk up and down some big hills with a pack with 30+ lbs. in it and with your boots on. Don’t wait until you get to Alaska to break in your boots! You could be walking 4-10 miles a day with your gear and pack on your back. Make sure you train for it!
Shooting – Practice shooting with your clothes and gear on. It does not do a lot of good to shoot your bow in shorts and a t-shirt only to be shooting in Alaska with gloves and a heavy coat on.
Make sure you practice shooting your bow with gloves on. I know it’s hard to do in July when its 95 degrees out, but you will thank me when you are 30 yds. from a monster moose and it’s snowing. I like to wear a liner glove and a mid-weight glove (see below in gear list). This gives me a lot of versatility. I practice all summer wearing no gloves, just the liner and both the liner and mid-weight glove. I have confidence in all three scenarios going into my hunt. If you are like me, the mental battle is 90% of it and you want to cover every scenario possible before leaving for your trip.
Shoot your bow with your quiver on. This was a big mistake I made on my first archery moose hunt, but I didn’t make the same mistake twice. Being an avid whitetail hunter, I have always taken my quiver off when I am in the stand. I got by with this on several elk hunts but not in the elements of Alaska. You want to eliminate any unnecessary steps that you can and taking your quiver off is one of them.
Practice close shots. Alaska is thick and the chances of taking a shot at a moose over 40 yds. is slim. Your odds are better of taking a shot at 25 yds. or less than it is over 25 yds. so practice close shots.
Use an animal target (deer, elk, etc.). Shooting a block target is good for getting your bow sighted in, but months before your hunt switch over to an animal target. In my opinion, it is one step closer to the real thing and can be a mental edge. Click Here…