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guns for ext AK trip

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Old 04-26-2015, 06:54 AM
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Default guns for ext AK trip

Im planning a 6 month campin road trip to AK in spring 2017. Just me and the dog. Or maybe just me. I have a lotta rifles and bought a Wby Vanguard S1 sstl .338 WinMag 5 yrs ago in prep for my trip. I have it all scoped and bore sighted but havent actually shot it yet. I'll get to that one day. I was thinking of taking a minimum amount of guns along with me so narrowed my selection to my .338 and a sstl Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. But the more I read the more I think I may be a bit over gunned. Maybe take a .22wmr pistol for small game too. But when I think more about my impending travels and keep looking at my gun rack and gun cabinet I'm just not sure. Comments from those who've done it or AK residents appreciated.

Rather than add another post , Illl just edit this one and ask what could I hunt from May to Sept in AK as I travel around. camping, fly fishing, panning for gold and visiting three friends? Spring black bear and ?

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Old 04-26-2015, 06:57 AM
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What game are you hunting for?
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:54 AM
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If you are driving up, you'll have some serious problems taking the handguns through Canada! They really frown on handguns.

If I was going, I'd take 3 guns: the .338, a .22 rifle and a 12 ga pump. Carry the 12 ga in places you think you may run into something dangerous. Load it with 3 slugs and 2 #4 shot with the slugs being fired first. That way you can hit the big nasty with the slugs while it is a little ways off if you need to and have #4s for when it gets close. It is amazing the damage a load of #4s will do at 10 feet or so. Rig the pump with a sling to make carrying easy.

Unless you do a lot, and I mean a lot, of shooting with a handgun, the average person can't use it effectively to defend themselves with it. A shotgun is much easier to use and more effective when your life is on the line.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:39 AM
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See my edited post please
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:43 AM
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Make sure that your guns have a SIMPLE, reliable trigger. I've read horror stories about finely-tuned, complex gun internals that jammed up on wet AK trips.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by flags View Post

If I was going, I'd take 3 guns: the .338, a .22 rifle and a 12 ga pump.
Excellent advise as always from Flags !!! n
One other recommendation, bring a 'back-up" for your main hunting rifle.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:13 PM
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As already mentioned, if you're driving through Canada you can't bring handguns. You can ship them to yourself via FFL holders but you'll have to pay transfer fees and go through a background check on the receiving end. I've lived and hunted in Alaska for 12 years and I've never once needed a handgun. I occasionally carry my 10mm Glock 20 but that's mostly because it makes my wife feel warm and fuzzy in bear country. Any decent big game caliber works fine up here. Shoot what you're comfortable with. A 30-06 will kill anything in AK.

Get a copy of the hunting regs to get specifics. Alaska has 26 game management units and most have numerous subunits, that all have different regulations. Black bear is open in a lot of the state year round. Most caribou seasons start in August, and most moose seasons start in September. There's a ton of variables so specifics about your plans can give you better answers.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:31 PM
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Having hunted in Alaska many times, I can tell you that you are in NO way OVER-GUNNED. If anything you are considering going UNDER-GUNNED. Flags was dead on correct in his assessment. Unless you are well trained with handguns and experienced "under fire" you do NOT want to meet up with Big Brown with that .44mag in your hand. Nor do you want to try one on in a surprise "greeting" with a bolt action rifle. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that an aggressive Female Brown with cubs just coming out of Hibernation with one or two cubs can and will end your greeting in a BAD way. When Trout fishing you will want to have a good 12 gauge loaded up just like Flags proposed. Spring and early summer can create a deadly scenario in some areas. Some people promote Bear Spray and while yes it will work, it has to be under proper conditions. If the wind is in your face, all you are going to do is add a little pepper flavor to Big Browns meal. Now usually a Brown will leave you alone if they come up on you at a stream or something like that, but a surprise crossing or as I said ANY female with cubs to protect will assault you if you are close.

As far as hunting, goes, May you can get some spring bear in. Come mid August you will have a large variety of animals to go for from Whitetail to Moose according to what GMU you will be in.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by super_hunt54 View Post
As far as hunting, goes, May you can get some spring bear in. Come mid August you will have a large variety of animals to go for from Whitetail to Moose according to what GMU you will be in.
There aren't any whitetails in Alaska and there are very few moose seasons open in August.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SILVERTIP-CO View Post
Im planning a 6 month campin road trip to AK in spring 2017. Just me and the dog. Or maybe just me. I have a lotta rifles and bought a Wby Vanguard S1 sstl .338 WinMag 5 yrs ago in prep for my trip. I have it all scoped and bore sighted but havent actually shot it yet. I'll get to that one day. I was thinking of taking a minimum amount of guns along with me so narrowed my selection to my .338 and a sstl Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. But the more I read the more I think I may be a bit over gunned. Maybe take a .22wmr pistol for small game too. But when I think more about my impending travels and keep looking at my gun rack and gun cabinet I'm just not sure. Comments from those who've done it or AK residents appreciated.

Rather than add another post , Illl just edit this one and ask what could I hunt from May to Sept in AK as I travel around. camping, fly fishing, panning for gold and visiting three friends? Spring black bear and ?
Silvertip,

The thing that will dictate your experience much more so than gun selection is budget. Are you going to go inexpensive and try and stay on the road system, or are you willing to drop a few grand on a fly out? Do you have a specific species you want to hunt? Alaska is huge and generally expensive to do quality hunts, so if you narrow down a budget and target species you can come up with realistic goals.
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