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Planning a Bucket List Trip to Alaska
Planning a Bucket List Trip to Alaska

Alaska may be considered the last true unchartered frontier. There are thousands of public lakes, rivers, and forest land that doesn’t see a hunter or fisherman all season. The state is massive and is a hunter and fisherman’s paradise, your options are endless, and if you do it right you may find yourself coming back time and time again.  However, it isn’t for the faint of heart either, it takes meticulous planning to have a successful Alaska trip.

This article is going to cover how to plan the basics for a hunting trip to Alaska.  It will cover things like where to stay, what to hunt and fish, and few other pointers.  It is not a full in-depth guide, as that requires a good amount of preparation on your part.  To truly enjoy the trip you will have to research and decide what you want to do it and how you would like to do it as well because options vary throughout the state. Much of the information below like the planes and housing can be used for both fishing as well as hunting.

Hunting Alaska

When you first decide to hunt in Alaska the first thing that you must determine is the species that you wish to hunt.  This can be anything from moose, grizzly, caribou or even blacktail deer there are a whole bunch more too so do your research and decide on an animal.  

You could also choose to hunt multiple animals if you wish, but before you get started you need to know what you are looking to hunt so you can better plan.  After you decided you can go about researching when your game is in season and purchasing the necessary tags and permits to hunt. In comparison to most states, out of state licenses are not that expensive.  One important thing to note is that some animals require you to hunt with a guide service if you are a nonresident. Things like sheep, goat, and grizzly can only be taken with a guide.

Utilize Public Land

Once you have decided on an animal, you will have to do a little research to find a region to hunt your desired animal at.  Alaska is twice the size of Texas and has many different regions which hold a good variety of animals. Do some research and find some public land in the area that fits your needs.   

These lands will give you the opportunity to hunt for days without ever seeing another hunter.  You can find yourself in some of the most untouched regions of the world. If you do your research and look around and do some online scouting you can have a very successful trip.  

For most when they think of these hunts they usually think about guided hunts.  While the guided hunts are great, there is a good amount of DIY hunting that you can do fairly easily.  When it comes to a place to stay, there are a good amount of cabins run by the government that offers all of the essentials.  

These cabins range anywhere from $25 - $45 a day, and they come with a heat source, and all the creature comforts that man requires.  They can be found online here.  These cabins can act as your base camp to the outdoors, and from there you can rent planes to take you to and from hunting areas.  

Planes are one of the best ways to travel in Alaska, they allow you to quickly move over a good amount of terrain, and they can land in the water, or even on runways in some of the more popular hunting destinations.  This is one the best and in most places, the only way to travel in Alaska, so make sure you are ready to fly.

They can range in the price, and they usually charge per person.  It can be anywhere from $125 a person to as low as $80. It can vary, so try to get into contact with your pilot service before your trip and plan in advance.

Hunting with a Guide Service

A guide service is a great way to ensure that your trip goes smoothly.  No matter how much research you conduct, it is difficult to scout and complete all of the necessary things if you have never been to Alaska and don’t really know what to expect.  Hiring a guide service for the first trip is an excellent way to experience all that Alaska has to offer.

The guides range in price drastically.  They can go anywhere from $3000 up to $8000 for a week's worth of hunting.  Most of the guide services offer the grand hunting experience. This includes things like 5-star accommodations, all of your meals prepared, transportation and an experienced guide.  With these services, you are truly signing up for the experience package.

Hunting Conclusion

Hunting in Alaska is exciting.  The opportunities are endless and if you do your research or elect to go with a guide you can have a very successful hunt.  Make sure that you plan all of your sleeping arrangements as well as plane trips well in advance. Also, make sure you have the proper tags, and you have a basic idea of where you want to hunt at.  

It can be labor intensive, but it will be worth it in the end.  You will never forget a successful Alaskan hunt, and you should go out and enjoy all that Alaska has to offer.  It is truly the last of uncharted territory in the United States.


Fishing Alaska

If you are an avid fisherman than you should look no further than a dream trip to Alaska.  The streams are so abundant, that on your trip you will most likely go the entire time without running into another party.  Also, the streams are full that many people have caught a fish on each and every cast, leading to 50 + fish caught a day.

Public Land

Many of the same concepts that are used with hunting can be applied to fishing in Alaska as well.  You can still utilize the state-run government cabins, giving you untethered access to some of Alaska’s most populated streams all for $25 a night.  You truly cannot beat this opportunity, with the cabins being situated in many National Forests to include the Chugach that has 70,000 lakes, and over 8000 miles of streams, as well as the Tongass that has 23,000 miles of streams and 120,000 acres of lakes.  

It is a fisherman paradise, the cabins are located in some of the best spawning grounds in the world, where you can catch steelhead, rainbow trout, Pacific salmon and a whole bunch more.  It is a place that you will never forget and many fishermen report that they catch fish of a lifetime regularly on these self-guided trips.

Just like the hunting, you may want to contact a plane service.  This will allow you to travel to many different streams and have options to catch fish throughout the state.  Check with services online and schedule your flights in advance, so you can have a better-detailed plan, and after a successful day you can come back to your cabin and enjoy your catch from the day.  

Tackle Tips

When most think of fishing in Alaska they immediately think of fly fishing.  While this is probably the most popular there are plenty of opportunities to use baitcasting and spinning reels as well.  This will all come down to personal preference, and you should bring what you enjoy most, but also it is smart to bring a few backup reels in case Murphy law take effect on your trip.  The last thing you want to do is not have a rod because of some unforeseen circumstance and be stuck in the Alaskan bush.

You will want to research which fish you are going for in particular.  However, it is smart to bring a variety of fishing tackle. This way you can have multiple options.  One thing is that if you are going for rainbow trout, make sure you have some stout tackle. It is not uncommon to catch 10lb trout, and 5 -6lbs is the average.  So ensure you have the right tackle for every situation. Having enough options will have you prepared for any circumstance, and with all the money you are spending you want to make sure you have an enjoyable trip.  

Fishing with a Guide

If you don’t want to go on your own, there are a number of guide services that offer full service.  They will have beautiful accommodations, with all of your meals included. This can be rather pricey, but you wouldn’t have to lift a finger, all you have to focus on is fishing.  

They can range anywhere from $5000 a week per person, but everything will be included.  This is a truly a first class experience and it is worth treating yourself for a major life event.  You will have the fishing adventure of a lifetime with an outfitter.

Conclusion

Whether you choose to fish with a guide or go out on your own, you will be amazed to see what Alaska has to offer.  Streams filled to the top with trophy fish of a lifetime, and experiences you will never forget. Don’t let the distance intimidate you, do your research and get out there and enjoy this natural gem.  

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